Monday, 26 March 2012


Hi all

Hope you all had a fab weekend. We had an interesting one. Saw a poster on a bus and checked the web address for a Safety Community Day at our local fire station for Saturday. So off we went by bus and then a little walk to the fire station only to discover that it wasn't on this weekend, but next weekend. Grrrr! Made sure that they were aware that their website and poster was wrong before we left. Should have asked for a quick nose around as we were there; the fireman we spoke to was very embarrassed, but I wasn't really quick enough on the ball, so hey ho.

Decided to have a nose around the camping shop and look at tents. We have one, but after managing to put it up I've realised that we could do with something a little better and the shop had a sale on. Well, no money to spent, so it was just a look unfortunately. Couldn't decide what to do after that so, as it was a lovely sunny day, we decided to walk home. It was all downhill so wasn't going to cause my knee much of a problem and Callum really enjoyed it. Popped into Aldi on the way to pick up a few bits.

So, not exactly a successful day, but still enjoyable.

Sunday was very lazy and Callum spent most of the day on the computer.

As to today, well, after having his dad, Phil, off all of last week, we actually just wanted to enjoy having the house back to ourselves, so we had a pottering day. He flipped between computer and his bedroom and I finally managed to sort out the computer table, my finances (eeek) and stuff that needed to be dealt with. Also sorted out washing and made a start of getting house back to normal.

So, not really much done. Off out all day tomorrow and then Phil off again for 3 days. Both of us are really looking forward to next Monday when things can get back to normal, we can finally find everything and unpack it again and get on with some proper work.


PS The dining room does look nice though, although still stinks of paint. ;-)

Thursday, 22 March 2012



As you may have noticed we decided to leave the safety of Gillingham today and venture into Chatham shopping centre. Hmmmm, not our most favourite of places. Not because of the shops but because its normally full of people, most of whom have screaming children that they continuous ignore while talking to their mates about their latest weekend exploits. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like. Sorry Chatham.

So up and out as soon as we were able to get on the bus using Callum's free pass and into the Pentagon we ventured. First stop Game. We have a reward card and a trade in card with them and as we now know that they are going bust we thought we'd see what we actually had to spend and spend it. We had approx £24 to spend which doesn't sound like a lot until you know that Callum isn't into all the latest stuff and is quite happy with his Playstation 2, Wii and DSi. He's also very particular about the games he wants to play. So after wandering around the shop for ages (most stuff was either gone or on sale) we managed to get two Playstation 2 games (buy one get one free) which cost us the grand total £3 and a Wii game for Father's Day for £13. So £16 spent which left us with £8 still to spend. Nothing in Chatham, so a visit to Hempstead is due as they have a better selection of DS games apparently (according to Callum).

Then Waterstones; found a £5 gift voucher for there that he had been given at Christmas which we hadn't got round to spending. So one Asterix book later and that was spent. Callum definitely wants to go back to Waterstones as they had most of the Asterix books and a large selection of TinTin too.

Then the dreaded Primark! Don't go there often, but it is brilliant for basic stuff which is exactly what we were after. New socks for Callum + a selection of plain T-shirts for him (I've cut up his favourites from last year and intend to sew the logos onto the plain new ones). Also found a red stripy T-shirt and a black one with a red Union Jack on which he liked. Then it was just socks and new pj bottoms for me and we were done.

Decided to go for a coffee and cookie in Subway before catching bus home.

After lunch I got round to marking yesterday's work and today's. He did pretty well in his progress test in maths, getting 28.5 out of 33. Most of the things he got wrong were very simple little mistakes and he knew exactly what he'd done wrong.

Then Merlin the dog arrived for the weekend. Terri and her dad are going off to Cornwall for a family wedding, so we are looking after Merlin until Sunday.

Callum went back on to the computer once dad had finished painted the ceiling, so that was the rest of his day sorted.

And I still haven't sorted out the photos of the colour wheels they did yesterday. Ooops.

Anyway, cya

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Hi all

Funny day today, for me anyway with regard to Callum. Started off as normal, doing the dailies including a progress test on maths. Still haven't marked it - bad me!

