Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Festive Cheer

Put our decs up last week, an event that A was very excited about! It always seems like a chore to me - until I get started, then I enjoy it all as much as A. We now have several presents piling up underneath the tree :-)

I appear to be fairly well organised this year, I still have a few more of our paper Chinese lanterns to make, and a few snowman chocolates to make (found a silicone ice tray with little snowman shapes, so have been melting chocolate and remoulding it), but everything else seems sorted. Making jam in the autumn was a brilliant idea as its solved a lot of 'what to buy for..' dilemmas.
A is dangerously easy to buy gifts for (dangerous to my bank balance). Maybe its just because I know her so well, but I keep seeing things that I know she will love. I need to stop buying now, as I have loads of things for her already.

A had her drama performance last Friday. There were quite a few technical hitches with the lighting and sound, which seemed to worry the kids a lot. I tried to point out that the audience all seemed to enjoy it anyway, and nobody blamed the kids for errors that were out of their control, but A seemed a bit upset about it.
I was really proud of her though, the part she was given wasn't one she wanted, and to be honest I could see why - it was quite embarressing for a typically self conscious pre-teen (she was playing a giant baby, and her few lines were 'babyspeak'), and there wasn't a lot she could do with it really. But she stuck with it and did her best.

A has also been doing a lot of writing, and is writing a spooky story in chapters. Its looking good (I'm proofreading).
Talking of writing, we had her writing group at ours last Monday, which meant I had to lead the session(!) It all seemed to go quite well, I gave them a couple of pieces of music to listen to and write about. I found it quite difficult to judge how well it was being received, but have had some positive feedback from a couple of parents so hopefully they enjoyed it. They certainly came up with some interesting work - talented girls!

So what else? A fab sleepover at ours the other weekend with a family of four sisters (fellow home edders). There were lots of board games and a bit of film making, and a vegan chocolate cheesecake that we all enjoyed. A very late night, but lots of fun :-)

A spent this weekend with her paternal grandparents, who took her to see the big panto in Inverness. We're so lucky to have all A's grandparents so close, and really appreciate how supportive they all are in their own ways. As a lone parent, life would be much more difficult for me if I didn't have my Mum and my ex in-laws around, and I can see how much benefit A gets from these relationships.

Yesterday we took ourselves off to see the new Harry Potter film, which we both enjoyed. We're not huge Potter fans, neither of us have read the books, but we've seen all the films. Before the film we treated ourselves to a Starbucks coffee/hot chocolate, and had a hysterical game of charades in the coffee shop (we stayed in our seats, we're not that embarressing!) where A had me crying with laughter at her antics. We seem to laugh a lot together, long may it continue!!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Making 3D objects from nets

3D space is what we've been looking at in maths for the last couple of weeks, relatively painless!
Got the nets here.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Purple guitar

This is A's new guitar:

and she is one very happy girl :-)

She seems to have gone a bit purple-mad just recently, which is a bit of a problem as its my favourite colour too, so we are now fighting over purple stuff (or rather she is now pilfering all the purple stuff I already have!!)

We decorated A's room (guess what colour!?!) and she is now rearranging all the furniture, so it will have a totally new look. This has put me in a rearranging frame of mind for the rest of the house. I have plans, just need to find the time to do it...

We also had a lovely weekend away in Edinburgh with Granny. Visited A's favourite place - Camera Obscura - which had some new exhibits. Also went to the National Museum of Scotland, spent a good couple of hours there. We had an excellent veggie meal at David Bann, I had noodles and smoked tofu in a ginger & red pepper sauce, yum. And we took (a rather reluctant) A on an evening 'ghost tour' of the underground vaults - very spooky! I don't believe in the supernatural and even I was scared! I think we picked one of the better tour companies, some of them seem to be very gimmicky and rely on gory effects, but our guide was good fun, and there was a lot of actual 'history' as well as all the spooky stuff (although there was a 'jumperouter' near the end).
Got a little bit of Christmas shopping done too, and generally had a great weekend, the only bit that spoilt it was our train being cancelled on the way back which caused some stress, we ended up on a bus for part of the way, and not sitting together, but we got home in the end.

