Thursday, 12 February 2015


Good Afternoon to you,

A couple of weeks ago, George and I were watching our local evening news programme, when the presenter, started talking about a pensioner by the name of Alan Barnes.  When the presenter had finished talking I had tears in my eyes, and George was shocked that something so awful could happen to a frail, elderly man.

Alan, lives in Gateshead and he is a 67 year old pensioner. He is visually impaired, is 4ft 6 inches in height and weighs under 6 stone. One evening in January, he was putting his dustbin outside his home, ready for collection, when someone walked up to him and demanded money. Alan said he did not have any money, so what did this coward do, he attacked this frail, elderly man. Alan fell to the ground and broke his collarbone. We just could not believe that someone could be so cruel to such a frail and vulnerable man. Alan said after he had been treated for his injuries,  he was too frightened to return home and had decided to stay with his sister.

Like us, a young mother, Katie Cutler was listening to the same news programme and like us, was struck by the callousness of this attack.  Katie decided to  act, she started an on-line fund raising campaign for Alan. Katie hoped to raise £500 for Alan, to help him, not that this money would wipe away the pain of the attack, but maybe the money would help him in some way.

The fund raising reached the target of £500 and surpassed it. You see, the story had become a world wide story and so many kind and generous people on hearing about Alan's plight, donated money.  The amount grew each day, until it reached the figure of £330,135.00.

When Alan was told how much had been raised, he said, he could not believe it and was amazed that so many people, who did not know him, had been so kind and generous.

When asked what he would do with the money, Alan said he was not sure as everything had been such a whirl wind. Also, he had never had this amount of money in his life, but one thing was sure, he certainly would not be wasting the money.

So from one cruel act, almost 25,000 kind people came forward to help Alan.

We hear such terrible news these days, that it was so lovely to think that 25,000 people were moved by Alan's plight and wanted to help.  I know this money will not eradicate the memory of the attack, but hopefully it will ease the pain and allow Alan to buy a home of his own, where he can feel safe and secure once again.

..... and to Katie, I would like to say, you are a lovely, kind and thoughtful young lady.

..... and talking of ladies, I know my daughters will love what I am making today,

scrummy pancakes.  Now these are not the very thin pancakes which we traditionally associate with Shrove Tuesday,  these pancakes are a little more robust, but so gorgeous.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

Simon Webbe's album, Grace.  I do love this album, his voice is fabulous. Simon was a competitor on Strictly Come Dancing and I was surprised to see what a shy, under confident man he was.  Having said that, as the series progressed, you could see his confidence soar, so much so, that he reached the finals of Strictly.

Trust me, you will want to dance around your kitchen to,

'Coming Around Again'


'Go to Sleep'
'Take Your Time'

As part of my 10,000 steps a day regime, I am dancing to 'Coming Around Again' while I organise my ingredients.... every little bit helps.


150g plain flour
1 1/2  tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
3 rounded tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
150 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 large egg
50g melted butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt

500g of blueberries
500g of raspberries

Preheat the oven to 100C


Slowly melt the butter
allow to cool
and set aside for the moment.

Sift the flour
with the

bicarbonate of soda,
baking powder
into a medium sized bowl.

Add the sugar

mix the ingredients

Using a separate bowl,

add the

whisk the egg
to the yoghurt.

Add the
and mix together.


add the melted butter
stir together.

Add the wet ingredients
to the

dry ingredients

mix together.
This is quite a stiff batter
so do not worry, if it appears thick.

Heat a dry griddle pan
or a dry non stick frying pan
scoop half a tablespoon of batter
onto a spoon.

Place the batter into the griddle pan
using the back of the spoon,
gently coax the batter
into a circular shape.

I griddle two pancakes at a time, as
I find it easier to keep an eye on two pancakes
as they cook quite quickly.

When one side is cooked, you will notice that
little bubbles appear on the surface of the
Flip the pancake and cook the other side.

They will not be perfectly round as
you will see from mine, but
that does not worry me.
Life is too short to make perfectly
round pancakes.

As one batch is cooked
place them in a very low
oven, covered with foil
to keep them warm.

All there is left to do is,

Place a pancake on a plate,
add blueberries,
(some I crushed)
dollop of yoghurt
with a sprinkle
icing sugar

Now I don't know if you have noticed, but in the photograph of the pancakes on the blue platter, there is a rogue raspberry.  You might think that I had missed that little raspberry, when I sprinkled the icing sugar, but the answer is no, there has been a 'cheeky so and so' playing a game on me.

I had arranged my pancakes with the blueberries and raspberries ready to take the photographs.  I had left the kitchen to find the tablecloth I needed, when a certain person, who shall remain nameless (George, haha, as if you couldn't guess) ate one of the raspberries with the icing sugar and replaced it with a plain raspberry. It was not until I loaded the photographs on my computer, that I noticed the rogue raspberry and of course by this time, many of the pancakes had been eaten so I could not take another photograph.  I mentioned it to George and he looked a little sheepish, he said he had eaten the raspberry. He thought once I had noticed the rogue raspberry, I would sprinkle it with icing sugar. 

Mmmm, shall I let him off... yes I think I will, as he is so very patient waiting for the photographs to be taken, but I will keep a keen eye on my finished dishes in the future.

Just before I leave you, I thought you would like to see a photograph of Alan and Katie.

Take care of yourself and I will see you next Thursday.

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Best wishes to you.


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