Then, as I was going out, I handed responsibility over to my daughter, Terri. She was going to do art with Callum and his friend Amy while Amy's mum and myself went out. Was a bit weird knowing he was doing something educational without me, but knew it would be fun.

They did colour wheels, primary and secondary colours and shading plus a painting of their own. Apparently they had great fun and enjoyed themselves, as did Terri and their work was lovely. Maybe I should get her doing Art on a regular basis with a few kids, hehe.

They spent a little time in the garden too getting some fresh air and some time on the computer during lunch break. I'm assuming that Callum was helping Amy with Roblox as I know there was something that she wanted him to show her on there.

Once we got home, it was cuppa and chat in the garden and then Callum was back on the computer after Amy left to do whatever he was doing on there. Was either Generals or Roblox, but think it was Roblox today (was when I looked in anyway).

So an odd day for me, but highly enjoyable for all concerned.

Will post some photos tomorrow of the art stuff as I haven't got round to taking piccies yet. I am being very lackadaisical today.

So there you have it. Short and sweet for a change. Cya

Tuesday, 20 March 2012



Not really much to write today. Phil is off all week replastering a couple of walls and putting up coving in the dining room. Not that that should matter I hear you say, but our dining room is also our classroom and a through room to the kitchen, so having it, how shall we say, full of buckets of plaster and water, tools and mess is proving a bit of a problem. Oh well, it will be done soon.

So what have we done today? Well we had an unexpected visit this morning from Sean, Laure and their son Victor. Callum was ok with introductions but then went all shy and disappeared leaving poor Victor with us, sorry Victor and Sean and Laure. He'll be better next time I'm sure.

Then it was off to trampolining. After some practice bounces and seat drops and front drops and back drops to front drops, etc, it was back to somersaults! He is really trying hard and has now managed to get regularly over into the perfect position for landing, but not quite nailing the landing on the feet, but still an improvement from last time when he kept landing backwards. He's just got to time the straightening of the legs and he'll have nailed it. Nothing Kim can do, Callum just needs to keep practising. He got so frustrated with himself, but once again didn't lose it so well done mate!

Once home it was a quick cuppa in the garden and then off to B&Q for paint. Pointed out to staff that their wonderful Kids DIY classes were all very well, but what was the point of getting the kids interested at a young age and then leaving them in the lurch from age 11 until 18. Actually the guy agreed with me and said he'd said the same, but the company had decided against running interim classes, so he's taken it upon himself to cater to 13, so anyone with older kids might like to ask their local B&Q the same question. It isn't just B&Q either, lots of places are the same. Our local country parks run events till 12yrs, then nothing and our local theatres seem to have show aimed at 11/12 years and then nothing. Seems totally pointless to me as its the 13-18 year olds that need things to do. Oh well, sorry went off on a rant there.

Visited the garden section, which I should not have done, and came out with Lupins, a Eucalyptus and a new Rosemary plant as mine has pretty much had it now...oops! Back home and Callum disappeared upstairs and then has just had an hour on Roblox. Hopefully tomorrow may be more productive.


Monday, 19 March 2012


Hi all

Just a quick update of things from over the weekend.

Was supposed to be going swimming on Friday (we normally alternate between swimming and ice skating on a Friday), but Callum wasn't feeling too brilliant. Complained he felt tired and headachey. There seems to be a few bugs going round at the moment that can range from sickness, headaches to being laid up completely. Was hoping he wasn't going down with whatever I have which (although I'm ok) has left me very tired for most of the week. Anyway, gave him a dose of Calpol and asked him what he wanted to do. Said no to swimming, but would go ice skating if the option arose. It did, so off we went. Callum doesn't mind ice skating as he just sits with us adults and plays on his DS and then sits with the kids during lunch.

Dailies were done that afternoon and then he immersed himself in Command and Conquer, Generals for the early part of the evening.

Saturday was a lazy day although Terri spent the afternoon with us as she was classing Saturday as mother's day as I was out on the Sunday.

