Advice Safe

cropped-pregnancy-test.jpgOut of the Blue

My daughter pushed her way into my world.  I had not decided to have her, but she was ready, and so she came.  I leant against the cool plastic of the public toilet and looked again at the blue mark telling me she was on her way. I called my mum, told her that I was pregnant and wailed that my life was over.

I sobbed and asked  ‘what am I going to do?’  She laughed and said, ‘have a baby,’

Thankfully my boyfriend and I had decided that our infatuation was more than we had intended. At the looming reality of being separated by passport status, we had decided to commit and get married. It was not a romantic proposal, I’m still waiting, rather a reaction from two people who had found the fairytale but needed to fight for the Happy Ever After. We had planned to travel the world for a bit, I think we were going to drop in America somewhere and make our way from there or was it Canada? I can’t remember much about our plans, they were vague, exciting and free.  I do remember I had given in my notice to work and having a baby was not on the itinerary.cropped-30516035_1613639245358059_3609926824106131456_o.jpg

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Campfire story

cropped-20180401_150935-2.jpgOMG I am in Paris

I have just woken up and automatically reach for my phone. I search in the dark, something falls to the ground and fills the room with its annoyance at being disturbed. No phone.  My brain catches up, this isn’t your bedroom, you are in Paris, it reminds me with a sigh, I told you last night. 

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OMG I am in Paris, yes I remember looking up and seeing wrought iron balconies bursting with flowers as I left the Metro.

I remember, get out of bed and stumble around the room, banging my legs, tripping, arms outstretched. I do not know this space so slow down and feel for the walls. I now know where my phone is, I remember telling my husband to plug it in, to recharge.  It is by the coffee machine, I watched him do it before I fell back to a jet-lagged sleep on a turquoise bedspread. My stomach full of red wine, pasta, truffle, pizza, meringue cheese, cream, sponge, cocktails, I had been greedy, I am in Paris and could not decide on just one thing. Continue reading “Campfire story”

Advice Safe

cropped-drift-wood-3.jpgIs lying to your children OK?

I overheard a mother telling her young child, who was having a tantrum, that she was going to leave the store and that the manager would put her in a room on her own.  Now no judging here, I have made plenty of ………….or else statements, it did, however, make me think about how we routinely lie to our children.

What about the small lies we tell as a tool to make children comply.  Is it OK?  Don’t lie! or your nose will grow, finish your crusts they make your hair curly, don’t pick your nose or your brains will fall out. I’m going to find a policeman, Santa is watching you, you better be good.  Are we taking the easy road on a very hard journey?   Is telling a child they must not eat cake before bedtime as it will give them nightmares better than saying, No it is unhealthy? There’s even a term for the white lie approach, it’s called Pinocchio Parenting.

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But if we lie to our children, won’t they think lying is OK??
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Pro chef – Kitchen tips

cropped-p1130373-2.jpgOne Day Children you might thank me!!

I quite often do things in the kitchen without thought, because it was part of my training, so am often surprised when someone watching comments, ‘that’s a good idea’ or asks ‘why do you do that?’  I thought I might jot these things down, bring them home and leave them here. You never know, one day children you might need to know how to julienne a mango or make a choux pastry swan.  These impromptu tips will appear as I fill a page in my notebook.

how to clean mushrooms

Do not wash button mushrooms,  wipe them with a damp kitchen towel.  Continue reading “Pro chef – Kitchen tips”

Advice Safe

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Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

My husband is a New Zealander.  The Kiwis love their land, like the Irish, they almost always return to their birthplace, if they ever leave in the first place.  I am English and proud of my heritage, I love my people more than my land.  It is a subtle difference.

My son is travelling back to London, then on to Paris to compete under the silver fern in a black singlet.  He was born in the UK.

Being British means different things to different people, I think it is these millions of bits of different, that creates the pattern of my country. Personally, I love my Queen, our shared rich and violent history, the grey manic cities and public transport of home.  I love the rolling green hills, beautiful autumn changes, seaside towns filled with ice cream, fish and chips and rolled up trousers.  I love the pomp and ceremony, the stiff upper lip and diversity of the people and the central heating.

My son does not remember most of theses things.

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The green folder

cropped-sweet-corn-png-transparent-image.pngSweetcorn – super cob

I grew sweetcorn in the garden when the children were young.  There is something inspiring about planting a tiny kernel and watching it grow so tall.  Sweetcorn requires little care and you are rewarded with the main cobs and tiny offshoots of baby corn. Apart from the messy husks and the furious flossing after eating, I still love eating sweetcorn like a beaver, as I did back then.  I smile when I pull open those husks to find the glass beads of yellow and remember.

INTERESTING FACT
When you cook corn antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease, is actually increased.  Don’t write off the tinned or frozen  stuff either, evidence suggests this is just as good, so eat it out of season, its just as nutritious.

corn.jpgBecause sweetcorn is so delicious on its own, I fear it is left naked on the plate, apart from a thin negligee of butter, most of the time.  Give this sweet starchy vegetable another look, let the little gold nuggets shine in other ways.  Oh and do not be afraid of the starch,  an ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar, makes you think. Continue reading “The green folder”

Campfire Stories

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Just Another Head Magnet Day – in my native tongue

NOGGIN – nutconk – melon – noodle – block –loaf of bread – uncle Ned – LUMP OF LEAD

I would say I have an average sized head,  so I am not sure why things keep hitting it.

East London, I went out to admire a full moon from my parents suburban garden. A bat flew into my Loaf.  We were both a little stunned.  I had never, ever seen a bat in the London skies before.

Walking my kids to school in Essex, I turned the corner and foam, from the top of a window cleaners soapy bucket, caught the breeze and gave me a bubble afro. The guy nearly fell off the ladder laughing.  He could have hit his Noodle.

“That was Donkeys Years ago.”

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The Green Folder

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A Healthy, Tasty, Veggie Bowl that delivers

This bowl of colour flew out last week, my Bibimbap hybrid.  The classic Korean dish is new to me, I have never really been a big fan of Korean cuisine I had a very bad experience with a bowl of broth made from Ox blood punctuated with shots of soju once, I can not talk about it! Bibimbap literally means mixed rice in Korean. When I first looked at a traditional home-style recipe I have to say I was a little overwhelmed by the list of ingredients a couple of which I vaguely knew and the various methods of cooking which spanned three pages. It just all looked like too much effort for some meat and veg on rice.

A colleague generously bought me a bowl from her local source so I had a reference.  She makes it at home as a go to dinner and is the one who pointed me in the right direction. I first tasted all the components separately, the version I had contained beef so that was out for me if I am honest I was underwhelmed but mixed together with a little spice, topped with a warm fried egg everything changed and I could see the potential.

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