Category Archives: Cooking

A Girl With a Plan

As soon as H had headed off to work this morning, BB was agitating for us to find an old top of hers and  sock as she wanted to make and elephant cushion for SB for her birthday. After much rummaging in bags of old clothes, we found a suitable top that was near enough in colour to the sock to be acceptable.

So then she settled down to sew (no time to get dressed of course):





They had made sock animals at Wodensmeet the day before, and she had  a plan in her head  :-) And she pretty much did it all herself, bar a bit of help with tying knots onto the ends of the thread. And she shew me various ‘tricks’ she had learnt making the sock animals as well. I love that she was able to plan and execute this pretty much all by herself :-)

BB is a much more focussed child with such things than her sister, and doesn’t like doing a bit and then coming back to it, so  5 hours later, with just a  couple of breaks for food really, she had a rather cool sleeping  Elephant cushion :-)





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Meanwhile, I had been prising SB out of bed (no mean task, that girls is hopeless at waking up and getting up) She did her normal morning faffing about.  Did a couple of bits of book work - Collins Primary Grammar on Adverbs and the Spelling book. Something, else of which I’m blank right now.  A decent piano practice and then she wanted to bake some cakes to take to guides as it’s her birthday on Saturday. After some umming and ahhing, settled on Banana Muffins as easy and we had a stash of very ripe bananas.

After  bit of toing and froing to the shops – first for eggs, then for cake cases she settled down to bake:


Banana Muffins

And they turned out well, though I could notice the salt in them. We don’t tend to add salt a lot to cooking, certainly not into things like Muffins. But sshe had been following the recipe and it had had salt in obviously. Guides were a bit low in number tonight as some school event on so plenty came home again :-)

She is a good baker, but not very quick. So by the time they were in the oven, and she had done a good tidy up on the kitchen I was desperately in need of lunch. So some quick beans on toast and then BB went off to get dressed and SB disappeared upstairs as well – either playing with Cindy/Barbie or reading a book – she is re-reading the the Stephen Bowkett The Wintering trilogy(that I read as bedtime books a while back) and is on the second book, The Wintering: Storm.
I got on with cooking curry for dinner – including a very nice Moong Dall based on a recipe from a book I bought recently, Hansa’s Indian Vegetarian Cookbook as felt the need for some more inspiration on the recipe front. Hansa’s is a vegetarian Gujarati Restaurant in Leeds. We went to it  a couple of time, though I was never that impressed by the food. But the recipes in this book seem pretty good, and they are fairly simple and practical recipes (and probably simplified/ tweaked for the UK market somewhat)   compared to some Indian recipe books.


Got them back downstairs, SB did a Clarinet practice, BB pottered around a bit in the garden annoying the fish in the pond, and indoors with some Lego. And then before you know it, it was time to head out for BB’s gym.  SB did a bit more book work whilst there, mostly Galore Park Science. I forgot to take in the collection of bits I have to pass back to the Deep Enders who we did see there briefly, as BB has moved up into an older class.

BB also received her Certificate and Badge for the  proficiency award they did before half term.




Then it was home,  for a 30 minute turnaround,  quickly warm up the curry so that SB could have dinner before Guides. Back home BB settled down with Walking with Beasts on the TV, whilst beheading Lego people with a Lego knight. Followed by a bit of a late bedtime as SB not back from guides until past 9pm

Latinetc and Botanics

Today was a game of 2 halves day, which made me feel v much like the more outgoing home educators whose blogs i read blogs! very adventurous :) Morning was a compressed latinetc and pm was a CHEF event about Insectiverous plants at the botanical gardens. lunch was going to have to be in transit! I thought i had been v organised getting things ready, but unfortunately i forgot all the music stuff :roll:

