Historical Walk – Gosport Town

Yesterday was the second of our ‘historical walks’.  This one started in thunder and torrential rain and finished in bright sunshine.  The trail map got rather soggy and unusable very quickly, it was long (we skipped a good third and still walked for over hour and a half) and I could definitely feel it after.  On plus side we visited parts of Gosport I had no idea existed.  Plan to visit Gosport Park for a play one day and Ewer Common.

IMG-20140522-01329Playing in the rain in Ferry Gardens before walking along the esplanade and through the sundial to Holy Trinity Church

IMG-20140522-01337Past the ramparts of Number 1 Bastion at speed (was bucketing now), so quick we didn’t even see them, here’s a video of someone elses walk though.  One to go back to on a nice day.

Then along past Cockle Pond – a former mill pond dating back to the Seventeenth Century supposedly, the name comes fishermen dumping cockle shells there.  In the 1890’s – 1920’s the pond was renovated as a model boating lake as part of an unemployment scheme.  Still in use for them today.


Photo is later – after the rain!

We walked along Haslar Creek, past the Submarine Museum and the sadly closed Haslar Naval Hospital.  I got to tell the story I love of the phrase ‘Up the Creek’ supposedly referring to the fact that if sailors travelled up Haslar creek it was often to die at the hospital.

We walked on to Workhouse Lake where we read a bit on the history of the Workhouse.

IMG-20140522-01331 Over the bridge and through Gosport park to the conservation area of Ewer Common.  Then up to Alver Lake and along the footpath the follows the old Stoke’s Bay Railway to up the Foster Gardens.

At which point tiredness and wetness were catching up and we headed back to town along Stoke Rd.  North of the town will have to wait for another day.

Stopping for a play at Walpole Park.





Realised that I’d skipped Derbyshire on our journey around England with our Geography group so we backtracked.

Derbyshire=Peak District in my mind.

We looked at a relief map of England and discussed how it worked with the different colours.  Compared to Scotland and Wales and decided England is flat and Wales is Epic!

Then we made salt dough maps.

I’d photocopied a map of England and cut it out and glued it on card for each child.  They covered it in a thin layer of salt dough and then built up the relief based on the map.

20140521_5 When they’re dry we’ll paint them and add flags (cocktail sticks and paper) to mark places.

There followed some general playing with dough.


Today I …

  • found time to read for an hour and finish my book.
  • ‘educated’ my child; covering times tables, pictograms, telling time, handwriting practice, spelling, grammar, writing with adverbs, Latin, map drill, and touched on history of break up some of Eastern Europe, nature of changing boundaries, Vikings including myths, hierarchy in Viking society, making a treasure chest and painting stones.  Oh and computer programming – although pretty much left him to that one.
  • did some planning/organising/general chatting to newcomers for home ed activities
  • shifted 300kg of stones the house to back garden and made a patio.
  • managed to feed everyone, laundry, general tidying and a supermarket shop.
  • fitted in some crafts for work and a bit of ‘one day planning’.
  • took the boy to and from Cubs.
  • had a Guide meeting to plan a challenge badge.
  • and nearly got the blog up to date, including changing the side text to make Jack the right age, just a couple of saved waffley drafts to go  😉
  • Found what I want for Christmas to make it easy for the man of the house (no geese involved).
  • Even managed to watch tv for an hour at a sensible time of day!  Even if halfway through I did switch to kindle so I could watch in bed.  TV watching (of something I want to watch – a documentary on the Georgians) is usually a very rare 5am on a Sunday activity, I never seem to find the time.

Feeling a touch

 ish  🙂

I love being busy when busy equals productive.


Reasons to love home ed no. 7067 (or something like that)

Having the flexibility to put away the books for the day to take the chance to enjoy a sunny day and get out and climb trees, blow bubbles, picnic with friends and get very wet.

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Mini-Navy Day -behind the scenes at HMS Sultan

We’re not big on going out at the weekend.  Pete and Jack generally just want to chill on their days off.  I tend to be busy working/doing housework – the sort of things I put off in the week in favour of concentrating on the boy.  Also we prefer places quieter!

However, the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the local tri-services base was far too tempting and at 9am on a Saturday morning I’ve marshalled the enthusiastic (when booking but now reluctant and grumpy when the reality of getting up and going out has hit) troops to be ready for our tours.

