Archive for December, 2008

Q: Which famous Yuletide character was created by the Montgomery Ward department store (Chicago) in 1939?

Answer to last week’s question: the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is a gift from Norway. And the winner was Mark W.

Filed Under (Family and Friends, General) by Rob on 23-12-2008

Every year since 1997, we’ve sent out a Christmas circular, summarizing our year’s events and achievements…

Some of you will have had this year’s through the post recently, but for those who have not (or who’d like to see a colour version you can scroll through) here’s the Bakers’ annual round-up of news from 2008:

The Bakers’ Christmas Letter 2008 in PDF format.


Happy Christmas to you all!

Rob & Lois

Filed Under (Trivia Question of the Week) by Rob on 22-12-2008

Q: A large Christmas tree stands in Trafalgar Square, London, every Christmastime. It is a gift to us from which other European country?

Answer to last week’s question: The singer Dido was born on Christmas Day, 1971.

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 21-12-2008

The other day, Ruth was carol singing at the market to raise money for charity….


Can you spot her? Lot’s of fun, but it was a very CHILLY day indeed. Just as well she was wearing her peruvian hat, which she lives in most of the time. So, it was almost a very Chile day too (groan!)

Thanks for reading!

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 20-12-2008

One American colleague in Benin once thought that Milton Keynes was an English poet!

No, Milton Keynes is a new (-ish) town not far from us, famous for its concrete cows and large indoor shopping centre. Also, at Christmas, they always have an impressive display of seasonal delights and lots of fun stuff for the kids. Have a butchers:


Nice! We went there on Micah’s birthday and the kids loved it – it was a bit like an indoor Magicland with a Christmassy theme. Of course, birthday celebrations would not be complete without a meal at a certain fast food outlet:


What can you do? This kids love it!

Filed Under (Beninese culture) by Rob on 16-12-2008

If I’m honest, even 5 months on there are still moments when I feel like an alien in this cold country with its binge drinking, health and safety regulations, materialism and over-keen political correctness…

Still, mustn’t be too harsh on Old Blighty – here we have Quality Street, zebra crossings that work, cheese & onion crisps and… X Factor!!

But the strange thing is that, even though I missed home every Christmas and longed for frost, real Christmas trees and log fires, I still find myself missing the Benin Christmas and the friends we spent it with. So, like a true musician, I wrote a song (well some lyrics at least!) to express my feelings. Here it is:

Merry Christmas to you, wherever you are!

Filed Under (Trivia Question of the Week) by Rob on 15-12-2008

Q: Which famous female British singer was born on Christmas Day, 1971 (ie exactly 10 months after Rob)?

Answer to last weeks question: The first motorway in the UK was called the Preston Bypass (now part of the M6). And the winner was ‘Big Al’ (via e-mail).

Filed Under (Family and Friends, General) by Rob on 14-12-2008


The first was taken at ‘Magicland‘ in Cotonou a few months ago, the second in the Milton Keynes shopping centre, England, just last week. Not that much difference really (especially not in Madelaine’s classic “laid back” approach to merry-go-round riding!)

The main difference is the weather and the amount of electricity being consumed by extra light bulbs in the latter example. Of course, no extra illumination needed when you have bright sunshine every day (boy, do I miss that!)

More on Milton Keynes soon…

Filed Under (Trivia Question of the Week) by Rob on 08-12-2008

Q: The first motorway (highway, freeway, autoroute, Autobahn) in the UK celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. What was it called?

Answer to last week’s question: SCUBA stands for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’. And the closest answer was from Tim Robinson.