Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Oops!! Where are all the crafty things I was going to make for it??? We knocked up the window silhouette this morning. It actually stretches across the whole front window but I can't get a good photo!

Spooky Window Silhouette

You will need:-

Yellow Card
Black marker Pen / Poster paint


Measure window pane, and mark this on a piece of yellow card.

Cut card to length and draw on your spooky scene - gravestones, bats, witches houses, crosses, black cats - just remember to keep outlines simple if you are wanting the kids to help cutting out! We compromised with me cutting out and them colouring in and sticking it up!

Next cut out this outline. Now with LOTS of newspaper underneath your shape outline, colour it in with a marker or paint with poster paint. Remember not to colour in windows etc as the yellow card showing through will make them look illuminated in your room.

Now turn the shape over and paint it again ( you'll be able to see both sides if you are sticking it in a window!

Use left over scraps to cut out bats, flying witches etc ( colour them black too ) and even a big yellow circle for a full moon.

Arrange shapes in window and adhere with small bits of clear sellotape.

Sit back and enjoy!!!!

Halloween plans tonight are a big warming veg curry before 'trickle treating' as my kids call it, then off to a firework display and halloween disco!!

Easy Sweet Veg Curry

Medium Onion, chopped
Tbsp Olive Oil
1 /2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 pt basic tomato sauce
4 small potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1/2 small butternut squash
1 can butter beans
up to 1/4pt water

Dry roast the spices, add oil and sweat onion. Add tomato sauce and stir. Chop potatoes and squash and add to pan. Add beans. Cover and cook for 40 minutes adding water as need to get the amount of sauce you like in your curry!

I'm glad todays a bit more relaxed we don't seem to have stopped this week! We've had lots of fun though, building a willow play area for bath city farm!

These were bent over, weaved and tweaked into little igloos for the kids to play in, a short scavange around the site found 2 logs worthy of bench status to put inside for a very comfy hideaway!!

We had lots of fun there too, shooting apples off post with a home made bow and arrow, apple bobbing, homemade see sawing, hot ribena, berry spotting, and even baking cakes in oranges on a campfire.....

Little miss seems to have an insatiable appetite at the moment, declaring I'm hungry every 1/2 hour!! Has anyone got any good suggestions for some filling snacks???

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A little bit of every day....

roasted butternut squash & garlic

Half term is almost half way through now and we've been taaking it nice and slow .... we've done a little bit of cooking and a little bit of gardening. All indoors as its soooooooooooooo cold! * we were in Coventry yesterday and saw snow was forecast for Bath - kids very excited, mum excited too but slightly nervous about driving home - bitterly cold we set off for home, no sign of snow until 15 miles from home, beautiful cotswold cottages, dusted white rooftops, then other side of the hill nothing .
We've woken up with a thick frost and a phonecall from Coventry saying they have 2 inces of snow!!!!

I'm getting a bit disheartened with the whole veggy growing at the mo, I'm not sure if I'm going to have to chuck these or not, they seem a bit leggy to grow into anything?

Spinach (rear) and Mixed Lettuce Leaves (front)


And the weather has been too rotten to get out and sort the soil into the raised beds for pea planting this week. Other plans for the week include planting potatoes and onion sets.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


We've had a lovely few days, out in the autumn sun, walking and exploring the local tourist spots before they get busy at half term next week, re-exploring places I'd visited as a child. I'm so proud of what I've managed, maybe I should explain...

15 years ago (when I was 17) I had a stroke and was totally paralised down one side, I had physio and had to teach myself how to walk again. In hospital I told myself I knew I'd have beaten it if I could climb local landmark Glastonbury Tor. Since then its been too hot, too cold, I've had the children or had something important to 'save myself for' the next week! All very lame excuses, but that seemed quite reasonable at the time.

I year ago I told my partner about this secret promise to climb and we agreed to do it together, and STILL the excuses continued....
Last wednesday night as we lay in bed, I casually said to him, 'hey, instead of going to the castle tomorrow, shall we go climb the tor?'

So we did.

