"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Friday, 31 July 2009

Looking after Mumma..

I had a really bad headache and Milly suggested I should drink plenty of water and eat something to help clear it.No sooner said,than off she went and came back with an apple,(cored)iced water and a peeled banana:-)

Makes sense to me....

"You know you are face-to-face with the unfinished business of your own childhood when you respond with strong negative feelings to your child's behavior." (Hendrix and Hunt, 1997)
A quote taken from a thread on radical unschooling with LOA.Added to my wish list.....

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Changing pool plans and Tent decisions

Plans for the pool have changed.We decided that the area at the top was not suitable.It was going to take far too much effort to level it enough to put the pool on.H has said she will be happy to take it back and sell it, so nothing lost.We will now get a smaller one that we can place nearer the house but without the risk of flooding the neighbours!

One good thing is that we decided it wouldn't take as much to get it level enough to start the work on a new patio:-)We will take down the old trellis that is being held up by some overgrown Ivy and re landscape,open up the top area of the garden.This is where we get the sun most of the day.One ton of sand is delivered tomorrow,so no excuses,we will have to get on with it:-)We are using some slabs we already have in the garden and some gravel we have leftover from a project last year.We also have some large stones from an old stone wall that was near the house and was dismantled for the sun room to go up.

Over the last few weeks I have spent a great deal of time researching tents.

Bearing in mind I have never camped,apart from a week in Wooler with the school when I was 14 and then only because I fancied one of the boys that was going(he looked so much like Donny Osmond!!).

I don't have many good memories about it. I do remember being very cold and damp a great deal of the time and hated the night time trips to the loo.So why camping?Emily finds being away from home and her pets quite difficult to do, so would not be keen to go away often without them and at least this way we could take Beauty most of the time.The tent set up would be a home from home for her and I think as a family it will benefit us all to just get away from the routine and to spend time away from home,to shake us up a little and to try new things.We won't have to travel far initially.We live in a beautiful part of the country and there are so many great places to visit and camping within an hour of home will open up the whole lake district.

I have been saving up throughout the year with a view to going to Greece next year.When we looked at the prices to go for two weeks, we began to question spending thousands of pounds on a couple of weeks in the sun.Much as I love the long sunny days I found it harder and harder to justify spending that kind of money on one trip.Buying a tent and equipment will mean we can go for 4 night breaks every 5 weeks or so and then a couple of weeks in the summer.We aim to go camping in France eventually and who knows maybe even a road trip to Greece could be planned:-)

One of the biggest decisions was whether to go for a smaller weekend type tent with less space or get a bigger tent that would be comfortable and have space to "live" inside as well as sleep.We decided to opt for a bigger tent with all the room we would need to have a comfortable stay in our Great British climate,with the likelihood we would get a smaller weekend tent to go away in if we get the bug:-)We wanted something that would have enough room for us and Emily,Beauty (dog) and a friend or two.Having been in Michelle's Vermont L I knew that the space and attention to detail were the things that were going to make a camping trip comfortable and therefore stand a chance of doing it again:-)

Someone at Al's work was selling an Outwell tent with great living space and three bed pods.Initially to my inexperienced eye it sounded and looked great.I went on to the Outwell site to look in detail.Then Michelle gave me a link to a camping forum and I began to see the light:-)

I loved the space it had but it was very spread out and there were lots of little details that it was missing. The ideal for me was to have an area of enclosed porch to come in to dry off in wet weather and store all the clutter of wet things.I wanted mesh to keep out the bugs and also a good sized living area.

We visited a camping showroom in Keswick to get a feel for different tents,both Alan and I were really impressed with a Robens poly cotton tent but it didn't have all the space we would need,and no enclosed porch area.Back home and lots of research later we narrowed it down to the Outwell Vermont XL and The Norfolk lake poly cotton tent.Still couldn't make a decision and spent many nights searching all the different tent manufacturers websites and the forum tent reviews just to be sure.Whilst browsing the forum site(admit to becoming addicted!)I found so many useful reviews about equipment and LOVED the fact that I could see other peoples tents set up.There wasn't a question that I had that hadn't already been answered.