anyway, we are continuing with our real science 4 kids. Having looked carefully through, I advised all the group to read level 1 and then only go onto Chemistry Level II Student Textbook (Real Science-4-Kids)
if partic keen. it was molecules, and the level 2 does a fab detailed discussion of s,p and d electron orbitals and how it all works before then showing you the sigma, pi and hybrid covalent bonds when it happens. a totally brilliant explanation, but past GCSE standard, and since we are talking predom primary here, seemed a bit far to go! we chatted electrons, protons, neutrons, atomic numbers again, to get more fixed in, and then our covalent and ionic bonds before making some molecules and using some rules. we made freestyle molecules with only CHO and saw what different molecules the groups ended up with, methanol, glyoxilic acid, ethylene, propanoic acid etc etc. If they hadn’t followed the rules, i was allowed to add and subtract the ‘fail’ bits. Still stressful doing the 3 groups, but worked hard on the middle group to redeem last week. this time i think the oldest group not so well balanced and looked like it might wobble over. on the ball this time tho, and i think the compressed timings didn’t help. Third time would be lucky, but just found out i have mammogram that week, so making me v v stressy already. [hate mammos, have had 2 so far, both ok, but now always expect worst and near sick with nerves by the time i have it, and it hurts!]

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Lots of other things go on at latinetc, I write more about the science because I am sitting there doing that! But i know SB did some recorder, and some music theory [i think] and def some latin but not sure about the french? [thankyou katy, she did do some french! ] BB did french and also art and she did bells for music with J and they loved it! We took iced cupcakes with dinosaur sprinkles and some candles to sing happy birthday to BB at snack, so she was v happy :) had so much cake that she only had fruit for lunch…

So on to the second half of the day, and mad drive to a nearby city botanic gardens for the middles and older children to learn about insectivorous plants whilst the littlies played outside. SB was with her friends and lecielrouge mum as a supervising adult. i gave her the phone to take ‘a few’ pics with so i could see some of what she did. she took 182 – in 120 mins. i am hoping she remembers something!! however, she did say it was fab. she enjoyed the ‘lecture’ and film, not so keen on the collecting part – so took loads of photos then, and enjoyed looking round the glasshouses – raking photos – and the insectivorous plants collection. She liked the sarrecenias best. great, cos i do too. for a while i had some pitcher plants whilst we lived in leeds, but they did die off. maybe we can start another collection in the conservatory :) She also took loads of crazy videos too !

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Meanwhile i had BB and J, and various other adults with their youngest. we went out and went through the glasshouses first, having a peek and a look at quite a few things and chatting as we went. loved the tropical bit and the fish :) i had planned to do some nature art with the children, but they were having so much fun exploring and racing around that we didn’t do that at all. finally made it to cafe for restorative cup of tea and cookie for the children. BB did some pics of some of the leaves we picked up and chatted to her friends. i suddenly realise what a ‘big’ girl she is getting to be, rather than my baby as she is proud and happy to sit with friends on own table, and that i can now be reasonably certain she won’t be crazy :)

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returned to pic up SB and chat to parents and thank A for organising. All families returned with a carnivorous plant – a sundew. easy drive home, but quick turnaround for SB with brownies, and then judo grading – she now is a yellow belt – woohoo!! i am baking this eve- banana cake

Once More into the Breach!

Ok, so i just did some emails and admin type stuff, as due to phased return, the actual ‘first day’ is tomorrow. but i did open a number of the emails without that cartoon palpitation business going on, and managed to sort out a bit a long term reduction in my job plan. This is a 2 edged sword, in that although it gives me what i need – more time to do the things at work i need to do, so less bringing it home, less stress – it also gives me a far bigger pay decrease than the proportion of time change, and when there is all this public sector/pension stuff going on, it might turn out to be far too big to afford. However, if it keeps me sane…

The girls played dollies all morning [while the cat's away...] and all the giggling and laughter is a tonic in itself :) dreadful weather tho. In fact i am actually now too hot, as i have overdone the layers thing. [3 jumper layers, thick socks and slippers and the sofa 'comfort duvet' ]. I have to admit that a whip was cracked ;) and SB did some of her gruesome grammar book – sighing when we got to nouns, she has never really recovered from our abortive try at first language lessons for the well trained mind. we never got beyond the 6 billion chapters about nouns :lol: She did some music theory with me – on harmonic minors, that actually did take far longer than i thought :blush: and consolidated the last chapter of minimus . I meant to do Story of the world to get us up to date for the next historyetc, but completely forgot.

BB wanted to read yesterdays 2 books again, so we did that and played the bean game, and then she did a bit of subtraction in MPH 1a and did some more of her dolphin window mosaic. SB also did a piano prac. BB and i baked a chocolate cake, and I made the mixture for some fruit scones. BB then wanted a reprise of Settlers of Catan, so we played that together.

