July 09, 2005

Out and about

It's been a fine sunny day in the South West. We took a picnic out to Chepstow Castle and had lunch by the River Wye.

Fine weather, nice food, good company and a seriously impressive castle (much of the original Norman hall-keep, built in 1067, is still standing) - we had a grand day out.

Shabbat Shalom

I'm a regular visitor to Joe Katzman's Good News Saturdays at Winds of Change. Mostly, I go there to read T L James's regular series of posts on Sufi Wisdom.
As terrorist Islam does its best to discredit the religion, it's important to remember that there are other voices within the faith. One such is the Sufis, a branch of Islamic mystics with roots in many religious traditions. The lessons of Sufism are often communicated through humorous stories and mystical or romantic poetry.
This morning, James once again features one of the many stories told around the figure of Nasrudin, whose exploits I'm coming to regard as a kind of spiritual soap opera - in today's episode, Nasrudin gets burgled.

July 08, 2005

The BBC on terror

PooterGeek is back. And he notes a strange distinction in the BBC's reporting of indiscriminate attacks on civilians:
The agents of Al-Qaeda who murder innocents in Iraq are different from the ones who murder innocents in the UK because the ones in Iraq are "militants", whereas the ones in Britain are "terrorists".
And USS Neverdock says the BBC has some explaining to do:
Perhaps the BBC would care to explain to the victims and their families, how this could happen since, according to the BBC's "The Power of Nightmares", this is all just a "myth".
For those who missed it, the BBC documentary's principal contention was that "the threat of terrorism to the West was a politically-driven fantasy".

How wrong can you be?

July 07, 2005

The aftermath

Today's attacks in London have so far claimed the lives of thirty-seven people and injured hundreds more. The transport system, both in London and beyond, has been severely disrupted and, at least in the capital, is unlikely return to normal for several days.

And yet, there is no sense of panic or despair, only a quiet resolve to carry on despite the carnage, and a fierce determination not to be intimidated. Whatever the perpetrators of today's events hoped to achieve, they are mistaken if they think the British people can be cowed into submission.

Tony Blair's response to the blasts seems characteristic of the national mood:

It's important [...] that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.

Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.
This evening, my thoughts go out to the victims of today's tragedy and to the families of those who lost their lives.

London bombings

Scary question (via Scott at the Daily Ablution) from Sky's coverage of the incidents: "Do these look like conventional explosions?"

Probably - it seems the attack was intended to disrupt London's transport rather than to cause major casualties - but it's too early to know for sure.

11.45: Normblog has updates.

Instapundit and Tim Worstall have links.

London under attack

The BBC is reporting that a series of explosions rocked central London this morning. Major incidents are reported at Edgware Road, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Allgate East and Moorgate. There are, as yet, no indications as to the number of casualties.

My eldest son just rang to say he's safe - he's visiting London with his friends and they were planning on going into the center today. They're not going anywhere now: the Underground has been closed and there are no buses running in central London.

I've told him to stay put, anyway. And when he's ready to come home, I'm going to go get him.

BBC News are being very cagey about it, but it looks very much like a co-ordinated terrorist attack. It was always a possibility and London's emergency services have trained hard to deal with incidents of this kind. It looks like they're responding well to the crisis.

July 06, 2005

Cooking not blogging

I haven't been blogging much recently.

Recovering from a couple of bouts of serious illness while trying to maintain some semblance of a blog has been difficult. But I'm reasonably confident that I'm on the road to a full recovery. Mac and the boys are, of course, extremely pleased - they've missed my cooking!

As evidence of my continuing recovery (and to give you a flavor of life in the Junior household) here's this week's menu:

Sunday - cannelloni stuffed with spinach and ricotta
Monday - chicken fajitas
Tuesday - kofta bhuna, chana dahl, pilau rice & homemade chapatties
Wednesday - cheese & lentil wedge wth a tomato and tarragon coulis
Thursday - felafel, humus, baba ganoush, salad and pita
Friday - spaghettini with garlic and fresh herbs

They're just the evening meals. Lunchtimes, I like to experiment with new recipes (Monday, it was fettuccine all'arancio). And, in the afternoons, I'll sometimes make treats for when the boys get home from school - homemade potato chips, fried dumplings or onion bharjis. The rest of the time, I'm shopping or planning next week's meals, which hasn't left much time for blogging.

Still, there's hope. If my recovery proceeds apace, I should be back to more or less regular posting sometime soon, maybe.

Look out for me, huh.