Saturday, 22 October 2011


Whoops, missed another day. Hey ho.

Yesterday we did go swimming and on a bit of an adventure at the same time. We had all intentions of going to Larkfield Leisure Centre with Lorraine and her two children, Amy and Connor. They picked us up at 10.30am and we drove through lovely sunshine to the Centre, only to be told that we'd only have 50 more minutes in the leisure pool before they shut it. Obviously they weren't on half term timetable. Soooo....Lorraine drove us all the way back to Rainham and we went to Splashes instead. Thank you for being taxi AGAIN Lorraine.

Actually it turned out pretty well as Splashes was on half term times and they had the fountains, slide and pipes all working and the wave machine went on at least 3 times whilst we were there. Kids had chips for lunch, as did I (I can't eat anything else there and shouldn't really eat the chips either as they are done in the same fat as the nuggets, but I seem to be ok). Lorraine was nice and healthy with a tuna mayo baguette...hehe - it was rather a large baguette.

Had a good chat while the kids were swimming and playing around and then home. Am feeling a little pious as its chip night in our house on Fridays, but I forgo them for a cheese gluten free roll and salad. *smug me* Callum on the other hand had a fish finger sandwich with chips!!! Well, you're only young once.

Today we've pottered about really. Me painting a cauldron and trying to turn a pair of gardening gloves into knights' gauntlets (not easy when you haven't really got a lot to work with). Callum was on computer designing new games in Roblox.

However, we, or rather he, had a bit of excitement this afternoon. Veolia, the waste company that Phil works for, was having an open day and we went along late in the afternoon just before it finished. We managed to squeeze in the tour and found out where our waste gets taken and what they do with it and then had a go at a competition with regard to spotting hazards in pictures.

Then he was shown around the Scarabs (the vehicles that clean the streets if you didn't know). He was allowed in them and Phil showed him how they all worked.

Now the exciting bit: The little scarab was switched on and he was showed how it all worked, the thing was that the handbrake was on (or at least it should have been) and Callum put his foot on the accelerator only to shoot forward a good 4ft before banging on the brake! Dad had a bit of a panic as did I, but Callum absolutely loved it and couldn't stop laughing. At least I know he'll be able to do an emergency stop when he comes to doing driving lessons.

Apparently it wasn't the first time in the day that the handbrake hadn't worked. Luckily it was an adult previously and all I can say is I'm glad it was our Callum and not someone else's kid. Must admit I've never seen Phil move so fast and he would have been able to stop it if Callum hadn't already had the sense and quick reflexes to do it first. Well done C.

The Runaway Scarab

Anyway, after all that excitement, it was back home for dinner and Merlin - love the baby dragon by the way.


Thursday, 20 October 2011


Hello everybody peeps.

Been a bit distracted by preps for Halloween party so have missed a day. Callum's input has been fab, he's really starting to get into it and when I've been stuck, he's come up with a plan.

Past few days have been lots of odds and sods really; mainly sorting out of workbooks, puzzle books and sticker books and going through all the arts and crafts stuff we have. I tend to buy bits as and when I see them 'just in case' and so end up with bulging drawers full of stickers, crayons, felt tips, pipe cleaners, rubber stamps, sticky shapes, etc, etc. Most have been sitting about for quite a while, so we decided to go through it all and shift stuff we are not going to use and get rid of dried up paint and pens. Made a huge difference and now have space in the drawers...wooo hooo!

The reason for the clear out; we have craft stuff to do for the party and we really needed to know what we had and what we needed to get. By Wednesday we had decided on the first two games and needed to make sure the 1st one worked ok, so we assembled the jars (not giving too much away) and gave it a go. Success rate was about 95%, one object just would not budge, so we (well, Callum actually) spent the next hour (yes, I did say an hour) testing different weights/amount of filling until he managed to get the success rate to as near 100% as he could without compromising the ease/difficulty of the rest of the game. Thanks Callum, I really didn't have the patience and was ready to change the whole thing, so I'm really grateful for his effort.

The 2nd game involved making a crown complete with inner fabric cap (duel purpose) and again I required some assistance...well modelling really.

Today we've completed the list of games. After much discussion the finer points have been agreed on and a draft 'plan of action' has been written. Hard work this party planning stuff, but good fun.

