Archive for September, 2008

Filed Under (Trivia Question of the Week) by Rob on 08-09-2008


Q: From which European country did the Smurfs originate?

Answer next Monday…

Filed Under (Family and Friends) by Rob on 06-09-2008

Have a look at these two photos and spot the differences:

2008, Bedfordshire, UK
2007, Cotonou, Benin

Quite a few to be seen, I should say (not least of all that Micah does not have bare feet in the first!) Yes, this week our three kids started school in the UK; for Micah it was the first time ever that he’d attended school in this country and the experience was just a tad overwhelming to start with. The girls are at middle school, which is new for them, but there are some children they remember from 4 years ago.

The main differences for them at school here will be:

* Larger classes
* A wider range of teachers
* French lessons will be a doddle
* No outdoor swimming
* Having to wear a tie
* The subjects PSHE, RS and DT, none of which they did in Cotonou.

I was trawling through old photos, and here’s their first ever day at school in Benin (2004):


Don’t they look cute?! And here’s start of school 2005,
just after Ruth’s ceiling fan accident:


If you’ve just started a new school or are about to go to university, I wish you the very best – may you settle in quickly and begin enjoying the new adventure!

Other News…

* Rob’s on an ethnomusicology course with SIL, studying Analysis of non-Western music, a very useful skill to have on the field.
* Lois is planning some French study in the coming months, hopefully in France.
* The kids are looking forward to a trip to Woburn Safari Park today (Sat) to celebrate Grandma Pauline’s birthday.
* Rob heads back to Togo in October to teach a two-week ethnomusicology course.

Thanks for reading!

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 03-09-2008

The Bakers’ Summer Party has become something of an institution; every summer since 1996 we’ve had such a gathering in our home for old friends and new to get together and enjoy food, fun and music!

Of course, we didn’t have summer parties in 2005 or 2007 as we were in Benin then (and what’s the point of celebrating the nice warm weather there?!) Click here to see a post about the 2006 summer party.

It has become the norm of late to have a BOUNCY CASTLE for the party – lots of fun for kids of all sizes! Here are some party pics:


Another tradition has been live jazz in the garden whenever possible. This year, we had a jazz quartet with Gary Wood on trumpet, Fergus Milne on trombone and yours truly on piano. We were then joined by the legendary Michael Meadowcroft on clarinet, who Rob met and played with in Benin. (Michael, formerly a Liberal MP, even appears in Wikipedia! Have a look here).

This year we beat our summer party world record! Not in number (although 92 guests was very close) but in age range. The eldest guest – “Auntie Grace” is 96 years old whereas the youngest was Toby, who is about one year old. Here they are:


So an age range of 95 years. Wow! We’re planning to have a Summer Party next year, probably in June. Watch this space…

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 03-09-2008

The other day, Eddie Arthur asked me if whether I would be continuing to blog whilst back in the UK. The answer is YES!

I decided to take August off blogging as we were on holiday for most of the time and I NEVER take my laptop on holiday with me! Now September is here, there’ll be new posts on reverse culture shock, Baker activities, African memories and future plans, not forgetting Trivia Question of the Week

Watch this space. New post with photos coming very soon!