I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, not sure if this is to do with xmas approaching. I think thats part of it but there are lots of things affecting me just now. I've started to get that panicky feeling again (I tend to go through phases of this) where I feel I'm just not doing enough. I'm working, but I'm not actually earning very much, and that makes me feel like I should be doing more. All the stuff in the news about welfare reforms makes me edgy too, as I do rely on a certain amount of help from the state, and probably will do until A is independent.
Of course the other BIG area I'm worrying about is home ed (deja vu, anyone?) Am I doing enough here? To motivate? To offer opportunities? Should I push more? Should I stand back more?
I always have this sneaking suspicion that we're not doing half as much as everyone else.

I suppose this is common for a lot of people (well, I tell myself it is to make me feel slightly better!) and I know I will come through it to a more balanced state soon. I do have some exciting/scary plans for something I want to work on, so maybe just need to focus on that rather than panic about all the things I'm not doing.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Can we just slow things down a bit, please?

I feel like life is just speeding by at the moment, there is so much going on. I know its all about perception, nothing has actually changed really, but I'm starting to feel a bit sick. Probably just need to sort my head out. Not really sure how to go about that though, seems its an ongoing project.

So what have we been up to? All the usual for A: writing group; guitar lesson; drama; Guides. Oh and she's started going to an iceskating club night too - very enjoyable for her (a little less so for me, will copy my friend and take a hot water bottle next time!!). Looks like it might be a regular thing though, and its a cheap way for her to get a little bit of tuition.

A is off to the Remembrance parade with Guides tomorrow. She came home from meeting on Thursday with the news that she needed smart black trousers and smart black shoes for Sunday - of course she doesn't own such things!! - so we went off on a shopping trip yesterday. I ended up spending a fortune, as I've been promising for a while that we'll decorate A's bedroom. We now have purple paint (and various other purple accessories) so will be transforming her room into a purple palace any day now!

I've been enjoying my new Italian class - tutti bene!! Only had a couple of classes so far, but its a nice group, and I really like the teacher. I'll have to get over my embarressment and practice on A's Nonno, thing is, if I say a couple of words he replies - at length - and I get lost and get all flustered!!
It is weird being in a 'classroom' environment again. At school I absolutely hated language class (I did French and German, then dropped German, and did very badly in French). It had all my least favourite elements of school-type learning - being put on the spot, having to speak in front of everyone, feeling totally out of my depth most of the time. So I was very nervous going in to the first Italian class. I still feel that inner panic at certain moments, but there isn't the judgement I felt so deeply at school.

I have been brave and offered to take my turn and hold A's writing group at ours. I was really torn between feeling obligated to share the responsibility with the other parents, but also feeling my natural inclination to run a mile from anything involving 'group' activity. This is not laziness, I'm extremely introverted, and find groups very stressful and difficult. I've had to push myself on this, especially since we started HE, as I don't want A to miss out on social stuff because of me. Sometimes it works out well and I cope ok, other times I barely get through it and collapse in a heap when we get home. Anyway, what pushed me this time was A's brutally honest comment that "it looks bad if we don't have it at ours". And she's right. Although 'how we look to other people' isn't, and shouldn't be, the basis of our decisions about how we lead our lives, in this case it is important for A to feel equal with her peers. And what I found was, once I accepted 'this is something I'm going to do', I started to get all kinds of ideas about themes for the session. This is me in my element: planning and organising, structure. So at least I'll be prepared for the session! I'm 90% sure it will be fine, they are a great bunch of kids, and to be honest could probably run the group themselves, but even if I struggle a bit at least I've put myself forward and taken my turn.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Some shameless self promotion now: we have set up our Folksy shop, its great! Go and have a look!! ;-)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Scary food!

