Friday, 29 April 2016

Monthly musings: April

My attempt of doing a sun flare on my phone!

And I have loved you like a fool!

I got to see one of my favourite 2013 film, Being Again. It means a lot to me, for layers of different reasons, but this month I have just been craving what Keria Knightley's Gretta has for the most part of the movie: a city, a goal. a scruffy chic wardrobe and an outpouring of creativity.

This month as definitely been April with all the rain we had at the beginning. So cold in the morning and then in the afternoon it's warm, meaning you can just walk around with a cardigan. Do you bring your coat or do you just stay cold in the morning? Well I'm in England which means the weather change from one moment to another. We can have all four season within one day. There was a rainbow during Easter holiday just about to capture it, but I wasn't quick enough.

This month has been hectic and very busy. Lean one way then it comes to a dead end. Lean on the other way then you come to a problem let's just go over this path. Oh heck, that was so fun let's do it again. That is one of many ways to explain what April feels like. You know where you just got everything sorted out? Then life decides to throw something at you off guard. You just have to deal each day as it comes. Easier said then done. I'm still learning, by no means have I got everything sorted out.

I set up a new blog and learned some new things on the way of doing that, and that was coding. Who ever said coding was easy I going to agree to them to some extent. Though the first attempt of doing my blog no brakes on the knowledge train was just bad nothing matched with each other and whatever I did I just couldn't get the colour to change for the email section, somehow the coding was wrong and I couldn't identify why it was a wrong colour. So I had to delete all the coding and start from scratch. Then my blog looks amazing looked at this blog, it was just as bad as second blog, deleted the coding and start again. I'm still learning, but I'm getting there. So if you fancy doing a blog, since many of my friends do. I recommend you know what you want to blog about but only blog about things that interest you don't look at page views. I only set up a blog to keep my friends and family updated of what I do. And somehow I ended up 3,000 page views. Crazy and I not even a good writer but somehow you all enjoy my writing or poems that I do now and then.

Remember Easter! Where did that go. That was a good time to eat chocolate. In fact speaking about chocolate Easter eggs. Normally we have to melt them down and use it for cakes. Yummy since I don't eat chocolate. Though that doesn't come across on this blog every picture of me on this blog especially making cakes I seem to get covered in chocolate. Well Least's I can find life in happy perspective.  first time ever I had chocolate during Easter and ate a whole Easter egg in one go though I did share with my Dad well had no choice since I was sitting next to him. My Mum and Dad got the best ever Easter egg they got a rocky road Easter Egg.  So yummy. I only had two Easter eggs since my family know they I not keen on chocolate.

My teddy bears doing my A and P assignment

Speaking about Easter holiday that means one thing from college. ASSIGNMENTS ASSIGNMENTS. Yep, I did managed to get some done not all of them. Though I managed to have some afternoons off like going out for lunch with family and friends, and furniture shopping with my grandparents who never agree with each other granddad liked leather on the other hand my grandma likes fabric. See how difficult it was? Though they managed to find a sofa that both of them liked. It was great to have an opportunity to see them again.

It's been a month where I went out for a walk in my local woods which I never had the chance to explore. I also took lots of photos this month my friends are saying I should set up instagram. Maybe!? I haven't got my way around social networking platform. I'm not on FaceBook I can survive without it. I'm not really the person who follows the crowd and want to stay that way as long as possible.

Quote of the month

Why didn't you pick up my phone call, Rebekah?
Sorry I liked my ringtone too much!
Who doesn't? Especially when it's the Doctor Who theme tune!!

Recipe of the month: pasta and cheese bake

It can easily serve two but you don't have to share if you don't want to.

