Friday, 29 October 2010

Archimedes Screw

Put one of A's National Geographic prizes together today:

Quite a neat little kit :-) and clearly demonstrated the principles behind the Archimedes Screw.
It also reminded us of Mr Archimedes Bath which we both loved when A was younger.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Tattie Holidays

Its been a funny couple of weeks. The schools up here have been on holiday, so there's been quite a lot of catching up with 'schooled' friends, and our usual (vague) routine has completely disappeared. This always makes me feel a bit uneasy, but thats my stuff, and A has had a great time.

A went on her first Guides sleepover at the beginning of the holidays, held in a local church hall. I think she got about two hours sleep, and she spent most of the following afternoon dozing on the sofa - so a success then!

We went to see this fantastic ice show with Granny, then on to La Tortilla Asesina for a very delicious Tapas meal.
I had a bit of a mini film fest, going to see I am Love and A Prophet in the same week, two very different films. I enjoyed the first mainly because it was in Italian, but I did get drawn into the story. It took me a while to get past the weirdness of the kind of wealthy existence portrayed, where you have staff around all the time to cook, clean, pull your curtains for you etc, but once I'd adjusted to that I became quite intrigued by the characters.
The second film was a very powerful prison story. Not exactly easy viewing, but beautiful and intense, definitely my kind of film.
Whilst in film mode, I watched Dogville (on DVD) again, one of my favourite films. Quite a depressing view of human nature, but brilliantly written, and I love the way its filmed almost like a stage play.

A seems to have developed a keeness for baking, and there is often a chocolatey smell coming from my kitchen these days. They don't always work out well - she's quite reluctant to follow recipes so its a bit of a trial and error process - but the one she's produced today looks very promising :-)

There was another sleepover this weekend, with A going to stay with our HE friends over the other side of Inverness. She had a wonderful time with them, and they managed to produce and perform a little play together - she's clearly found some kindred spirits there!!

So tomorrow its back to normal, whatever that is. Back to a little bit of structure anyway, and back to all the clubs and groups.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Article on Learning Styles

Another article of mine is in the Aug/Sept edition of Mumsense magazine, which has just become available online if you want a look :-)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Crafty devils

We had a crafty day yesterday, hence my living room looked like this:

Such a lovely way to spend a day, music pumping, scissors snipping, glue sticking, totally chillful. And we got most of our Christmas cards made.

Finally decided on our Christmas project, that is - a little handmade gift we make and send to friends and family every year. Having made quite a few pots of jam I've got local people sorted, but I don't fancy packing up and sending heavy glass jars out to people all round the country. Racked our brains a bit as we've been doing this for years now and are running low on ideas for 'light' items to send out with cards, but the other day I came across the idea of these (tissue paper) stained glass effect chinese lanterns:

I think they look a bit Christmassy, and are very different to what we've done other years.

I know its very early to be thinking about Christmas, but I find if I don't start getting organised in October time runs away and suddenly - oh, I've got a week to get everything done!!

I'm not religious at all, but I do really like winter. I like the dark nights drawing in, cosy evenings in, wrapping up in layers of jumpers and coats, wearing of big boots. Not so much the wind and rain, but I do like frost and snow. So I suppose its more of a winter festival than a religious one for us, but its still a good excuse to take the time to appreciate loved ones and let them know you care.

Need to mention this lovely bag I bought from Cheery Mishmash, its gorgeous! There are lots of other HE related designs for bags and T-shirts, and other non-HE related items too - I got a really cute baby vest for my cousin's little girl from them. Well worth a look!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


We went off to Eden Court last week to see The Rebel Cell, a brilliantly clever and satirical piece of hip hop theatre. Its set in 2015, where the bombing of the 2012 olympics has led to a total clampdown on civil liberties, and rebel dissident Dizraeli is incarcerated in Glastonbury (now the British Guantanamo). The play centres on an interview with Dizraeli by his former friend and performing partner, who is now a journalist.

It was a shame that the audience was so small, as there was a strong element of audience participation and that is so hard when there's only a few of you.
However, I found the whole experience really inspiring and exciting. In a way it made me a bit sad too, because it reminded me of how political and activistic I used to be, and how music played a big part in that. Whereas now I often just feel disillusioned and powerless. And old.

I suppose it is partly age, and partly circumstances, but I sometimes feel that all the 'important' stuff is pushed aside to make way for all the mundane stuff - watching X factor, shopping at Tesco, and all the other bollocks that I buy into, however 'reluctantly'.

I try to ease my conscience by telling myself that we have a balance - its not all Tesco and crap TV, we also have local fruit and veg, and documentaries. Well done me. But is this just a convenient compromise? What are my real, core values, and why is it so hard to live by them and teach my daughter about them?

Maybe I'm just lazy. I am still angry though, about a lot of things, I've just lost sight of what to do with that anger. So when I hear things like Dizraeli's lyrics, which strike that chord of recognition in me, it brings mixed feelings. A boost in motivation from knowing that there are people out there with a similar outlook who are enthusiastically promoting a positive message. But I also feel a sense of hanging in limbo, and that I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

A said she enjoyed it, but it was less of an intense experience for her. She just likes rap. We did talk about the political issues it brought up on the way home, so hopefully its encouraged her to think about some things a bit more deeply.