These were our Halloween treats:

Jellied Eyeballs
Severed Fingers


Friday, 29 October 2010

Archimedes Screw

Put one of A's National Geographic prizes together today:

Quite a neat little kit :-) and clearly demonstrated the principles behind the Archimedes Screw.
It also reminded us of Mr Archimedes Bath which we both loved when A was younger.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Tattie Holidays

Its been a funny couple of weeks. The schools up here have been on holiday, so there's been quite a lot of catching up with 'schooled' friends, and our usual (vague) routine has completely disappeared. This always makes me feel a bit uneasy, but thats my stuff, and A has had a great time.

A went on her first Guides sleepover at the beginning of the holidays, held in a local church hall. I think she got about two hours sleep, and she spent most of the following afternoon dozing on the sofa - so a success then!

We went to see this fantastic ice show with Granny, then on to La Tortilla Asesina for a very delicious Tapas meal.
I had a bit of a mini film fest, going to see I am Love and A Prophet in the same week, two very different films. I enjoyed the first mainly because it was in Italian, but I did get drawn into the story. It took me a while to get past the weirdness of the kind of wealthy existence portrayed, where you have staff around all the time to cook, clean, pull your curtains for you etc, but once I'd adjusted to that I became quite intrigued by the characters.
The second film was a very powerful prison story. Not exactly easy viewing, but beautiful and intense, definitely my kind of film.
Whilst in film mode, I watched Dogville (on DVD) again, one of my favourite films. Quite a depressing view of human nature, but brilliantly written, and I love the way its filmed almost like a stage play.

A seems to have developed a keeness for baking, and there is often a chocolatey smell coming from my kitchen these days. They don't always work out well - she's quite reluctant to follow recipes so its a bit of a trial and error process - but the one she's produced today looks very promising :-)

There was another sleepover this weekend, with A going to stay with our HE friends over the other side of Inverness. She had a wonderful time with them, and they managed to produce and perform a little play together - she's clearly found some kindred spirits there!!

So tomorrow its back to normal, whatever that is. Back to a little bit of structure anyway, and back to all the clubs and groups.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Article on Learning Styles

Another article of mine is in the Aug/Sept edition of Mumsense magazine, which has just become available online if you want a look :-)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Crafty devils

We had a crafty day yesterday, hence my living room looked like this:

Such a lovely way to spend a day, music pumping, scissors snipping, glue sticking, totally chillful. And we got most of our Christmas cards made.

Finally decided on our Christmas project, that is - a little handmade gift we make and send to friends and family every year. Having made quite a few pots of jam I've got local people sorted, but I don't fancy packing up and sending heavy glass jars out to people all round the country. Racked our brains a bit as we've been doing this for years now and are running low on ideas for 'light' items to send out with cards, but the other day I came across the idea of these (tissue paper) stained glass effect chinese lanterns:

I think they look a bit Christmassy, and are very different to what we've done other years.

I know its very early to be thinking about Christmas, but I find if I don't start getting organised in October time runs away and suddenly - oh, I've got a week to get everything done!!

I'm not religious at all, but I do really like winter. I like the dark nights drawing in, cosy evenings in, wrapping up in layers of jumpers and coats, wearing of big boots. Not so much the wind and rain, but I do like frost and snow. So I suppose its more of a winter festival than a religious one for us, but its still a good excuse to take the time to appreciate loved ones and let them know you care.

Need to mention this lovely bag I bought from Cheery Mishmash, its gorgeous! There are lots of other HE related designs for bags and T-shirts, and other non-HE related items too - I got a really cute baby vest for my cousin's little girl from them. Well worth a look!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


We went off to Eden Court last week to see The Rebel Cell, a brilliantly clever and satirical piece of hip hop theatre. Its set in 2015, where the bombing of the 2012 olympics has led to a total clampdown on civil liberties, and rebel dissident Dizraeli is incarcerated in Glastonbury (now the British Guantanamo). The play centres on an interview with Dizraeli by his former friend and performing partner, who is now a journalist.

