Friday, 30 April 2010


We joined together to celebrate.


We all brought flowers and made garlands from willow and blossoms.


We went for a walk to see if the Cherry Blossom Fairy had been round and left anything for us. We turned a corner and there we saw it - a beautiful maypole under the blossoms - ribbons blowing in the gentle breeze.


We rang bells, skipped and sang before settling down on a rug to listen to a lovely story about a swallow building her nest.

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Beltane blessings to one and all!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Walking the Wall

We visited The Roman Army Museum yesterday. We enjoyed it. There's not as much to see there as at Vindolanda but we still enjoyed our visit and learned lots.

After watching a film display about Emperor Hadrian, Hermione expressed surprise at the similarities between Emperor Hadrian and Sayeed in Eastenders (Sayeed married a woman but his true love was a man). This was our first conversation about homosexuality. I think I handled it okay - only time will tell. It wasn't exctly the primary learning objective I had in my head as we travelled there but the time was obviously right - and who am I to argue *grin*.

On the way back we stopped to walk a section of Hadrian's Wall. We were with a friend who is incredibly well informed and organised. She took us to a great stretch where we got to see a mile castle, the steep drop to the north, some excellent areas still showing the ditches and also a now flooded quarry where it is likely the Roman mined stone from to build the wall.




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The wind was exceptionally strong. I imagine the stretch we were on is always like a wind tunnel. I think Hermione was quite taken aback by the strength of the wind. I could feel it pulling at my contact lenses on the surface of my eye and forcing it's way down my throat having entered my nose - both rather strange sensations! She was relieved to find sheltered patch with a sofa like cut out where she could sit and pick dandelions for a wee while!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Garden round up and Mathletics fever

We joined Mathletics at the discounted home ed rate (email me if you would like details of home ed deal) and it's been a huge success. We've been members of other online programmes but this one has the added appeal of competing 'live' with other children from around the world.

Over wintered sprouting broccoli


First sign of a strawberry in the greenhouse


Flowers on broad beans in the greenhouse


'Normal' broccoli out on the patch

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Friday, 23 April 2010


Here are lots of pictures of our visit to Eureka. I have wanted to go for a long while and finally the opportunity arose, quite out of the blue, this week. Craig had a meeting in Halifax and was driving there and back in the day - with space in the car - yay!

Those who live close to this resource are very fortunate - it's great and I suspect we would be regulars if we lived a bit closer.

The museum is essentially split between very 'real world' imaginary play and hands on exhibits. My only reservation was that I found some of the hands on exhibit gallery spaces to be a bit sensory overwhelming. There seems to be a trend with museums to have lots of sound effects, lighting etc. I think this is good, I'm not suggesting a return to old dusty cases, but I think it's a bit overdone at times. I want to remember I'm in a museum - not a nightclub with strange light effects and even stranger sounds!

So, here we are, having fun, exploring M&S, the bank and vaults, trying to crack the safe codes, experiencing ratty vision, sitting in talking skulls, pumping up the voltage on an electric eel, checking out a hole in the road and a whole lot more.




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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Food web and decay treck

We went on a treck around some woodland with an education officer to talk food webs and decay today. The weather was kind, the company good and the presentation of activities/info by the education officer was great. Here are a few snippets.

Listening to the sounds made by a stag beetle and a centipede using specially designed listening equipment. This was fab! You could differentiate between their footsteps.


We went on a scavenger hunt to find certain items and then decided in what order they would decay.


Digging to reveal the varying depths of the compost layer and soil layer.


Woodland sorrel - ever so tasty in a gooseberry sort of way.

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Monday, 19 April 2010

Custard pies etc

Well, what an action packed weekend we have had! Here's a round up of some of what we have managed to fit in.

We made Green Men out of clay and have stuck them to our trees at home. We learned about all kinds of mythical men and creatures while listening to a wonderful story teller. The cockatrice was certainly our favourite.

We joined some folks to help raise awareness of custard pie throwing. You can read more about the campaign here. It was very important to perform intricate warm up exercises with your pie before begining pie throwing - this helps to reduce pinalties!


Here's Craig about to be 'pied'.


We threw stones in the river and Miles caught a shoe on a stick!


Clambered onto a tank.

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Helped to make a large piece of collaborative community art at our local art gallery.

Went swimming.

Went to a fortieth birthday party (unfortunately the night before the morning of the pie throwing).

We went to a concert of Tudor Music performed by Durham Polyphony in this chapel.

I'm sure I've missed some things out. I was so tired this morning I decided to take the children to aqua fit to try to rev myself up. Unfortunately the plan didn't work. I've felt anything but revved up and have limped through Book Club, French and St John's.

Off to bed. Nu nite.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Seeds and flowers

Miles, counting and soaking pea and bean seeds.


Coffee filter paper flowers.


Tissue paper blossoms and butterflies on the 'tree' which I brought in for Easter but now appears to be a long term feature (Miles has plans for decorating it with snow).

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