Category Archives: language

Daddybean, with added Bolding :-)


None of us have really got used to H being back on work time yet. So it was a bit of a struggle getting up this morning. Even BB slept in a bit longer than normal, and SB took multiple wakings to get out of bed  by about 10 !

THe first bit of the morning  after I saw H off to work (first morning to de-ice the car) is a bit vague, having breakkie, houseworky bits (which don’t really tend to stick in the brain) I guess. Looked at stepladders on the web as going to paint the playroom ceiling and woodwork next week and we don’t really have one that reaches properly to that height (being  rather higher than our old house), which means being balanced a little bit to high on the one we do have. Other then the girls room a ffew years ago, we haven’t done any  decorating since we moved in really. Alos need a deeper standoff for the ladder (well, borrowing the Deependers ladder) as the one I have isn’t  deep enough for our wide eaves. So perused, but didn’t decide.

BB mostly played a game with the chess pieces (not chess, some imaginary game). SB got up at last after much poking, did piano practice,  I cooked boiled eggs for not long enough (I normally use method one that Delia gives here ) but forgot to turn off the stove at one minute, so carried on letting them boil for longer. But not enough, so  weren’t cooked quite enough. will stick to my normal method, which looks more complicated than neccessary, but isn’t , and is reliable.

After breakfast, they both contrived to go upstairs to get dressed and then both ended up coming downstairs complaining that the other had poked them in the eye, or kicked them in the head (!!) and various other complaints. I didn’t really have patience for this, so told them to take it in turns to get dressed so as to avoid conflict.

Then it was outside into the garden, into a lovely sunny, if a little chilly day. Playing with bunnies, cleaning out Skittle hutch, a bit of playing etc. The kids disppeared back inside after a bit, and I carried on with my gardening plan for this year. Which is to try to do at least  1/2 hour in the garden most days (well those that I’m around, and when it isn’t horrible outside) and to gradually work at getting tasks done. So today I cleared an over grown area behind the greenhouse and put some of the black  woven sheeting down, I can now move some other stuff onto their, throw away the rubbish, and then clear the rest of the area behind the sable, where at some point we plan to grow a fan trained Apricot or something. I’ve already cut down the fig, so that it can regrow from the base and we can hopefully try to train it against the wall, rather than have it grow up 20 feet and shade the greenhouse. I’ve also  cut back some of the holly bush that had grown out so much it was getting in the way. Will need to cut back the top as well, but right now it has lots of berries on, so will leave them for Xmas stuff and the birds for now.

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The pile of stuff in the RH picture to be sorted stored  by the greenhouse, then clear the stuff at the end and the ivy along the walls. No idea what to do with the great big roller, hide it soemwhere else in the garden I guess. It’s been there for years I imagine, feels like it belongs in the garden. There is also a path down there as well, probanbly the middle is roughly where the edge of the black plastic is.

Was getting  hungry, so warmed up with a cuppa in the conservatory and then got lunch.

after coming back inside, and after lunch, SB did maths, DS French game, DK project book and Art de Lire French and played recorder.  BB was in best pottering about mode. She decided to make an xmas card, found the card, the colours and sat and happily did that without any input from me.- it ended up as an interesting xmas (outside) and Halloween (inside card :-) She made a couple more later on in the day. They are fab :-)

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She also drew out the design she wants for her birthday cake (a Tiger this year, she managed the first 3 letters of Tiger, but needed help on the ‘er’ .

SB also played a bit of some imaginary game with the Chess pieces, and then it was time for Ballet class. Cold, getting dark to early sort of day, we rushed there and me and BB rushed back, to find H home from work in the mean time.  Cups of tea, retrieving SB, BB settled down to watch a Star Wars film again,  tea cooked, and we watched Edwardian Farm on the trusty iPlayer.

Interesting to see Morwellham Quay. I rember visiting there on a school trip around 1975/6. It must have been in the early years of the restoration, I remember the quays being full of squelchy mud.

quickly blogging

my parents here, which is always lovely :) they arrived last night after being eagerly awaited by the girls – who then took ages to settle down! the girls had spent yesterday morning playing with Jax’s children whilst i was at work, and then in the aft and eve when to their serial gym lessons, except that SB forgot her leotard, so after all she didn’t :( . Piano prac and then some home ed galore park english and we watched the edwardian shops on BBC as my parents arrived :) . BB still insisted on trying puerto rico, but it is too hard for her.