It was a shame that the audience was so small, as there was a strong element of audience participation and that is so hard when there's only a few of you.
However, I found the whole experience really inspiring and exciting. In a way it made me a bit sad too, because it reminded me of how political and activistic I used to be, and how music played a big part in that. Whereas now I often just feel disillusioned and powerless. And old.

I suppose it is partly age, and partly circumstances, but I sometimes feel that all the 'important' stuff is pushed aside to make way for all the mundane stuff - watching X factor, shopping at Tesco, and all the other bollocks that I buy into, however 'reluctantly'.

I try to ease my conscience by telling myself that we have a balance - its not all Tesco and crap TV, we also have local fruit and veg, and documentaries. Well done me. But is this just a convenient compromise? What are my real, core values, and why is it so hard to live by them and teach my daughter about them?

Maybe I'm just lazy. I am still angry though, about a lot of things, I've just lost sight of what to do with that anger. So when I hear things like Dizraeli's lyrics, which strike that chord of recognition in me, it brings mixed feelings. A boost in motivation from knowing that there are people out there with a similar outlook who are enthusiastically promoting a positive message. But I also feel a sense of hanging in limbo, and that I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

A said she enjoyed it, but it was less of an intense experience for her. She just likes rap. We did talk about the political issues it brought up on the way home, so hopefully its encouraged her to think about some things a bit more deeply.

Monday, 27 September 2010

We Are Winners!

Friday was a very good day.

To start with I had a text first thing from a friend asking if her daughter could come over for a couple of hours. A was delighted to have a mate over, so maths and English went out the window, replaced by piano and guitar playing, and making up and filming a dance routine to enter a competition with. Happy girls :o)

In the afternoon a delivery man knocked on the door, handed me a parcel, and said 'I've got another, larger one in the van'. He wasn't joking - came back with an enormous box! I was desperately thinking 'what the hell have I ordered recently? Is this the result of some drunken internet shopping spree I've forgotten about??!' But no - it was the breakfast hamper I recently won on Hannah's National Breakfast Week giveaway, full of exciting new kitchen stuff:

and yummy cereals:
I don't often buy cereals, we usually stick to porridge or toast, so this is a real treat for us :o)

The other parcel turned out to be a prize for A - she had won a competition in National Geographic Kids Magazine (we're not sure which one as she's entered a few). Looking forward to playing with these:

Later on I had a phonecall from a very close relative to tell me that he and his partner had snuck off and got married that afternoon!!! They've been together about 14 years, and didn't even tell their kids until they'd done it! Very, very happy for them :o)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Guitars and monsters

Yesterday A had her first guitar lesson. We were chatting away to the tutor when we first went in, and he asked A "what year are you in at school?" So A did her usual "erm.." and sideways glance to pass the question over to me (she hates having to explain home education to people), so I said "well actually she doesn't go to school, we home educate" to which he replied "oh, so do we" !!!!! How amazing is that!?! They only live a few miles down the road and we've never come across each other. They belong to the same HE online network for the north of Scotland as us, but we've obviously never been to the same events.
Anyway, that got things off to a great start, I went off and had a chat with his wife while A got started on learning the chords for a Katy Perry song. I have a feeling this is going to work out well :o)
We may be needing a new, full size guitar quite soon though, as this one:

is a bit too dinky

We've also been doing a bit of sewing:

Manny & Bob

These little monsters (along with some brothers and sisters when we get time to make them) will hopefully be appearing in our Folksy shop once we get it up and running. There will be other bits and pieces too, some cards, and some of my knitting. I'll link to it once its sorted.

Spellzone seems to be working out well for A, she's able to sit and work through the units herself, without me looking over her shoulder, which I think is good for her confidence. When it comes to the maths programme she's doing she likes me there by her side most of the time. She still really lacks confidence in maths, even though she can do the work ok.

