Things to Do

Play Bingo suggested by Mike Rouse

You can download a load of printable bingo cards here:

Then use this website to call the numbers on a laptop:

Fun for all the family!

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Marmite Cake

*Hint:  DO NOT use low-fat butter or margarine.  When it comes to melting the butter/margarine and marmite together, you need to stir to mix it.  If you use low-fat spread, it will emulsify when you stir it, and it won’t absorb into the cake as well as it should.  Just trust me!



Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F/ 170 °C Fan).

  1. Cream the butter/margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour and milk in turns until combined.  Don’t over-mix.
  4. Dump the mixture into a loaf tin or a 20 cm (8″) square brownie pan (this works the best).
  5. Optional:  Sprinkle some polenta over the top.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes.  Test it by sticking a skewer or a knife into the cake.  If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
  7. As soon as your cake is ready, melt the butter/margarine and Marmite in a little saucepan, stirring to mix.
  8. Poke the cake full of holes and drizzle the warm butter sauce over the cake.  Make sure the butter is still nice and warm when you drizzle it over.  And no, the butter will not make the cake greasy and gross.  It will make it moist and marvelous!

I like this cake served with whipped cream with some stewed fruit stirred in to it.

Food Information Recipies

My Essential Shopping List by Liz Castledene

On opening the cupboard I immediately spotted the first problem issue with the old panic buying thing. 40 bags of flour, 40 cartons of UHT milk, 3 boxes of 36 bottles of hand sanitiser and 30 x 18 roll packs of toilet roll. To this I can add more tins of chopped tomatoes than you can shake a stick at, 35 packets of instant yeast and quite a few slightly green loaves of bread. The fridge is full of milk, to the extent I can’t get anything else in there. Second problem I was doing my panic buying 3 weeks ago along with many others. The most serious consequence being everything has the same sell buy date on it! Well, I hear you say, you were warned not to panic buy, you were told stockpiling things was a bad idea, so you’ve only got yourself to blame, haven’t you.

My answer to you is, “hindsight is a wonderful thing, and normally I am the one who knows best, hands up I got it wrong, shoot me!” 

Now I’m at the kitchen table, well I say that, actually I am sat in front of the tiny square left that I can put my coffee cup on. I’m reluctant to admit that the rest is covered in boxes of tissues and bottles of disinfectant. Thinking about it all now the whole thing was not really my finest hour.

No good crying over spilt milk, although off milk is quite hard to spill, need to find a way of using all this stuff and hopefully come out the other end.

18 pints of milk past their sell by date, a tad more than a little bit, I remember making cottage cheese at school but 18 pints, That’s more than 2 gallons!  Been on the net and watched the how to video for making my own proper cheese. Need to add rennet and muslin to my essentials shopping list. Check. Oh yes, and a large, make that very large, deep container to separate the curds and whey. Added. Copper nails, if I get copper nails I can make blue cheese, going to call it Church Hill Blue, the added benefit is that I can bang a few into next doors conifers, double result. 

Next – tinned tomatoes, got to admit they’re a bit boring on their own but are one of my five a days. Can blitz some to make tomato juice, nice and healthy so need to add blitzer , Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to the essential shopping list. Tick.

Done a quick stock check of the very bottom of the freezer, success – 2 sausages, a beef burger, at least I think it’s a beef burger, fancy Christmas prawns and peas. Granted I had to pick the peas up one by one and use a knife to release some from the ice, but got 17. So if I shred the “burger” mix it with peas and tomatoes add a spag bol mix that will be good. Put mix on list. Done.

Took most of the green off the bread, looks a bit like Swiss cheese, but toast is a wonderful thing. The bits of green left on are, I think, penicillin which is a good thing, isn’t it? Just need jam now, perhaps marmalade- tastes stronger- write them on the list.

Finally, back to the net, dawned on me I don’t know how to actually use my flour and yeast to make bread. OK, need loaf tins, baking sheet, tea towels and a mixing bowl. No problem onto the list they go. A baking tray means that I can actually cook the fancy Christmas prawns. I tried earlier, all this list writing has made me hungry, but they weren’t long enough to balance across the bars on the oven shelf. Hooked the trial ones from the flames at the back, do you know how hot it inside the oven? Now have a burn on my wrist after it got caught on the shelf. Oven gloves and plasters duly added to the list.

