Saturday, 31 January 2009

Sad but not alone

A few people have asked me what I'm doing this weekend and they have all laughed when I've told them I was heading off to the Organic Growers Potato Fayre.

Well, I may be sad but I certainly wasn't alone! The fayre was advertised as being on from 10.00am till 2.00pm but when we arrived at about 11.30 am we were just in time to bag up the very last few spuds.

It was an absolute sell out! The organisers told me that when they opened there were ques outside.

Unfortunately there were no standard main crops left so we will have early and late spuds this year. In some ways this is good though - we'll have earlies when there's not that much else cropping, then no potato crop when everything is in full flow and a second potato crop late in the growing season when everything else is slowing right down.

I'm slightly miffed at not getting to pick and choose but at the same time I think it's a great sign that more and more people are joining the home grown revolution.

Miles and I are going to head up to the attic soon to lay them out for chitting. It's light, not too warm and not too cool up there so they should be fine. I'm just going to put them on newspaper for now and will try to get hold of a couple of large egg trays like you see in greengrocers next week. That will stop them from rolling and breaking the shoots off.

Friday, 30 January 2009


I've got loads of stuff to be thankful for today - a wonderful afternoon spent with a friend, really easy conversation and lemon drizzle cake, a beautiful glass pendant which she made especially for me and snuzzly hugs with her baby.

I'm also ever so thankful to this lady Rachael Hertogs.

I approached Rachael to ask for help in introducing the idea of reusable sanitary protection to the ladies within a community organisation I'm involved with. Today I received a sample pad in the post and lots of information to share and distribute.

The pad is great quality and feels good. I'm so pleased she has helped me out in this way as I have no new ones and very much doubt that my well loved stuff would tempt anyone to try something new!

You can find Rachael online at Moon Times. Please go along and have a look if you have a moment. As well as sanitary products there are also fabulous artwork, books, cushions and all kinds. I really like the sound of many of her workshops too but unfortunately it would be a fair way for me to travel.

Even if you're not in the market to buy right now go along, be inspired and tell your friends

All of the photographs in this post belong to Rachael and show just a couple of the things she has to offer. They are not mine.

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Miles - Why do daddy lions wear wigs?

Hermione – How would I know if I’d spotted a Nazi?

Claire – Why do my children always ask questions when I’m a) driving round the roundabout for the second time still trying to find the exit, b) attempting for the fourth time to hear the message left on my answering machine, c) asleep?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Garden planning

Prompted by a conversation about quinoa today I decided to get my seed stash out. I bought some rainbow quinoa seeds late last year ready for this years growing season. Well, I have now found almost every seed known to man (perhaps not quite) except for the rainbow quinoa. Very frustrating. I'm going to summon the energy to rake through the drawers again after this.

Anyway, now I have my seeds stash to hand I'm starting to plan the beds in my head. Some of the seeds are from last year but they have been stored well. I suspect the germination rate may be slightly lower but I'm going to try them all the same. Some are new ones that I have picked up as I've seen them over autumn and winter.

Now that I have two veg patches I feel I have so much more scope and hopefully will be able to more than double last years productivity by maximising both plots. I'm aiming to bring food not just to our table but also to our friends who have very generously offered their garden. I know I won't manage to grow all of the veg we eat but I hope to make a big impact on the shopping bill and have fun in the process.

We'll be foraging again too and after watching a few Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall programmes recently I think I'll have more success with my elderflower cordial, elderflower champagne and elderberry cordial this year. I know now that the champagne is supposed to go mouldy! I shouldn't have thrown mine away last year at that point.

I'm going to do more research about hawthorn before the blossoms come. We really enjoy the hawthorn blossom tea so I'm now wondering about collecting and drying it for use later in the year.

Also wondering if it's possible to preserve the wild garlic leaves in some way too. I love that flavour. It's different to ordinary garlic. It reminds me of messing in the woods as a child.

I've not made any final decisions but I think this is what I'll be growing this year.

Low maintenance patch - Potatoes, jerusalem artichokes and beetroot. Some other odds and ends too but I think these will be the main crops here. There's a potential rabbit issue here so it may be wisest to stick with hardy roots.

