Read it! …it’s better than chocolate!

I recently created these tasty bookmark designs for the Bookmark People – feel good without the guilt!


If you don’t do dancing or swimming then pop to the library!

“A significant association was also found between frequent library use and reported wellbeing.” So says the DCMS studyQuantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport.

It found that you’re better off visiting the library than going to the gym!

Ranking different leisure activities and their ’worth’ to the people who take part in them, it finds that going to the library is beneficially valued at £1,359/year! It finds fitness activities, such as going to the gym, are actually associated with people being unhappier than they would otherwise be!?
ReadingBetterThanChocIt lists: Value of engagement in culture and sports
(per person/per month)
Dancing £139
Swimming £136
Visit libraries frequently £113
Team sports £94
Arts and Crafts £85
Seeing Plays £83
Individual sports £69
Music Concerts £62

So, forget that chocolate bar and that sweaty gym pass and pop down to your library! Be well!


Choc Orange Fruit Brownies

Sunday afternoon therapy: make the below and then watch Tales from the Wild Wood.

Heat oven to 180ºC. Line an 8 in square cake tin with baking paper.

Over a simmering pan of water melt the butter, sugar, and choc in a large glass bowl. Stir it occasionally.

Remove the bowl from the saucepan and leave to cool.

Zest the orange and juice. Whisk these together with the eggs, vanilla, and salt.

Whisk the orange and egg mix into the cooled chocolate mix.

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder onto the choc mix and fold it in. Fold in the white chocolate chips and juicy raisins too.

Pour into the baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

  • 225g butter
  • 275g soft brown sugar
  • 200g Green & Blacks dark chocolate
  • zest of a large orange
  • juice ½ orange
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 110g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 110g white chocolate chips
  • Good handfull or two of juicy rasins

Chocolate (& stuff) Slices

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Feeeeeeeel good food!

A fave adaption from the Be-Ro booklet.

Cream 150g marg and 300g caster sugar till light and fluffy.
Melt 100g plain chocolate.
Separate 3 eggs.
Blend melted choc, egg yolks and creamed sugar/marg.
Sieve 250g self raising flour, 1/2 tsp of mixed spice, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt.
Stir in the above while adding 180ml milk.
Add some items of choice: mixed fruit, cherries, nuts, choc chips…
Stiffly beat the 3 egg whites and carefully fold into the above.
Pour into greased/lined baking tray and bake at 180deg for about 45 mins.
Leave in tin for 10 mins lifting out onto cooling rack.
When cooled, top with choice of topping if desired and cut to slices.



“Chocolate in the Rain”

But thankfully, I’m reminded of more…

There was nowhere to sit, but I sat anyway. I’d been told of the beauty that surrounded me and indeed it was full of wonder (wonderful), all be it xxing wet and cold and raw as rope.
My feet inside my boots were sodden, I could feel my toes squelching as I stood in a stream, the whole hillside was in effect a stream, the weather seemed to be coming from the ground as well as the sky, I had to just let it happen.
The clouds had come in and the only reason l had any hope was I knew where I was heading – North East, and my compass told me that NE was towards the pile of rocks just in view through the foggy rain 50 yards ahead. I ate chocolate in the rain. Salty rain.
That’s how I remember it. A wonderful saturating experience. Saturating in that the cold, the purple, grey and green, the rock, wind and stream, and me and my thoughts were all that there was.

‘‘Railway Station”
The man on the table next to me reminded me of this, he was alone, as far as I could see, he was cherishing his slice of ginger-cake and his mug of coffee (‘Caribbean Extra Smooth’ £1.05 to take away) was coming to a satisfying end. The commuters sat between a day’s work and home. At work today we learnt how Ian had passed away. He was a good chap, down to earth, always had a word to say in passing. His lad is about to start college and his wife has just started a new job at the hospital. We’ll never see him again. His aura was somehow in the ginger-cake man and it made me smile. The rain outside melting down the steamy window was making my chocolate seem extravagantly tasty.

“Chocolate in the rain”
Lofty hills and misty mountains, frosty veins of rains sooth the mighty old mountains as they sit like old dogs front the hearth, old books sleeping on the shelf as they proudly circus their spines, like God with arms folded and eyes deep with lore. The mountains let me pass through, wind and rain do their best to keep me back and get me down, I’m not turning back. If may be miles ahead but that’s where I’m going. The old guardians let me through and so will you. Not stopping for tyrants, not stopping for lies, not stopping for thieves with money, not stopping for an ugly view, not stopping for badly brewed pleasures, not stopping for insignificant treasures… a cup o’ tea waits for me and a pint of Black Sheep to send me to sleep. Through lofts of mist, past mighty excess, through mists of envy and doubt, past lofty statues to a glorious myth, illuminating the pathway where people sleep through mighty mountains, just a break for chocolate in the rain.

All the discomfort: The lights, the voices, the people and places, children and push chairs and phones and clones all to easily lost in the blur of the day, blinded by the fog. Easy to lose sight of the colours that can be bright and the view that’s clear. Even when the sun seems to shine, it’s easy going, still wonderful yet there’s not much to say about it except thankfully I’m reminded of more or less. I think…

That’s how I remember it anyway.

© Jules Richards – 1999


Chocolate Brownie with mmallow topping

Tonight’s therapy… a magnificent creation! 22 left… and going…

100g marg

50+g choc
175g dark soft brown sugar
2 or 3 eggs beaten
cap of vanilla essence
100g sr flour
good shake of cinnamon powder
good shake of ginger powder
pinch salt
50g chopped nuts
good hand full of juicy raisins
topping of mini marsh mallows

1. melt marg and choc over hot water, remove from heat and cool
2. stir in sugar, add eggs mixed with vanilla ess.
3. Mix in Flour, salt, nuts, spices, and raisins
4. stick it in oiled tin, lined with baking or gp paper.
5. Top with mini marsh mallows, and bake for 25-30mins 190deg.
6. leave in tim until cold before removing and cutting to squares.

Try not to eat too many at a time!