Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post which is on time this week. This week I will be discussing my bake off at work, The Tempest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Poppy Appeal, and what I hope to focus on for the rest of the year. So without further delay let’s get started.

It has been a very busy week this week mainly because I have been using every spare  minute to try to learn my lines for the Tempest but more on that later.  As well as that I had to finish last weeks blog post and do some baking for the bake-off competition at work. This was the third year that we have had a bake-off competition at work all in aid of Great Ormond Street. It is a lot of fun but the issue of cake is a serious one especially to librarians and there are some very good bakers. Once again I decided to take part because basically it is good fun and in a strange way I like the element of competition. Now I don’t have much baking experience. I can make some cakes and brownies but that is my repertoire so far. For the past 2 years I have always received some votes which is really nice but I would like to improve more. I won’t lie for the last 12 months I have been thinking about the work bake-off and what I could do but in the need I decided quite late what my bake would be. I decided to bake some chocolate and ginger brownies. It is a variation on a recipe I have done before by Mary Berry. The reason I decided on chocolate and ginger is because I think they are flavours that go well together and a very seasonal and that was something I wanted to do. Chocolate and Ginger BrowniesThey seemed to turn out very well and once they were cooled down all I had to do was wait for the judgement the next day. I knew I up against serious competition. The past years winners were taking part and another colleague who has won a national baking competition was also entering as well as other colleagues who also bake to a high standard. Publicly all I wanted was at least one vote from someone but deep down I wanted to be in the top 3 but this was going to be a big ask. There were 7 bakes to try in total, due to be still being wary of eating  nuts I was unable to try 3 of them but I did try the others. As I didn’t vote for myself my votes went the chocolate cake and to the ginger snaps. Later on that day the results were announced and it was nice to see that everyone got some votes. I sadly didn’t win as I lost out to the white chocolate and pistachio cake but by some miracle I was in joint second place with the cheese and nut loaf and the cherry and almond cake. Both of these other bakes were by past two years winners and the winning cake was by the person who had won a national baking competition so I had done very well to be in this position. It was nice to hear some lovely comments about my brownies and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for them and to everyone who entered and organised the event, it was great fun. Now I need to start thinking about next years competition.

As I mentioned earlier this week has been filled with me trying to learn my lines for The Tempest. We were performing the play on Friday and Saturday evening and we had dress rehearsal on Monday night. I have been really stressed about this performance mainly because I have had to learn a new role which is very exciting but a lot of pressure. I did it earlier on this year with less time when I did the role of Trinculo but this time even with an extra week to learn the lines I felt I was struggling for some reason. I didn’t have the best dress rehearsal either and that was playing on my mind as we went into the performances. However I seemed to manage it and I have to put a lot of that down to the rest of the cast who have been really supportive. I was certainly not the only one who had to learn new lines and I think everyone did brilliantly. I didn’t go into Fridays performance in the best frame of mind as my parents were unable to attend either of the performances and although I understood why I was a bit disappointed and I let it upset me. I know it sounds silly and they have been to all the other shows I have done and they have seen me in The Tempest earlier this year but I still would have liked them to have seen me again. Fridays performance went OK but I wasn’t brilliant and I realised I needed to improve for Saturdays performance. I decided that I wouldn’t read my lines too much during the day. On Friday I spent most of the day reading and rereading my lines and I think that made me more nervous so on Saturday I only spent an hour during the day reading them. This must have helped as I felt it went a lot better on Saturday for me. Now it is all over and the stress has gone I feel a bit deflated. I love the buzz you get from being involved with a play and I will miss working with some great people. Hopefully I will be able to be involved in some way in next years production as I think I have the acting bug.

This weekend I went to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I love the Turtles and have done since the early days when they were Heroes and not Ninja’s (they will always be Heroes in my eyes). I remember  driving my parents mad asking for the figures as a child and they went all over looking for them for me. Sadly I don’t have them anymore but my love for the Turtles remains. I remember seeing the original movie back in 1990 and absolutely loving it and the soundtrack even more so (I really wish I could buy a copy of the soundtrack on iTunes). So I had some reservations about watching the new film but I put them to one side and went with an open mind. I am so pleased I did because I really really liked the film. It is a different film to the original but there are some nice touches to the original film and TV series. It ticked all the boxes for me and Will Arnett ticked many other boxes for me.  Overall it was an action packed film with a bit of 90’s nostalgia thrown in and I would give it 4/5.

As it is nearly November it means it is nearly time for Remembrance Day and this years Poppy Appeal has now been launched. I always support the appeal every year and will always do so but I have a dilemma about what type of poppy to buy. Up until recently we have only ever had one type to choose from and these were the paper poppies. Now we seem to have actual pin badges and brooches that we can wear and I don’t know which is right for me to wear. I noticed on Strictly this week most of the judges and contestants had the brooches on but Tess , Claudia and Len all had the traditional paper poppies on. I know the main thing is that I support the Royal British Legion and take the time to remember those that lost their lives in past conflicts but I am unsure over what type of poppy is acceptable. I will have to think more about this over the next week and decide.

As I have mentioned we are nearly into November and that means just two months of the year left and this has made me think about what I want to do for the rest of the year. I have decided that I need to have more fun and go out more and do things. I also want to focus more on work and my career as well. A lot has happened in this area this year and I want to keep my focus on this. I also want to get back into reading. I haven’t had much time this year for reading for pleasure and now that the dark nights have arrived it is the perfect time to get lost in a good book. Finally I also need to start thinking about Christmas and New Year. Last year it wasn’t the best festive period for me so I hope this year will be different.

Well that is it for this week. I hope you all have a good week and a fun Halloween.

Top Programme of the Week – Dr Who

Top Song of the Week – Cast of SMASH – Broadway Here I Come

Book I Am Currently Reading – Us by David Nicholls