Granny is off on a cruise just now (get her!) so we have the car (yipee!) but I have no childcare, which is not ideal when I have to work. Even as I'm typing this I'm questioning whether it is so much of a bad thing - I always feel guilty about working because I think I should be entirely focused on A, even if we're not actively working on something together I feel I should be available in the background somewhere. But me working gives A time completely to herself to focus on whatever she wants to (today it was creating fictional characters - written details and drawings, painting, and guitar playing, also a bit of 'putting on make-up' too I suspect) which is probably a good thing.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Techfest in Aberdeen

We went to this last year and A didn't seem that impressed, so I was surprised she was so keen to go again this year. Anyway, I signed up for us to go with the home ed group, then realised our sessions would start at 9am, and seeing as we're a 2 hour train journey away we decided to go the night before and stay at a B&B. And of course we had to go out for a nice meal because it felt like we were on holiday - so a half day science festival turned out to be rather an expensive trip! Still, we had a great time, so it was worth it :o)
Our group was much smaller this time - 9 kids and 5 adults - and I have to admit I found that a lot easier, and had a good chat with the other parents there. A seemed to get more out of it too, I think this was because it was just a morning with 3 sessions, rather than four sessions with a lunch break in between as it was last year. They had an interactive 'bodyworks' workshop, a 'supermarket science' show with several other groups - lots of fun, and a session with 'Mr. Bug' where we all got a chance to handle giant African snails (slimy) and cockroaches (wriggly), and to meet a lizard, tortoise and a snake.
The whole event is well organised and run so efficiently, very impressive. We're both really glad we went.
Did I get any photos with all those fantastic photo opportunities? No, of course not :o( I was however suffering from sleep deprivation after sharing a twin room with A muttering and shouting in her sleep, and at one point knocking a glass of water across the room with her flailing arms - splashing me, my phone and my book, not a good way to be woken at 2am! So that is my excuse.

A is now talking about having guitar lessons, so thats something I've got to look into. She's finishing with the piano lessons next month, so I'm quite pleased she's decided to take another musical route. Her grandparents bought her a half size guitar a couple of years ago, and she messes around on it from time to time, mostly with her grandad who also plays. Its really nice for them to do this together, and I think he's quite pleased she's decided to have a go with proper lessons, so we'll see what comes of it.

I'm feeling a bit frazzled just now. I decided to try doing a bit of work for an American company who use lots of freelancers to write very short articles for online sites. The pay is really crap, but the format is very structured, so I thought if I got quick enough at producing them it might be an ok way to bring in a little bit of regular income. Well, after spending a ridiculous amount of time on a job that was going to earn me a little less than a tenner, then having it rejected and told to do a complete rewrite, I have come to the conclusion that it is just not worth it. I found it really hard trying to write in the company 'voice', when I am used to writing, don't know how else to put it - from the 'heart'. With all articles you have to have in mind the target audience and what the publication wants in terms of style and content, but you still write from your own perspective and in your own 'voice'. This just felt like selling my soul, and for very little!!
Part of me thinks I'm not really in any position to be so precious about it - I need to make some money! But I just don't think I could get to the point where I'm churning out pieces like a machine, about things I have no interest in, from some corporation's 'point of view'.

Monday, 6 September 2010

sunshine, and more jam

There's been lots of this lately:

which for us means more of this:

we do love our beach (I may have mentioned this before a few times!!!), especially now the schools are back and there's hardly anyone on it :o)
Friday we had a 'beach art' session suggested by A, followed by chips at the cafe (also suggested by A!). Saturday A's mate came round for the day, so we all headed off again - me armed with a magazine this time as I knew I would be surplus to requirements! All good though, I had a lovely lazy time reading and sunbathing while the girls were off paddling and doing whatever it is they do (I wanted to write 'playing' there, but it seems wrong now they are so grown up. They do still 'play' but I don't think they would call it that).
Sunday was a bit windier, so we stayed home. I had another blackcurrant jam-making session with my HUGE new pan, very successful :o) think I'm going to experiment with some other fruits next.

