Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Rights and Dignity of the Human Person and Family

Please GO OVER TO PHILIP’s BLOG and SIGN THE PETITION. It wont take you a minute. Don’t put it off or shrug about how what you have to say is meaningless in the fight for Life. We need to stand up for the rights of each person just to be allowed to live. We need to fight for the basic rights of the family; for parents to keep the right to have and educate their children.

As Christian’s it is time we fought back against those who want to see people killed because they are too young to speak out, and killing them because they are disabled.

I am stunned by the number of Catholics, let alone other Christians who simply don’t care about the number of people murdered in abortion or like Terri Shiavo are starved to death for being disabled. Then there’s the woman in Oregon told her insurance wont cover her cancer treatment but they will pay for a doctor to kill her!

Fr. Corapi produced a half hour video that all Catholics (and Americans) should see. It expounds upon what Bishop Rene H. Gracida just said boldly in a recent radio spot. (He is the Bishop that ordained Fr. Corapi a Deacon).

“This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate.”

Personally I find it difficult to understand how so many people who say they follow Christ can be so lacking in discernment, that they need to be told this again and again.

Fight for a dream

Finally, I think I may have some hope when it comes to my health situation. I put a formal complaint into the hospital where I had my MRI six years ago and after being messed about EVEN THEN my husband phoned someone in a posh office and suddenly the thing was found. My Chiropractor has finally received it and has had chance to look it over.

I have an appointment to see him tomorrow. Once I have seen him and know where I stand with him I may then get my GP to make a PRIVATE referral to a rheumatologist. There is no way I will use the NHS again for this.

My dream is that I will finally find someone in the medical profession willing to try and help me. That maybe, just maybe, I will be able to have treatment that will get rid of the pain and even-well, it’s a dream-help me to walk properly again. It might not happen, but if I could at least believe that someone was TRYING to make it happen, that would help.

It seems to be something inherent in the NHS that doctors feel quite able to treat patients with contempt. My friend with breast cancer sees a chiropractor and other so-called ‘alternative’ medicine practitioners. They treat her with respect and listen to what she says. It’s not much to ask for-but she can’t get that during her NHS appointments.

I am nervous about tomorrow. For a start I am not sure any other doctor has properly looked at the MRI before. The report on it was written nearly 11 months after it was taken-a two line report. As the thing has been missing, how do I even know the consultant LOOKED at it before he wrote his dismissive two liner?

I had reached a point of being too exhausted to fight any more-but I am trying to rise to the occasion one more time.

Say a prayer

Recipes: Chutneys, apple jelly, cranberry sauce….

I am coming to the conclusion that you can make chutney out just about anything. It’s a great way to avoid throwing things away and it makes great Christmas gifts.

Apple and Courgette (Zuccini) chutney

I had a huge chunk of a huge courgette left so I chopped it into cubes. I reckon I had aboout 1lb of the stuff (and that was just half a courgette. It was huge)

So

80z onion chopped and crush about three cloves of garlic. Put it in the pan and sweat down with a little water.

Add the Courgette (about 1lb) and I peeled and chopped about 1lb 8oz of apples too. (bramleys) Then add 1lb of raisans or sultanas.

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Conversion stories; Fr. John Corapi

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good conversion story. I have read the books and love watching (when I get the chance) the ever gentle Marcus Grodi’s programme “The Journey Home”. Today at Mass Father received another convert-there’s been a few recently-and pointed out he has six more people in going through preparation. Say a prayer.

My all time favourite story of conversion is that of Father John Corapi. His story is positively epic! He is baptised and brought up Catholic. He ditches it all and goes after fortune and some kind of fame-both of which he finds. He becomes a millionaire, partying with the rich and famous of California. While at a party he is introduced to cocaine and he ends up loosing everything-and just about everyone, but for his mother. Having lost his millions, his Ferrari and his house, he is left on the streets where his mother gets a message to him along with a Hail Mary and a ticket home.

The rest of his story is here:

I really do recommend taking the 10minutes to watch or just listen to this. I watched his whole story on EWTN  some time ago and I have it on DVD. I have heard a lot of stories; Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Ros Moss, and the astonishing story of Brother Francis Edkins (I’ve found his story on Youtube as well). These stories show that God can work absolute wonders not matter what. Don’t lose hope for your loved ones. Pray and wait.

