The Chocolate Challenge

No, it is not a competition to see who can eat the most chocolate biscuits during an episode of Eastenders. Nor who can name the most different types of chocolate bar on our supermarket shelves. Neither is it a pledge to go without chocolate for a whole day.
This week, the Archbishop of York, Dr John […]

Amazing Grace

Before I forget, the organic re-education is still going strong. Less negative comments now by far.
Noticed in Asda today that Billingtons are now producing Fair Trade raw cane sugar from Malawi. A good start.
It reminded me of the scene in “Amazing Grace” where Wilberforce’s wife-to-be is explaining that she converted her friends to fair trade […]

The Great African Scandal

Firstly, just to assure you that Organic Re-education Step One is still progressing: organic chips and organic ketchup went down very well, accompanied by Youngs responsible Pollock nuggets!
I watched The Great African Scandal on Channel Four last night - with the blessed advantage of TVDrive so I could fast forward through all the sections where […]

Material Concerns

For my fortieth birthday, my husband gave me a Bible and a tattoo (not literally, of course - he faints at the sight of needles!). IMHO, the two are not mutually exclusive, although some seem to think so. I have never had Leviticus quoted at me so often as then (”Do not cut your bodies […]


How is it that right now, a week after the start of term, it feels more exhausting the kids being back to school than it did before? Is it assimilating all the new routines - which day is swimming, PE, library….? Is it finding time to take back the new bag with the split seam […]

The Football Factory

Every little boy wants to be a footballer when he grows up. Every parent wants their son to be a professional footballer. Don’t they?
I didn’t think I did until we were approached three years ago by a Sunderland AFC scout about our son. I can still remember how excited I was, what dreams I had, […]

Gullible’s World

My boys tell me that gullible is the only English word not to appear in the dictionary. I don’t know why. It gets used in our house to describe me all the time.
I consider gullibility an endearing feature. It shows a trust in people, a faith in humankind, a lack of the destroying cynicism that […]

Just a spoonful of sugar…

“Just a spoonful of Fairtrade sugar makes the world a fairer place.” according to the Fairtrade Foundation. I don’t know about just a spoonful - since I’ve been baking regularly, I’ve been getting through sugar mountains. All sorts - raw cane, golden caster, Demerara, Muscovado - in all sorts of yummy recipes (see below*).
During the […]


For some unknown reason, I don’t believe my eleven year old son has had a single mention in my ramblings to date. Sorry mate.
Reflecting on this, I think it’s because he generally keeps his head down and keeps his comments to himself, not like most of the other members of this family!
It’s not always been […]

Back to Africa

If the title implies I have already visited Africa, then I’m sorry - it’s more that I’m turning my thoughts back there. I am not one of those people that suffers from wanderlust and feels the need to travel the world, taking in diverse cultures, natural wonders, new experiences….. I have no desire to see […]