Doritos Roulette…!

A fun roulette session with Doritos! I love the flavour anyway either spicy or regular 🙂



Day 043 – painting at home…

Home education with the boys at home today, started out with some colouring, painting and workbooks. I love the wet poster-paint effects and the streaks of colour which appear in the partially mixed paint pots – I just wish the glistening and vibrant nature of it would stay – part of the reason why i’m now experimenting with acrylic paint : )

Inside paint pot 24.06.13 Paint splatter 24.06.13 Colour wheel 24.06.13


6 toddlers too many…?

This draft post (now a real ‘post’) has been just sitting in the Dashboard for ages and until now never really made it up the priority life list : )

It’s a really important issue and since the debate in the UK started over a proposed increase to nursery supervision (the number of children that each adult can supervise), there has been a huge backlash from just about every associated group – hardly surprising really.

Here’s the very good article by Zoe Williams from the Guardian which highlights the issues very well. 

So, going from 4 children to 6 is a 50% rise – will this have positive outcomes? What will the level of care or support be which someone can give to 6 toddlers?

How on earth can you take 6 toddlers out at once? This would not be possible, unless it’s just to a very secure area connected to the actual nursery. It would be madness and unsafe, particularly travelling along roads.

It’s worth saying that I have two boys (6 and 4) and when they were 4 and 2 they were a lot more of a handful than they are now. Looking after 6 toddlers which aren’t your own children must be very difficult, but it is certainly not impossible. I would imagine most countries have standards where more than 6 toddlers routinely are placed with a single carer. It can be done, but that is only a very small part of the issue. Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done, or that it is the best interests of the toddlers.

The amount of attention each toddler would receive would be minimal – and that at the most important part of their development as a human, in terms of character, empathy and intelligence. This is when they learn the most basic emotional skills.

One of my main issues with the standard school (or child-care) system is the numbers involved. 30 children to one teacher (and a teaching assistant) at primary school. Maybe 6 toddlers to a ‘carer’ at nursery? This is not going in the right direction. How are we expecting children (young and older) to learn moral, spiritual and intellectual lessons when contact with adults is going down? The level of positive influences would also seem to go down. Attention, love and guidance from caring adults is essential in child development. Obviously interacting with other kids is also vital to child development and each need to be balanced.


The cliché action chase…

The cliché action chase video, from Final Cut King on YouTube.

My boys absolutely loved this one and a really fun channel to subscribe to!


Around and about Bristol Harbourside…

A great trip to Bristol’s Harbourside, to visit the boys Grandma. We walked around the docks areas and had lunch at the very well-situated Arnolfini art gallery, then over to the M-Shed, where there was an exhibition of Bristol’s connections to chocolate, with associations for industry and the slave trade.

Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 30 Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 50 Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 21 Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 10 Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 07 Bristol with Grandma 20.04.13 - 56

Over to Millennium Square for some running around and paddling in the water-feature pools, then back to Grandma’s flat. A gppd day of education for the boys (and adults).


Light sabre blur…

The boys playing with their glowing blue light sabres…


Bonfire Night…!

Always a good excuse to get the fireworks and sparklers out!

A very chilly and clear night – perfect for fireworks!

If I was the apple tree, I would not be impressed!

Double sparkler action!


Stratford Park abstracts…

A great day out at Stratford Park with the boys. Clear and bright with an autumn nip in the air – lots of good direct sunshine with shadows everywhere! The leaves are starting to turn and fall from the trees and my favourite time of the year : )


First fire autumn 2012…

The first day of autumn and also the Autumn Equinox – when the period of night and day are meant to be in exact alignment.

It just so happened that this was the day we got the fire and chimney swept and fixed. The guy took about 30 minutes to sweep the chimney, clean out the stove, replace the back fire brick, fix the turning plates and replace the smoke rope. Bargain.

Claire also applied the stove polish all over it to protect it from rust, while me and the boys got a full stack of firewood in from the end of the garden. So we’re now enjoying toasty wood fires again! : )


Saundersfoot / Tenby: Day 6…

The main target for the day was Monkstone Beach, just to the south of where we were staying in Saundersfoot.

We drove as far as we could but had to park and walk a few hundred meters to the coast with a fairly steep decent to the beach.

What a beach we discovered there. Incredible sand, rock formations, scenery, and virtually deserted. Lots of rock pools to look in and water engineering! I diverted a flow of water running down the beach to the sea around a rock formation and down another channel – next time i’ll take it further along the beach. : )


Saundersfoot / Tenby: Day 5…

Wow – Tenby’s Castle beach at low tide! Awesome sight.

Miles of clean yellow sand against a rocky and urban backdrop. Caves, forts, caste remains, sand dunes and shallow waters.

We descended the steep steps set into the cliff and walked around to Castle Beach from the end of South Beach. Not many people out but the sun was : )

The new Tenby lifeboat station was great to see as was the Grand Designs previous lifeboat station which has been converted into a house, complete with private mooring. I can completely see why the owner decided to do this.


Classic apple pie…

This is a GREAT apple pie recipe…

Really nice balance between the tangy apple flavours and the soft and crispy pastry. Awesome with custard too : )

Ultimate apple pie recipe – Recipes – BBC Good Food

I altered the recipe shown on the BBC site a little bit, from the first time I tried this a month or so ago. The last time I followed the instructions and prepared 1KG of cooking apples, but found this was way too much and would have led to a huge amount of filling compared to pastry.

For the latest pie, I used 800g as I prefer more of a balance between the crispy pastry but 900g would work well too.


Ikea – the home of crazy fabrics…!

Which one to choose? Some very nice fabrics at Ikea and the chips and gravy is the best!


Cornwall camping: day 5…

As starts to the day go, this wasn’t the best!

Packing up all our stuff into a very compact car while it was raining and getting stuck in the mud on the way out of the field – how does that sound? Being pulled out of the mud by a cool tractor was good and the boys loved that bit.

The idea for the last day in Cornwall was to pack up early and drive straight to St. Austell and the Eden Project, for as long as we could get there. After the first shower, it was clear skies and some sunshine which was fine for Eden, which has exhibits and landscaping & attractions both inside biospheres and outside in the surrounding landscape.

Since Claire and I went about 7 years ago during its first year open, it has changed a lot – grown up in many ways, with more facilities, bigger exhibits and lots more parking! It’s essentially an ecological and horticultural theme park, with the huge tropical biomes being the main attraction.

The boys loved it there and we saw all their favourite fruits – apples, bananas, mangoes and lots of cool play areas both inside and out, including an amazing bamboo and metal house on stilts in the main tropical biome. We made it to the top of the biome even though it was very very hot and humid inside.

Highly recommend it and was managed to get back home safely, through some more torrential rain on the motorways!