Are homeschoolers Amish or Distributist?

I have talked quite a bit over previous posts about what I call the ‘alternative economy’ used by homeschoolers and our friends and neighbours. Well the inspiration is Distrubitism the dream of G.K.Chesterton and his friend Hillaire Belloc. Gilbert and Frances Chesterton worked in the London office of the PNEU (Parent’s National Education Union) so there’s a lovely link with Charlotte Mason and home education.

I have been reading Damian Thompson’s blog Holy Smoke. There is the really horrible prospect of Catholic primary schools introducing the programme “All that I am” – which is quite frankly an obscene way to teach children as young as five about sex.  One of the commenters on the blog goes by the name of Mystic Mug and one more than one occasion has raised the need for Distributism in the UK (and I think the USA would love it too). S/He wrote this:

Sorry to bat on about this, but the answer is Distributism.

Somebody stop me, I am having a utopian trip here….”

A distributist parent would automatically opt for home schooling as something so important as their children’s education could not be left in the hands of a State flunky, “Catholic” or not.

Distributist parents would most likely form local guilds to amass resources and share the load. This would provide the social element of education and an “extended family” for the children, and adults.

Home school dinners would be provided from home grown ingredients, mostly. Start and end times would be flexible.

Horror stories of nasty Gordon, and evil Peter, and malignant Ed could be related to the wee ones as required.

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Deciding to Homeschool pt II

When Charlotte Mason wrote her series of books she was not really intending that children would be homeschooled for all their acedemic lives. She wrote, it seems to me, to encourage parents and teachers to work in mutual support to prepare children to be ready to learn and to then expose them to a rigorous Christ centred education. Ah those were the days!

These days most homeschool families choose to keep their children out until their college or university years.  Each decision is tough. I know a family in the process of preparing their oldest child to sit the 11+ with a view he might go to either a grammar school (if they can find one) or more likely private school. But that is expensive and they are living on one wage.

As a parent I want my children to grow up with a moral framework and a set of skills for life. By homeschooling I can ensure they are taught the Faith properly-avoiding Icons and other bizarre pseudo-Catholic-barely-Christian programmes.  They are taught to want to learn, to listen and be respectful of others. There’s plenty of time for activities such as cooking, gardening, art and music.

If you decide to go ahead-what happens?

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Deciding to homeschool

I’ve recently met a family where the mother is going through the difficult process of trying to decide whether to homeschool her children or not. I know that some homeschoolers shake their heads and mutter under their breath when they see how difficult this decision is for some people, but we need to remember that the situation each family faces is unique to them.

This mum is asking questions about what it is like to homeschool; why we did it; how it works and who supports you?

Every family have their own reasons for homeschooling. Many families decide when their children are young and never send their children to school. They have enough knowledge of the system and what goes on in the average classroom to decide they do not want that for their children. Others decide to homeschool for a while because they believe they can give their children a better start at home. They consider school at the age of 7 or 8 when research says children are more likely to learn at a reasonable rate.

For those of us who have removed our children from school, it is because the school has failed our children either through not tackling bullying or not meeting the needs of children who have what is called ‘special needs’.

Homeschooling is more than just academics however. Charlotte Mason wrote a lot about HABITS and the ATMOSPHERE OF EDUCATION and about DISCIPLINE.

RESEARCH

Most of us who homeschool, do so after a lot of reading, research, prayer and heart searching. It is not a snap decision. There are a lot of books out there, the vast majority written by American homeschoolers explaining how homeschooling works, why people do it and what the outcomes are. I do think, personally, that too few of these books are really honest about the difficulties faced by many homeschool mums.

Most of the research is also based in the USA although there has been some study done here in the UK.The most comprehensive study was done by Paula Rothermel shows how well home educated children perform. There are more research papers HERE.

So, what does this research show? It shows over all that home educated children do better academically, socially, emotionally and even morally, than their contemporaries in school. Interestingly class and race do not show marked difference in home educated children. I have heard some commentators (on the BBC-where else *sigh*) suggest that homeschooled children do better because they come from higher socio-economic homes. This isn’t true. Figures show homeschoolers are found across the board-even among single parents.

It takes so long to write these posts-you know-in between homeschooling.