Salad beds and cut and come leaves - Rocket, radishes, spring onions, chard bright lights, parsley, basil, pak choi and perpetual spinach.

Bean and pea beds - Runner Bean, Dwarf French Beans, Broad Beans and Peas. I've an extra early type of broad bean this year and some are already started in pots outside.

Greenhouse - Goji berries, peppers, aubergine, melon and cucumbers. The goji won't produce anything this year. I think they need a few years to mature. Possibly a couple of tomatoes but after big tomato gluts the last couple of years I think we'll stick to one or two - probably the Tumbling Tom variety.

Main bed - Sprouting broccoli, Courgette, Onions and Leeks.

I'm not going to bother with mooli, carrots or parsnips this year unless I get round to preparing a special bed for them. It's a bit of a waste of time in our soil as it is. I think I'm going to concentrate on making a pumpkin and squash bed instead. I really want to grow more pumpkins this year but they take up so much space. Need to ponder this one.

Off now to carry on hunting for the rest of my seeds.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

United Kingdom

Today has passed in a bit of a blur. I've been ever so tired as I stayed up way past my bedtime last night. I'd like to say it was because I went out for dinner and then onto a club for a dance but that would be a downright lie.

I watched the update on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Out Campaign and then set to making some map cards for the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately Southern Ireland isn't there and I haven't differentiated between Northern and Southern Ireland. That's what happens when you watch telly and do your home work late! Never mind, I've made lots and I'm hoping they will be good for playing snap and memory games.

Looking at the picture I'm wondering if I should have spent the evening scrubbing the floor instead!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Fire bowls

Hermione thoroughly enjoys making small garden fires. She discovered this last autumn and has spent many an hour stoking smouldering leaves, gathering sticks and attempting to toast anything form rice cakes to chocolate ever since.

I spotted this fire bowl and cooking stand while browsing Myriad online.

I'm not sure what to do. I'm a little worried about the safety issues - but then she messes with fire anyway. I'm also a little alarmed at the cost - perhaps a bucket style barbecue would be a cheaper and reasonable option.

Hmmm, pondering. I think it's great for children to explore the elements but it's not always easy to know how and when. Still pondering.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

F words

Hermione and I made our first attempt at felt faeries yesterday. Long way to go there - they were trickier than we expected.

I messed online and found some great reading and comprehension exercises based on fables at the CurrClick site. It's certainly worth a look at that site. There are some good free downloads for home ed.

Feeling exceptionally fat and alarmingly unfit. It's payoff time for spending the last few weeks crafting by the open fire, munching cake and sipping ginger cordial. Craig said last night that these things have greater impact once you're closer to forty than thirty but I refuse to think about that.

I'm starting to feel fuddled and need to get out in the fresh air. I want the frost to pass so that I can start on my veg patch. I've had my fill of winter for this year. I want the wheel to turn.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Water - Drop

Reflecting on this weeks 'lessons' I think one of the things Hermione (and I) have found most enjoyable was realising the physical reality of ten litres of water and translating this into how much water is actually used in everyday tasks such as flushing the toilet, taking a bath etc. We were shocked when we started to really envisage just how much water we actually use. There are details, guides and suggestions for this activity on the water link I gave earlier in the week.

We also enjoyed bringing the water cycle to life in the form of a story. I felt that all of the exercises and discussions we had around the diagrammatic images of the water cycle weren't quite hitting the mark. I googled for inspiration and found a computer game (which I hated) in which a drop of rain was personified. This gave us the idea for writing the story - and here it is.


High above the earth, fluffy white clouds floated along. In the clouds lived a little Drop of water, round and content with life. For as long as he could remember, he spent his days chilling out and soaking up the sun's warm rays. One day, he took his usual place in the sun but the light didn't seem to be as bright. In fact, as the day went on, it grew darker and darker, loud claps of thunder shook the cloud, and the Drop felt as if he were getting so heavy he could hardly move.

Suddenly, the Drop felt himself falling from the cloud. He was starting to condense and turn into rain. Down, down, down he fell, farther and father from home.

