Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Hi all

Had a busy day today which didn't start great as both Callum and I woke up already tired! Don't know why, but there you are.

Anyway, after a couple of cups of tea this morning, we did some cooking; butternut squash, apple and chilli soup with a butternut squash, black olive and cheese bread! Have decided that any veggie food Callum wants to have with me, we can cook together, so today was our first combined cooking effort. Thanks to our Pampered Chef chopper, Callum was able to easily chop up the olives and fresh rosemary and with the help of his kid friendly knife he tackled the apples. He also did a great job of mixing up the bread mixture. It wasn't technically a proper bread as it was made with self raising flour, but it turned out beautiful and smelled gorgeous when it came out of the oven. The dried chilli flakes came out of the jar in a bit of a rush, so we think the soup might be a bit on the hot side. More later. Should have taken photos, but forgot as we were in a hurry. Will try and post future cooking adventures.

Then brunch of dippy eggs and toast for him and left over savoury millet for me before walking to trampolining lesson where he threw himself around like a good 'un. Practiced lots of combi moves and learnt a new routine.

No time to stop as it was straight off to Rochester Guildhall Museum for a home ed workshop on the River Medway organised by the lovely Debs. Jeremy, the 'teacher', was fab as usual and had plenty of items for the kids to look at and get a feel off, so very interactive. AND!!!! Callum answered a question! Yes, he actually put up his hand and answered. He often knows the answers, but is too shy to put up his hand let alone answer. Was quite odd actually as I was talking to Lorraine and heard this voice next to me, but it didn't register for a couple of seconds that it was him. It was definitely a 'can't be; yes it is' moment. Got given a copy of the book that the museum has printed and Callum has already decided that it's the next one he'll read after Sir Gadabout.

Link above for a downloadable copy.

Back home and we had a much needed cup of tea, before reheating the soup and having that with the bread for tea. Actually, although rather spicy, it was really good and Callum loved it, so he's definitely a spice lover!

Then he was back onto Roblox and I monged in front of telly. He's now in his room with a ham sandwich and green olives watching cartoons.

Quiet day tomorrow!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hi all

Spent the weekend pottering about.

Callum and I managed to get 4 trees planted (2 beechnut, a cherry and an acer) plus level off a load of soil and planted bulbs in the darkish, not really much use for anything else, corner of the garden. Am hoping they will all come up; daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops. We also had a tidy up as we'd left tools out, buckets, black sacks, pots and general other gubbings lying about. Callum loved that bit as he got to spend a lot of time using the wheelbarrow to move things around.

He spent time on Roblox again!! Has had over 1,000 visitors to his game and he's well chuffed.

Sunday we did the usual trip to the farm shop, which weirdly Callum looks forward to. Think the black cat they have is a bit of a draw as it's very friendly. Plus they have geese, goats and horses there. Noticed that they will soon be getting their Christmas trees in, so will be down to get one of those as soon as they come in. It's Callum's job to choose the tree.

Today, popped up market to get some winter plants for the courtyard to bring in a bit of colour. Promptly ended up digging up some bulbs in the pot that the cyclamen was supposed to be going into. Typical, always forget I've planted some in there. So, planted the plants and popped the bulbs back in around them. (Note: not the bulbs we planted yesterday).

Then this afternoon we went off to the cinema. The Adventures of Tin Tin. Been promising I'd take him ever since we saw the advert for it months ago. He started reading Tin Tin after he'd finished the Asterix books and rather liked them, so thought the film would be good to see. Wasn't entirely sure if I'd enjoy it, but actually it was brilliant. We both loved it and Callum laughed a lot!!! It was very well done, had lots of action and was often very funny. Didn't feel like we'd been in there for as long as we had, so all good stuff.

Was pretty foggy when we left the cinema and it was very foggy this morning when we got up, so we ended the day as it started.

Busy day tomorrow; trampolining and a home ed workshop.


Friday, 18 November 2011


Hi all,

Haven't done daily blogs this week as we've been a bit same old, same old.

Monday was our dog's, Draco, 10th birthday and Callum wanted to stay at home and treat the dog. We did go up to the market and bought a massive new dog bed. Looks like a huge duvet with bones on it. Didn't realise it was so big until we got it home; it takes up almost half the space we have on the floor, but then our rooms aren't that big. Draco, however, loved it. Sprawled himself across it and didn't move for pretty much the rest of the day, even going upstairs at bedtime with the boys, sniffing his old bed and coming straight back downstairs to sleep all night on the new one. Think that was a good choice then. Added to the bed he had the usual dog biscuits and a pig's ear.

