Friday, September 29, 2006

Secrets, squirrels and Socrates.

It's that time of year when secret knitting commences. You will find me knitting at odd times when normally I'd be engaged on other tasks because gift knitting needs to occur when the recipient isn't likely to walk in on you. Even the normally most unobservant boy will always pick up on it when I'm knitting for him. I have bags stashed in odd places with projects started and then hidden as the thump of feet heralds small person approach. I have stuff started for M whilst he's at work, my secret knitting isn't even safe from Ma - she takes it into to her head to pop up for a chat (she's requested a pair of Pomatumus socks - just a little job then). So to find me knitting at 10.00 am instead of completing chores etc must mean the start of the pre-Christmas knitathon. I have so many things I want to make and now feel I have so little time. Ah well such is life.

M cooked up a storm the other evening. We were all sat in the kitchen, scoffing happily. I don't know why but I glanced across to the window and there on the wall that borders the side path sat a grey squirrel looking straight me. Now I'm sure he wasn't after my Shepherds Pie and I don't think we'd make interesting viewing for squirrel TV, but there he sat, it seemed for ages, watching us, watching him, watching us. I haven't seen a squirrel in our vicinity for over a year. Hopefully he'll come back for another visit. I don't care if people think they are vermin, I like them.

I am not a morning person (understatement here) and the other morning at about 7.30am J bounced into our room and onto the bed with a "What's philosophy?" Now I did study philosophy (briefly) in the 1st year of my degree but I've forgotten more than I learnt. But between M and I and brief visit to 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder we managed to answer his question. He loves these early morning, in bed, conversations (which always make for a late breakfast and M being late for work). But they are a good thing, because they really make us feel blessed that we home educate, because those kind of chats are what home-ed are all about. Not going to groups, not having every minute of every day filled with activities - the path of so many other home-edders - but as a family - being and learning together. For me it is 'HOME' education, not group, park, activity education. Each to their own, and we do do stuff a bit like that, but less now than ever and it suits us all. So thanks Socrates you made us have a really positive moment and to embrace that we're OK and happy and that learning is taking place all the time - just differently from others.

Now it's time to get back to those secret needles - 'Housework.....hoovering....what's that?'

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wings, wool and wicker.

Here is J at the controls of a Red Arrows Hawk afraid, be very afraid... I've seen how this boy flies on computer games ;0) I really think this made his day. Especially after we had watched a TV programme on the Red Arrows, he was awestruck at what they do.
I didn't break my yarn diet, M broke it! On our anniversary he drove me out to our local lys and bought me yarn - better than flowers any day! This this Rowan Tapestry (I think the colourway is Antique) destined to be a multi-directional scarf (all thanks to Shona) she knitted a beautiful one on her blog.

The other yarns are RYC wool and silk and Rowan 4ply cotton. I was very good and spent under £30 but I could have spent much more if I was a rich girl.
These wicker dragons and their egg live a Groombridge - they are very impressive. The skill that must have gone into making them. They also have a wickerStegosauruss. I remember being forced to make a wicker litter bin at school - it was hard on the hands and keeping an even tension was more than a little difficult - so I raise my metaphorical hat to whoever made these big beasties.

Today is the last day of our hols. It's been different having a holiday based at home, something we have never done since J was born. It has its pros and cons. It has been nice not to have to plan and pack, unpack, pack, unpack. It has been nice to sleep in my own bed (I always have problems sleeping in strange beds - it takes me days to get used to it and by then it's time to come home). I didn't miss the long journey and getting lost and we have had lots of camping trips this year so we have been away. On the down side - I seem to have had less mental rest - still had phone calls/ post/ bills to deal with. I've told M that next year we should plan to do longer camping trips throughout the spring and summer and not bother with a 2 week break and to also try and get a short-break trip for just him and I. Anyhoo our plans for today....who knows? I'm happy to read, weave and knit but I need to canvas popular opinion of the boys.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Firstly, ta to glittr and Purlpower - you cheered me up. Yep I am tosser-a-phobic.