Sunday we went off to the Brook Theatre in Chatham with Linda and Danielle to see Kids Caberet of Curiosities. Very funny man called Danny who did a turn with balloons. Had to be there to get it, but it was a very simple act, but highly hilarious. Also a acrobatic juggler. Show was shorter than I was expecting, but still had a great time.

So, today. Had hospital appointment this morning. Got signed off from the paediatrician again and got pointed in the right direction for any further help we might need. Happily she did not mention Callum returning to school this time. First time ever. My rather stroppy letter after last visit must have worked.

Callum is now 5ft 4.5inches and is officially taller than a few of my friends. The fact that the nurse said he could continue to grow until he's 18 and he's only 12 at the moment is slightly worrying, hehe. He's only got another 1.5inches and he'll be as tall as me! Aaaargh!

This afternoon was sorting through the dailies and he's getting the idea of maths word problems and simple algebra pretty well. And his spelling in literacy is starting to come together, so all good.

Anyway, update done so cya later

Thursday, 15 March 2012



Today was spent at home. I know, shocking isn't it? First day this week where we were at home and well enough to actually do some work proper. Well, I say proper, but basically it was having lots of fun.

We started slowly again. Both myself and Callum aren't really 100% this week and mornings seem to be very slow. Then it was a quick discuss of what we wanted to do and and overview of what he already knew about colour and light. Then work began in earnest by....eating chocolate! Yes, I did say eating chocolate. I know we could have just unwrapped them to get to the coloured cellophane, but where's the fun in that and it was 11am by this point, so accompanying a cup of tea it counted as elevensies.

After our small choc fest we gathered up the wrappers and brought together our stock of 6, yes 6, torches (2 wind up and 4 battery) only to discover that the 2 large battery ones had no batteries, 1 of the small battery operated one's bulb had gone and the 2 wind up ones weren't holding their charge very well. This left us will 1 battery operated torch that we could realistically use for our colour and light experiment.

We did 2 experiments in all using the cellophane and torch. One to show primary and secondary colours and one to show how different colours put together make white light.

Surprisingly the above 'white' light is made from putting blue, red and green cellophane together over the torchlight.

Just to prove that it wasn't a fluke, this one was red and yellow cellophane making a definite orange colour.

Next we put 4 strips of kitchen towel and dotted with different coloured felt tipped pens and immersed the ends into a small amount of water. The idea was that the water would bleed up through the dots and carry the ink upwards. Some colours would, hopefully, show up as the different colours that they were made from. However, we did red, blue, yellow (primary, so should have remained the same) and a green (which should have shown up as yellow and blue) and none of them separated. Might have to try another colour or different types of pen.

After finishing up and printing off some results for our science book we had a late lunch in the garden as it was so lovely outside and then potted up our experimental garlic. We are using cloves of garlic that have sprouted green shoots that we use for cooking and seeing if they will develop into proper bulbs.

Then maths and literacy and the 'school' day was done.

We've had a great time today basically playing about and having a laugh, but then I think that's how education should work. We're going to take the whole colour/light thing a bit further next time and try to look at rainbows. I also want to use it as a starting block for looking at art using blocks of colour.

Anyway, that's today done, cya tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012



Had a lovely, pleasant, ploddy day today. The sun was shining, although still chilly and we had a bit of a lazy start, then off up town to do a bit of shopping.

Firstly we went in search of some Borax; first port of call was, of course, Boots. Unfortunately Boots in Gillingham doesn't stock it anymore, although we were informed we may be able to get it in the larger stores. So we left with liquid paracetamol and Vit C tablets instead (we all have colds). We then scoured Savers (came out with large box of Bic of Soda), Wilkinsons (box of Quality Street) and Superdrug (nothing at all), all to no avail.

Why are we after Borax? Well we have some science experiments we want to do and we need Borax. One of the experiments involves growing crystals and one results in a bouncy ball, so the search will continue as I don't really want to have to buy it online. Oh well, we did manage to find the big box of bicarbonate of soda (£1.19 for 500g) which is always handy for volcanos and anything requiring a fizz and the Quality Street, which is actually for the coloured cellophane wrappers as we are going to do a project on light and colour (the chocolates are just a bonus, honest!).