It was cold and windy, I forgot my camera. As we sat on the park and ride bus travelling to the tor we took guesses on how long it would take us to climb up , I guessed 1 hour 30 mins, P guessed 2 hours. So we set off with timer in hand...
It took us 10 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It also took us 30 minutes to get back down!

And what happened after? Did the world end? Was I too tired to collect the kids from school?
Went walking in cheddar and I climbed this and several other hills...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Happy Apple Day!!!

Today is Apple Day and although I'll not be doing anything to celebrate it directly today ( except for maybe a nice cold cider tonight) we had great fun at the weekend at the Broadlands Community Orchard Apple day!! We picked apples, pressed them for juice *hopefully in the video below*, baked potatoes on a fire, toasted marshmallows, played apple conkers, apple bobbing, climbed along big branch fences, climbed trees and saw some delux compost toilets - believe me , after the very basic '2 planks over a hole in the ground' compost toilets we had at a campsite last year these were palacial!!!

It was our first time at the orchard and I'm really keen to go back soon. Ontop of the apple days and regular volunteer days they do winter wassailing, spring picnics and other events. We might even sponsor a tree sometime soon!

There of lots of local community orchards near here, I wonder why they aren't more widely advertised?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Have you noticed???

All the christmas stuff creeping into the shops already? Well my daughter has, so its got me thinking I need some kind of plan ready to help xmas go smoothly and as I would like it! I want to get back to the christmases of my childhood, enjoying a few well chosen pressies but not hundreds of commercial nonsense, destined to be thrown on the junk pile by new year :( I want my children to remember the christmas experience and get a warm glow inside in years to come remembering it.

So yesterday I wrote down a long list of THINGS TO DO with the children this Xmas, instead of THINGS TO BUY!! I eventually came up with about 20 odd so this naturally led me on to thinking about turning this into a kind of 1 thing to do a day advent calender. Instead of sweets in the fabric calender this year will be cards with activities to do that day instead. I'll post the list nearer xmas but it ranges from making stuff to xmas walks and dickensian evenings.

Another thing I wanted to do this year was involve the children in the annual christmas charity Operation Christmas Child. It enables families and schools to send christmas pressies ( a decorated shoe box, filled with small thoughtful gifts to needy children around the world).

Thursday, 16 October 2008

New traditions

My focus seems to be changing these days, I'm still stupidly busy and somewhat disorganised but I feel that we need more in our life. I'm going to try and simplify the neccessary things so we have time to spend on new more simple activities. We started last night with a family campfire in the garden. We sat out for over an hour around the fire, wearing our ponchos and drinking hot ribena. Next time I'll have organised a toasting fork and marshmallows too!!! We all agreed, weather allowing we'll do this every week from now on.....

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I'm addicted......

Want a totally free addictive brain training style game that'll give your grey matter a daily work out?????

Headover to and play to your hearts content!!!!

Oh, and incase you didn't notice, for every question you answer correctly they'll donate 20 grains of rice to a hungry person via their scheme!!!

I've set myself a target of 5000 grains 3 times a week

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Muuuum - I can't find my wellies!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, we checked the front hall, the camper, the conservatory, under the settees ...... if only we thought to look up the tree!!

This week has been a tad chaotic, college work has been over whelming me and a swap had to be finished. On top of that its Book Week at school with a dragon theme, I've been sourcing dragons, handing out Dragon fruit samples at nursery, handprinting 60 kids for 'dragon scales', Thursday saw me dressed in pyjamas at school helping make hot chocolate for 400 odd children at their Bedtime story evening!!
Luckily it was just the kids that had to dress up yesterday for school!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Well it feels like it here anyway!!! We're off to a VW show for the weekend, but it happens to be our club xmas do too so the vans been decorated....

The costumes have been packed....

And I've cooked enough stuffing balls for 70 people!!!

Otherwise this week its been busy on the college / work front and I've been teaching my kids to cook! First raisin oat cookies then last night they did a veg risotto!!!! I'm amazed at their chopping skills so young!! I can't think of anything worse than not learning to cook at home but sadly its not as common these days :(