Today we were all a bit late up. SB the latest again, she def has got into not liking getting up :lol: but she did her piano prac really well, and then played for mum, also did some DK project book on minerals [me looking at it for the blog below reminded her!] some of a rather too easy murderous maths workbook and then a bit of revision of the french done last time at latinetc. Mum and i did some of the dialogue with her, so that was fun :) . BB did some explode the code, and listened to SB reading Story of the World 1. we all played ticket to ride [sb won] and then BB, mum dad and I played blokus. BB and i drew. we did a fair bit of dsing alltogether – must remember to charge mine – and general chatting and bb being rather wild. finished off this eve playing ticket to ride again with dad. he won! chris and i did dreadfully :blush: lovely day :)

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 :)

remember remember!

Though I had better start with Thursday first! we managed to get up really early to be off and out to T and N’s as G had offered to listen to SB’s exam pieces before it got going. Unfortunately there was a huge hold up on our way in due to roadworks so we were late. Luckilly we did get a bit of piano in, and with a bit more work should be ok for grade 1 – phew! Which also meant that i went to the group for the first time in ages. i hadn’t gone whilst off as have found new places stressful, and meeting ppl difficult, especially as haven’t really broadcast that I have been off work and why… [and now slightly stressed that due to the post a couple down, lots of people will be reading my blog that don't normally - eek and embarrased wave!] Anyway, chatted to lovely people, reminded me how much i would like to be the home educator! but back to work next week. SB did some french, suprised me by not doing the bookclub, but we are all in a bit of a funny mood i think at the moment, and BB went shopping with chris and returned with new boots and a fab dinosaur top – prompting the post below!

Home and SB did some more home ed – maths and galore park history, and then we gave the rabbits a good clean out. BB went off to gym, and SB wrapped her pressies for BB and then made a lovely hamabead card. We then went to gym. Finished the day watching the new BBC shopkeepers in shepton mallet prog. perhaps not good for veggies watching the pig being butchered!!

This morning was completely and utterly devoted to bedroom tidying! It was painful, it was shrieky, it was done!!! phew! After that SB and i did piano prac and then went out to play with rabbits and then find some pretty leaves for our autumn craft. We stuck leaves on into a pleasing pic [BB cat, SB random, me spiral] and then read Keats’ Ode to Autumn, had a bit of a chat about the poem, and then SB and I chose our fav lines and added them to our pictures. Looks good i think! Let me chill after some stressy interweb moments! I love occupational therapy through crafts

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Friends arrived for the bonfire and fireworks at our house tonight, and we had a lovely time. The kids had fun playing together, that adults chatted, giggled and chilled. After dinner it was still raining, so we shrugged our shoulders and got on with it! enjoyed the fireworks in the rain, and then raced inside to do birthday cakes, more playing and then a tearful goodbye. we should prob have arranged a sleepover! A very pleasant way to spend an evening :)


relight my fire

today was latinetc, and i had got a fun science all lined up! we were going to make oxygen – woohoo! and test for it. This completes a creating and testing for 3 gases – CO2, O2, H2 – series [yes, should really go for nitrogen, but it is trickier...] We’ll do it again no doubt in the future, but i emphasised the 3 and their tests today, and talked a fair bit about catalysts, being things that can make reactions go faster. We had hydrogen peroxide – which you can buy from a chemist cheaper than ebay [thankyou for t-bird for this nugget, only after i had purchased from ebay!] which will over time produce oxygen all by itself, faster if heated. But a catalyst will speed things up and make v much more ‘interesting’ . We had as our catalyst manganese dioxide – definitely going to be a winner, liver and kiwi fruit. [could use iron oxide but this doesn't do a lot, and lead oxide does do a lot, but i don't have any]. we put 15 mls of h202 with a bit of the catalyst [less than 1/4 tsp of the manganese dioxide] and a squirt of washing up liquid and some food colouring. it foams! we rated our catalysts in order of manganese oxide > liver > kiwi

The reaction is :
2H2O2(aq) -> 2H2O(l) + O2(g)
This is catalysed by a variety of transititional metal compounds and peroxidase enzymes found in many living things.


i also did an adapted genie in a bottle [as had less h202!] that i had practiced at home, so knew to be way safer!! still pretty dramatic, and we got to test for oxygen with glowing spills v successfully. [ps i had also given them my usual scary safety prep talk, we had safety specs, lab coats and gloves, and the foaming controls this a bit. I think we all enjoyed it :lol: [mind you, i did have to remind a most of the older group that safety specs are not so good if on the forehead rather than over the eyes :roll: ]


K did latin and french, Z did crafts – halloween and firework pics using oil pastels with a watercolour wash, and Merry did pasta and mastered K’s ecokettle! We are going to do the real science for kids next time, with all the children reading or having read to, chapter 1 of whichever level their parent thinks is ok, and then i am going to work out how we can model atoms in the interim, so we can each make one, and do some discussion around the periodic table and atomic weights as we do it.