Then off to a friend's house for general chat and a cuppa. We managed to leave there with a complete DS + games and a big pack of white A4 paper. We offered money for the DS, Callum even saying he would give her his £10 that he had in his wallet, but she wouldn't take it. So a humongous thank you to Kim!!!!

Next was the hairdressers for a trim. Callum had his hair washed for the first time at a hairdressers and I think he quite liked it, then next door to the 2nd hand shop to see what goodies we could pick up. Left there with another book on tanks for Callum and a PS1 game as well, both for 75p!!

A nice walk home, followed by a cuppa and a sort out of our wares.

All in all a lovely day with lots of goodies.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012



Today we ventured out to a new home ed group. I say new, it has been going for a while, but we haven't managed to make it there until today.

So up reasonable time, woke Callum at 8am with a cuppa (makes a change for it to be that way round) and said he needed to be up in an hour if he still wanted to go, which he did. After the usual have you washed your face, cleaned your teeth, found your shoes, got a drink, got your ear defenders, got DS, etc we left about 10mins to 10am to catch the train to Faversham. Never been to group before, but knew it was near to the swimming pool so followed the signs. Was just about to nip down the alleyway that took us to pool and I spotted a postman; who else should you ask when your not sure where you're going. After clarifying exactly where I wanted to go he told me the quickest route was straight down the alley and keep going and it was (right opposite to be exact), thank you Mr Postie. Took us about 5mins, brilliant. Do like places that are easy to get to under our own steam.

The Youth Club that the group is held in is lovely and there was use of an art room, a games room, computer room, music room, dance room and hall as well as the kitchen and seating areas. Lovely group; some parents I already knew and some I didn't, but all lovely. Callum didn't want to go off and do anything, so sat with his DS as usual even though he knew some of the kids there. Then, about an hour before we were due to leave he disappeared! Found out he was in the main hall playing basketball with a girl his age and once they'd finished he disappeared into the computer room to play with one of his other friends who'd brought his own game along with him. Yay!!!

We got there about 11am in the morning and didn't leave until after 2pm, but it really didn't feel as if we'd been there that long. When asked whether he wanted to go again, he said he did, so maybe next time he'll go and investigate some of the other stuff available.

Had company on the way home with Liz and her children which made the train journey go so much quicker. Was lovely listening to the kids chatting away to each other while we sat behind, oldest (mine) at 12 and youngest at 4 (I think I'm right??), now how often do you get that with school kids? Love home edding.

Anyway, cya later.

Monday, 12 March 2012



A weekend update! I say weekend, for me it was Saturday only as I woke up on Sunday with sore throat, aching limbs and progressively got worse until I finally succumbed and fell asleep at 3.30pm and didn't wake up until 10.30pm! From then on I was awake every hour or so drinking water and putting cold flannel on head as temp was up. Oh well at least I woke up this morning feeling a lot better even though still have a sore throat.

So, Saturday; I had booked a Family Discovery Walk for all of us down at Riverside in the morning, so off we went plus the dog and had a guided tour looking out for signs of Spring. We were all given lists of things to look out for including birds, tree buds and flowers and given an idial of birds for identification (all available to download from It was a beautiful day and a lovely little group of families, mostly little girls I may add which is slightly annoying as boys would have loved it too as we were searching for adders at one point and having a good look around in the mud and hedges.

Evidence of Spring were found in Ash, Beech, Hawthorn and Oak buds, daffodils, catkins, birds nests and Blackthorn blossom. These were on our lists, but there was a lot more to see. We learned that Blackthorn blossoms before putting out leaf buds and that Hawthorn puts out leaf buds before blossom - Callum's favourite piece of info of the day. And also that a mixture of salt water and fresh water, found in the estuary, is called brackish water. We also saw lots of birds including blackbirds, blue tits, chaffinches, collared doves, long tailed tits, magpies, robins, mallards and wood pigeons.

