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Jean-Michel Folon food banks London 2012

Reader, today I am Disgusted in Stoke Newington and you will have to excuse the departure from normal programming while I have a little rant.

At the weekend, I visited the Folon Foundation. There are a few pervading motifs throughout Folon’s body of illustrations; notably that of a lone, shrouded figure, and an outstretched hand. Those two symbols were at the forefront of my mind this morning as I read a Guardian piece on the rise of foodbanks in the UK.

I am horrified that the same government that is granting huge tax breaks to corporate sponsors during the Olympics is cutting off income support from the poorest members of society, forcing them to turn to charity for food. Is this 2012, or have we travelled back in time to the Victorian era?

I know there is very little—beyond making my feelings known in the general election and signing each and every petition out there—that I can do to change government policy. But I can do one thing: I can help these poor people—and not just by paying my taxes.

Tomorrow is new budget day, and I will assign a portion of next week’s cash to putting my money where my mouth is. My local foodbank needs people to donate the following:

Milk (UHT or powdered)

Sugar 500g

Fruit Juice (carton)

Soup

Pasta Sauces

Sponge pudding (tinned)

Tomatoes (tinned)

Cereals

Rice pudding (tinned)

Tea bags / Instant coffee

Instant mash potato

Rice/pasta

Tinned meat / fish

Tinned fruit

Tinned vegetables

Baked beans

Jam

Biscuits / snack bars

Find your local foodbank here. I wonder if Jimmy Carr would be willing to donate?

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Leonidas chocolate, Brussels, Belgium and Magritte

I’ll be frank, there isn’t a whole lot of cooking going on in the LoveRichCashPoor household right now. We’re in the middle of re-painting, which means that everything from the sitting room is currently in the kitchen, while the bedroom is filled to the brim with all the elements of the husband’s former playroom study (think wires, decks, multiple pairs of trainers, computers, mysterious black boxes with lots of knobs on, camera equipment, records… you get the picture). Getting into bed is a veritable feat of balance and gymnastic ability.

Leonidas chocolate, Brussels, Belgium and Folon

In fact, it’s a good job I came back from Belgium loaded with chocolates (thanks dad!). Belgium is renowned for its chocolates and there are artisan chocolatiers on every street corner but I was reared on Leonidas and Leonidas remains my chocolate of choice: specifically truffes speculoos.

At Leonidas, chocolate-making is an art. So how better to show off each tiny creation than by photographing these beauteous bites on famous Belgian works of art?

Leonidas chocolate, Brussels, Belgium and Magritte

A visit to Leonidas is an event in my family. We each have our chocolate of choice: at the moment, my sister and I are obsessed with the truffes and coupes. We’ve been through phases of cerise emballee, manons and irresistibles., we’ve branched out into orangettes and mendiants. Heaven knows where our chocolate journey will take us next, but it will no doubt be delicious.

Each of us takes it in turn to voice our request, then we stand back and watch the lady behind the counter leap into action; her gloved hands deftly selecting the gleaming ganaches and laying them in one of Leonidas’ signature gold boxes, lovingly protecting each layer with a sheet of foil. Then the box is wrapped and beribboned and carried home to savour. Yum.

Leonidas chocolate, Brussels, Belgium

Leonidas choclates, Brussels, Belgium

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