cheesecake

I Made A Cheesecake Pt. 1

Short Story

This post is mostly, but not entirely about cheesecake; the process more so. It’s a random and almost pointless post and might serve towards nothing more than writing about cheesecake….dramatically.

 

The day was free as we had reached new year’s eve and work ended early. The opportunity had finally presented itself to buy what was needed to craft my cheesecake.

I hopped into my car and drove at a reasonable speed – by my standards – the blaring horns from angered drivers on the highway suggested otherwise. I blocked them out – only the cheesecake mattered. Weaving through traffic proved very easy for the lack of it, allowing me to reach the supermarket on time. Grabbing my wallet and phone and making sure the car was theft-proof I sauntered off.

Unsurprisingly the place was packed given the time of day and season.  At my height and size however, the sea of people parted easily before me – Moses would have been proud. I made my way to each needed aisle expertly and efficiently. Time was of no essence but I was anxious to get started on the baking. Within 10 minutes I had finished my shopping and was driving back to my domicile; once again troubling fellow vehicle users. Once again, I blocked them out.

Fifteen minutes after arriving I was already in the kitchen and ready to bake. The process could finally begin.

The entire scene was familiar; bowls for measuring and flour, cream cheese and sugar, spoons and whisk; wood and iron. I was ready.

The Base

The first step, of course,  would be the base; the Oreo biscuits had to have their cream fillings removed. The easy way to do so would be to use a knife.  The four packs were de-creamed quickly and placed in a bowl. At this stage the biscuits would have to be crushed within the grip of my hands. Much like the hopes of people are crushed in the face of insurmountable obstacles. The result was a black, coarse and heavy powder. As I poured it into the bowl I added melted butter and sugar into it and began to mix it slowly and gently. Every grain could be felt between my fingers. The feeling was nice. I then poured this mix into the pans and pressed the measure down and made it flat. It looked wonderful; black, like the hearts of most men. It’s allure was out-worldy and appreciated. The perfume which emanated from it made concentrating a grand task.

The pans were then placed in the oven – I preheated it as you were busy reading the story. I know, I should have told you and I’m sorry for that, honestly.

On to the filling….

 

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Deux . Mille . Seize

Experiences

Of course, the year comes to an end and I’m hell bent on writing something before it runs out! 2016 has been quite eventful year, hasn’t it? Great in many ways, tiring in others, sad in some. We’ve seen the voting in of The Unlikely, lies on the national level, wars that make no sense fought on behalf of the egos of man. In truth, 2016 for me has been a year of sober reflection. Some are no longer with us and some thankfully are still here.

I’ve experienced heart ache, joy in extremes, sadness, happiness and many more emotions. I’ve accomplished dreams and projects. Overcome obstacles and been buried by mountains and at the end of it I am very tired. It has thankfully, come with lessons. Lessons I’ve been forced to learn often in frustration (haha). Here we Go!

 

On Money

I’ve actually been good this year with money. Better than a lot of other years. I’ve also been impatient for the next paycheck. Adulting means more responsibility. Some you never expected to have, some you didn’t think were difficult to manage and some you welcomed. Responsibility tends to come with a price tag though. In these moments when it overwhelms me and I’m waiting on that paycheck that’s when I wish I had a second stream of income. Thankfully I’m working on it!

Don’t rely solely on get-rich-quick schemes. You’d be shooting yourself in the foot with a cannon if you do. The level of risk is usually high. Proper investments in businesses, people, foreign exchange, bonds etc. It goes a long way and there’s probably a lot less heartache involved.

Save! Always have a ‘Rainy Day’ fund because it’s always going to rain eventually! I can’t stress this enough to all the adulting people out there; Save. Some. Money.

 

On Passions & Goals

Honestly, chase them! No matter what they might be, or who they might be. If you’re not hurting people in the process, then chase them until you get it! In the midnight hours and in between coffee breaks and lunch breaks; chase your passion with a vengeance!

You may not always be where you need to be in life but work on your craft. Improve yourself constantly. Finish something and start another. Keep going at it until you get to a point where you and you alone are good at what you do; the way you do it.

 

Good Work Ethic Is Key

Irrespective of where you work, hate it or love it, always do good work. Always. If you find that you can’t it’s a good idea to start planning for another job; something that works towards where you want to be. A wise person once told me that you can’t hide good work. Someone somewhere will notice it. Which is nice but also learn how to protect your work too! I’ve found one of my drawings on some onye oshi’s page  freely using my work and not paying.

So, people will notice your good work. Learn to protect it as well.