I’ll come back to it.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Yes I know, fancy writing a post like this in OCTOBER! Isn’t it dreadful? But sometimes you just have to plan ahead.

I’ve started my first big batch of mincemeat with some of the apples Bob gave us. The rest of them are dripping though a jelly bag at the moment ready to be made into Apple, Ginger and Cinnamon Jelly. I’ll post those recipes soon.

First couple of batches of chutney are done and quietly maturing.

I’ll be soaking the fruit for Christmas cakes in the next few days. I like to have the cakes made before the end of October and let them mature for Christmas.

As a lot of the pressies we give are home made; pickled, boiled and baked; it takes a while to get it all done.

I start ordering cards and gifts so that I can spread the cost. I do a bit at a time and then we hide everything on the top of the wardrobe. This year a lot of our friends and our own children will get quite a bit of Usborne books and puzzles. Hehehe.

I get cards from Aid To the Church In Need. They are one of the few charities actively helping persecuted Christians in Iraq, Pakistan and China-and they do this without compromising their Christian beliefs in order to get Govt funding or to appear with-the-times.

I used to try and make sure all the bought things were from charities and Fair Trade-but as I’ve come to realise many so called charities are pretty awful, claiming to be Christian while supporting “reproductive rights” even for children-I’ve decided I prefer to support local and small business instead. So I’ll buy from places not associated with dodgy labour practices and who employ people in this country, as well a the little-man business people.

So while the Deli where my son works and Woolworths up the road will get my money, Cafod, Unicef, Chrisitan Aid (I’ve had words with them!!) and many other so called Christian charities wont.

Meanwhile the blogs are alive with ‘Live Simply’-and of course most of the blogs I’ve read think this is patronising blergh! Scrooge  I’m not giving a link to this umiditagated twaddle. I’m sure a lot of you will have seen it anyway and are equally appalled.

Let’s just say, living simply in our house has nothing to do with how much water we put in the kettle.  Tree Christmas Angel 

Saturday, 25th October –
Oxford Pro-life witness

We meet at the Church of St Anthony of Padua

 (Headley Way) and witness outside the entrance of the
 JR Hospital.

3pm -4pm

Peaceful prayers are said in reparation for all abortion, and for unborn babies, their families and all those involved in the evil of abortion.

Refreshments available afterwards in church hall.
Contact Amanda Lewin 01869 600638

Please pray for this initiative if you’re unable to attend – thank you and God bless!

* This witness is coinciding with another important event – the Oxford Pilgrimage, it may be possible to attend both although the Pilgrimage concludes with Benediction at 3.30pm, at Blackfriars. For more details of times please see the ‘Oxford events’ list.

 

Fr Frank Pavonne’s videos give some insight into why the Pro-Life movement is SO important.

 

The Ladies Who Do Lunch

Yesterday two homeschooling friends came over. This is our alternate Friday session of what we have named “The Ladies Who Do Lunch.” LOL.

Julie and Jo bring food and I have fresh made and other goodies. We lay it all out on the table and sit down for lunch with the children. After lunch they go and play while we ladies sit with babies and discuss matters of homeschooling, curriculum planning and reading schemes.

Ronan and Iona do some homeschool work in the morning before the ladies arrive. Then Ronan and his friend are free to play together with Avila while Heleyna has another toddler to walk around with and the babies get to stare at each other.

This is a lovely time when we mums get to relax, chat and support each other. Julie is just starting to homeschool as her oldest is ‘reception’ age now but Jo’s little ones are just little-so for her it’s a matter of planning the lead up to homeschooling.

I think mums need to spend some time just offering ideas and support to one another. Homeschooling is hard work and it’s often made harder by other people’s attitudes.

We discussed plans for the Spring. I want to buy a load of rubble trugs and grow veg in them next year.

They are pretty cheap. Al reckons they are about a fiver. Nowadays they come in all sorts of pretty colours for kids rooms, but you have to pay for the pretty colours.

Anyway as our garden is small and the price of food is big I thought it was time to try again and really grow stuff. The ladies will also do the same in their little gardens. We will all grow different stuff-gets the kids involved in everyone’s planting-and then we’ll share the produce.

