Saturday, June 09, 2012

A week has gone by...

Some of the more observant amongst you may have noticed I have a brand spanking new button over
<------------------------------------------ there.  I had an email a couple of days ago, and it's contents notified me that some oh so lovely person had thought this blog worthy enough to be nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Homeschooling blogs award.  How fan-taboly-tastic is that?  I really don't usually go in for this bloggety blog award stuff, but I figure that Circle of Moms is quite a good base to get the word out about home-education being a legal option for parents here in the UK.  If you too think that this blog is award worthy, you can vote for Classroom Free by following the link and clicking on the thumbs up symbol:  Vote for Classroom Free!

Classroom Free is currently way down at number 42, but with a fabulous 33 votes.  You can vote once a day if you feel so inclined, and your time doing so is very much appreciated.

Now onto the catch up post.

Here I am again, sat with the laptop on my knee and sleeping baby by my side. Peace and quiet at last = Blissful.

 As much as I love the little munchkin very much, she did test me somewhat tonight.

She was very tired and wouldn't allow herself to fall asleep - cue much kicking out, frustrated tears, and just general signs of an exhausted unhappy babe.   Mama rocking cuddles and nursery rhymes won her over.


I thought I'd catch up from where I left off on the last posting.

On Friday we went to Castle Drogo with a home-ed group and had a fabulous time.

We were surrounded by breathtaking beauty...

Drogo View
I love this view.

Castle Drogo Arch
Always reminds me of a scene from Alice in Wonderland.

This is my serious face
"This is my serious face...."
little house
"And who would live in a house like this....?"

Lee (gorgeous husband o' mine) took full advantage of the 4 day weekend and booked himself the week off work.   We made plans, lots of plans, and of course that was a big mistake.  The weather decided to do it's utmost to spoil them, and sadly it succeeded.    


On Monday we spent the day preparing for our Jubilee get-together.   We had decided long ago that it would be nice to have a few families around for food and chatter in celebration of the Jubilee.  As always, it didn't exactly go to plan.   We had wanted it to be an outdoor event so we could make the most of the garden, but oh how it rained!   I have also damaged my ankle in some way, presumably whilst running.   It's painful and limits my enthusiasm for movement somewhat.   

I was determined that the get-together would still go ahead though, and was up until gone past 10pm baking and making.   I was proud of the food we prepared, 90% of which was made from scratch completely. Considering we are usually a buy-from-Iceland-and-bung-in-the-oven kinda family when it comes to 'party' food, well, it was a huge improvement. What is more, I actually enjoyed doing it.  

(I have got photos of our feast of goodies, but they are on my husband's camera so I need to upload them to my computer). 

Tuesday was the special day.   Sadly two families couldn't make it so our numbers were reduced by 10 bodies, this of course meant food was plentiful!   The rain kept pouring and it was very quickly realised that the garden wouldn't be getting a look in.   Instead the children ate lots of food, played board games and entertained themselves before joining the big people and chatting about all sorts.    I enjoyed it muchly.   

Wednesday we had planned to go out to visit a National Trust property, but once again the rain was a firm fixture.  The property we were planning on visiting was quite a distance away and as we had a special interest in the gardens it wasn't so appealing to visit on a dreadfully wet day.   Instead we chose to have a quiet day at home.   As it transpired, I really felt the need to recover. I was feeling drained - very tired and my ankle was hurting so a day at home was a welcome idea. 

Onto Thursday, and yet again the rain was with us.  My ankle was still painful (and swollen now) so the aim was to rest it as much as possible.  The children tootled around, playing board games and the card game Uno, drawing pictures and exploring the garden - yes, in the rain.  They have also well and truly caught the football bug, with Joseph teaching Tiegan and Callum how to play the Fifa games we have on the XBox and Playstation.

The rain stopped by the evening, and having been indoors for much of the day we decided to go out for an evening stroll and a little bite to eat.  I managed to hobble slowly (much to the entertainment of the Teens who laughed at my hop-a-long gait and took firm advantage of me not being able to chase them to playfully reprimand them for their cheeky remarks!)  Oh my goodness, it may have stopped throwing down the wet stuff but it was ever so windy!  We nearly got lifted from our feet!  We walked the streets of Teignmouth searching for a place to eat - it was just before 7pm and many places had closed.  We eventually found a Fish and Chip shop which boasted plenty of seating and meals served 'til 9pm.  Good stuff.