When SB came back from ballet she cut out and baked the scones, and then played Puerto Rico with me. Neither of these games work so well for 2 adult players, as 3 + players, but settlers with bb is a ‘friendly’ consultative approach, and actually with SB also at puerto rico, i am much more about the game being fun and encouraging some thought about strategy rather than proving I can beat a 9 year old ;) so again friendly and me not going for the jugular, and having 2 goes per ’round’ tends to make this work well as well, partic if you only get the bonus with the first thing you choose to do in the round… We do love playing boardgames in this house.

BB, meanwhile, was being an excellent street musician with a cardboard tube wiggling and singing. She is a great little performer at home, just has no intention of letting anyone outside home see :) but she has a great ear for rhythm and perfect pitching, so we shall see.

Now, having blogged, I plan to flickr, shower and have an early night in preparation for tomorrow :)

tuesday is my hump day!

well, we got up earlier today, after an exceptionally late night. SB just didn’t settle at all, and so was a very tired bean when she got up. awww . anyway, bit more of a discussion on 5 a days and what counted, how big etc over brekkie, then a look at part of the first chapter of real science for kids level 2. SHe did understand it, and we talked around it, but then got a bit worried that if she didn’t she would have to change science group, as she loves her science group. ((SB)) so i reassured her that currently the groups weren’t changing, but that if she found the level 2 difficult, then we would read the level 1 version. And i think though the group BB is in will be doing the level 1 version for labwork, that i will be reading the pre-k explanation to her beforehand, and think the various families may want to bob between the different levels, as more important to get understanding than be pushed ahead. [such an advantage to have a flip book!]

We then got down to a sturdy morning of home ed in my lovely conservatory. Hmm, i think i have forgotten to mention how much i love my conservatory :) .

SB did some galore park science, history and english, and then some clarinet prac. BB did some maths – with some serious argument over whether nothing/zero existed, whether you were allowed to put it in sums etc, and she remains unconvinced over its validity. giggle! She read a 1a magic key story – again with a grumble over the word the [obv that shouldn't exist either!] and i read to her the next story in the chaucers canterbury tales, the one with the bottoms, so she particularly loved that ;) we also finished painting her spider puppet, and later strung it together, tho as we had lost instructions, don’t know that it is quite right… Both did a bit of colouring as well.

we played with rabbits again – making sure we get enough rabbit love in before the bigger babies leave for their new homes. :)

after a nice lunch in our LOVELY conservatory we did some baking. SB wanted to use up left over rice crispies and marshmallows, so we went to do that, but we didn’t have enough marshmallows… and BB then wanted to make choc rice crispie cakes, but we didn’t have enough rice crispies or any choc… so we went to the shops and then made the cakes, and now have more marshmallows and rice crispies than wen we started 1 :roll: we also made some fruity snow from the galore park science book. SB really is quite an accomplished baker and cook, really good at following instructions and tweaking things so they work. it was a fun bake :)

SB and i also got in a piano prac before she went out for swimming. trudging is getting sort of a glimmer of hope about it, and the other 2 pieces are ok and should pass already, but time will make them better. so we started with arpeggios. she isn’t certain she will ever play them :( but we will see. we all did some ds-ing together with animal crossing and also mario bros games. we ate a chippery tea [totally ruining the 5 a day thing!] watching the primates episode of life.

now i must try and get things a bit organised for historyetc tomorrow.

a game of 2 halves

chris and i stayed up a bit too late with playing online agricola with the babs last night [i won - yay!] SB also had a late bedtime, having read a book she then got scared by, so had to have time to read a more comforting book, so was v tired today!

whe we got up, it was snowing – again! and quite hard, but a quick check suggested no snow at merry’s, so the science stuff was gathered and we set off. we were also the firsterers there!! actually, due to a number of circs we were 2 families down and one family up, and that worked pretty well! Did science in dribs and drabs, as it was basically setting it up and then watching what happens.

