A language more universal than words

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Picture by Gilly Walker

Want to do much more with your camera or smartphone than just take selfies and holiday snaps?

Then you’ll want to hear what this week’s guest Gilly Walker has to say about the exciting possibilities photography offers both as a form of self expression and as a meditative or mindful practice…

Photography is a language more universal than words – Minor White

Fine art photographer, philosopher, writer and lover of nature Gilly will be joining the Girls Around Town in the studio to talk about a more thoughtful, intuitive approach to taking pictures, one that is often called contemplative or inner path photography.

“I like to photograph things not for what they are but for what else they are,” says Gilly, paraphrasing one of America’s greatest photographers, Minor White.

“I like the dreamy, the ambiguous, the moody, the spontaneous, the colourful and the symbolic, and I like to find these in very ordinary places where they often go unnoticed. I don’t own much gear and I’m not very interested in the equipment – the technology is a means to an end and while I do think that much is gained from knowing how to use it, ultimately the power of an image comes from the photographer’s ability to see freshly and clearly.”

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday to find out more about mindfulness in photography, how Gilly discovered her photographic voice and how she helps others to do so too in her workshops, creative photo walks and personal tuition.

There might even be time to ask her to share her sonnet on the theme of chocolate, a love story that’s pretty universal too!

The cup(cake) that cheers

 

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Earlier today, you may have heard the Girls Around Town talking about the latest episode of GBBO and celebrating National Cupcake Week (which runs from Monday 19 to Sunday 25 September) by sampling June’s Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Frosting.

Admittedly baking isn’t exactly her forte but they did get the thumbs up from Sue – although it has to be said they didn’t look quite like the one above!

Here’s the recipe so, if you fancy a Chocolate Moment with a bit of a twist, why not print it off and give it a go?

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Frosting

  • Servings: Makes 12 small or 9 larger cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the cupcakes

  • 110g butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

For the frosting

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3-5 tbsp maple syrup (adjust quantity to suit your taste for sweetness!)
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp softened raw coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Blend all of the frosting ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is creamy, glossy and completely combined.
  6. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a star nozzle and, using a spiralling motion, pipe onto the cupcakes in a large swirl. You’ll have more than enough to frost the 12 cupcakes from the ingredients above – halve the quantities if you like or just keep what’s left in the fridge in a jar or covered tub to spread on other cakes or biscuits!

Bake my day

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Three episodes in, seven to go and the heat is on in the Great British Bake Off tent…

Whose showstopper will capture the star baker crown this week? Who’ll be making a final appearance on the show? And of course the burning question – what colour lippy will Candice be sporting on Wednesday?!

As if all this hasn’t been enough to inspire bakers everywhere to head for the kitchen, from Monday 19 to Sunday 25 September it’s National Cupcake Week. No surprise then that the Girls Around Town couldn’t resist combining cupcakes and chocolate in next Sunday’s show.

Join June and Sue between 10am and 12 noon, when they’ll be giving their verdict on GBBO so far and on a Chocolate Moment with a bit of a twist. Cupcakes topped with chocolate and avocado frosting – what would Paul and Mary think and, more to the point, will they be a hit or a miss with the girls?

Tune in or listen online to find out and watch this space after the show if you fancy checking out the recipe yourself…