First bit make quick cheese sauce
  • 1  mug of grated cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2cm cube butter
  • 1 mug milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  1. Without the heat on, put the grated cheese into saucepan, add the flour, salt, pepper and paprika and stir well.
  2. Add the milk and butter. Put on a low heat and  bring to the boil, stirring all the time, The sauce should thicken.
Second bit make the pasta and cheese bake
  • 1 X quantity of quick cheese sauce
  • 3/4 mug pasta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tomatoes, each cut into 8
  • optional 1 packet of plain crisps
  • 1/2 mug grated cheese (you can always add more and eat some when you are grating)
  1. Make the quick cheese sauce and leave to cool a little
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan oven 200°C/Gas mark 6.
  3. Cook the pasta
  4. Beat the egg in a mug, add the chives and the mustard and mix with cheese sauce.
  5. Put the drained pasta, and the tomatoes into a casserole dish or oven proof bowl. Pour the sauce over the top.
  6. Crush the crisps in the bag and mix with the grated cheese. Sprinkle on the top of the pasta.
  7. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. The cheese and the crisps should be browned.
  8. And enjoy

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Paths of life

You know where you have that decision to make? It can be difficult to know which path to take all of them look so scary and people surrounding you say "It's easy pick this path."

Do you turn back to the path that made you here.  Do you carry going ahead? Do you turn left to the unknown? Do you turn right? Because obviously that path is right. So many paths that can lead to your desired to goal if you want them to do be but so many obstacles in the way.

There are paths that have a gate which could be potentially be risky. You have this gate that stops you right in your  tracks. What do you do? Do you listen to what people around to you are saying even though it is completely different to what you want to do. Do you just say, fine I am gong to climb over this gate and get to where I want to be? When you can easily see climbing  over the gate is scary, what happens if it doesn't go where you want it to lead. But you can see a nice clean path in the distance just after the gate.

Or you could just follow the path that you went on to reach this cross roads? That way you can re-direct yourself to your ultimate goal.

Oh heck, this path has an incline. Why would anyone explore this path?  An incline you keep repeating yourself over and over again like you making yourself turn around and starts look at other paths with no incline.  I'm certainly not strong enough to climb this hill and the other hill in the distance you say yourself.

Oh look here is a bench you could sit on because you climbed the incline and you need a reality
check for yourself. Are you really making a good choice? What happens if I am not? Well explore the other paths surrounding that area. And you learned you are strong enough to climb over that incline.

But look how much you done and the view. Was the incline really worth it?

See you're not alone making all of this hard decision some else is sitting on that bench and looking at how much progress they made. You never know you may spur each other long in each other path of life.

Life doesn't wait
After my walk
I left a new perspective in my mind
life waits for no one
if yours isn't going the way you want it to
if you aren't pursuing what you want to pursue
if you wake up with immedate dread
constantly saddened by the hours ahead
moving through the days
feeling lost, heart in a haze
holding back what you want to say
waiting to be yourself another day
your dreams and desires put on hold
to be fulfilled, maybe when you're old
you aren't living your life
eventually is not okay
why tomorrow when there is today?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Another book review

See friends, relatives and readers. I do read.

Not to sure if you know. Nearly half of 17 years olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or more times a year-if that. That's way down from a decade ago. Yep that is not me. You would always find me reading or within hand reach of a book. Despite the up rise of technology which makes it so easy to find a book and read best off all some books are free despite that teenagers don't read for pleasure. Though it is surprising or to me anyhow, the teenagers spend most of the time on their gadget but still don't find time to read. Well least's you know now!

Smashing physics

The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And how has its discovery changed our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature? And what did it feel like to be part of it?

Jon Butterworth is one of the leading physicists at CERN and this book is the first popular inside account of the hunt for the Higgs. It is a story of incredible scientific collaboration, inspiring technological innovation and ground-breaking science. It is also the story of what happens when the world's most expensive experiment blows up, of neutrinos that may or may not travel faster than light, and the reality of life in an underground bunker in Switzerland.

This book will also leave you with a working knowledge of the new physics and what the discovery of the Higgs particle means for how we define the laws of nature. It will take you to the cutting edge of modern scientific thinking

Maybe I should a wrap up book review! Maybe at the end of the month I will give you an update of what I have read and a little review. Well least I have another excuse to blog.

Right those assignments are getting done quickly than participated. Who knew that blogging makes you worker faster when doing assignments. Though I still got my life stages one to do. So please excuse me. However if you want to look at what I have done about is inheritance really in all in our genes?