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as we are on a ‘biology’ term, and roughly looking at microbiology, today we looked at yeasts. We have done a fair bit of discussion on and off about bodies, energy sources and then lungs, oxygen and carbon dioxide, so we did a bit of a recap. there was surprise that yeast might be ‘alive’ so this wasn’t a simple chemical reaction. that actually what was happening was the yeast would be using sugar to fuel the division into 2 [actually this is a bit of a simplification, as yeasts actually bud off rather than divide like bacteria] that they are single celled organisisms of funghi. we knew what it was used for, and i briefly touched on the krebbs cycle without naming and shaming it, saying effectively to make the energy, a gas was given off as a waste product. we had quite a talk about the various gas possibilities, but mostly settled on CO2, partly because this is something we breathe out as a waste, and partly because i had brought along some lime water to test for co2!! so we used my beautiful new erlenmeyer beakers and placed 5 spoons sugar, one heaped yeast and 250mls warm water and topped off with a balloon. soon enough this began to fill with ‘the gas’ and then each got a chance to mix ‘the gas’ with lime water – which rather fabulously went cloudy! and also to put a lit match into it – which v satisfactorily immed went out. so we learnt a bit about micro orgs, their needs, and waste products, and how to test for them. fab! this book suits this experiment pretty well, and we read it again earlier this week


I also did some of the sampler sewing – not as well as Merry! Kty did french, the children voluntarily did some music, and Zoe was pasta and tea maker – thanks! there was no snow at merry’s, tho it did snow on and off. we got back well in time for brownies – still snow here!

BB had her face painted and then decided she was tired [she fell asleep in the car on the way home whilst SB and I sang along to serge - above] and watched star wars whilst i snoozed.

SB was at brownies making valentines biscuits and then judo. this is the game of 2 halves, as this owl has a very brusque and brisk nature, and is just one of those busy women who perhaps SB isn’t so used to. so she asked to get changed in her toilet [it was at the big house for cooking] and j agreed, but whilst she was doing it, she was called for, and couldn’t hear so then got told off. then found someone else had taken her biscuits as they looked nicer, which she had made for me. SO loads of tears. Arrgh. I know she was prob stressed, but this isn’t the first time SB has cried. And yes Sb wears her heart on her sleeve and has no thickness of skin to speak of, but i do think that this being so a bit of compassion over the taken biscuits and actually, since sb had asked to change in the loo… oh well. we had a long discussion about different folks, and that j would prob be surprised that that exchange had made sb cry… btw Merry and katy, SB says she just isn’t used to shouty ppl as we and you don’t shout! Anyway, lots and lots of hugs on return, watching magic school bus inside ralphie episode, and to bed as a happy girl again.

wednesday science madness!!

before we get to today, i thought i would just like to say i went out to a restaurant both monday and tuesday! monday with chris, as girls at nanna’s so we made the most of the evening by going out to a local turkish, which was delish! tuesday was work night out at a chinese-malaysian – mucho yummy! had mock peking duck for the first time and liked it [have always steered a bit clear of the mock things!] must take chris there, it was near where the deependers live so would recommend it, tho a bit on the pricy side! mind you, the non veggies all had lobster as one of the courses, so i am guessing if i had been with chris it might have been half that price!

and so to wed, thought would raise christmas cheer with the science, and thinking hard for a good end of year finale, decided on crystal structure! went really well. we looked at crystals with SB’s rather fab microscope

now, this has mixed reviews, so anyone considering one, i think digital with usb port is a fab thing, it works quickly and easily and the laptop we run it on is our oldest one. the x200 doesn’t have enough light, so i agree there, but if you see one of these going cheap, snap it up, as far more fun than something you have to look down eyepieces for! all the children were v interested in it, from the v youngest, and it was quite some time before BB declared boredom! tho i notice that when they moved to slides, she was still watching!

we discussed crystals, how they form, and that if i had a powerful enough microscope [they don't do toy electron microscopes yet!] we could have seen the actual crystalline structure – which we discussed! then, whilst gina did music theory we them, i prepared my ace card – we made the crystalline structures out of maltesers held with royal icing. great fun! enjoyeed thoroughly by all, and hoping that they might remember some of them [i said them till blue in face!] simple cube, face centered cube, body centred cube, hexagonal close packed. and here are some examples!IMG_0143 IMG_0119 :lol:

actually it was a busy session and v much enjoyed by all. Gina also did bells with the big’uns and clarinet with the SB. Merry continued with sewing samplers with everyone – remarkably patient with all the needle traumas! BB also remarkably patient with hers. katy did latin christmas carols [well, latin translations!] and french and also boiled sweetie window biscuits. All went down really well, lots of happy laughing kids learning lots.

