> The Beesley Buzz

White chocolate and raspberry loaf cake

Throughout the lockdowns of 2020, I found myself like many others, turning to baking. And experimenting with loaf cakes seemed to become my thing for a while...I recall posting about the Lemon, poppy seed and basil loaf cake as well as the Chocolate Chip Loaf cake I made last year.  We'd also had a good crop of raspberries in the garden so raspberries seemed to feature heavily in my baking too like these Raspberry and Dark Chocolate muffins we made. I always freeze any spare raspberries. That way, we get to use them year round and not just in the summer. So the frozen ones came in handy when I made this raspberry and white chocolate loaf cake. 

It might seem a strange time of year to post about it now. Over a year on and in the run up to Christmas! But I've been having a Christmas tidy up and found my scribbled notes which I figured out were the recipe I'd invented for this cake and my blog has proved to be my most reliable place to keep a note of such things rather than the many scraps of paper that seem to accumulate only to be lost or forgotten about.


Ingredients

125g self-raising flour

2 eggs

100g caster sugar

1 tsp bicarb

80g white chocolate chips (or chopped up bar of white chocolate)

50g coconut oil

50g greek yogurt

1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh) tossed in a little flour

To garnish: a few broken up frozen raspberries and fresh basil or mint leaves


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C

2. Grease and line a loaf tin. I used a loaf tin paper liner but you can also use baking paper cut in the corners to fit into the loaf tin.

3. This is where I have no notes about what I actually did but I'm guessing my usual method would be to mix the dry ingredients together (except for the chocolate and raspberries). Then I would most likely have melted the coconut oil and mixed it into the dry ingredients along with the yogurt and eggs. 

4. Toss the chocolate chunks in a little flour and do the same with the raspberries and then fold them through the mixture. 

5. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for around 35-45 minutes. Mine actually took 47 minutes. Check with a skewer. 




 






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The Bear Grylls Adventure: High Ropes and Archery

Late last year, I had won a family ticket for the High Ropes activity at The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham. Due to medical reasons, we've had to be particularly cautious with visiting anywhere since the pandemic began so it was only last weekend that we eventually got to go there. 



We'd booked a 2pm timeslot to allow us plenty of time to get there (as we live quite a distance away in Kent!) Arriving early in the area, we had some time to spare so we started our day by visiting a National Trust property called Baddesley Clinton first. Then we headed to the Bear Grylls Adventure and got checked in for the High Ropes. 

There was still some time to spare, so J and D had a turn on the assault course which is an additional activity that is included free when you book tickets for one of the other activities. You don't need to book a timeslot for the assault course and it remained reasonably quiet throughout the day. 





Then it was time for the High Ropes! We'd seen the structure outside and it was HIGH! Due to my long-term hip and back problems resulting from my JIA, I was going to sit it out and watch. 

But to my surprise, I was joined by D who also ended up sitting this one out. He had REALLY been looking forward to it, but having had his Covid vaccination the day before (it had unfortunately been delayed from the previous week so was the worst possible timing), he began to feel faint. He'd had no reactions to his first dose a couple of months ago but possibly the early start, combined with skipping breakfast, the long journey and then zooming around the assault course first, meant his body just said "no".

He was sweating and shivering and I lay him down on the grass outdoors. The staff at the Bear Grylls adventure were amazing, quickly coming over to check on him and bringing him water to drink and a chair to sit on. He even agreed to wearing his little sister's hat to help with the shivering. 


The others meanwhile had an awesome time on the high ropes... J made it all the way to the top and Miss T to the level just below the top. It's an hour long session and they loved every second of it!

It's tricky to see on the photo but if you look closely that is Miss T 3rd person up


J was on a roll...totally in his element... up and up he went to the top! 







Back indoors, we got some hot chocolates and biscuits and that seemed to help D perk up. 


Then it was time for archery. We'd booked a 4pm slot for archery as we thought it made sense to book another activity in addition to high ropes as we were travelling such a long way to go there. No photos of the archery though as we'd placed all our belongings in the lockers which you get access to with a wristband that locks them. I was able to take part in that as it doesn't affect my arthritis in the way that the other activities would. And I very much enjoyed it. 

Even though the archery and assault course are indoors, the whole place is big and spacious and well ventilated. We wore masks and sadly there were only a few other people doing so now that government guidance doesn't require it. More locally to us, a lot of places seem to have kept optional mask-wearing in place so it surprised us that there were so few people with masks. 

After archery, it was Miss T and Daddy's turn on the assault course...





