Monday, 7 July 2008

I'm moving my blog in the hope of reducing spammers and the computer problems that they seem to be causing me. I hope that you will come along and continue to share in the ups and down as I carry on swimming up stream in this crazy world *grin*. You would be very welcome.

Yo can now find me at Still Raising The Next Generation. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Dancing with fire

I came across this video about a week ago and I've watched it countless times since. I'm mesmerised. I want to dance with fire in the darkness!

Doubt it's the kind of thing you learn to do at local college nightclasses and probably isn't the sort of thing you should attempt without some sort of idea of what you're doing. Hopefully it will happen one day though.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Local Home Ed Camp

We joined a group of approximately twenty other local home ed families on a campsite on the Northumberland Coast this week. It was fabulous. The location of the site was excellent - just a quick hop over the sand dunes and we were on the beach. We were also spoiled for choice in the way of beautiful attractions if we wanted to head off site. The weather was glorious and the company was great. We really couldn't have asked for more. Many families camped for five nights but we just camped for two. We are novices in the world of camping and really just dipped out toe in this time to see how it would be. We'll certainly stay for longer all being well next year.

The beach was one of those where at low tide you can scarcely see the sea. If you look hard here you can see a small amount of white on the horizon. That's the waves breaking.

However, within no time at all the tide had turned and whilst the breaking waves still seemed a long long way off, a really fast moving sheet of water, flat as a mill pond, surged across from the right of the bay area. It was fascinating to watch. Craig thinks there must have been a sandbank. Something for me to look into. I am absolutely fascinated by the sea.

While in the area we visited Paxton House. I had been once before and was keen to go again. We didn't go in the house, just the grounds - they're fantastic. The highlights this visit had to be the waterlilies and croquet on the lawn.

We also visited Chain Bridge Honey Farm and stocked up on some of the delicious local honey. They have a great observation hive. The kids were fascinated.

When the children were settled in the evenings I had the opportunity to chat to other home ed folks who I rarely get to speak to. Actually I rarely get to speak to any home ed folks when I see them out and about during the day as Miles is still of an age where he need a watchful eye on him all of the time. It was great to chat.

There are a couple of conversation which I had which are still buzzing around my brain. One was about how you feel when you reach that stage and know the likelihood is that you will never bare another child. The other was about the ongoing process of grieving the passing of certain development stages your children go through, for example knowing you will never again pace the floor in that back breaking position holding the hands of a child who is on the verge of taking their very first steps. It was really poignant that these conversations came about, that someone else initiated them, when they are matters that I myself have been thinking about so much of late.

All in all I had a wonderful time but I'm very pleased to be home. We all missed Craig lots and I was also well over due a good soak in the tub. I've made a mental note to ensure I buy flip flops before my next camping excursions as I'm sure that will make the site showers more user friendly.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Elderflower champagne

We've had a quite an easy going day today after our trip out yesterday.

Hermione and Nana headed into town to buy Uncle Brian a birthday present. They were away longer than I expected and that was because they had called into Waterstones and Hermione spent time reading books out loud to Nana. I think we're really making that transition right now from reading being perceived as a chore to it being a pleasure.

In the meantime Miles and me bumbled at home. We played between snacks but in all honesty most of the day has been spent snacking. He wasn't too well last week and off his food but he's certainly making up for it now. In addition to three good meals he has eaten two raw carrots, two oranges, three nectarines and a banana today. It amazes me how much fruit and veg that boy can eat!

We picked the first of our broad beans but the beans inside were quite small. We enjoyed them with dinner but I think it will be two to three weeks before I pick more.

We also picked some more elder flowers and have started to make elderflower champagne from this recipe. I've never made anything like this before but it seems very straightforward.

The flowers and lemons looked and smelled good when they first went into the pan but they're looking and smelling less so now. Will have to wait and sample the finished product before forming any opinions though.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Archaeology, jelly fishes, elderflower pancakes

We've had a lovely day today. We've done lots but it's been at our own pace so I just feel pleasantly weary now as opposed to exhausted and frazzled.

We hung out at the beach for a while making sandcastles and gazing at the numerous jelly fish washed onto the shore.

We then went to a park which was absolutely fantastic, with all kinds of play equipment and interactive water features, but unfortunately a school trip descended within minutes of us having arrived and suddenly it wasn't at all pleasant. We made a hasty exit but will certainly go back.

From there we meandered round to Arbeia where we watched the archaeologists at work until such time as the school party had vacated the resource centre - after which we had it all to ourselves.

Watching the children running around, laughing and playing hide and seek I pondered what effect their upbringing will have upon their relationship in years to come. Will the fact that they are home educated and therefore spend a lot more time together than many siblings result in them having a closer bond? I don't know - and won't know for many years to come, but it still doesn't stop me wondering.

Back at home we played in the garden and picked elder flowers to make elderflower pancakes.

The first one was a disaster as the flowers burn very quickly but once I got the hang of it they were fine. I'd like to tell you they tasted delicious but I didn't get to taste one. Hermione and Miles ate them as quickly as I made them. Guess they can't have been that bad.

Sunday, 29 June 2008


Well, it finally happened, the sun shone and we danced around the maypole - all forty seven of us at some point or other, (I think Craig was the only one who didn't pick up a ribbon at all).

Here is one of the patterns we made.

It's been fabulous. I feel so lucky to have the space to be able to do this and to have so many lovely friends to come and join me.

Friday, 27 June 2008


We have just been out in the garden and noticed our first set of mooli are starting to bolt too. We pulled up a few and they were dissapointing, not much bigger than raddishes. But then we pulled up this one which is a good six inches (possibly bigger if you ask a man).

It's mooli and pak choi stirfry on the menu here tonight if you would care to join us *grin*.