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Trying to find our way in life, with a bit of baking along the way
Recent Activity
A couple of months ago I moved to the gender equality unit of the European Commission, where some of my colleagues have been working hard on the issue of quotas for women on boards of companies for a long long time. The Commission was due to take a decision about this yesterday, but this has been postponed.. whatever you think about the issue, this clip from the classic Yes Minister is worth a watch. As Viviane Reding once said "I'm not a fan of quotas, but I like the results they achieve..". Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at Baking stones and other things
9 months ago I wrote the post about childlessnes, and little did I know it at that point but one of the couples I had been praying for in church that day were newly pregnant and their little miracle has just arrived. Fantastic news :) Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at Baking stones and other things
Sitting in church on Sunday morning, for the celebration of two precious babies through their baptisms, I was aware of a) so so so many new babies in church and b) people in church who are not able (for all sorts of reasons) to have their own children. Having been in that place, I know that sometimes I felt so jealous of those around me looking after their newborns; but at other times I felt overjoyed in the birth of another. For me it depended partly on the day (and my emotional state!) and partly on my relationship with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2012 at Baking stones and other things
At the start of the new year we often make resolutions... I have just one this year and it is to stop trying (unsuccesfully) to have a 'quiet time' with God every day and instead aim for a 'still moment' in the midst of the busy-ness. In practice there is probably no difference between the two, but linguistically, a still moment sounds a lot more appealing! So we shall see if this works. Especially as I go back to office work for 2.5 days each week; no more being a housewife! Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2012 at Baking stones and other things
The Natwivity - to follow on Twitter or Facebook.. Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
For want of anywhere better to put it, I thought I'd start a Christmas list here - of presents I'd be happy to receive this year - just in case a Secret Santa might be looking :) A Mary Berry cake cookbook Cycling gloves (in the hope I might get back on my bike sometime!) "Death in Paradise" season 1 dvd "Sherlock" season 2 dvd Time Big soup/pasta bowls (for eating out of, not serving bowls) A big jigsaw A book of inspiring / "how to" sewing ideas River Cottage baby & toddler cookbook In fact, any River Cottage books..... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Yesterday we celebrated with many many people as Janice & Raj got married in Holy Trinity Brussels. As it is almost exactly four years since Jonathan and I got married there it was a lovely reminder for us of our marriage, not least as Jonathan was asked to do a reading on our behalf (I was nominated to hold the baby ;) – which was more or less the same reading we had at our wedding and from which we took the quote for our invitations: Love Deeply. It is from Romans 12, the version called the Message and goes... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
We seem to be the midst of a period of celebrating people around us which is rather special. It's a reminder of the good things of life and the joy that celebration brings, but as I prayed at Punita and Andrew's wedding, life isn't like that. Life is full of ordinariness and we sometimes forget that in the search for greatness and excitement. So to those of you (us) in the midst of the mundane, my prayer is that you would know the love of Jesus as you (we) strive to do our best for him in our ordinary life.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
As requested by a recent taster, the Good Housekeeping recipe for Rosemary Cake. 3 tender rosemary sprigs 175g unsalted butter (I use soy Marg) 175g caster sugar 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence 3 large eggs, beaten 225g self-raising White flour 30ml milk (I use soy) Grease and line a 15cm round tin. Preheat the oven to 180^C. Finely chop the rosemary leaves and put half in a bowl with the butter and sugar - beat until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, adding a little flour to prevent curdling. Sift the remainder of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
With thanks to Frederica Cards A host of angels A company of archers A knot of astrologers A thought of Barons A fighting of beggars A bench of Bishops A blush of boys A goring of butchers A crew of cameramen A drunkenship of cobblers A ring of conspirators A temperance of cooks A threatening of courtiers (!) A pack of cubs An incredibility of cuckolds A charge of curates A doctrine of doctors A confederacy of dunces A stalk of forresters A skulk of Friars A circle of friends AParty of guests A herd of harlots A melody of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Well, there will be more holidays I guess, but no more posts about them for the time being, except to say that we LOVED Portugal. Not just the lovely weather, but the friendly people and the general helpfulness all around. Starting with the fact that just about every set of steps anywhere had a matching ramp so making buggy (or wheelchair) access simple, to the desire to help you get where you want to go, to making you as a customer feel welcome, even if it means a bit of extra effort on the staff's part. Arriving back in Belgium... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Part two of our Portugese trip was to a lovely spot just outside Lagos, a couple of kilometres in from the coast and on a hilltop. We found Quinta da Alfarrobeira on the Responsible Travel website. Responsible Travel say on their website that: We believe responsible tourism is a better way to see the world. Not only do you get a more authentic experience, but your holiday benefits local people and the environment. Having now found four different holidays through them we can also say that we've been impressed with the level of care and just the quality of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