Tuesday we went off to Splashes with Lorraine and Amy. Met up with my daughter Terri and another home edder, Dawn, and her boy, Stewart. Kids had fab time in pool, but because there were lessons going on the wave machine only went on once. Us girls had great time drinking cuppas and having a chat...and a very funny chat it was too. Snigger! They'll know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, I had osteopath and spent the rest of the time pottering about the house doing housework and getting Callum to write out his Xmas card list. Also syphoned off apple wine, set up the damson vodka and made some gf flapjacks. Have decided to write out a month of menus for me, so I can instantly see what I need to prep and buy. Turning veggie has been fab, but if I'm not careful it will get very repetitive due to time and indecision, so a menu will make it easier.

Thursday, Carol and Lauren popped round after trampolining which was lovely. More tea, more talk and the kids spent their time on the computer.

And today was ice skating. Dawn's (different Dawn) twins had their birthday party there too, so it was a mixture of normal meet and a little party. Callum was thrilled with his party bag, even though he didn't want to join in the pass the parcel game. So thank you Dawn and thanks to Lorraine again for being taxi. That's twice this week!

As to Callum; what's he been doing I hear you ask. Well, he's been busy designing and tweaking games on Roblox for most of the week, although he has stopped to write out some cards, help me in the kitchen and do some maths. He was dead chuffed yesterday as his game managed to get onto the top of the 2nd page of most played games and he's had over 1000 visits. One very happy little man and when one person complained about it being a bit basic, he replied very politely, putting across a very valid point and, as the person hasn't responded, I think he shut him up. I did give him some praise for that as he didn't lose his temper or get upset.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, will be in the garden doing some more digging and planting some trees and bulbs. I'll get him helping with that which will, hopefully, drag him away from the computer for a bit. But then he doesn't mind helping out in the garden anyway.


Friday, 11 November 2011


Hi all, how are we all. I'm a lot better today, thank goodness! Phew!

Had a bit of trouble getting Callum out of bed this morning, which panicked me a bit as I was hoping he hadn't gone down with anything, but no, he was just feeling a bit lazy.

Off to a friend's today for a bit of a chat and a play. Managed to whip together some cornflake and chocolate cakes decorated with hundreds and thousands last night, so took them along for the kids to eat. Decided to try the bus route today as it takes us closer to her house and it was a lot more straightforward, but traffic was awful this morning, so took longer than we had hoped, but got there eventually.

Had lovely afternoon. Kids played well and there is always a lot of really cool and unusual things around that I end up by going "ooooo that looks good" over.

Several cuppas and a good chat later we popped into Tescos to pick up some basics chocolate to replenish the cooking cupboard and picked up a couple of other bits at the same time. Then home by bus, which was a lot quicker on the way home. Thank you Liz for lovely afternoon.

Callum just managed to make another cuppa when we got in while I sorted out the mincemeat before dad got in and he went off to help walk the dog. Draco has been acting up the past few days by not getting out of the car, so today was an experiment. Low and behold, because Callum was there, he jumped out and went for a good run around - I think Callum is going to have to go out with him from now on; silly dog.

Then back on the computer he went to tweak a game he is making on Roblox and is now on his DS watching telly with dad.

Don't know what he's up to tomorrow as I'm out with friends, but hoping to go to a memorial service at the local memorial monument on Sunday morning.

So that's it, another week over, has gone particularly quick this week, but not sure why and another weekend looms.

Have a good one folks.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Well, not a lot to say today except yuck!!!

Woke this morning at 7am with headache and feeling incredibly sick and dizzy, so went back to bed in hope I'd feel better. Woke again at 9.30 feeling like I'd done 10 rounds in a boxing ring, so cup of tea, cold flannel and back to bed. Callum was fabulous and stayed upstairs playing on his DS to keep me company.

I woke up at 11.30am, still feeling incredibly sick and heady. So a little something to eat, tablets and more tea and stayed laying in dark room.

Finally started to feel more human about 2pm, although neck still hurt and still feel dizzy. Managed to make the mincemeat with Callum weighing everything out, chopping what was needed and mixing it all up, while I just sat and read out instructions. The smell of dried fruit and citrus was definitely uplifting.

Callum has been basically been on computer or making me cuppas, bless him, while I attempt to walk about doing a bit of work without falling over. Hope I'm ok tomorrow. Just a migraine I know, but I hate them. Come from nowhere and nearly always take 24hrs to recover from.



Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Good evening all you lovely people. How are we all? We are having a fab week this week, although I do feel a bit guilty saying that as I'm sure half of it is because we've taken the pressure off of education for doing other stuff instead.