Today A is feeling a bit under the weather so has stayed in bed :o( not like her at all, she hardly ever gets ill. So our plans for the day have all gone out the window. I'm at a bit of a loss for what to do - Mondays are usually busy for us with lots of 'educational stuff' going on. I think because we don't have anything else going on on Mondays - no clubs or regular activities - we often really get stuck into what we're doing at home - projects or new interests. Mondays are actually my favourite day of the week because of this.
However, I'm not feeling that great myself - managed to slip on the stairs last night, ending up in a heap at the bottom - so I'm feeling a bit sore at the moment, maybe a quiet, restful day would be a good idea for both of us.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Food and Friends

These have been the dominant themes over the last few days.

The apples are starting to fall from Granny's tree, so plenty of pies and crumbles will be appearing :o)

I had a go at jam-making with some local blackcurrants - divine!!! Think I'll be making another trip to the fruit farm soon as five jars isn't going to last long (especially seeing as I've given 3 away already!) I do need a bigger pan though.

Picked up some broad beans at the fruit (& veg) farm, and made a delicious bean and mushroom risotto - mmmmm.....

Spent Sunday in Perth with some friends who were up from Norwich. Had a great time catching up and walking round the river.

More friends on Monday! Visited some HE friends over the other side of Inverness from us - beautiful weather and surroundings:
and lovely friends to play with:

and chill with:

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A is a Planet Defender!!!

She is! In the September issue of National_Geographic_Kids magazine. They have published a letter she wrote about her fund raising efforts for tigers, and a picture of her too - she's very excited about it all :o)

She's putting a lot of effort into fundraising at the moment, but for less altruistic reasons - she's after this game for her DS! So I'm getting lots of help with the housework just now. The house has never been so clean.

So, Monday felt like a fresh start after our longish trip away. First thing - maths! We're on decimals and fractions at the moment, still plodding along with smartkiddies, supplemented with related stuff from the multitude of maths resources I have (I'm obsessed). Then:

some story-writing...

and reading out to me.

A likes me to give her a list of titles to choose from, she writes some great stories, often very humorous. Spelling is still a bit of an issue, weekly spelling lists and tests didn't really work for us (of course they didn't, what were we thinking!?) so we are looking for another method to help A improve her spelling skills. I'm liking the look of spellzone, and would be interested in hearing from anyone who's used it??? A few people have recommended spellodrome, but it looks like a very competitive approach to me, something A would run a mile from.

We've also started reading To_Kill_A_Mockingbird together.

Next up was science, and an experiment out of this fab little book we got out of the library. Ours involved a toaster, some cardboard, and a pedal-bin liner:

switch the toaster on...

watch the bag puff up...

and its away!

So we learnt about air density, and that cold air is more dense than hot air. I love this book - after it describes the experiment step by step, there are two sections: 'why does it work?' and 'how does this apply to the real world?' - giving really clear, concise explanations.

A is back to all her groups/classes this week: drama, guides, piano. Piano is a bit of a bone of contention at the moment. She's not really enjoying learning, and sees it as Mum 'making her' do something. Its a difficult one - on one hand I can see her point of view, why should she be made to do classes she's not interested in? But on the other - she does enjoy music very much and has a real ear for it, it would be a real shame to waste that talent. I would never push her to do exams or anything like that, but reading and playing music to a competent level would be a great skill for her to have, useful in so many ways and situations. I think I may have to agree to stop the lessons, for now anyway, I'm hoping that at some point she will realise how learning music could benefit her.

