Thoughts from July 2009

revelling in misery

Big revel

I got quite excited last night when I found a giant revel in my bag of Revels. It could be anything, I thought. Maybe it's a giant Malteser, or a big caramel. Or maybe it's solid chocolate all the way through (remember when someone at school had an all chocolate Kit Kat stick? Those were the days...)

Suffice to say, I was very excited as I bit into it. But was it a Malteser? Was it a caramel? No. It was a massive coffee sweet.


Use your loaf


Drinking our drinks sometimes just isn't enough, and Rose got in touch to show us how she's getting creative with her bread making. For example, the dough on the left was made using some of our blackberies, raspberries and boysenberries smoothie as well as other essential ingredients. The end results can look like this :


This is no half-baked idea, so if you want to rise up to the challenge check out Doodle Bread where you can treat yourself to one of Rose's special bread making kits. Perfect when you don't want to loaf around during the holidays. Oh yeast.

when life hands you lemons


Take magic sweets.

Tansy brought in some of those new fangled tablets that make sour things taste really, really sweet.

6 willing volunteers, a bagful of lemons and a thirst for knowledge - let the taste sensation commence.

Read instructions








Tansy didn't have a magic sweet.

No sweet



So we ate her quota instead.

Lemon love

espresso in your pocket


This is Ceri's shelf. I walk past it every day but only stopped to have a good look for the first time yesterday. It includes a plaster of paris jaw cast, a plastic owl post-it note holder thing, a sheep with a biro leg, a porcelain Welsh Lady and my favourite item of all; Pocket Espresso To Go (by the same people that brought you Ferrero Rocher would you have it).



About the same size as those little packets of margarine you get with inflight meals, it's the answer to anyone in need of a pocket size caffeine hit on the go. With it's own tiny straw, how cute is that. The Ambassador is really spoiling us now.

apple do nicely

Apples are hard to come by in Ethiopia. Due to the dry conditions and limited water supply, not many people grow them. Most of the time, they tend to be imported from South Africa and are extremely expensive. For example, 1kg of apples costs well in excess of an average day's pay.


However, with the support of the innocent foundation, International Development Enterprises (IDE-UK) are helping to set up apple farms across Ethiopia - providing small family run farms with additional income, improving their livelihoods and making apples readily available for all.

IDE-UK provides low cost irrigation systems to farmers, sets them up with robust seedlings and trains them in apple husbandry (looking after the trees, growing the best fruit and so on).

In the world of apples, patience is a virtue/necessity as it takes up to three years for the trees to produce a decent crop. One challenge in particular to producing well formed apples is stopping the beaks of pesky birds pecking away at the fruit.


Abebe knows all about birds. Him and his family were one of the first to plant apple trees and last year, their first crop yielded over 300kg of fruit (that's roughly enough to apple up around 4,000 smoothies).

Abebe was then able to sell the best apples at market and as well as being able to support his family with the money he made, he's now growing his business by buying even more apple seedlings to plant.

Nice tree

Lewis from IDE-UK has just come back from visiting the Wolmere and Ejere districts of Ethiopia where he took these photos (unfortunately, it's the wrong time of year to see shiny red apples on the trees).

Apple camouflage

Abebe is just one of 226 farmers that IDE-UK and the innocent foundation have helped in this way.

Talk about getting to the core of the issue.

(Posted by Ruvan)