Home days

This summer the boys are very much keen to entertain themselves and are off out to play most of the time – barely see Jack.

Means I have more time to myself than I’ve had for a long time.  But as ever as one demand on my time lessens, others increase.  Work is exceptionally busy to the level and the household jobs that have been let alone for too long continue to demand attention.

Yesterday was spent tidying out the shed and disposing of various bits on freecycle and tidying out the kitchen to accommodate a big supermarket delivery.

In the spirit of tidying out the cupboards we decided to turn various ends of bags into

Gingerbread medals


Biscuits came from the co-op but they applied the decorations.  We are big fans of the edible gold spray.

Mint Choc Chip cakes

They are a more enticing shade of green than they look here.

Cherry Bakewell cakebars

And Jack popped in at some time to knock up a toffee cake.  Only help needed was to get it in the tin as he had a problem with the liner.  My boy is growing up – not sure if that should be 🙁 or 🙂  If he continues with the nice cakes I’ll definitely go for 🙂


Neither boys are good swimmers.  Well Jack can swim underwater holding his nose, and in a fashion on the water and Sam not at all.  However both love the pool and we go every week.

We are lucky enough to have a private hydrotherapy pool 10 mins walk away and it is lovely.  We hire it for an hour every Saturday, it is expensive but when I factor in bus fares it is cheaper than going with the HE group to the pool in Fareham (by a lot when you take out the hot chocolates and cakes in the cafe afterwards).  It is small, warm and only the three of us in there.  I can swim while the boys play.  They may not swim well but they are confident bobbing and doggy paddling about and because it is small and there are no other people in there I don’t need to hover I am only ever about 3 seconds away.

Last week I had one of those rushes of blood to the head that I get occasionally and decided to try and teach Sam to swim.  You will not be surprised to learn it was a unmitigated disaster, Sam doesn’t do ‘taught’.  This week I cut my losses and we stuck to playing.

Part of me feels guilty that they can’t swim and are therefore at risk of drowning (really shouldn’t read Mumsnet).  But not sure what I can do about it, both are adamant and have been from a very young age that they are not doing lessons.  But they have a tendency to throw hissy fits if I try and encourage them.

On the other hand I’m not a great swimmer either (hate getting ears in the water) and it has never stopped me.  Kids are happy. And you never know it may just click one day … or I may even find a noseclip that fits Jack, I’ve tried a fair few…




Sunshine at last

…bit too hot for us actually.

The boys have been saving birthday money from Pete’s aunt for a few years.  But the bank they were with (Santander) has the most inefficient procedures so it takes at least 20 mins to pay a cheque in and there have been a few years I’ve not got round to paying them in.  So now I have my passport and things like that are easier, I’ve closed the accounts and will open them new ones with the bank in the village or the Post Office.

But there was enough money in the accouts for some Moshi Monsters Mega Bloks for Sam


And a new bike for Jack


And a scooter too


The sword is from the fair on Tues but it is a nice picture 🙂


A lovely day; some playing, a bit of work, bike riding, friends to play for the afternoon, Moshi Monsters, Fifa 11 and football in the park – although I don’t like the heat life is nicer when the sun shines.


New Forest and Hampshire County Show

It was HOT!!

And it is still hot and I’m tired and can’t be bothered typing so here are some photos.

Buddhist Hearse
Motorbike Hearse
Football tent
Playing in the woods
Catching pond animals
Sam in a den
Sam found his bedroom (bombsite – get it!)
Vegetable tent
Old time farming
For Hannah
Jack got to sit in a Spitfire
They bought an entire armoury home from the fair

Completion Issues

I have a ridiculous number of blog posts started and not finished.  Life keeps getting in the way.

We managed to pay of the mortgage this week, which has motivated me to start a massive house clean and tidy out as the house is in pretty bad condition and we can now start saving up to get it up to scratch.  I’m not particularly house proud but we have holes in the walls!

Work is busy, busy, busy and very computer based so haven’t felt the urge to spend long hours on here finishing off blog posts.

Term has finished for Beavers, Cubs and Rainbows, all marked by getting cold and wet, and very windswept in the case of the Beaver’s trip to the beach.

We spent way too long sitting by the roadside to see this.

Finished off and started some project work.

Jack did a first aid course with the St John’s Ambulance so we have all been put into the recovery position several times.

We have spent too long going to and from Fareham running errands – 4 times in 6 days!!

Expect a bit of frivolity for the next few posts while my brain and energy are absorbed elsewhere.

In case there is anyone I haven’t told, look where we went…

… well we did, but that was for a toilet break.

Our real venue was…

It was absolutely fantastic.  Words fail me, so here are lots of photos instead


I saw seven ships go sailing by…

Actually I think it should be ‘I saw three ships come sailing in’, but that didn’t work at all.

And as it happened we didn’t see them sail by as it started raining very hard. We just saw them coming out of Southampton and even that wasn’t very clear thanks to the mist…

Yesterday marked the 175th anniversary of P&O cruises and all 7 of their cruise ships set out from Southampton at the same time.

Pete was late back because of the traffic so we ran (or hobbled fast in my case) down to the beach.  Unfortunately no Red Arrows thanks to the mist.

You have to squint, there are ships there I promise.  I had no idea until I moved down here how big and impressive cruise ships are.  I remember the first time I saw the Queen Mary II (not one of these), I was on the bus going to an OU exam and as we turned on to the bridge into Southampton as one the whole bus drew a breath and went wow!

A hovercraft! Also impressive to see – if bumpy to ride (living by the sea is great!).

Like most of the kids down there Sam was more interested in throwing stones.

We left before the ships came past as the rain was coming down hard and owing to leaving the house in a hurry I’d realised half way there I was in my slippers!!!

Wow! I did not expect that!

Last week was a good week, a very good week in fact.

Normally we (me as much as the kids) have trouble getting back into the swing of everyday life after a long break.  But contrary to expectations everyone was productive, motivated and enjoying their work.

Jack finished off his last chapter of Galore Park English, History and Science, and last 3 chapters of Maths and that brings us to the end of the Junior books.  Sam finished off his Developing Literacy books and the Greek lapbook we seem to have been working on forever.  He finished off his Year 1 Maths a few months ago so we’re working on Yr 2.

So that brings us to the ‘end of term’.  I suspect if I look back at what I’d wanted to achieve this year there is a lot of bits gone by the wayside, projects not done (although some others done in their place), Latin abandoned again (I hate Minimus) and don’t even start me on Geography.

But for the moment I prefer to look back on what we have achieved.  The most obvious step forward is Sam and his reading, which is now incredibly fluent.  But Jack has strode forward, his confidence and belief in his own ability have improved dramatically and this has fed into everything he has done.

We’ve had our dips and our times when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel this year but we’ve come through it as we always do.  Home Education is wonderful and my boys are amazing.