 

On Support

I find that the right support will keep you going when you’re out there trying to achieve your goals. It’s a good idea to find supportive people in your life. It’s also a good idea not to expect it from them. It’s a blessing if someone – anyone- supports your dreams and passions and goals. I’ve learned from personal experience that it won’t always come from the people closest to you. Especially if they don’t understand you or the things you want to do.

 

On Control

People will always try to control you. In one way shape or form people will try and control you. It could be at work or at home and often you’ll hear the words “It’s for the best”. Sometimes it really isn’t at all. Don’t let people take over your life in the name of doing what’s best for you or thinking they’re doing you a favour by giving you more work (for whatever reason). I’m not saying don’t do your job chere reader or disobey for the hell of it or become a criminal. No. Those are rules, laws and established hierarchies.

However, do take control of your life and time. Don’t waste it achieving someone else’s dream. Refuse some extra work here and there. Don’t be a ‘yes’ person all the time. Take time and be selfish with your own dreams.

On Health

Mental and Physical. Take care of yourself people. Exercise your mind and body. Read a book. Go for a jog. Solve a puzzle do some situps. Laugh with friends and family. Eat properly. Deal with stress thoroughly and don’t let it affect your body.

Your entire body is a temple. Take very good care of it. If you’re struggling on the inside talk to someone. An expert or a friend. Taking care of your mental and physical health is so important in the long run. So don’t go round making silly excuses any more. Treat yo self.

 

Finally…Show Love

In many ways, I think this is the most important lesson I’ve learned this year. This lesson I didn’t learn in frustration. I simply opened myself up to it.

In today’s world, with all the negativity we’ve seen plastered on our screens from the news and other media outlets, it might not always be easy to show, give or receive love. It is however a very natural thing to all of us.

I’m reminded of

Matthew 5:16  ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Let it shine. Let your love shine. Show it. No one’s going to know if you keep quiet about it or hide it from the world. Don’t expect that simply because you love someone they would know. Tell them. Show them. Gift them. Touch them. Call them. Drop the phone. Or pick it up; as the case may be.

Reach Out & Touch (Somebody’s Hand)

– Diana Ross

If you’re hiding your love from the world how can anyone receive it? Some people really need it. Some people have cried from a simple word of encouragement from people. I met a lovely old lady who made my month and a half by simply telling me I’m a beautiful person. It made me smile. Maybe someone saw that smile and smiled too? Showing love doesn’t even need reciprocity. Just show it.

 

Guys, it’s going to be tomorrow soon. A new year, according to most of our calendars, will start. Don’t go planning to transform yourself entirely but ask yourself what you can do differently so around this time next year you’ll reflect on all the great things you’ve achieved.

God bless each and every single one of you lovely people. Happy New Year.

Transitioning…….

Uncategorized

!!!!!!!!!

doctorfabulosa

I know some of you have already started to wonder if I’ve decided to join the natural hair movement (Love you ladies but it’s just far too much work with the pre pooing and the post pooing I just can’t). And no I haven’t decided I want to change my name from Claire to Clark and start wearing mens clothes either (Love being a woman) Nah I’ve decided that I am and forever will be a proud feminist.

Now before the men start wondering if I’ve started backsliding. I don’t know why being a strong woman is associated with somehow being sinful. I still love my Jesus. I still love my husband. But I’ve decided to transition from what Chimamanda Adichie calls feminism lite to full blown feminist. And no I’m not going to stop wearing a bra or makeup or fashionable clothes. My feminism is uniquely mine and I…

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Old suitcases

Even The Little Things.

Epiphany, Experiences

I thought I’d share a quick one with you wonderful people. On one hand to let you know I still write and because it really made an impact on me. Not sharing this would make me quite the ungrateful person.

So I’m up all night packing my suitcase. Trying not to go over the weight limit which would normally not happen but for the odd bits here and there. The limit was fast approaching. My flight’s in the morning and I hadn’t slept yet. This was at 1am.

At some point I say to myself “you know what.. I’ll deal with it when I get there.” I zip it all up and head to bed. I’m up a few hours later to make sure of the weights (again). One suitcase is OK but the other is overweight and I have excess hand luggage ( you’re only allowed 2 . 12kg or less. I had 3.  They weighed at least 20kg). This was already set up as a morning to frustrate me. I planned on dropping one hand luggage which I didn’t need but I wanted to carry quite badly. As I was about to give up a voice or feeling clearly said to me

“GO IN FAITH”

It was clear. I said OK. Let’s go. Excess, heavy and overweight boxes. Early morning. Walking to the train station with all of it. Let us go.

I reweigh my boxes at the airport and both are overweight this time! I still have excess hand luggage but I’m reminded once more….Go in faith. I move all of it to the check-in counter and hand my passport over. This happens….

