# Monday, 07 March 2011

Chaya Devoira learns to walk!

One of Chaya Devoira’s main development issues (other than her lack of speech) is her poor motability. Whilst she can crawl reasonably well, she often does this with straight legs (so-called “bear walking). She has not yet mastered the art of standing for more than a few seconds at a time, and walking was something we assumed was still some way off on the horizon. If we hold a hand and lead her, she will walk stiff-legged with us, but will sit down as soon as we let go of her hand.

The occupational therapist in the special nursery she attends told us that Chaya Devoira once took four steps, but we had never seen this repeated, and so the excitement died down.

Imagine our surprise then, when on Friday afternoon she suddenly took a few steps. A couple of the other children were playing with her, and one of them stood her up and told her to walk. Amazingly enough, she did!

I ran upstairs to grab my camera, and got it switched on just in time to see a magnificent seventeen-step stroll across the room! This was followed by some less-successful attempts, but with definite promise.

This video shows the whole thing in glorious technicolour…

Since then, she has shown less interest in walking, but has been consistent in doing a few steps here and there. She has also started standing herself up without holding on to something, which is another promising sign. Obviously we are encouraging her as much as possible. but she has quite a strong will, and if she decides she doesn’t want do something, there’s no persuading her (unless we hold out some food of course!)

Anyway, all good indications of progress, however slow.

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# Thursday, 24 February 2011

Churchill had more sense than most managers and executives!

I saw an extract from Winston Churchill's speech at the reopening of the Parliament chambers that were rebuilt after being damaged during the London raids in World War II.

He noted that the same measurements were used in the rebuilding as in the original, that the main room was just as uncomfortable as before... thus making it difficult for oratory and discussion to drift far from the points that were important to discuss. He stated that Parliament's cramped quarters were perhaps the greatest single material contribution to efficient British governmental decision making.

I can think of a few executives in various parts of industry who would do well to listen to those words!

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# Thursday, 27 January 2011

Chaya Devoira as Rebbe Nachman!

Chaya Devoira came out of the bath tonight, and wandered off towards the boys' bedroom. She climbed onto Elihoyu's bed, and found his shloff kappel (yarmulka worn at night). Now Eliyohu has a rather bright yellow shloff kappel, emblazoned with the words of a well-known song about Rebbe Nachman of Breslov zt"l.

If you will forgive the full-frontal pictures of her big fat tummy, what happened next was very comical.

Seeing the kappel, Chaya Devoira picked it up and tried it on (left picture below), decided it was a perfect fit (centre picture) and reached out to grab the duvet and pull it over her head (right picture)...

Chaya Devoira tries on Eliyohu's Rebbe Nachman shloff kappel
Pulling the duvet up, she tucked herself up and snuggled down...

Chaya Devoira snuggled up in Eliyohu's bed

Not much you can say about that eh?

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# Wednesday, 05 January 2011

Baking foccacia with the girls (includes recipe)

Shayna Brocho has been asking me for a few days to bake with her. She particularly wanted to make foccacia, which is a sort of olive-oil bread, and is absolutely delicious. Well, we got around to it this afternoon, so I thought I would post up the results, along with the recipe in case anyone else is interested.


  • 1lb 2oz (500g) of strong white bread flour, plus a bit extra for kneading
  • 7g of dried yeast, or the equivalent of fresh (dunno how much, we used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 6 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (I don't reckon you need anything like this much, see later)
  • 10fl oz (300ml) of hand-hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary leaves (we used dried rosemary, which usually comes ground up, but works fine)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of coarse sea salt (we used quite a bit more than this)


  1. Mix the flour, yeast and fine salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the water and one tablespoon olive oil, and mix into a soft dough. Shayna Brocho and Chana Liba took turns doing this, and made a right royal mess!

Shayna Brocho (r) and Chana Liba (l) kneading dough
  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and stretchy. They took turns here too, as their arms were hurting after a few minutes.
  2. Lightly oil a baking sheet or tin, approximately 8in by 12in (20cm by 30cm).

Chana Liba oiling the tray
  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about the same size, and place on/in the sheet/tin.
  2. Cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 90 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 degress C, 450 degrees F or Gas Mark 8 (whichever you prefer).
  4. Using your fingertips (they really liked this bit!), makes loads of dimples all over the surface of the dough.
  5. Dribble the remaining olive oil over the dough, and scatter the rosemary on top. As I said above, the recipe reckons you need about five tablespoons of olive oil for this, but we found that we didn't need that much - and we did put plenty on!
  6. Sprinkle the coarse salt on top of this, and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  7. Put onto a cooling rack, and when cool, cut into squares.

