Thursday 26th September
Another day, another walk. This time down to the village and back but I have to confess to coffee and cake as well! It was only a small piece of cake but it was rather lovely. This morning I had an excellent 1:1 session with Max in home school. He is a natural storyteller but he needs to develop his vocabulary and he was pleased with his result. I am a firm believer in children being able to respond at a pace that fits their natural rhythm and this is the right time for Max to be extending his writing ability. All of a sudden he has found a writing voice and his excitement is palpable. One of my favourite starting points is the book they are reading at the time. We were reading about a cave with crystal rock formations and a giant spider lurking in the shadows. Very quickly we moved from there to Max creating his own cave and creature followed by a beautiful piece of creative writing. The whole thing was bound up with anticipation and excitement as it emerged that Max's ideas were better than the ones in his book. We topped the session off with a look online at caves on Arran and a walk booked in the diary for next week. That, for me, is home education and I wouldn't have it any other way.
George, meanwhile, was in the midst of a mammoth bake off in the kitchen as he created 60 cupcakes for a charity coffee afternoon tomorrow. All the cakes are lined up ready for the icing in the morning. How he keeps turning out these delights day after day I will never know. You will, perhaps, understand the need for walking though! When it comes to George's cakes all will power departs.
I managed to squeeze some time in the tunnel today firstly to harvest tomatoes and yet more sweet peas and then to take off seed pods. I now have about 6 bags of sweet peas seeds ready so if anyone would like any just message me your name and address and I will happily post them out. I confess they are a mix of Spencer and Mammoth variety but both varieties have been excellent this year so I am sure you won't be disappointed. I don't think I have seen the hedgerows so bountiful for quite some years. Blackberry picking is now a daily occupation for freezing and jam making. I also spied some wonderful rosehips today to make rosehip syrup. Both fruits are packed with vitamin C and are lovely to enjoy at this time of year. We shall not dwell on our complete lack of hazelnuts this year. We do well with autumn fruit but I miss my apples from our last house so the plan is to start a small apple orchard with maybe a plum tree for company. Plum chutney is one of the best chutneys so we don't want to deprive ourselves.
The cup of coffee and cake was partly work, partly pleasure but really all pleasure. The lovely Angie is going to be one of my sponsors for my new site One soul many hearts so I was getting details for her feature editorial while trying not to drop any cake. Angie and I also have some Christmas events coming up and shared the panic of not yet being underway with the making. Time enough....
Since yesterday I have had lots of very productive chats with owners of small businesses about sponsorship options and as I result I am hopeful of running a couple of creative competitions from the site this side of Christmas. Plans are well underway for innovative sponsorship options and this, I feel, has set the right emphasis for future negotiations. There is much to build on.
I had a conversation with someone today about the dangers of life becoming just about work. Walking back from the village I, once more, felt incredibly grateful that my life is as it is. I do work hard but I work from home and I am freelance so I get to make most of the decisions. I have more than one set of friends that constantly talk about their pensions as if that is what life is about. I find that view difficult to digest because we might not live that long. Thankfully my father semi-retired in his late 40s because he sadly died in his early 60s. I feel that I have some more madness brewing in me and I dare not even tell the family because I fear for the eyes rolling.... My motivation comes from the belief that there is much still to do but sometimes we need to turn everything upside down and see what falls out. My children will, no doubt, be hoping it is not them!
I have a very dear friend who has a birthday today but he is not one for much fuss. So I am gently whispering 'happy birthday' in the hope that that is not too painful.
Until tomorrow. xx