First bag. Overweight. It goes through.

Second bag. Clearly overweight. Tagged heavy. I audaciously ask to buy a padlock for it. It goes through.

“Do you have any hand luggage?” He asked.

“Yes.” I show him.

Returns passport and boarding pass. “Have a safe flight.” Amen.

See it’s not that this is an extraordinary thing. In the scheme of things, told to anyone, it doesn’t mean much…but it does. The thing is I was told to “Go in faith” I did and for something as little as overweight boxes/excess luggage, God was there. He had my back and for that I’m very grateful. If he cares about the small ones then surely the bigger ones matter as well.

Have a blessed day people. God has your back.

What I Was...

What I was….

Experiences, Poetry

I don’t know who authored this but I think it’s absolutely beautiful….

 

I was a student, once.
I graduated from a prestigious university and shook hands with its founder when I received my diploma.
Now my hands grasp at others’ unwanted clothes;
Cling desperately to donated gifts for my children;
Shove aside other mothers who might win these prizes instead of me.

I was a teacher, before.
I taught English to Syria’s brightest and used up the electricity marking books late into the night.
Now strangers speak to me slowly, like a baby, asking “Do…you…understand?”
And I fool myself that I’m sleeping when night falls
And there is no light but the stars’ to see by.
Really I am doing the same as in daylight, just on my back.

I was a neighbour, back then.
I made baklava and brought it to Aleema when she was ill.
We car-shared on school runs.
Now I live next to strange men who shout and fight late into the night, whilst I clutch my children;
Next to foreign women who pull my hair and accuse me of cutting in the lunch line.

I was a woman, long ago.
I wore make up, I went shopping with friends in Damascus.
I brushed my black hair before a dressing table mirror.
Now I wash with wet wipes.
I search for donated shoes that fit; style is a rare and happy coincidence.
I queue to use portable toilets filled hourly by thousands of ill and unwashed strangers.
Those that bother to use them, at least.

I was a wife.
Ahmad brought me bracelets from the market on his way home from work.
He got grumpy when I woke him in the morning but smiled when he heard me singing.
He hugged our children,
And kissed me before he left,
And went out humming, as he always does.
As he always did.
Now I tell my name to the English girl before me and shake my head when she asks for my husband’s.
She nods and tries to look understanding. But what can she understand?
This girl, barely more than a teenager,
Never having known war, never having loved, never having had to run from chaos to strife, never having lost?
What can she know?
But then I remember, and I forgive.
For I was her, once.

And If She Meant The World?

Poetry
I was enthralled by her beauty. Completely.
In the very aspect of her being.
In the smile that always came from the right side of her lip.
The way in which summered breezes danced in her hair.

Her eyes that contained a universe. A depth frightfully engrossing.

In the manner she took when, herself, she lost in thought
And then ask the same question, ‘Do humans fly?’
No, my love, but angels do. Mon ange. Mon essentiel.
If my feelings for you, formed wings and took flight,

My dear, I’m afraid I will never again know land.

On the border of reason;
In the maelstrom of the chaos that shaped my mind,
Would you love her still, a voice whispered, were the world to end for it?
Foolish. The question itself was asinine.
She is my world.
INTELLIGENT LIFE MAGAZINE MAY / JUNE 2012
Intelligence

Portrait of Expressive Baby
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On Marriage Again

Epiphany

As a follow up to my previous post on marriage I thought I’d ramble on a bit more on the topic. (I say follow up but it’s almost been a year!). I’d like to look  at the reason for getting married in the first place. I don’t think everyone should have the idea that they need to get married.  I also think it’s silly to marry when it’s not your choice – especially then.

From stories I’ve read and heard, anyone planning to get married should invest a lot of time preparing themselves for it. It shouldn’t be a sudden decision because those rarely work out well (Hollywood I’ve got eyes on you). Well before you get married maybe you should take time out to ready yourself for it – even before dating someone. I’m not saying marry that person but it helps a lot more to be ready.

 

Look before you leap, there might be cushions, there might be lava. 

 

One thing is being prepared and the other is definitely timing. I’ve found that there’s a very bad amount of undue pressure from parents/uncles/aunts/busy-bodies expecting their children to get married asap. Something I’ve experienced personally as I’m sure a lot of you reading this would have too. For good reasons I can’t come up with there seems to be this rush for them to marry you off and God forbid that it doesn’t happen on time. When I say on time I mean from your early twenties (some very adventurously misguided people opt for much lower). If you’ve hit 30, best believe you’re either ‘cursed’ and are a constant point of prayer, evidenced by all the deliverance services you’ll be ‘invited’ to; you’re actually the theme.