Simple enough for young children to be involved, and fairly quick and easy. The end result? Well, see for yourself...

The finished foccacia

I had some with my supper later. It was delicious.

Note that foccacia is best eaten while still warm, and can go hard if left for too long. It's best made in time to eat it from the oven, but if you have any left over (unlikely to be honest) then 20 seconds in the microwave softens it up nicely.

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# Sunday, 26 December 2010

Schoolchildren today know nothing!

As usual, I have no idea if any of these are real, but I have my suspicions! They are supposedly genuine pieces of information, as written by children at school.

School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
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# Monday, 20 December 2010

Chaya Devoira's hearing

a hearing aid (not as pink as the one Chaya Devoira has though)Chaya Devoira had a hearing test today. As our avid reader will doubtless remember, she had a moderate hearing loss in both ears, and was given hearing aids. She coped very well with these B"H, and showed an immediately improved awareness of what was going on around her.

She had another hearing test about five weeks ago, and came home with only one hearing aid. Her hearing had improved in her left ear to the point where she didn't need the aid, and was better in her right ear, although not enough to abandon it yet. We were told that this might be because it was the end of the summer, when all the flu bugs had died, and too early for the winter ones to kick in. We had to take her back in a month to see how she was coping with the cold wet weather.

Well, today was the day, and I'm delighted to report that she came home without any hearing aids! Apparently her hearing has improved to the point that she doesn't need them at all, even though she has a cold, and it's the winter. What's even better is that they don't want to see her again until March, instead of the standard one month that we were expecting.

Well done Chaya Devoira!

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Yorkshiremen jokes

Being a true born and bred Yorkshireman, I can testify to the veracity of the following true stories (ahem).

If you don't know the Yorkshire accent, you probably won't find these very funny. Mind you, even if you do know the accent you might not find them funny!

True story from Yorkshire #1

A Yorkshire man takes his cat to the vet.

Yorkshireman: "Eyup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat."
Vet: "Is it a tom?"
Yorkshireman: "Nay, I've browt it wi' me."

True story from Yorkshire #2

A Yorkshireman's dog dies and as it was a favourite pet he decides to have a gold statue made by a jeweller to remember the dog by.
Yorkshireman: "Can tha mek us a gold statue of me dead dog?"
Jeweller: "Do you want it 18 carat?"
Yorkshireman: "No I want it chewin' a bone, yer daft bat!"

True story from Yorkshire #3

A Yorkshireman's wife dies and the widower decides that her headstone should have the words "Here lies Adele, she wor' a grand lass" engraved on it.

He calls the stone mason, who assures him that the headstone will be ready a few days after the funeral. True to his word the stone mason calls the widower to say that the headstone is ready and would he like to come and have a look.

When the widower gets there he takes one look at the stone to see that it's been engraved "Here lies Adele, she wor' a grand lass"

The Yorkshireman shouts "Yer a gormeless tatie, you've left the 'e' out!"

The stone mason apologises and assures the poor widower that it will be rectified the following morning.

Next day comes and the widower returns to the stone mason - "There you go sir, I've put the 'e' on the stone for you..."

The widower looks at the stone and then reads out aloud - "Here lies Adel, eeh she wor' a grand lass"

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# Sunday, 19 December 2010

Blog finally working again!

I have been having all sorts of problems with my blog recently. I upgraded my server to a new version of Windows, and the blog platform that I use wouldn't allow me to post :(

I think I may have finally sorted it out, and so may be able to bore you once again with irrelevant comments and pictures of my children! If you find this thought too stomach-churning to bear (and I don't blame you), you may want to switch your computer off right now.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

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# Sunday, 07 November 2010

A few up to date pictures (at last)

Having finally got around to printing some pictures (from the last two years!), I thought it might be nice to put some on the blog. So, without further ado, here are three girls piled up on the couch...

And of course, no blog entry could be complete without a picture of the two world-famous steeplechasers...


Finally, in case you were wondering where Chaya Devoira as in all this, she was sitting on Mummy's knee looking bored, whilst everyone else smiled at the camera...


Well, that's it for the next two years I reckon!

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