Monday, 31 August 2009

Political Activist

Hermione has become a political activist.

Please pop along and check out her campaign site if you have a moment.

I'd be ever so grateful if you did and also left a comment.

Many thanks

Edited to add that I let her loose on Youtube (always a bit of a mistake) to find links for her campaign site and she is delighted with this one. Errrmmm, I don't think that one will be going on the site although it is one of the best I've seen so far..I didn't think bee clips could have 'adult' content ????

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Forest festival in pictures

A charcoal kiln

Hazy zip wire shot.

Blacksmith at work.

Willow beast.

Craig, refusing to be out done by boy scouts in his fire starting abilities.

Through the forest door.

Swinging poi.

Stoking fires and cremating marshmallows.

House made of turf.

Lessons in skimming stones.

Forest tinkle tunes. Pull the string and the levers spun the wire web, drum and Tibetan bells!

Paddling in the beck.

He should have known that if he hung around long enough he would end up on the wild foodists plate! He wasn't alone - there were also rabbits and squirrels all from the forest. Craig and Miles loved the crayfish. Euggghhhh.

Coracles had the seal of approval from Hermione even before she tried them having heard that they were favoured by Julius Caesar. She was even more enthused once she had experienced them for herself.

Scramble net over the beck.

Axe throwing. 'I'm glad I hit the tree and not my neck' said Hermione. Yeah, I'm real pleased about that too!

This hammock zipped right along. I think it's actually a minimalist tent as opposed to a hammock.

One of a number of dens.

Chainsaw carver. This guy was amazing. When I win the lottery I want one of his sculptures for my garden.

What a fabulous weekend we have had - two wonderful days in beautiful surrounds with great people and exciting activities. In addition to the above we also learned how to make faerie wings from willow, watched a man craving traditional wooden spoons, joined in broom making, quilting, honey tasting, bee observing, bug hunting and hokey cokey ice cream scoffing whilst listening to a great line up of live music.
We also ventured onto the veggie bus - a regional bus where folks can take their home grown veg surplus and trade for other people's home grown surplus (which with any luck will be different to their own). What a fabulous idea!
My only regret was that we didn't get to hear a friend's permaculture and transition town presentation. I lost track of time with all else that was happening.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hippy Mama - was it you?????

I was at a festival today and there were three people there playing pink guitars (but the only photo I took happened to be of a bloke with a pink guitar). Now I know Hippy Mama has a thing about pink guitars. Come on, reveal all Hippy Mama, was it you?
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Friday, 28 August 2009

Symbolism in Art Workshop

Today was the first of the art workshops I've been arranging . Thankfully all of the children seemed to enjoy it and I think adults were impressed too.

It wasn't like any other home ed thing I've been to in the past - and I've been to rather a lot now. The vibe was really young and exciting. The artists working with the children were wonderful and there was even really cool funky jazz playing in the background which certainly got my approval!
Here is Hermione, the wrong way around, with a bag and top she printed.

We discussed symbolism in art, made printing blocks, printed on various fabrics, exhibited the fabric work in the gallery space and made symbolic self expressions in huge lumps of clay. Great stuff!

We're hoping to do this monthly now and I'm happy to go on facilitating and organising as the guys who are running the not for profit art project are so genuine and giving. It's great being part of something with them and seeing the children getting lots out of it.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

One chair restored

I think I mentioned the other day that we were restoring an old chair. Well, here it is virtually complete. We just need to finish sewing the back down now.

I think it ended up costing about £12 in total and that's to include the actual chair and the loose cushion. Not bad eh?

I've not made a patch type cushion cover before. It's far from perfect but at least that way people can see it's handmade *grin*.

Nite nite. Off to rest before yet another busy day tomorrow. We have had friends to visit every day this week which has been absolutely delightful. Tomorrow morning is the first of the art workshops I have been arranging and then off to the park for a picnic with friends in the afternoon. Busy, busy, much so that I'm feeling a little anxious at the distinct lack of 'work' we've been doing around here of late. Hey ho, I'm sure it'll balance out soon though. The sun won't shine for ever and we'll soon be stoking the fire, chatting and reading for hours on end.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Earl Grey and Turnip Jalfrezi

Turnip jalfrezi - remember you heard it here first. I'm sure it will catch on and be dished up in a swanky tandoori restaurant near you very soon.

Turnip jalfrezi? Yes, you may well ask. This is what happens when mamas can't control the urge to spend house keeping monies on fabrics. I do love it though. Earl grey and cup cakes. Nana thinks it's hideous but I think it's cute and will make wonderful accessories for my very own little tea party queen.

