Sunday, 29 July 2012

Winding up

Have been trying to a bit of finishing off- here is our updated SJ Blob (not the best photo though!) with our multiple body systems that have been discussed, drawn and placed- most of them have involved some physical experimentation as well as, in some, some practical experimentation too. I think they have certainly retained a fair amount- recently applied when an elderly aunt fell and broke her hip and they had a good understandiung of the ball and socket joint principle!
When I say 'winding up' I refer to  the fact that I produce a yearly report for each of them (not yet TP as he isn't official school age yet) based on an academic year- this goes in hand with a daily record of activities that we complete. Neither of these claim to be comprehensive- soo much happens that isnt quantifiable or remembered- like discusions and debates on daily life, questions about news items/radio discussion. They merely serve to be some kind of memory jog for myself - both as a record of our days and in the event that we need to produce LA evidence in the future (currently unknowns!!)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

End of Term

 Last week of term always feels a little rushed and mixed feelings- acceptance that everywhere will be crowded (HE is soo selfish sometimes!!)

TPs playgroup trip- the good thing about being Chairperson (Registered Ofsted person- teeheehee- always makes me giggle) is that you can influence things...One of my good changes has been to move the summer trip away from doing glorified soft play trip with expensive coaches- to using our local campsite and having a Forest School type day- the kids love it- the parents seem a little more hmmmmm- (but then they are a bit hmmm all the time). They cooked marshmellows on the fire and saw popcorn popping, ate their playgroup grown new potatos, went bug hunting (and muddly bog hopping), decorated insect houses and did sports day races
Unfortunately the flip side of being Chairperson is that I got a message yesterday saying that our venue had been broken into and both the laptops and digital camera had been stolen, two high security filing cabinets trashed and some of our other cupboards raided..... the second time in the last 18 months...... and a member of staff has given notice of retirement which means I need to employ someone new.....

Hmmm- as this is TPs last year of Playgroup- his 'extra' one- he will be the oldest as all the rest are now rushed off to school I think it may be time to gently start drawing back

Travelling South- Beamish

 Was very interesting travelling south- it felt like we had left Scotland about 2 hours before we actually did- although lowlands/borders are 'scotland' they never feel like it to me! Leisurely trip back stopping in Northumberland. My birthday treat was a trip to Beamish- always a favourite. SJ is really starting to 'get' these live enactment places- whereas they are still slightly beyond the little two yet. It is probably fair to say that they all enjoyed the sweetmaking demonstration - particularly the free samples! The mine tour was also another hit as was the carriage ride that we had- for a treat -around the whole site
Waggonway ride OK- but they insisted on going in the covered green carriage- which they then couldn't see out of- as the windows were too high!
Then a lovely night at Boroughbridge- with cake and play.....and then home....and back to daily routine...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Scotland- the Far north....

 Following Mull, we decided to drive around the top of Scotland- so passed through Loch Ness (actually I probably mean 'around'!!) and travelled up over the Moray Firth to Wick and beyond. We wild camped near a Broch a couple of miles from John O Groats and then the following day we went over to Orkney. We actually did a bus trip- which was interesting- the kids loved it! So we went to the Churchill Barriers and around Scapa Flow (SJ loved all the WWI & II references) and the Royal Oak memorial site. We then went on to Kirkwall and Stromness....
 ...and onto Skara Brae. Skara Brae is one of those childhood dream moments come true for me- I remember seeing pictures of the place in a textbook in second year senior school (Yr8??) and hoping to visit them one day.... It was spectacular and to have the sun out for us was amazing. The site is absolutely wonderful- better than imagined- the real thing still looks as good as the mock up they have done for people to walk through. Just imagine finding something like that in the middle of a field!! There is a rather lovely Manor House next door (Skaiil House) which is a part of the joint ticket.
And then onto the Ring of Brodegar- which I had never heard of before- but I really do think may be more amazing than Stonehenge- certainly the surroundings are more peaceful than the A303!! And you can actually move around and through the stones and see the fascinating lichens and marks from lightening strikes and even hug a stone...

We also visited the Italian Chapel (built by WWII POWs) built from two Nissan Huts and all hand decorated.

Orkney was wonderful- I think we will go back and for longer (M even lookd at jobs for Kirkwall!!!)- I might miss the trees though..........

Monday, 16 July 2012

Soul recharging

 Well- what have we been up too???

A lengthy absence in the beauty that is Northern Scotland- ohhh sooo not to have come back again....
This may be a multi post..... firstly a week in Mull- gorgeous, spectacular, brooding, wildlife, peace, uncrowded......
We spent a couple of days in Ffionphort (opposite Iona)- where we found a lovely campsite overlooking silvery beaches with crystal clear water- where we could watch the children play and rockpool and RUN!! We stopped at a mussel farm on the way through Mull- where we picked up 4kgs of fresh mussels which were indulgently devoured with bread and butter (is there any other way? simple = best)
 A day trip over to Iona - well what else do you do for a young lady whose middle name is Iona?? Walked the width- TP fell in a rockpool and had to be carried back wrapped in Ms fleece- with Mummy flapping his little boxer shorts in the breeze to dry them! Finding a little RNLI charity book stall where I picked up a few months worth of reading matter (supporting a good cause of course!)

Visiting Tobermory and looking for signs of Balamory- including finding Edie McCredie bus hidden away in the south of the island.

Wild camping by Calgary Beach and spotting Sea Otters swimming in the bay.

Freshly caught Mackerel on a charcoal Barbecue.

Visiting Fingals Cave on Staffa and hearing the Hebridean Overture there.
Sunnie parked at John o instalment......