Sunday, 31 May 2015

In praise of social media.

I love social media.  I find out about loads of interesting things through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. 

Today is a good example.  One of the regulars on the home ed bloggers Facebook page linked to a great looking book called 23 Things to do Before you are 11 1/2.  

Someone replied with a link to the NT 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 website.  I've seen the booklet before, but hadn't realised you could log your list online.  It's fab!  Betsy spent a very happy hour or so ticking off the things she's done.  She loves the character on the front page, and really liked unlocking different clothes and accessories for him.  Here he is in his current outfit:

She likes the certificates too (though for some reason my chromebook stopped talking to the printer, so I could only print the first one).

We've made a list of the activities she'd like to do over the next week or so.  And that ties in beautifully with my other recent social media discovery - the 30 days wild challenge from the Wildlife Trusts.  I found that by reading through the #homeed posts on Twitter.  I signed us up, and will be one of the 30 Days Wild bloggers.  The booklet and wall chart arrived this week, and the chart is up ready for tomorrow.

It will be a big challenge to blog daily, but I'm going to give it a go!

Saturday, 30 May 2015


We've had the most wonderful few days in a beautiful forest in Wales.  We stayed in a yurt here, near Machynlleth.

I have camped a lot, but never glamped.  Wow!  It's something else!  We had a log burner, a real (very comfortable) double bed, and practically an ensuite compost loo.

The yurt was next to a large stream/small river, and it provided our main soundtrack.  

The view from the door:

Our friends were staying just up hill in a teepee.  They had very kindly treated us to our holiday, what amazingly generous people!

We arrived late in the afternoon, and the kids spent time settling in, and playing stomp rockets in the field.

Then we went up to the teepee for the first of many evenings around the fire.  

Unfortunately Fred burned himself on a molten marshmallow.  I'm glad I had some aloe cream with me, and once the pain subsided it healed up ok over the next few days.

I had some temporary tattoos for the kids, and as it got dark I gave out finger lights and glow sticks.  They looked amazing running down the hill with different colour finger lights on.  The head torches looked great too.

We all went to bed pretty late, and lay listening to the hoots of a tawny owl.  Just magical.

The next day after a relaxing start, Betsy, Meg and I explored the stream.

Then we all went to Aberdyfi.  It has a huge estuary that goes on and on for miles.  It's a very pretty town.

We had ice cream, went to a beachside playground (Fred and Moss explored the sand dunes instead), had lunch out, had a go at crabbing (caught nothing), played on the beach, and collected crabs released by successful crabbers! Such a lovely day.

A jellyfish that Fred caught.

The next two days we were spent at the campsite (except for a quick couple of trips to town to pick up supplies, but the kids stayed behind).

Fred loved using the axe to chop wood for the fire.  He also really enjoyed doing some stone carving, using Rob's multi-tool to make shapes from some of the slate pieces.  

We all played some games - Top Trumps, Junior Scrabble, Cluedo.  Lots of wandering along the stream, and playing with Moss and some of his friends who came over for his birthday.

Rob had brought the radio, so we had Radio One on quite a lot.  Fred picked up a Bear Grylls book and surprised himself by enjoying it.  I read a few chapters of Charlotte's Web a day, and all three kids loved it!  I made some great memories for myself there, lying in bed in the yurt, with the kids snuggled next to me.

There were newly emerging ferns everywhere, and the bluebells were still around (they've finished where we live).  The greens of the moss, and the new leaves on the trees.  It was all so beautiful.

Meg picked some bluebells - whoops!

On Moss's birthday we did more tattoos, and had light up helium balloons.  Some of our group saw bats (I missed them).  There was cake, and a projector with a film on the teepee walls.

It was truly a wonderful 5 days.  Even the nearly-6-hour-journey-home-in-roadworks can't take the shine off it.