SO after a bit of planning of groups, which K will tinker with and show and tinker with G, who wasn’t here today so needs to have an input, Merry went home, K did french and then we grown ups chatted as the children did a bit more craft. then we went geocaching for the elusive ones! and this time – fanfare – Z found it! still not quite where we thought it was going to be. SB led a group of children out of view, and BB got hurt, so was a bit cross with her for breaking cardinal rule of going somewhere that i didn’t know about out of eyesight and nearly earshot as well. :( . We then persuaded kfish to come to the next cache too, which i think she may have regretted… i had the coords only on iphone, which with classic timing ran out of charge when we most needed it :( [actually :lol: ] so Z rang chris and got coords, i had the gps which i don’t know how to use, and in the end kept marking waypoints and deleting them until they were more or less the coords. it was getting dark and looking a bit hopeless, so we gave up, but K and I spotted an interesting log arrangement, J investigated it, and tada!! a geotat cache! BB way too tired so i had a less than nice moment when little A – bless her – passed on what she had chosen :roll: mind you, we had had A in our car as she had had a moment too that she never got to go in other peoples cars. SHe and BB had a fab conversation which didn’t make 100% sense from the front… Though that was better than BB and L when i had those 2, who were on the cheeky end of the spectrum [not dreadfully, more mock outrage rather than actual required!!]


got home to find chris had tidied the front room and wrestled with putting the curtains up. oh i DO like a room with curtains!! we had chips, falling asleep half way through, and the rest of us watching a fab programme about optical illusions. now i plan to watch the apprentice on iplayer.

And yes, it is 2 months since my sister died, and have thought about her on and off all day.

More Conservatory…

SB decided that she wanted to try and do as much as possible today and spend tomorrow making her halloween costume. Fine! So she raced through various of her home ed books – trying to remember here! kS3 science workbook, maths, french workbook, gruesome grammar, piano practice, she read her last Aquila [that counts as a fact book] and I was sure there was something else?? no idea…

SB, BB and I got to do a lovely afternoon of fimo, SB made a mummy and started a sarcophagus. BB made a skull and also another skull in a black cloak – very great :) i used scrappy bits of fimo to make keyrings, either for geotat or geotags :) so very therapeutic. And I needed therapeutic, having flickred the pics of sisters funeral. feeling v low :( not aided by another BB exploring when people were going to die, and who was going to die first. :cry: anyway, fimo good :) and made all the better by the inconsequential but loving chit chat that goes on whilst we do it. and ooh that is good, or what on earth is that mummy@ [a snake canopic jar - lol!]

also baby rabbits! missed there being shadow/biscuit, but good to know she was rampaging around her new home ;) the babiest babies still all doing well. on discussion, we are not sure whether sedna [gerda as was] is a giant, or whether hamster and the 2 black otters are just small?? all v beautiful. Aware we will be saying goodbye to the final 3 of the big babies this weekend, and feel slightly sad about that, but glad that they are going ro such good homes with friends.

Girls both had gym, and SB was v happy doing something or other on the bars [some kind of backwards twirl thing] and when she came home, did some non verbal reasoning asking that at the end if we could have a treat of story of the world, as she thinks that might be better than baking :) I did say lets do it now, but she wanted to do the verbal reasoning. so, unfortunately, she didn’t get the story of the world as it was dinner time, and then we watched a dvd about plants :( I have promised to do story of the world tomorrow. :lol:

BB hasn’t been mentioned much today in blog, as she spent most of it being either a monster, leopard or baby rabbit. TBH the baby rabbit was bearable, the other 2 challenging… but in between shrieking, rarring and pretending to eat her cuddly toys :roll: we did have some lovely cuddles and snuggles :) And we all had loads of interesting home ed type discussions, the ones where i wished i had google-in-the-brain! [like how many seeds are in a pomegranate, how long would it take to walk round the world etc] and the ones where i could answer, but could tell i was not being believed – ie why don’t fruit and veg tend to grow square…