So seven games sorted (well decided on), food agreed and decorations planned and bought. Now its just finishing off making stuff that needs doing, food to be ordered and baking to be done. Nearly ready!

Tomorrow we are having a break and going swimming.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Good late afternoon to you all. Am looking out of window onto a beautiful sunny evening with the light bouncing off the top of the trees and their leaves..they look almost golden.

Today did not start well. Actually the night was pretty crap as my dog decided to have a funny and wouldn't settle all night..up and down the stairs, whining, back and forth through the house also whining. Got up and let him in the garden, but no, he just sat there looking at the stars!!! Spent from about 2am to 2.30am making a fuss of him as he wouldn't settle and wanted to sit by me. Then it rained and kept me awake! Needless to say I was a little weary this morning, so we had a very late start.

Plans for morning were washing up, washing, hoovering and a tidy. Callum helped out as much as he could moving furniture and carrying the clean washing upstairs, but rest of time he was on computer.

This afternoon, as I'd promised, we went off to the cinema. Saw Johnny English Reborn. Was nice and quiet, not even a quarter full and Tuesday's is cheapy day at £5 a ticket. As Callum has a CEA card I only have to buy his ticket and I go for free, so definitely worth going. Popcorn, Fanta and a cup of tea for me (how civilised) and the best seats just in front of the barrier. Film was hilarious and Callum cackled and screeched his way through it; love listening to him laugh although he does get very loud, hehe. We stayed until the end of the credits as usual and were the only two in the cinema to see the 'take away' sketch, which was brilliant. So if you haven't seen the movie and plan to, wait until the credits before leaving.

Then it was off to The Range to pick up some black and gold card, cupcake cases and a hanging basket inner which will become our cauldron. Met our neighbour at the till and he offered us a lift home, which we gratefully accepted.

Back home and its been a cup of tea, dinner and he's had a quick go on the Wii. Is now upstairs watching his telly (probably the same programme as partner is watching in the other room).

Tomorrow is crafting day.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Hi all, still glorious down here in the South, but the wind is definitely picking up and we are getting frosty mornings. Winter is coming!

Callum and I have decided to step back from our traditional take on home ed for the next couple of weeks as I've tons to do (read my other blog IS IT ME? for details). We have come to an agreement that he will help me with as many of the 'jobs' as possible and he can stop maths, literacy and science until after Halloween.

So today he measured out 2lb of green tomatoes for me, washed them and set them aside. He then went through all the other tomatoes we'd either picked ourselves or been given and sorted the green from the red or near ripe and took out the mush ones.

Then he washed and destalked all the ripe cherry tomatoes we had in the fridge and passed them to me for chopping in half. These were put in a roasting tin with a bit of chopped onion and 3/4 chopped green pepper (both found lurking in the fridge). We then added some olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and a dash of Balsamic vinegar. Then out came the box of herbs and spices. I got him to smell the tomatoes, then smell the herbs and decide which ones he thought went well with the smell. We ended up with basil and oregano!!!! He didn't peak at the labels either, he just went by smell. I sent him outside to smell a couple of herbs we have growing and asked what he thought would be any good, if any, he came back with....marjoram!!! The boys got a nose for flavour. We added all those, or rather he did, roasted it all in the oven for 20mins, allowed to cool and retasted and then whizzed up in food processor, reheated and added a swirl of cream. Lunch made and eaten with fresh gluten free rolls....yummy!

The 2lb of green tomatoes measured out earlier were whizzed up with 4 oranges and with some water cooked until soft, then a bag of sugar added and with the occasionally stir (both of us) was turned into Green Tomato and Orange Marmalade.

So measuring, preserving and soup making done! Plus tea making and wiping up after the washing up.

Then shopping with big sis, Terri and myself this afternoon to buy Halloween stuff for party. He helped carry some of the bags home and then made us a cuppa.

I think he's done well today. No computer all day! Go Callum.


Thursday, 13 October 2011


Good afternoon my lovely people. How are we all this fine and sunny day? We are good; having a lovely chilled morning (doing M&L still though) and a family visit this afternoon.

But, what did we do yesterday? Well, we had a social day. A visit to some old friends who we haven't seen in ages due to one thing or another. Had a bit of a lazy morning getting stuff together and left around 11.30 for a drive to Bromley, Keston actually. Took us about 45mins so a rather nice run.