At last he landed on the earth, in the dark green rain forest. There were tall trees and huge leaves for as far as he could see. Multicolored insects of every shape and size crawled and flew around him. Strange creatures surrounded him, and the sounds and sights were like nothing he had ever seen or heard before. All he was sure of was that he wanted to go back home. But how?

So began the adventure of Drop, the water molecule, as he enters the great water cycle. He needs to get safely through the forest, into the river, and out to sea so that the sun can warm him once again and help him get back to the clouds. He needs to reach a place where he can evaporate back to his cloud home.

It’s not going to be easy. All living things need water. What if he soaks into the soil and is absorbed by a tree or plants roots? What if an animal or insect drinks him? What if he makes it to the river but is taken out at a water treatment centre and sent to someone’s home for them to use to flush the toilet, have a bath or cook their dinner?

Drop may not know it as his memory isn’t that good but he’s already been in all of these situations – and still always eventually made it back to his cloud home. There’s no more water on earth than there was when earth began. It’s the same water just going around and round and round in the huge water cycle.

I'm hoping Hermione may feel inclined to draw a few illustrations for Drop this coming week.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Hearts to share

I'm having a day time blog break to recover from the mornings celebrations, (Craig is twenty one again today). I am seriously not a morning person and try to hide under the duvet for as long as possible but the children were wild this morning.

He's working long hours over the weekend on something that couldn't be postponed so we had to do our celebrating early.

When I helped them wrap up prizes for pass the parcel, musical bumps and so on yesterday I hadn't imagined the party would be kicking off at 7.30am. I'm glad I was just in charge of the music - I suspect Craig will be asleep at his desk by now after all of his dancing, bumping and parcel passing.

I gave him a beautiful fabric artwork and some of those ever so sickly love heart sweets.

I also bought a pair of gloves with rubber strips on - especially for erecting greenhouses - but decided to say they were from the children *tut tut*.

Here is a beautiful crochet book mark that Nana has made and it's up for grabs. We've hearts to spare! Email me (in profile) if you would like one and I'll pull names from the hat next week.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Hats and hurried preparations

Nana has finished the latest in her series of funky crochet hats for Hermione. I think this one may be my personal favourite.

Now that she has nothing on she's crocheting some bits and pieces for Valentines Day and has kindly said I can give some away on here. I'm hoping to have figured out how to get my camera back onto close up mode and post pictures tomorrow.

It's Craig's birthday tomorrow and we need to go shopping, but for the first time ever Hermione is taking meticulous care over her map work. Typical, on the only occasion I possibly would have been pleased if she rushed it off she's actually taking it seriously.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Just grazing and stuff

I have had a long overdue day at home in my nightie (and occasionally wellies) today. It was lovely, the sort of day I regularly dream of but rarely happens.

I ventured no further than the garden to generally cluck about and plant a few extra early broad beans. Nana did the swim run which I'm ever so grateful for and the greatest disturbance of the day was when Polly flew up onto nana's roof, startling nana who sitting inside thought there must be something not smaller than a moose on the roof, and also startling a passer by who stood at the bottom of the drive gawping at the big fluffy hen right up top of the ridge tiles. I think I need to have words with that window cleaner about this one. He'll know what to do.

Hermione did her 'lessons'. We did more exciting stuff about water using ideas and a resource pack I got from here. I'm going to blog all our water stuff when we finish it. She then spent much of the rest of the day writing an article called 'Hen keeping today'. She is hoping to have her efforts published in the Durham Exchange newsletter.

Miles helped to bake a chocolate cake and then spent the next half hour wandering around licking his top where he had spilt almost half of the mixture down it. Other than that he has spent most of the day just pottering.

This afternoon a box arrived from Graze ( who make nutritionally balanced snack boxes. They are usually quite expensive (£2.99 for smallest one) but a friend gave me a discount code to get one free and a second half price. We were impressed with ours today. It had fresh grapes, chocolate covered raisins, macadamia nuts, banana chips and huge raisins in. If anyone would like the discount code then drop me a line - email link in profile. Not sure how it fits in with the conversation Hermione and I had this morning about food miles but hey ho.

