Monday, 29 March 2010


As the only Jew in the Village - or in St Peter's Church anyway - I've just been making Charoseth (apple, walnut, cinammon,wine and honey paste, representing mortar) and Cinammon Balls - no religious significance; just traditional at Passover.
They're apparently needed as edible visual aids for our church dramatisation of Pesach preparations during the real Holy Week... lots of talk of Rabbi Yeshua and his radical statements... "blessed are the poor, indeed! everyone knows that the poor were feckless wasters with only themselves to blame... " plus ca change...
Mixed metaphors and messages too no doubt; but it's evoked strong childhood memories of mixing and chopping with my Grandma.
When I was about eight years old, I used to call at her house on the way home from school. I suppose that she'd have to be CRB checked today...
Ususally, the house was an oasis of calm, and Grandma gave me milk and biscuits while she told me long stories about the war. Stories which I could still repeat verbatim. Everyone talked incessantly about the war during my childhood.
But the week before Passover was a different story.
It was purest pandemonium; the house crammed full of aunts and cousins, chopping, stirring, simmering, gossiping and debating (others might call it shouting at each other) with Grandma regally directing the whole chaotic proceedings. The decibel level was awesome.
My annual job was putting green and red glace cherries on top of the Passover cookies, ready to be baked, cooked and stored in huge jars.
I longed to be older like my cousins, and allowed to do some actual cooking.
Several jars of cookies and cinammon balls would be taken to the Jewish Home for the Blind, round the corner.
It was a great family time that sent a tingle of excitement down your spine as the Festival of Freedom came round each year and the whole family came together for the Seder..
So, it was quite sad that I was mixing and chopping on my own today.
Perhaps next year I'll have a Pesach preparation party - or then again - maybe (as Jews all over the world will be saying tomorrow night at their ritual meal) " year in Jerusalem..."
can I say, I do hope not!!
Good Yom Tov all!

Monday, 8 March 2010


I do not want the patronage of Gordon nor anyone else to force some hapless employer to give me a job, just because I'm a deserving woman, thank you.
Ther are pools of male and female talent and to discriminate even further against men is just plain wrong.
When I am asked or chosen to do something, I want to accept that honour in full confidence that the organisation thinks that I'm the most suitable and competent person for the job.
Not because it would "look good" to have a woman, and satisfy some statistics-crazed apparatchik in Whitehall.
It is an employer's right to CHOOSE the person he or she wants for a specific position.
And that's about a person fitting into the company and industry culture as much as ability to do the job.
Please - our employers are already bound hand and foot by successive bouts of legislation.
Don't lets load them with yet more burdens.
Most took serious risks to build their businesses - surely they must have some rights?
(And lest we forget - these employers are our most precious economic resource as wealth creators in this country)
No - this is a step tooo far.
Men and women are NOT the same. They are different.
Lets celebrate the difference and allow employers to know what's best for their organisations.