Tag Archives: miriam gonzalez durantez

Nick and Miriam talk publicly for the first time about their son’s successful Cancer treatment

About a year ago, I became aware that Nick Clegg and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez were going through the worst ordeal any parent can face. Their eldest son Antonio was going through brutal treatment for a life-threatening condition. They were very much in my thoughts as my family also faced months of medical trauma. That sort of thing is scary enough when it happens to an adult, but utterly heartbreaking and terrifying beyond anything you are ever likely to face when it comes to your own child.

It was pretty much an open secret, but, thankfully, the media respected  the family’s privacy nobody published anything about what was happening.

Yesterday, Nick and Miriam talked about their son’s illness for the first time on ITV’s Lorraine programme. They wanted to raise awareness of Bloodwise, a charity dedicated to funding research into blood cancers. The aspect that Nick and Miriam focused on was that of finding a way of making the treatments less horrendous to endure. They wrote a blog for the charity, saying:

Antonio, our eldest son, was 14 when we first spotted a small, entirely painless lump in his neck.
Although he had no other symptoms, we made an appointment with our local GP.  We were lucky: our brilliant doctor quickly recognised that the lump could be something more serious. And so it was that after an ultrasound scan and a biopsy Antonio was diagnosed in September of last year with stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma in his neck and his chest.

Like all parents who have a child diagnosed with cancer, our first reaction was an overwhelming, if irrational, wish to take the cancer away from him and take it on ourselves. But of course you can’t. You have no choice but to watch your own child battle through the heavy treatment, however much all your parental instincts wish you could take their place.

The treatment he received in the NHS at the teenage cancer unit at UCLH was superb. Every single person working on the ward – from the reception desk to the expert nurses – was friendly, professional and compassionate. We were especially fortunate that Dr Stephen Daw, Antonio’s Consultant Oncologist, is a specialist in childhood and teenage lymphomas and leads research into improving treatments and outcomes.

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: How to beat the ticking Brexit clock: let British business leaders do the talking

There are few people in this country who have as much experience in negotiating international trade deals as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.  In her Made in Spain book published last year, she drops casually into a recipe that she came across guacamole when she helped to negotiate the EU-Mexico trade agreement.

She’s written in the Guardian about the many dangerous mistakes that the Government is making in its approach to the EU negotiations.

She has some scary observations about who is influencing these proceedings:

British business leaders were asked to share the table with the Legatum Institute, a thinktank with unparalleled access to Davis and Theresa May and that seems to have been at the origin of some of the preposterous positions on Brexit taken by the government so far. Its inexplicable presence at that table was the clearest signal that the government has not changed its views on Brexit after the general election even one tiny little bit.

The institute has established a special commission on trade that consists of more than 20 people with different “trade” backgrounds. It is run by a British American director. The Legatum member who has just been nominated the UK’s new chief trade negotiation adviser is a New Zealander. The funding of the institute comes from a foundation that is part of a Dubai-based private investment group. So much for the UK “taking back control”.

The Government invited 33 business leaders to a discussion with this organisation recently. She goes on to show how this institute may have influenced the Government’s comments on things like “frictionless” access to the single market.

Miriam goes on to describe exactly why such an approach is completely unrealistic:

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: I don’t want my 3 sons to grow up in a world where girls feel second rate

Another Lib Dem woman who inspires many – in fact, she makes a mission of Inspiring Women is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.

She has written for the Telegraph about the need for men and women to work together to make life better for the next generation of boys and girls.

She outlines the threats to hard-won progress:

In the US, President Donald Trump is putting into question women’s reproductive rights; in Russia, laws are being considered to decriminalise some aspects of domestic violence.

Just last week, a Polish MEP declared that women should earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” Breitbart, the right-wing website pioneered by Steve Bannon, now Trump’s chief strategist, has claimed that birth control makes women unattractive and crazy. And so on.

Women still suffer from society’s expectations:

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Book review: Made in Spain, by Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez Made in SpainI was delighted to get Miriam’s part memoir part cookbook for my birthday last week.

I love cookbooks and have a stack of them not in the kitchen but by my bed. My favourite sort have a lot of commentary and background as well as just recipes. That’s part of the reason I’m such a huge Nigella fan. She puts a lot of herself into her recipes and writing.   The two women have cooked together before and Nigella’s “Gorgeous recipes” endorsement on Miriam’s front cover is a very useful thing.

The book is worth it for a mini rant on stock alone, but it has so much to offer. The food is appetising – although I might use a bit more garlic than she does – with gutsy flavours. I can see myself making a fair few of these recipes, although I’d have to figure out how to use less oil. From a vibrant gazpacho simple pasta with bacon and peas taught to her sons when she broke her elbow during the 2010 election to a delicious lamb stew to the most wonderful sounding dish with potatoes, garlic and saffron, to lemon curd muffins, to olive oil chocolate mousse, there are dishes that could make me very happy. You never know, I might just cook some and compare her photos with mine.

Her recipes are interspersed with personal anecdotes:

I was first introduced to guacamole when I helped to negotiate the EU-Mexican trade agreement.

is quite a claim to fame!

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Miriam: “I only take applause from the platform when I have given the speech”

It is not like me to gratuitously share links to the Mail on Sunday but this time it’s worth it. Miriam Gonzalez Durantez has given an interview to the Fail to publicise her upcoming cookery book Made in Spain: Recipes and stories from my country and beyond (available for pre-order here). My husband has had enough heavy hints dropped that I want this book for my birthday next week.

At least the Fail called her by her proper name, although they had to slip a “Mrs Clegg” into the headline. You would think her readers would know exactly who she was given how vile the paper has been to her at every opportunity over the last six years. She is not and never has been “Mrs Clegg.”

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Miriam Gonzalez Durantez on her new cookery book to raise money for her Inspiring Girls campaign.

Miriam González Durántez by Cabinet OfficeTheresa May apparently has over 100 cookbooks. That’s probably the one thing she and I have in common. I actually have a stack of them by my bedside table so I can dip in and out of them when I want. I tend to read them for pleasure as much as cook from them. I particularly like books which have a story around them to go along with the food.

That’s why Those Who Need to Know are under no illusions as to how disappointed I’d be if I didn’t get Miriam Gonzalez Durantez’s new book, Made in Spain, for my upcoming birthday. It’s conveniently being published just three days before.

On Thursday, Miriam appeared on ITV’s Lorraine show (from about 15 minutes in). She brought along some delicious looking food and talked a bit about some of the recipes. She also talked about her feelings on Brexit. You can also be under no illusion that she’s not very impressed with the new Foreign Secretary. I haven’t watched Lorraine in a long time and had forgotten how much I enjoyed her lovely and informal manner. Also, if you are as trashy as I am, Bucks Fizz are on the show too. If, like me, you are a die-hard Eurovision geek, it’s a must-see.

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzáles says free trade has won: adapt or die is the only option left to us

Writing on the Tata steel crisis in the Guardian, Miriam Gonzáles, who is a partner at the global specialist law firm, Dechert LLP, specialising in international trade, writes:

The Tata Steel sale has revived the battle between protectionists and free traders, a debate that became particularly acute in the run-up to the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995, which marked the success of “free traders” all around the world.

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