Right! I’ve got my list so I can go to the shops to get my essential items. Have to follow the instructions on going out only once, buying essentials only and keeping 2 metres away from anyone I meet. Tape measure added to list, you can’t be too careful you know.

My essential shopping list:

  • Rennet – home baking or chilled aisles- not quite sure how it comes.
  • Muslin – baby aisle, my supermarket doesn’t do haberdashery.
  • Very large container – 3 gallon capacity.
  • Copper nails – home baking or DIY aisles.
  • Blitzer- looks like a propeller on a stick in the video – Home aisle.
  • Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice
  • Spag Bol mix
  • Jam –  ginger or marmalade if no strong tasting jam.
  • Loaf tins, baking sheet, tea towels, mixing bowl. –  Home aisle.
  • Oven Gloves.
  • Plasters and probably some burn relief stuff.
  • Tape Measure –  must be more than 2 metres long.

Got my eco shopping bags, and I’m off, wrapping scarf in a dashing way across my face as I go.

Just popped back, forgot hand sanitiser!

Things to Do

Free online learning group suggested by Andy Hollinson

The Square Metre Group are going LIVE on Facebook! We want to help you escape the current situation by presenting fun and informal LIVE sessions in the evening.

Our first Live & Awesome session – Monday, 8pm, with ME 😎👍.

Grab your wine glass/tea mug, get comfy on the sofa and join Debbie as she discuss how people learn, and how you can use this knowledge to share your skills, keep your customers warm or even just to keep your kids busy.

This session counts towards the Award in Education & Training, should you wish to complete this with us at a later date 👍

Many more sessions are being lined up including Well-Being, Fitness, Marketing and much more.

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Easy Soda Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 180 deg C / gas mark 4

Mix lemon juice into milk, leave for 5 minutes to curdle and separate.

Mix flour and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and lemon juice. Stir to make a sticky dough.

Pour dough into a floured work surface and knead lightly to make a round shape.

Pop dough into a 1lb loaf tin, score a line down the middle with a sharp knife. (No proving time needed.)

Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

Food Recipies

Easy bread recipe

Soda bread

Juice of 1/2 lemon or use 2 teaspoons of bottled lemon juice

300ml milk (plant based milk also works)

400g self raising flour

1.5 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 180 deg C / gas mark 4

Mix lemon juice into milk, leave for 5 minutes to curdle and separate.

Mix flour and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and lemon juice. Stir to make a sticky dough.

Pour dough into a floured work surface and knead lightly to make a round shape.

Pop dough into a 1lb loaf tin, score a line down the middle with a sharp knife. (No proving time needed.)

Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

Things to Do

Phone chat suggested by Esther Hawkins

  1. Perhaps a quick call to see if someone needs to talk or a  message kind word.


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Information Local & National Government Member of Parliament Parks & Open Spaces Schools and education Things to Do Travel & Transport

Lock-down for the Layperson

Here’s what you need to know, based on our best interpretation of the official guidance and what we’ve seen from other reputable news sources who are quoting government officials.

Read with Care

If we’ve got something wrong please email or log in as a community editor and put it right.

Going to Work (or not)

The official requirements are:

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school.

But what does this actually mean?

If I don’t work in a ‘critical’ job should I still go to work?

Short answer: yes

Long answer: Challenge your employer if necessary over whether or not you can work from home. Now might be a good time to consider trade union representation if needed. Can’t be done? Go to work – but don’t mix and mingle.

Housing, Construction & Building Maintenance Industries

This would suggest that the trades can continue to function but not in groups it seems.

Takeaways and Deliveries

Therefore, the Arrow Valley Countryside Centre and Pitcheroak’s Cafe in Redditch is now fully closed as a telephone and delivery service cannot be provided.

Things to Do

Play card games with friends via video link suggested by Zoe Bushell

My kids love a good card game be it: Uni, Snap, top trumps or pokemon duel but part of the fun is playing with others. If you have friends or family that have the same card game as you at home you can still play using Skype, facetime or even zoom!

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Business Freebies Things to Do

Stay in touch with relatives using Zoom’s free conference calling

Zoom is a great free tool that I’ve been using in business for some time. It let’s you host group events, which could be a great way to keep in touch with your family, colleagues and friends.

All you have to do is sign up for an account at

There’s apps available for iPhone and Android too.

If you want to know more about how you get started there’s a great demonstration video you can watch by clicking here.