Monday, 18 July 2016

Crochet :: Permaculture :: Food Intolerances

We have actually had sunshine and blazing heat today!!  Time seems to be whizzing past and this is the first time I've had chance to pop on here to say, "Hello!"

Our home school learning journey is progressing well and we will continue during the summer, interspersed with summer camp activities for both kids.

I've had fun working on a long forgotten project:

 A stripey crochet blanket.

 Double crochet stitch and treble crochet stitch.

 The main section was made using left over yarn from previous projects.  The edging consists of wool purchased from a charity shop last Thursday.  The colours are lovely but I had forgotten that somewhere along the line I have become a "yarn snob" and working with pure acrylic wool is awful!

I have also been busy reading.  The Moneyless Man was not only informative but a very honest and enjoyable read.  Mark Boyle offered a no holds barred account of his year living without money; he bartered, skip (dumpster) dived and even managed to thumb a lift to his parents' family home in Ireland in time for Christmas.  He began the journey providing a free meal for several hundred people and closed the project with a one day festival.  Not only does the book challenge us to look at different ways of doing things, it also reminds us that true value and worth cannot be solely ascribed to a monetary value.  There are some things in life that you cannot quantify, one of which is the work done in the home, either by one parent or both.  Running a home and the caring and educating of children is a formidable task, if each individual task were undertaken by another person, the weekly cost would run into several hundred pounds!

 I am still reading "Radical Contentment" and so I will hopefully offer a commentary once it is finished.

In addition to the usual daily round I am working on an initial permaculture design for the running of the home, the home school programme and how to proceed with my obligation for "working" an additional 16 hours per week.  Using permaculture principles is a positive way of addressing what is going on with the reminder that, "the problem is the solution!"  As in all things nothing is ever set in stone and so the design is re-evaluated and adapted time and time again.  My first design looked great on paper but it became apparent that it was not sustainable on a long term basis!  Not when it meant that in a 24 hour period that 23 of those hours were assigned a task and accounted for!!  Eight of those hours did include sleep, I hasten to add!

 Looby Macnamara is a well known permaculture tutor.  This book is packed full of information and questions for self reflection.

Pip had a blood test over a week ago and we received the results on Friday.  She tested positive for IG(g) antibodies for gluten, dairy, soya, peanuts and egg.  We are no strangers to avoiding gluten but the latest results means a whole lot more label reading and checking the ingredients when out and about:

 Waiting for a gluten free fish and chip supper early last week, I'm hoping that this place will continue to be an option for us :-)

Hope whatever you are doing that life is treating you kindly x 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Little Flowers Tea

We had our first ever Little Flowers Tea on Sunday.  Despite the weather forecast predicting rain, the sun shone and a lovely time was had by all.  The food was in three courses interspersed with quizzes and games.

 Saints bunting made by the girls and mums.

 Three of the flowers.

 Gluten free scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

 Table decorations, flower posy, paper tea cups and spoons holding a scented rose and three rose candy melts as party favours.

 A small selection of food :-)

The girls worked really hard, they made beautiful hanging rose baubles, bunting and mini saint pictures as well as serving the sit down tea to their guests, over twenty in all.  The tea was declared a success by one and all x 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Ribchester Romans

We have had another busy home school week.  The kids are working on a joint unit The Romans.  I know that Benedict has looked at this period before but there is always something new to explore.

 Pip had fun finding common place names and seeing their Roman counterpart, Gloucester was Glevum but London had kept its Roman heritage.

 Tombstone Carving.

 Domestic bowls and flagons.

 Locks and bolts.

 Pottery fragments including some Samian pottery from Gaul.

 Animal bones.

 Roman Cobbler.

The museum grounds are also home to a full time archaeological dig which involves students from the University of Central Lancashire.  We were given a tour of the site and also had the opportunity to chat with one of the professors in charge of the dig:

 That little black splodge in the middle of the sieve is in fact a Roman barley grain!

 All samples are placed in this "washing machine."   The silt and clay soil sinks to the bottom and the finds are caught in a very fine sieve.

 Samples hung out to dry.

 Fragments of animal bone and a Roman nail.

We concluded our trip with a visit to the church next door:

 A prayer tree, Pip and I placed a leaf for Daddy :-)

We made it to the car just before the heavens opened!  

A successful day :-)