Facial recognition

Yes, before you begin to say. 'Rebekah, you mentioned this before,' You are right about that and go and check the post out.  But when I did my Speaking and Listening exam I made a speech about this. And most of friends and family wanted to know what I said, or more like what I suppose to do say.

So here is the plan speech which some edited bits to make this post more in the right context. Hope this come useful to one person! Even if it was just, glad I am not the only person, who couldn't recognize a face.

   Who are you again?
I should know you, shoudn’t i?
It’s in your smile
   God hopes so, I don’t want to offend a long last friend or stranger
I might not know you.
  But I want too!

I in 50 people suffer from face blindness this goes by the resounding name of prosopagnosia and means that people may not be able to recognize faces and associate them with the person's name which is incredibly hard to cope with. Sometimes people with this condition cannot recognize themselves in a mirror or a picture of themselves.

From time to time, people might not be available to recognize a long last friend just because they cannot recognize a last long friend does not mean they have face blindness.

It's the kind of problem where you end up second-guessing yourself a lot. Is it just laziness? Am I so uninterested in other people that they make no impression? Do I conduct entire conversations without actually looking at the other person?

Gradually I have come to see that it is a little more than this. When I worked at a pub and knew I would have to find a particular customer in the crowd, I would make deliberate mental notes: short blonde hair, pink cardigan. Still, often, hope that she would spot me looking for her.

Now you might be thinking why I am randomly writing about a disorder that affects 1 in 50 people.

It is a condition which can impact someone’s mental wellbeing as it can cause social anxiety especially when it is your family gathering and you cannot recognize anyone in there they all look like strangers. Many people with this condition will come up with reasons for not meeting up with large amounts of people so they do not have to embarrasses themselves by asking ‘Who are you?’ If though they spoke to each other ten minutes ago.

Struggles for people with face blindness, people do not know you want to be friends. People expect their friends to be able to recognize them and greet them. People with Face Blindness can't recognize friends and sometimes their family members.

I feel very confused when I walk into a group. I just don't know who to talk to who to greet. It is very embarrassing to not be sure who you are talking to. It is very embarrassing when you call your best friends by the wrong name. That is what someone with Face Blindness must go through. It is very embarrassing to call people by the wrong name or just walk by them looking rude.

Even well known people suffer from face blindness such as Brad Pitt. In my friend circle there is someone who suffer from face blindness and she could not recognize someone who she spoke to ten minutes ago. Can you imagine that? After I reading this today you would be a new person again.

In your teaching career (if you are a teacher) at least every year you had one person in your class who was face blindness. Does that surprise you?

How can you help people with Face Blindness feel included. The best way to greet someone with Face Blindness is saying their name then say who you are. Sometimes if the person can't remember who you are. Just remind them who you are. People with Face Blindness can sometimes recognize other by their hairstyle, jewellery, and their voice if they have been around that person for  long time.

This is probably the point at which you are starting to think, "How will I ever know if she remembers who I am?" Well, you can always wear a name badge! And actually, if you know me well enough to ask the question, I'm sure I will know who you are. But this is the kind of problem that far more people struggle with than ever talk about, so you may be thinking, "I thought I was the only one who did that!" So now you can smile politely at me as we try to work out where we know each other from. And I'll know there's at least one other person in the world whom I won't mortally offend.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The art of being normal

Well two post in one day! Wow more surprising two assignments coming to a third and two post. How did that happen?

This post is a book review it's not going to tell you how to be normal.

There are many young adult writers who stick to what they know. Churning out novel after novel, they dabble in love triangles, "tough life choices", white protagonists, and occasionally, throw in vampires to spice things up a little. You buy their books with the knowledge that you'll receive romance that tries too hard, pretentious metaphors and the mangling of the traditions of different ethnicities and places. Lisa Williamson writes without grace, has a whole host of bland characters and relies on the confused, problematic idea of a strict social hierarchy in secondary school. But man, does Lisa Williamson have guts. It takes guts, to write this kind of book. In this accepting, liberal day and age, it still takes some gumption to write a book about trans teenagers. For that, I applaud her.

