Boys, Bakes & Books

The amazing adventures of Super Tiddles and the Duracell Bunny


Welcome to my new blog!

My blog’s title is a reflection of three things I am passionate about: my boys (two little ones and a grown up one), baking (at home) and books (reading), although I would like to write one of my own one day!

I am a ‘stay at home Mum’ to my sons, aged four and seven, whom I affectionately call (in my head at least) Super Tiddles and the Duracell Bunny. Super Tiddles is a loving, caring seven year old. He escaped from my womb rather early and had a rather heroic start to life. My Duracell Bunny is four and will be starting school in September, his boundless energy gives him his moniker. My boys are wonderful!

Baking is magic. I love the way flour and icing sugar waft through the sieve and create the effect of falling snow. I love the way one can combine ingredients to create something so delicious. It is modern alchemy. There is nothing better than savouring freshly baked cakes or cookies on a cold winter’s day.

Books are amazing. I love entering new worlds. What other way is there to do so? Fiction books are often small imaginary worlds. Non fiction books give the reader the opportunity to find out about new places or subjects without leaving their home.

Anyway, this is just an introduction. See you soon!

Featured post


Good morning readers!

Last night I dropped Super Tiddles off at Cubs for the first time. He absolutely loved it and I’m so proud of how far he’s come since he started at Beavers.

The picture above shows him on his first day at Beavers. It was just over two years ago. When he started at Beavers he had a few words but wasn’t speaking in sentences. When I think back to those days it blows me away just how far he’s come.

Here’s a picture of him last night just before we left for Cubs. He’s grown from a toddlerish pickle to a real little boy. He is just one of the lads and has really begun to join in with the other children. I have no doubt that Beavers has helped his social skills and speech.


He talked all the way there about how excited he was. He also came home grinning from ear to ear and telling me all about it. I’d better get him a Cubs uniform. I can’t wait for this next adventure. Bring it on!

Zebra Cake

Good evening readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to bake anything since life’s got in the way. We’re settling into a very busy routine this school term but I am finding my feet so will make more time to bake.

Deebee has gone off to a party. He was very keen to go without me so a friend of mine has very kindly taken him with her. It is wonderful to see him becoming so independent. I planned to bake something with Super Tiddles and he chose a Zebra Cake from Nadiya Husain’s Bake Me a Story. He said we should get our cat, Shadow, to come and help us bake. She was quite keen to start with so all was good.

We followed the recipe (if you want the recipe just buy Nadiya’s book) until we ended up with 2 bowls of cake batter (one chocolate and one vanilla). Shadow helped out with this for a while but she quickly got fed up of getting her paws stuck in the batter. Super Tiddles had heaps of fun splooshing it in to the loaf tin in a random pattern. While the cake was in the oven we popped over to the woods to see the bluebells and I took the photo below.

Bluebell woods2

When we got home the cake still wasn’t quite ready so I read Super Tiddles Nadiya’s version of Pied Piper of Hamelin. He absolutely loved it. It made a really nice change to have him all to myself.  We had to wait for the cake to cool and then we iced it together. A perfect afternoon with my Super Tiddles. I’m really looking forward to the next time I get to spend some one to one time with him.

I had to planned to write my own modern version of a traditional fairy tale as Nadiya has done in her book. I’d better get on with it…

Bye for now….


A Magical Evening

Good morning readers!

Last night was the final part of my Making Creativity Work programme with the Bauer Academy. The evening was led by Adam K and his buzzy teaching style was really engaging.

As there were only three of us there last night we asked if we could focus more on script writing. It was great that the class was tailored to our demands.

We started off by writing a promo following a brief individually and then shared our ideas with the group. This was all about learning to understand the target audience and meeting their needs.

Next we were given another brief to carry out as a group and brainstorm.

The final (and my favourite) part of the evening session involved writing a longer radio script selling ourselves. We had to decide on our target audience and then write a script with them in mind. I wrote my script as a radio interview with Lyn Parsons of Magic Radio. Here is the gist of it…

Start: Sugar, Sugar by the Archies fades out.

Middle: Interview

Lyn: I have Jane G with me, a blogger who writes about family life, books and baking. Hi Jane, so tell us about your blog.

Me: It’s called Boys, Books and Bakes and it is all about our adventures out and about as well as our time spent baking at home and the occasional review of a book I’ve particularly enjoyed.

Lyn: That sounds lovely. What’s particularly special about your blog?

Me: It’s special because baking is such a wonderful way to bond with my children whilst doing something so fun and relaxing. It’s a great way to share our experiences.  Just go to and have a read.


Lyn: Thanks Jane, and on a baking theme here’s Stir It Up by Bob Marley and the Wailers…

End: Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Stir It Up begins.

Bye for now readers!

Radio Presenting – Bauer Academy

Good morning readers!

When I woke up yesterday morning I never thought I would end the day by doing a spot of radio presenting. I went along to a ‘radio skills’ evening at Bauer Academy. I quickly discovered that this was all about presenting on the radio.

The first part of the evening was a run through the technical side of radio production using a program called Adobe Audition which I must confess I’d never heard of before yesterday. We were also taken through how to use a microphone (which is a lot harder than it sounds). I am not the most techie minded person in the world but this was interesting all the same.

The second part of the evening was spent coming up with ideas of a short radio link which we then went on to record. My goal was to talk about something I’m passionate about for at least 60 seconds. This was a daunting prospect to begin with. I decided to tell the story of the day I made Crownies. My ‘co presenter’ introduced me and I launched straight into my spiel. I waffled on a bit about my the Great British Bake Off and then told my baking disaster story. I was amazed when I managed to waffle on for over 60 seconds.

