Jan-Martijn Chanter – Head Chef

I had this news the other day via Facebook and it’s congratulations to Jan-Martijn, one of my sons, on this exciting new appointment. Of course you might not know that Jan’s kitchen training started very early in his life and was conducted by his granny and his dad, as the above picture proves!

Congratulations Jan! Who wrote:

“Good news is that I have accepted a job as head chef at the Penny Black Restaurant. The owner is an old comrade from the days of the Atlantic Bar and Grill – Tony Ho. I’d noticed that he was opening a place and I messaged him that I’d be interested in sorting out the kitchen. He called me back and we have moved on from there. The food concept is British Seasonal.”

On further investigation I discovered that the restaurant is due to open in February, and here’s what I also found on the internet:

“The Penny Black Restaurant is a traditional British restaurant, evocative of fond childhood memories and creating a home from home on Fulham Road, Chelsea.

Traditional British long lost favourites such as; Beef Wellington, Toad In The Hole, London Particular, Braised Oxtail, Scottish Lobster, Cottage Pie, Grilled Dover Sole, Bread & Butter Pudding, Apple & Rhubarb Crumble and Arctic Roll are just a few of the nostalgic dishes on the wholesome and hearty menu. All are cooked in the indulgently classic style using the finest of ingredients from British farmers and producers.

The team behind The Penny Black Restaurant has over 30 years experience between them in the London restaurant scene having worked with legends such as Oliver Peyton on his eponymous and much missed ‘Atlantic Bar and Grill’. The comfortable yet opulent décor features original artwork from Simon Claridge the up and coming Washington Green artist whose work is currently on display at galleries worldwide.”

The restaurant is quite near Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC and Jan-Martijn as an Arsenal fan (it’s compulsory in the family) says he’ll have to ‘set aside his Chelseaphobia’ while at work.

He’s a wonderful chef and of course we wish him the very best of luck in this exciting new project!


Granny’s Kitchen Apron

I loved this, sent to me by Judy from ‘Someotherland’. To go with the piece there’s a photo of my late mother taken in the 60’s outside School House, Blundell’s School, Tiverton, Devon when my late father was the housemaster. She probably wouldn’t be very pleased to see this photo online but it’s all in the interests of the apron! Clearly the apron referred to below is American, but it still invoked lots of memories!

“I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Granny’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying childrens’ tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Granny used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

But I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…”


Tech Support

This from Louisa. Seems appropriate on a day of internet problems! The picture? Clearly a lady driver……..

“Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend to Husband and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend.

In addition, Husband uninstalled many other valuable programmes, such as Romance and Personal Attention and then installed undesirable programs such as Rugby, Football, Sailing and Continuous TV.
Conversation no longer runs, and Housecleaning simply crashes the system.

I’ve tried running Nagging to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



The Institution Of Marriage

Ah! Marriage! Perhaps I should have followed some of these ideas from children.
(Thanks to Louisa for the piece).


– You’ve got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
— Alan, age 10

– No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.
— Kristen, age 10


– Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.-
Camille, age 10


– You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. — Derrick, age 8


– Both don’t want any more kids.
— Lori, age 8


– Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
— Lynnette, age 8.

– On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
— Martin, age 10


– When they’re rich.
— Pam, age 7

– The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that
– – Curt, age 7

– The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.
– – Howard, age 8


– It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
— Anita, age 9.


– There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?
— Kelvin, age 8


– Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
— Ricky, age 10



Thanks to Louisa for this one!

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but had not phoned in sick one day. Needing to have an urgent problem with one of the main computers resolved, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper.

‘Hello ?’

‘Is your daddy home?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ whispered the small voice.

May I talk with him?’

The child whispered, ‘No .’

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, ‘Is your Mommy there?’


‘May I talk with her?’

Again the small voice whispered, ‘No’

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, ‘Is anybody else there?’

‘Yes,’ whispered the child, ‘a policeman.’

