19 July 2012

Oh I know your face, I've seen it a thousand times

First, good news.

The murder/manslaughter rate in England and Wales is at an almost-thirty-year low. Mainly due to a fall in rates of domestic violence. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I'd be very content to be out of a job if that were ever the reason.

Second - people keep asking me about Olympic traffic lanes and how they work - I know as little as the rest of you. I think the entire idea will cause total havoc.

Third - sports day went well. Danger had to leap into action to assist with a sprained ankle, which would have been easier if he hadn't been tied to me at the time... but he managed admirably. I almost wanted my own sprained ankle, just to get his gentle hands on me... He is an astoundingly good doctor, you know, as well as his many other talent and qualities! So caring and patient and just... yeah, yeah, Sherlock's telling me to stop talking about John and GET TO THE CAKE!

Fourth - today there was cake, and some of you wanted recipes.

Here are some recipes.

Chocolate Lavender Cake:

  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp lavender flowers, fresh or dried
For the icing
  • 120g butter
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • approx 400g icing sugar ( depends how thick you want it)
  1. Blitz the caster sugar and the lavender flowers in a food processor. Sieve the sugar into a bowl and discard any flowery bits left in the sieve. Enjoy the aroma!
  2. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin and preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F
  3. Put the chocolate, butter & water into a heatproof bowl and place over a simmering pan of water. Stir until all melted and leave to cool.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy
  5. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff
  6. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir
  7. Carefully fold in the flour and baking powder into the mixture and then gently but surely fold in the egg whites
  8. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until cooked and firm
  9. Remove from the oven and after a few minutes turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool
  10. To make the icing melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the cocoa powder. Stir for a minute and remove from the heat
  11. Add the milk and the icing sugar and beat the mixture well
  12. Leave to cool and then use to sandwich the cake together and to cover the entire cake.
That gives a fairly subtle lavender flavour and a very chocolaty cake. I prefer to leave my milk full of lavender flowers overnight, for the icing, to give a much stronger flavour. But you may not. Acquired taste, maybe? You could always just put the flowers in for 2-3 hours, if overnight is a bit strong. If the cake isn't strong enough, drench it in a lavender syrup before icing!


REReader said...

*translates/coverts busily*

That sounds super delicious, L!

pandabob said...

The fall in Domestic violence cases has to be the best news I've heard in ages :-)

Thank you very much for the cake recipe, I think my short people might like to give it a go during the holidays. I meant to say we tried the gooseberry tart recipe last week with our first harvest of gooseberries and it was yummy thanks for that :-)

I know Sherlock wanted you to stop with the dangerous doc compliments but John's very lucky to have someone who thinks so highly of him :-)

John H. D. Watson said...

L - you're very kind, as always. And I understand Sherlock's desire to get to the cake. It was amazing, maybe the best one you've made yet.

Greg Lestrade said...

AnonyBob - he's just amazing. I could go on about him all day. I can't believe how lucky I am.

Danger - I am glad I made one for us now. Otherwise I think Sherlock would have been killing people for eating all of the one at school! He looked anguished every time someone took a slice.

pandabob said...

Every word you say about your doc tells us that Greg :-) Don't forget though you're pretty amazing yourself! (I know John will never let you forget it :-) )

Greg Lestrade said...


One of the kids today confided in John that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, too. (Well, I think he said surgeon... but y'know...) He's an inspiration. ;)

REReader said...

He looked anguished every time someone took a slice.

I feel that way about chocolate and a few other favorites--I'm sure I'd've felt like that about the cake! (I have learned to hide it, but I still fell that way! :))

Inspiration is vital!

Anonymous said...

The good news is very good! Especially since it means that less fatal domestic violence is probably lower too.

And the cake sounds very tempting. Not something I should venture since I live alone, unless you think it would make cupcakes that freeze well, though.


pandabob said...

aren't kids cute ;-)

Was Sherlock exhausted after the day? is tomorrow his last day before the holibobs? I hope the moose is finished and that the play is as good as it sounds like it will be, I'd ask for pics but I know that cameras are rarely allowed anymore so a description will have to do, or nothing at all it's your family event not ours ;-)

Have you spoken to Rach? I hope the little one is filling her day with joy, and not so much of her night ;-)


Greg Lestrade said...

RSF - I'm not sure about freezing it. You can definitely make regular chocolate cupcakes and use the icing for the lavender taste though.

AnonyBob - Yeah, last day tomorrow. And the moose is as good as it's going to get!

Rach is fine - I haven't spoken to her, but she went home this afternoon, and Nicky's been by to see her and give her a bit of mothering-support, having done it twice herself. I can't imagine how scary it must be, really, suddenly being in charge!

I'll call her tomorrow :)

pandabob said...

I hope you have fewer tears than we'll have tomorrow!!

I'm glad Rach is well, going home the first time is the scariest thing it's that moment when you walk through your front door and realise they are really yours and it's all on you!! good for Nicky giving her some support :-)

I have a great belief in your moose and the feeling that I will take inspiration from your committment to it next time I get a request I think is daft from school ;-)

Anonymous said...

