A Sexy Bomb? 

Bomb disposal experts were on high alert,

But no one in Berlin was going to be hurt,

They were called to a video games arcade,

A staff member was suspicious and couldn’t be swayed,

There was a strange noise coming from a bin,

In their toilet no less – creating quite a din,

The buzzing noise caused alarm,

So they evacuated the place to avoid harm,

The surrounding offices and buildings too,

Ninty people were moved because of a sound in a loo, 
The disposal experts stormed on site,

Ready to save the day if the bomb put up a fight,

On lifting the lid they discovered the error,

There was no need for evacuations and no need for terror,

Because you see it was all a ploy,

Some had left a vibrating sex toy,

But it wasn’t an accident – the police are sure,

Who would leave a sex toy on the floor,

More than that who would leave it switched on in a bin,

Letting the bin have some fun isn’t a sin,

They think it was a test of the bomb teams,

A criminal is behind it – it’s not how it seems,

They didn’t for one second assume,

The gamers could be having fun in that room,

Arcade gamers just play games one after another,

And are far too busy to play with a sex toy or each other.

Read the full news story here

Travel: Reykjavik (Iceland) in pictures

  
What a New Years Eve celebration! It will go down in the Baines chronicles as one of the best New Years I have ever had! 

We brought our own booze (as it’s shockingly expensive in Iceland) and headed to the cathedral where we watched the midnight fireworks light up the sky! 

 
There are also random huge bonfires around the country on New Years Eve just because. We just jumped in a taxi and asked the taxi driver to take us to the nearest one. I felt like I was in Game of Thrones (Song of Fire and Ice) but be careful of singed eyebrows if you get too close and the wind changes.

 
On New Year’s Day we had a stroll around Reykjavik (a lot of the shops are closed but cafes are still open). The views are beautiful! There is a great walk along the seafront to the harbour.

 

This is a sculpture on the seafront called the Sea Voyager – I call it a forking ship. There is a lovely description alongside it which says “we all have our dream boat to sail away in. This is my interpretation”.  
  
We also saw the Harpa on our stroll which is a concert and meeting hall. Funky architecture and a whole lotta glass. 

     
It snowed gorgeous powdery snow and I was glad of my warm coat bought in the Next sale! Yes I do feel a bit smug as it was half price!

Next for food…

    
I read that this place does the best hotdogs in Iceland and possible the world – big claim! Apparently Bill Clinton agrees that they are the best – make of that what you will. It’s called Baejarin Betzu, it’s by the harbour in and there is always a queue.

  
They sell two things: hotdogs and soda but why complicate things – I like their confidence. Not sure if they are the best in the world but they are definitely worth the queue. Three sauces and two types of onions: crispy and the regular kind. Yum.
 
  
Also spotted this little fella hand thought he was worth featuring in the blog!

Do follow me on Twitter and let me know your Iceland recommendations in the comments as I’ve got a few more days here! 

Christmas crafting: Orange potpourri 

  
If you’d like to feel like a festive domestic God or Goddess this Christmas here is a very easy, fun and cheap way to create your own potpourri for the festive season. 

You Need:

Bag of oranges

Sharp knife

Kitchen Towel

1 candle holder (used for birthday cakes) or a cocktail stick 

Grease proof paper

Cinnamon sticks

Cloves

Oven 

Nice bowls to put the finished product in! 

I found that a standard bag of oranges from the supermarket was enough for two bowls of potpourri.

Step 1:

Use a sharp knife (a serrated edge works particular well on oranges) to cut your oranges into slices – the thinner the better. Less than 1cm thickness is great although try to keep it fairly consistent as it will help with cooking times. If you are creating a batch to decorate with cloves these will need to be closer to 1cm thickness. Some slices won’t look perfect (mine were a bit wonky in places) but don’t worry it all adds to the rustic home-made feel!

Step 2:

Once your slices are cut lay them on a layer of kitchen roll and place another layer of kitchen roll on top. Then gently press down on your slices in their kitchen roll sandwich: this will squeeze out some of the juice which will help the slices dry out more quickly, avoiding sticky potpourri as a final product. 

Step 3:

If you would like to decorate a batch with cloves (these will be on the thicker slices) then I found using a little cake candle holder from the last birthday we had is the easiest way to make holes in the orange rind which are the perfect size for cloves. If you don’t have one you can use a cocktail stick and place your cloves in the holes as desired. 

  
Step 4:

Next lay grease proof paper on a wire oven shelf and place your orange slices on the paper ready for drying in the oven. Some recipes suggest not to use grease proof paper and just to lay the slices on a wire shelf in the oven to help the drying process – I tried this and the slices just fall through when they start to dry! 

See mine don’t look perfect – this was the batch that fell through the holes:  
Pop your slices – on their grease proof paper, in the oven on a low heat for around an hour as you want them to dry rather than cook. I used 80 degrees C in our fan assisted oven and keep checking on them – they may need longer depending on the thickness.

Step 5: 

Remove your slices from the oven and leave them to cool and dry further – some slices may still feel sticky to the touch but that is fine they will dry out further in the bowl. 

 They should look something like this:

 

  
Once they have cooled arrange them in a bowl with some cinnamon sticks for aesthetic as well as that lovely Christmassy smell!

  
Have a lovely Christmas!

First Briton in Space!

This week we sent Briton Tim Peake into space to live on the International Space Station for 6months. A lot of papers were calling him the first Briton in space and that just isn’t true! Tim is the first ‘official’ Briton in space as the UK are funding his trip. However Helen Sharman (yay a woman) was the first Briton in space back in 1991 when she went with the Russians. 

I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Helen Sharman this week at the Science Museum in London and she is incredibly intelligent, articulate and just wonderful.   

 
Here is my article for Time Out: 7 Things You Need To Know About The Tim Peake Space Launch