Saturday, 26 March 2011

7 Quick Takes


Okay, technically it's Saturday and all of my family are around but Jen did namecheck me and all so I thought I should post :-) We're having spring weather in the UK now, so I've been appreciating the sunshine and warmth and cherry tree blossom. But no, we don't have a porch, and I guess I do have this idyllic image of sitting on a southern porch drinking iced tea in the sunshine. (Where the kids are in this image, I don't know!) My husband and I did a flydrive around California-Arizona-Utah-Nevada for our honeymoon, and I think our love of the Little House series will take us to the prairie someday, but the images I have of the southern states from books, theatre, film and TV have a special allure.


Although it's both spring and springlike here, we've still been sticking to a simple Lenten dinner menu which this week has included Mexican wraps, omelettes and soup. I was inspired by one of my favourite blogs the Little House That Grew to make minestrone soup for the first time, and it was delicious! There's just something about a warming pot of soup with a hunk of bread that says home, I think.


We also held baby Rebecca's baptism on the first official day of spring here in the UK. It was a tad odd rejoicing in Lent (especially having a supper of delicious christening cake as obviously I forgot to eat any of the buffet) but as I've said before, her godfather also happens to have his own church services to host so we were limited for dates. It was an amazing day; our extended family are largely non-believers but we had so many of our church family there, plus friends from other churches (Methodist, Baptist, Catholic.) As someone posted on my Facebook, it was a church full of love!


For my assignment this month, I'm writing on Calvin, the Trinity and the Eucharist, transubstantiation (and otherwise). It's a tricky fish. Calvin's 'Institutes' are online and whether you agree with what he writes or not, you can't say he doesn't put forward a detailed and intricate argument! For me, it's of huge interest to read where Protestant reformation thinking began to diverge from existing church beliefs. I really hope to finish the essay before the school term finishes!


I had a whole day without the girls this week. I was so excited! More so than somebody should be about visiting 5 English churches on a bus tour. Lots of people were laughing at me. But I'm a history geek. Not to mention a church geek. And we saw some amazing places, inside and out. The oldest part of one building was from Norman times; an old monastery from the 11th century. And there was a vast Methodist building with school and community rooms and a seating area like a huge boat! I'm looking forward to doing the assignment on this church history module.


My husband and I have been exhausted this week. After a teething baby and her baptism at the weekend, we've had our middle daughter with an ear infection and our elder daughter sprained her ankle so badly it needed an x-ray to check it wasn't a break. I made singing practice (we're doing Vivaldi's Gloria and Bruckner's Ave Maria, which is a lovely sung Hail Mary - so restorative), but missed my Lent group. Though pulled it together to enjoy a meal at one of our favourite restaurants - a shared cold meat platter, 2 boeuf bourgignons with garlic mash and a shared piece of chocolate and chili cake with coffee. Nice to splurge; it's our first time we have had babysitters at home with our 8 month old baby! I fell asleep sitting up three times on the sofa after we got back though :-)


The meal described above isn't something we'd usually have during this Lent, especially on Fridays which are always fish days (we do Meat Free Mondays too.) Whether it's a prawn stir fry, fish pie or scampi and fries, on Fridays we have a fishy meal. Sometimes as a treat we go to the fish and chip shop and have takeaway fish and chips - I hope to do this on the last Friday of school before Easter. Now, I was always under the impression that fish and chips was a peculiarly British phenomenon. But it strikes me, after reading Rachel Campos Duffy on the popularity of it in Wisconsin, that the US fish fry is remarkably similar, especially due to its popularity on Fridays. Here in the UK, despite increasing secularism, hordes of people still flock to the chippy for their fried fish and chips on a Friday. Going to a restaurant for fish fry on a Friday night is less of a tradition, however. MMM...perhaps I'll have to take the kids out on occasional Fridays from now on, especially during Lent!


Thanks to Jen @Conversion Diary, including for the drive of blog traffic!


  1. yum- fish and chips and vinegar!

  2. Fish and chips and vinegar and mushy peas for me - what I lived on during the first few months of my last pregnancy - poor baby!