Talking of the Great British Bake Off I feel it’s about time I  got on with some more baking. Does anyone have a fun recipe I could try out with my boys?

Too Cool for School

Good evening readers!

The recent decision by Surrey County Council to cut funding to the Challengers play scheme has really thrown a spanner in the works. I would like to go back to work in the not too distant future. The lack of childcare provided for special needs children in my area is a serious barrier to me working standard full time hours.

My ideal job would allow me to work out of the home for two days a week and at home for the rest of the week. It would be a fairly local job so I could get back for the boys if need be. I want to get a job writing articles for a magazine but those kind of jobs are thin on the ground in my area. The recent Making Creativity Work programme has really inspired me to aim to get a job in print/digital magazine journalism. I would really love to get a job as a staff writer for a magazine. Are such jobs always full time or is it possible to do it part time or as a job share?

I think that the only option seems to be working in a school. The trouble is that I don’t want to. There must be a way around this, I just haven’t thought of it yet.


You Can’t Take Our Freedom!

Hello readers!

I had some devastating news yesterday. I received an email from Challengers to say that they have lost funding for three of their play-schemes and two youth schemes, including the play scheme Super Tiddles and DeeBee frequently attend during school holidays. Surrey County Council have made the decision to cut funding for respite in our area. They recently cut funding for Beeches Respite Centre in Reigate. Now they have cut funding for the only play scheme in our area which takes disabled children and their siblings. The alternative they are offering is an oversubscribed play scheme for disabled so there will be a vast reduction in available spaces.

When I was looking for holiday care for Super Tiddles years ago I looked at both Challengers scheme and Yippee Club. I chose Challengers because I was aware that they take siblings too (Yippee Club doesn’t take siblings at the moment). Both my boys love going to their play scheme and are already looking forward to going there in the summer holidays. It is a great help to me as it gives me a chance to get some work done while my boys are in a safe and fun environment.

I recently read the article below which paints a gloomy picture of the future for disabled people. I wonder if this is the first step in that direction. These play schemes are a lifeline to so many families so Surrey County Council have made a lot of people very unhappy.


Date with Death – Julia Chapman

Good evening readers!

I have been spending more time on researching and writing about family history and recently acheived my first article commission. This means that sadly I won’t have time to keep up my Detectastory blog so I’m shelving it for the time being. I may well go back to it at some point if I find more time.

I do intend to continue to include some murder mystery/true crime posts in this blog though so please keep reading.

I recently read Date with Death by Julia Chapman. The book is a wonderful mix of cosy crime and chick lit and I loved every minute of it. It is set in the Yorkshire Dales (I’ve never been there but it whet my appetite for a visit). The main characters are like something from a novel by the Queen of Crime herself. It’s the perfect book to cosy up to with your favourite brew and just relax. The plot twist at the end is fab. This is the first in the Dales Detective Series

Julia Chapman describes herself as a Writer with permanent wanderlust. She also wrote the Fogas Chronicles (as Julia Fogg). She is very active on Twitter and has posted a few research photos for her Dales Detective series. I am taking a break from reading and writing about crime but when I do return to it her second Dales book will be high on my reading list. 🙂




On days like this…

Good morning readers!

On days like this the world seems like a wonderful place. We drove through bluebell woods on the school run. That’s enough to lift anyone’s spirits.

It’s enough to make all the stressful school runs seem like a distant memory. I got Super Tiddles and Deebee into the car in good time and as the school next door is still on Easter Holidays we sailed out of our driveway with no problems. We arrived at our usual parking place earlier than normal so we walked up to the school and waited for Super Tiddles’ bus. On our way to school we stopped to talk to the cat that lives at the school.

After I had dropped the boys off I decided to stop off at Viewpoint (with amazing views of the countryside) and went for a walk through the bluebells so I could take some photos. The smell of a million bluebells hit me as soon as I got out of my car. It was a magical start to my day.

I’ve just been trying to write an article but I have too much to write about and I’m having serious problems being selective.

I wonder if all writer’s have the same problem. There is just too much to write about.

I need to have some lunch and then get on with the housework. Or maybe I’ll just go out for another walk in the woods across the road from my house.

What would you do?

Bauer Academy – No biscuits?

Good afternoon readers!

I am enjoying a bit of peace and quiet whilst listening to Magic Radio (my new favourite radio station). Following on from my last post about Bauer Academy, I spent the weekend at Bauer’s radio HQ learning all about the inner workings of radio production.

The weekend course was led by James Ellison, Producer for Kerrang! Radio. He started the day by asking the participants to introduce themselves and talk about their experience of radio (I have very little). He hit us with a phenomenal amount of information about how radio production works and how it’s important to keep your brand in mind when creating any content.

When I started the course I was entirely clueless about the amount of work that goes in to producing seamless radio content. I am now in awe of radio producers and presenters who make it seem so natural and easy. Anyway, the first day of the course involved a lot of theory of radio production and group discussion. Towards the end of the day we began to work on a brief to produce our own radio content.

The second day of the course was much more hands on. We started the day with a tour of the radio studios. I was disappointed not to spot anyone world famous. We did spot Pandora, the Presenter of KISSTORY. I loved learning all about the radio from the other side. After the tour we got our heads together and produced a radio feature as well as a Facebook Video.

I am looking forward to my next learning experience with Bauer Academy! My only complaint is that they didn’t offer the biscuits they mention in their radio advert. 🙂


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