So here we are, having decided that poly cotton would be the best for us, especially with future plans to go abroad, but wavering slightly about the weight of it,especially if it has to be packed wet,which in the present climate looks quite likely.We would have enough room (just) in the garden to pitch it again to dry it if needed but Alan isn't keen on the "faf" as he calls it.He is slowly coming round to the idea and I have left it up to him to read some of the reviews and get a feel for what camping could give us outside the"faf" ;-)

It is a great deal of money but we would have spent twice the amount on a holiday abroad and we can use the tent for many years to come.Having sourced a Norfolk lake online I am just waiting for Alan to mull things over and for me to just do a little more checking to ensure we do have the right tent!!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Pool Prep...

We have been lucky enough to get a pool like this from a friend.She had only used it once and decided it was not safe enough in her garden as the only place she could put it was on a patio right near her new garden lodge worth £8.000.She was not keen on the idea of an accident happening and the edge of the pool being fallen on and the gallons of water flooding her garden lodge...

We bought it at a very good price and Alan set about leveling off this area of the garden.

It is near the house for the cable from the filter and is sunny most of the day(if we ever get anymore this year!)He pulled up the membrane and spent a long afternoon putting barrow loads of soil on to level it. He pulled back the membrane and then the next couple of days rained so we didn't get the pool set up.We then had a horrible thought!Our neighbours garden is to the left of this picture,it is on a slope and leads to their back door!! Remembering why H had sold us the pool we decided this was not a great spot after all...

Moving up the garden we decided this area at the top would be better.We had started to clear it a while ago to extend the patio area.The plan had been to make a wooden deck area,Al was going to use pallets but the work involved in stripping them down,getting equal lengths and prepping the wood has proved to be too much of a job for him to do on the little time he gets off.So we had left it till we could afford to buy materials.It is perfect for the pool.He will need to dig down to level the ground (our whole back garden is on a gentle slope)but as it is soft from the planting this shouldn't be too big a job.The main problem is the distance from the house and thus how far the cable for the filter has to run.We have a nephew who is an electrician who might be able to assist:-)

We will loose some of the patio that we have up here to fit in the pool.As it is a lovely sunny spot we will move over to the side of the pool and take down some trellis(that is actually so old it is only held up by the ivy)and behind the trellis

through this little opening

is this!!!

When we first moved here,11 years ago we had a share of a field as our back garden.The people either side and the owners of our house had bought the land at the back of the house and sectioned it off,when we bought it it was literally a rough grassed area.As we started the landscaping Alan decided to use this top corner as a dump for the sods of earth,good plan as it would then rot down and become good loam.However then we started to find lots of stones and other bits and pieces then got put up there "for the time being".Well 10 years on and it added up to around 7 tons of rubble (we do have quite a large garden) and he spent a full day a couple of weeks ago barrowing it down to a trailer he had hired off a farmer who had somewhere he could dump it.So it is nearly clear apart from some logs(from a tree we had felled last year) that a friend is going to buy off us and a load of wood that we could chop down and use on the chimenea.It was going to be a "secret" garden and we were going to put the chimenea up here and hang lanterns on the wall and lots of plants in pots.

Instead we are going to use the space to create a larger patio area for those sunny afternoon teas:-)

Vampire love story in a hammock!!

A friend has very kindly downloaded all the Twighlight series for Milly.We were actually working our way through the last book before we got the download but she decided to go back and listen to the first again.She is one happy bunny and since we got them she has wanted to do very little, except listen to them on her MP3,preferably on the hammock!!

Whatever the weather she has been outside, sometimes till 10 at night swinging and listening.She has had breaks do to other things,we have visited friends and family but the moment we get back she asks for the hammock out and off she goes.She listens in bed at night and wakes up and puts it on before she gets up.She is so engrossed in the story.Obsessive some would say,I prefer to look at it as a passionate interest:-)

Some technical impovements using dog leads and skipping rope which never actually gets used for skipping but is often found dangling from trampoline/climbing frame etc having being used to secure something or other:-)

This is the view this morning,luckily the trees shield her from the worst of the rain!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pokemon fever has hit.....

Still feeling rather withdrawn,you know,just not having any energy to make any plans and finding it extra hard to make conversation?Everything just seems such hard work.I have however been given a delightful Australian bush flower concoction to take each day, the ingredients include Mulla mulla,she oak,and sunshine wattle,from my homeopath,alongside the Folliculinam and Emerald she also prescribed over the last week,I have great hopes of feeling better soon:-)

Decided to post some pics.We have had a very quiet few weeks.We didn't want to go anywhere last Monday, but late morning Milly asked if we could go in to the toy shop to look for another starter pack of Pokemon so her and Al could play later.I would have preferred not to but decided it would do us both some good and off we went.We ate at a cafe and as it was nice weather ate outside.Off to the park and Milly made friends with two boys,8 and 10,Pokemaon cards being the ice breaker:-)They were on holiday from Scotland.We ended up in the park for nearly two hours and they had a great time. They then swapped mobile numbers, email and MSN details:-)I also had a nice chat with their Mum.They will be back down in a couple of weeks so will see if we can arrange a get together then.Glad we made the effort to get out.