We started with a tour of the Airfield Museum, gentleman was very knowledgeable and talked a great deal, lots of interesting facts (some dubious according to Pete) but I knew nothing about the significance of the local airfield at all.  Turns out to have played a very significant role in the history of aviation training and Robert Smith-Barry was an interesting figure and one to do some more reading on.





That was followed by a tour of Fort Rowner.  One of the Palmerston Forts built to defend Portsmouth Harbour from an inland invasion by the French.

Finishing off with the best part (for Pete and Sam anyway) – a tour of the hangar where they train engineers in fixing helicopters.  We were given good views of the workings of jet engines and propellers and a chance to sit in the cockpit of a Sea King.


At home day

We don’t seem to be having many of those lately.  Seem to have reached a good level of ‘socialising’ for us.  Making our own plans and inviting others to join us if they wish definitely is the low stress option.  Our routines remain our own and we generally are joined by 1-4 families, numbers which suit us.

But we still need days to ourselves to catch up on jobs and restore inner balance (someone on a forum mentioned the idea of a ‘social hangover’ which I firmly believe in, nice to allow time to just be).

Friday was a catch up on jobs/restore balance day.  The problem with summer is with outdoors beckoning I need to schedule in time to work.  I love my job but it isn’t always easy to find as much time for it as I’d like.  It is doubly hard in summer as we have more things taking us out during the day plus the early morning and evenings when I do most work are often experienced through a cloud of misty, hayfevery eyes that make it difficult to focus.

Anyway back to Friday, Sam finished off his maths/english/mapdrill/latin quickly and efficiently – we’d spread the equivalent of one days ‘normal work’ over Thurs and Fri with going out on the Thurs.   He then spent some time reading his Scratch programming manual while I did some work.  Then having discovered there was nothing in for lunch we walked up to the shops.

At home, doesn’t mean in the house,  sun was out so we sat in the park for lunch and had a play.

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Back home there was Scratch practice (current flavour of the month).



Followed by big Skylanders session (other flavour of the month) while I made flag printables for some tiny pacific island states that aren’t even recorded on Sporcle as countries but are sending teams to the Commonwealth Games!

Local History Month – Westbury Manor

Westbury Manor is a small museum in Fareham, top floor covers the history of the area and downstairs has a changing exhibition.  We visit regularly, sometimes for 20 mins while we wait for a bus, sometimes for workshops.  We like it, has the right mix of hands on stuff in the way of games/dolls houses and displays.

On Thursday I’d arranged a small home ed trip to do their self guided activities.  The lovely museum education officer had mixed together their KS1 and KS2 to leave us a big box of stuff to do.   We started with that awkward moment when I’d sat myself down to have a look through the box only to glance up and realise everyone had formed a circle around me expectantly.  Good job I’m not hugely self-conscious 😉

We started off with feely bags and guessing mystery objects the most intriguing was one of these (forgot to get a picture of the one there).  Most of the adults mistook it for bellows – any guesses?

DOC_1985-1460Followed by a game of snap with cards of pictures from the displays.  Failed badly as too many people and too few snaps, so adapted to physical snap where they had to find the item on their card in the museum.



We then split into small groups to do some of their packs looking at specific displays.

We started off in the strawberry gallery (massive local industry in the past).  There was a trail to solve a mystery about missing strawberries, you had to find the answers to clues by reading the displays.  All very nicely done, we’ve been in there loads and I picked up details I’d not seen before.

20140515_5 20140515_7 20140515_8 We then had a look at the model of Fareham Creek 100 years ago and had to sort a range of buildings, transport and industries into ones that could be seen in the model, ones that we couldn’t see but would have existed at the time and things that wouldn’t have existed.

20140515_15 20140515_11We did a quick look activity finding examples of different materials in the displays before ending with an activity in the potteries gallery where they were given the answer to a question and had to use the displays to make up the questions.  Brick building was another large local industry and ‘Fareham reds’ were used to build the Royal Albert Hall.


By this point it was clear everyone was flagging so with the bonus of being self-led we packed up, gave the box back and headed outside to the museum garden for a restorative picnic.  We missed looking too closely at the story of the local workhouse and it’s scandal, it is one we have touched on a few times though and am sure will be back.

After lunch with spirits restored we headed into the temporary exhibition, board games from 1920’s-1970’s.  To be honest I think looking at games in cases is only really of interest if you remember some of them and even I’m too young for that.  Did spot one I might try and source for Sam though.  They did have some to play though and Sam enjoyed himself.