It's great having an edible garden. There's always something to be rustled up. Won't be long till the elderberries are ripe too. I see cordial on the horizon....

Talking of things you may (or may not) like to rustle up, I found these woolen creations while searching for 'manly crafts' on Google. A friend was explaining that her son who is nine was getting into crafts but would like to do something manly. I didn't expect this kind of thing to come up on the first page. Why????

We went to the theatre today to see something called Alan in Wonderland and the Three Goats - yes, that really is what it was called. Were it not that two of the tickets were free I think I may have asked for a refund. Why do some people think that behaving like an idiot constitutes entertainment for children?

We ended up having more fun watching the water sculptures outside.

Oh, I traded a dozen eggs for a pile of clothes for Miles yesterday. I'm blessed to be close to an active community currency scheme. It sure does come in handy.

Hermione and I have started reading this book together. It's good. I wasn't sure whether to buy it after reading the mediocre reviews on Amazon, but for a child who likes historical fiction it's good.

I'm off now. We are in the process of restoring an old well loved armchair which incidentally we also got from our local community currency scheme. I say 'we' as it's a bit of a joint effort between myself and nana. She's an early bird and I'm a night owl so it's my turn to man the sewing machine now *grin*.
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Monday, 24 August 2009

Pumpkins and inspiration

I like the look of these pumpkins which I spotted at this site the other day. I hope I get round to making some before harvest celebrations.
I think I have managed to install a Mr Linky widget to the side bar, where I thought that anyone who would like to play along could post a link to a site which inspires them right now. It could be something crafty, arty, poetic, musical or whatever. I've kicked it off with this great pumpkin making page.
If you want to play then click on the link at the top of my side bar and type your name in the name box and the url you wish us to look at in the box below.
Come and be inspired!

Sunday, 23 August 2009


I concluded this week that raw cacao certainly gives me more sustained pizazz than Cadburys. I've been trying to convince myself otherwise but in the end I just had to accept the truth.

So, I popped a cup of oats, a cup of dried coconut, a cup of cacao nibs, a cup of semi dried apricots and a cup of pecan nuts into the blender and whizzed them up to make truffles.

Despite looking like large goat droppings they were absolutely delicious. I confess to having had a few with fresh berries for breakfast one day. Hermione wouldn't eat them but Miles tucked in. He's less corrupted by commercial choc and still appreciates his mama's creations.

Sadly, I turned my back for just a wee moment in which time the top and bottom parts of the blender somehow parted company ever so slightly and the whirring teeth were quite ground away when I looked back. The kitchen stunk too.

Ho hum...... anyone for a mars bar?

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Saturday, 22 August 2009

Who will you forgive?

It will be Global Forgiveness Day next week.

Who will you forgive?

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Love the ones who don't just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Kiss slowly.
Forgive quickly.
Author unknown

Friday, 21 August 2009


I wish I could knock back my greens like Miles does. This large handful of chard, juiced with a mango and an apple, scarcely hit the sides he polished it off so quickly!
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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Barbecued Billy Goats

Before Miles was born we often used to go to a regular home ed meeting in some woodland. For one reason or another we haven't been in absolute age. Well, we went along today and had a fabulous time. I'm delighted that there is increasing common ground between Hermione and Miles. It's good to find things that they both really enjoy.

I had one of those warm and fuzzy moments sitting on the sidelines watching and listening. The children were rubbing sticks together trying to make a fire. Their optimism was contagious. It wasn't long till I picked up sticks and joined them! Then followed a long conversation about the pros and cons of forest fires - how they can help forest development but how they have to be managed so well. I didn't join in the conversation I was happy to just listen. One girl of about ten paused to feel her stick. 'Barbecued Billy Goats!' she exclaimed on finding it was warm. I'm so pleased that my children hang out in a world of billy goat expletives rather than some other expletives I've heard in playgrounds this summer.
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Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I've been reading up on Boadicea in readiness for when Hermione wants to hear about her.

What a woman! If her qualities could be bottled and sold I'd be at the front of the line. I feel quite humbled when I think of her determination, courage and resilience.

Sometimes it just ain't like that though. It was hard then but it's hard now too. I'll be thinking of these women as I trundle on off to bed in a minute and hoping that they manage to find the strength they need to help them to find peace.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Bug Hunters

I'm not entirely sure why Miles found it necessary to wear one of my woolly hats to go bug hunting in the garden. I've learned not to ask sometimes.

There was no shortage of tiny caterpillars and their eggs in the veggie patch. Being small and immobile they made excellent specimens.

He soon moved on to seed pods. Poppy heads were particularly good. That's what all those tiny dark dots are below the magnifying lens on the top picture.

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