we were not only first to arrive [as hadn't seen any morning emails!] but also first to leave, as BB wanted to go to the rainbows christmas party. she didn’t join in any game, but when we ate, a girl sat with us, and they got on well, as she was really outgoing and friendly. not sure if bb will ever go to rainbows again, but she was much happier having had this interaction. i think she is just much younger than the others – prob directly due to home educating as we don’t push the outward facing thing.

SB had brownies party afterwards, which apparently didn’t have enough games. we watched doctor who, a crazy long bath was had, and the day was done.

lets try and do a decent blog!!

chris and the girls had a busy end of week whilst i was away on a lovely course at Madingley Hall in cambridge. v fab!! I got to start an new book there, which i am REALLY enjoying.

on thurs they went into town and had a bit of a shop. SB is on the lanky side, so has great difficulty in finding trousers that stay up without having to bunch lots of material up either with with elastic or belts. so they popped in to next, and a small fortune later she is really happy! BB had boot heaven at clarke’s, but SB not so fortunate, as with an E fitting there seems to be no shoes for her. the specialist shop in town seems to have closed down, so a bit more of a search is in order :roll: i remember this from my childhood! They then went onto a home ed friend for a playdate before rushing back for gym.

friday. ah yes, a home ed visit to a local orchard. a yearly event where the rather long suffering owner drives round the home ed rabble on a wagon hitched to the tractor!! i have been before, and it is excellent. he is v informative, the children get to try different apples, including new varieties and old trusted, and also see the sorting bit. he makes juices as well. SB came back with armfuls. BB had her footie lesson later on and then both happy to see me :smile: we have found the yoga dvd, and both girls rather cutely did it. SB and i both had a giggle reading the bagthorpe saga – our bedtime story. SB has decided she is rather good at doing trances – i v much agree, having seen her trance for over 30 mins doing one maths sum!!

Saturday. we started with the quest seekers presentation at the library. a bit weirdly it started by a speech about how hard reading was and why most children don’t choose to do it – this may be true, but seemed an odd start to the thing. and anyway, mine love reading, and i imagine a fair number of the other questseekers do too!! BB won the questseeker raffle and got a little ball game thingy, and in the book sale i bought SB 3 of the Spiderwick Chronicles for 30p each – a bargain! also persuaded someone else to buy Azincourt, which i really enjoyed. we posted some postcrossing postcards on the way home and put up our world map with the received ones.

SB has done a fair bit of piano practice over the last 2 weeks, so we had a ‘lesson’ together, and she is really moving forward. i am hoping that the speed of progress when she practices might persuade some more practice!! we did some recorder duetting as well, which we both like. whilst sb did some other home ed stuff – maths and music theory – bb and i played with her farm animals. i think i might neeed to practice at this, as i am less and less fond of playing with things! SB got out a tescos elecetric fan kit, which she put together quite happily – bit like this one Ein-o’s Box Kit Electric Motor Electric Science. we then had a lovely time making cards for chloes birthday party.

Merry having rung, we realised to take an alternate road work free route!! and arrived second at the pool venue, in time to give a very pregnant Jax a hug! and for Big and SB to exuberantly greet each other, before all those staying at the manor arrived too. i loved the pool, a great depth baby pool for bb to manically swim in. as an aside, her swimming is really coming on – although it is still more drowning with style, the backstroke is particularly good! scarily, she actually dived in twice – eek! luckilly bellyflopping rather than smashing head on the ground. i got to chat to the babs a bit! the bigger girls were being crazy in the bigger pool, though SB, big and E were mostly playing with the floats rather than the long floaty obstacle course.

lovely time, i love swimming!! [though i actually didn't get to do much, mostly kept an eye on crazy bb!!] party tea at the venue and lots of the blogring were in attendence! said hello again to michelle’s friend B, who i have met before and like v much! [she should blog you know!!] the cake cutting was a crazy moment!! back to the manor and wine and chat and relaxing until suddenly it was midnight, and we drove home to the sound of kids snoring!