With children happily pottering and grazing I had time to rattle off a bit of crochet with that lovely hand spun wool. I felt ever so fuzzy watching the children playing while crocheting their clothes. This is how I always imagined it would be - happy children, me making their clothes while watching them play, cake in the oven, jazz on the radio. Shame it's only ever happened once. Never mind, I now know it's possible and it may come again!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Songs of Higher Learning.

We have recently discovered clips produced by Songs of Higher Learning on Youtube and thought we would share as we're quite impressed.

The aim of Songs of Higher Learning is to help children achieve through the power of music. They cover all sorts of topics in a funky sort of style that is more likely to appeal to children than a dry lecture. You probably need to watch one to see what I mean!

Here is one about the earth and here is one about continents and oceans. There are lots on Youtube if you search songs of higher learning.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Priorities in the face of a recession

Feeling the pinch in the face of the recession I decided that today we would hit the beach again as it's free - the indoor beach I hasten to add - the sleet showers could possibly have interfered with sand castle building at the 'real' beach. Sounds great in theory but sitting on the deckchairs, watching the children play, nana and I commented on all the shops around either empty or having closing down sales. That's when the beach excursion stopped being free. 'Well I'll look first while you watch the kids, then you go' said nana. Sounded good.

What a luxury, child free shopping. I could really wander and rummage. So many bargains to be had. I staggered out of the shop with easy thread needles, fabric paint, a shoe organiser, candy canes (there was shortage last Christmas and I don't want to be caught short again this year) plus lots of other very essential purchases. They were essential. Honest.

In fact not only was my little splurge essential, it was also for the greater good. We must SPEND our way out of recession. Perhaps I should have spent more. Bought more essentials for the greater good. Thinking about this I decided to ask Craig to bring me some chocolate home - kill two birds with one stone - hormones and recession - what a result!

I guess it's true - you can add whatever spin you like to suit your purpose. I've seen this a lot recently - people taking a situation and putting a spin on it to suit their own objectives. Never mind, on this occasion I've managed to bag myself a whole load of goodies and have chocolate on the way.

I suppose the only question to be answered is why the purchase of crafts and chocolate is for the greater good in the midst of a recession, yet last night I advertised on Freecycle for an exercise bike. Priorities eh?

Can I really blame the recession for my skewed priorities? Guess not but it was worth a try.
Edited to add that if I can justify spending on chocolate and crafts to help ward off the recession I really must do the exercise bike business - I've had no responses from Freecycle some I'm now 'watching' a couple on Ebay. Wish me luck. I desperately need to shake what I've got.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sand and stuff

What a weekend! We've had great fun.

I reflected on our 'lesson' schedule for the past week and we only missed one lesson which is darn good for me even if I do say so myself. I struggle to turn down invitations and life is a bit of a whirl these days - it's great. In my defence I can say that the children have learned lots of things that weren't on the lesson plan - Hermione had her first couple of games of pool thanks to as friend, learned how to use a special crafty card cutting machine, researched a new line for her shop (more on that below), learned how to switch on the oven and set it to the correct temperature and loads more stuff - sometimes there is so much to be learned from 'just living'.

On Saturday we had a lesson in ingenuity and baked a Date and Walnut Loaf with no dates or walnuts. I really should check that I have the ingredients before we begin. It turned out to be more of a giant fig roll. Anyway, on the afternoon we headed off to meet with a group of ladies who regularly get together to show their crafts and share tips and ideas. When we were invited I feared that I wouldn't be able to make it as I thought the children would perhaps be disruptive. Thankfully the lady organising it gave me lots of reassurance so we all headed along with our Date and Walnut Free Date and Walnut Loaf.

We all had a fabulous afternoon. I was absolutely blown away by the talent and generosity of the ladies there. They were so willing to share their skills, time and materials. They were hugely supportive of Hermione and her business venture. They, like me could really see the value of encouraging children into crafts. I am disappointed that the next gathering will be on a date that I am unable to go but nana is going to go along still and learn how to make fabric bags with a fluffy chenille effect.

Today we headed into town quite early and sat on the breezy terrace of a riverside cafe watching the seagulls swooping and the buskers on the bridge. Craig and I commented on how it has been so long since we have had lazy Sunday brunches in town - not since two became three, then four. So good to be able to do these things again and for the children to truly enjoy it as opposed to being reluctantly dragged along.

We were sitting on what looks like a ledge overhanging the river, to the left of the bridge with a blue canopy. You can just make out the shiny steel tables and chairs.

Later we went to the beach to make and break sandcastles - somewhere warm, surrounded by palms and deckchairs - the indoor beach has finally arrived at our local shopping centre! I can see us getting good use out of it.

Later we continued to prepare the ground for our greenhouse. I have flag stones now and have even been promised some special shelving on Freecycle. It's all coming together nicely.

Hermione has decided that the next product she is going to introduce to her shop is children's aprons. She made the first one today and I think she has done exceptionally well. This is probably the trickiest sewing machine project she has undertaken so far and she has done well. I'm going to help her to upload a picture into her shop tomorrow and at a pound each I expect they will fly out. She is doing really well with her shop. She is exceptionally pleased that it is going well 'despite the recession' - made me chuckle. She's thinking of buying a small weaving loom with the money she has made so that she can make woven coasters, place mats and other things.

A friend gave me some fabulous hand spun wool the other day. I don't do much crocheting these days - and certainly not garments - but I feel really inspired by this wool. I like how it's thickness keeps changing - it makes me think of how it was made and wonder about the person who made it. It's nice when things aren't artificially perfect. I'm making a waistcoat for Miles. It's going to be a chunky retro type made from squares.

Well, we've lots to look forward to this week, but unfortunately it's going to be a very tough week for Craig. He so needs a break from all the work crap and I only wish I had a magic wand. Hey ho. On top of everything else he must celebrate another year of growing old disgracefully this week. Never mind, worse things have happened.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Wylde Women Award

I have received this lovely blog award and would like to pass it on to all the Wylde Women in my life.

Sending you all much love and acknowledgement of how you brighten my day, teach me new things and live your lives fully with generosity and joy. Very bright blessing to you all.

Friday, 16 January 2009


Ever wondered what would happen if you planted an apricot stone? We did today and learned that if we just planted it the likelihood is nothing would happen.

Apricot stones need to be stratified before they will germinate. This means taking the apricot stone directly from a ripe apricot, soaking it for 24 hours, then wrapping in damp paper towel then plastic (or in a bag of damp, sterilized sand, as is done in the nursery industry), and placing this into the refrigerator at about 4 deg. C for a period of four weeks (this cold storage would be four months for peaches and plums). This replicates what would occur in nature: The damp seed from the fruit would fall onto the wet ground and go through a cold, damp winter, which act to break the dormancy the stone retains when taken from the fruit. When conditions warm up again (when you take the stone from the refrigerator) and sow it into potting mix at about 20-25 deg. C, it will then be ready to germinate. Germination, however, could take some time as the hard seed coat makes the process of germination rather slow. Dr Lynette Morgan.

They are currently in soak and we will report back in time - possibly a long time! Miles loves fresh apricots and is hopeful that we will be picking our own soon. I think he'll have to make do with picking the punnet from the shelf for a long while yet!

Thursday, 15 January 2009


I look forward so much to my weekly meditation group that I don't know whether to be cross or embarrassed that I spent most of my main hour long meditation this evening asleep - and only came round when I woke myself with an exceptionally loud snore *blush*.

Whilst I'm sure my snoring did nothing to enhance the Holy Harmony and general meditative mood no one actually said anything to me.

Off to bed now with a very sore hip as I made sure that I lay in an awkward position for the next meditation so that I didn't drift off again.

Here's hoping I was just snoring and didn't actually dribble, break wind or anything else....

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


I think this could be Diesel's blog debut. I don't think she's been on here before. She's known by many as 'Scraggy Cat' but she wasn't looking at all scraggy today - to the contrary she was looking rather cute in her own kind of way.

Craig bought her from a rescue shelter years before he met me. He couldn't afford a posh car and was no good at etching so he used to invite ladies round to see his cat.

