Chocolate cake and books

Category: , , By panda_eyed
On Friday night, I got a craving for some yummy moist chocolate cake. I had all the ingredients in the cupboard, and I remembered a recipe posted by Clothide of Chocolate & Zucchini that I'd been meaning to try. I had some raspberry coulis sitting in the freezer too, which I used used inbetween the two halves of cake. The result was heavenly! Needless to say, the cake has long since disappeared :) If you love chocolate, and cake, like me, then give this recipe a try! It's so easy, honestly.

I spent yesterday sitting on the floor of the upstairs hall, clearing out a bookshelf so crammed full of books that they were sitting in piles on the floor around it, on top of it, filling every space imaginable. These were books that my sister and I had grown up reading - everything from picture books to ABC to Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and all the children's classics - Heidi, Peter Pan, Little Women, What Katy did. I could go on, but we'd be here forever. The aim of the clear out was to give these books away or to charity, since we've long since grown out of them. But all these well-thumbed copies had so many memories on every page, that as I sat turning their pages, I couldn't bear to give them away. These were the very pages that stirred my imagination as a child and ignited my love for reading today.

I lovingly packed the classics and the ones closest to my heart in boxes which are now sitting in the attic and waiting for a day when my children can too fall in love with the words on their pages. Silly, I know, how precious some things can become to us, but these books were such a big part of my childhood, and I owe them a lot for allowing me to escape to all sorts of worlds whenever I picked one up.

I stayed up until 4am this morning, to finish reading Captain Corelli's Mandolin. And then afterwards, I couldn't sleep for thinking about it. It was such a touching story, one that made me cry, but I couldn't help but feel frustrated and angry for the waste of Pelagia's youth whilst she waited for her Captain. It felt sort of unsatisfying, not having the happy ending that you long for, but thinking about it now, if de Bernieres had given us that happily-ever-after ending, it would have been too perfect, too saccharine, and I'd probably be looking back at it in disgust right now. A bit like Harry Potter, I suppose. So, de Bernieres got it right, after all. He's a great story teller.

What should I read next, I wonder? Any recommendations?

Meet the Munch-ster, aka MC Hamster

Category: , By panda_eyed
Hello, it's Munch here!

Pandy is under a duvet in front of the TV because she is ill. So after giving her a mousey kiss on the nose (just a little one, I don't want to catch anything!) I said I would fill in for her.

My full name is Munchkin-Chinese-Hamster - it really is a silly name, I don't know what Pandy was thinking, calling me MC Hamster! I suppose it does sort of make sense as I'm a Chinese hamster, I'm small, and I really do like to eat. Pandy says you're all nice people, so you can call me Munch or Munchie :)

Pandy brought me home in September 2006 and I was really really shy at first. You see, I missed my sister back at the pet shop and I was a bit frightened of the new smells and surroundings. Plus, being so small, everyone else just looks huuuge - no offence, Pandy!

So, for the first few weeks, whenever Pandy came into the room, I stood very still, like a statue. I thought that if I didn't move, she wouldn't be able to see me. Pandy laughed at me and said I was playing musical statues. We are good friends now, Pandy and me, and I'm not scared anymore because she always brings me my favourite foods everytime she comes to visit. I LOVE fruit! Pandy says I'm spoilt, but I don't think I am. My favourites are blueberries, apple, clementine, pomegranite, plum, but most of all, pineapple. I would do anything for pineapple! I just love its fleshy sweetness. I could eat it forever! That's one thing me and Pandy have in common.

I also like cooked vegetables. Pandy calls me fussy because I won't eat much of them if they're raw. She gives me carrots and green beans and broccoli and even brussel sprouts, sometimes. They make me fart. Only tiny mouse-sized ones though..

Pandy and I have chats in the evening. Sometimes I just sit and look at her for ages, especially when she sings to me. Don't tell her, but sometimes she sings out of tune.. :) I like it though. I squeak back at her a lot, and she says I'm the most vocal hamster she's ever met and she should have called me Pipsqueak instead. I am very squeaky - I just like talking to myself, that's all.

Whenever Pandy brings food, I climb up onto her hand and stuff my cheeks. Unless, it's pineapple - that I eat right then and there because it's so delicious! Sometimes Pandy lets me taste the things she's eating, like yoghurt. I like yoghurt. I lick it off the spoon and then I hop around on my back legs, hoping she'll give me more. If I give her my special big eyed look, she always gives in! I'm good at that!

I recently learnt a new trick - kissing Pandy on the nose. She always gives me great big smiles and a treat afterwards. She's funny, that girl, she likes that a lot. She scratches my head with a finger, and I don't mind that, but it does mess up my hair, and I have to fix it afterwards, tuh!

Anyway, I'm going to go and do another of mt favourite things now - running on the wheel. I can do that all night, and I mostly do. I have to keep fit you see, and burn those calories off!

It was nice meeting you!
Love from Munch *Mousey kisses*

Pandy in da house

Category: , By panda_eyed
Okay, I admit it. I miss blogging.

I miss putting random thoughts down here, even though they're a load of waffle and rubbish. I miss the comments and support of the bloggers, and I miss having my own little space in which to clear my head and consolidate my thoughts. I never really intended to stop blogging, but you know how it is - sometimes life gets in the way, yada yada, there just isn't enough time, and every now and again, you lose the inclination. That, and *cough* Facebook too, *blush*.

I've still been around, of course, peeking in at your blogs, checking that my favourite bloggers are well and still blogging. A lot of people have stopped, which is a shame, and a lot of you have moved 'homes'. I don't always comment, but I do enjoy having a little read over my sandwiches.

I won't promise to post regularly here, just in case, but I think I'll pop in every now and again, just to put my thoughts down, however random they may be. Anyway, I thought I'd give you an update on what's been happening since I last blogged - in my favourite form - a list :)

  • I went on a one-week cruise around the Mediterranean - was loverly
  • I got a new hamster - MC Hamster! 'Munch' for short - he's a Chinese hammy (keeping it in the family ;) and cute :)
  • I finally succumbed to taking meds for my ME/CFS and have noticed a huge improvement in symptoms :D
  • Through 'pacing' therapy, I'm now able to do a small amount of cardiac and non-cardiac exercise without the 'flare-ups' in symptoms and post-exertional malaise :D
  • Because of that, I've been able to lose some much-needed weight and lost 1-2 dress sizes - woo!
  • I spent the festive season in Hong Kong and saw my little granny
  • I got a promotion at work, but only to reflect my substantial increase in workload :\
  • I met my eagerly awaited 'nephew' - Diva's little boy :D

That's my life in the last 5/6 months in bullet points - not the most exciting, but it's mine :)

I hope you're all well and keeping fabulous. Until next time,

Your friend,
Pandy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx