WIZARDING CRIMES : AN UNFILTERED LOOK
MAY, 2015; DIAGON ALLEY, LONDON - GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN
This just in - an unnamed individual was caught trying to break into Gringotts. "I didn't want to steal anything, honest, I just wanted to see the dragons." The statement given by the unnamed wizard didn't seem malicious or hold any foul intentions. The wizard wandered away from his own bank vault but was found only half a mile away, watching a nearby dragon sleep. No items were stolen and no fellow wizards are filing a complaint.
The unnamed wizard was young, just out of Hogwarts, and a dragon enthusiast. There is no word yet if the Ministry of Magic will interfere with this crime, but it seems unlikely. The goblins of Gringotts are irritated, to be sure, but have also agreed to allow the wizard full rights to his Gringotts' space, provided he is well supervised for the foreseeable future.
MAY, 2015; GODRIC'S HOLLOW, WEST COUNTRY - GNOME-NAPPING SPREE
In other news, a series of lawn gnomes have been stolen from Godric's Hollow in a seemingly random pattern.
"First, it's the lawn gnomes, sure, next it's our broomsticks, and then our family pets and even our wands! We can't let them get away with this!" One outraged but anonymous member of the Godric's Hollow community complained.
The gnomes were random, not by the same maker, only a few were enchanted and, as far as Aurors can tell, there was nothing of value in or on the gnomes. It is, seemingly, a random event that is simply meant to bother the townsfolk and nothing more. This reporter isn't quite sure if it was a prank, but it seems nothing of foul play is to be suspected.
"A harmless prank, to be sure," said a local Auror. "I give it a week, maybe two, till the gnomes are returned and the neighborhood is once again peaceful. Mark my words. One week."
MAY, 2015; ST. MUNGO'S, LONDON - POISONED FLAVOURED BEANS
Also in the news this week, a recall on Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans. It is suspected the remaining Death Eaters got into the factory and hexed over four thousand shipments of Bertie Bott's. Store owners were quick to take the popular treat off the shelves but over a hundred cases of poisoning have already flooded St. Mungo's.
"We have no leads," says the Minister of Magic, "but I promise we are vigilant and the villains will be apprehended. We do not stand for this kind of reckless endangerment of wizards and witches and this will be stopped, ASAP."
All Bertie Bott's have been pulled from the shelves and retailers and manufactures have no word on how or when the popular children's treat will be, once again, safe for the public.
ECONOMY : DRILLING FOR OIL, OR DEBT?
MAY, 2015; LONDON, ENGLAND - Our economy has taken a sharp curve recently after oil was discovered in the southern parts of England. Recently, the Minister of Magic has been taking out many loans to foreign countries to build new oil drills and set up sites to drill oil. As a result, England is now in debt, and it is debatable as to whether the Minister can pay it off.
"Of course I can!" the Minister protested upon being asked, "The money we gain from the oil we drill will be more than enough to pay off our foreign debt, I assure you. Our oil will bring us huge success! Just you wait!"
Not everyone is as sure as the Minister. Thomas Flether, a construction worker, remarked, "Obviously the Minister would assure us. But in reality, that's a lot of money. Payment for the drill and setting up the site is very high, and I don't know if it will make up for our debt. There might not even be as much oil as we think there is!"
Kitty Lelori, a Muggle rights activist, argued, "We are all avoiding the problem. We are thinking only of ourselves, but shouldn't the Muggles get some of this money, too? It's on their property as well, and we should split the profit with them!"
When asked whether he would share the money with Muggles, the Minister of Magic replied, "Of course not! Did the Muggles discover the oil? Did the Muggles pay for the oil drill? I thought not!"
While views vary, almost everyone is holding their breath to see what profits the oil will bring. However, some people oppose drilling the oil regardless of what profits it brings.
"Does anyone care that there is a national park right next to the oil drilling grounds?" Timothy Lineck, an environmental scientist, demanded. "This could ruin England's natural wildlife! Plus, even if the oil profits pay off our debts, we will have to pay even more money to take great pains to protect our wildlife from the oil drilling site!"
The Minister of Magic acknowledged that while there was a national park near the oil drilling site, precautions were being taken. "And it's not really that special," the Minister added, "so if something were to happen, we wouldn't need to pay all that money to 'keep our wildlife preserved' or whatever that crazy man said."
While views certainly vary, politician Denny Mallec suggested we stick to facts. "What do we know for certain? We have found oil in England. The Minister has borrowed money to pay for the drilling of the oil. England is currently in debt. Stop dreaming about the future! Don't count your chickens before they hatch. We need to focus on the present, and fact is, we are in huge national debt. We need to change this, before it's too late, and that means doing whatever we can do." Mallec added that raising taxes is the answer to this dilemma, until the isssue is resolved. "It wouldn't be forever. Just to help out country out," he added hastily.
Civilian Penelope Hilark was firmly against it. "What happens if the government raises taxes? They say they will lower taxes once the debt is paid, but I'll tell you what will really happen. The government will decide they like the new tax rate, and keep it that way. Maybe even raise it more, who knows? But they're certainly not going to lower taxes! They better find some other way to fix this mess they've gotten themselves into!"
The government has given no official declaration on how they will resolve the issue of national debt, but the Minister nevertheless assures the public there is a plan.
Meanwhile...we had better hope the Minister is right.
REGIONALS : WOMEN IN POWER, STAY IN POWER!
A View of Scotland's Elections
By Desiree Snow
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and Leader of Scottish National Party, engages the political ring and election rounds in a debate about the findings at FMQ's (First Minister's Questions). There is a clear and present need to be transparent due to the fact that the U.K. will conduct its election on May 7. Voters have been left in the dark regarding changes and future cuts; however, the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) were cited to have been more transparent overall.
There have been some growing concerns on the actual plan that government officials are making as there have been very few details released to the public. Conservative Chancellor George Osborne cited that the Institute of Fiscal report showed that Labour would borrow BPD 90 billion. They plan to compensate for the deficit by focusing on Education and Health.
David Laws, of the Liberal Democrats, was quoted saying, "I think that gives us the credibility where we are saying we would invest more on things like education and the NHS for people to know we can deliver those pledges in government."
Most of the candidates running for a position have also included these goals in their campaign. SNP's John Swinney promised to end austerity. He also plans to promote employment and public service. Willie Rennie, on the other hand, plans to focus on free childcare. There is also the commitment of Ruth Davidson as she focuses on increasing the powers of Holyrood.
Aside from the individual efforts made by the candidates, political parties such as the Scottish Labour party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are also pushing for the execution of their plans. The Scottish Labor Party catered to the female voters by releasing their manifesto for women in Glasgow. This manifesto includes: guaranteeing a paid job for every eighteen to twenty-four year old woman out of work for more than a year, using developed powers to introduce fifty percent quota for women on public boards, and mandating that companies should report their pay gap if they have more than two hundred and fifty employees. The Scottish Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, will be going against tax evasion in order to boost the NHS funding.
These claims and counter-claims, statements and challenges, have been a regular part of any electoral process and campaign period. These female leaders are paving the way for a bright and secure future for all the people who they are responsible for. They are doing the best that they can to make sure that their plans would reach their fulfillment. It just goes to show that women in power, stay in power!
INTERNATIONAL : FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
MAY, 2015; AROUND THE GLOBE - On my way back to the U.K. from South Africa, I stopped off at Berck in France to visit a favourite ice cream shop along the seafront. I could hardly find room to park my broomstick! Berck is usually just a quiet sea town with the usual seaside tourists. Unknown to me, I had arrived the one week, (yes, the one week) of the international kite flying festival, held on the sands.
Well I must say that the kites were spectacular. They were all shapes and sizes from different countries. I understand we have to thank the Chinese for the invention of these wonderful things, but I wonder if they could have foreseen all the different animals, cartoon characters, etc? I saw several dragons; Hagrid would have had a field day!
Well no sooner had I landed in the U.K. then I received an owl saying that I must apparate again. "Bananas!" I said. What scarce time to breathe! Well, bananas were certainly the cause! Australian bananas to be precise!
Apparently Cyclone Olwyn has severely damaged the banana crops in places such as Carnavon. Consequently, the number of bananas to be enjoyed this year is severely reduced. Demand is so great that even seconds are reaching a good price. Most of the fruit from the damaged crops is being recovered. Since the fruit was covered by leaves, a lot could be salvaged by washing the sand off. Many trees snapped and pulled suckers out, but growers were optimistic that recovery would be quick since many suckers were still in the ground too. Nevertheless it is unlikely that there will be many more deliveries for the next ten months!
As I toured the area, I could see many caravan sites flattened. Apparently many Muggle and non-Muggle Australians come to this area for surfing, I understand. What is surfing?
I hear you ask. Apparently it is a Muggle pastime/sport whereby they stand on boards and ride the waves. Asked about the destruction, one owner described it as "Perfect surfing weather, no sail required!"
Personally I think I'll stick to broomsticks, at least I can hold on or apparate!
"Now, with my passport in hand, am I ready to apparate? (With my broomstick standing by.) Where will I be next month?
POLITICS : EDUCATION VERSUS INDOCTRINATION
"The corruption is all around us. It is what we do with the knowledge that we have that determines whether we survive it, learn from it, or fall victim to its control."
Greetings and Salutations to the readers of the Daily Prophet. I, Verum, am back to bring you the second installment of the Education Versus the Indoctrination Series of Political Reform.
Last month's article placed a bit of a plunder of questions upon you, did it not? Were you not thrown into a different basis of thinking? If not, then I implore you to open your mind to the corruption, and think about the "what ifs". These issues and concerns are not new, and I encourage all of us to keep our eyes and ears open.
Now, we emphasized a bit on the age limitation of learning and teaching Defensive Magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As well as the "progress" that the Ministry of Magic promotes, but never actually follows through with.
This month's article will be a continuance of those aspects.
We mentioned the Battle of Hogwarts and the First and Second Wizarding Wars, right? What about the smaller ordeals? What about the individual "mini-wars" that the public knows nothing about? The Daily Prophet has covered some of these, but not too much in detail. Mainly due to the lack of factual evidence and interest from the public. I encourage all of you to write to your local authorities to assure your own safety. However, since the Aurors are still individuals, and have in fact been trained to handle these situations, not all of the "Dark Forces" can be met with equal force.
Last month, the Prophet released an article of local crimes within Diagon Alley. What has become of this? Were the Wizards/Witches caught? Were they sentenced properly? These questions deserve an answer, and it will be up to this reporter to find out. The Ministry has yet to give any word or knowledge of the situation. Thus, we cannot rely on a system that is so apt to promote its protection of our world, but be so hush on the situations leading to danger in our everyday lives. What if there were children in Diagon Alley, for whatever reason, during these events? Would they be defended by those surrounding them? If those adult Witches and Wizards were to be disarmed? What then? All these questions need answering, and where is our Ministry?
As well, this month/s news flash reveals yet another stream of "incidents" to which a simple "Vigilance" is given. That's not entirely good enough, now is it?
Return next month for an advancement on the Ministry's involvement within the confines of our own world and what they should be doing versus what they are doing, as far as laws and regulations are concerned.
This is Verum, signing off.
SPORTS : SHOULD SHUNTBUMPS BE STOPPED?
Following the incident approximately a month ago -- more details below -- many parents have been in uproar about the continued popularity of Shuntbumps as a sport. There has been a large petition supported by many, and the commotion has been widespread enough for the Department of Gaming and Sport at the Ministry of Magic to get involved.
As you probably know, two children were injured in an incident involving a game of Shuntbumps taken to the extreme: Jeffery and George Layton, eight and ten respectively, decided to take their older parents' brooms because of their superior speed, and more importantly for the two children, the fact that they were not bewitched to stay mere feet off of the ground. This led to a fifty-foot drop for George, who is still in St. Mungo's, and a twenty-foot drop for Jeffery as he shot towards the ground, lost control of the broom, and fell close to his brother. Jeffery has made a full recovery physically, but the whole family -- and many readers of the Prophet -- are worried about George.
Many parents are also worried about Shuntbumps, leading several leading members of the Society for Safety in Sport (the SSS) to form a petition to ban Shuntbumps. Many children are upset by this and do not think that the ban should be held, as evidenced by Billy George from Doncaster, who loudly proclaimed "I'll always play Shuntbumps, even if I'm not allowed to! I love it and I'll never stop, so there! I'd even give up Quidditch for it!"
While this is a rather extreme view, many parents are also on the side of the children. Abigail Whiton herself said, "Shuntbumps is not the issue here. The issue is that small boys are being unsafe about it! After all, spells are only dangerous if they are used in the wrong way!"
It is worth looking into it, though -- after all, one of the leading causes of broom-related injuries is children falling off of their brooms in Shuntbumps. However, banning it could be the first step down a slippery slope of safety gone mad. After all, Quidditch is quite dangerous, but few people want to ban it. In addition, the injuries children face in Shuntbumps are incredibly minor, and it is very rare for them to have more than just a few bruises or bumps.
Despite its popularity as only a children's game, people still feel that Shuntbumps should be stopped. However, it seems that most people feel that it is up to the parents to stop their children from participating in dangerous games and it should not be outlawed, especially as any laws put in place would be incredibly difficult to enforce and many people feel that the wizarding police have much better things to be doing than telling small children not to knock each other off of their brooms.
I am going to pick up where I left off from last time and tell you of even more awesome events which have been happening on Hex recently. As you all know, there are ALWAYS exciting things on here, so you definitely don't want to miss a thing!
By Samantha Bradley
We will begin with the opportunity to showcase one's collection of beans and/or charms that others can view, as well. Both of these items are very popular and deserve as much attention as wizarding cards, so I am very happy to see this feature added.
Shortly after this feature was announced, we received word that every user can personalize their Wish List (which is great) and that the Destroyer and Savior wands now have actions. I have no doubt that prank lovers are just thrilled by this.
Next, new events are popping up in various forums such as the Student Hangout, the Kitchens, the Pic Post Area and the Bathrooms. These areas are virtually unknown to many users, so this is a great way for people to become acquainted with them.
Then we finally found out what those mermaid/riddle teasers that have been posted on the Homepage were all about, as the next Interhouse Competition was announced. This time Slytherpuff with be facing off against Gryffinclaw, and there is ample opportunity to compete and help win points for your House. If you don't make it, you will still have a chance to be a part of the action and root on the teams. Who knows exactly how this is going to go? Whatever happens, it's bound to be fun!
Next, House Elections were announced. These only happen every six months, so it will be exciting to see who runs, who wins and what is going to be done. Working on House Staff is a great way to get involved on the site, so those who are so inclined should definitely consider running!
Finally, the RPC is about to reopen the Teaching Center and has been looking to hire both tutors and secretaries. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for those who want to improve their roleplaying skills to enroll in a class and learn some very useful tips. There will be training on all levels - Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced - so there will definitely be something for everyone!
Just a reminder - take advantage of earning those House Points while you can. Don't forget to do your homework and always be on the lookout for contests where you can earn some more. It's the best way to do your house proud!
Once again, it's time to answer your questions! Thank you for giving me the chance to help you out by giving you advice to the queries you've sent, I hope I've sincerely helped in any way. Remember to always send your questions too! You'll never know what kind of advice I'll be giving you next. ;D Anyway, enough of my rambling, here we go!
Dear Daily Prophet,
Any hints on making a profit on the Plum business?? Mine are beyond gassy. Not unlike the time I was in line behind Big Behind Umbridge, x_x
The Unprofitable Plumtress
Hello there, The Unprofitable Plumtress,
Lucky for you, I have just the plum advice you need. ;D I've been tending to my plums ever since we were given a chance to use them here on Hex, and I'd like to think I tend to them properly for me to earn around 15K on each (or 22K on one of them) in a week. I think it's high time I reveal my secrets.
After all, what better way to earn money from plums than by sharing one's secrets to doing so, right? Here goes. The strategy I mostly use is one that involves doing all the actions each day. It's a little more complicated than just doing all the actions, though. On the first day, for example, I'd move the first plum to the first option you could move it to (i.e. 'Next to Window'). Then since I moved it to the first option, the option I'll be clicking for all the plums would be the first. So for the water, I'd use tap water, and click the first option. For the food, I'd also click the first option. With the second plum, I'd move it to the second place you could move it to. (i.e. 'In the Shadow'). Since I moved it to the second place, I'll be using all the second options with the second plum. I'd use lake water with the second option to choose from. Then the second option in food, all the way down to the weeding.
Basically, the pattern of what moves and actions you'll be doing on the first day would look something like this: 1 2 3 4 1, with the numbers representing what you move the plums to and which option you'll click for that plum. We keep going with that pattern until the week ends. So, say, on the second day, you do 2 3 4 1 2. So that instead of doing the first move and first option like the first day, we move on to the second move and second option. Then for the second plum, we'd do the third move and the third option. On the third day, we keep going in that pattern and do 3 4 1 2 3.
So basically, each day you have the plum, you change the move and the option to that which comes after it. Then you keep doing this until the end of the week, and you claim the money you can get from it. There's no guarantee you'll be getting that 22K (cause even that 22K is elusive to me), but I'm pretty sure you could get at least a 15K or 14K by doing all the actions every day.
From what I've observed, the only reason prices the plums will be paid for will decrease is if you don't get to tend to it on one day. There have been times that I forgot to tend to my plums on one day, but I kept the same pattern until the week ended, and the highest I got was only about 8K. If you forget to tend to your plums for two days, I think the highest you could get would be in its hundreds. (Also, remember that if you forget to tend to them on a day, their life span gets shorter by a day too).
So really, it's important to pay close attention to them and tend to them with all the options each day. That way, you could get higher than you have been earning, while at the same time preventing them from exploding. I hope my pattern and my explanation made sense. If it didn't, feel free to owl me about it, and I'll do my best to explain it some more.
Best of luck with your plums, dear!
Dear Daily Prophet,
What's the best way to cheat on my O.W.L.'s? I tried writing on my ankles with invisible ink, but it got smeared with sock sweat and I couldn't read a thing. Please help!
Desperate for O's
Hello there, Desperate for O's!
While I would love to help you out with this, I don't believe I can. o.o Cheating has never been my strong point, and I don't believe cheating in the O.W.L.'s can help a person in any way. I mean, sure, it could give you good grades, but in the long run, it would mean you didn't remember what you studied, right?
Studying ahead of time can always reap its rewards. ;D If you don't end up studying, then cramming on the night before the exam can certainly help too! I'm sorry I can't really help cheat, because that has never been my area of expertise. I have had experience with all-nighters and procrastination, though!
If you ever need advice on that, then I'm sure that's something I can help you out with!
Dear Daily Prophet,
What's the best night cream you could use? I feel like I'm not getting enough moisturizer for my face, and it ends up really dry in the morning. Is there anything you can suggest?
Hoping for a Miracle
Hello, Hoping for a Miracle!
I'm afraid make-up and fashion have never been my strong suits. Heck, I don't even know what a night cream is -- that's how horrible my skills there are. I do have a suggestion, though. I think perhaps writing to Professor Snape might help you out! I'm sure that if you word your letter nicely, and if you're very specific about the advice you're looking for, he just might give you the secret to his facely success!
Who knows, he might even throw the secret to his greasy hair as a bonus. If worst comes to worst, and it doesn't work out, I take the blame for you, no worries~
Dear Daily Prophet,
I can't seem to fall asleep each night. I toss and turn in my sleep for hours on end, but I can't seem to actually fall asleep. What is it I can do?
Hello there, Can't Sleep!
I admit there have been times when I've encountered the same problem. The whole counting sheep thing never really worked for me, so I had to try finding other means to fall asleep. One thing I found out is that if you try reading something you really don't like, you might have more chances of falling asleep.
Say you don't have an exam the following day, try reading the book you have to read, and you might just end up boring yourself to sleep. (I admit, I've done this on a day BEFORE an exam, and it was NOT the most pleasant experience.) Sometimes, you can even try pretending to stay awake, but the book would just bore you to sleep no matter what happens!
You can also try dreaming or fantasizing of your favorite things - your favorite fandom, your crush, or anything you like. Something in the dream of wanting to be with these people or wanting to be part of their world (see what I did there? ;D) could lure you so much that you just HAVE to fall asleep.
If worst comes to worst, you can always succumb to the lure of not sleeping, then find a way to make up for it tomorrow by sleeping in? Who knows, it just might work, right?
I do hope things get better for you, though!
Dear Daily Prophet,
Can you help me think of a question to write to you?
Good day, Eevee!
I'm not really sure how I can help you think of more questions to write to us. Um, perhaps something about your experiences? Or maybe something random? You can perhaps go for something a little more eccentric too, like what color you find the craziest or something. Honestly, any question can work, and any question is one that has to be answered!
...which is exactly why I'm rambling right now, but that is not the point. Point is, any kind of question is welcome, and we here in the Daily Prophet appreciate all the questions we get. Whether it's something serious, something random, or something entirely different, it's still something to work with! And that in itself is very helpful, indeed. ;D
I probably didn't even answer your question, so I apologize. But I do hope I helped you with any future questions you might be sending!
STARBURST! : CELEBRITY UPDATE
Hello wizards and witches! Cass here with this month's column of, you guessed it, Starburst! To those who didn't read it last month, Starburst is the new celebrity go-to for information! On an unrelated note, am I only the one that thinks of Starburst candy? Anyway, now let's get to the information you're wanting!
By Cassandra Lovegood
It seems like the trouble for Circe Hollow and Aaron Hobbes isn't quite over. The recently engaged couple's home was vandalized Monday night while they were out with friends. The attack seemed to mostly be against Circe, with sources saying that her face was scratched out of pictures, her belongings flung around the room, and even a valuable necklace being taken. The couple stands together against the protests, Aaron stating, "I love Circe Hollow. Marriage is through both the bad and the good, so I won't leave her."
Aww, so sweet! I'm sure we can all agree that we hope the two can make it through this. The Aurors have yet to have a lead on this case, so if you know anything, please send an owl or Floo call-in.
In other news, Ursula Oceanus, the lead singer of Ursula and the Mermaids has split from the group! She and her brother, Triton, both cited creative differences as the reason. However, could it possibly be more? Athena, Triton's long-term girlfriend, has apparently witnessed the two screaming and fighting.
Rose Briar has fallen into a coma at St. Mungo's. The young heiress was attacked at her home in Wales. Her father, Stephen, blames it in on the half-fairy, Maleficent. Aurors have been searching for her for several weeks. Be warned, she is highly dangerous. If spotted, please call the Aurors.
Not all news this month is bad, my dears! Ella Cinders is marrying her long-term boyfriend, Chris Charming! The sweet singer led her fiance on quite the chase for several years. Charming never gave up, however! The adorable couple will be married May 19th.
The Sunders, a powerful and influential family, have welcomed a new member! Liliana Sunders delivered her newborn son, Eric, last month! The baby boy is quite precious and was able to come home with his mother several days ago.