Miss T didn't manage to do every activity in the assault course (her JIA has been giving her some issues again recently) but she still enjoyed it and kept a really positive attitude. 


Once again, the staff were amazing at being there to encourage and support with the trickier bits.

Couldn't miss the opportunity for a selfie with Bear...


Though I don't appreciate the scary stare I'm getting here...

We had a super day and we'd love to visit again. I know D would love to return to get his opportunity on the High Ropes having missed out this time. 







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A quick visit to National Trust Baddesley Clinton

We headed to Birmingham last weekend for a day trip to the Bear Gryll's Adventure and had allowed over 4 hours for the journey but we did incredibly well on timings and ended up arriving in the area a couple of hours earlier than planned. 

So we decided to make the most of our National Trust membership by finding somewhere close by for a quick visit. We saw that Baddesley Clinton would fit into our journey perfectly so stopped there. 

When we go to National Trust places, we are still sticking to outdoors only so we didn't go inside the building at all but enjoyed the gardens which were looking stunningly autumnal...


"Honesty" This used to be one of my favourite plants as a child. The shimmeriness of it is just magical! 

How gorgeous do these pumpkins and squashes look! 


Loved how this vine had been trained from it's roots outdoors in through an opening in the glass to grow inside the lean to/cold frame 










Despite the weather looking overcast, it actually stayed dry for us all day. After our quick visit here, we headed off to the Bear Grylls Adventure...blogpost to follow. 

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Miss T's amazing interview with Rob Biddulph

 

Following on from our recent blog post about Miss T enjoying her new #DrawWithRob books, the other totally incredible part of her prize was to interview Rob Biddulph by Zoom! 

She had great fun coming up with the questions and despite being a little star struck throughout the interview, she loved asking Rob the questions she had come up with. 

It was also very exciting to spot Rob's dog, Ringo, too. 

Trinity wrote up notes from the interview and created an article which has been published in First News this week! Eeek! So exciting! 


With huge thanks to Bath Festivals where Rob will be appearing in October as well as First News and of course Rob Biddulph and his publishing team for this wonderful opportunity that Trinity will treasure forever. 


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Draw with Rob activity book, Build a Story and Monster Madness

Miss T was sent some amazing Draw with Rob books as part of a competition she won recently. She is a massive fan of Rob Biddulph's #DrawWithRob YouTube videos and had completed quite a few of the draw-along drawings over the past year or so. 

Her enthusiasm for getting stuck straight into these books shows just how much she loves Draw with Rob and it's given her the confidence to have a go at drawing almost anything! 

She started on the first Draw with Rob activity book with the Penguin Blue picture and it was brilliant because it includes space to do your drawings in the book but has perforated pages in case you want to tear the pictures out and display them. 



Next she did Gregosaurus (which she'd done previously on a #DrawWithRob video too!) but this time she was speedy and confident with her drawing. 
And then it was onto Kevin. The loveable furry monster. That's another that she was familiar with from the videos so she seemed to start on the ones she had previously drawn drawing them so much more confidently this time around. 

And still she wasn't done...So it was time for Fred Bear, who we'd again first met via a #DrawWithRob video...

As this is an activity book as well as a "draw along" style book, there were pages with other related activities too like drawing some other bears to be Fred's friends. 


And a page where you draw pirate hats onto several characters! I think Miss T did such an awesome job of this that it was hard to tell what was printed on the page and the hats that had been drawn on. 




And still she wasn't finished...In the following days she also did the Teddy the pug draw along, Eugene the Owl draw along, and is looking forward to dipping into the many other activities in the book too. As an activity book, it is brilliant for taking on travels too so definitely one to take with us next time we head on holiday. 

She's also made a start with the Monster Madness activity book by drawing the kindness monster and then starting on the page where you get inspired by different monsters eyes to draw the monsters around them as you feel inspired. 




As well as the draw along pictures, Draw With Rob: Monster Madness also has spot the difference, pages where you have to find the hidden objects in the picture, and lots of other activities to get your imaginations whirring. 

The third book, Draw With Rob: Build a Story actually came in handy today for planning a story that Miss T was writing as a piece of schoolwork. Again, there are plenty of characters to draw along with such as Superhero bear which we've completed the #DrawWithRob video for previously. And loads and loads of pages to help develop your story ideas from planning a character, to plotting the beginning, middle and end of a story and finally helping you create your very own storybook! It's fantastic! 

As well as being a fan of Rob's drawings, Miss T recently found out about Rob Biddulph's first fiction novel called Peanut Jones which she is really looking forward to reading as she is an avid reader too. 

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