sunday [btw having to blog with left hand only bb asleep on me and sb snuggled up also, watching jungle book - hard!!] anyway, i had planned to go to west stow for a reenactment weekend, but i had an unsettled night with lots of v unsettling themed dreams so had a lie in to recover – as did SB from having a late night. bb was up early tho. so i was a bit put out to have ‘ruined’ the day, but recovered! i discussed with the girls what fun things they wanted to do, and SB wanted to make the viking flatbread that was in the young archaeologists magazine. could i find it anywhere??? nope!! luckilly google to the rescue. the recipe galled for buttermilk tho… so we have made our own butter and topped up the amount of buttermillk with the first ‘washing’. we did do some of the butter in a jamjar for authenticity!! but the rest we did in the food processor, and is now in the freezer! SB then made the dough for the viking shardbread. we made one batch with honey, and the other with herbs, tried some each, but froze the rest to take to history group next friday and hopefully rewarmed there!! tasted delicious!! BB did some painting and stamping happily whilst we did this.

SB and i played bohnanza and landlock, she played castle keep with chris. i played an extremely long game of farm animals with BB. SB and i got the solar panels that we won on ebay to power a knex motor tried out, and thought what we might try and build – but didn’t! instead BB did some fimo-ing – piggies – and SB hama-ed some witches hats and we are all out of black. :roll: i seem to be constantly ordering from bead merrily!! think i might save up the order though!! i used some left out and hardening hama to make eyballs, teeth and worms beads for a scary halloween necklace! [having grumped at bb for starting something months ago and then doing no more so the fimo was dodgy!! Although our present to chloe had sparked some interest from SB, we didn’t actually get round to doing watercolour painting. nor the piano, maths and ballet practice we had planned. oh well!!

hoping for an early bedtime for the girls, but have, unfortunately, woken bb up, so not sure when she might fall asleep again! but an early out tomorrow.

more splashing

today we did a lot of splashing in and out of the pool. even i went in. it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, but by the time i had hoed the veg patch, i really needed to cool down! oh, and SB cooked poached eggs for breakfast – fantastic.

last weekend apparently cousin m told sb that when he does really well, he gets a mars bar. she wanted to know what the home-ed equivalent was. hmm, we said, what do you think? so she has got the timetable idea out again, and if she does 2/3 of what is on there, she gets her mars bar. some of the splashing today has therefore been the tears when we pointed out we could see she had ticked off things she hadn’t done. claims that someone else had done that were discarded. also tears of ‘completing’ her english [section 3.1 of galore park] when i opened to find it wasn’t. it took an hour to complete it. we aren;t autonomous, but we are child led and normally we don’t have battles over what to do, and especially with wailing thrown in. but fibbing about it to me changes the goal posts. once she was done, she was all happiness and light, so it obviously wasn’t so traumatic after all.

things that sb did happily were: singapore maths – giggle at it suddenly becoming newsworthy!; music theory – having finally found again the My First Theory Book! listening to me read The Story Of the World – the Middle Ages V 2 (Story of the World: History for the Classical Child (Paperback)): Middle Ages v. 2 about the taking of constantinople and some french words about animals.

BB has also been busy HE wise. although i was tempted to ‘give them stuff to do’ and the read a book, i felt i owed it to us all to actually interact, so grabbed a science kit for BB, and she LOVED it. it is now her kit, as too simple for sb. it is a first electric kit, and she followed the pictures rather than the written instructions, with a bit of help, and made a circuit with a light, and then a motor, which whizzed cards on it and blended the colours – more excitement. but what was so fab was her total thrill and enjoyment that she COULD do it!

both girls made very glittery cards for my sisters birthday at the end of the week. am a bit stalled over what to do as a present. what do you get? hmmm. flip camera? digital photo frame? john lewis vouchers [snort!] just dunno. the cards, however, will give a lasting impression – certainly to the carpets! sb in particularly spent ages getting it just how she wanted.

