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Showing posts from February, 2016

Running amok

“I don’t feel like doing anything tomorrow,” sighed our templed-out eight year old, just four days into our 2-week holiday in Cambodia. Bundling her out of bed at 7am to take a dusty, bumpy road 16km out of Siem Reap for a day in a rural village, I started to think I’d pushed her too far. How wrong I’d be. 
It was part thanks to our brilliant guide Lee Chhun Han, 28, originally from Kompong Cham province, now living in Siem Reap. His novice Buddhist monk training has clearly given him ample patience and compassion to deal with our tired, overwrought daughter. Before long, the early start and lack of morning tv was behind her as Lee bamboozled Alethea with facts and figures about his home country. 
First stop was the local market, not a tourist in sight, just rows of women traders crouched on the floor selling their colourful wares; from rambutans and palm sugar, to homeware and secondhand clothes, all vying for a lucky pinch of the awkward blond child walking penguin-like among them.…

Waste of time?

We made it to the end of January! If you’d spied our happy family in Aldi today as we ended our store cupboard challenge, you could’ve mistaken us for food tourists in some far-flung supermarket, staring in awe at the endless aisles of consumables.
While our store cupboard is far from empty, we’ve made a fair dent in it. It’s apparent which staples we favour: flour, oats, rice, noodles, pasta, quinoa, baked beans and which are the one-off impulse buys: looking at you pureed pumpkin and black beluga lentils. When we ran out of sandwich fillings we collectively decided ‘time was up’ – there are only so many tinned fish sandwiches a schoolgirl can take.
So what have been the positives to take from this challenge? It’s been fun and educational, most of all for our daughter, who’s seen what a bit of culinary creativity can produce, how to cut down on food waste and save money. Meal planning is now all about ‘what needs eating up?’ – a refreshing change to ‘what shall I pick up on the way h…