Paddington – please look after this illegal immigrant

The other Tuesday, the 27th June to be precise, the radio told me that Michael Bond had died.  Being the author and creator of my childhood favourite, Paddington Bear, I was sad.  It’s a natural thing to do when someone creative or clever or wise has passed on.

But then hearing he was a hearty 91 when he died, my emotion moved into one of gladness that he’d lived a long and full life and had passed on something very precious to us.  I hadn’t realised quite how precious until I heard the radio programme explain where his inspiration had come for that most polite, yet downright chaotic, bear. Continue reading

Lemon & Honey Ice-cream recipe

Years ago a friend of mine gave me a recipe for the most delicious and unbelievably easy-to-make dessert.  I have served it up countless times and every time without fail it has been received with large amounts of “oohs” and “mmms”.  Then follows my fun quiz when I ask them to guess what’s in it.  People usually come up with one ingredient but rarely all 3, and invariably exclaim “No way!” when I tell them.

It takes all of about 5 minutes to make and not a whisk is involved.  What could be better?

Not surprisingly the recipe has gone all around the world after various lovely friends and family have eaten it and gone home with the recipe. I have one particular friend who sends me a text about twice a year, every year, asking me for the ingredients and which has become a bit of an in-joke.  She regularly has to entertain for her job as Headmaster’s wife and so it must have been served to countless private school parents and governors in Berkshire!

So it’s high time I posted the recipe on here.  Here it is:

Lemon & Honey Yoghurt Ice cream Continue reading

Uncommon Goods: a gem of a gift catalogue

If you’re like me, you’re probably going through a season where every birthday celebration is a ‘special’ one.  Up until recently, what was code for 40th is now beginning to be replaced by the unspeakable “50th” (hushed voice).  And then there’s the wedding anniversaries, with the odd actual wedding too.   At times like these, you really need something a bit different, something that little bit special.  If your friends are arty, like to recycle and love good quality craftmanship, then head over to Uncommon Goods. Continue reading

Child Mental Health: time for action is overdue

You may have picked up in the press that this week is Child Mental Health week.  It’s a subject close to my heart.  This isn’t because my children are suffering from serious mental ill health.  I admit that my daughter has been struggling with anxiety since starting secondary school but she isn’t mentally ill or in need of medical assistance –  yet.

No, it’s because I see the increasing pressure placed on children these days – in school and society – to be older than their years as a direct threat to their mental health.  Long term stress has been shown to be damaging to adults’ mental and physical health. The harm to children is expected to be even greater because childhood is meant to be a time for learning through play, fun, exploration and gradual learning of responsibility (see Save Childhood Movement‘s site for statistics and research). Continue reading

The time I mistook a bath bomb for a bon-bon….

Um, well, yes.  It’s true, I did.  It was actually back in November but life was so busy at the time I didn’t get a chance to blog about it.  Enough laughs were being had about it on Facebook amongst my friends to keep my feed very funny indeed.

But the event was so stomach-hurtingly funny, I just have to blog about it.  And what better day to write about it than a day when we all need something to make us smile: the day Mr Trump is inaugurated as President of the US.  As if mid-January wasn’t bad enough, we have the world’s most disrespectful, brash, divisive quasi-politician becoming the most powerful man in the world. I actually feel mildly sick, tempered with some vague hope that it won’t be as bad as we all fear….(that optimist in me will always win out).

But forget all that.  Ready for a laugh?  Then I’ll begin. Continue reading