Digital Life(style)

I bought a @Fairphone #wearefairphone


I knew I was about due the end of my contract with Three, and I’ve had days where I’ve loved my Samsung S3, and days when I haven’t, but I’m guessing no phone is perfect. Was getting excited about the idea of the Samsung S5 as apparently they’d improved loads of things on it, particularly the battery life! However, last year I became vaguely aware of the @Fairphone, and as I often make mention of how to behave ethically/morally online, it’s made me think a lot more about what I own in the electronics sphere (to be honest, don’t own a great deal of other “stuff” of any value), so I started to think about it. Then at #TDC14 the other week, there was a speaker talking about the wars in the Congo – and that most of them are down to fighting over the minerals in mobile phones – so people are dying for our technology.

I need a really good phone as so much of my job is reliant upon digital, so I was nervous about going to such a small brand, but a few more tech-savvy friends (I’m more of the ‘Can I do this with it? Great! Can you do it?’ school when it comes to digital – although there’s an increasing number of tools that are easy to use, and those I work with too) about the spec, and it was said to be at least as good as the S3, probably better – and it’s dual-SIM – maybe I can get an extra SIM card and then have a mobile number to give out for work – I like to impose boundaries on at least some of my tech. Walking into the Three store – one of their staff hadn’t heard of it – looked it up – and said it was a good spec – so now moved to a SIM only deal. Financially, this will work out about £200 cheaper overall once I’ve used the Fairphone for a couple of years … and it appears my “old” phone is still worth about £100 on ebay! I have asked around on Twitter/Facebook quite a lot recently – and people who have them all seem really pleased with them … so an even bigger number of us appear to be diving in this year …  There are 35,000 phones being manufactured ready for July 2014 – right now 13,034 have been sold. 

Ethical Superstore has written a piece on this, ending:

Buying electronics should be no different to buying coffee or tea. If we want to see a fairer world, we need to support the companies that are working to make that happen. Through our purchasing decisions we provide the demand that allows these companies to grow. As consumers we can vote with our wallets…we just need to make sure we vote for the change we want to see.

and Rankabrand defines it as the most environmentally sustainable phone… and most of its sales seems to be on word-of-mouth. Am committed now, so…


Chocolate Calorie Cake

A sure-fire winner with everyone (especially me on My Birthday… yes, it’s my birthday today!)!


  • 1/2 pat butter (butter/margarine mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dessert-spoon drinking chocolate powder

Meltall the above ingredients down in a large saucepan, on the lowest heat possible. SUGGESTION: Towards the end of melting time, try adding Maltesers!


  • about 3/4 large packet of digestive biscuits

Bash them up, and stir in until liquid is no longer sticking to the sides.

Butter a medium sized baking/roasting tray (any shape), and throw the mixture in. Flatten with the back of a spoon.


  • A 200g bar of FAIR TRADE milk chocolate (or more if you wish).

Melt it for a couple of minutes (max) in the microwave, and spread over the top.

Allow the chocolate to set (it can be placed in the freezer if you wish it to take less time!)

The cake is then ready to eat: Beware, it’s very rich!

This recipe is great for any occasion, it is quick to thrown together, and is not too expensive! You can experiment with other than digestives. I’ve tried Rich Tea biscuits, and my mother likes muesli. We have also tried the added ingredient of Maltesers – that works pretty well. Tell me your ideas.

e=mc2: Elation = Munching x Chocolate 2 !!!!!


Banana Cake

  • Large ripe FAIR TRADE bananas x 3 (When mashed, there should be 12 fl oz.)
  • 375g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 125ml Vegetable Oil
  • 200g Granulated sugar (unrefined)
  • 100g Soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Flavouring
  • Tbsp Lemon Juice

Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas 4).

Take 2 loaf tins, or a couple of bun tins and wipe with butter, then sprinkle with flour. (Or line with foil)

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until just mixed. Add the oil, sugars, vanilla, lemon juice, and mashed bananas.

Pour three-quarters of the banana mixture into the well in the flour, and stir with a rubber spatula.

Gradually draw in the dry ingredients, adding the remaining banana mixture, and stirring to make a smooth batter.
TAKE CARE: Do not overstir the batter or the bread will be heavy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tins. The tins should be about half full.

Bake the loaves in the heated oven until the loaves start to shrink from the sides of the tins and a metal skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, 40-60 minutes.

Let the loaves cool, then you can eat!


Supporting British Farmers

The supermarkets are now stocking more and more Organic, Fair Trade and Local items. Fair trade items include coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, geobars. Keep your eyes peeled for other items! Also look at buying items locally at Farmers Markets (Hampshire) or through Organic Doorstop Delivery Schemes, including:

Check Big Barn for local producers.


General Links (Fair Trade)

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