Friday, February 14, 2014

camping at home

The storms are still raging here. The winds have been incredibly strong and are really starting to cause damage. Luckily we have fared nothing worse than a few sheets of plastic missing from the green house, a couple of bits of guttering, a fence and some plant pots knocked over. But we have been loosing power and with that heating and means of communication.
 On Wednesday when this storm started I was happily drinking coffee with a friend in the kitchen when the power went off. Half an hour later I had a call from school asking me to come and get the kids as their power had also gone.
 I spent the rest of the afternoon very cautiously driving around picking up and dropping off the kids and Garry, in awe of the power of the weather: trees ripped up from the roots, huge ancient bows snapped off and dumped into drive ways and onto houses and caravans. Telephone lines lying snapped across the road.
 In the evening, when I got us home, we made a fire with the logs Garry had brought for us in the last storm and we lit lanterns and candles. Garry made a trip to our local town to shops that had generators and came back with a feast (how grateful I am to have him in our lives, to share some of the joy and the work in these things). The kids were so excited that they ran around in circles until we could persuade them to sit with us around the coffee table in the living room and have a candle lit picnic by the fire.
It was so lovely.
Joa, exhausted by the excitement, fell asleep on the sofa, huddled under a quilt before he could eat anything, but the rest of us feasted and chatted until Rebe and Benny were also were dropping and I carried them to bed. Garry and I shared a bottle of red wine in front of the fire, holding hands and revelling in the knowledge that we were in the middle of a special memory being made.
The next morning there was still no electricity and a text message from school saying it was remaining closed.
We snuggled up best we could,
in lots of layers
 and read and played.
Benny found a 'pinching bug' which Rebe captured. They then spent the next while looking up all the facts about it they could in their bug books and studying and observing the creatures habits.
 The postman arrived just after that with a parcel from my mum containing just what we needed: warm, hand knitted socks,

 new nighties and chocolate :-)
In the mid morning we made a trip to the shop where we had hot coffee and sausages and most importantly could buy coal. I was so happy to be able to warm our wee home again, and also rig up a cooking system.
 We fried more sausages and I warmed water for tea and left over chili.

Feeling warm again and much revived we could get on with the joys of life without electronic interference:
 knitting dolls clothes
 making paper mache
 and games.

 The kids shared a lovely closeness, Benny and Joa were dog brothers and snuggled in their bed together.
Rebe read aloud interesting animal facts, and just as evening fell the power came back on, but before the luxury of a warm bath we had one more picnic dinner in the living room, in front of the fire...just because :-)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

a stormy saturday

Storms have hit us again, it's cold and wet and very windy outside.
The skies are heavy and grey, rain and hail filling their bellies. The wind roars through the woods and throws the sea back against itself and the cliffs. Over and over again I am drawn back to the window to look out, to watch the waves pushing hard against the wind, their tops ripped off and whipped across the bay. Every second it is different, so powerful and so very beautiful.
And I am grateful to be indoors, with the heating on, with these special little people of mine.
Every second Saturday afternoon I pack the kids up to go and stay the night with Andy fetching them home again Sunday evening. Every week day I pack the older two up to go to school, so it is only one day, this day, in every fortnight that we don't have to get dressed if we don't want to, where I don't need to watch the clock, where we don't have to get into the car and leave this cosy wee nest. And so on days like these, I breath it in deep: the peace, the creativity, the togetherness.

 There was so much we did today, we painted, we made bread and soup, we made biscuit cake, we did washing.
 The kids made a zoo in their bedroom with a cat area, a rabbit area and an armadillo area.
 We made smoothies,

 and a cardboard lifeboat.
 Rebe tried out the marble run in the bath using water to see if it works...and it does!

I brought the duplo lego into the living room and the three of them played together so beautifully, helping each other, telling the stories of their game, commiserating with each other when a tower crashed down.


 I did a little knitting
 The kids made this raft (do you see all the blue things that we own on the floor to be the sea, and there is a basket of logs for a camp fire) and they were dog explorers.

Garry brought the logs to us in case the electricity goes in this storm and we are without heat, and it was so good to see him just for a quick cup of tea, to have him here and to be a part of this day.

We read stories and chatted,
 we talked about our dreams,
 and dressed up as pirates. Rebe did this treasure map tattoo on Benny and he's been wearing the ear-ring all day. I catch him shake his head to feel it knock against his jaw, and I smile and my heart swells.

And Rebe learnt to use the machine...
What a special day, one of the days of simple, pure goodness. One of those days filled with moments that I will treasure and remember. One of those days that make me think; 'This is what life is all about'.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


...of spring being in the air...
daffodils in the front garden
baby rhubarb in he back
...evidence of the recent storms and high tides...

whole trees washed right up the beach and onto the road
most of the beach now lying on our road, making a rocky drive to school!

...evidence of Garry and his dogs staying for a blissful few days...
...evidence that it is time 'something was done' about the playroom (again)...
 ...evidence of doll making...
16" custom waldorf doll

a growing pile of clothes for the dolls that will be made at the workshop
 ...evidence of a girl who is a very self sufficient baker...
 ...evidence of Joa...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

buddies ~ binoculars, birthdays, banana bread and books

**In September 2011 6 families got together and started Buddies Home School. Each week we meet in each other's home and follow a simple rhythm: movement and music, craft/ baking, snack time, free play and story time. Each part of the session is led by a different family. We are sharing this week's session with you here...***
This week at Buddies, after our usual sing song, we made binoculars. It was one of those last minute crafts as the stormy weather delayed Flo (who had painstakingly prepared masks for us to make). 
It was very simple and, as we have found with this small group of wee ones, the simpler the better. 

 We cut up egg cartons and made holes for eyes and then threaded some wool through the sides so they will hang around the Buddies' necks.
They were tried out straight away and lots of interesting things were spotted out in the garden and beyond.
 Then to make them swanky we painted them with poster paint.

 We had a special addition to snack time today as it was Little M's 3rd Birthday :-)
 He wore the birthday crown with pride and we sang him happy birthday before he blew the candles out on his loaf of soda bread (only kidding it was really banana bread).
 There was a birthday feast and lots of time for free play before we had 2 stories to finish with:
 Dear Zoo and Snuggle Bunny
It was a very sweet little session and extra lovely that we got to spend some of Little M's Birthday with him!