A nice mummsy baby related subject for you Pandanon!

I hope the last day of school goes well and a good summer follows Lestrade

Greg Lestrade said...

Don't worry, Anon, I don't see Rachel enough for this blog to descend into being about babies all the time.

Probably mainly complaining about the Olympics for the next few weeks.

Small Hobbit said...

I have a feeling it's not just Sherlock who will be sad to say goodbye to Mrs T.

pandabob said...


REReader said...

Complaining about the Olympics is an international sport, L, very appropriate! (In the US, there is now a whole kerfuffle about the uniforms being made in China. Anything for air time! :/ )

SH, I'm with you. :) Mrs T must be a very special person.

Greg Lestrade said...

Anonybob - when we get to meet Jess I shall be picking your brain for appropriate gifts/things to say and ask, so I don't look like a bad uncle!

pandabob said...

I'll be happy to help Greg :-) but I can't see you ever looking like a bad uncle!! your job of course really comes later when she needs leading into adventure that parents have to disapprove of even though they don't really ;-)

REReader said...

Isn't uncle-hood great, L? I know I love aunt-hood--you get to play with tiny babies when you've a mind to, but you don't have to get up for two, three, and four am feedings etc.! (of course, older is fun, too. :))

REReader said...

Heh, Anony--I've done that! :D

HM said...

it's strange but the two three and four o'clock in the morning time becomes strangely special RR but I think that might have more to do with sleep deprivation than anythinelse ;)


REReader said...

I'll have to take your word for it, HM! :)

Anonymous said...

Far fewer possible distractions in the wee hours probably contributes to the feeling that those times are special, HM. Because they are even for aunts who have gotten rooked into helping in the middle of the night. Nobody around to listen to you talk mush to the baby!

rsf (who will probably be dodging Olympics coverage, actually)

REReader said...

Really, rsf? I do watch the Olympics a lot, especially sports about which I know absolutely nothing. It's strangely hypnotic!

A from NW (Is it Friday night yet?) said...

Greg - Glad to hear everyone had fun at sports day, sprained ankles and dizziness notwithstanding. I can't wait to hear the report about Sherlock's school play. For some reason, I suspect the motorized moose may be a hit. :)

John, Sherlock, Mycroft - Are there any particular Olympic events that you want to watch? Or are all of you bunkering down as the entire world crams themselves into London? :)

As for work: It's been hell. I've had people threatening to yell at me (continuously) for the entire work day. There's a meeting tomorrow where several members of the upper management may use personal attacks to deter me from doing my job. (Apparently, this is 'the usual' at my company.)

If I am fired tomorrow for doing my job, at least I will have my integrity, sanity, and honor.

~A from NW (who is both resigned and prepared to wage war against unprofessionalism)

Small Hobbit said...

AfNW - I am really sorry to hear about your job situation. Making personal attacks is totally unprofessional, but not unusual when people feel threatened. Stick to your guns and know that there are people around the world (that sounds impressive) supporting you.

pandabob said...

Sorry works being a pain AfNW I hope it works out soon :-)

Enjoy your morning and the play this afternoon gentlemen :-)

Greg Lestrade said...

Hope none of you are from Denver/have families there. The news is horrific.

A - I don't know what to say. That sounds horrible.

Sherlock was completely out of his tree this morning. Moose is safely at school, we'll be going along later.

REReader said...

I only just saw the headlines about the Colorado shooting, L, and I second your hope. (A cousin of mine has inlaws in Denver--I doubt they were at a midnight show of The Dark Knight, but I'm going to call him anyway.)

That sounds like a bad scene all around, AfNW--good luck! Sending power vibes your way.

Here's hoping Mrs T knows how to settle down young thespians before the big show. :) It should be quite a production and I'm excited to hear all about it, I can't even imagine how excited Sherlock and his classmates must be!

Anonymous said...

I have several relations in Denver. No one's called, though so I think they're safe, but I'll be calling that direction once it's late enough for them to be awake. They all live farther south or way west of Aurora, where the attack happened, so that helps.

The Denver stations they caught a suspect. That's something, anyway.


Anonymous said...

Can I just say sorry. I didn't mean what it looked like I did lastnite. I see it looked like that though sorry. I like hearing about the boys and relatives because lestrade and john have someone to talk to about it pandanon. Sorry for crap comment I didn't mean to say that. Sorry

Maz said...

L - okay, I gave myself a day, but I can't pin down the title despite the fact it's pinging around in my brain and trying desperately to hook up to some music. It sounds so fraking familiar but I can't place it! Help?

Glad your people are ok, rsf. It's a sad day for everyone, today.

Anonymous said...

Just got off the phone with my sister, and most of them are just waking up and hadn't heard the news yet. So my family is okay, for what that's worth. I know I'll still spend the day looking at news reports.

I think I'd rather think about moose, though.


pandabob said...

I don’t know what you meant or didn’t mean anon but thanks for the apology I guess. I was only replying to what Greg had said but I am sorry if I shouldn’t have. I can’t help finding babies, the boys and school stuff exciting and interesting but I have been trying to make sure I don’t say anything I shouldn’t.

