Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Yesterday we had Will over to play - he and Oscar are the most energy filled craziest boys in the class. So, we went for a "wear 'em out walk" in Richmond Park. It was sunny, yay!, and a very cold wind kept us moving.

We walked to our favourite tree, through boggy ground and past prancing deer.

For some reason my boys think that whenever they go for a walk, they think they have to carry a stick, sometimes the stick turns into a log...

Saturday, February 24, 2007


As mentioned recently we have started going to the Woodcraft Folk meetings - the left of centre alternative to cub scouts. So, today was a protest march wanting the troops out of Iraq and No Trident.

It was amazing seeing so many thousands of people feeling strongly enough to give up their Saturday to show the world that they are passionate about Peace. There were all sorts of views, but I got that it is really about love for humanity.
The Trident is four nuclear submarines - a possible 192 warheads each one around 8 times as destructuve as Hiroshima. The Trident will become unuseable in the next 10 or so years and the government wants to spend £65 billion to replace it - the question is WHY? Nuclear bombs aren't used against today enemy - the terrorist. How can a government that goes to war to remove nuclear developement in one country then go and develop their own - this is no example and is hypocritical. Check out the above link for Q & A's.

It was brilliant to be around so many ALIVE and passionate people. It was great for the kids to be involved and to understand what is happening in the world. And it was very, very exciting marching the streets of London to drums beating, dancing, whistles blowing, shouting etc.

Afterwards we went to the Imperial War Museum, where we got present to war, the impact on the children, the destruction, the magnitude. Admittedly the museum is biased, but never the less, we had good conversation about it.

We are a stand for peace and love in the world.


This week was half term, so the kids decided they wanted to go to Rock Climbing camp again - They love it. Samuel also had some morning swimming sessions booked in, so he can now do super long dives and then do that dolphin kicking a long way down the pool like a pro.

Friday I had no uni classes so I met up with some friends and we went with 11 kids in tow to visit the HMS Belfast. A Navy ship permanently moored on the southbank of the Thames. There was a 90 yr old veteran in a fancy red uniform getting his photo taken on the ship - so we joined in.

The ship had a rat hunt for kiddies going on, which was pretty fun. We got to make some plaster of paris rats and may I just say - do NOT let 11 kids run a muck in a ship engine room if you want to be able to keep an eye on them all. It was crazy! so many levels, suspended walkways - it was kind like a lifesize hamster maze. Super fun for the kids! Then after much searching throughout the ship we gathered everyone together before slowly and chaotically making our way home. A crazy fun day.


Half term holidays started and the boys, Samuels friend and I zoomed to the coast. I gave the boys our budget of £80 for the weekend and it was up to them to spend it wisely so that we could eat, sleep and play - they had the responsibility of holding the purse strings. First stop - Basti's grandparents in their quaint seaside village. He never throws anything away, with 8 cars in the front garden, she embarassed and rarely has people to their house. Did we care? Sam & Basti walked alone to the local shop with purse clutched in hand to buy Grandpa's favourite biscuits. We then had a cup of tea in the special china and a lovely chat. My boys never get to be around that generation and it was REALLY nice!

Then it was on to Margate, the most south western point of Britain. We took our shoes off and combed the beach, collecting a wine bucket full of interesting things including a shark egg, interesting patterened china, pretty sea glass and loads of shells and interesting shaped chalk rocks. We had intended to stay here but the hostel was full, so we continued along the coast to Broadstairs. Checking out all the charity shops, picking up some cheap food - bread rolls, bananas, 2 for 1 bottles of water etc (tight budget). This town is where Charles Dickens lived over looking a lovely little harbour from a high cliff.

Then we followed our noses and ended up at a Dutch windmill, then on to a Roman ruins a Fortress site with walls etc, which turned out to be the first place that the Romans landed in Britain. Very interesting for the older boys since they studied the Romans recently. All along this coast there are old castles and we stopped to look at a big viking ship.