So, without further ado, let's talk about The Art of Being Normal.

David and Leo are two very different boys, David from a stereotypical middle class family, with loving parents and an annoying little sister. His life, in short, is normal – apart from the fact that all he wants in the world is to have been born a girl. Throughout the book, this remains his defining feature, although there are several aspects of his personality left ambiguous for the reader, which could be further explored and deepened. Leo is from a lower class background, with a broken family, an abusive mother and a twin who couldn't be more different to him. And a note here, Leo's personality is far more complex and interesting than David's, who seems to be one of the blandest characters I've ever encountered. When Leo moves to Daniel's nice, well-maintained school… shall we take a wild guess? Daniel's life gets turned upside down. And I have a feeling that my sarcastic italics won't show up on the website so let me tell you now, that last line was in the most sarcastic, most ironic of italics.

Together, the boys try to find the secret in Leo's sad past, overcome heartbreak, help David talk to his parents about his wishes, and become the best of friends. The most interesting, and politically apt aspect of all this is by far the situation in Leo's home, a council housing flat which he is ashamed to admit he lives in, and the sharpest conversations, the vignettes which make this book worth reading are almost always regarding how he feels about his social class and about his family situation. His own problems are made more complex by his background, creating a richer storyline and strengthening the plot. Leo's life really is the book's saving grace, as the blasé ending, combined with David's cutout personality, make for tedious reading.

I'm saddened in a way, I suppose. Whenever a YA writer decides to discuss a controversial topic or way of being in their books, I always get ridiculously excited, hoping for some kind of ground-breaking novel. And of course, I'm almost always disappointed. When I read the first few pages of The Art of Being Normal, I had such faith! This would not be another book about finding yourself! This would not follow the long line of Perks of Being a Wallflower wannabes, it would be about justice, about struggle, about… who knows? Who knows what I want from coming of age novels? I've read so many that they've started to meld together, and hardly any of them are anything special. But The Art of Being Normal lacks stylistic polish and depth, to the extent that it becomes slightly boring, a little banal.

So, now let me turn around and say without shame, that you wouldn't do badly if you were to buy this book. I know exactly how hypocritical that sounds, but hear me out. In primary school, you get gold stickers for trying. And Williamson has tried, has tried so hard. This is the first YA novel I've read with trans protagonists and in depth discussion of gender change, and that in itself is important. The fact that she has representation, some political commentary and the occasional well-written line is more than many YA books out there can offer, something which is impressive in its own right. Don't buy the book looking for exquisite prose and a marvellous story line. But buy it for some light entertainment, for a quick read with some points to think about. This is a author who has thought about what their readers should be exposed to. And that in itself deserves a gold star.

The real you

If you are ready to wake up, you gonna wake up and if you're not ready you're gonna stay pretending that you're just a 'poor little me.'

And since you are all here and engaged in this sort of inquiry and reading this sort of lecture, I assume that you're all on the process of waking up.  Or else you're testing yourselves with some kind of flirtation with waking up which you are not serious about. But I assume maybe you not serious, but sincere that you are ready to wake up.

So then, when you are in the way of waking up, and finding out who you really are, what you do is the whole universe is doing at the place you call here and now. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes you around; the real, deep down you is the whole universe.

So then, when you die, you're not going to have to put with everlasting non-existence, because that is not an experience. Lots of people are afraid that when they die including me, they're gonna be locked up in a dark room forever, and sort of undergo that.

But on of the most interesting things in the world that is yoga, that is a way of realization, try and imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up.

Think about that.

Children think about that.

It's on the greatest wonders of life.

What will it be like to go sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You will find out, among other things, that it will pose the next question to you. What it was like to wake up after having never gone to sleep? That was when you were born..

You see, you can't have experience of nothing; nature abhors a vacuum.

So after you're dead, the only thing that can happen is the same experience, or the same sort of experience when you were born. In other words, we all know  very well that after people die, other people are born. And they're all you, only you can only experience one at a time.

