Archive by Author

We’ve got a new home!

17 Aug

You may already know that the CCK team has been working hard to create a new online platform for our coffee, cake and kink-loving friends. Well, after fighting the technological gremlins, puzzling over designs and writing lots of new content, the site is finally live! It’s still a beta version at the moment, which means it’s not quite as glamorous as we’d like it yet, so it’ll be getting a bit of a makeover over the coming months. We’re adding more to it every day (not to mention slaying the miniature tech gremlins that have so far evaded us) and we hope you’ll come and visit us soon.

 

Welcome to my new home! Image can be found on Simon’s Cat.com

 

Of course, with a shiny new home to write for, our writers will be moving to pastures new and we will shortly be leaving our WordPress blog behind. We look forward to seeing you on the new site, and would love to hear what you think. Head on over to coffeecakeandkink.com (don’t forget to bookmark us!) and if you’ve got any comments feel free to email newsandfeatures [at] coffeecakeandkink.com to let us know.

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Legendary buns: the history behind your Easter treats

8 Apr

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

Whether it’s halved and toasted, eaten cold and whole, with lashings of butter or a scraping of jam, shop-bought or home-made, there is no denying that Easter isn’t complete without munching on a hot cross bun (or a few!). But what do we really know about where this delicious Easter treat came from?

We all know hot cross buns to be part of the Easter celebrations, traditionally eaten on Good Friday. However, the presence of the hot cross bun isn’t just rooted in Christian celebrations, but can be seen all over the world throughout history. One belief is that the Saxons made buns for their ‘Eostre celebrations’, offering the spiced cakes to Eostre, the goddess of spring. This pagan tradition is one upon which our own Easter celebrations are based.

There are also links to ancient Greece, where buns were offered up to Artemis and Hecate, the bun representing the four stages of the moon. It is also said that the Babylonians offered the hot cross bun to Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, on the same day every year that we celebrate Good Friday.There are even signs of the hot cross bun in China, Mexico and Egypt!

While the religious significance of the hot cross bun is well known, there are other strange customs and superstitions that have been passed down over the years. Who would have thought that hanging a hot cross bun made on Good Friday by the front door could protect a house from fire, or if taken on a sea voyage would protect sailors against being shipwrecked. It is even said that they have magical powers and will never go mouldy even if you keep them from one year to the next.  Some believe that the hot cross bun has medicinal properties, and legend tells us that if a piece of it is eaten by someone who is unwell, its special healing powers will cure them of their illness.

However, not everyone was happy about the hot cross bun and the superstitions it held.  In 1592, the Queen passed a law stating that hot cross buns could not be made or sold at any time except for funerals, Good Friday and Christmas. Luckily for us, this couldn’t be enforced and we can enjoy them all year round. We can see how much the hot cross bun became part of the community. The Chelsea Bun House holds a legend surrounding the popularity of the hot cross bun. It is said that on Good Friday in 1829, around 240,000 buns were sold to over 50,000 people who crowded outside.

Bringing us forward, popular bakery retailer Gregg’s sold over 3 million hot cross buns just over the Easter period last year! So let’s take a moment to think about the challenge our nation’s bakers meet every year to bring us all these delicious treats. Bakers work hard to make sure we get our hot cross buns, not only in time for the Easter celebrations but all year round.

Hot cross buns are perhaps the hardest of all cakes to make in a bakery, always sticking to the machines and needing constant attention. Even today, the hot cross bun still works its magic, as told in this charming baker’s tale. In one particular bakery, no matter how many they bake, however many buns get burnt or go wrong, there are always two buns left from the batch.  These two buns get to be eaten by the baker who made them. This is Easter’s gift to the bakers for ensuring we all get our delicious hot cross buns in time to celebrate!

The hot cross bun is a symbol of Easter, and this simple cake holds so much history, tradition and legend. So remember how the hot cross bun came to be part of our yearly celebrations when you tuck into yours!