This morning we had a lovely natter about dreams, trouble sleeping and some solutions. Then off to the kitchen to make pancakes. Whilst leaving the batter to settle, the washing got sorted out and then back in the kitchen for a cookery lesson. Didn't have any plain flour, so used self raising so the pancakes where more spongy (bit like a scotch pancake), but they were still scrummy. Callum had the traditional lemon juice and sugar and I had cherry plum jam and yogurt!

Whilst eating, we had another chat about different uses of pancakes and how if you add water instead of milk, you can a tortilla wrap type flatbread.

Then back into the kitchen to sort out the baking bit of the larder and to check off all the ingredients we needed to buy for making mincemeat. So lots of weighing and ticking off and list writing. Then off to have haircuts and some shopping on the way home.

We cancelled our last appointment due to lack of cash, so both our hair was a little longer than it usually is, hence our heads feeling a lot lighter afterwards.

Popped into Cats Protection League shop afterwards and found a noughts and crosses wooden game for 50p and a green jumper for me for £1.75. Then Aldi for a good nose round and some shopping including the ingredients for tomorrow.

Back home around about 2.30pm, where we had a cup of instant Chai Tea (found in Aldi) and Callum back to computer. Me back in kitchen to make sweet potato and lentil curry and a chestnut stuffed cabbage for some dinners for me.

He is now doing some word puzzles and playing noughts and crosses and I'm on here catching up.

So, all in all, a good day!

Hope yours was as good.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Hi all

Been a quiet couple of days to be honest. Were supposed to be going to a home ed meet in Maidstone on Monday, but both myself and Callum woke up a bit snuffly and didn't feel like going out. Instead we decided to plan Christmas. Callum helps me with the cooking preparations and we got down our box of presents and cards to see what we needed to get. I tend to buy bits and pieces throughout the year if something grabs me and its in a sale and they all go into a big box for birthday and Christmas presents.

We discovered that we didn't need any cards as we'd got them all in the January sales, so Callum has decided to try and write out a card a day as he hates doing them. He needs to make a list first though, so we'll do that by the end of the week.

We finished packing and cataloging the Halloween stuff and that went upstairs to the attic.

We then did pop up the town as its Draco's (our black labrador) birthday next Monday and the pet market stall is on Mondays. We bought a couple of treats and looked at a new bed for him as his is getting a bit tatty and flat!

Today we cleared out the under stairs cupboard. It is supposed to be the overflow kitchen cupboard with all the seasonal/birthday crockery, trays, etc, but it does tend to get used as a dumping cupboard. So, it was pull everything out, clear out the rubbish, tidy up the posters and papers and repack the boxes. Took off and on most of the day, but we now have lots of room and everything is pretty easy to get at. Callum got easily distracted by the posters and the art stuff and all the bits and pieces, which probably accounted for most of the time, but it got done!

Then off to trampolining where he was definitely put through his paces for 1/2 hr. He worked extremely hard and has nearly nailed another thing off his list which he's really pleased about. Oh, on the subject of achieving things, we heard yesterday that he has passed his Bronze Arts Award! Yay! I have written about this during previous posts and although relatively easy, making sure it was written up how they wanted it and covering everything they asked was pretty hard, plus doing or attending workshops is a big issue for Callum, so the fact that he managed it at all means I'm really pleased for him.

Whilst out we popped to the library to see if they had the next book from the one he has just finished, but sadly they didn't. Then off to charity shop to drop off some bits found in the cupboard and, of course, we couldn't resist having a look round. I managed to pick up a skirt and a jacket that came to the grand total of £3 and Callum took a liking to a Christmas mug for 20p! Then card shop for birthday cards and paper, then home, we also have his Uncle's birthday and a friend's daughter's birthday this weekend.

Since then, he's been back on his game, but he is now doing some maths and some word puzzles while I'm on here. Going to start limiting his time on computer otherwise he is and has been on it all day!

So that's it; busy, but at home and its been rather enjoyable. Tomorrow we need to check ingredients for mincemeat as want to make that on Thursday. He loves making the mincemeat as its really easy and a case of chucking everything into a big pan. Then, of course, we get the first smell of Christmas with all the dried fruit, spices and a touch of Brandy.....yum!


Monday, 7 November 2011


Hi all

No we are not dead, we have not moved or been abducted by aliens, we’ve just been busy! Well, I’ve been very busy and Callum has just been busy! And we have had a temporary addition to the family in the shape of my daughter’s Chihuahua/Jack Russell cross Merlin. Sweet little dog, very bouncy and likes lots of love and attention..aaah!