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, ‘May I speak with the policeman?’

‘No, he’s busy,’ whispered the child.

‘Busy doing what?’

‘Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman,’ came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, ‘What is that noise?’

‘A helicopter’ answered the whispering voice.

‘What is going on there?’ demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, ‘The search team just landed a helicopter’

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, ‘What are they searching for?’

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle… ‘ME.’



Tripbase is a site that impressed me. It’s a site that’s offering advice on holiday ideas to single parents. The introduction says:

The annual vacation; there is the ‘before’ – the planning for the trip, the fun sense of anticipation and eager expectation. Then there is the ‘during’ – the actual holidays (and aren’t they always too short?) which deliver a unique and everlasting bundle of fun times and cherished memories.

And finally comes the ‘after’ – the moments of reflection, weeks, months or years later, looking back on wonderful journeys and experiences with loved ones, with old friends, or with new acquaintances. Before deciding on where to vacation next is to consult their tried and trusty companion, the Travel Guide.

The travel community noticed one glaring omission: what about single parents? So we decided to emphatically right this wrong and have now put together a comprehensive guide to single parent travel. What better way to do this than to ask the experts themselves?

We asked 22 of the web’s most influential figures in travel to contribute to this comprehensive piece on single parent travel, and the result is an epic piece of shared wisdom direct from those who know best: single parent travelers themselves.

The guide aims to share with single parents:

* Where to visit with their children
* What they can do
* As well as offering tips and advice in the process.

# Part 1: Factors to consider before your trip

* Before you even decide where to go
* Five things as aids for traveling with kids
* The art of traveling lightly
* Give the children more responsibilty
* Tantrum-proofing your vacation
* Single Parent Families Abroad
* The trickiest thing

# Part 2: planes, trains and automobiles

* you’re still in the airport with the kids but it’s still 3 hours until takeoff time!
* Flying with children – onboard the plane
* If you’re stressed the kids are
* And Perhaps Leave that Car Seat Behind!

# Part 3: Where did our experts go?

* miami – fun for kids
* a road trip with kids in canada
* a european vacation for single parents
* south of france – provence
* the magic of animals
* try something different – try malta
* stay in a farmhouse – now wouldn’t the kids love that!
* traveling alone with a teenage girl

# Part 4: Cruises

* At Last! Some Free Time Away from the Kids
* You can even swim with Dolphins!
* The Ideal Vacation for Single Parents
* Some advice for those Cruise ‘Shopping Days’ in Dock – Nail down that Bargain folks

Of course they could always consider coming to Chanters Lodge in Livingstone. We are very family friendly and there is a whole raft of activities in the area to excite the children.
Now isn’t that a good idea!


Hendrik Segers & Emily Thigs Rock 107.7 fm

Meet Hendrik and Emily from Ghent in Belgium, pictured above in the studios of Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm in Livingstone on Sunday night 7th November, as they guested on our weekly radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Soulchild. Emily and Hendrik, staying at Chanters Lodge for their holiday, have been an item for about 3 years. “How did you meet”? Milli Jam wanted to know. “At a party”, they explained. “Was it love at first sight”? I asked. They paused for thought. “Well yes it was really!” Sweet! “Marriage”? I continued. Emily roared with laughter, Hendrik looked shy and started muttering something about a ring! They look happy in the picture, don’t they?

“What made you choose Zambia and Chanters Lodge for your holiday”? Milimo asked, and Hendrik explained that he and Edward Chanter (my son) were friends on the internet through a mutual enjoyment of World Of Warcraft. Hendrik had seen Edward’s pictures of Zambia on his Facebook page, liked the look of it, and made a booking. Makes a change from TripAdvisor doesn’t it?! “World Of Warcraft”? Milli Jam enquired. World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft Universe, Hendrik explained. “Is it addictive”? I asked and Hendrik said that it certainly could be – there had been family crises when parents stopped children from playing. “Do you play”? We asked Emily. “Occasionally” she said.