We took our places (all 7 of us), the menu was delivered to our tables by the waitress, and we discussed amongst ourselves our meals and drinks choices.

We waited for the waitress to return to take our order.

We waited.   And waited.

And waited some more.

The waitress didn't return.

We chatted to the children, and then I started to do a quick total of how much the meals would cost us.  I noticed a small sign on the window stating that no credit or debit cards were taken - it was cash only.  I panicked a little, hoping I had enough cash in my purse.  Totalling up the meals and drinks I was shocked.  I turned to Lee and said quietly that for a meal of fish and chips (pretty much all they had on offer), for 4 adult meals and 3 children's, with small glasses of Cola to drink, was going to cost just over £65!

I had enough in my purse to cover it, but wasn't at all comfortable with paying such a price for fish and chips, particularly as the venue wasn't especially sparkling and the service thus far left a lot to be desired.  All I kept thinking was that our pretty decent local takeaway sells very tasty cod and chips for all of us at £20.  Just why on earth were we thinking of paying so much more for the same thing - with the only added bonus being we didn't have to do any washing up!

I asked Lee if we should leave.  He said we couldn't as we were all sat down and the waitress would be over in a minute.  I said we could, just stand up and go.

So we did.

And I learnt something.

I learnt that a family of 7 doesn't leave a restaurant very quietly.

All the other diners (and staff) turned to look at us as the scraping of wooden chairs on the hard stone floor echoed around the place. The questioning looks from the children were duly noted, and the whispering voices at tables were loudly heard.

Oh how we giggled like naughty schoolchildren as we drove home and dutifully stopped off at the afore mentioned fish and chip shop and bought our dinner for £20.

It was very yummy too :)

Friday was the hotly anticipated Dawlish Air Show.   The Air Show was one of our absolute favourite events of the year when we lived in Dawlish - watching the Red Arrows display team was certainly an annual highlight.  Rather fortunately the rain decided to leave us for the day, so we headed off to Dawlish for a long day of looking to the skies.

Air and Sea Rescue - Amazing people!

nose to nose
The Black Cat Helicopter Display Team.  I was awe struck by these guys, they truly were phenomenal!

diamond display

The Black Cats again!

copter display team

boat rescue


red arrows awesome
Of course these are the Red Arrows, truly awesome!

red arrows

smoke trail


flying high

We had a great day, full of family love and laughter.  

Taisia had a fabulous first taste of what an Air Show is like, she smiled, squealed and pointed throughout...



She even made friends with a ladybird...

ladybird friend

Chelsea looked gorgeous as ever...


Whilst Joseph looked, erm, erm, rather like Joseph...

ha ha

In between the flights there was time to eat ice-cream and run around and explore...

and play tag and jump...

and giggle...

and tenderly, ever so gently, stroke trees (and eat biscuits!)...

We got home around 7pm, had takeaway pizza delivered for 8pm, watched the opening games of the Euro Finals and boy oh boy - I got the migraine from hell.  Yuck!  It was the full shabang - sickness, banging head, disturbing visuals, the lot.  What a sad end to a fabulous day.  I fell asleep on the sofa until midnight, then took myself off to bed and lay awake for hours in pain.  

Today has been a good one.  I spoke to my parents on the phone (they live in Spain), went shopping, and watched the football.  I had meant to bake a bread pudding and a chocolate orange cake, but sorting through numerous photos took president so I could blog this evening.  The baking can wait until tomorrow.

I wonder what else tomorrow will have in store for us...


  1. Hurrah to you for leaving the restaurant. I wonder though how many people sitting, watching you leave wanted to do the same thing, but didn't. Sounds like you had an amazing time!

  2. sounds like you have had a fabby few days, despite the pains you have suffered. Love the image of you all walking out of the restaurant. good for you! save money and it's not like they were making much effort to serve you xx