we did lots of messing in the pool though. bb is being v adventurous in that not quite swimming way. sb learnt to swim by drowning under water and then standing to breathe, and i think this is bb’s technique too. she jets under water and then stands up, breathes, and does some more. she is booked into a 2 week intensive swimming course this summer [my word!] and might be able to swim after that! i love the fact that she went on that they would have to have her somewhere shallow as she had v short legs – :lol: so she does. SB is quite the water wild child, and having great fun twisting, rolling and cavorting in the water. i also got lots of cuddles. good!!

hmm, lets do some blogging

last week i was lucky enough to swan off to a conference to lake como. we ate at good restaurants and learnt a lot in a good conference. the hotel was way out of town though, and getting back from the station, it was safest to walk along the railway tracks of the goods yard… not something you expect really to do! the only day out trip to belagio was lovely. I did, however, spend the entire conference getting more and more worried about little nanny, she had seemed to be getting better monday and tues, but by thurs things were not rosy, and on fri i knew active treatment had been withdrawn, and i just wanted to get home.

so having travelled all sat, i was welcomed home by a fantastic hug and cuddle from my girls. migrainous and travel sick on discussion with mum, i was encouraged [tho didn't need much] not to set straight out. so we snuggled, watched dr who, ate curry and made an early night.

not too quick off the mark to go out, and was rung to say i was too late after all. i feel dreadful that i didn’t re-prioritise things and see little nanny that last time to kiss her goodbye. prob silly, as she had slipped into a morphine sleep by saturday. but… so as no longer visiting, imposed on the manor borns to keep me sane.

we had a lovely, tho v lazy rspb walk, and have had to promise C i will do better next tine :lol: the kids appeared to have fun anyway, and bb was being particularly gorgeous really. all 3 played together without any major kerfuffles throughout the evening too, and after a lovely relaxed meal we went home to pop all of us straight to bed.

and so today, we were going to norfolk, and then not as it was a getting documents day [i have 2 days compassionate leave] and instead going tomorrow. [later and later]. so we decided to do fun things, like baking. we all got up v late, had brekkie v late, and then sb made brownies from *her* recipe book, and bb and i made a yummy choc sponge. the girls then played with silly string until it ran out. BB wanted to read a french book Lucy Cat at the Beach: Lucie Chat a La Plage (Lucy Cat) falls off perch in surprise, but agreed! SB did a verbal reasoning book and then read It’s Elementary: Putting the Crackle into Chemistry (Dk Reference) and wants to try and turn her urine into phosphorus now. :roll:

more playing, and we made pictures with light reactive paper, Sun Print Paper, which i remember enjoying as a child, and we did today. SB off to ballet, and BB and i did some pond dipping, and then retired to watch donald duck. on SB’s return, we made another cake from her recipe book Marie Claire Kitchen and had ken hom vietnames stew for dinner [SB's favourite dinner in fact]

SB and I then looked at some tiny pond bugs that i had captured with her digital microscope. slightly tricky as they kept whisking about, but she did manage to take some photos. No idea what they were. very speedy though!

anyway, tomorrow to norfolk. thanks everyone for your good wishes and thoughts, I have REALLY appreciated it.

A Funny Old Week

Well, I guess with Helen away most of the week in Italy ata conference it was never going to be a normal week, but still. I had vagur idea that I would try to keep the week fairly empty, have a relaxed time, get some housey jobs done etc. But was not to be.


Monday was my Uncle Robert’s funeral, and we were all going.  My Dad has stopped driving now, as it is just too painful for his arm to steer the car. A tad annoying really when you onky functioning arm stops functioning properly. So I hired an MPV to take us all , plus my neice Liana down to the funeral.

I relalised on the Sunday, that I didn’t really have anything to wear, at least in the legwear stakes. So headed to Tesco first thing on the way to get car to find something. Ended up with a suit, which was fine, except that in the shop it just looked black/grey next to all the others. In the daylight when I  it was a more browny colour, nice enough, but not quite what I had intended. Ah well.

Funeral was, in the context of funerals, good. Some affecionate and moving speeches from a Son-in-law and a couple of other people who knew him well. Some proper hymns to have a good sing to (if you are going to go to church I really think you need to have some proper hymns to sing) and a few hugs and tears. SB managed fine. BB mostly sat on the floor of the pew and coloured, but she was tired, and started to complain of being hot etc. in the church. But didn’t want to go outside with Helen, but fell a sleep after a bit.