We took up some veggie food, jar of home made plum chutney, a bag of apples (isn't like we are short of them) and some of Phil's home made beer. Ann provided additional food such as bread, cheese dough balls, cola cooked ham, popcorn chicken (all home made and gluten free), sauces, etc, plus bottles of gluten free beer which Ann and myself could drink. Put together there was a wonderful spread that fed 4 adults and 5 children. Ann's food being gorgeous as always.

Now to the reason of the title. Ann had made chocolate cakes, three tiered little piles of chocolate gooeyness layered with chocolate ganache....yummy! Callum had one of these little creations on his plate and was just staring at it. The rest of us, knowing it was impossible to eat without splitting the layers, had divided it into 2 smaller pieces. Callum followed suit splitting his into 2 smaller cakes, but continued to stare at it. We all carried on talking, but when we turned back there was only 1 layer left on his plate. No-one had seen him move, but the puffed cheeks and smiley eyes gave it away. He'd stuffed the whole piece in his mouth and had now realised that although it fit, he couldn't actually move it around to chew it. The expression on his face and the speed at which he'd done it had us in fits. Unfortunately that caused another problem for Callum as now he was trying to dissolve the cake in his mouth so he could swallow it and not laugh at the same time. He managed it without choking himself only to do exactly the same thing with the other half of cake. Boy is he a quick mover, but obviously not a fast learner! Although you could argue that he was retesting his findings to find out how accurate they were, haha.

The boys then went off to play and the adults plus little Johnathan retired to the living room for a sit down and a coffee (us adults not Johnathan of course). William joined us a little later and they happily played with the Lego; William building rather fab robots and Johnathan playing with the animals.

We left after about another hour and drove home. Callum had had fun being with the older boys on the computer and we had had a lovely catch up chat. Ann and her husband Roarke were the first people I met after taking Callum out of school and Ann was always the one I turned to when I needed support. We don't see anywhere near as much of them as we used to or as much as we'd like, but then times move on and we are both so busy in different ways it's just nice that every now and then we make the time to catch up...long may it continue.

Thanks to Ann, Roarke and her boys for making us welcome as usual.

As I've said today is a bit quieter and later we have his sister, Terri, coming round. I will probably be in the kitchen making more chutney and Phil is upstairs redoing the bathroom shower doors and putting in a shelf. Callum has been reading the local paper and getting outraged at the new bus shelter that has now been completed in Chatham along with no guard rails, no litter bins, no toilets, no crossings and mobility access problems. Well, looks like the Council has done it again..why do they bother if they aren't going to do it properly!


Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Good evening peoples.

Lovely day today; warm, sunny, but the leaves are all crispy and brown and red and gorgeous. Adore Autumn big time.

Did a quick tidy round and a quick maths and literacy session this morning, then it was a visit from Jo Daniels and her lovely baby Sophia. I should explain, if I haven't already, that Jo was one of Callum's Infant School teachers and he adored her. She was a fabulous teacher (still is) and really helped him out a lot and was very supportive. When we pulled him from school, she came along and did maths lessons with him until she got a promotion and had to give up due to being overloaded with work like all teachers are..bless her. Now she is a mummy and little Sophia is 8 months old. Gorgeous little thing and a very happy little lady.

Was lovely to see her and Callum loves the fact that we still meet up occasionally and catch up. Always a good excuse to bake cakes and sit and drink coffee. It was all timed to perfection as well as they were meeting up with friends for swimming at the same time as Callum had a trampolining lesson, so we had a lift to the Centre and an extended chat.

His lesson went well. He worked quite hard, but I don't think he was pushed enough today, although he didn't seem to be that bothered. Practicing 1/2 twist to back drop with last minute roll to front drop (those that do trampolining will know what I mean, but hope that explanation is enough for those who don't to be able to picture what he was up to). He also ran through his routine again which he is still managing to remember, so well done Callum.

