A Bookworm NOT in Paris: Library, Mud Pie and Headspace

Hi all my Bookworms!

How are you all?

Happy Monday everyone!  Has anyone else felt that Monday’s feel a lot less traumatic recently since the Lockdown.  It’s one advantage I suppose.  You’ve got to find the light even when everything is so dark and dingy.

All you Bookworms seemed to enjoy last week’s Bookworm NOT in Paris post.  A few of you even agreed with me that M.A.S.H. is brilliant.  All the talk of M.A.S.H. reminded me of a quote from the TV program that is appropriate with everything that is going on.

Ladies and gentleman, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

Bit of a strange saying, I know, but I think it’s some of the best advice I think I have ever been given and it means something slightly different to everyone.  For me, it means enjoy the moment and make the most out of it.

I’ve been hinting at my home library in a few of my recent posts and I’ve had a few people ask about it so I thought I should get it over and done with and explain.

So I live with my parents still.  My dad says I’m a boomerang because I keep coming back.  I’ve moved out three times now, twice to Paris and once when I went to university, and I keep coming back.  And, before I go off on a tangent. my parents decided to turn our front room, our old dining room, into a ‘library’.  We don’t use our dining room.  The only time we used the dining table was Christmas and the rest of the time it was a cross between a dumping ground and a office for my dad, that even he rarely used.  So we filled one wall and an alcove with bookcases and filled them with books.  Full.  The bookshelves had no expansion room on them and none of my books are on there.  We are going to get more shelves eventually but it will have to wait till we are all working properly again.  We have three comfy chairs in the library and the desk and computer which I have taken over in order to work on my blog more.  Actually I commandeered the room for myself mostly because I love the comfy chairs and it’s peaceful for reading.

So in the future when I mention my library you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It’s not a massive room with floor to ceiling books, though it has the potential to be.  It’s just a convenient name for a room dedicated to books.

So what else have I been doing in the past week.  I’ve done quite a bit of cooking and baking.  I made my own shoyu ramen broth and chashu pork from scratch for the very first time and we enjoyed it on Monday evening.  I used recipes from Marion’s kitchen from youtube.  I’ll leave links to the recipes on her website above

I’ve also made some mud pie.  When I was young we had this children’s recipe book from DK and in it was a recipe for mud pie.  I loved that mud pie and I happened to find that book hidden in the library and I wanted to make some.  I remember, as a child, the recipe being so complicated and taking a long time but when I made it again on Wednesday it is so easy, you don’t even need to bake it, and I thought I should share it with you.

Ingredients

  • 250g broken biscuits
  • 125g mixed cried fruit (I used raisins)
  • 175 g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 chocolate bar for topping
  • chocolate strands for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Off the heat, add the sugar and cocoa.
  3. Add fruit and biscuits.
  4. Mix it all up.
  5. Pour mix into a foil lined tin.
  6. Press it down then cover with more foil and leave it in the fridge to set.  About 2 hours.
  7. Melt chocolate and pour on top of the pie.

Done! Easy!  I usually find that quantity makes two pies for us, but our tins are quite small.  The recipe recommends a 20cm (8in) cake tin.  If you wanted to you could do mini ones in paper cake cases.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing one of my all time favourite recipes.

And one final thing I want to share with you.  Relaxation.  I talked last week about how having a schedule was keeping me sane in this period but I want to share another thing that keeps me sane all the time.  Headspace.

Headspace is a mindfulness app that I have used since I was at university, for nearly five years now.  When I started with it I used the basic pack that gives you ten days on the basic pack and you can use these ten days as many times as you want.  It teaches you how to be mindful and how to meditate.  When I started the app was tiny and there wasn’t much on their but in the five years it has grown so much.  Currently they have a selection of meditations that are designed to help with coping in this current environment.  Paying unlocks so much stuff including the sleep casts, which I love.  There are a lots of situations to choose from (e.g. midnight library, rainy-day antiques and slow train) and each one differs slightly each night.  Some of them have ASMR options and you can change the balance of what you hear.  If you want to hear more voice you can turn the voice up, or if you want to hear more environment noises you can turn that up.  I will leave a link to the website and I hope it helps any of you who are struggling with your mental health at this time.

There are similar apps out there, like Calm and I’ve tried them and they’re good.  they do what they are designed to do but Headspace is my preference.

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