Which chocolates are palm oil free this Christmas?

Montezuma Peanut Butter Snowballs

Montezuma Peanut Butter Snowballs

If you are boycotting palm oil products, the list of what you can’t have is dizzying, so here is my short list of palm oil free chocolates that you can enjoy as you prepare for Christmas.

I’m hoping Father Christmas and the fairies will be reading this post so that our Advent Calendar House and stockings have palm oil free chocolates this year.

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Expect Nothing by Alice Walker for #NationalPoetryDay

alice walkerI love this poem. I try to live it. Not always succeeding, but hey!

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

Hello. I am Alan Stoob, Britain’s Premier Nazi Hunter

Alan Stoob Nazi Hunter by Saul WordsworthAlan is married to Edame. They’re due to retire to Bournemouth. They love a Bergerac box set and an afternoon session on the port. They’ve had their troubles, past indiscretions that occasionally return to bother them, troubled offspring with complex families of their own.

But it’s a loving relationship – fun and fruity. Well as fruity as Alan can manage. Broadly all is calm in Dunstable, Beds, until the original Nazi Hunter and fax-lover Simon Weisenthal recruits Alan out of retirement to take over his mission.

And so the thriller begins. Continue reading

Get out of the way

I love this Future of Work Manifesto. I love its breathiness and its completeness.

I particularly like its redrawing of the role of the manager. The manager is so often the barrier to change, the obstacle to progression and the most conservative, self-protectionist role in an organisation.

I think managers should be the ‘keeper of the story’. The role of management should be to ‘get out of the way’.

Great thinking, I think I’ll be following Maddie Grant. Also like that she’s a self confessed potty mouth. We could get on.



Once more unto the breach – National Child Measurement Programme

It takes some effort to protest – who is going to listen.

But as Sir Billy says, (and I endlessly repeat) cynicism is the enemy of progress, not those who oppose us.

So I took time to reply to the letters I’d received, fully expecting not to hear another word, perhaps being filed in the ‘trolls’ drawers at best, bins at worst. But lo and behold, another crop of responses appeared.

Having pointed out to Vince Cable that he’d misunderstood my letter, he took up my case. He replied saying “Thank you for your further email.  I now understand rather better why you are concerned.  I agree that it is absurd, and perhaps worse, for the NHS to be guiding perfectly normal children towards dieting and for misleading letters to be sent out causing alarm amongst parents.  I will write to the RTCH along these lines.”

And he did, he wrote to Frank Sims, CEO of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust. He emailed him, copying me. And using the phrase “It may be this is a diktat from the DoH.  Perhaps you could let me know and I will take this up with a Minister.”

Diktat. Wonderful word. Meaning “an order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent.”

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Bambajam – Sustainable Music for Families and Schools


I wanted to write a post about my friends LeeAnn and Duncan and their inspiring new business Bambajam, but Andrea beat me to it and did a great job, so I’m reblogging her content.

Bambajam is a social enterprise, it is earth friendly and at its heart is inspiring children of all ages to come together learn to play music. In a world that is seemingly increasingly seeing education as ‘training for the workplace’, I see immense value in creative learning and opening minds. Anyway, please read and enjoy. And if you can, support them by spreading the word, buying an instrument or backing their Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bambajam-beautifully-handcrafted-eco-friendly-musical-instrument

Originally posted on SingaporeKids365:

My friends, I wanted to share a really remarkable moment for two of my great friends Duncan and Lee Ann McKee. Nine years ago, they launched STIX, Motivation Through Music. I was present at their very first corporate gig, and it was an amazing experience. Nearly 100 people, coming together, playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” with nothing more than a couple of plastic tubes. It was a special moment for everyone in the room.

Lee Ann and Duncan in Action

Roll the clock forward nearly a decade and STIX has been a great success, but they’re not the kind of people to be idle, so they’ve been busy creating something else. For the last two years, they’ve focused on moving this skill beyond business, because they believe everyone can play music – young or old. But it’s not just about the music for Lee Ann and Duncan, they also…

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