Monday, 25 May 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad would have been 72 today, so here are a couple of pics of the lovely man.

Above: very young and handsome looking - possibly in the '60s (before my time anyway). Cant believe those sandals, what were you thinking Dad!?!

Below: having a drink and a laugh, how I like to remember him :0)

We are going to mark the occasion by - can you guess?? Yes - baking a big cake! How predictable we are.
There are a couple of things going on just now which are a bit too personal to blog about, for now anyway, so I may be a bit quiet for a while as they are taking up much of my headspace.

Monday, 18 May 2009


We had a baking session on Saturday (after a loooong lie-in!) and made these beauties, both recipes taken from my VeggieHealth magazine. We used strawberry soya yoghurt in the vanilla sponge as we couldn't get hold of any plain, delicious.
A went for dinner at my aunt and uncle's, with Granny and her friend on Saturday evening, while I went off to the pub as my friend up from Lanarkshire was singing there.
Sunday was very chilled, spent at Granny's: a bit of badminton, lots of tea and cake :0)
We are now having a happy Monday, various Maths & English type stuff went on this morning, and A has spent the afternoon creating fairy personas, inspired by Fae magazine, which I bought for her recently. I have lots of beautiful photos, but she has asked me not to blog them. Fairy-nuff.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Seashore workshop

Yesterday we went to a 2-and-a-half hour workshop, part of the Wildlife_Counts project, where we looked at the flora and fauna of our local beach. We started with a collection of any creatures we could find in the rockpools, which we then had a closer look at and discussion on with our Ranger leader. We then moved on to look at the seaweed, and were shown how data is collected using ecological sampling. Each group took an area of 10 metres, and marked quadrats at 2, 5 and 8 metres. For each quadrat we described, in estimated percentages, the different types of seaweed present. Our group (A, me, and a very nice woman) didn't really know any of the proper names for the seaweeds, so our names were made-up, but beautifully descriptive: green hair-like; brown flat; pale crinkly; dark crisp.

It was all very interesting and enjoyable, if a bit cold and breezy! We were a group of 8, which was a nice number, and the Ranger was brilliant. A was great, and seemed to get a lot from it. She seems to fit in so well with a group of adults like that, especially when she is treated the same as everyone else and isn't talked down to. A couple of the others asked why she wasn't in school, and seemed genuinely interested in HE.

A periwinkle making trails in the sand

We managed to find one little crab

Barnacles and limpets on a rock

Seaweed and rocks on our beautiful beach

We have a couple more workshops booked: birds and bats, and fresh water. Looking forward to those!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Last visit

to our old home!
We have been meaning to go and collect our bikes from the old flat for several weeks, and finally got round to it today. It felt very strange going back up there, there are no new tenants yet so its still empty, and for some reason I really wanted to go in and have a final look. Nobody was around though, so we just peered through the window.

Took some pictures of the fabulous 'greeness' of the area -

This is what I miss - the trees!!! But to be honest its about the only thing I do miss, and we can visit the trees anytime.

Out and about

My Mum's friend is up from London on holiday, so we took her here on Sunday:

I have visited the castle grounds many times, but this is the first time I have actually been on the tour inside. Unfortunately no photos allowed inside, but here are a few of outside.

I love this knobbly tree. I have a thing about trees, they are just very beautiful.

This was a favourite walk of ours when A was very little - around the pond to visit the ducks and swans.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

We were here today...

...doesn't look very exciting from the outside - but this is MFR, the local radio station. One of the home ed group parents organised for a group of us to be shown around. Me and A were on the reserve list, as only 8 people were allowed in the group, but someone had to drop out so we got in at the last minute! I have to admit we very rarely listen to MFR, we tend to fight over having the radio set to Radio 4/Radio 1 (I'm sure you can guess where the preferences lie), but this was a really interesting trip - seeing how the shows are put together, and how the news room functions. We were in the studio as Tich_McCooey was broadcasting his show, he chatted to the kids, and even did a card trick for them (he was rubbish!) while the music was on.

It been quite a social week for A, she went over to her friend's yesterday (an old school friend). We seem to have a fairly regular Wednesday arrangement with this particular friend (and often her twin brother too), which is great for A, as its a friendship she really values.
On Monday we had a friend from the home ed group and her Mum over, which was lovely for both of us. I had originally tried to set up a get-together with a few of the girls from the HE group, as there hasn't been a lot going on with the group lately, and when we have been to things the girls A gets on best with haven't been there, but only one of the people we invited was able to make it. It was a bit of a shame more couldn't come, as I think A was well up for a party, but we had a nice time with the people who did come :0) Maybe we'll try again for a party later in the year (if I have another brave moment!).

Tomorrow we are off to Eden_Court with my friend and four other girls from A's old school, to see a special event Scottish_Ballet are putting on, should be interesting! Then on Saturday it is the Mayfair at A's old school, which she is very keen to go to. I'm not so keen, but am aware that this is largely because I'm a grumpy, antisocial git, so will make the effort for A's sake. So - a busy old time at the moment for us.

Must mention this book about Albert Einstein we've been reading, there is a whole series of them (we also have one on Charles Darwin to read next) and they are brilliant - just the right level for A, giving an interesting account of the individual's life as well as some insight into his work and theories.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


Feeling a little bewildered/confused by some of the political stuff going on within the world of HE, both at national and local level. It seems obvious that as a minority group we would want to band together and work as a group, but of course its never that simple. And although we could be seen as a 'group', HE contains such diverse ideas, outlooks and approaches, so its never going to be a totally cohesive body. I don't think this is a bad thing in itself, but it becomes very messy and complicated when representation of this 'group' is needed.
To be honest, what is bothering me the most is the fact that I don't feel like I know what's going on, or where I stand. I suppose I am still fairly new to it all, and don't have a strong background rooting me in my own view on HE - I'm still taking it all in and discovering how we are going to do it, it changes frequently. But I do feel kind of out of the loop, or maybe a bit thick, for not being more tuned-in to what is happening. I read a lot, so on one level I see the discussions going on, but there seems to be so many different agendas.
I used to be very politically aware, and have definite views and strong opinions, but I'm finding that the older I get the more cynical and pessimistic I'm getting about politics. I don't see this as a particularly good thing, as it leads to a sort of lethargic 'whats the point?' attitude, which the younger me would have despised.
There is a part of of me that thinks all the conflict and debate over HE is too much/too big for me to deal with, I struggle enough trying to do the right thing in my own little world of HE. But I also see how the bigger picture is so vitally linked to my smaller one, and to some degree I'm dependent on the support there. Then I feel I should be more actively involved, its my duty to contribute in some way (not sure how).
I'm not going to reach any conclusions here, and I don't know if this will make any sense or be of any interest to anyone else, it just where my head is this groggy Sunday. I just wanted to try to get it down in words as sometimes that helps me work through things.
I'll go back to the nice, light postings of my wonderful world with A soon, as that world is still very much in existence.