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