Families, Pecking Orders and Fruitfulness

I hadn’t planned to have children, or even get married. I hadn’t had a positive experience of family, as you will have heard if you’ve read this far.  What I wanted more was to travel, see the world. Slash my way through rain forests, bury my toes in white sands and drink the water from a coconut slashed from high up in a palm tree by a loin clothed native.  Continue reading “Families, Pecking Orders and Fruitfulness”

“Oh, Lardy, Lardy” – in praise of fat

It’s cold. It may not have snowed here in London but when the sun disappears in the late afternoon, the chill ices into your bones. Middle daughter and I suffer from bad circulation that materialises in white fingertips when the temperature drops below 10C, and white toes when it hits minus figures. Thawing is mildly painful as the extremities turn bruising blue before returning to pink. Middle daughter doesn’t do hot either. She is a temperate child. The family GP, a pragmatist at the best of times, diagnosed a possible mild form of Raynaud’s syndrome where the arteries spasm and blood flow is reduced. His recommendation was that if I didn’t want surgery to cut the nerves in the back of my neck, then I should wear gloves, which I do – regularly. Continue reading ““Oh, Lardy, Lardy” – in praise of fat”

Spicing up an Anglo Dutch War

Great Britain has a long tradition of being at war with the Dutch. From 1652 to 1784 there were four wars and then more conflicts during the later Napoleonic era. As both nations were sea-faring and had economic policies bent on maximizing their global trade and accumulating gold and silver, their policies led to colonization and then to war, mainly with each other. The Dutch/Anglo relationship therefore has had its share of ups and downs but a strong bond was forged during and after the Second World War. Today, however we seem to be heading for another down after the shock result of the Brexit referendum and the UK’s desire to exit out of Europe. Continue reading “Spicing up an Anglo Dutch War”

Let Them Eat Cake – fast food from the days of the train

family-fruit-cake2I can’t be the only one to remember when British Rail used to sell rectangles of fruit cake wrapped in cellophane off the trolley to be accompanied by a stiff cup of builder’s tea? Continue reading “Let Them Eat Cake – fast food from the days of the train”