#Carrotranch #writeprompt – Pies

Charli Mills from has given us the word pies as a write prompt for this week. Sir Chocolate loves pies and so do the Hamstah Dudes from Sheyanne Moore’s delightful blog. Together they managed to get into some pie trouble in exactly 99 words.

Santa Hamstah

Did you know that our beloved Santa,

Is in fact a rather rotund Hamstah.

I’ll bet you never had a single clue

the Hamstah Dudes are part of his crew.



Their role is to taste Sir Chocolate’s Christmas pies,

And to give an honest review – no room for lies.

During their visits things sometimes go awry,

Silv ate Sir Chocolate’s nose, then fell in food dye.



Of course, the job does eventually get done,

With all of the participants having lots of fun.

Although they head home feeling full as ticks,

They still give the chocolate snow some licks.



You can read more about Sir Chocolate and the Hamstah Dudes here:

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town




Buttermilk rusks – a South Africa treat

After months of writing, editing and making and photographing fondant illustrations, Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town is finally available on both Amazon and TLS Publications.

I wrote a couple of posts about the beautiful city of Cape Town to help promote this new book. You can find these posts here:; and

Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – Table Mountain Cape Town

The traditional foods you can eat in Cape Town post prompted some interest in rusks. A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or double-baked bread a bit like an Italian biscotti only much bigger.

As a result of the interest shown, Michael and I decided to make buttermilk rusks for the week and this is how we made them:



1 kg of self raising flour;

500 ml of buttermilk;

5ml (1 teaspoon) of salt;

2 large eggs;

200 ml white sugar;

190 grams of melted butter.


Beat the eggs, sugar and buttermilk together using an electric mixer or handheld beater. Sift the flour and the salt together. Cut the egg mixture into the dry mixture using a round bladed knife. Gradually add the butter and knead it into the dough. This should take about 5 minutes. The mixture will go from being greasy to being nice and smooth and combined. Put the dough into two greased loaf baking tins and bake them in the over at 180 degrees Celsius for 50 to 60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the loaves cool slightly and turn them out onto a bread board. Slice the loaves into long oblongs. Lay the oblongs on trays and bake them in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for four hours, turning them every 45 minutes or so. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Rusks will keep for up to three months.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town


Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – #Writephoto – Mask


You can participate in the fun here:

This week’s photograph is of a fire and so I thought I would share this extract from my new book Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town about a fire.

The story of Nana and the hotel fire

When Nana was a young lady of twenty, she worked in a hotel as a receptionist and bookkeeper. The hotel was in the seaside town of Brighton.

The hotel was very smart and Nana had her own bedroom where she slept. The working hours for a hotel receptionist and bookkeeper were long as they had to balance all the guest’s accounts at the end of each work shift.

Early one morning, Nana woke up and decided to go down the passage to the kitchen and make herself a cup of tea. She got up and opened her door into the hallway. She closed it again in a hurry as the corridor was full of thick smoke. What was happening? She rushed over to the window where she could see people in the building opposite shouting and waving their arms. The hotel was on fire! What could she do? Without really thinking about it, she climbed up onto the window sill. Fortunately, she didn’t look down and above her, she saw the roof gutters. She pulled herself up and grabbed hold of the gutters. They were strong and she was able to haul herself up onto the roof. The roof sloped in places and the tiles were uneven. She ran across the roof without falling and was lucky enough to see a man coming up through the trapdoor in the roof of the building next door. He had come up to see what was happening. The man called to Nana and helped her through the trapdoor to safety. Shortly after Nana climbed down to safety, the whole roof of the hotel collapsed.

It was a very lucky escape for Nana as five people died in that fire.


Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town




#bookreview Emerging from Shadows by Balroop Singh

Today I am delighted to post my review of Balroop Singh’s new book of poetry called Emerging from Shadows. The author provided me with an electronic version of this book which I freely chose to review.

Emerging from Shadows

My review

“Beneath that beauty lie broken dreams

Beneath that smile recline unspoken words

That gentle caress hides frozen fallacy

Feigning to hold forlorn finesse.”

These delightful words are the opening stanza of the first poem, entitled When Darkness Deepens, that feature in Balroop Singh’s new book of poetry.

Each poem featured in the book comprises of beautifully constructed phrases which together tell a story. Some of the poems are sad and some are happy, all are filled with mystery and delight.

My interpretations of three of Balroop’s poems are as follows:

The poem Emerging from Shadows encourages the reader to be brave and rise up above obstacles in your path, grasping at life and making the best of it.

Why I walked away …. teaches the reader how to turn your back on negativity and sadness and how to break free from the shackles of unhappy past events. It is a joyous poem of a search for liberation.

Outside and inside – a tale of that illustrates that settling for the deception of second best and the sanctuary of the easily attained leads to perpetual self doubt and anxiety.

Each poem in this book is a voyage of self discovery. I really enjoyed this book of poetry and my rating on Amazon is four stars.

What Amazon says

From darkness into light, from despair onto the wider ways of hope…life oscillates between sunshine and shadows. Emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies dormant, which can be gently inspired by self-talk. Each poem in this book banks on the hope of emerging stronger, saner, positive and resilient. Each poem in this book would talk to you, revealing layers of enclosed emotions. Each poem would divulge a secret path that could lead you into the world of poise and serenity.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California. You can visit her at

Purchase Emerging from Shadows

Follow the link to purchase Balroop’s new book on Amazon.


Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – Table Mountain Cape Town

Silly Willy and Cautious Craig visited England today and popped in to tell Sue Vincent from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo all about Table Mountain and the lovely Protea flowers that grow there. Thank you so much, Sue, for having this naughty pair over for a visit.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

If I think of wonderful Cape Town, I think first of Table Mountain. This mountain is such a landmark and a most incredible natural phenomenon.

Some of you may have picked up the fact that I am slightly prone to obsessions. These have changed over the course of my life and have included exercising, mothering, baking and blogging. When I first met Mr Fox twenty years ago [when I was young and full of energy and he still had hair!], I was going through my mad exercising phase. Our first holiday together was to Cape Town and, of course, I had to get my daily fix. My plan – to walk up Table Mountain. Not once but twice; once up the front of the mountain and once up the back of the mountain.

Our first walk was up the front of Table Mountain. It was an incredible experience…

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