She's tiny. Craig calls her a bonsai cat. We think that perhaps she was hungry and malnourished as a kitten and that stunted her growth. Craig didn't have his nasty smokey habit back then which is just as well otherwise he may now be coming under attack for stunting his cat's growth through passive smoking! In fairness he's not at all to blame as she was older when he rescued her.

She's a real character. I can still recall quite clearly the first time my parents met Craig's parents. It was one of those things - it seemed like a good idea while sitting in my office at work to call the folks and invite them round for a barbecue that night. As if that in itself wasn't bad enough I hadn't even thought on about the fact that we didn't have a garden - just a bit of yard near the bin. As we all stood around burning dead flesh together and attempting to make polite conversation I noticed that my Dad had come with one shoe on and one slipper on. I was mortified and couldn't help but wonder what my in-laws-to-be would think. Thankfully Diesel came to the rescue. She prowled that yard wall commando style and quick as a flash swiped a piece of sizzling cow hide. No one saw her do it the first couple of times and we were all intrigued. It created quite a diversion from my Dad's odd footwear.

We don't know for certain how old she is. That's so often the case with rescue animals. We do think she could be knocking on for very late teens, rapidly approaching twenty perhaps.

She lives in the Nannexe and I think she's Nana's favourite indoor pet. She's been with Nana since I was pregnant with Miles. She just went for a holiday to give me a break from constantly vacuuming cat hair in late pregnancy (as said earlier she's a very scraggy cat) however, while she was there one of Craig's extremely irritating habits stopped. Prior to that it was a standing joke in our house that he should audition for a brass band. His nose was like a trombone. Once Diesel had gone though things really improved on the trombone front and consequently she has lived with Nana ever since - surrounded by her chums Woo Woo and Willie.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Things that made me smile

Lots of little things have happened in recent weeks that I keep meaning to mention but have forgotten. So many things that have made me smile and that I wanted to share;

The fact that a good friend swallowed her pride in the local newsagent and bought one of those really cheap trashy magazines because she noticed on the cover that it had an article in about hens having sex changes and thought I might like it.

The joy (both the children's and mine) when in the midst of a busy and tiring time friends spent well over an hour teaching the children how to make shortbread while I got to sit down, chat and have a cuppa.

The fact that I have finally managed to find the time to fill in my new address book. A gift from a good friend. A beautiful, arty book full of words of wisdom and great drawings.

The excitement of planning Valentines celebrations with Hermione and thinking of romantic times with Craig. Thinking of when we got married all those years ago and promising myself that even if we never go back there to stay we must at least go for afternoon tea.....

Making our last 'thank you' call today for the beautiful gifts the children received over Christmas time. It plays on my mind when I've not managed to catch up with folks to say thanks.

Emailing a friend today who I've not seen properly in years to arrange for her to come round for cake and a cuppa at the end of the month. I caught up with quite a few people in 2008 that I had lost touch with and hopefully 2009 will be the same. Motherhood turned me into a bit of a recluse in the early years. I made the mistake of thinking that when I chose to rejoin the world everything would still be there waiting for me. I was wrong and learned the hard way. So pleased to be catching up with people again.
The kindness and generosity of so many people in supporting Hermione's Pound Shop. She has now had orders totalling £19 and has spent a good while today looking online at various craft ideas and supplies with a view to replenishing materials and possibly introducing new lines if she can figure out what she would like to make. I have to say the crayons have been a top seller and our kitchen table seems to be forever covered in wax and paper scraps at various stages of peeling and recycling. Never mind, she's having fun and learning lots - maintaining her order book, her accounts, writing thank you notes etc.

Monday, 12 January 2009

On the run

Crafting, shopping, French group, soft play meet up, calling on friends, going to Badgers......

I feel like I'm on the run today. Feet not touching the ground. Not quite sure if I'm on foot or horseback.

Barking feet

Please tell me it's not just me who finds this duo a bit freaky?

