Friday, 26 March 2010

a country mouse tries to be good

I do try to be good, but I've always loved the thrill of skipping something that I should really be doing. I'm always looking for a partner in crime too and now I've found one: my daughter. She was only too happy to skip nursery on the first sunny day after the snow to head for the beach at Lunderston Bay. We giggled and guddled and just generally had a ball, then went to the cafe for juice and a biscuit. A golden day.Tea this evening was Sophie Dahl's chicken stew with fennel and green olives, which I have made many times before and written about on this blog. I made it in a spirit of solidarity with poor Sophie, who is being pilloried at the moment for daring to have a cooking show. I haven't actually seen the programme yet but I'm a big fan of her cookery book, Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights. The gripe seems to be oh she's a "big" model, she's not a chef, what does she know about food except for how to eat lots of it, and other such nastiness. Well, anyone who can dream up that chicken stew is a cook as far as I'm concerned. We had it with the homemade bread, below, inspired by the bread baking feature in Country Living this month.
Still on the subject of eating, the photo below shows the wonderful spread of homebaking made by my friend Sally to raise money for Shelter. The event was called Cake Time so there was a good turnout of cake-loving mums eager to do our bit for a good cause by scoffing everything on this table.
I was in the mood for more worthy charity-related deeds when I came across Kiva ( What an amazing idea. You and other charitably inclined people lend a sum of money, at least $25 to "the working poor" of various struggling countries and they use it to fund the set up or expansion of their businesses. They pay it back every month and then once you have your money back (default rate is something unbelievably tiny) you can either have it paid back to your bank account or re-lend it to another entrepreneur. You choose your entrepreneur from a really detailed list so you can choose something that is meaningful for you and that you would particularly like to support.

Country Mouse is now an international financier, having lent to a group of women with a sewing business and a timber selling business. This link tells you a bit about the women and what they do: Humbling stuff.

I promise to stop being worthy now, right after I've reminded you about the WWF Earth Hour on Saturday 27 March, when we switch off our lights for an hour. Sign up at

Is that enough compensating for my Ferris Bueller day at the beach? Back to being a naughty little mouse again tomorrow.


  1. Never feel guilty about taking a secret day off. Life is too short - just enjoy it :o)

  2. Being good is overated! And what did you think of Sophie's show now it's been broadcast? x

  3. Good for you for choosing to have fun with your daughter! Hope spring has come your way and you can enjoy more leisulely days!

  4. fortunately, when my two were small nursery was limited and very much optional. You do need to spend time together!