I've been looking at college courses, ostensibly for A (yeah I know, getting a bit ahead of myself! But was interested in seeing the local intitutions entry requirements, and whether they are likely to be flexible for HE kids, and as A seems dead-set on drama courses I thought I'd do some early research. Looks pretty positive) but I ended up coming across an MA that I really want to do at some point. I remember looking at it when I finished my degree a couple of years ago and thinking 'this is the next step'. I felt really tempted looking at the syllabus this morning, but it would be crazy - I can barely manage my time with HE and working from home, taking on an MA course would be insane! But still, the longing is there... my time will come :o)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

hello! hello! hello!

Its good to be back! Not that we didn't enjoy our holiday - we had a great time - but we arrived home yesterday morning to glorious sunshine, and it felt like the right place to be :o)

Bit of a quick photo catch up then:

Our lodge and all our bikes at Centre Parcs (Whinfell Forest)

First time at CP - loved it! Loads for us all to do, and although it was the busiest time of the year it didn't feel too crowded. Not cheap though!!

The kids did loads of activities, some together and some not, here are a few that A enjoyed:
Pony trekking


CSI (!)

We also did roller blading, badminton and pottery painting, and the boys got up to some more daring stuff like laser quest and quad biking. I enjoyed a bit of nordic walking, and a spa evening with my Mum - loved those steam rooms. And of course, there was plenty of swimming, unfortunately this resulted in A's blue streaks turning a weird kind of purpley-grey colour, but she wasn't too bothered. All in all, a fantastic week, AND we were all still talking to each other by the end of it!

>After that it was on down to my brother's for a bit of chill out time, and visiting a few relatives. I did a lot of reading, got through Robert Harris's Rome books - Imperium and Lustrum, and also finally got round to reading The_Wasp_Factory by Iain Banks. It was recommended to me years ago by a friend who said "its definitely your kind of book", not sure how to take that now I've read it, but I suppose she was right, as I did enjoy it.

>Next up was the big family wedding that A had been preparing for for about the last six months, very exciting! It was a fab day, and I felt surprisingly moved seeing my little cousin get hitched.

False nails were required for the occasion - very grown up

A having a boogie with the bride

Then after a few more days with my brother and his family, we boarded the Caledonian Sleeper and came home. First thing we did was head down to the beach and have a paddle :o))

Saturday, 31 July 2010

And we're off again

Another holiday, how spoilt are we this year!?! This time we're off to Centre Parcs with Granny, my brother, his partner and my nephews. A proper family holiday. Then down to my brothers and all off to a family wedding. We're very excited!

I feel I have been neglecting Educational Escapades lately. To be honest I've been having a bit of a blog-wobble (that really is a fantastic term - say it out loud, you'll see what I mean!). I've been wondering whether this is really a good thing for me to be doing, asking myself questions such as: am I repeating myself? Is it getting boring? Is it taking up too much of my time? All of which has made me assess why it is I write this blog.

Partly I write to try and keep a bit of a record of what we do. Partly its to offer one example of what home ed can be like. Partly its to connect with other bloggers. But what I've realised is its also become a representation of me as a writer, because I've linked to it through so much work related stuff, and that is a very different thing . Somehow, because of the way I approached it from the start - as a loose, chatty journal - it doesn't feel 'good enough'.

Another issue, which pops up from time to time when I'm feeling insecure, is the tendency I have to look at other HE blogs and feel that everyone else is doing it so much better than me. There are some amazing HEors out there, and in positive moments I can find their blog posts inspiring and motivating. But when I'm feeling low I become very self-critical and just see how inadequate I am as a HEor.

I'm trying to be very objective here, to really look at whats going on and why I'm feeling so troubled about it all. Being rational about it I know that none of the negative stuff is true, and if it is, it doesn't actually matter. This is just one tiny little blog in an inconceivably massive blogosphere. If I can just concentrate on being honest, and writing for me and A, then none of the other stuff matters.

I'm going to take some time while we're away to really try and get my head around this, and find a bit of clarity in my thinking. Hopefully I'll come back refreshed and renewed, with a more positive approach to blogging.