On the following day Milly and I set off for The Beacon in Whitehaven.A nice afternoon with Lunch first, then an explore around the Museum.As we entered,the lady on the front desk told us about a quiz sheet we could do as we went round,I took one just in case, but as is normal, it arrived back home in the bottom of my bag! Milly involved me in a game of Torchwood as we went round.We spent some time on a section about food rations during the war and having to work out what meals we could have through the week to keep within the set budget.Milly opted for bread and dripping or other similar priced items during the week but splurged on the weekend as she felt that would be a nice time to treat yourself:-)Flitted from section to section doing whatever took her fancy and then back out to find some pokemon booster packs in town.

Top area, a veiwing gallery and exhibits about weather and a booth where you can be a weather presenter and see yourself on a monitor.

The view...

A scary looking highwayman...

Then and now,how fashion has changed:-)Milly decorated the back of her hand and down her fingers with heart tattoos before leaving home!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Four things you won't like hearing?

Four things you won't like hearing
by Kris Laroche

Thing one: your child's needs matter more than your own.

A child's brain is formed based on the quality of our interactions with them. We cannot ignore the importance of this in favor of what's more convenient for us.

Read more linked from here

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Trip to Yorkshire.

After a good run of wanting to blog every day I have found little motivation to write anything lately.

A couple of reasons being the good weather we were having and then computer meltdowns!! One other ingredient in the mix has been the incredible hot sweats I have been having,I have had such disrupted nights that I resemble a zombie during the day,it is taking me all my effort to remember what day it is, let alone write anything that might be in any way interesting;-)So off to see my homeopath tomorrow and also have info on diet changes to help ease the symptoms.Fingers crossed the coming weeks will be easier.

Any how here a a few pics of out time in Yorkshire,staying in Ripon at my lovely aunt and uncles house for a few days while they were away on holiday.

A visit to York and a park and ride journey that had Milly bubbling,so funny the things that make a visit special,she just loved being sat right at the front:-)

A second visit to Yorvick for Emily and I,a first for Alan.You travel through time in a pod and journey through a Viking settlement.Milly loved being able to share the ride with Alan,then as is usual,she completely ignored the part with the artifacts and information and headed to the shop.I did linger for a short time but there was a school group being ushered around and I decided to join Emily and Alan in the shop.

Then a walk around Fountains Abbey,memories of my childhood as it was a regular haunt for family picnics way back when :-)

The day was incredibly hot and I was not on top form which inevitably meant that Emily wasn't either,so a rather fractious walk with Emily desperate to find some water to swim in,and me finding it very difficult to be as tolerant as I would normally be.We saw plenty of water but nowhere suitable to get in.We walked quite a long way and then the heavens opened, despite trying to shelter in the trees we got soaked.Somehow the change in weather enabled a change in our moods and things started to improve.A walk back to the car with trees to climb, deer to get close to and three very wet, but very happy campers.

We had made a conscious decision not to travel too far afield and had lovely lazy mornings before a short trip out then back home for tea and then Milly and Alan would head over to the park and wander around Ripon and down the canal before arriving home late in the evening.Milly really loved Ripon and it was three whole days into the trip before she began pining for home and her animals.A good trip, very relaxing and great to actually spend some time revisiting places I remembered from childhood.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Just a quickie.

Back on line after a few days without connection.Not overly impressed with talk talk and their technical dept,I get it free so I won't grumble too much.

I have so much catching up to do on blogs and the lists,it is going to be a marathon when I get round to it.

Anyhow back online now,but no time to blog, too sunny:-) Gotta make the most of it before it disappears!!

I hope you are all having fun and enjoying the weather.I love the sun but at the moment I also have my own central heating in the form of severe hot sweats, so it has been challenging at times ;-)

Had a great short break away and then back to some serious gardening.Being ill in March meant I got no planting done in the veg garden and then one thing after another conspired to keep me from doing it and I thought I was going to have to give it a miss this year.Alan and I have just spent two days planting and it is all looking good.I do love to get my hands in the soil :-)Will post some pics tomorrow.