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'A Bonde Bengali Wife' revisited

There was a little flurry of interest in A Blonde Bengali Wife over December and January - a bit like the Edinburgh snow in fact: the endless quiet, grey skies suddenly fill with snow, it falls, keeps us busy for a day or two but normal service resumes pretty quickly.A handful of people, some I know well, others I don't, wanted signed copies for Christmas.  A couple more wrote to say they had downloaded it to their Kindle to read over the holiday period.  It's always a little thrill to know that someone, somewhere might be reading it... but even if they buy it and use it as a doorstop or wasp-basher, it still means an extra handful of rice for the children in Bhola.  Win-win!I usually keep a few copies at home but suddenly realised I'd sent out the last one, and so I decided to go on to Amazon and buy one or two...
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Christmas in Bhola

A very HAPPY CHRISTMAS from me, and from all in Bhola!    andBEST WISHES for 2015  
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Dinah and Freda in Bhola

Dinah, our founding Trustee of Bhola's Children, and Freda, one of the newer but already invaluable members, have just returned from a highly productive visit to Bangladesh.  The local Committee are going from strength to strength, and Sharjahan and his family, six months in to their trial as assistant Directors/houseparents have just had their contracts extended.The children are all doing well, and life very much goes on, despite the day to day tribulations over which we only tread the surface...Just a few new pictures, this month, for you to share in:All present and correct - the Bhola Family as it is at present!Sharjarhan and his family (with Freda) Hassan, creator of this year's 'Christmas' card is very proud!Weeding the vegetables...The Christmas cards are available via the www.bhlaschildren.org website - a technological glitch means I haven't a direct link here, but the website is always worth a look anyway!  And, a shameless plug, if anyone...
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Writing Round-Up

With the changing of the clocks and November all-but upon us, it's often a time when writers make a 'new season' resolution to draw the curtains, light a candle and huddle over the laptop; get writing in a way that wasn't so welcoming during the long and warm summer evenings.If that sounds like you, then here are a few more incentives, success stories from various people and groups with which I'm involved:Writer, Jazz Shaban, is publishing her dual biography Road to Damascus, in November.  It tells the parallel stories of the lives of sisters Jigi and Suzan, raised separately, one in the UK and the other in Syria, and how they eventually get back together again.  The story is often challenging but Jazz's insights and humour bring the book alive and it reads like a gripping novel.  All the more poignant because the Syria that Suzan still lives in is changed beyond...
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Bangla Food for Dragon-Slayers

Today, 29th September is Michaelmas. I learned this equally from the wonderful Steiner School Kindergarten and late night forays of distraction into River Cottage repeats.  It’s traditionally a festival for marking the change in seasons and of gathering the harvest to provide for the winter ahead; more recently it celebrates the role of the archangel Michael as dragon-slayer.  As the long days of summer draw into the dark nights of winter, it’s apparently an opportunity to confront our own ‘inner dragons’ and finding the light and courage to see us through to spring .It got me to thinking – yes, my thought-processes are often tenuous in the extreme – about the importance food plays in nurturing, giving comfort and offering a focus for a social occasion.  It has always been the case in Bangladesh!  Never have I eaten so much, so well, and given with such generosity as I have with both friends and...
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