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Charlie and Baby-Led Weaning

I posted a video of Charlie eating papaya a while ago, but I felt like it didn't show baby-led weaning in the best way - because he was mostly just playing with the food.

So here's another video where you can see how he manipulates food, goes back for more, etc.


I'm sure all parents worry about the decisions they have to make about their child, but one thing that I'm really happy we did was try baby-led weaning.
The basic principle is no spoon feeding at all - **babies do not need to be spoon-fed**

The main advantages are:
1. The child gets to practice manipulating objects, recognising colours, etc. from an early age.
2. The child learns from the very beginning that eating happens at the table with everyone else. No running after a baby with a spoon.
3. The child learns to control his own food intake, and thus develops a good relation with food. He will try new foods easily.
4. It's easier to feed her, just lay the food in front of her and she gets on with it.

Check out a website on baby-led weaning, and also a helpful forum.

Disadvantages:
1. It can be very messy
2. It is often slower (but in the long run I think you save time).

Restaurant suing blogger Sixthseal and Google

21.26

OK this is a new one: a restaurant - Jothy's Fish Head Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant - in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is suing Sixthseal.com, a well-known Malaysian blogger, for saying he did not like the food at the restaurant - in fact he said it was really awful. For some reason I can't access that blog right now, but here is a screenshot of the original post. I can't say that it's a good move by the restaurant, better just to make sure their food is good and it should sort itself out.

However, it's possible that the reason why they are so annoyed is that is was recommended in Lonely Planet, so they must have been making loads of money off the tourists, and with a prominent blog post coming sixth on the Google search first page, it could be affecting their business. On the other hand, the first result is a positive four star rating from tripadvisor.com.

Anyway, it seems to me that Sixthseal has expressed a subjective opinion, and if you're going to start suing every food critic who doesn't like a restaurant (ditto for art critics, book reviewers, etc.) then there are going to be a lot of changes.

But the next bit is the strangest, and it may be a first. The restaurant is also suing Google - I suppose for providing the search engine that enables people to see the blog post.

Well - this one may be a world wide first, so Malaysia boleh! Again. But honestly it's got to be dead in the water. If the courts agreed to this, then every company will be wanting to be tell Google what to show and what not to show. Though there may be precedent in terms of Google returning searches on porn, terrorist related sites etc.

21.40

++++++++++
The 15-minute blog post.
I like to blog, but I can't afford to spend a lot of time on it. Solution: limit myself to 15 minutes per post.
One link, one picture maximum.
All comments, critiques and corrections are welcome. Thank you.

Charlie eats Papaya

15.35
We're using the Baby led weaning method for Charlie's feeding. Basically it means no spoon-feeding at all, he went straight onto solids at 6 months. So far it's working fine (touch wood).

[OK it's 15.50 now, but the upload to YouTube is taking a while...]



15.04




The 15-minute blog post.
I like to blog, but I can't afford to spend a lot of time on it. Solution: limit myself to 15 minutes per post.
All comments, critiques and corrections are welcome. Thank you.

Chez Vincent - Brussels restaurant

Wow I haven't blogged for almost two weeks! Actually, I was in Belgium for a week - it was my mother's 70th birthday, and we surprised her by all turning up for lunch. There are six of us children in all, and she only knew that my sister was taking her out to lunch. I guess I was probably the biggest surprise of all, seeing as she thought I was in Malaysia :-) Anyway, thanks to my brother for paying for the ticket, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go.

We had a very nice meal in a typical Belgian restaurant called Chez Vincent; it's located in the 'Rue des Bouchers' area near the Grand Place - this is a warren of small streets packed with restaurants and some bars. Chez Vincent itself is somewhat upmarket I think, but serving the standard dishes of steak, cod, waterzooi, mussels, and so on…

It has a very nice décor, in particular the murals that were done around 1920, using tiles
chez vincent brussels tile mural

The amount of work that must have gone into the tiling is huge, it has to be all planned in advance, then each colour has to be fired separately
chez vincent brussels tile mural

You enter the restaurant through the kitchen (I always find it reassuring to see the kitchen :-))
chez vincent brussels tile mural

The tiling was done by the Maison Helman, as you can see …
chez vincent brussels tile mural

It's been there for about 90 years now!