Concerts and Continuity

we went down to my parents for the weekend. They have been much worried about me, and I think they are reassured that all will be OK given some time and a better break! We went for the 25th anniversary concert of an orchestra mum and I were founder members of, and viv joined a bit later. I had a lovely time playing before with them, including the first mvt of beeethovens violin concerto :) and even after i left, returned for a number of concerts, including
the 10th and the 20th reunion concerts, both with mum and sister. Mum and I [and viv as offer made in July] were asked if we would like to play this time. we said no, tho i sort of wish we had said yes, tho on the other hand the tchaik 1 is total nightmare – and that was the only bt we thought we would be playing, but as it turned out those returners played the whole concert, including mendelsohn violin [ooh] and butterworth banks of green willow [aah]. Anyway, mum, dad and I took SB with us, and enjoyed the whole concert, and SB was really good at not jiffling and looking interested, even tho tchaik 1 on the turgid side! but what reduced us to tears was the dedication of the green willow – a strings heavy piece – to my dear sister vivien. :cry: Still SAK as i write this. I think all 3 of us had tears dripping down through the whole piece, beautiful that it is.

Once we had recovered – in the lovely Mendelssohn, we could enjoy the rest of the concert. it was fab meeting people again, some who we had seen recently at viv’s funeral, but some others that i went to music centre, or were taught by. And also one of mum’s school friends there too. After the concert, all old members were invited ‘backstage’ to enjoy some champagne to toast the longevity of the orchestra and hug previous friends and desk partners :) and too our total shock, mum and i got flowers as founder members!! SB found all this chatting bit quite boring. luckilly i took ds for her :) .

we got home late to find BB still awake, so i sang her to sleep – aw like doing that :) and SB went to sleep fairly instantly too.

next day chatting and playing games with my parents. SB caught up her 25 on this weeks ticksheet by doing 2 piano pracs, verbal reasoning and spelling book – good girl!! [actually took her to 28]. Dad set up a measuring and finding game in the garden which they both enjoyed. SB was a bt tierd and fragile with wailing at every knock, and BB had a right roayl strop, so i told her off for being ungrateful and greedy :smile: oh well!! lovely lunch from mum.

We then took a too boisterous BB and a slightly droopy SB on a geocache walk with my mum, a lovely walk across fields near where they live. i remember doing this walk loads as a child, and then courting chris I think we went too as a short cut to a nice pub. Rather more hideous memories of it being the cross country route of middle school! Actually the middle school maintain this geocache, and we found it easily, exchanged tat, and put in the daddybean TB. As we walked back, we walked past the scout hut, and the road to it has been named after a friend and neighbour who died suddenly in 50′s – another tearful moment. SO feeling quite a memory lane weekend, and wish that you could sometimes just pop back in time, just to relive and feel the moments, not necessarily to change.

straightforward drive home, and my fav [i think, tho this does change!] overture played on classic fm. i will leave you wth that at end! girls in bed, but not asleep. rabbits all safe, and chrs and i cold, so heating on from 2moro!

part one

part 2

A snippet of Matisse

Since we went to the tate modern in jan, and admired some of matisse, SB and I had thought we could have a thought about looking at making art ‘in the style of…’ starting with Matisse this year. Art is not my strongest point [ :lol: ] but I do enjoy it. SO we planned that for today. before we began, however, some tidying was in order. We all hate tidying, it is true, so it was well past midday before the room was enough tidy to move on! then as the kitchen wasn’t, we had to do other things first!

SB and I did a great recorder practice, the scales [though not arpeggios] and the 3 exam pieces. gradually coming together. mostly notes and rhythms right, so now to work on phrasing and dynamics! BB and I also did a recorder practice together, and SB did some french.

BB started with her own craft project, which she tells me daddy musn’t know anything about, and SB and I looked at a few matisse pictures and she said she knew what she had in mind and didn’t need to see any more, thankyou very much! BB also had a clear plan, so they got on with that whilst i read

The Pasteur book fits nicely with the science i plan to do later in the week as well. SB and BB both liked these books, and periodically stopped cutting/glueing/sticking to peer at the pictures and have a snuggle. The we moved onto story of the world and queen elizabeth 1. i corrected the succession order from henry VIII story, and then we enjoyed reading it, and then a bit about francis drake and sir walter raleigh from these books

BB’s has gone up on the wall, but SB’s has rather a lot of glue on it, so should be placed on the wall tomorrow! Having covered the kitchen table in Matisse style art, we ate our stirfry watching Dr Who in the living room before off to bed!!



