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Ukraine At 25

When Ukraine celebrates a quarter of a century of independence today, it’ll be under the barrel of a gun.

When Ukraine marks a quarter-century of independence today, it will be in the face of a massive disinformation campaign aimed at smearing and discrediting it in the eyes of the world.

When Ukraine celebrates a quarter-century of independence today, it’ll be in the shadow of threats from its larger northern neighbor.

And all this is because the very idea of an independent Ukraine is offensive to Vladimir Putin, who has famously said that Ukraine “isn’t a real country.”

But Putin is wrong.

Despite its very real problems, Ukraine is indeed a very real country — and it is a country that has, over the past quarter-century, represented the path not taken by Russia.

Since winning its independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has become increasingly more democratic.

Russia has become markedly less so.

Since winning its independence, Ukraine has had five free, fair, and competitive presidential elections.

Russia has had none.

Since gaining independence, Ukrainian civil society has become stronger, more vibrant, and more influential.

In Russia, civil society has been steadily marginalized.

The Putin regime clearly sees the alternative model of governance that an independent Ukraine represents as a mortal threat.

And it is determined to crush it one way or another.

But thanks to Ukraine’s resilience, it’s failed so far.

So happy Independence Day, Ukraine._900dn_o3_n18_k

Simplicity 2

The idea of simple food being simple is often made complex. Really it does depend on what you have in reserve & what you have bought on impulse.Combine the two & explore your taste buds.

Today I was busy watching TV & it was lunch time + 10 minutes.

I fancied a play…..

1/Rescue a tin of mixed beans & drain all the sludge.Really drain it under fast water.

2/Slice up 1/3 of a red onion. As fine as you can.

3/Break off 3 small red cabbage leaves & cut as fine as you want.

I put half the beans in a bowl & added olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rioja vinegar, & oregano & added the red onion & red cabbage. Then I thought OK there is a lot here but lets stick all the beans in.Mix well & taste it as you go along. Add salt more herbs until you are happy.

Normally people add tuna but it takes time to soak. So as an idea try bresaola slices.

The conventional route is to go & add rocket & other salad so really it is entirely up to you.


The purple bean salad is enough. Simplicity is  almost like a detox.

I had Italian flat bread warmed in the oven for 3 minutes.

Glass of wine & all you need is the weather.

2 hours later you still have the flavours in your mouth.

Buon appetito!

It was fast food





When is simplicity simplicity?

Sometimes in cooking there is a temptation to go too far. But I think this is just a quick ready -steady-chomp.

2 medium lamb chops marinated in Ras al Hanut & olive oil.

Just one teaspoon of the vibrant mixture is enough for 2 chops.This one was                              paprika,cassia,cumin,ginger,coriander,turmeric’fennel,allspice,cardamon,dill,galangal, nutmeg,orris,chilli,bay,caraway,cloves,mace,cubeb,black cardamon,rose,saffron.                      3 hours in the marinade in the fridge.

I feel quite exhausted listing that lot but lets carry on….

At this stage you could prepare a Greek Salad & let it stand.                                                                  I just used 3 cherry toms cut in 1/2, 3 slices of cucumber cut into qtrs, green & black olives, feta, pinch of oregano & drizzle of olive oil. Mix & do not disturb….You could add red or yellow pepper & lettuce….(greedy)

15 minutes before you want to eat.                                                                                                              First get the grill on for 10 mins. The lamb takes 2 1/2 mins each side..(.or longer if you want a cremation)   You can grill a 1/2 a big tom & 1/4 red pepper (or what ever takes your fancy.)

Second boil a kettle. Add 200 mills of boiling water to 80 gm of plain couscous. Lob in a nice quality chicken stock pot. Leave for 5 mins & stir.

Third just after you start grilling heat up 1/2 an Italian Flat bread (or a whole one) for 3 minutes.

This works as a quick, simple meal for one. Is it simple ? I leave it with you!




















Funny is n’t it?


from day one,

We are


to question.

“What was that?”

“How did that


“Where did that

come from?”


The wonder

of things


around us

can be


After all

that’s what

Dads are for!

If only

things were

that simple.

Some things

just can’t

be worked out,

Can they?


The blinking

“why” word.

Things were


or white,



n’ neat.


the wrecker

of perfect


The enemy of

self contained logic,

Now things are

open ended

and raggedly


Everything is

not boxed off,

Know what

I mean?


picture bliss,

a perfect

summer’s day.


in the garden,

Getting underway.

Before you take

your first bite,

You hear

right in yer face,

Blinking neighbour’s

chain saw

The other side

of the fence.



a break,


some Peace.

As the battle

is being lost.

An aircraft

seems to take,

Too much


in your

Pasta Bake.


Now I start


This time

a screaming

child’s refrain.


When will

it end?

Barking dogs,


car doors,


telephone calls.


That’s it!

I’m going in!


Forgot my hat,

Hay fever,


my eyes.

It was


while it


How long?


You asking?

Another try?





All good, so be encouraged

So is the earth huge? Or is it quite small?The reason why I’m asking is that a lot of people all over the world are discovering or rediscovering Jesus.

Same wave length through different continents & cultures.

Yes all it takes is a twinkling of an eye.

Be encouraged.

Some were conservative now Grace radicals.
Some were wild then bound by rules now being set free.
Some were cautious now chillin n carefree
Some worked tirelessly now taken their foot off the gas
Some were all knowers and are now like little kids
Some were feeling worthless and now are in the finest royal robes
Some beyond help now helping others out of trouble
Some were poor in school are brilliant teachers
Some felt inadequate or rejected now with father’s perfect ID

All belong and are accepted by the father
Christ in you the hope of Glory
Jesus is a mystery for everyone to discover
Simply taste ‘n see!

He holds everything and the whole world together.
And yet there is Perfect rest in his finished work
Be one
Joined to the Lord as one, in one.

Take it in.
Even if it leaves you stunned and breathless
Take it in
Feel the pull from within
Heart to Heart
Deep to Deep
Leap for Joy!
Crash in the Waves
Swim like a Dolphin
Hang on to play