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From Senegal 12th April – 8 Hour Delay, Immigration and Spaghetti Carbonara

1. Left Dakar at 00.50am, into Lisbon on time but an eight hour delay at Lisbon – but you know me! That gave me hours of uninterrupted reading time! Nearly finished ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – an unforgettable and beautifully written story.

'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2. Lucy went through immigration ahead of us and by the time we were through, she had all the cases loaded onto a trolley. Brilliant.

3. We were so late back that the Grandbabies were both in bed but Mr Rice made us his signature Spaghetti Carbonara for supper, delicious!

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in books, family, Food, travel

 

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Senegal 7th April – Weaver Birds, Newest Grandchild, Glasses of Tea and Sky on Fire

Yes, I know that’s four things. It’s so hard to keep to three from our trip to Senegal!

1   The garden, full of bamboo, bougainvillea and many other flowers, attracts lots of birds. The Weaver Birds love the bamboo which they tear off in strips for their nests, the Sunbirds come for the nectar and to spread their wings in sunny spots and the Bulbuls do their courting here! All the time there are Black Kites wheeling about overhead. Lucy, before we came, also saw Egrets and a flock of Pelicans!

Weaver Bird with Bamboo strip

Weaver Bird with Sunbird on left

Sunbird sunning her wings

Black Kite

2  Ndeye Marie was delighted with her chunky coloured crayons and paper and immediately started practising her letters.

Crayon Fun

I also read Eric Carle’s ‘The Very lonely Firefly’, translating it into French as I went along, to Ndeye Marie, our newest Grandchild – what joy!

Reading to Ndeye Marie

3  Mr S and I went down to Ami’s family home to see the hired chairs being hauled up onto the roof for the Wedding tomorrow. Some family were having tea outside and invited us to join them in true Senegalese fashion. The mint tea in tiny glasses was very hot, very sweet and beautifully minty.

Ousseynou making tea

4  The sky at sunset

The Sky over Pikine

 

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Sally-Boots, The Heligan Giant and Swish

1   I finished the Sally-boots for Dan’s new daughter just as he finished our fence. We all feel pleased.

Sally-boots

2   Lucy has been working in the Lost Gardens of Heligan helping to restore The Heligan Giant with the sculptors, Sue Hill and her brother, Pete.

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3   Went to the Swish at Krowji with Lucy this evening and we both found things we can wear in Senegal. A Swish, for those who don’t know is a clothes swap.

 

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Well-being, Jewel Cookies and La Fete du Muguet

Well-being, Jewel Cookies and La Fete du Muguet

1  This morning I woke up feeling well! It has been a horrid few days feeling the effects of all the vaccines we’ve had for our trip to Senegal, so M.Eish – no energy, cotton-wool brain, muscle pains and general malaise -so quite scary. I’ve had my share of that so it was wonderful to wake up feeling good!

2   I’ve baked some Jewel Cookies.    I found the recipe on a delightful blog by Go Bake Yourself which sent me back to http://www.ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.co.uk/ for the original recipe called Lemon and Polenta Cookies. They’ve gone down very well with Mr S and Lucy.

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3  I’ve planted some Lily-of-the-valley for my beautiful friend Kath who died last year.  It is a tradition in France  to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley (“muguet” in French) to loved ones on the 1st of May which is a Public Holiday in France, officially known as La Fête du Travail (National Labour Day) but also called La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day).

Kath and Charlie loved France, had a home in Meyssac in the South and not a year went by when she either gave me a card depicting the flowers or a homegrown bunch, on one occasion bringing them all the way on the train from Yorkshire when we met up in London for a few precious hours.  Now Kath has her own special place in my garden as well as, always, in my heart.

 
 

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Grandbabies, Lucy and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

1  Delighted chuckles of Jake and Tabitha playing on the blown up bed as it was deflated this morning.

2  Lucy’s stories of her trek up to Everest Base Camp.

3  KJ made Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Meat Loaf for supper and it was delicious.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Paolo Nutini, Flowers in a Boat and Traveller Returns

1. Listening to Paolo Nutini on the journey up to London and these words stayed in my mind: “If you love the life you live, you’ll get a lot more done.”

Paolo Nutini

2. On Saltash Station there’s an old rowing boat full of Spring flowers, quite delightful.

3  Lucy has landed! Home from the trek up to Everset Base Camp.

I can’t work out how to put up photos from my iPad so they’ll all have to wait until we get home.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Gilgamesh, Twins and a Black Cat

1  Today I came across a scrap of paper on which I had written down something I heard on the radio and loved. Checking it out, I find it is from an ancient Iraqi poem, “Gilgamesh”:

” Let your every day be full of joy, love the child that holds your hand, let your wife delight in your embrace, for these alone are the concerns of humanity.”

I found this fuller explanation online: ‘Reflecting on the death of his friend, Gilgamesh decides to search for the key to eternal life, an ultimately futile quest. “Gilgamesh, what you seek you will never find. For when the Gods created Man they let death be his lot, eternal life they withheld. Let your every day be full of joy, love the child that holds your hand, let your wife delight in your embrace, for these alone are the concerns of humanity.”‘

2  Also came across this very old and much loved photo of my twins (sorting again!)

Lucy and Daniel

3  This lovely sleek cat joins us in the garden quite often and reminds me of my growing up days when we always had much-loved cats.

The Neighbourhood Cat

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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