Well we've been busy bees. Miles too much to blog it all, so here are the edited highlights. J loved the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge. The swing is one of many in the wood attached to giant trees. M and I enjoyed them too. Groombridge is an amazing day out. Huge wicker dragons and dinosaurs, raptor centre demonstrations, we saw the owl one and the falcon one - all included in the price. The recent film of Pride and Prejudice was shot there - Groombridge house is Longbourne - wow amazing. We played giant chess, got lost in a maze. Climbed an aerial walkway, squatted in a Teepee, took over a fort, fed enormous fish and generally just got lost in the magic of the forest. We stayed all day and was well knackered by the time we got home. So much so we couldn't cook and had to get the best fish n chips in the world from the chippie in Rottingdean...yum!

J in an egg at Drusillas. Now I hate Drusillas - but we had half price tickets and J loves the place so we had a day there and to be honest (as it was quiet and term-time) it was good. Baby meercats added to our general delight as did the close up of the Serval below. A stop off at Middle Farm on the way home added to a our merriment - mmmm yummy St Illtyd cheese and a large quantity of scrumpy - made a good tea!
We also took J out for his first proper restaurant curry. Oh boy was that a hit. He loved the atmosphere and ate all of his Kurma and onion bhajees. He struck up a rapport with the waiters and was so good and polite - M and I managed some Cobra beer and lots of yummy grub.

We went fossiling at Bracklesham bay. I don't know which I enjoyed more the fossiling - they were just everywhere you pick them up on the tideline or watching the surfers as it was a good rough day and surf was up. We had a lovely picnic and then went off to visit Clayman as M needed supplies.

This deer was at Groombridge - they did actually come closer. The Mum has this years and last years fawns with her. The Stag was more stand-offish but they showed no fear. We also saw a Zeedonk (zebra donkey cross breed) J thought we were joking.

We visited lots of parks for biking, picnics and play but I think the favourite was Tilgate - they has month old piglets - adorable. We also got up real close with their beautiful shire horses. Another great day and all for the total price of £5.50. Another maze, another picnic and heaps of fun. We saw 8 magpies all together and they were trying to outwit the squirrels - I think it was a draw.

We also took the time to visit the Beacon and have the compulsory (rip-off unhealthy) ice cream - but you can't go there and not have a large Mr Whippy with a Flake. The views were breathtaking, the walk enjoyable.

Some days we did nothing at all - but just be as a family - which was also nice. Just lazing and chatting and enjoying having M at home. I literally haven't stopped but have achieved little.

The boys had a lads day (with the cousins) at Shoreham Airshow - J sat in the cockpit of a Red Arrow (Hawk) aircraft. Explored a Chinook helicopter and went on a simulator of the Eurofighter. He and M love planes and came home buzzing from all they had seen and done. I had a quiet day and finished off a sock and shrug I was knitting - very peaceful.

Today we re-visited Middle Farm for some organic sausages, a pork joint for Sunday and more cider - the rest of the day we are spending doing what we each like best - J is building with Lego, M has clay and I shall knit.

No plans as yet for the weekend -though we might go back to Bracklesham for more fossils.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vent, rant, rant, vent.

I am very tolerant of peoples choices. Living all my life in Brighton (gay capital of Europe) I see people as people not as labeled by their lifestyles/choices. I abhor homo-phobic attitudes.

Today I was subjected to a verbal abuse because A) I am a women, B) I am a Mother and C) Because I am heterosexual - this abuse came from two homosexual men. Two adult men who chose not to or couldn't control their dog in a public park and when I asked them to control it because it as A) Harassing my dog and B) Chasing my child (who is nervous of this breed of dog and who had just fallen off his bike and was crying anyway). They then accused me of being hysterical....yes hysterical. I admit I did speak sharply and I had to repeat myself. I was also hugging J and was concerned as M tried to keep our elderly and lame dally away from their marauding Boxer (our dog was on the lead and we were using a halty - we don't let her off near other dogs as she goes lame so easily these days). Then the more senior of the two gents (probably in his 60's) squared upto me and approached me in an aggressive manner, whilst his partner repeated that he should leave it as it was clear I was hysterical (still?). Neither had at that point realized the possible danger they were in....because I can look after myself and basically could have decked the pair of them and by that time M (who is not as tolerant as me and is highly protective of me and J) was getting extremely angry. He then asked them to control their dog and they replied we should control ours (the one on the short lead and halty - who was yelping and trying to dodge their dog). They then informed us that in a park they DO NOT need to control their dog or use a lead (really - I suppose it can just shit anywhere as well and the fact that there are sports facilities and playgrounds confirms that this park is solely for dog walking...yes?).