Skin Two’s latest

27 Mar

If you’ve not already got one, now’s the time to buy your copy of Skin Two’s latest issue! The longstanding glossy style magazine is available for £10.00 from their online webshop, or you can download digitized versions of all – yes, all – their issues for £2-£3. Postage is free in the UK, and costs just £3 for European deliveries, or £5 to everywhere else.

Issue 62 is another fabulous offering, providing more hot new content ‘for the thinking fetishist’s coffee table’. Inside its striking cover lurk the following: an interview with burlesque legend Dita von Teese; retro photography from Terry Mendoza; features on the Australian fetish scene; plus coverage of the top fetish events, including their very own Skin Two Rubber Ball.

 

You can snap up your own copy here, so what are you waiting for?

An extra helping of joy

17 Mar

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

A double dose of joy has been given to a lesbian couple from Gloucester. After becoming civil partners in June 2010, both woman have given birth to children within five days of each other.

Anna Jones and Kirsty Cox felt that they would never be able to start a family of their own after being unable to afford the lengthy and expensive process of fertility treatment. After Anna’s sister mentioned their plight to her hairdresser, he decided to help the couple and become their sperm donor. As a gay man, he understood their desire to start a family of their own; when the grateful couple accepted his offer, they expected a lengthy wait. Imagine the surprise when both women fell pregnant immediately!

Kirsty gave birth to their daughter Scarlett-Marie, and Anna had son Alfie. The children are now 11 and 10 weeks old respectively, and are often mistaken for twins. We at CCK want to congratulate Kirsty and Anna on their newest additions to their family.This is a wonderful show of support from LGBT community members; would you ever donate an egg or sperm to your friends in the community if you knew they were unable to conceive without expensive treatment? Kirsty and Anna say that the father will be involved in the children’s lives if that’s what he wishes, and it’s great to see everyone coming together to help each other.

We’d love to know what our readers think. Should LGBT families be started only via anonymous donors, or does this happy story demonstrate that sperm banks are not the only way?

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Modern-day-love-story-lesbian-mums-blessed-family/story-15223194-detail/story.html

Not just a pretty face

15 Mar

After a two-year hiatus, the long-standing gay men’s beauty contest Mr Gay UK has crowned its newest winner. Samuel Kneen, a 22-year-old hairdresser, won the competion final on the 10th December at Club Mission in Leeds having beaten some stiff competition.

His prizes include £2000 and a photo shoot in Morocco, but Mr Kneen has used his victory for more than just publicity for his modelling career. The Cardiff-born lad has told the press that he will be giving a portion of his winnings to the Terence Higgins Trust, an HIV & AIDS charity, in support of a friend  who contracted HIV. Speaking to WalesOnline, he said, “I told them when I entered the contest that I know somebody who has got HIV and I want to support him. It is something I feel strongly about.”

Mr Kneen hopes to raise awareness about the disease. After walking around Cardiff on World AIDS Day, he was shocked when shops didn’t carry ribbons and were unaware of the date’s significance.

The THT is a wonderful charity with clinics stationed nationwide. Same-day diagnosis, treatment and legal advice is only the beginning of what the charity offers. There are plenty of services apart from those linked to HIV at these clinics; you can expect the same help for any worries you would have from THT as you would from any other sexual health clinic.

Alternatively, you can visit their website to find a clinic near you.

A more comfortable retirement for Spain’s LGBT elderly

14 Mar

photo courtesy of spainreview.net

Spain’s first LGBT retirement home is all set to open in 2014, now that a plot of land has been secured on the outskirts of the capital city. As the last generation to have been immersed in the culture of Franco’s rule are growing older, homophobia has been a rising problem in retirement homes. Franco declared homosexuals to be ‘socially dangerous’, and as hence a great deal of
hostility can be found by those individuals – generally over forty years-old – who remember his time in power.

The  – named after the date in 1978 when Franco’s law against homosexuality was repealed – have put the plans in motion to open a gay-friendly home in Madrid. Priced at approximately 1000 euros a month, residents will enjoy a great reduction in the usual costs of a place in retirement homes in the area.