We ended up in Dover, where all the ferries arrive from the continent. We admired the big castle on the top of the white cliffs, ate chips for dinner (£1 per person) and watched the twinkling lights. Then into our hotel room, including hotel smell - so exciting! Crazy crazy boys bounce off walls for about an hour before we settle down for the night.
Basti was sick the next morning, so instead of looking through the castle that has lots of wartime tunnels under it, we had to come home. The kids are now expert on knowing all the European abbreviations for the trucks, including the tricky ones: D = Germany, HR = croatia, CH = Switzerland, E = Spain. It is amazing how much traffic comes from other countries along that road! We had fun times - Poor Basti spent his entire holiday week very sick in bed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


One of the few days of the year we have donned gloves and scarf

I really love snow. It looks nice. It means that God is spitting at us. When I walk on snow it sounds like K K Krunch. Its adorable. It makes everything white, like sugar is sprinkled all over the world. You always need some warm clothes. When you lick it is tastes like spit. Its sooo lovely and everybody loves snow.

-- Oscar --

These little ladybirds were cute drying off and
warming up on the heater at school this morning.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


A couple of weeks ago we watched a series on TV about our planet and global warming, climate change etc. I had tried to explain to the children about this, but without being able to physically see carbon emissions etc it was hard for them to grasp. So, this programe made by the BBC with David Attenborough was such a brilliant visual aid in showing them what has already happened to the earth and what they predict will happen in the next 50 years. This is the 50 years of S & O's generation, it is them who will be affected and I was stunned at how much they were impacted by watching this. While I was constantly reminding them to turn off the lights when we weren't in the room and turn the TV off, not just leaving it on standby etc. Now, they are reminding me! They are wanting to recycle everything. It is so amazing to see my little 6 year old, so passionate and so keen to make a difference!

So, last weekend someone mentioned Woodcraft Folk, I'd never heard of it and thought it sounded nice. Then on Tuesday one of the Mums at school was saying she is running one of the evenings and then she told me how another friend from school actually organizes the whole group in Hounslow. So, on Thursday evening we went and the boys loved it, singing, games, crafts etc. Some things happen for a reason. This weekend was there weekend camp for the term! Staying at Pheasant Lodge, a big old medieval house with big gardens - There were 13 parents and 12 children. Oscar and I joined them, enrolling another family from school with similar interests, fresh from the land down under and wanting to mix in the community. It was such a lovely weekend, such a mix of people. Some vegan / home schoolers / university lecturers / capitalists and almost all social workers. The emphasis of course being on the children, the organization is designed to develop self-confidence and activity in society, with the aim of building a world based on equality, peace, social justice and co-operation. It was so nice to meet new people and see how they operate with their children and what they are up to in life. O had a brilliant time, making new friends etc. We went for a nice walk and the whole weekend was at the pace of the children, very relaxed and not structured (unlike what I normally do). So, it was really nice to experience this this week. I also had an experience at the complete other end of the spectrum with the mums from viola, preparing their kids for Eton and Oxbridge etc. It has really made me think about what I want for my kids, what opportunities I want to give them etc. More later. In the meantime, we are excited to have found a group of children who equally care for our earth and want to learn about what is going on outside our small local community, to learn how we can make a difference and to have a really lovely time while doing it. Joy!

This is a quote from the BBC from much respected David Attenborough:
"Now... when we look at the graphs of rising ocean temperatures, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and so on, we know that they are climbing far more steeply than can be accounted for by the natural oscillation of the weather."
Sir David, whose distinguished broadcasting career spans more than half a century, says everyone has a responsibility to act: "What people (must) do is to change their behaviour and their attitudes.
"If we do care about our grandchildren then we have to do something, and we have to demand that our governments do something.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


At the moment we are in the pool alot. Monday is O for a lesson, Wednesday is S for a lesson, Thursday I take them both for some fun and more practise. Then THIS weekend, S is represting his swimming club in a Gala on Saturday and then training on Sunday night! I have just folded a mountain of towels! They are loving it. We LOVE swimming, I keep checking them for gills...