Merida Brave is apparently searching for love! Her mother has invited any young gentleman to come to a party for the young dueler. While once quoted saying, "I won't ever marry," she seems to have changed her mind. Isn't it exciting?
That's all the information for this month! Stay starry-eyed, my darlings! (Otherwise, I'm out of a job. Just kidding!) See you next month at Starburst!
AUNT EDNA'S COLUMN
Hello dear readers! Aunt Edna is here again with more wizarding ways to make your household absolutely perfect!
Making the Most of Your Spring Garden
The weather is starting to change for the better, the sun is shining and the gentle rain is there to nurture all of the budding gardens, so why not make the most out of it? If, like me, you live next to someone and have a fairly friendly competition with them as to who has the nicest garden every year. But maybe, this year you want to turn it up a notch and finally snag the coveted bragging rights from them. Here's how to do it:
(Disclaimer: I am not in any way responsible for death, maiming or loss of limbs which may occur if the utmost care is not taken when following these ideas.)
Anyway then dearies, onto the first tip: accessorize.
Garden Gnomes are a thing of beauty and are held in high esteem with Muggles as they tend to be dotted around most of the gardens nowadays. It's a logical thing for us wizards and witches to "borrow" this idea, however, we'll use real gnomes for this. As everyone is aware, gnomes are little buggers that are there to make our wizarding gardens look like a war zone. But there is a way to use them to our advantage! By using the Petrificus Totalus charm on them you can easily move their little arms and feet, dress them up and place them wherever you want in your garden. I do warn you, you may have to use this spell a lot to keep them in place, as gnomes are generally not fond of wearing pink frilly dresses or fishing hats. Keep in mind, Gnomes do tend to like the taste of human flesh and will bite down on you if you don't keep your eyes on them at all times.
As for the flowers for your garden, feel free to go all out! It's the time of year where colours will be blooming all over the place sending sweet smells into the air. However, this can lead to a few problems, one such being a nosy neighbour wanting to get a snipping of your prized azalea plant and trampling all over your pansies to get it. (Ahem.) So what do you do? Simple! To protect your flowers, simply plant a row of fanged geraniums next to normal geraniums. Sit back and enjoy the screams of pain from your neighbour and the resounding thud as he throws himself over your wall and back into the safety of his own garden. And if that's not enough and you need a decent plant thief alarm, line your beddings with honking daffodils and just wait for the fun to begin!
That's all of this time, dearies! Enjoy your gardens!
MONTHLY RECIPE : CHOCOLATE BUTTERFLIES
Writing about bananas led me to banana recipes, but I so like to watch the butterflies in May that my thoughts drifted to this delicious recipe!
Ingredients for the cakes:
2oz/50g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 dessert spoon of cocoa
2oz/50g butter or margarine
2oz/50g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of milk
A few drops of vanilla essence
Ingredients for the filling:
1.5oz/30g butter or margarine
3oz/100 g icing sugar, sieved
2 teaspoons of very hot milk
A few drops of vanilla essence
1. Cream the fat until soft. Add sugar and then beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg with a tablespoon of flour. Stir and then beat.
3. Beat in milk, vanilla essence, and a little more flour.
4. Add cocoa and remainder of the flour.
5. Half fill 10 baking cases or well greased bun tins and smooth the surface.
6. Bake at 375F or Gas Mark 5 for 16 to 20 minutes.
7. Turn out and cool on a wire rack; if bun tins have been used, remove cakes before cooling.
8. Make the filling by creaming fat until soft. Add half the sugar and beat thoroughly.
9. Add milk, the remainder of the sugar, and vanilla essence. Beat until smooth.
10. When the cakes are cold, cut a round off the top of each.
11. Put a spoonful of filling on each cake, or full the centre with piped rosettes.
12. Cut tops in half and place on the filling at an angle, rounded edges outwards.
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