The complex will include a gym, library, conference room, launderette, shop and restaurant. Accommodation will include a mixture of studios and apartments and the complex will be able to house two hundred and thirty people, including HIV positive residents who are excluded from some of the other homes in the country. This is a positive and long-overdue progression in Spanish society, and hopefully it will open the doors for similar institutions. With awareness rising, we can only hope the attitude towards homophobia will change, and that other LGBT individuals will receive the care they need in their own later years.

UK’s first LGBT Adoption Week launches countrywide

16 Feb
A whole host of events are being planned across the country this week, as organisations get ready for the country’s first LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.For some years, LGBT families were considered a ‘last resort’ for placing children, but recent research has proven that lesbian and gay families can provide these children with a great new start. Individuals growing up with the social divide of being ‘different’, as many LGBT people still do, often develop a skill set which can be beneficial when bringing up a child who has been in care.

Hugh Thornbery, of Action for Children, says “Over the years, our LGBT foster carers and adopters have helped to transform many children’s lives. We welcome more applications from LGBT foster carers and adopters; the main thing is [giving] children and young people the care and support they need to be happy and fulfilled.”

In a survey conducted by organisers of the week, round three-quarters of social workers considered the “amount of energy and enthusiasm” LGBT adopters bring to the process to be a significant strength and agreed that “openness to difference, and supporting a child with a sense of difference” was equally important.

Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, said, “The fact that so many agencies want to recruit from the LGBT community show just how far things have come in the past 5 or 6 years.  Social workers are becoming more aware of our strengths, and we are being treated more fairly, and are being matched with children more quickly”.

The LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week includes eighteen official events around the UK hosted by local adoption and fostering agencies, with the aim of getting more LGBT individuals to apply. As more LGBT families look to create families by adoption or fostering, the events aim to help prospective parents to see how much advice and support is on offer.

Attendees will hear talks from local LGBT adoptive and foster parents about their
own experiences and be able to obtain information on how to start the process.

Click here to find an event near you. As well as the eighteen events on this list, there are others taking place independently – if you know of an event that’s not on the main list, please comment to let our other readers know!

Stupid Cupid?

13 Feb

If you’ve forgotten to buy your loved one a card this year, or have left it too late to post to your chosen Valentine, why not send them an e-card? Instead of the usual cheesy online offerings, CCK has a number of arty images from our online gallery which you can send with your own personal message. Let the newest object of your affection know how you feel, or bring a smile to the face of the long-term partner in your life. Send a free CCK e-card!

 

Click here to go the free e-card gallery!

The most romantic places to smooch

11 Feb

We’ve all got places we remember fondly. The town we had our first kiss, our first ‘dirty weekend’, our biggest romantic surprise. But where is the most romantically named place you’ve ever been to. Here at CCK, we’ve been looking for the cute, romantic spots to take your date this February the 14th. Why not head to Sweetheart Abbey (near Dumfries) for the beautiful architecture, or walk along Cupid’s Hill in Gwent. Here are our top three in pictures:

 

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Have you been to a place with a memorably romantic name? Or perhaps a slightly kinky one? Send us your pics at newsandfeatures@coffeecakeandkink.com.

Don’t say we never give you anything!

10 Feb
As Valentine’s is creeping up on us, and everyone is feeling the pinch from the economy, we thought a One Day Sale at CCK’s Kinky HQ would be the perfect antidote to any wintry grumbles. Come and visit the people behind the site, and grab a bargain for your Valentine while you’re at it!

We’ll have a tasting table laden with scrumptious chocolates, and a cornucopia of sale items to purchase at a significant discount – up to 75% off!. If you’d like to make your valentine’s day even more indulgent, pop in and checkout the Coffee Cake & Kink One Day Sale. Find directions & contact details here.

As Alana says, ‘Everyone deserves to feel special’.