Cee’s B&W Challenge: Birds

Monochrome graffiti and street art birds painted on the walls of buidlings here in Leytonstone celebrating the world-wide success of local lad Alfred Hitchcock 🙂

Cee’s B&W Challenge: Birds


How to Temper Chocolate?

Don’t look at me, I have absolutely no idea how to temper chocolate – I’ve never done it, and can’t honestly envisage a time when I might feel curious enough to give it a try.

I know you’re supposed to do something clever with slow melting and careful cooling at particular temperatures – different temperatures each for white, milk, and dark chocolate – to make sure the cocoa butter molecules and liquid chocolate crystalise as smoothly as possible, creating shiny chocolate with a good sharp snap rather than dull, crumbly matte stuff with an unsightly ‘bloom’.

Sounds way too convoluted a process for me, I seriously have no patience at all for fiddly things like chocolate thermometers and cold marble slabs and flexible palette knives – so I just buy my favourite chocolates ready made, already shiny and glossy and with just the right amount of ‘bite’ to their thin but perfectly crisp shells 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Temper

Mad World

Usually I prefer the original version of any given song to a later cover version, but there are always exceptions to the rule. One of these is ‘Mad World’, originally sang by Tears for Fears in the early 1980s – I liked it well enough at the time, but I didn’t love it.

And then years later I heard Gary Jules’ haunting version, and it made the hairs on my arms stand up on end – to be honest it still does. I found myself quietly singing it yesterday, mournful and melancholy like my mood, so I thought I’d share it today…

All around me are familiar faces

Worn out places, worn out faces

Bright and early for the daily races

Going nowhere, going nowhere…

Estranged from the world

When depression creeps up on me, I start to feel estranged from the world, alienated and absent. I find myself watching people from afar, disconnected and distanced, as if I just don’t belong any more. It’s like I’m here in body but not in spirit, and although to begin with I feel the anguish of deep dissociation and fight it with dismay, after a while I give in to the overwhelming inevitability of it all, let the stagnant darkness seep in silently to my soul, knowing that once it reaches saturation point I’ll simply feel emotionally numb…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Estranged