Good enough reason to bring on summer I'd say.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

January Learning Objectives

I'm not quite as organised as I would like to be but I think I'm almost there - almost set to start this 'block' (I'm going to call it that as although I think I've just prepped till the end of the month I'll see how it goes).
Briefly our 'learning objectives', (yes I have been reading these educational sites again) for this block are as follows.
  • An introduction to World War Two using classic literature, worksheets and various online resources.
  • A deeper understanding of the water cycle.
  • A deeper understanding of the need all living things have for water.
  • An awareness of what happens to water when it freezes, condenses etc - the changing forms of a single matter.
  • An awareness of water usage within the home.
  • The role of reservoirs (and possibly a reservoir visit)
  • An introduction to Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Atheism.
  • To appreciate the difference between spirituality and religion.
  • Understanding, tolerance and acceptance of a broad spectrum of religious beliefs.
  • A detailed look at some Old Testament Bible Stories (with particular emphasis on the story of creation - which will in time be compared and contrasted with an in depth look at the big bang theory).
  • To consider the effect the introduction of photography had upon art.
  • Detailed appreciation of some of the works of Claude Monet.
  • To become familiar with the location, basic appearance and basic functions of many major organs of the body.
  • To become familiar with the seven continents and four major oceans.
  • An introduction to 'Word'. Creating a file, saving a file and opening a file.
  • Something to do with China as we celebrate Chinese New Year.
  • An understanding that there is more to running a shop than using all the money to spend on yourself. Looking at keeping records, planning to buy new materials, profits after material and postage costs etc.

In addition to this we will still be plodding on with our basics - maths and language. We will still be going to french group and music academy. Oh, and of course it wouldn't be life here without an abundance of crafts and cookery!

I'm hoping to do the above in a light hearted and fun way. I have made some basic resources for geography and religious studies. Below are some of the other resources that I'm really looking forward to working with.

I really like these cards which show the name, location, appearance and basic function of the major organs.

Any Blogger experts here who can tell me why this damn thing never formats properly these days?

Friday, 9 January 2009

Just clucking about

We've spent a lot of time in the garden today. Just clucking about and stuff. Trying not to think of the looming 'lesson' deadline coming on Monday. The last of the Amazon packages arrived today but I'm not entirely happy. A couple of the books are possibly a bit too detailed at this stage. Oh, then there is one which is fine but I somehow managed to order two copies not just one! I can see there being much rejigging of the plans before we start on Monday - but not tonight as we have been invited round to friends for cottage pie. Hmmm, then nothing got done last night because I was at meditation group. I'm easily lead astray. No excuses for tomorrow night!

Here's some pictures of today's outdoor messings. Hermione and Miles are totally engrossed in Lego and the fruit scones they baked this morning so I can have a sneaky day time blog!


Crunchy ice

Huge squishy hen plops (adorned with sparkly frost). I so so wanted it to work out with the hens in the veg patch. You may recall that I grassed the patch and decided to keep them in there and liberate the veg instead. Well, they decimated the grass and everything in no time at all and nana thought they looked depressed because they are accustomed to more space. So, they're at large again. All things happen for a reason though and I think that if anything stops Craig from smoking, (and he must stop as I'm sure Hermione will suss him out soon), it will be the hen plops on the deck which he often slips and does himself a mischief on when he pops out in the dark for a sneaky puff. Life works in mysterious ways.

The faeries washing line

The new girls Polly and Merlin are settling well. There are a lot less scuffles with the old girls now and they have also figured out that they should go into the coop to roost - at first they just lay down in the middle of the garden.

Having a few problems with Polly though. She pecks. Fanjio her brown predecessor pecked too. I mentioned it to Craig last night and suggested that perhaps it's true what they say about redheads being feisty. He rolled his eyes as if to say - 'tell me, I married one'. Enough said. Save to say I'm strawberry blond which isn't really red and I'm not really feisty. Honest.

Craig also thought it could be because hens like shiny things and I will insist on rambling about in my pj bottoms (and nightie, ugg boots and whoevers jacket I stumble across first). Why not? It's my garden - there's no dress code and the neighbours haven't complained yet!

Hermione stroking the bunny in the newest addition to nana's funky crochet hat collection.

I don't know if our bunny is confused or pervy. Either way it's just WRONG - and I've told him so - but does he listen to me? Does he heck as like *sigh*

My time is up. Someones calling my name - which probably means the scones have all gone.