We're just back from two weeks in Portugal, part 1 was for the wedding of Jonathan's brother Andrew to the lovely Punita. My camera ran out of juice before I could get a picture of the beautiful couple in either of their stunning outfits - first Indian, then 'western', but here's a picture of us in our Indian gear at the wedding venue. It was overlooking the Med, an amazing spot. As Punita comes from a hindu family, the first part of the day was a (shortened) hindu wedding ceremony. Apparently these normally take anything from 3 hours to days... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
I keep being inspired. By things I hear on the radio (Radio 4 usually) or by things I notice little JJ growing into. But then I get to the computer and they all go out of my mind, so apologies for the lack of blog updates recently. Our little man is doing some magnificent growing, as of today he is 6080 grammes and 62cm long. The lady who measured him misread his record and thought that he'd grown 6cm in the past 2 weeks, in fact its still 2.5cm which I reckon is quite a bit. However, they do like... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
It's Belgian national day today - the flags are out, the army is parading in front of the king, there will be fireworks tonight, so of course it's also raining.. But there is a little festival going on just around the corner from where we live and this afternoon we managed to get there and see a little bit of a jazz group called Hans Mortelmans & Groep - a Flemish band with a nice relaxed feel. Unfortunately we only managed to see them play their last song "jazz in de benen" (jazz in the legs) but we enjoyed it,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
We've received some wonderful homemade presents for Joshua, here's a selection: Clockwise from the 'yummy, messy, more' box, they're made by Jo, nana (Mark), Polly, granny (Whittles), great granny Mark (who made this before she died for her first grandchild..), and nana Mark again. This from great-aunt Sue: and one each of these from Lois and Theo: Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
A bit of growing to be done me thinks... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
So having named our son Joshua, I decided it would probably be a good idea to re-read that book of the Bible.. Needless to say, I haven't managed to get very far yet, but the first chapter is full of the repeated command to 'be strong and courageous'. So as we try and work out how to be good parents, this is my prayer for us, but also my prayer for Joshua as he grows into a man, that he will always be strong and courageous, knowing the source of both of those to be a great big & loving... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Just sitting peacefully in the house when a loudspeaker disturbed the peace and quiet.. so naturally I opened the window to try to work out what was going on. Strawberries! That's what it was... a man with a van full of strawberries for sale, so I veritably skipped down the stairs to go out and get some. And heading there bumped into a neighbour from the other side of the street who Jonathan has spoken to but I've never chatted with so after 2 years I finally spoke to him! And we even decided to split a tray of strawberries... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
As you'll know if you ever watch or listen to the BBC, 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. While it is not my preferred version for reading the Bible, it was the first that I would have been able to read and I guess it was the beginning of the plethora of choice we have today. Here's a 3 minute poem that Glen Scrivener has put together celebrating just some of the phrases still in current use in English today, that stemmed from the KJV. The King's English Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Just a little warning that the blog might get even slower... the computer is now at the top of the house and it's getting harder and harder to get up the stairs :) Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
Tomorrow there's a referendum taking place in the UK. Nothing special, some people might think, but it's only the second in my lifetime and I don't remember the first (it was in 1975). It's about changing the way that Westminster elections are conducted. So, "At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?" is the question that will be on the ballot papers tomorrow. I voted last week by post. I don't really have anything to add in favour or against AV,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at Baking stones and other things
You've got to love this time of year in the garden and we love the roses that our predecessors planted - lots of lovely colours - and they do it all by themselves. Just about. A bit of pruning and a lot of aphid squishing is our minimal contribution to this glorious display. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at Baking stones and other things