Saturday, 11 December 2010


I love cooking. Most of the time. Sometimes I wish someone would just serve up a plate in front of me. But I do love cooking.
When I cook I think, I daydream. It's a bit like having a bath, the way I let my mind wander I mean. Because I don't really have to think about it. It just sort of happens.
And there's nothing better than cooking with my son. Tonight he has chosen the herbs to go into our meal. I have no idea what our dinner will taste like because he had complete control of the herbs (smells good though!). Well I suppose I did tell him to be sparing with the celery salt!
I learned to cook through watching my parents. My dad is the son of a baker and all his family apparently cooked well. Dad taught me how to make soups, roast dinners, macaroni cheese, lasagne, bolognese, shepherd's pie, bread... anything as long as it was savoury. Dad taught me how to season without a recipe, how to taste and add more and that you can't take it out once it's gone in.
My mum showed me how to make cakes, biscuits and desserts. I love cooking these things. They're a treat. It's not something I cook every day so it's a welcome change. Every Christmas when I was little my dad's dad would make the Christmas cake and Mum would ice it.
So now I'm grown up I really want to share that passion with my son. I'm sad my husband isn't that fussed about cooking. It's his choice but it's a great enthusiasm to have. My son seems to be very excited about cooking but he's only young. I hope I can foster that interest he shares and that he doesn't lose it as he grows up.
And the dinner? It was perfect!

Equality in the home
Relaxing Times
A lovely weekend
The Missing Child

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Coalition

Doesn't anyone understand? Whether you voted red, green, yellow or blue we didn't get what voted for because noone had enough confidence in any party. This is a coalition - a compromise and neither the blues nor the yellows can get everything they want - no matter what their pre-election manifesto was.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Social Networking

I'm quite a big fan of social networking. My husband's really perfected the art but I have to admit I was the first of us to try out Facebook. I like to post the odd status - some days I post nothing, other days a fair bit. I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn and I use all three slightly differently.

I like to see what my old classmates are up to these days. I like to hear that someone just got married, had a baby or suddenly changed career path. Some people I speak to once a year, others almost daily. It depends whether I have anything to say. Or not.

But it also depends on what someone else has to say to me. Take today: after I quoted something really funny my son had said to me on the way home from school I had quite a lengthy conversation with a friend about nativity plays then someone else wrote me a personal message, completely unrelated to the topic in hand, at the bottom of that conversation.

Fortunately I was able to remove that message before too many people saw it because, out of context, other people's interpretation of it could have been detrimental to me. It would have been awful though to switch off for 6 weeks and come back to find that message plastered there for any of my connections to see.

For years we've been told don't write down anything which you would not want the world to see but it becomes difficult to control if someone else is doing the writing. People need to think before they write: not just "Would I like anyone else to see this?" but "Would the person I am writing this to want it written publicly or personally?"

Responsible social networking is a lot more sophisticated than owning a computer with internet access. It is not as easy to gauge as face-to-face or telephone communication. But it also isn't that difficult to stop and think before we post about the consequences of our words upon others' feelings.

Equality in the home

Heidi Cohen: Social Media's 10 Commandments
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