I hope the play went well Sherlock, that the moose was the hit it should have been Greg (and that you took any compliments the way you should have), that you all enjoyed the performance and that both boys are enjoying the time with their mum :-)

Have a lovely weekend and start your summer holidays in style!

Greg Lestrade said...

Anon - thank you for apologising, as you clearly felt you wanted to, although I'm glad AnonyBob didn't really feel you needed to.

Still, sometimes we need to apologise for ourselves more than for the other person.

AnonyBob - it all went very well. They were all wonderful, and the holidays has started with sunshine! (And some rain...but sunshine right now!)

pandabob said...

great news about the weather and even better news about the play :-) I hope Sherlock is feeling very proud of himself.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the play went well. Have you put the moose head up on Sherlock's wall yet?

The Colorado shooter has been identified, and you may want to keep Sherlock off the news feeds until the Olympics overwhelm everything.


Greg Lestrade said...

Maz - I've no idea if this is what you're thinking of. Similar lyrics have appeared in other songs. But I was thinking of this one:


A from NW (Yep. Still here.) said...

I'm glad to hear that everyone's loved ones in Colorado are okay.

Today was incredibly quiet. One coworker half-joked that all the rage [towards me] burnt itself out yesterday. My boss managed to get me out of the meeting, and I actually got stuff done today. Still persona non grata with most of the company, but being ignored beats being yelled at. :)

So thank you, all of you, for your positive vibes and good thoughts. It's helped knowing that I'm not insane or hopelessly uneducated in the way Things Ought To Be In the Workplace.

~A from NW (who doesn't look forward to Round Two)

Anonymous said...

L, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how long it took in Colorado for the police to bring out the victims. (It wasn't until 5 p.m. according to news reports.) There were several families which didn't get confirmation of what had happened to their loved ones for so many hours... Why does it take so long? I mean, there must be a reason. And you're the only person I can think of to ask.


Greg Lestrade said...

Sorry, I only just remembered you asked about this.

I haven't read any reports that mentioned that, so everything I say will be pure guesswork. I also don't know a lot about the way American police work.

I would think, from the way we approach crime scenes, that it was all to do with evidence gathering. That was a very big crime scene - essentially the entire cinema complex, including car parks, I imagine.

I know they arrested one person quite swiftly - but arresting one person doesn't mean that there was only one person who committed the crime.

As I understand it, there were a number of weapons used, plus some sort of gas. There were over 50 people injured, and ten bodies to be recovered. Ordinarily, you want as little to be touched or moved at a crime scene as possible. In this case, that's already been massively compromised by the number of people who were there, and who got themselves to safety any way they could. There would have been thousands of pieces of evidence - every blood spot, every shell casing, every bullet hole and piece of clothing, every food container - it's all evidence. Ideally, no investigating officers would even tread on that carpet - they would set up series of stepping stones - blocks, to walk on. They would need to photograph everything, document it, look in, around, under, every seat. And, sadly, every body. Calculate angles, movement, work out who was where, take samples, take imprints, dust films, ballistics swabs. Find out where the shooter stood, which weapon he used, where the victim ended up, where they started, who else helped them or touched them, or stepped over them. You just can't know what will matter. You can't know who might go from injured to deceased.

You only have one chance to get it right.

The initial stages of an investigation can be long, and seem torturous, and people often ask why we can't confirm the ID of a victim sooner, or tell a family how their loved one died. But if we don't do it correctly, right from the start, then we can leave people with a lifetime of unanswered questions. If we do every single thing we can to preserve the crime scene, then we can give them answers. Nothing will bring the person back, all we can do is bring the perpetrator to justice and give their family as many answers as we can.

I hope that helps, a bit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. It does help. You're right, the answers will matter in the long run. I just wish there was a way to balance getting the answers and not leaving the families in suspense for so long.


Greg Lestrade said...

Yeah, it is very difficult. Believe me, there've been crime scenes when I've desperately wished I could just pick up the body and deliver it to the family, because death is so often awkward and undignified and you know the family just want the chance to say goodbye. Mainly when it's kids, it's a very strong urge.

But you can't think of it even as making sure the family get justice, and the killer is sent to prison - you have to think of it as the killer being tken off the streets, or walking free, to kill again. You have to be sure you've gathered evidence for the strongest possible case.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for being so patient with me. I keep circling back to this, wanting to fix it somehow, and ranting in the comments of the news stories wouldn't help anyone, not even me. But my head and my heart are beginning to pull more together. Justice may be more important in the long run than comfort right away. But oh, it's hard.


Greg Lestrade said...

Yeah, it is. Can't argue there.

And no problem. I do understand.

I've been faced wth families begging to see their loved ones before, and it feels horrible putting the science and evidence before their need to grieve, but it has to be done.

I've also had to try to prepare people to see the deceased after really terrible, depraved crimes - it can be very hard to make them understand that the person won't just look like they're sleeping, like in so many movies. Death can be a terrible, horrible, ugly thing. And the things people do to one another never ceases to shock us. But that time spent preparing them can never be had again. Just like the time gathering evidence can't. You have to do it, no matter how much it would be easier not to.

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