Willow Weaving

Bee has always been very interested in the willow weaving garden at Ferry Meadows, so he was very excited to discover that the Peterborough HE group were doing a willow weaving workshop.

He made this – it is a cup and ball game (the weaving was held in the village hall of a very beautiful Northamptonshire village – much more therapeutic than a visit to Toys ‘R’ Us):

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Then in the afternoon he made this (a playdough road map of Britain) – Mip made the road map of Ireland next to it:
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The boys have been using their cuisinaire rods that arrived this week – not sure what the mathematical formula is that JJ is demonstrating with his heap, though it will probably lead to a major breakthrough in some area of mathematics in later life:

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This week we also made a tentative start with our French, which we are doing with J, F and T. Tentative because P, our French speaker and tutor, couldn’t join us, but it was good to make a start.

And other days have followed the usual pattern of being busy at the kitchen table in the morning and visiting the park in the afternoon.

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Matt has been to Paris and spent his other evenings on the phone to Mexico. So late nights all round. The house is deep in dust and the hoover has taken an extended holiday, must do something about it soon…

Here’s JJ taking apart the pirate puzzle and re-building it piece by piece.


I took a photo of this just because it made me smile. I love the quirky things the boys do sometimes. I will miss things like this when they are all grown up.


Littlest post-avocado.


a week and a half behind…..

however, the last 10 days haven’t been too eventful, just peaceful, pottering days. Most of them have consisted of a morning spent on kitchen table activities, and an afternoon at the park. Bee has a new dot-to-dot book which arrived yesterday and he spent at least 4 hours on it (it’s a big book). Other days he has spent hours felt-tipping “stained glass window” pictures. (so we went in to see the windows in the cathedral on Monday). JJ spends much of his time around the table doing puzzles, and Mip sits with Bee talking to him and watching him.
Last Friday we went to the farm – a friend had organised a tractor ride for her 4 year old’s birthday, so we had a lovely time there. (although JJ decided to walk into a pond. Fortunately it was warm enough for him to spend the rest of the day in Bee’s jumper and a nappy)
Littlest still isn’t eating much, but loves to talk, and can spend a whole day saying “da da da” and ” ma ma ma”. She can stand now and can do stairs very competently (which really means that despite often finding the stair gate left open she hasn’t had any tumbles yet…)

Today….this morning was spent dot-to dotting, with a bit of reading – The Drinking Gourd, about the underground railroad for escaping slaves in the States. We also enjoyed watching a squirrel which spent much of the morning burying our walnuts in the planters just below our kitchen windows. I couldn’t find the camera though. But lovely to watch from just a few inches away. A trip to the park this afternoon, followed by Colourstrings. Encouraging to see Bee progressing each week and getting things he hadn’t quite got the week before. More reading after tea – The Ox Cart Man arrived in the post and is a beautiful book, plus My Hen is Dancing and The Patchwork Cat. Matt played Katamino with them.

The shop front is still being painted (dark green) and the sitting room’s new plaster is being painted on wet days. Matt has sealed the kitchen worktops – one of those left over jobs. And our garden seems to have shrunk and suddenly just isn’t big enough for them anymore. Bee has also discovered football. I really think we’re going to have to find somewhere with more outside space soon.

Not sure what I can remember of the last 4 days. Thursday afternoon we spent at Ferry Meadows – we went to the bird hide and saw a pair of herons flying across the lake. Friday the Muddlepuddle group met here – 16 children. (lots of cake crumbs under the table afterwards which we found Littlest eating with enthusiasm). Saturday??? all forgotten except a visit to the park to play football at the end of it. Oh yes – Matt spent most of the day working on the front of the house and Littlest slept for over 4 hours so I had a nice peaceful time with the boys. Particularly as I totally forgot that I was supposed to be re-introducing the hoover to the house after a lengthy separation…. Bee is busy making flags with Hama beads and trying to work out which countries were involved in WW2. Today we were out to lunch with friends, and came back and spent another hour running around at the park. We’re continuing to work on our nature studies – yesterday we brought home a bobbly fruit ball Bee found and identified it as being from a London plane tree. Today we went and found the tree, and brought back a (beech)nut for identification.
The boys have all had colds the last few days, but Bee was desperate not to miss church. He came down Saturday night, when the others had all gone to sleep ,and told me that he had “told Daddy twice that he was sure he would be well enough to go to church in the morning”. And he told me again that he was quite sure that he would be, until I agreed with him, and then he went to bed. And then 1st thing this morning he rushed in to confirm that he was definitely feeling better….

Littlest is very entertaining atm. She likes someone to pat her on the back or chest while she sings “ahhhhhhhhhh” to make it sound wobbly, and then she tries to do it to herself, beating herself vigorously on the chest with her forearm and clenched fist. She’s also started to play boo by hiding behind a curtain, and then reappearing.

A nice easy-going day, helped I think by staying up till the small hours to tidy up. We read the easter story this morning in the Jan Pienkowski book (which is in the King James version, but this never seems to be noticed by the boys) and also St George and the Dragon. Then a session of sliding down the stairs and then while Beth slept we all did the pirate puzzle (100 pieces, so they need some help with it), followed by more puzzles, bead pictures and colouring while I baked scones. We were late to Colourstrings, even after Bee spent all day looking at the clock and asking if it was time to get ready yet. We’re still having our own private family lesson (!) though there are some possibilities of other children now. Bee is much more confident now in the classes and will sing out loud , albeit quietly. We finished watching our Galapagos programme over tea. Incredible place. JJ was funny with the pirate puzzle. We left it out on the table, and twice he took it apart and rebuilt it a piece at a time so that he could do it by himself.

another catch-up…

Sunday – again only Matt and the bigger 2 went to church as JJ and Littlest both slept in until 10.00!

Sunday afternoon went to the little trains. Haven’t been there in a long time. It was as relaxing as ever.

In the evening Matt lit the 1st fire of the autumn and we introduced Bee and Mip to hot chocolate. They were so excited and kept saying “these are our 1st ever hot chocolates”.

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Yesterday we were back at Wimpole Home Farm, this time with the company of S and K,
and A and his 3 boys. A damp drizzly day, but not wet enough to need to keep inside. This time we also went to see the dairy and went up to the loft in 1 of the barns where they have some books, puzzles and toys all with a farm theme. And we also went and looked at the walled garden – the old kitchen garden. This was huge and quite incredible. But we were all flagging by now so stopped off at the tea shop…..a very sensible place with bead tables and children’s books provided to keep children quietly occupied while the grown-ups sip their tea.

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And then today has been 1 of those days that disappears with things like shopping, taking a parcel to the P.O., returning library books (more fines!). Matt has taken the boys over to the park for football and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the piles of laundry, or my “to do” list. At meal times today we’ve been watching some nature programmes Matt had downloaded. A short one on tawny owls in the Forest of Dean, and then a longer one showing lions, rhino’s and elephants in the desert. And the start of one on the Galapagos Islands. +