Emily is a carer at De Beweging and Hendrik is in ICT with Eandis, one of Belgium’s largest energy companies. We didn’t talk so much about their work. Milli Jam wanted to know what activities this lively couple had undertaken while they’d been in Livingstone, and they explained that they’d been on the Chobe 1 day safari, the sunset cruise and horse riding, so far. They’d had to stop horse riding before the scheduled time due to the heat. Understandable given the recent searing 40+ temperatures in Livingstone.

The music on the show was good as usual. We featured the current number 1 in UK ‘Only Girl In The World’ by Rihanna as well as the number 1 from the previous week ‘Promise This’ by Cheryl Cole. There were local tracks from B-Flow with ‘No More Kawilo’ as well as Judy & Ston – ‘Doubting’. More on this from George on the blog later this week I’m sure. Milli Jam chose ‘Strike It Up’ by Black Box and CJ Lewis with ‘Calm Waters’. (At this point we received an sms from the Lodge reporting that the stand by generator was not working well, so the waters were far from calm!). We turned it up with Ciara featuring Usher and turned it on with Iyaz. We featured ‘Your Love’ by the awesome Nicki Minaj with Jay Sean and closed with ‘Night Nurse’ – a tribute to the late Gregory Isaacs.

Soccer? George was jubilant – a Liverpool supporter, as his team had beaten Chelsea that afternoon. Milli Jam and I – Arsenal – were fed up that the Gunners had surprisingly lost a home game to Newcastle United. Milli Jam went on to remind our Belgian guests that Charles Musonda, one of Zambia’s best ever footballers, made his career with Anderlecht in Belgium in the 80’s, and that two of his sons were currently playing for the club.

“Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing 10 years from now”? Milli Jam summarised our popular show with the usual question. They answered at the same time “travelling” said Emily “married with children” said Hendrik – and then they both burst out laughing – again!


Wise Words And Country Ways Weather Lore

My sister Ruth’s latest book – titled as above – is about to be published and the Dorset Echo recently ran a piece about the book and Ruth. Here are some extracts. There’s a nice photo of her taken earlier this year during a much enjoyed Chobe 1 Day Safari together in Botswana.

“Ruth Binney, 67, from West Stafford, is releasing her seventh book, Wise Words And Country Ways Weather Lore. The work is an illustrated collection of old sayings relating to rural life and the great British climate, with descriptions of how they came about. It also explores proverbs and superstitions relating to the weather.

Ruth said: “I have always been fascinated by the weather and I suppose it really goes back to my dear old father who always had lots of sayings like ‘as the days lengthen the cold strengthens’ and ‘ring round the moon, snow soon’. “Definitely living in the country you are much more in touch with the weather and also I’m a gardener, which makes a big difference. I just love the mixture that these sayings give between old-fashioned knowledge and historicism about the weather, and how that combines with what we know today through science.”

Ruth does explode a few of the old mythologies about the countryside and sayings that are not true. She said: “There are obvious things like the business about cows lying down means it’s going to rain is actually a lot of rubbish. “Cows alternately stand up to eat and then lie down to chew. “As they are herd animals what one does most of the others do. “Another one that’s a lot of rubbish is lots of berries on holly means its going to be a cold winter. “It depends on what weather we have had not what we are going to get.”

However, she said a lot of the old sayings that have been passed down the generations still ring true today. Ruth said: “One very good one is if lady birds hibernate then it will be a cold winter – studies show that is really very true. “Another good one is ‘a bee was never caught in a shower’ as bees are very sensitive to the weather and if it’s going to rain. “Also that the scarlet pimpernel closes when it’s going to rain or the air becomes damp.”

Ruth, who moved to Dorset in 2002 and produced the first book two years later, enjoys her surroundings and draws on it for her writing. She said: “I get inspiration from the countryside and from my garden here and I also walk a lot, I find that’s inspiring and it’s weather-related.”

Great stuff!

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