Then a trip to the High Street (with me not being able to resist a pile of brown leaves to kick through...Callum rolling his eyes at me...huh!) to check out Halloween decs in the pound store (got some pretty good stuff and the goblets I'm after are in there which means it will work out cheaper than Wilkos). A visit to Smiths to try and find Teacher's Resource book I'm after, but as its an old one I was out of luck and they couldn't order it. Have found it on Amazon though, so might have to get it through them. Last, but not least, Nisa for wine vinegar for chutney making. Both fancied choccy at this point and they were doing 3 little bars of Dairy Milk (various flavours) at 3 for £1, so guess what we bought. Me being greedy (and hungry) couldn't wait until I got home, so I ate mine on the way...tut tut, but it was rather yummy!

Back home it was computer, dinner, bath and now he's relaxing in front of telly with his dad. Off out to visit friends tomorrow, so hopefully it will be another lovely day.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Hi all

For goodness sake I'm a day behind again (if you include Saturday and Sunday as one blog). Must get organised again. Haha.

So, here we go...weekend!

Saturday we went apple picking at Gore Farm with Phil, Linda, Tony, Danielle, Mellissa and Ruby. Colin and Lily went off to horse riding and met up with us afterwards in the cafe. We rent a tree for £30 per year, which between 3 families isn't that much, and we get to pick all the apples off of that tree. If the crop is a little low (as it was this year) they have other trees from which we can make up the loss. The photo below is just our share of the apples picked.

Whilst we had a good old chin wag around the table at the cafe drinking tea and eating cake, the kids went off and saw the animals and did a bit of investigating. The girls also picked strawberries, but Callum stayed with us, not because he didn't want to pick strawberries, we just didn't have the money to buy any that he picked and I didn't want him just going off and eating them all.

He went off and fed the donkeys (his favourite animal) where one particularly noisy one didn't like it when he fed the others. Very vocal animal (the one below).

The afternoon he spent back on the computer, so I was glad we'd managed to get out and about.

Sunday was very lazy, partly because I'd been out the night before and just fancied doing nothing all day and partly because Phil was busy doing stuff in the kitchen. So Callum spent the day occupying himself (may I add, not all of it on the computer!).

So, today! Phil is off all week this week and that normally interferes with our home schooling, but I'm determined to get at least maths and literacy done. So at about 9.45am this morning I woke Callum up with a cuppa and while Phil was sorting out the dog and what he was going to do for the day, we sat in bed and did his worksheets.

Then up we got, Phil going into the bathroom to put radiator on the wall and redo pipework running to it, we started the BBC website's typing course....dancemat style. Callum was really nervous, but he did it and got very good with his 'home' keys. I think him learning to type properly will be a big benefit to him and he sees me touch typing all the time and sees how quick it can be. Talking of which, I did a speed test on Google and came out as 54 words per minute. Bit slower than I was when at work, but glad I'm still above 50. Need to practice more!

This afternoon was baking and cooking for me while Callum helped his dad refill the heating system and check the boiler was working ok. All good stuff.

So, am now up to date again. Yay!


Friday, 7 October 2011



Whoops sorry missed out yesterday. My fault, I went out!! Well, I went to a friend's house for cuppas and a chat, but I still class it as out.

So, what did we get up to yesterday? Well we had a day at home for starters, which is normally a good thing as we can attempt to catch up on some work.

Well, maths and literacy got done and then we were attempting to get science sorted. I say attempting, as I was having the day from hell and everything was going wrong! This, in turn, had an effect on Callum, so he was, how shall we say this, disgruntled and moody and doing a lot of faffing about.

We decided to have a sort out of documents on the computer and discovered one we'd forgotten to print off about acids and alkalines (the one where we tested the pH values of various household items, so that was a bit of a bonus find. Callum filled in a Testing Understanding worksheet writing in the first section and then using the computer to produce a bar chart and answer a couple of questions in the second section. Then another Testing Understanding worksheet with regard to cells where again he wrote out the first section and used the computer to name parts of a cell and compare the differences between animal and plant cells.

We had a sort through the science folder and decided to leave the other worksheets for another day. Folder beginning to look pretty good actually. Well done mate! It sounds like a fair bit, but it took us most of the day and it really should have only taken the morning, but hey ho, that's how it goes sometimes.

We also had to write up the 'showing' workshop that we did with Terri, his sister, on Tuesday and email it off to the moderator for the Arts Award. Had an email back saying that it had been received, looked good and that now we had completed the required parts to be put forward for assessment in November. Phew, kinda glad that over to be honest.

Today, we were picked up by a lady who is considering home education, after my talk a couple of weeks ago, and taken up to Ice Skating so she could meet others and ask questions. Strangely we didn't have to pay to get in (did last time), and we had cuppas bought for us and a portion of chips bought for Callum by her friend who is also considering home ed. So rather a cheap morning which is a good thing this month as we are skint!!! Callum ended up playing DS with another boy on/off throughout the morning too, which was nice.

This afternoon we looked at an onion cell through the microscope, trawled ebay for science equipment and generally chilled out.

Tomorrow is apple picking at Gore Farm.

Been a funny week, some parts productive and some parts not and both our moods have been up and down. Am hoping a couple of days of fresh air and a fresh week will improve our mindsets.

Anyway, cya

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Hi all

Today was one of those days where being home educated worked wonders. I woke up at 5am this morning and could not get back to sleep, so spent the next 2.5hrs drinking tea, eating a bowl of cereal and watching TV progs I'd recorded for just such an occasion (although I was intending them to be the other end of the day). 7.30am arrived and I was expecting Callum up and about, so went off to do a morning cuppa for us both...he didn't appear. Ok, no worries, I sorted out the kitchen, sorted washing and cleared up the recycling, fed the dog, but still no Callum! 9.30am I decided I needed to check he was ok, he was, he was fast asleep! Typical, I wake early and he sleeps in, never mind.

He woke up about 15mins later in a right mood and complaining of a headache. Hmmm, avoid for a few mins I think. Admittedly I was beginning to flag by this point.

10am and after my bath and him getting dressed, he says that he's knackered! He's knackered? Pah!

"Do I have to do anything this morning?"
"Well, maths and literacy would be good, but we do have Mad Science trip this afternoon."
He pulls a face and flops on the sofa.
"You're not in the mood are you?" I say
"No! I'm tired and I want to go on the computer."

By this point, I'm really not in the mood either, I just fancy pottering about.

"Sod it then."
"Yep, I'm tired too and we do have all day tomorrow and we did stuff all day yesterday, so let's have the rest of the morning off?"
"Yay!" He perks up immediately and runs to the computer.
"Hang on! Get your stuff ready first!"

He decides to have brunch as its almost 11am by now, so scrambled egg, baked beans and toast, which he happily munches his way through.

12.15pm we are picked up by Lorraine and Amy and head off to Sittingbourne for Mad Science. We get a bit lost, but manage to find it after asking directions, and are only about 10mins late (we weren't the only ones).

Science show was fab...carbon dioxide (dry ice) today with lots of experiments on the fun of it all. They even got to taste it in water and had it blown (in gas form) over them like in a scary movie. And we got to keep the cups (they colour change)! Which reminds me, we still have Amy's cup I think. Whoops!

Back home and Lorraine and I have a couple of cuppas and Amy and Callum play in the garden for a while. No sooner have they gone and he's back on computer, but he was off again by 6pm tonight. Does this mean the game is losing its appeal or did he just fancy having a, he'd got another headache so decided to go upstairs and chill in his room for a bit. Can now hear him giggling away watching TV.

As to me, I've just printed off all the science sheets we need to do and I'm going to flake out in front of the TV later. Hope I have a better night's kip.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hi all,

Quite a productive day today. Mainly to do with Callum's Art Award, but did have fun too.

We started off with the normal maths/literacy with no strops today as he found it really easy!! His words not mine. We had a discussion about fractions into percentages (me having to wrack my brains to remember how to convert one to the other, but remembered eventually - bad me!) which, of course, led onto infinite numbers like 0.3333333 or 0.66666666 and the use of the word recurring or the symbol for infinity. Then it was writing up his workshops to include in his Award. We weren't entirely sure if the bird house making would count, but we wrote it up anyway and then the kite making one from last week. This one we did think we could include as there was designing and colouring involved. We included photographs and sent them off, only to have an email back saying exactly what we thought. We tweaked the kite making one a little bit more to include why Callum had designed his kite the way he had and were given the thumbs up! Yay.