 

‘*insert name* Must Marry This Year!’

 

Sad to say but most people, I’m sure, are familiar with the question(s) ‘when are you getting married?’, ‘where is your husband/wife?’, ‘Isn’t it about time you settled down?’. At 20?! What on earth is anybody settling down for at that age? There’s so much more to do with your life at that age beyond getting married. Say maybe uuhhhh let’s see….get a job?  Make reasonable income? Figure out how to pay for your survival? but no, you want them to get married. For whose sake exactly?

That’s the question though isn’t it? Who exactly are you marrying for? Is it for you or them? Are they trying to get you married so they can be happy? Last I checked your happiness was involved in this thing. Very much so.

Honestly, I don’t believe it’s right to pressure people into marriage at any age. If you’re ready then you get married and not before. Never before. How you know if you’re ready is up to you to figure out (next post?) but never rush into it for the wrong reasons. One of the few reason I can understand is menopause or avoiding large age gaps  but even then there are so many alternatives. Adoption for example. A lot of orphans would love you for it. Does it even occur to people that not everyone wants a child?

The most selfish reasons I’ve heard is that the parents want grandchildren. I mean, no wait….as in….nah. Lord take control. You want to force 18 years (at least) of responsibility on someone who might not be good for that sort of responsibility? Come on! Simply so you can glow with pride? Or boast? I don’t get it but it’s crazy. It really is.

Some people don’t even want to get married. They’re not made for it. However, the pressure tends to get them to succumb into making commitment they shouldn’t have made in the first place. Years after they divorce and people blame it on ‘it wasn’t meant to be’. No duh! You’ve achieved your goal but it’s up to them to make it work whether they were meant to or not.

Something as serious as marriage should never be taken lightly. Never. The consequences are often irreversible. People should be ready to go into of their own free will. With a lot of information. Parents should be making sure their kids have all the information and knowledge they need not trying to throw them off a building and hoping they fly. Some people are meant to swim.

 

 

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Life, Schrodinger & Fridges

Epiphany

It occurred to me once upon a midnight ‘snack’ run that life is a lot like opening a fridge (or if you’re anything like me the habit of opening a fridge); you’re never sure if there’s food in there or not, if you bought any  or not, and if someone’s eaten the food or not. And a lot like Schrodinger’s Cat, there is and isn’t (any) food inside the fridge. This of course means you’re either satisfying your cravings or you’re going hungry for a while.

 

Le Chat De Schrodinger: A cat in a box being considered to be simultaneously both dead and alive until the box -containing randomly-activated lethal elements- is opened.

 

However, unlike the limbo’d cat of Mr Erwin Schrodinger, the result is not entirely absolute. You can get food later or there will be food in the fridge (from personal experience, odds says there isn’t haha).

What I’m getting at is that on some days when you wake up and feel like it’s going to be a bad day remember, it’s not absolute. It’s not the end. Your day can still be great and in the grand scheme of the game called Life even your year can still be great no matter how bad it’s been. So chin up! Look sharp!

Have a good day and week, strange internet presence and may the odds of a stocked fridge forever be in your favour.

Xmas Daddy_1

2015: A Review

Epiphany, Experiences, Teacher Days

Let me take you back a year or so, to a time before my 9 to 5, before I became a ‘working man’.

tI thought it’d be a nice way to end the year with a posts to push my views to 1000 see how far I’ve come as a person over 2015. I’ll add some 2014 highlights that are relevant to the year too. It’s not a long post as usual but it might just be worth your time if for nothing more than pushing my views over 1000 making you reflect on the year.

 

Here we go!

 

2015.png

 

Child in tears

Can You See Me Now?

Poetry

How about now? Will you look at me now?

Will your eyes draw off the horizon

To meet me standing here, I’ve been here for SO long.

Do you see me now?

Soaked in pain and frustration, battered and bruised

Scared in resignation, alone and abused

I was PLEADING for mercy but you refused.

Do my wounds attract your sympathy?

Now that I’ve been stripped of my dignity

Am I deserving of some comfort?

Some peace and your warmth?

I’ve been here for so long seems you forgot

I’ve been here for so long but there you were, lost

In your worries about politics, your dreams were idealistic

While she stood there, her time slowly ticked;

Away, and she was just below the horizon

Soaked in pain and frustration, battered and bruised

Scared in resignation, alone and abused.

Pleading for mercy but YOU refused.

And now the spotlight shines bright around me

Now I have nowhere to run as wolves surround me

Now that my hands are too weak to save me

Now that I can’t reach that hand to save me

Can you see me now?!