The coffin was wrapped in a big picture of a steam train, and the organist played the theme tune to Thomas the Tank Engine at the commital at the crematorium – get the theme here :-)

He was a good man, with a strong faith. It does seem sad that after waiting years for a grandchild they probably had given up on getting, he only got to spend a couple of years with her. If you are somewhere else now Uncle Robert, I hope it is as good as you would have hoped it was.

After refreshments I had to take Stringbean over to Birchanger Services where I handed her over to Michelle. She was going to stay with them for 2 nights whilst she did a Sailing training course. I then headed back to my Aunts house for a bit. Took Helen to the tain station so she could go and stay in some posh hotel room at Heathrow. Eventally the remnants of the party headed back to our house, where we all went to bed pretty much straight away.


More driving about.

Took hire car back, did a bit of shopping, had hair cut, sat in cafe and drunk coffee, read The Gruaniad without any children - bliss :-) Home to find Butterbean has been spending Grandads money. Take parents and liana back to their house. stay there until time to take BB to her football class. True to form she did manage to somehow knock her head within the first 10 minutes – so ws of woith an injury having a cuddle.
But did convince her to go back and do some more . She almost finished the rest, but stopped part way through the short game they have at the end. She doesn’t like this bit as she can hardly ever get the ball, and if she does it gets tackled away fro her in no time. So basically runs around a bit and then gets bored :-)

Had dinner at the cafe there, a bit of TV and then bed for her. SB rang up from the Old Manor, upset becuase she had bashed her toe (a classic SB-ism) and wanted to come home. This wasn’t really that practical as they are an hours drive away and there was just me, and anyway I expected her to get over it and she did it sounds like. I guess this is something you need to learn to deal with really.


Out again. via the Park and Ride, where we met the Patch of Puddle gang on the bus, and then were reunited with SB in town. We were going to The Cloth Place, a project by Big wide Talk, the took over 2 floors of a lovely old building, that was a shop. Filled it with all sorts of cloth things – animals, vegtables, food, various props, and the kids get to use it how ever they want as long as they don’t hurt each other and repsect the stuff. I forgot the camera but borowed Michelle’s. She has been more organised than me and posted some piccies.

It was great fun :-) Afterwards we had a picnic in the park, including a good strop by BB as she chose a drink, and then wanted to change it after it had all been paid for and I said no. We then went to the Archaeology museum, which I’ve not been to before. And had an interesting hour there.

Then back on the bus to head home, SB to brownies and general flopping abolut until dinner and bedtime.


Yup out again. Kids all tired, and not wanting to get up.  Off to Tots and Nots, only really went becuase it was the 3rd and last of three sessions that SB has done on philosophy. They were finishing early as they were off to the Coth Place again. Then into the car, and the hour or so’s drive to my parents to leave them with BB. A short time there, then off again to take Sb to gym. They have started building work there and there isn’t much space on the balcony anymore so rather than be hot and squashed I popped into town, a little bit of shopping and another peaceful coffee :-)

Home dinner, played a game with SB, a bit of TV and bed.


Not out :-)

SB has commented that she gets given stuff to do while we do something else (!).  With all the other boring stuff of life that get in the way and never seem finished (housework, washing etc. etc.) I find myself ending up putting stuff off with them, so decided not to spend today tidying the house (sorry H) and spent mucho time with SB whlst BB was awayPottered about in the morning, a modicum of housework, reading and playing a game with SB, plenty of music practice. SB cooked lunch, where she learnt how to cook scrambled egg on toast. Then we spent all afternoon working on a project she has been wnting to do for the last few weeks. I won’t say what as it might give the game away for someone, but involved much sawing and nailing and gluing.

Once we had finished what we could, we needed to get a couple of bits, so off to the DIY shop. Then we decided to find somewhere to ahve dinner for a treat. Realised that we don’t go out in the evening much and din’t really know what was around that would have things SB might like. But found a pleasant Italian place, and a dinner with just the two of us, which was also rather pleaant.

Home, to SB’s bed time and me trying to blog a bit of the week, which I’ve managed just about  – shock!!

Shortly we are off to get BB, then this afternoon it is the carnival procession. SB is on the Brownies float and I think she might be doing a ballet display. Helen should be back homw sometime this afternoon as well :-)