This is part of expanding our ‘alternative economy’ where so much of what we have, we share with one another. I hope it works well and the stuff actually grows!  Carrots Broccoli Peas 

Saints days; Teresa of Avila and others.

 It was the feast of St Teresa of Avila yesterday and obviously with a daughter named Avila Terese, this is a special day in our family.
Avila drew her saint a little picture and of her own accord decided to draw a picture for St John of Avila as well. As it was her saints feast day, she got a bit of extra pudding after dinner.

Today is the feast of St Hedwig and St Margaret Mary Alacoque. It is also the feast of St Gerard Majella for those who still follow the old calender.

I talked with Iona about St Margaret Mary today as her RE lesson.

There is a beautiful stained glass window in the little chapel at Maryvale, of the Sacred Heart. I am sure I heard the story that this one is somehow directly linked with St Margaret Mary-but I can’t remember how. John Henry Cardinal Newman (hopefully soon to be canonised himself) brought it back from France.

Thanks to St Margaret Mary and her complete committment to Christ, even in the face of some pretty nasty opposition, we have the wonderful feast of the Sacred Heart and the promise of mercy that goes with that. God always seems to reveal Himself in stages. In Scripture we see this as He gradually gives the Truth of who He is and what His Covenants entail to Israel. They don’t get the picture all at once.

As the Church took off there was what John Henry Cardinal Newman so accurately described as the development of doctrine-such as that of the Holy Trinity. We see bits of the Trinity even in the Old Testament and then it becomes clearer in the New and the Church gave a final discernment with the Creed of Nicea.

I am not saying private revelation is on a par with this of course. It’s just that I see Christ reveal more of His mercy and love, especially in the face of huge troubles for the Church, first to St Margaret Mary and then to St Faustina.  Divine Mercy and the Sacred Heart are much the same.

We talked a bit about the Jansenist heresy- it emphasis on Original Sin; making it bigger than it is, and insisting on the total depravity of man and predestination is much like Calvin preached. Christ’s message to St Margaret was one of mercy, love and redemption.

Homeschool and Mum things

One of my fellow homeschool friends has sent me this prayer site for children link. I’ve had a look at it and it looks lovely. Just right for introducing children to prayer.

Another homeschool friend has introduced me to TUTPUP. I haven’t had chance to look at this either but her children love it. There are maths programmes and other goodies on site. You sign up with a colour and animal name with a number and off you go.

I didn’t make it to homeschool group this morning-so much to catch up on. On top of the usual I really needed to give Iona a proper English lesson. Her English has been a bit shunted aside as more time has been taken up with other kinds of homeschooling.

So today we started MacBeth. WHOO-HOO! I love MacBeth. A friend who is an English teacher has given us a copy of an Edgar Allan Poe Story “The Telltale Heart” (Scroll down it’s the second story). This was a great way to introduce Iona to a major theme in MacBeth-guilt.

Sign Language went ahead this afternoon. It went well. I am still thinking of making short lessons into films for youtube that can be embedded on here. What do you think?

more later

Dinosaurs RAAAAAR!

Started the morning off with a good bit of homeschooling. First I read to Ronan Bed in Summer. (The whole Garden Verses are under Poetry in my side bar) We did some Latin and then Ronan wanted to do some Spanish-so we did. Then it was time for Maths. We are using and Usborne Sticker Book of Maths which Ronan loves and then we had a go at ADDITION FOUNDATIONS which is part of the KIDS KNOW IT website.

Then another homeschooling family arrived and we planned to do some more work on dinosaurs. Another mum arrived too -so we put off the lesson awhile and let the kids play while we discussed homeschooling.

This is a mum who has one child in school and two pre-schoolers and wants to homeschool, but isn’t sure about it. Her partner isn’t too keen on the idea and she is concerned about how she would go about it.

She had to leave and then after lunch we set about making split pin dinosaurs which I had downloaded from the ever wonderful SPARKLE BOX site.  As we were making them we simply talked about the dinosaurs we were making. It was short and sweet.

We finished off with the ‘Ning Nang Nong’ by Spike Milligan and signed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which even Heleyna can join in with.

Then when everyone had left it was tidying up time followed by a hot chocolate and some TV time.