Everybody is I, you all know you're, you and whosesoever beings exists throughout all galaxies, it doesn't make any difference. You are all of them. And when they come into being. that's you coming into being. You know that very well, only you don't have to remember the past in the same way you don't have to think about how you work your thyroid gland, or whatever else it is in your organism.
You don't have to know how to shine the sun. You just do it, like you breathe.

Doesn't it really astonish you that you are the fantastically complex thing, and that you're doing all of this and you never had any education in how do it?

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Do I stay or move?

Decision, decisions. We all make them, don't we? Mine is whether to stay or go? Nope sorry it is not to move to a different country but whether to move to Newcastle with my parents or stay in the South East with my grandparents. On top of that decision I am thinking of changing course. Well firstly moving to Newcastle means saying good byee to my family and friends in the South East but saying a HELLO to my family in Newcastle.

Sometimes you come to a crossroads in life. Sometimes you come to a mass of decisions which feels more like Swindon's magic roundabout.

South East of England has its good point like going to London when you want within an hour if you are luckily more like two. Guess what! People who live up in the North of England want to move to Berkshire who doesn't when Wokingham has the lowest premature mortality rates of all local authorities in England, with 200 death, under the age of 75 per 100,000 (Manchester, which came out worst, had 455). Surely it is enough to make you want to pack up, or move to a Berkshire market town and take you chances? Well more for me to stay put.
OK, now if it was entirely up to me where I would live, it would certainly be in Texas only because England has a population density of about 990 people per square mile. Did you know that? According to the Telegraph England is the most crowded country in Europe whereas, Texas has an average density of 87 per square mile, less than a tenth. In general the quality of life is probably better. You can get more for your money and it's all that bit more relaxed. Besides, it's nice to see a new part of the world. Right! Well least's I can dream.

Shall I get real?
On the other hand, if I was going to move them it is going to be tough being far away from family and friends. Well the advantages for moving up to Newcastle is seeing my grandparents on my Mum's side more often than I have been. Also seeing the architecture Newcastle has the best streets in the UK, Grey Street; it also has the highest ratio of Grade 1 and 11 buildings as a proportion of all out listed buildings. Who can argue with the great Jon Betjeman who rated Newcastle's Grey Street over London's Regent Street for its majesty and perfection? Surly Newcastle must have the best quality of live there's so much more to the city than its international party reputation, although they are immensely proud of it as well. But where else can you surf in the morning at Blue Flag beaches and in the afternoon be skiing up at Weardale in the Pennines, not to mention the staggeringly beautiful Northumbrian coastline. World Heritage site of Hadrian's Wall and Durham Cathedral and Harry Potter's castle, aka Alanwick Castle, all within a short distance away.

All I know is that I have to exit soon of the Swindon magic roundabout. Do I stay in the South East of England or do I move to Newcastle.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Chocolate and what cake

That must chocolate and avocado cake.

I remember watching the movie Matilda as a child and being both jealous of and disgusted by the little boy was forced to eat chocolate cake as punishment for a petty crime he didn't commit. The glory was raised up on a pedestal-so thick, decadent and fudgy. I wanted to be right there along with him, fork in hand, shovelling in bite after bite as the crowd cheered "Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!" (and, Rebekah, Rebekah, Rebekah). But we don't get everything we want as a child, just like I never got that fancy notebook Penny always carried around in Inspector Gadget I had rough childhood, clearly.

But when you grow up you realize many things, like children really don't get punished in real life with chocolate cake, it will feel better when it stops hurting (so said my Grandfather), and eating mass amounts of cake will get you nowhere good (so says my mother). But the funny thing is, despite having the realization, the craving chocolate cake (and lots of it) doesn't go away. It's simply accompanied by a guilt fairy that flutters around your head saying "Fatty McFatterson Two Face" as you shovel in colossal bites.

My solution? Make the cake healthy with things like banana, avocado, honey and oat flour. Then you can flick the fairy away and say "Nuh Uh, stupid face. It health food." Problem rectified. Ugh, I hate bossy fairies.