Their specialty is mussels - but I'm not such a fan of mussels. As it was the hunting season, there was some game available – “Râble de lièvre, sauce crème ou sauce poivrade” (hare stew, I think) and “Suprême de faisan fine Champagne, pommes pins” (pheasant). I chose the pheasant, with a sauce ‘fine Champagne’. It was very tasty, I had a recollection of pheasant as being somewhat gamey, but this was nice – more like turkey than chicken, but along those lines. It came with a baked apple topped with some berries.
chez vincent brussels pheasant

I dunno if it had anything to do with the game, but the knife I was given was a La Guiole knife; these are very good clasp knives, often used by hunters (those who can afford it, otherwise they get an Opinel). This one is not a clasp knife, but one made for the table, it looks the same but you can't close it.

It was not cheap, expect your dishes to start at 20 euros and go up from there, but it was good quality, very tasty, and in a unique environment. The service was fine, but the waiter got a tad confused with the orders after we changed places – I think he remembered the order by seating place, not by the person.

Air Asia eXperience

How was my Air Asia eXperience? To check in and get on the plane was OK - the usual minimal service and bus-station-like experience of the LCCT. Though I must say the international departures lounge now has many more shops than before - and it almost feels like a real airport.

The flight was much cheaper than the cheapest MAS flight, about RM1700 cheaper. The ‘Brisbane’ flight lands in Gold Coast Coolangatta airport, which is about one hour from Brisbane, but there’s a Malaysian/Australian company called AAExpress that runs a bus service that will pick you up at the airport and take you to Brisbane for AUD38.

So money-wise, it’s great value and I can’t complain there. But I do have two major grouses.

The seats are pretty minimal, narrow, and don’t lean back very much - OK it’s budget travel... but there is no footrest! Maybe it’s just because I have shorter legs or something, but I find that a footrest can make so much difference and surely they can’t cost a lot to have! It’s rare even to find a bus without them now.

And the second problem is the food - I booked a ‘Vegetarian meal’ and this is what I got...
air asia meal nasi lemak

yep, like one scoop of rice and a few spoonfuls of some (admittedly tasty) fake meat-type thing. Oh, and a bottle of water. It’s really not enough - and they only serve one meal in an eight hour flight. I mean, I would be fine with paying more to get a proper meal! Some fruit, bread roll, whatever... shame! :-(
air asia meal nasi lemak

And because they spend so much time giving people change, etc, it takes ages to serve.

Anyway; something I would recommend is that it’s probably well worth paying in advance for the entertainment (i.e. films, etc.) - if you’re saving RM1,000+ on the flight, might as well allow yourself RM30 or less to avoid spending the whole flight staring at a map with the plane’s flight track... And bring a pillow and blanket.

Beers!! Delicious! Enticing! Belgian!

Been travelling for over a week now, and this is the first chance I got to do some updates. It will be quick, and about BEER!!

One of my goals back here is to try as many different beers as I can :-) I didn't take photos of them all, but here are a couple from the UK (OK one is a cider I know :-P)
English beer cider

I found out that Cornish beers/ales are generally pretty nice and smooth. Also, because the weather is kind of cold, warmer ales are much nicer than a cold lager!

Arriving in Belgium, we stopped at the first petrol station for some food, and here was the choice of beers (aaahhhhhh....)
Belgian motorway choice of beers

I have to say, I wonder about the wisdom of serving beers in a motorway cafe, but I was not complaining :-P

We had a 'Blanche' and a 'Kriek'
Kriek Belle-Vue and Hoegaarden Blanche with glasses

'Kriek' is cherry beer, usually the best type of fruit beer - refreshing tartiness. Note also that each has its own special type of glass.

Next day, to the supermarket - here are the shelves packed full! (and some more were around the corner of the aisle)
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