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Family life

Snapshot: My son with his birthday board

This photo is of my son Harry with the surfboard we gave him for his birthday, on Porthmeor Beach, one of our favourite spots in Cornwall. It was taken quite soon after the break up of my marriage, and having always believed in the sea’s health-giving, if not life-affirming, properties, it seemed the obvious place of retreat for my three children and me.

About to launch himself canada goose coat 0f into the blue beyond, he’s holding his board proudly, like a buddy. With his wetsuit casually unpeeled, and draped around his hips, it won’t be long before he’s off.

For him, there’s not a cloud on the horizon as he waits to take the plunge. Far away, the sea is beckoning. He canada goose coat – hybridge lite squints into the sun, impatient for me to take the picture. I want to hold the moment; he wants to go. Off camera are his two sisters, letting him take centre stage, for the moment.

The picture reminds me that things change almost imperceptibly. My son was 13 one day, 14 the next. I couldn’t tell the difference, smaller than the surfboard now but growing all the time. With the solace of the sea and the gentle warming of the sun, we were readjusting to our new life and its rhythms. The tide was out but the waves were slowly and inevitably easing their way in.

Later, when day best ideas about canada goose outlet online on pinterest seeped into night we made a barbecue and gathered round the glow of the fire, and enjoyed our homemade feast.

A few years later, we decided to take a different sort of plunge. With my new husband, I bought a house by that sea. We all knew it was a good move, especially the children, who could have surfboards waxed, wetsuits donned and toes in the water before you could say Mermaid of Zennor. This change was for the better. Gayle Wood

Playlist: My grandad, Leonard Cohen …

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Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

“I heard there was a secret chord/That David played, and it pleased the Lord/But you don’t really care for music, do you?”

I don’t remember my grandpa Lenny much. He died when I was three, and the single memory I do have – running hand-in-hand with him the wrong way up the escalators at Manchester airport – has the air of fiction about it, a moment so early that it’s more a remembering of a remembering than the memory itself.

I wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for my grandfather. Not in the glib sense of genetic inheritance, but because of his name. My dad and mum met in a pub in Manchester – my dad got the thunderbolt, love at first sight. She was intrigued by the mad Welsh-Greek with the colonial accent, so she gave him her number. Which he, typically, lost.

He also forgot can someone check if this canada goose outlet website is authentic her name. Nice one, Dad. But he did remember her father’s name – Leonard Cohen. Obviously, not the Leonard Cohen, one-time rabbi, poet and singer. No, Lenny Cohen, a market trader done good, who invented the can you machine wash canada goose jacket Pakamac and made a fortune selling it to the USSR, a man who skipped enlistment in the second world war by fleeing to Argentina (he finally enlisted at the end of the war to get a free flight back to Blighty), canada goose coat 1000 calorie meal plans and who had a joke for every occasion (bought from a central Manchester joke shop). My dad found Leonard’s number in the Manchester phone book and managed to get back in touch with my mum. The rest is biology.

Lenny Cohen died in 1982. I didn’t listen to much music as a kid – Holst’s Planets, Monty Python Sings and West Side Story were the only LPs we had – so I didn’t experience any of his doppelganger Leonard’s songs until university, where I got far too into Jeff Buckley’s rendition of Hallelujah. And where I saw my grandad’s name as the composer. Which is when my dad told me this story. Daniel Griliopoulos

We love to eat: Marg’s chop suey


Any meat (if required) cooked and sliced thinly


Cabbage or sprouts


Mushrooms best mens canada goose parka

2 onions

1 dessertspoon cornflour

1½ tbsp of weak, cold tea

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp Marmite

1 tsp mushroom ketchup

Pinch of ginger

Slice the veggies finely. Fry the onion in hot oil. Add the vegetables –cabbage or sprouts last. Cook for one minute. Mix the cornflour and tea, add sugar, Marmite click cg, mushroom ketchup and ginger. Pour over the veggies and cook for four minutes. Add the meat and warm through well.

Marg was my best friend at college in the 1960s where we were living on campus and always hungry. She was brought up in a small village in Buckinghamshire and thought of me as a sophisticated city girl (from Birmingham!). But it was Marg who introduced me to foreign food, taking me to my first Chinese restaurant in Walsall – where I fell in love with the cooking.

It was as far removed from the roast dinners of home as Beijing from the Black Country: the smell of crispy pancake rolls, my first encounter with soy sauce, eating with chopsticks.

Marg found this recipe for chop suey, which we made in vat loads. My parents “adopted” both my friend and her recipe, it’s still a family tradition for leftovers on Boxing Day. My daughter now calls it Mum’s chop suey. But Marg knows where it came from. Barbara Fisher

We’d love to hear your stories

We best canada goose jacket review will pay £25 for every Letter to, Playlist, Snapshot or We love to eat we publish. Write to Family Life, The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU or email [email protected] Please include your address and phone number