 Birthday Banner to Alistair! Iona is making her dad a special birthday tea tonight. He had a sicky today-very unusual-because he has a bad cold. So the homeschool day was a bit in his face-poor man. However, at one point he gathered tissues and escaped to Wicks. The children have made him some great pictures and he has been given homemade cake and chocs by Iona as well a pressies from the rest of us. Birthday Fireworks 

Classical music for children

 OperaI want the children to have good access to good music and of course we will be learning about composers and their music as time goes on. When Alex was still being homeschooled he tended to have Classic FM on for a lot of the day as it helped him work. But since he’s been off to college I haven’t had much music on in the house while the children are working.

Today however I found an excellent website CLASSICS FOR KIDS  There are radio programmes and music to listen to. You will need to download Flash if you don’t already have it. The shows go out weekly and each month follows a theme. You can search through past programmes to listen.

I haven’t had time to go over the whole site yet but there are worksheets and lesson plans as well as games to get children making music themselves.

I’ve put the link in my sidebar under ‘music’.

We Saw The Light

On Saturday evening we all climbed aboard the Shed (our car-which has been fixed) and with Kathryn (my SIL) following, we set off for Walsall Arboretum to see the Illuminations. Every year there is a wonderful light display set around the grounds.

I splashed out and treated the children and …ahem…myself, to a light saber. Well, you just have to sometimes don’t you?  Smile

There was plenty for the children to see and this year there was no rain or sleet! That was much better but it also meant it was a lot more crowded.  

Ronan got a bit tired and there were some pictures he was afraid of. He’s going through the ‘I-hate-clowns’ faze and the sight of clown faces all lit up was a bit more than he could take. Poor lad. (No he hasn’t been to a ‘Clown Mass’ but perhaps he has come out in sympathy with those who have!)

We thought Heleyna would probably sleep in the pram, but she was awake for the whole thing and only fell asleep on the journey home. As you can see from the photo Josh stayed awake too.  There was a lot to see, including a very clever lazer show projected onto a mist of water in the middle of the lake.

 

At the end of the walk and before saying goodbye to Kathryn everyone suddenly turned into a mixture of Jedi knights and muscateers. “All for one and one for all”.

Avila was of course a very girlie jedi-hence her pink light saber.

It was a lovely evening. If I get the time I want to make a little photo book with basic sentences for Ronan. I want to add to his reading.

Finishing the Chutney and Roman Medicine

Busy couple of days.

We finished off the chutney making and got it jarred and then Ronan and Avila finished their recipe books. We made little books with photos of the process and Ronan wrote short sentences about what we used and what we did.

Today we had a homeschool family over and did a session on Roman medicine. They made medicine booklets at the end.

We had a load of ingredients such as onion, garlic, honey, oats, various herbs and a bottle of undrinkable red wine as well as cinnamon and pepper.

We made a poultice for a wound using oats, honey and wine. It was lovely and cooling on the skin.

We tried to set fire to a bit of broken cinnamon because apparently it was burned as a kind of incense. We found that it doesn’t burn very well.

We had a smell and a feel of other substances and then the children learned about some Roman tools for operations.

We spent some time looking at the Greek doctors Galen and Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Oath. We saw how the Roman’s had inherited a lot from Greek medicine and used it.

It was a fun session.

Pickle Day

The children were quite excited at the prospect of making chutney today and went around shouting “It’s pickle day!” And why not?

We have been given a huge bag of Bramleys by a neighbour. He does this on a regular basis as he has Bramley and Crab apple trees in his garden. We take the apples and make chutney, apple jelly, pies and mincemeat and he gets produce back.

The children put on their aprons and we gathered what we would need. First I dug out the old cauldron and set it on the hob.

Then you will need:

1 lb on onions, peeled and chopped. I use a mixture of red and white. Do whatever you like best. When you have chopped them put them in the cauldron and add a little water. Cook them through until softening.

4 1/2 lbs of apples- peel them and chop them. Get the children to add these to the onions and stir. They did the adding and stirring (hob off) while I did the peeling and chopping.

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It’s My Birthday and I’m chillin’

I have reached the rather non-eventful age of 44 today. This morning the children all arrived on my bed with pictures they had drawn and bags of goodies for me to open.

I have some lovely stuff from the Deli where Alex works including a couple of bars of the ever sumpteous Green and Blacks chocolate. Iona had independently bought me the Green and Black’s recipe book. Lot’s of yummyness to make and….give away. (Honestly!)

