The Best Chocolate Cake In The World Ever


In 2007 Pure Associates Ltd ran a recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake In The World Ever from Kerry Smith, an employee, in their staff newsletter. Here it is:

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NaNoWriMo novel 2011: part 23

She nods. “I know what you mean. Sort of. My dad was kind of like that. When I was born, my mum told me, he was gutted that I was a girl and blamed her for it. You can imagine how pissed off he was when my sister was born. Another girl! I grew up knowing something wasn’t quite right with me. Except at nights when he’d whisper- no. I can’t go there.”
“Won’t,” I whisper. “Gives you control over it.” She nods, closes her eyes. In the blurred part of my focus I sense Lily turn in her seat; her attention beams into the space between Rebecca and me.
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NaNoWriMo Novel 2011: Part 22

I hold my forehead with my hands, pressing it gently. Rebecca crawls across the carpet. At my feet she kneels up and wraps her arms around my head, drawing me to her. Human touch. Unexpected. A tear trickles from my right eye. It’s like one of those tears that leak from your eye when you’re tired and lazing about in bed. I’m not crying. I’m just tired. Another tear creeps out of my left eye. My shoulders give a tremble. Rebecca holds me tighter. My shoulders are shaking now. My cheeks are wet. I see tears drop from my face. They land making tiny stains on my trainer. I am not distressed. My chest itches. Scratching it would break the embrace. The more I ignore it the bigger it gets. I twist my bum in my seat. Rebecca pulls away, looks at me as I scratch.
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NaNoWriMo Novel 2011: Part 21

“You’re in?”
“Yeah, why not? Might as well hang out with the fuck ups who plan to live. I’m not ready to die yet. I’ll go with you.”
“But you’re not invited.” Her voice retains that flat note. Dull.
“Right. So you’re going to kill me are you?” My voice, I note, sounds ordinary. I could be talking about the weather or what we’ll eat for dinner. No-one says anything. “Are you?”
My mother stands abruptly. “I’m going.” She walks a few paces before I catch hold of her.
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NaNoWriMo Novel 2011: Part 20

A hand on my shoulder makes me jump. I turn and see Lily’s concerned eyes.
“You have to remember, Steve, that your mother has issues just like everyone else. Unfortunately.”
I nod. But I don’t want her to have issues. I want her to just love me properly. I glance at her sitting on the sofa over there. Her head is bowed, one hand on the back of it rubbing her hair slowly. I don’t like this talk of a new community. It sounds as bad as the Party’s ideals. “What’s this new community, Lily? What are you going to do?”
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NaNoWriMo Novel 2011: Part 19

She gives me a little smile. It’s the sort of smile you give someone before you tell them something they don’t want to hear.
“He is dead, love. I’m sorry. Your Dad is definitely dead.”
I nod. “I thought so.”
Rebecca hands me my coffee. Milky bubbles gather at the edges of the mug. I hold it with both hands and the warmth seeps into my fingers. I lift it to my nose and the sweet aroma fills me.
“I need to stop working.” I speak into the mug and the surface ripples. “I’m going to claim benefits.” I lift my eyes and check out their faces before returning my gaze to the beige liquid.
“Do you think that’s wise?” Mum.
“I have no idea what’s wise. That’s why I need to stop working. I can’t think straight.”
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NaNoWriMi 2011 Part 18

“Do you ever feel that what you’re doing is offensive?” I say this to the woman sitting next to me while staring straight ahead at our reflections in the glass window. She is wearing a headscarf tied under the chin with a knot; the two ends stick out  either side of her chin. She continues to stare at me. Our reflections sway occasionally as the tube rattles around corners. Perhaps she doesn’t think I’m speaking to her because I’m not looking at her. Eye contact is overrated in my book. Her mouth is slightly open and her overcoat, a sort of mac, is pale green; ocean green like the metal railings at Brighton beach but a bit darker. I turn to look at her. She’s not looking at me. She’s looking through me. Unblinking. Like she’s frozen in time. Continue reading

someone set the bins on fire again…

It hasn’t happened for a while. Tonight, however, someone decided to loose their inner arsonist. The sirens stopped screaming when the fire brigade reached the bottom of my road. The constant rattle of their diesel engines outside alerted me so I threw on my orange hairy coat over my pyjamas and headed out to my balcony. This is what I saw:

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a study of oil and vinegar

I played with the macro setting on my camera phone after noticing the light and shadows on and around these oil and vinegar bottles on my kitchen work surface. I like the blurry effect of the last photo. The detail is blurred but the focus remains on the light and shadow. I think a different angle might produce a more pleasing shot – the vinegar bottle appears to be leaning to its (I have a strong urge to call it “he”, perhaps because it’s taller than the olive oil and matches my media ingrained idea of a male / female relationship) left. I ran these off while cooking and wanted to eat my lunch more than continue photographing.

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NaNoWriMo novel part 17

I’m walking fast. Faster than my legs can carry me almost. I never understood that saying properly until now. I had to get out of that flat. Too imposing. Space. I need space. I’m pounding along the pavement focussing on the cracks between paving slabs. Don’t want to make eye contact with anyone in case they recognise what I’m feeling. I don’t want to recognise what I’m feeling. I don’t know where I am. I don’t care. Just got to keep moving.
“Got 10p mate?” I shake my head in the general direction of the gruff voice. “It’s just I’ve nearly got enough for a cuppa and it’s bloody cold sittin ere.”
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