Mud & Mischief

Just our way of home educating our three girls; assisted by an allotment, a Land Rover and a heap of ingenuity.

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Location: South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Normal service shall resume shortly...

Ok, been one of those months. Suddenly, it's almost June (and even more almost my birthday!) and I haven't really blogged a huge amount. A few pictures of our holiday, but nothing of substance.

There are a few reasons for that, but none that are worth going into here. My blog outlook has changed subtly over the past month or so, and I've had to reassess why I blog and what I get out of it.

We've still got two family members going through the chemotherapy thing, both coming to the end of their first courses of treatment. We're keeping all fingers crossed for lab/scan results in a couple of weeks time (although we have had one batch of very positive results for James' mum, which is an enormous boost). James and I are still wondering where we're going - but at least the mess of last year is over and we've decided that where ever we're going, we're going as a family. He's got a lot of thinking to do regards work, life direction, what he wants to do etc. Myf is telling anyone who'll listen that we're buying a farm. Which is ultimately what we want to do, to be honest, but where/when crops up again. (Personally I like Wales and the west country, but James would rather go North Yorks...)

But I think I'm going to leave all that kind of nonsense out of future blogs - my main focus of life at the moment is Myf and her education. Or lack thereof. Three large bookcases and two wide shelves full of books/resources/material, and she isn't interested in any of it. I've read up on autonomous education, dipped into Steiner-Waldorf, had a look at Montessori, imported some formal Sonlight curriculum, brought home bags of KS1 books and the like from various book shops and bought pretty much every Usborne that the Book People offer.

So far, the only thing she seems to have taken a liking to are the dozen or so pocket science books that arrived in the Book People box a couple of days ago.

Maybe we need to reduce our social life somewhat - Sheffield on Mondays, days out with Daddy on Tuesdays, Chesterfield on Thursdays, and visiting friends on at least one other day each week. But we spend too many days in the house and everyone goes completely stir crazy.

We have had a fairly successful day today though. We read through the 'How do Bees make Honey?' science book - made extra interesting by the fact that the chap we went to Croatia with keeps bees as a hobby. Myf was most impressed when I said that Wayne would probably take us to see his beehives if we asked him. I also got her big keyboard out today - it's been in Piglet's bedroom since Xmas, and they've all been playing with it. We found the Usborne First book of the Keyboard and worked through the first 6 pages. Then the two little ones found the recorders and I left them all to it in the living room. When the little ones went down for a nap, Myf brought me a little tapestry kit I'd picked up from the Scrap store and we started it. She got a bit impatient after 10 minutes, so I sent her up for a snooze.

So, for a little while, I think it'll just be a running diary of the things we've accomplished as a home ed family. With a bit of gardening thrown in, some Land Rovering... oh and the occasional HE camp. :) We are so looking forward to Kessingland.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The village where we were staying - pronounced "Z-band-eye" with the Z like the S in pleasure. Weird language... almost Russian

A snippet of scenery. The whole country (well, the part we were in, Istria) is like this.

A picturesque water mill - it's been refitted at the moment with a generator and will be supplying the village with all its electricity by the summer.

Oops - and we wondered why this road was closed! That's me in the khaki shorts, peering over the edge of the tarmac at the 50ft drop. It was a bend in the road around the side of a mountain and the road had just... slipped away. About 100 yards to the left of the picture was a big chunk of mountainside, topped with a neat triangular piece of tarmac, a couple of kerb stones and a still-standing speed limit sign!

The Limski Canal (more of a fjord than a canal). The water was crystal clear though.

Windy little street in Porec. Look at the colour of that sky!

The house in Croatia where we were staying. That gorgeous wisteria was just coming into flower as we arrived and was just finishing as we left. It was stunning.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Oh, I needed this...

Pep you up

Full blog posting coming later on today. Just to say we had a fabulous weekend at a Land Rover show, kids had a ball (there were 9 little girls on the DOC stand, ages 2 to 13 years old).

And yes, Croatia pics coming too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm back

And it was absolutely fabulous. :) Want to go back, want to go back.

Actually, we very seriously looked at land and houses over there. James is wanting a move, and we still haven't ruled out moving abroad. We've always looked at Brittany and NW France, but Croatia would be good. It's so stunningly beautiful out there, and it's relatively uncrowded. The soil is a rich, dark red and everywhere you look are grape vines and olive groves. :::sigh:::

The house we stayed at had wisteria growing round the front that was just coming into flower as we arrived, and as we were leaving the flowers were giving way to silvery green leaves. The garden was walled, and they had a handful of outbuildings, including one known as the summer kitchen. Apparently in the summer it gets too hot to cook in the main house, so they do it all in the separate 'summer kitchen' to avoid over heating the house. Which is made of stone so it stays lovely and cool inside.

We had temperatures of 25 degrees and gorgeous hot sunny days. I have a whole raft of photos to upload, but I need to finish editing them. We took over 700 pictures, so I'm going to have to choose the best dozen to blog.

However, I need to go finish some laundry now - I have mountains of the stuff. Oh for a cleaning lady who irons... lol. Never mind, once I've hung some stuff out, I need to attack my garden. The grass is 8" high and my poor lawnmower needs its blades sharpening. I'm really after a scythe though (long story). We saw someone using one in Croatia, and Myf said 'Mommy, when we get our farm, will you need one of those?'

Certainly will, my dear. :)