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Showing posts from March, 2013

Snow and Snowdon

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A couple of weeks full of family and travel and no blogging!  This last week we have had younger son and his wife here with their black labrador.  Son and his wife are both keen cooks and lots of fabulous food has been cooked and eaten.  It has been great just to have time to catch up and to chat, to sit by the woodburner and drink tea and wine and talk and read and snooze.

Chris has never been up Snowdon so on Tuesday we decided to have a go.  Snowdon, for anyone reading outside the UK, is the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres or 3,560 feet.  If you live in a mountainous part of the world this might not sound like a big deal but Snowdon is a true mountain, the highest in the UK outside of Scotland, and people die on it every year, mostly by making mistakes about weather conditions.  In fact there was a rescue only yesterday.

The Welsh name, Yr Wyddfa, means the tumulus.  The mountain is within the Snowdonia National Park, a spectacular mix of lakes and mountains and coast.  I…

Baking a memory

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Last week my beloved elder daughter and her little boy came to stay for a few days.  Joseph is three and one of the things you should do with a three year old (or a seven or a ten year old for that matter) is to cook.  Cooking and baking are important to me and to our family.  I love to see children learning confidence in the kitchen, doing something real and proudly sharing and eating the results.  Older grandson who is now seven loves to bake with me and has a particular weakness for uncooked cake mixture.  I don't often have the chance to bake with younger grandson who doesn't live as close.  So it was time to get ready for a session making gingerbread.


Aprons on first, Joseph delightedly recognising the very hungry caterpillar.


Get the cooking stool in place by the worktop.


What recipe shall we use?  This time it is daughter's turn to exclaim with delight.  It is the Ladybird "We can Cook" book which she and her brother cooked their way through more than twen…

Thinking about St David's Day

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1st of March is the day for St David, Dewi Sant, the patron saint of Wales.  There are daffodils in the lapels of newsreaders and weather forecasters on Welsh TV.  "We had bara brith at school today" my nine year old neighbour told me this afternoon.  I like the fact that the day is celebrated throughout Wales but it has set me thinking about nationality and belonging. I wonder whether my own pretty lax sense of national pride is typical of my background and generation or comes from my rather peripatic upbringing.  I would love to know what you think.

I live in Wales.  I love the place I live in and I do recognise a distinct nation in Wales.  That is partly language, partly history and partly the stunning geography of the place.  I speak Welsh (not tremendously well but well enough to want to lay claim to it).  I decided to learn Welsh when we came to live here because it seemed to me that I would live on the surface of the country if I had no understanding of its culture a…