Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Tied up in knots

Last week we received notice of a planning application for a new development to the rear of our house. I am very unhappy with the plans as I feel they will have a huge residential amenity impact for us. The proposed development is overbearing in my view. I arranged for a Planning Officer to come out and do a site visit. I also arranged for a specialist planning lawyer to come out and assess the situation. They both came today. Cutting to the chase the Planning Officer wasn't very amenable to my plight. The lawyer understood my plight but explained that the likelihood of successfully objecting to the development was not high and therefore he would advise us against instructing him. So, that leaves me tied up in red planning tape desperately trying to figure out the way forward. I need to have formulated my objections and placed them in writing within the net week or so. I foresee stress, stress and more stress till this is decided and laid to rest.

Yesterday we read Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt again. I really do feel that the girls absorb loads of information from the books we read. I guess it underlines the need to choose books wisely. Even times when we don't do any sort of follow up activity from the books we read they still take so much on board. It's like learning by osmosis almost!

After reading the story I read a translation of a slave letter which I found on the Internet. I've lost the link to the site but the letter went like this -

Dear Mother,

I will now try to write you a few lines to let you know that I am enjoying good health and hope that you are enjoying the same. I had a child about three months ago, he is a fine little boy and he keeps well.

I am worried that you are going to move farther off from me. If you do you must write often.

My master tried to get your master to sell you but he would not agree to it. It is impossible for me to come to see you. The children all send their love to you. They miss you mighty bad and talk about you all of the time.

Your Affectionate Daughter

After listening to the letter we thought about how we would have felt if we had been around over two hundred years ago when this sort of thing was happening. Hermione felt that the slaves should have been set free and taken back to their home country. She proceeded to write a rather odd letter which said Dear Master, let four slaves go home at a time. From Lucy. When I asked her about the letter she explained that if the masters allowed too many to go home at one time the boat that took them from Africa in the first place would once again be crowded. She went on to say that she had signed the letter off as Lucy just in case a master did still exist she did not want him to know she had written it.

Following the strange letter conversation we looked at this site which shows what a typical family eats in a week in a given country. It also tells you how much they spend on food and pictures them in their kitchen so you can gain an insight into living conditions too. It was interesting.

On the afternoon friends came round to play. The weather brightened up a little so we were able to spend some time out doors. All in all a really pleasant day.

This morning everyone headed off to TVHE meeting leaving Miles and I at home. We pottered quite blissfully here whilst Hermione made guns and things from mechano and ran wild with the gang apparently. Big release of energy I figure, possibly something to do with being cooped up in doors for days on end over the past week while it has rained persistently.

On the afternoon Nana discovered that some of her radishes are ready for picking too. She is incredibly proud of the veg garden and rightfully so. It's doing ever so well thanks to all her hard efforts. We still have a glut of lettuce. I'm sure I saw Gillian McKeith once make lettuce soup I must find the recipe.

This afternoon Hermione went to Rainbows and made a pompom which she fashioned into some sort of hair piece. Lots more playing in the garden after that before being called in to go to bed at a reasonably early time since she will be out late tomorrow night celebrating the solstice.

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