One gent dragged the other gent away and I asked M to leave it as people like that (I mean arseholes and aggressive) are not worth it. But why I ask myself did they choose me? Am I classed as hysterical because I am a women (who was more angry than any other emotion) or because I was comforting a balling child? Did he think I would be easy to intimidate? If his partner hadn't intervened and verbally insulted me - what would he have done?

I have never felt anti-gay but today I could empathise with some attitudes that other hetro people have exhibited. A hetro man/men would not have threatened a women with an upset child like that and not in front of her obviously well built hubby. They behaved that way and hid behind the fact they are gay because they know the law and society would favour them if it had kicked off.

They are low cowards who deserve no respect and like so many before them their hetro/sexist- a-phobic attitude is got away with because they have more rights as a minority than I do as a women and mother.

I don't care who this pisses is my blog and I am angry. I will be less tolerant and forgiving of rude people whatever their orientation in the future and next time I won't care if they are gay, push-bapist, 7th day advent hoppists or general wankers. I will not hold my tongue and give them the benefit of the doubt I will knock their fucking blocks off and take the risk of being accused of gay-bashing or whatever they may be.

PS - If you don't like this piss off elsewhere to a politically correct blog - because as of now the gloves are off! No more Mrs Nice and Tolerant who follows live and let live - fuck with me and I'll bite back.

This event also upset J - he was scared by this bloke squaring off at his Mum and also knowing that his Pop can be a bit feisty he was aware of the unpleasant atmosphere. M or I would not have acted in an aggressive or violent manner in front of him.

We cut our day at the park short, brought our picnic home and have all felt angry and upset since. I do allow/understand that all facets of society have prats and you can't blame the whole for the part - but this was hiding behind a label and was just downright nasty, bitchin old queens - shame on them for making me feel homo-phobic for the 1st time ever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just a quickie (hehe).

Still on hols..but, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day - so 'Arrrrrrrrh Jim Lad, splice the main brace and shiver me timbers.'

Also 19 years ago today I became Mrs L and shucked off old Miss W. It's hard to believe we've been married that long and are still in love and lust (we've been a couple for 23 years). We are planning a day of good food, wine and some lovin (shame no childcare - so got little J for company until bedtime - ahh well you canna have it all.)

Raises your glasses to M and I - here's to the next 19! Lets hope we have as much fun :0)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Enjoy the view.

Something to look at -whilst I'm busy off enjoying myself. This a view across Brighton at sunset looking from Roedean, across the Marina towards the Brighton (Palace) Pier.

Where does it go?

Time that is.

This is a quick update - manic! Life has been full, busy and I can't remember a quarter of it all. But there has been playing (cousins), learning (long division), reading - J has been reading the 'Measle' books and together we've almost finished 'The Railway Children' next we're moving onto Willard Price's 'Adventure' series - we have 4 to choose from - me I have abandoned the 'Moonstone' at the moment because..... I am reading a thriller (never, you? - I normally can't abide the thriller genre) but have got sucked into 'The Bourne Identity' - which I am enjoying immensely.

There have also been experiments, discussions, the daily chore of chores. J has been practicing his laundry skills - kids need to know this kind of stuff - interspersed with fun and Spike Milligan!

Knitting - well I have almost finished 'Cosy' from Knitty - I intend to finish it this week - so it will have only taken about a year *sigh*.
I got an Addi turbo (via GetKnitted) that is 2.5mm (sock size) and really short - so I can knit sockie-do-dahs on ONE - repeat - ONE needle - mega whee and whoohoo! It's taking a bit of getting used to though - but I will persevere. So I have a plain sock on the go and a Jaywalker (Grumperina - MagKnits). I have 2 half finished pairs of mittens and many other projects - but his week I have shared the love and worked on lots of different ones.

I warped up my loom (nice big weaving yarn order from Texure received- weaving stuff is NOT part of the yarn diet). I am experimenting with a tartan style pattern - fun.

I have also started on a few knitted Xmas gifties. This year we are having a traditional Xmas with less expensive plastic crap from Toys-R-Us etc and more traditional gifts (small pressies) and homemade goodies. I'm also not sending cards this year - apart from immediate family - I just can't buy into it anymore - way too commercial (oops soapbox crept in for a moment).

