‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable


There are days,

There are days when your life clouds over

and the world gets so dark

that all at once you can’t tell night from day.

There are times

when your heart cries ‘this isn’t happening’

but the truth is cold and real

and I know this storm won’t go away

‘It’s her or me’ from Miss Saigon, by Boublil and Schonberg

I’ve been quiet on here for the last few months.  I know some people have dropped by to see if anything has been written and I have tried to, but it’s been a difficult end to the year.

Not many people know, but I’ve been off sick from work for 2 and a bit months.  Mental health issues are still quite taboo in our society and I don’t really understand why.  It’s something that can affect anybody and yet still it’s not something we feel confident talking about.  I have depression, which I think is something that I’ve been battling with for a decade and it’s dreadful. This bout has definitely been the worse of the lot.  A stressful job, moving to a new area, not having much if a social life, various things that have happened in the past, lack of money all building together until I essentially cracked.  I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t go outside without having a panic attack and I couldn’t go to work.  It’s such a difficult thing to describe.  I get frustrated with myself because I can’t physically do things that I want or need to do.  I can’t get out of bed.  I can’t speak to people.  I don’t have any outward physical manifestation of this, there is just this mental block, a cloud, a haze that won’t let me through.  Then I spend time arguing with myself in my head – you know what you need to do, just get up, just get up, just move yourself, just stop wallowing in self pity and get up and do something.  But it’s no good.  There is some chemical imbalance at the moment.  There is something just stopping me whether I want to or not. Ruby Wax says it better than me, so here she is:

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Eggless Banana and Blueberry Cake


I had no eggs the other day and some bananas that were getting pretty squishy so I thought it best to try and make an egg-less banana cake.  Basic ingredients, chuck in some blueberries, spice (I also added strawberries that needed using up, but I think raspberries would be better) and you’ve got a lovely, moist cake.
Banana and blueberry cake.

Banana and blueberry cake.

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Chocolate Banana Cake with Caramel Sauce


Chocolate Banana Cake

I adapted this recipe from one I learnt in primary school. I decided to combine it with a caramel sauce and there are some optional extras you can add in if you want to.

Ingredients:

For the cake

• 250g/9oz plain flour

• 25g/1oz cocoa powder

• 1tsp baking powder

• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

• Pinch of salt

• 200g/7oz golden caster sugar

• 2 or 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (if you like a very banana flavour add the third, otherwise stick to two)

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 125g/4 ½ oz butter, melted

Extras:

• 1 tsp cinnamon powder

• 75g milk chocolate chips.

For the caramel sauce

• 250g caster sugar

• 142ml double cream

• 50g butter

• 2tbsp water

 

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon, if using, into a large bowl. Stir until well combined.

3. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, stir in the beaten egg and melted butter.

4. Fold the bananas into the flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into a loaf tin.

5. Bake for 50-60 mins or until the cake is risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 mins.

6. Whilst the cake is baking begin to make the caramel. Tip the sugar into a heavy based pan, stir in the water and place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

7. Turn up the heat and bubble for 4-5 mins until you have a caramel.

8. Remove from the heat, carefully stir in the cream and butter until you have a smooth sauce.

9. When the cake has cooled, pour the caramel sauce over the cake, serve warm.

Red, red wine


Actually, that’s misleading from the start, sorry. Today’s moderate level of suffering was solely the responsibility of white wine, but I don’t know a song about that, or a film and I’ve got to stick to my theme.  Even if rather loosely.  I’ll cook prawns in a red wine sauce for dinner in a bit if that makes you feel better.  Actually, that’s not true either because it’s nine o’clock and I should be going back to bed soon.  I will be eating a blueberry swirl ice cream as I type.  Just to keep you updated.

Shall I start again?

Probably best.

Today I think I’ve had my first hangover in about 9 years.  I got in from the bar at about 3, woke up at 6 needing the loo (like you need to know) had some water and – probably a mistake – a chocolate orange brownie.  I tried to have the sensible bacon sandwiches but that didn’t happen for a good six hours.  I’ve been tired, a little bit shaky from too much of a sugar rush and have spent the day very productively in bed watching Elementary and Southland.  For those of you who don’t know, Elementary is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes tv series set in New York with Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson his sober companion.  It’s not as good as Sherlock but I like it.  Southland is a tv series about police in South Central LA.  It has Ben McKenzie (AKA Ryan ‘Fists of Fury’ Attwood from the OC) in it and is a better show, but harder to watch when feeling delicate.  Another show that has graced my computer screen today is Hart of Dixie, with Rachel Bilson (also OC) but by far the best is Grey’s Anatomy.  I love it, it’s trashy, it’s melodramatic, they keep killing off my favourite characters, but I can watch it over and over again whenever I am feeling like crap and it cheers me up.  When I run out of new episodes I go back to series 1 and start again…

Sorry, tangent, that happens when I’m eating ice cream.

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