Brussels Calling

I’m waiting for my boys to come home from Brussels. They departed on a very early Eurostar train on Saturday. We saw a beautiful sunrise as we drove along the motorway to Ashford International, listening soberly to the radio with its half-hourly news bulletins still focusing on the recent attacks that had hit the Belgian capital. My boys have had … More Brussels Calling

Malawi Beckons

What do I know of Africa? A short week-long visit to a primary school in the Kasungu district of Malawi is all that I can claim. But it was full of newness, strangeness and warmth, and left a colourful mish-mash of impressions that crowded my head when I arrived home (just in time for the awkward excesses of Christmas). That was … More Malawi Beckons

A Woman in Dunkirk

8th March 2016: International Women’s Day.  This fixed date has been observed every year since the United Nations established it in 1975, and called on Member States to recognise women’s rights. But the Day’s beginnings lie much earlier in the 20th century, in the efforts of various workers’ organisations across North America and Europe to promote women’s rights (more here). In some countries the day … More A Woman in Dunkirk

Fortifying Photo Post

When your morning greets you like this: …there’s nothing for it but to Seize the Day…(once I’ve dispatched the kids). At first my feet stick in the claggy legacy of a recent lashing of wind and rain: But thankfully Knole Park’s long shadow-patterned paths are drying quickly in the morning sun. White aeroplanes glide easily across the bright … More Fortifying Photo Post

Elizabeth David, Chocolate Cake and Garlic

In 1951 Elizabeth David wrote, “Good food is always a trouble and its preparation should be regarded as a labour of love.” I read this in the introduction to David’s book, French Country Cooking, before turning further pages in search of her famously flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake, a moist, elegant and subtly simple creation. My beautiful old book is bespattered with the … More Elizabeth David, Chocolate Cake and Garlic