Finally...from lunchtime today we are officially on a 2 week holiday. Not going away as such (apart from camping - weather permitting) but doing days out etc. So may be AFK-ish for a while. Be good while I'm not about and no rowdy behaviour peeps.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spiders n stuff

Why does Blogger always change the order of my pictures? (rhetorical question - no postcards please). Here is the newly moulted Diego (Dolly as was). He is big leggie. As Dolly he was small, pink and fluffy and very cute. Diego gives off a different vibe completely. He is now less pink and fluffy and more big and menacing.
This is part of a Raku face wall hanging M made for our hall. It's amazing. I have requested a whole gallery full so I can faces the whole length of the staircase.
Here is Diego stretched out. One long spider!

So sad to read about Steve Irwin, he is (was) one of J's hero's. We have a talking Steve Irwin doll, we saw the film, have watched all the Croc Files and Crocodile Hunter programmes. I know it may sound trite etc - but my thoughts are with his family today. He made J love animals and animal conservation, he inspired many an H.E. project and he made us smile. Good on yer Stevo!

My light summer cold has matured into a rip snorter. I can't breath, I have an awful cough, I ache and in general feel like shit. My mouth tastes like the bottom of a parrots cage! On the upside - I finished Wilkie Collins 'Woman in White' - I was sure I had read this before - but I can't have - I would have remembered it. What a great book! I hate mystery/thriller types normally, but this was un-put-a-downable. So impressed am I, that this morning I started the 'Moonstone'. I also got lots of knitting done - but nothing finished - just progress on existing stuff.

Now here is the downside. Whenever I am ill, J is a pain in the arse. He takes the opportunity to play up, big time. He has made both of our lives hell this weekend. M is recovering from this bug, he's on call and has had a hectic week at work. Instead of a weekend of R & R he had to do the lot - as unusual for me - I was so ill I had to sleep. So J acted up. He was rude and obnoxious. He hit out at M - not acceptable. He wouldn't dare do that to me - so why do it to his Dad? I was so fed up, that I threatened him (this is rare) that if I caught/saw/heard act in a violent way to M again I would smack him and see how he liked being hit and then put him to bed. J is 9. We do not smack in this family, M has never smacked him, I have once about 6 years ago and swore never again - it felt so wrong. But I believe that if I make a threat and my bluff is called then I must carry it out - he would never take me seriously again if I didn't. (Can you see where this is going?) I thought this threat was soooo bad - he wouldn't dare...he did, the very next morning.
So yesterday, I had to smack my kids bum and put him to bed (feeling not only very ill but like the worse parent in the world). I smacked him on a buttock, firmly, in a calm rational manner. I didn't hit in temper or anger - I feel/felt awful. J is very challenging at the moment, he is pushing us, everyday has its moment of trial by parenting. I don't expect answers/sympathy/advice etc - just wanted to vent a bit. But I do wonder...what now? I hope the shock of it will at least make him stop and think if he ever feels like hitting out at M again. He's also lucky that M has such control over his temper and never lashes out but just walks away. Surely at 9 it's too soon to be hormones? - But his behaviour is very, very teenage - yuck!

So, today, I feel low. This bug is really taking it out of me. I need to rest and recover. I am going to be selfish and do just that. I have set J a load of math - no autonomous learning today - he can sit quiet and do what he is told - he is not happy but it is peaceful. I'm off to make some ginger tea and listen to an audio book and hopefully get some more sleep.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Of all the things..

here are two I didn't need.

1) We all have awful colds, with sore throats - but I have to get a stomach bug to go with mine. Never do anything by halfs, that's my moto! I feel totally 'blah' and 'bleh'.

2) Dolly (Dolores) moulted and is now the spider formally known as......another bloddy male one! So a 'Hi' to Diego. I know you can't sex a juvenile spider and this one hides its moults so we've not been able to check...but.... I thought this time. So that's 3 out 5 so far that have turned out to be male. The sad thing is once they're mature, all they do is tromp about looking for spidey sex until they conk out and die. It's hard to watch. I know that some spider breeders advocate euthanasia but I can't bring myself to put a tarantula into the deep freeze. Diego now has massive hooks or spurs on his front legs. Is bigger than Phido (Fifi - that was) and is probably not long for this world - we only got him as a juvenile in Jan 06 - oh well such is life etc and so forth.