Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It has been a strange summer. It has whipped by so quickly with IMO not much sun. As I type the sky has that overcast white/grey look that tells me winter is on it's way. I don't mind really. I actually like all the seasons but struggle with the adjustments. I must however get outdoors as much as possible in whatever season as it really lifts my mood. I think sometimes one can sit inside thinking it is gloomy but when you step out it is brighter than you first thought!

I am back-tracking with my calendar to pencil in events we have done! I am still not in the habit of blogging enough of what we do but I forget to write it down. I am too tired in the evening and should be in a habit of doing it over my cup of tea first thing....
Anyway, the girls attended the YHA holiday and had a fab time, climbing, kayaking, doing high ropes, team challenges etc. They actually could have gone away this week to another one but they both seem a bit under the weather from exhaustion and as they are doing 4 hours this week (an hour a day) of swim camp (stroke technique, diving, life saving) I suggested we had enough on! Well they do anyway.

While the girls were away, M, J and I went to the science and industry museum and had fun going on the steam train there. We bumped into another home-edder in the experiment kids area which was nice. We treated ourselves in the cafe to tea and cake. We tried to explore the underground (false) sewer but it really was very creepy. They have noises playing of horse hooves and scarey looking life size dummies stood near coffins and stuff. There was no-one else in that (underground) bit so we headed in and back out very quickly. I pretended not to be bothered but admitted to M and J when we came out how it had scared me too lol!

A couple of days later we went to the art gallery to see the Lauren child exhibition but it had been invaded by toddlers so we couldn't really get to much of it. I plan on going back next week when the schools go back as the exhibition finishes shortly after. We also want to go back to the Manga exhibition at Urbis. So much to do.....

We have been attending free squash sessions at a local leisure centre a couple of times a week over the summer. J has got to the point where he will join in too. The coaches are really young - about 17 and very nice with the children. I even got to join in which was a bit embarrassing when the kids I were with were almost semi professional rofl.

A has done another session of radio training and the next live broadcast will be in October now.

I had my 6 monthly work focused interview the other day. For a change the woman was lovely but she is leaving to do teacher training and thinks you can learn everything through drama. I liked her so much I rang back a couple of days later and took her contact details for our home-ed drama group. She was also a single parent and said if we need any advice on anything to ask her! My next step is to book an appointment for myself and another home-ed single mum to see our mp Beverley Hughes.

I have my niece here this week. It is so lovely to have her. We have some fab photos of her which I will blog when she gets home and e-mails them to me. She has had a busy week with lots of shopping trips. Today we are having a hoe-down/barbecue complete with line-dancing - the girls' idea lol.

Today we went to an organic grocery and went up on the roof. It was fantastic as they have a green roof with plants growing in the gravel. The best bit was the big pond they have built. All funded so they can attract the black redstart which thrives on brown field sites. Here is a lovely shot of one (not taken by me but from google!).

and some pics from the roof:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I am avoiding something I want to do be doing by blogging rofl. Actually for a VERY rare couple of hours I am ALONE in the house! I have had a bath, next a brew then I WILL do the exercise dvd I am putting off. I want to get my heart pumping as I can feel myself getting sedentary. Yoga has finished this month and weeding on my knees doesn't get me breathless so I am trying to do a dance workout of the girls lol.

Last week A, D and M took part in the Lowry summer school that was based on musicals. They were there every day 10-5pm and where absolutely exhausted by the end of the week. They had a fab time again and J and I watched the end of week show.

A and D had Saturday to recover and then on Sunday they went off to Leicestershire for a youth hostel activity holiday. I have heard bits from them as they cal me and tell me about zip wires, high ropes, sharing bunk barns with 15 girls! There has been a bit of trouble from one girl (who when found out they don't go to school) was saying that Aimee's parents shouldn't raise her like that blah blah. I think she is coping though. I will find out tomorrow as I collect them both at 3.

I have been doing some harvesting at the allotment. My carrots were beautiful but unfortunately the carrot root flies also thought so, damn them. Here is a photo of bits.

I still have sweetcorn, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, more beans, chard, spinach, lettuce to harvest from. I am soon putting in some winter crops of cabbage, kale and corn salad. All my beds are not in use. I have 11 so far of varying sizes and plan to have at least 16 done by winter. I will then cover them and maybe throw some manure on some if I can get round to it. I do enjoy weeding though. But only the kind where I am on my knees weeding a bed. Not the hack it all back in a field type. It is good therapy which let's be honest we all need!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I have returned and just about recovered from camping. Fun was had by all and we had only a tiny drop of rain the whole 5 days. So much sun we look like we have been abroad for 2 weeks. I can't remember the last time I had a tan but then when you spend summer at home it is easier to keep out of the sun. Not that you have that problem in Manchester where it is currently raining!!!

Some camp photos:

taking down the tent

some beach shots:

and tree girl:

This week my 3 eldest did 4 hours of cycle training with Bike Right and completed levels 1 and A and D also level 2 of Bikeability which is the old cycling proficiency. A and D now cycle to their friends but I prefer not to watch them on the busier roads lol!

Well I have updated for now. I will try and take some allotment photos for my next post. I am still slooooowly building beds. Hope I get them done for winter lol.