Riverside's wildlife pond is now back open and we had a wander down to there to see the ducks and spy the fish.

Fish having a feeding frenzy on the midges

Our total walk took us around the large 'dog walking' field, up around Sharp's Green and around Eastcourt Meadow where there were some beautiful trees in blossom.

The Blossom

Anyway, a good morning was had by all including the dog (well until birdscarers went off and he went a bit scaredy cat) and we came home after a good 2 hours of fresh air and exercise.

Sunday, as I've already said was myself being out for the count whilst Phil pottered around in the kitchen and Callum played on his beloved Roblox on the computer.

Today was pretty lazy. I was recovering although feeling a lot better and Callum felt a little poorly. Hoped he wasn't going down with what I had had and so far it appears that he has bounced back. So all set now for the rest of the week.


Friday, 9 March 2012



Yes I have made it a 2nd day but I won't be back until Monday as I tend to go computer free at the weekends.

Today we started off a little slowly shall we say. Maths was a little, eh hum, tedious and literacy was just too much to face. So we spend time YouTubing a tune that Callum had in his head from my favourites playlist and spend the next 5mins singing I Don't Care (by Apocalyptica) at each other. Actually was rather fun, hehe! Nothing like a good "shouty song" (Callum's words) and some jumping around to help sort out some lethargy.

Then off to ice skating with Lorraine and Amy. Callum doesn't actually go on the ice and just sits in the cafe with the rest of us adults on his DS, but surprisingly he really enjoys it. We tend to sit in a corner and he either plays DS games (sometimes one of the other boys will bring his in and they will play together), reads a book or joins in some of the conversations. There's normally chips for lunch and a couple of drinks before we leave about 12.30/1pm ish. Today, Terri (his sister; my daughter, obviously) joined us and we had a rather pleasant few hours.

Then off to Rainham to the tattoo shop! NO, not for him, silly people! I'm after booking another one for next year (my 50th) and wanted to make sure I could get in. Had another reason for going, but that isn't relevant! Was lovely to see the new shop and to see my tattooist who I haven't seen for a few years now.

Back home for a cuppa and Terri and I sorted out some stuff on the computer whilst Callum disappeared upstairs to play with his tanks and watch some telly (Top Gear). As soon as we'd finished, he was back down for Roblox on the computer. He spends hours on there if he can, creating games and getting feedback from others about them. I don't understand it, but he does. Apparently to create games you have to write a script - it's programming to you and me. ;-)

So, no 'real' work done today, but lots of out and about and seeing people. Hey ho, tomorrow is another day and there is always next week.

Thursday, 8 March 2012



Been ages and ages and ages. I can safely say we were hibernating.

So we are now in March and I've basically written off writing up anything that has happened up to now, so am starting afresh.

So far this month we've been catching up with lots of friends that we haven't seen for ages (hibernating you see) and been continuing with his trampolining.

Trampolining has been fab. We've changed coach, again, but it has worked out brilliantly. Callum loves his new coach, guy named Kim, and is getting on really well. He's now able to somersault by himself although he hasn't quite mastered the landing on his feet. He lands on his feet, but either falls backwards or forwards. Bless him, he was getting so frustrated with himself this week, but I was very chuffed with him as he didn't lose it and get cross. He just kept trying even though Kim said he could take a break.

Was extra special as James, his original coach, was in work, so we got to catch up a bit and Callum got to give him a hug.

Apart from that we are planning the garden and what veggies to grow; planning his Open Day in July and continuing with his work. Since Christmas we've concentrated on his maths and literacy and he's now almost back up to date with maths. His literacy is coming on slowly (he still hates writing) and his spelling is improving. His reading on the other hand has skyrocketed. He is now reading 'proper' books as well as his graphic novels and taking himself off to bed and reads for about an hour every night. I can't keep up now, so we need some more trips to the library as buying books all the time is a little expensive, although I did treat him to a series that he really likes at Christmas and his read all three of them at least twice since then!

Am going to try a daily update again with a weekend review on Mondays, so fingers crossed I'm back to blogging.

Anyway, that's it for today. Cya