This afternoon was his workshop to demonstrate something to someone else. Callum decided to do mosaic coasters and show it to his sister. We had to do step by step instructions and Callum had to work with his sister showing her what to do, then she had to give a brief description on how he did and he will have to do a quick write up of how he thought it went. Am hoping it will be fine as we are now running out of time. The moderation date is 4th November!!

Anyway, below is how they got on.

Terri rather enjoyed herself and has come up with loads of different projects that she now wants to do using broken tiles, mirrors, glass, plates, etc and Callum really enjoyed showing something he could do and being able to do something with his sister.

On top of that I made nectarine chutney out of a glut of nectarines Phil brought home at the weekend and managed to tidy up the dining room table and the computer table of all its junk. Would have been a bit difficult to do the coasters if I hadn't! haha.

Anyway, short and sweet today as its a bit late.


Monday, 3 October 2011


Hi all

Well Monday is here and, although sunny, it was a little cooler. Was nice to have nothing planned, no time to keep to and be able to just plod at our own pace. So what did we do?

Well, Callum got up at 8am and made me a cuppa; announcing that he was going to go onto the computer until 9.30am and then do his maths/literacy so that he would be ready to start at 10am! Hmmmm, time management covered there I think. So I drank my cuppa, washed up, put washing on, prepped my dinner in the slow cooker and made a 2nd cuppa. Was ready to sit down with him by 9.45am by which time he'd finished his maths sheets and was beginning to have a paddy about his literacy. Spelling words with 'sh' in them today and opposites also with 'sh' in. Now, to you and me, the clue is in the question...all answers will have the 'sh' sound in them somewhere, but to Callum that was a stupid idea and the answers were stupid, ie, the opposite of 'open' is 'closed' and a picture containing a pile of bottles, tins, bags, etc was 'garbage'. I tried to point out the words had to have 'sh' in them and he got the right hump saying the book was stupid and wrong!
"Ok, now let's calm down here and think logically...the question involves the sound 'sh', what other words can you think of for garbage that contain 'sh'?"
"Crap" says Callum "or trash".
"Good, trash would be good" says I.
"It's not trash as it doesn't fit, it says -----sh! This is a stupid book."
"Ok, so on Tuesday night we put out the...what?"
"Alright, you're watching a programme and it isn't very good. We say that programme was....what?"
Hmmm, I'm not getting anywhere here am I? I look at him, he looks at me, pencil posed to be launched across the room. He spots the hammer which his dad hasn't put away (grrrrrr) and picks it up. Luckily he decides to hit the book with it!
"Ok, now put the hammer down and think."
"Oh, rubbish, this is rubbish!"
"Yes Callum....rubbish is correct."
"But rubbish is American!"
"No garbage and trash is American, rubbish is English"
"Oh this is stupid!"
We decide to have a break and he goes off upstairs to go to the toilet and pick up a toy. On his return, he calmly picks up the book, spells the word rubbish, looks at me and says "the opposite of open is shut", writes it down and then hands me the work.
"You didn't mark last Wednesday's work, can you mark that too!"
I raise my eyes to the ceiling. One minute a meltdown was on its way and then we are as calm as anything as if nothing has happened. Oh well at least he got it eventually.

Next was science and we went back over cells and discussed specialised cells. He done very well on the revision side and was fine with the specialised bit until we looked at sperm.
"Yuck" says he.
"What?" says I.
"They can swim!"
"Yes. Why do you think that is?"
"That's yucky. I was fine until they said they can swim."
"Soooooo why do you think they can swim?"
"Because they have a long way to go to find the egg!"
"Yes, well done. We'll be covering that next time."
"Yuck, do we have to?"
"Yes we do"
"Oh. Are we done now?"
And off he goes, but before he totally disappears we end up talking about fire and fire hydrants and fire safety and double glazed windows and how to escape a house and whether or not we should have a fire extinguisher and why fire extinguishers in buildings are in corridors.....strange how conversations start and end up.

This afternoon we popped into Rochester to try and get the mosaic kits that he wants to show Terri for his 'how to' workshop for his Arts Award. No luck, so we go to Dockside to The Range, but still no luck. Coffee and cake is needed and then home. Lovely afternoon out, but not very successful. He did manage to get a book from the 2nd hand book shop on Missiles and Rockets though, so he was happy.