We had a lovely family afternoon out at a friend’s house (fellow homeschooler) for lunch yesterday and Iona had made me a birthday cake to share.

Had a lovely chilled day. Done some homeschooling with the children and pottered around the house doing quiet stuff.

Chinese takaway tonight.

Feet up and a glass of wine.

Got to be ready and rested for tomorrow-for tomorrow we start DINOSAURS!

Ratatouille with a Humungeous courgette

My friend has given me the most humungeous courgettes from her neighbour’s garden. They are the size of marrows! Home grown veg has a special -proper flavour, that I don’t think is easy to find in shop bought stuff.

Anyway having used some of the massive vegetable already, tonight I am going to roast up a ratatouille.

I am sure there is a proper way of doing this-but I was never very proper.

So.

Grab that aubergine and slice it into half moons, put in a dish and sprinkle with salt. Leave it there.

Chop and onion and put in about three cloves of squished garlic into a pan with a good dollop of olive oil. Chop up a couple of peppers-I chose red and orange for the colour and sweetness- and add to the pan.

Chop some potatoes and put them in a pan to boil. Yes, I know spuds don’t go in ratatouille-but I have two teenage boys to feed, both of whom are over 6′-a girl has to have carbs in everything she cooks with people like that at the nightly dinner table.

Then approach those humungeous corgettes with care and gratitude. Chop them up and add them to the pan and fry them off. Finally wash off the aubagines and chop them down a bit and add them to the pan.

Heat the oven to gas mark 6. (or whatever electric equivalent.)

Get out a nice big roasting tin and if it’s an old tatty one like mine, line it with foil. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil in it and spoon in the fried off veg. Fry off the spuds and add them on top. Put it all in the oven to roast. I’ve sprinkled some lovely fresh thymne over the top. I was going to add a bit of basil, but my basil looks a bit sad today.

In the pan add tomatoes and herbs and I add a spoonful of mustard. Just let it heat through.

After about half an hour take out the veg and pour over the tomato sauce and fold in the veg a bit. Like all things in this house we’ll sprinkle with some grated cheese-but at least this doesn’t have lentils.

Angels Without Clouds and Harps

I’m afraid we missed the Feast of St Michael and the Archangels -Michaelmas-in our house this year, but as it is the feast of Guardian Angels today I thought I would try and make up for it.

Iona’s RE lesson today was on Angels and we used the Catechism (CCC 328 to about 338).

The little ones have already made angels and are learning the prayer:

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

We had a look at some of the big moments in Scripture where angels are present such as after Adam and Eve have to leave the Garden, the angels who were on Jacob’s Ladder, the angel Jacob wrestled with; the angel who appeared before the conquest of Jericho; the angel who came to Gideon; the angel who walked with Tobias and rescued him from the demon on his wedding night; the angel who appeared to Zacharias in the Temple; to Mary and Joseph and the angels of the book of Revelation. There are many more incidents of angels in Scripture.

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Slow cooker: Beef stew

Take a look HERE at Kit’s no-goose recipe for Michaelmas and take a look at BROOKSIDE BISTRO which is a wonderful foody place from Kit as well!

Today is Wednesday so it’s Homeschool Group and Sign Language and that means Slow Cooker day (or Crock Pot)

Switch it to HIGH

Chuck in a bag of little spuds and couple of cloves of crushed garlic, a chopped onion and a chopped leak. (£1:91) Add a bag of cranberries left over from last year (£0) and  three or four handfuls of lentils. Chuck in some chopped carrots if you have them.

Add the beef 2and half lbs at about £9 salt and pepper

Then into some boiling water add, worcestor sauce, soy sauce and a spoonful of mustard.

Pour it over and put in some sprigs of thyme.

Switch to auto if your machine does that. My old one I would leave on High for an hour and then medium and then low just before we went out.

I set it up before 9am and it’s served about 6:30pm when Al gets home.

It feeds all 8 of us plus a guest and an extra meal for Al to take to work the next day. If we have no guest and there is any left over we give it to a neighbour. He gives us bags of apples. It’s more ‘alternative economy’ at work.

I reckon the whole thing costs about £13 to £14 – and gives about 9 adult size meals. Not bad even with the cost of food these days.