So apologises in advance for this being so long!

Last week of October is always busy for me, even with Callum’s help as we have a Halloween party to organise. I adore Halloween; it’s my favourite festival of the year. I love the excuse to dress up and be silly and to do crazy stuff with food and games. I’ve been doing kids parties since my daughter, now 23, was 8 and they have got more elaborate as the years have gone past. I’m actually glad I have limited money as I’d be one of those that would go completely over the top.

So, what does Callum think of it all. Well, he thinks it’s a lot of fun too and as he’s got older he enjoys the ‘over the topness’ of it all. He’s been a great helper this year too as he’s come up with his own ideas and helped to develop the games and helped with the decoration of the house.

This year, we did a Macbeth themed party (well it does have murder, ghosts and witches in it, so why not?). We decorated the front room with a hanging witch, a cauldron with prizes in, silhouettes of trees and the tree shields that would be used for a later game. We also had a sound activated black cat and broomstick.

The dining room was the medieval mansion with spider webbing, rats and insects plus a ghost to represent Banquo. The table was laid out in black and silver with mice, spiders and bugs on.

Food was medieval themed with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, chicken legs, cold meat, bread and cheese with dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit and (un-medieval) cupcakes.

Games were played in an order to represent a slightly shorter version of the story and included:
Meeting the Witches – items in jars of birdseed, shake to reveal items and tick off list.
Pass the Crown – Card crown with bag attached. Pass round and pick out parcels in order when music stops. Whoever is King Duncan will wear the crown first.
Murder of King Duncan – Chocolate shaped heart filled with chopped red jelly. Throw a skull on the dice, put on knight’s gloves, helmet, and colours and eat with knife and fork.
Murder of Banquo – Silhouette of Banquo with heart. Blindfold and use dagger to stab nearest.
Witches Spell – ‘Cauldron’ (covered with black bags) of cooked spaghetti containing various spell ingredients. Dive in and pick out stuff. Food stuffs and other items to represent the ingredients.
Moving Trees - Hold cut out tree shields and daggers. Move around and when music stops stand as still as possible. To make it a little harder the moving broomstick was set off and they had to avoid that too.
Bobbing for Apples - Containing a cut out head of Macbeth apple. As many apples in 30 seconds avoiding the ‘head’

The party went well and there was a least one “yuck” moment when Amy was the first to cut into the chocolate heart to discover the red jelly oozing out. Face was a picture, bless her.

It was nice to see that the kids had done a bit of research too so that they knew the story and where the games were heading, in fact they got quite argumentative as to who should be wearing the crown and who was dead and who wasn’t.

We had a nice steady stream of ‘trick or treaters’ at the door from about 5pm till about 7.30pm and all the cakes went and we were left dishing out sweets.

The next few days were spent deconstructing the house back to normal and then trying to relax in between going out and about. Tuesday my friend Linda popped round with her daughter Danielle; which was nice as I haven’t seen her for ages and it was lovely to have someone to talk to whilst I packed everything away in boxes.

Wednesday was Mad Science in Sittingbourne with home ed group. Thanks to Lorraine and Amy for driving us there. Acids and Alkalines this time. Callum didn’t go down and try it all out as 1) he was wary and 2) we’d already down this at home, he still enjoyed it though.

Friday was Ice Skating; again with Lorraine and Amy, Callum didn’t ice skate, but sat reading his book and then having a quick game on his DS with one of the other boys. I wonder if it’s worth us going, but he does enjoy it and I think it’s good to get him out in a group, even if he doesn’t join in, to get used to the noise and the people. He does like going as I asked him, so we shall continue, one day he may actually go off and skate.

Saturday was Riverside Country Park for Scarecrow making. We took along some old clothes and used other bits and pieces to make a face and hair and then stuffed it all with straw. We decided to take it home and sew it all together as using the string and/or staples didn’t seem to be working that well. Cappuccino and hot chocolate in cafĂ© afterwards while we waited for dad to pick us up. Callum has named the scarecrow George. Just need a couple of broom handles now and he can go in the garden next Spring to protect our crops.

Then up to the Great Lines in the evening for the Firework display. We had to take Merlin the dog as our dog was freaking out and Merlin was being a bit of a pest with him. Luckily he wasn’t bothered at all by the noise and ended up falling asleep inside my jacket at one point!

Yesterday, Terri returned from America so we looked at all her photos, got given lots of pressies and then she and Merlin and all her bags went off home.

It’s been very quiet here today.