Monday, July 28, 2014

Suncream Review

I don't normally do this, so please bear with me.

This is a story about my hunt for suncream. It begins several years ago, when, as part of my degree, I spent two months in Singapore. Obviously, it is hot and sunny there, and being cautious about melanoma, I applied suncream to my face and went on with my day. By lunchtime, my face was feeling a little warmer than usual, but by suppertime I was blotchy and itchy. I washed my face, but it was too late - the next morning I looked like some kind of cartoon my face was so puffy. Very sad (although my colleagues were mildly amused by my nice representation of angioedema.)

I tried several other brands of suncream, and although I managed to get them off before puffy face arrived, each and every one caused blotches and itches and rashes.

In 2012 I was at the Allergy Show in London. I saw Green People, and picked up a few samples, but wasn't really convinced, too scared by previous experience, I washed their suncream off two minutes after it went on! Fast forward until 2014 and once again I was at the Allergy Show, in a much more spacious venue. Once again, Green People were there. This time I had a lovely chat with one of their team, who encouraged me to apply some of the SPF 15 suncream ( to the crook of my elbow (which is thin, sensitive skin) go off and enjoy the show, and if I was rash free, to come back later. I was rash free so bought the suncream!

I have since tried it on my face in real Sun and remain rash free. Not to mention it smells much better than regular suncream, has no nasties and is far more natural. Very pleasing. If you're a rash-prone type, I would recommend Green People as they never use many of the nasties usually found in skin care products or cosmetics.

Disclaimer: I bought my suncream with my own money, but had 20% off because I bought at the Allergy Show. If you're interested I can send you an "introduction email" and you'll get Green points (loyalty scheme) with your first order.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Normal service resuming...

My apologies dedicated readers (all two of you,) but the squirrels and BT conspired to prevent my communications. I am now returned to the blogosphere, and hope to be a little more regular in my posting.

My return nicely coincides with the start of the summer "gluts" and having found many recipes last year, but not thought to share them before the produce in question was out of season, I thought I'd try again. One of the "problems" with growing your own is that everything arrives at once and there are suddenly kilos of berries getting rapidly over-ripe whilst you feel you can never quite look a tomato in the eye again.

Let's start off with my "problem" this week: some rather squishy raspberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants clogging up my tiny 'fridge. (No seriously, it is miniscule, the freezer is massive, the fridge... it leaves a lot to be desired, but you know, first world problems and all that.) "Aha" says you (yes, you,) "why not a lovely summer pudding, everyone loves a summer pudding!" Unfortunately, I do not love such a thing. Soggy bread?! Since when was very soggy bread an acceptable dessert?! "No, no," says I, "why not a nice cordial?"

Summer Berry Cordial:
Summer soft fruits, washed, but no need to hull/peel/de-stalk

Large pan
Jelly bag
Glass bottles or freezer proof tubs

1. Weigh your fruit and taking note of the weight, place into a pan. For every 500g of fruit, add 300ml of water.
2. Gently heat the fruit and water and cook over a low-medium heat until the fruit has disintegrated into mush. Give it an encouraging stir from time to time to help the fruit mush.
3. Strain through a jelly bag for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Keep the juice, compost the fruit mush.
4. Measure the juice and taking note of the volume, pour into a pan. For every 500ml of juice, add 250g of sugar.
5. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, once boiled, remove from the heat, skim off the froth (it looks hideous in bottles, like a weird, creepy, mould.
6. If you are bottling, then you will need to sterilise the bottles in the oven during step 5 and bottle the cordial whilst hot. If you are putting into freezer tubs, allow the cordial to cool thoroughly, before decanting into tubs, labelling and freezing.
7. Enjoy!