As ppl might have read below, on monday chris bought fish from the fishmonger at the market. Today we dissected them at latinetc! i was really impressed, particularly by the younger [and more sensible :roll: group] at how carefully this was done in the main. i think the younger group were aided by being on 4 wanting to do it and 2 adults, to the older groups impatient 6! We started with looking at the beauty of the mackerel, the camouflage elements, and how we thought these might work, at the shape and dynamics of the fish – muscled and bullet shaped, likely to be a fast swimmer we thought. at the various external features – vent, protected eyes and gills, the various fins and the fabulous mouth. Then we started cutting!

we started with gills, talked about their purpose and investigated them – they are v beautiful! then we did our eviscerating slit – careful mostly not to eviscerated! amazingly we found the swim bladder, gonads, stomach and heart. may have found liver! def found lots of muscle and spine. and then after discussing those, they merrily set to on destruction! actually, that’s not entirely true, E did a beautiful dissection in the littlies, BB was a bit wilder! in the older group i think J and J did well to hang in their, being uncertain about dissection [and i have promised that will be the only one this term - so no eyeballs yet!] and the smell got to chloe. SB and maddy really enjoyed gutting etc their fishes…

other than that, they did music theory and latin and for the littlies french. we stayed and chatted whilst katy went to baby music, which was nice, i like the opportunity for a good natter. i listed to M and then J doiing their violin practises. we brought Maddy home with us, and she did brownies and judo v happily with SB, watched charlottes web with tea, and now all is finally quiet upstairs…

bacteria galore!

today was a latinetc day, always enjoyable for all of us. we were still late, because somehow our kids don’t get out of the house, and my poor sleeping is making me just want to curl up in bed unless matter transported! We started with SB doing some music theory, which apparently she struggled to do there, but at home raced through the sheet, so as gina says, prob due to arriving half way thro. BB similarly shy in french, doing opposites, but got going, and for the rest of the morning toddling about quite happily!

I like being in the kitchen with michelle, though think she may have been a bit more dubious about our proximity as we were looking at bacteria! i reassured everyone that they were actually dead! fixed on a microscope slide in fact, and we had a peer at some, but my microscope not really powered quite highly enough. we did a fun bacteria division game with peas and paper ‘cells’ obviously these were intracellular bacteria! and that was enjoyed. then i got out the petri dishes and swabs and we all thought of somewhere that might harbour bacteria, swabbed and plated it. now, with any luck, the petri dishes are in airing cupboards gently warming! the plan is to look every day and draw what you see. we may, or may not, have the older group try and make a microscope slide depending on how well it goes! unfortunately, it used up way more agar than i imagined! so i have had to buy lots more, and am waiting for it before we do part 2 – grow bugs and then put in something we think is bacteriocidal – what do you think? teatree, lavender, breast milk, alcohol gel, soap?? oh and an antibiotic and see if we can kill them! so we will dissect a fish next time instead. we had lots of discussions about bacteria, and it is always great to see what info kids already have and can pull together, we had a bit of evolution, yoghurt making, pasteurisation, ‘good and bad’ bacteria…

latin and music also happened, tho not clarinet – will happen 2moro. we came home, and sb did the clarinet and theory sheet whilst BB got going with painting a plaster of paris frame she had made. she really paints v carefully, and acrylic paints are so much better for this!! just as SB was about to get a kit to finish out, we had the deependers arrive after baby music, so supplied tea and refreshments. M very taken by that maze ball thing we all have! J,K and SB played bohnanza for a bit, and L and BB played together v happily. apparently the frame is prob for L, but don’t get too excited, as BB often keeps the things she makes for others…

Other things this week – SB had and really enjoyed her first golf lesson. she has done loads of maths on angles. BB done lots of crafting and finally starting to learn some letters!! chris put up the new bookcases, so looks fab in hallway, and currently he has started on room of doom! work been stressful as always, but have some time off coming up – woohoo!! oh, and it snowed – somehow that is no longer newsworthy, and i have hardly mentioned this prolonged cold snap in the blog, but it hasn’t really affected us, not like so many others!