My Mum had an avocado that needs to be used up. I would like to do baking since every holiday my tradition is to bake something. I had a dilemma either make avocado mouse. Or make a chocolate cake. Maybe one day make avocado mouse today the chocolate cake one won. But if you want to make chocolate mouse. Decisions, decisions.

I never have any recipes to follow as such just look up random recipes and make sense of them and getting creative in the kitchen. Is baking cooking or more science? I think it is more science and improvisation.

Recipe time


  1. 1 large ripe avocado (150g)
  2. 300g muscovado sugar
  3. 350g self-raising flour
  4. 50g coco powder
  5. 150g melted chocolate (though I get extra as I like eating chocolate when the rest is melting)
  6. 400ml of milk
  7. 150ml sunflower oil

  • Head over to 180C. Grease your baking tins and if do have baking parchment then draw around the cake tin and cut it and put it in the tin otherwise you would have to wash it up which takes a lot of effort. Though a great excuse to not do your assignment. Put the avocado and the sugar in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add the rest of the cake ingredients a bowl put the avocado mixture in the bowl with the melted chocolate and use the electric hand mixer to mix the batter with. Until it is to a velvety, liquid batter. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Then you can like the bowl, no one is watching nor judging.
  • Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn the cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
  • I didn't meant to make a sandwich cake. I went to the corner shop to see if they still sell chocolate fudge so I could put that into the middle. And no they didn't, left my phone out home. OH NO! So I improvised and picked up double cream and chocolate. No! I am not crazy but I can whisk the double cream and melt the chocolate and they you go. If you get extra cream you could put it in coffee. So yummy.
  • I haven't ate the cake otherwise my parents won't get to see my master piece. Furthermore if it so tasty, I might eat the whole lot and Dad won't get any. So for now you can admire the pictures. And I write what I think about the cake in the comment section, also my Dad thoughts about it. since he wasn't keen on the Cucumber cake. Hopefully he would like this one if not then a whole cake to myself which I won't be complaining about.

Picture time

Ingredients with a few missing
Who says I can't get chocolate everywhere?

These beautiful cakes are resting and cooling
I could get away it! (maybe not)
Don't worry folks I didn't eat it all I put it in the microwave least's it wasn't in the oven

Ah you probably want to know the oven story. Well Mum was making a surprise chocolate cake for my Dad the best idea my Mum had was to put it in the oven. The same day she used the oven preheated it without checking. You can guess what probably happened? Yes I am afraid my Dad smelled something burning. Mum forget to check to see what is in the oven. This was before I was born and we don't let me Mum forget. Every time you use the oven you have to check even you, you never know what might be lurking in the oven.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Jump aboard on the train for a jounery

Most of you are my friends or family who read this blog. If not then don't worry you are more then good to jump on this train.

Anyhow, this makes no sense, until you explore the station.

So let me explain. I am finding it really hard to make sense of my notes and cannot remember anything that  did in college for my assignments. Fr a while I decided that I need to do something. I love blogging so why not review my notes from college and make them better with added notes from textbooks and internet. That is what I am doing on the blog called 'no brakes on the knowledge train!'

So have great fun reading this blog and my other blog.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Monthly mustings: March

It going to be a bit different layout this month. A) because I forgot to take any pictures. B) otherwise it would take a lot of time to actually remember what I did this month and before you know it the next month arrives.

So we waved goodbye to march. Spring sadness more like it. Had bad news after each other. So here is the bullet points of what happened in March.

1) Several lunch out with grandparents, very yummy to.
2) I had an English speaking and listening exam. Which I think didn't go to well. Not into speaking very much.
3) My friend got a new mini. Lucky thing. So the day after she got it she keeps identifying which mini is which. It is so surprising by how many mini's there are when you point them out. I'm sure we keep seeing the same ones.
4) Been playing mind trap over the days in the March and now banned from playing it with my friends since I keep getting the answers right. (Anyone up do playing mind trap?)
5) Been doing assignments and getting good rambling on about nothing but not getting good at getting to the point.
6) Having lovely walks in the afternoon when the sun is out.

So that is my summary of March. Maybe April would be a bit better.