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Here we tell you a little more about what we are up to.

By englishcabaret, Aug 6 2019 10:59AM

To celebrate England's victory at the Cricket World Cup and this year's summer of cricket, the EC blog welcomes English Singing Baker as a guest to share with us her recipe for A Novelty Birthday Cricket Cake. See her recipe below!

Hello everyone! I'm delighted to be asked to be a guest writer on the EC blog with you to share my recipe for a novelty cricket cake. I wrote this recipe a little over 2 years ago and thought this was a good moment to dig it out of the archives with the season of cricket upon us and England's victory over the summer in the World Cup . I originally made this cake for an 18th birthday but you could just make it for fun as a project over the summer holidays.

Before I jump into the recipe, you can watch the video that accompanies it here - where you can watch me make the bake step by step with songs inspired by birthday celebration!

To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of 'If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked cake' with Casson on the piano.

Without further ado here is the recipe...

Read more ...

By englishcabaret, Mar 6 2019 03:25PM

Before Christmas, as astronomical winter clocked in, we sensed that this would be no ordinary winter.

Then we eagerly anticipated the Brexit vote, and yet at the end of the season this remains unresolved.

And so this has been a season of waiting, the ‘deep breath before the plunge’.

The waiting is designed to suck energy and certainty out of the debate, to make the unacceptable practical and inevitable.

In one way Brexit is a glorious distraction, a parliamentary pantomime with heroes and villains, audience participation, and a few sing-along slogans.

In the end the European Union is the head of Europe. Regional economic cooperation makes sense in a globalised world, but countries will generally agree terms and trade.

It is not Brexit, but that we are a country prepared to shape-shift into something ‘other’ to accommodate Brexit. This ‘other’ has sprung from the spiralling inequality of recent years, and will prise the cracks further apart. It does not appear kinder or stronger but meaner and smaller.

The real prize for those who would divide to rule is not just the manipulation of our minds, but the ripping out of the heart of Europe. And that heart is the Council of Europe and its Convention on Human Rights. This treaty stands for freedom under the law and equality before the law, and it seeks to mirror and manage the massive challenges and changes in post-war Europe.

There is enthusiasm to sideline or consign the Convention to history. Certainly it is now an unwieldy affair with a court swamped with cases. But it is a marvellous youthful institution, a catalyst for change and a challenge to the mean minded. Flawed, of course, as with any other instrument of justice and government, but it stands for a golden time which must be maintained.

And so after the waiting, there will be a plunge.

We have spent this strange winter preparing. And we see these events through a prism of the story of the beginnings of the Convention, and how it was born from an analysis of the crimes of the Nazis, and the confrontation of the leaders who perpetrated them.

Over this time we have sharpened the aims of our project, THE HUMAN’S IN THE TELLING. We are now in a period of production and organisation. We are creating a filmed recording of DREAMS OF PEACE & FREEDOM, and a supporting ebook. We will have our materials ready by July. At the same time we are organising a year’s outreach to signatory states of the Convention, and three months commemoration prior to the anniversaries of Nuremberg and the Convention’s signing in November 2020.

We will be ready for the plunge, but if it can be averted, we will be ready to celebrate.

Waiting cannot smother passion.

As CS Lewis wrote about the deeper magic that hovers out of the sight of those who engender frustration, depair and hostility:

‘If she could have looked a little further back into the stillness and darkness before time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation’.

In due course spring will come, and a renaissance, like that longed for by President Macron, will blossom. How long we have to wait is up to us.

By englishcabaret, Dec 24 2018 03:38PM

Two twentieth century titans of light and shade are best placed to guide us.

CS Lewis wrote of the Narnia into which the children stumbled,

“It is winter in Narnia,” said Mr. Tumnus, “and has been for ever so long…. always winter, but never Christmas.”

We have now reached winter but there is little sign of Christmas. 10 years of austerity and politically fuelled inequality that the Christmas spirit has left us, just as the music died.

Of course the winter of Narnia was picture-book snow and frost. Not so our endless season.

Tolkein wrote of Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings :

'we have dwelt ever in sight of that shadow: sometimes it seems fainter and more distant; sometimes nearer and darker. It is growing and darkening now; and therefore our fear and disquiet grow too'.

Our winter is grey even when the sun shines, The shadow is deepening.

And so this is no ordinary Christmas and no ordinary winter lies ahead. For most, Christmas has slipped away, and fear and disquiet is rife.

It's like a bad dream as we live out the fatalism of those who believed that only they could thrive.

In response any one of us can only do their best.

As the MP David Lammy recently tweeted :

'I just want to run through the corridors screaming “ wake the **** up people” but I’m stuck in Parliament and would likely get arrested'.

Before, he said this is the House of Commons :

'The audacious idea of European integration was motivated by fear. But it was made possible by shared ideals: democracy, human rights, equality, freedom, and a refusal to submit to the tyranny of fascism, ever again.'

We agree, and we have a story that tells a little of how those shared ideals first came together after the world wars.

And during this season we are determined to spread some good dreams of peace and freedom with performances of that story.

Will you help us.

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