Inspirational Cake

Here is a statement.

Cake is inspirational.

I say this as I lick the last remnants of the strangest and perhaps the most delicious cake I have ever eaten from my lips.

It was small, and arrived in a box. It was coated in a soft, luxurious film of glossy chocolate, and on top lay five single curls of the same, arranged to deceive my eyes. When the sharp knife slid down right into its core, and a small slice was gently pulled out of the whole, a golden brown substance oozed from the middle.

Once on my place, a cup of cinnamon and apple tea steaming beside me, I examined it. It was very brown, and I realised the little moist smudges within the cakey texture were dates. A date cake, then, coated with chocolate and filled with…?

I let my fork sink into the cake, taking a sizeable chunk along with some of the golden cream, and closed my lips over it.

An explosion in my mouth. Sweetness, solid cake, my mouth enriched.

First the dates. Not bad at all. Then the chocolate. Finally, swirling its fingers over my tongue, caressing my tastebuds, a surge of.. salted caramel?!

What an odd combination of flavours, but how well they worked together.

Immediately the exhaustion evaporated, I settled back to really enjoy this slice. Immediately my brain fizzled into action. I no longer felt lethargic. I washed my cake down with the deep warm cinnamon tea, the perfect balance to the overwhelming sweetness of cake.

Cake.

The perfect high note to a day filled with lows.

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Levi Wells Prentice (1851-1935)

Modern Safety

In this modern world, it is hard to be safe. Completely safe, I mean.

Look at it this way; the people you meet are not all going to be stable and sane. In fact, you yourself might not be stable and sane. That is a fact. So, let us say you meet a human who is completely unrelated to you, and form a relationship. It could be friendship, it could be romance, it could even be a bizarre attachment. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and the way humans connect is strange and surreal and fascinating, so it’s hard to put a label on anything.

Anyway. Say you met the person, and for reasons unknown the relationship turned sour. I don’t know, maybe the other party decided you were too bossy and called the friendship quits. Maybe you realised the other party was a manipulative psychopath so you decided to get out of the situation sharpish. Maybe the other party thought you smelled bad. Maybe you thought they smelled bad. There is such a variety of reasons, you get the picture.

So you decided to move on in life. Sever ties. Goodbye, and good luck. Or leave me the heck alone and don’t contact me. Or see you around (but not really).

Well, if that person (or, indeed, you) decided that actually they didn’t want to sever ties, and wanted to keep in contact, would it be so hard? We have Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and we check into places almost unconsciously because there is always that option.

Instagram: Hey, social media person, would you like to tell everybody where you are eating this delicious cinnamon roll? Here are some options based on the location your phone is giving me!

Social Media person: Urrrrmmm. Noooo. Wait what, I didn’t click anything!

Instagram: Congratulations, now everybody knows you were eating at Cinnabon in the Bull Ring, Birmingham City Centre at 2:30PM. HEAR THAT EVERYBODY? SHE’S RIGHT HERE. COME GET HER.

See what I mean? Even if your location services are switched on in your phone settings you could be unconsciously sending out signals to the interwebs about where you are.

It’s not even just that. People are so innocently putting in where they work and how many languages they speak and where their pet dog likes to go walkies, and they don’t realise that ANYBODY can find them. ANYBODY.

Remember that smelly girl who was clingy and weird? Well, hullo, she is now at the reception desk at work asking for you by the name only your mother uses when she is pretty mad.

Or that manipulative psychopath you desperately want out of human existence? Well, he knows your name by heart and has created a google account in your name (I mean, what the heck is your problem, man) and is now emailing you relentlessly.

Well, folks. We are not safe. I guess we never were, and stalkers have a way of finding out where you live out of pure will and drive. We all know lots of things are possible out of pure will and drive.

It’s all this data, though, that we have everywhere. All these different databases with different aspects of our lives stored on their systems. If they all pooled their information about us collectively, they would have a complete picture of our lives down to a (reasonably accurate) prediction of our deepest fears and desires. Banks, medical records, dental records, school records, job records etc.

The technology is there, you see?

I don’t have Facebook and I really, honestly, don’t put any personal details about myself on the internet, but I feel so vulnerable all the time.

Do any of you feel this way? Do you feel safe using Apple, Google Play etc? I mean, for example, the other day my phone suggested that I could go ‘home’ instead of Shropshire, despite the fact that I entered Shropshire into Google Maps. What was that about? How the heck did it even know where ‘home’ was? I sure as heck never told it. Also what is with the cheek of suggesting I go home?

Um, no, smartphone, I will decide where I want to go. I am still capable of doing that. See? They’re savvy.

Drawing with Technology

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I drew that on an iPad. My husband ordered the new one and it was released today, but don’t ask me what it’s called because I don’t know about all those things. All I know is that  so I took the shiny white pencil and decided to do some drawing. It’s a botchy attempt, and the shading is messy, but the experience was therapeutic. It really motivated me to draw more, and I will go so far as to say it is a better experience than drawing on paper.

It’s like magic, and you have all the functions and tools accessible to you straight away, no need to sharpen a pencil or go round hunting for the dark green (I lost my tube of dark green and it took three months to find it hidden behind the daffodils in my mum’s garden, don’t ask me how it got there!); it’s all there and all you have to do is do a little tap with your pencil and boom.

Drawing with it feels like I’m using brand new tools, and there are no glitches like you would expect with these technological devices.

I did that on a freaking iPad!?!? I can’t believe it. Am I gushing? Probably. I don’t care. It’s all perfectly, smoothly digital, yet so LIKE real pencils and the visual texture of the background is like really high quality paper, and technology has come so far, and growing up and experiencing its rapid change is simply magnificent and wonderful and I can’t wait to see what else they are going to come up with.