Strange day.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Hiya again, Part Two here:

Saturday was Riverside again, seem to be spending a lot of time there lately, for bird house making. Callum D came with us again. The boys made wooden bird houses completely from scratch. Well the wood was cut out for them, but they had to nail it all together themselves. Both Callums did really well; only making a couple of mistakes each where nails went into ‘space’ instead of through the wood. It was quite noisy and my Callum had forgotten to take his ear defenders with him; typical! However, as he was making so much noise himself with the banging he coped remarkably well. They all discovered that doing the nailing on the floor instead of a fold up table made it more stable and less noisy!

I'm rather proud of Callum's performance as he has never done woodwork before and has always run a mile when Dad has got the electric drill out. Well done mate!

Afterwards they had a run around outside in the play area for about an hour after eating ice creams first as it was so hot! Then farm shop, drop off Callum D and home. Callum and Phil then put up the bird box + the other box that I'd bought last year and the bee box I'd got for my birthday way back in May. Let's hope that next year we will have birds nesting and more bees buzzing.

Today, we chilled out in the morning and then popped back to Callum D's house to drop off his brother, Shane's, birthday present and card. We didn't stop for the party, just a little while to watch Shane open his presents and say hello. Back home we've been attempting to make plans for Halloween.

Anyway, that's it, both parts now done and I'm off to find myself something to eat. Callum is eating roast dinner, but I'm not in the mood for that as its too hot and I'm not hungry.

Cyas later.



Busy weekend again! Sunshine has been blazing and we were up to 28 degrees.

Friday we were in London for the day visiting my friend Dennis. Terri came with us, so was like a little family day out. Caught high speed train as Callum prefers it and that means I prefer it as there is less hassle. Went all the way to St Pancras this time. Met Dennis there and walked (we did a lot of walking that day) to Hyde Park via various smaller parks, a Starbucks and the back of Oxford Street. Went that way to see where I used to work (30 years ago now) and IT ISN’T THERE ANYMORE!!! There is now some multi-coloured monstrosity instead, but it was nice to see that some things hadn’t changed. The occult bookshop was still there, although a bit more modern than it was then, Denmark St is still full of music shops and Soho Square was still full of people (although not quite the same type of people, haha). Callum enjoyed seeing all the places that I used to haunt, but said it was far too busy for him and Terri didn’t think she’d be able to work there either.

We also visited the Animals at War Memorial which was nice to see. Callum was pleased that they had their own memorial and that their work had been recognised.

That's Dennis in the background with Callum and Terri to the fore.

Hyde Park was lovely and we sat by The Serpentine for a while eating; me a banana and Callum a raspberry muffin. The geese and swans came right up to us trying to steal food, but didn’t succeed.

Then another walk to Waitrose to get some lunch; prices in the cafĂ© were extortionate – they wanted £13.50 for a portion of fish and chips and the queue was huge and the organisation was confusing. At Waitrose I spent just under the same price and got lunch for two of us including salads, fruit, drinks and a sausage roll! Walked back to the park and sat on the opposite side of the Serpentine to eat. Callum sat by the lake again and watched the ducks. He looked rather lonely and I had to explain to Dennis that he wasn’t; he likes his own company and he LOVES water, so sitting by the lake watching the ducks was probably his idea of heaven.

Another walk and Terri and Callum rented a pedalo to go off into the lake, while Dennis and I had a chat. Wanted to get photo, but camera was playing up and by the time I got it sorted they were way out into the distance.

Then off to an exhibition and a sit down by Princess Diana’s Memorial Fountain. Terri had a paddle, but Callum didn’t want to take his socks and shoes off, so he just walked around with her - was nice to see them off having a chat together.

Didn’t realise that it was 5.40pm by this point and thought it was best to get on home. Caught a tube back to St Pancras which, amazingly, Callum didn’t bat an eyelid at, although he did walk down some steps rather than use the escalator which was a bit of a long one. Got the 6.55pm train back home and popped to kebab shop for Callum’s tea as it was now 7.10pm. Collapsed on sofa with a cuppa, both exhausted, but after having a brilliant day (I had blisters from all the walking); Callum said he’d had a fab time and didn’t even mind all the walking – result! Terri continued to Rainham to meet up with her dad as they were heading off to Devon!!

Well that's Part One done. Better get on with Part 2.