20140515_2620140515_33Okay last one is more building than playing.




Letting out the rage!

Okay I am hot and irritable and feel in the mood to rant. Unfortunately Pete and the boys are being too welbehaved so I will have to rely of my ‘things that make the muscle under my left eye twitch’ list.  Please nobody be offended nothing personal, if I still speak to you/are Facebook friends (queen of the cull) I still like you, this is meant more in jest at myself as aware how uptight some of these make me sound.

1) Hun???  Where did this come from?  This is not the 1910’s and I am not German!  When and why did it become acceptable and start even being standard practice to refer to people like this?  I might use endearments for my kids and occasionally my husband, sometimes other children and very, very occasionally old friends (talking 15 + years here!), accept that I am quite standoffish though – I’d be quite happy in the times of Mr and Mrs actually. Not as bothered by any thing like sweetheart or babes (very guilty of these myself at times) but Hun really scrapes like nails on a blackboard and that is when not even aimed at me.  Honey, I can cope with – if you can’t remember and use my name at least use a real word!

2) Textspeak – just about passable in a text, although if I have enough to say that warrants textspeak I call or email.  Anywhere else I interpret slapdash and that I am not worthy of your time.

3) Not a big pedant on language, married to one though and it is irritating.  But these annoy, ‘Your’ when you mean ‘you’re’ and ‘I done something’ for I have done something or I did something.  Think autocorrect and typing on phones which make punctuation difficult is largely responsible for many instances of the former.  Second is becoming standard use unfortunately to the level that it will soon be acceptable and it will make me irrationally sad whenever I read it.

4) Deliberate misspellings Kidz for example.  Particularly annoying in children’s books – the whole Captain Underpants and that style make me want to cry.  Okay the grammar in Enid Blyton was iffy but it wasn’t deliberately wrong.

5) Babywearing -the word not the practice, big fan of the latter.  Every time I see or hear it I have an overwhelming urge to yell ‘a baby is a living, breathing being with a soul and personality, how can a baby be ‘worn’ unless you kill and skin it? ‘ This actually doesn’t make me ragey at the people who use it as think it is acceptable standard use now and only other oddballs will conjure up the image I do.  It does make me cross though that we live in a society where we have a label for how you get a baby from one place to another!

Not ragey any more, quite melancholy actually.

Never mind off to make the beds that will get the rage surging again 🙂

Feel free to comment telling me ways I inadvertently annoy you.  I might care and make an effort to change, I might not 😉

People of Nottingham…

This scene was reenacted many times in our house when Jack was younger.  Having got out the bows and arrows for me he gave us a quick reminder yesterday before heading off to school.



Yesterday’s Geography group took us to Nottingham.  So we had to do Robin Hood of course.

We did some outdoor cooking.  Having decided that hunting a deer was too much like hard work we settled for s’mores.



Followed by some archery practice at the target Sam had drawn on my fence (yes it has got the obligatory smiley face in the centre).  Somewhere along the line the boys gained a really good plastic bow, which has quite a good action – takes some practice though.



Then they built Nottingham Castle from wooden bricks and through bouncy balls at it to attack and destroy.  I had intended to be more organised and construct a catapult but for various reasons that never came about.  Looking on the positive kids didn’t care, throwing was fun, and I have a catapult building session in reserve.


Historical Walk – Lee on Solent

This week has so far been about trying to shake off the aftermath from last weeks shenanigans.  Sam is pretty much right as rain, or what can be expected for the time of year with high pollen counts.  I on the other hand am feeling the effects of a week of very little sleep.

Efforts to get back to normal weren’t helped on Monday by an inconveniently timed doctors appointment.  However we went through the motions and did all ‘the essentials’.  Struggled to make it to Guides but had a really nice relaxed session in the end.  Which helped lift my mood.

Tuesday was a definite step in the right direction.  By 10.30 we had finished maths, English, map drill, and Latin, Tesco had been and was put away, washing was done and drying, bins out.  In other words productive morning.

We then headed out to join other home educators to follow a walking trail around Lee on Solent.  We had to shelter from a sudden rainstorm in the library but after that weather was kind and we had a lovely walk, picnic and play in the park.  Before heading home with an ice cream via the library.

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If anyone is interested the walk leaflet is here.