Wednesday 23 April 2014

New Term, New Start

Yesterday was the first day back after Easter-an inset day to get to know the new Head a little and for him to talk to us about his ideas and philosophies. It was interesting and hopeful. Tonight we went to his other school to talk to the teachers, look at the learning environment and look at work. This was also good. It will be interesting to see how things progress. 
 We are learning about growing plants this term-starting with beans. The story of Jack and the Beanstalk will continue our traditional stories, and links to the topic so that is the story we will start with. The adults are acting the story for the children tomorrow, then on Friday I will be telling the story with my crochet Jack characters. The giant is understandably cross and Jack is strangely big headed but hopefully they will be well used. The story is such a confused one both in terms of what actually happens, and the morals of it all. Both Jack and the Giant are implicated in stealing but, depending on the version you are reading or telling it is not always made clear who is the real 'baddie'. It is easier to see Jack as the bad one as he steals from the giant in a very obvious way. But what is the character of the old lady all about? Yes, she tricks Jack with her beans not money for the cow, but she must know they are magic and will lead him to the gold. Also she saves Jack from the giant. Who is she?! Jack's Mum seems to be the only straightforward character-oh, and Daisy the cow.
 Jack's Mum's extravagant hair made her head so heavy it went floppy and had to be reinforced with lots of stitching. Looks weird close up but it worked. Daisy the cow, and the basket were both boot fair bargains found at the perfect time.
 As well as growing, we are also looking at different types of flowers and drawing and painting them, to decorate our soon to be role play flower shop. I had a good time today with the children doing observational drawing and learning the names of the flowers and parts of the flower. They really tried hard and made their drawings more and more like the actual flower. I have used water bottles still in their shrink wrap packets-they worked really well. They will then be cut in half and used as the planting pots for the beans next week. So that the children can see what is happening and keep our bean diary. I will take some photos of their drawings tomorrow to show you.

Monday 21 April 2014

Lily and the Camera

For some reason, whenever I get my big camera out Lily is terrified. I wanted to take a picture of her sitting in the sun this morning with the fluffy new fennel behind her. I tried to hide the camera by my side till I got nearer to her but she saw me coming and was off! 
 Mid jump!
 Then I was just left with the garden. I had a massive tidy up the other day, mainly of the out of control Jasmine bush. I came away looking like I had been attacked but it is much better now and the roots of my irises are exposed to the sun like they should be. I washed the yard too after getting rid of accumulated rubbish, then the other day I bought some cheap bedding from the supermarket-petunias and sweet peas, and have dug out all my lovely pots and planted them in the hope of later colour.
 The fennel is really getting going now. I look forward to it getting really tall and jungle like again this year. 

Saturday 19 April 2014

Friday 18 April 2014


Andy and I went to Dungeness again today. I don't need to say how much I love it there as I am sure I may have mentioned it before. Lots of people there today, including people doing this strange sport. Kite surfing I imagine it is called but I don't know. We had fish and chips in the car overlooking the beach, as the pubs were heaving. We had just started to eat when we were treated ( I speak sarcastically) to the sight of a young man's goose pimply bottom as he hastily got changed next to his orange surfmobile. The fish and chips were not spoilt however!
 You can see the way the shingle forms dunes and the way the sea kale colonizes them in lines. 
 The sea looked very muddy. When the sun came out it turned parts of it this strange green, though it was greener than this in reality.
 This is Prospect Cottage, Derek Jarman's home. I have never taken a photo of it before as I feel it is still someone's home and it seems like an invasion of privacy to do so. However, today there was a whole family tramping around the garden so I thought 'why not?'
 This is Katsuma. He is a Moshi Monster. I know nothing about them other than the children in my class really like them. I found him and a soft toy talking version of another one called Poppet in the charity shops in Morningside. He was 30p and just had to come home with me. I took him to Dungeness to take photos of him on the beach but forgot at first. He likes Derek Jarman's house. And his weird distorted reflection in my car bonnet.

 Coast Drive, opposite the carpark and near the chip shop and railway line for the miniature train. 
Look out, the tiny train is coming!
Isn't it cute?
 Beautiful euphorbia in front of this round building.  
 Katsuma on the picnic table. 
 And looking through the round window. 

Thursday 17 April 2014


Just some pictures of Otford. 
 A mosaic of the village's history. 
 The village sign. 
 A very Norman looking church. 
 The village pond. 
 Pretty wisteria.
 Black tulips. 
 A methodist chapel and a tudor looking house. It is called Pickmoss house or hall and has a carved door.
 Pickmoss is a lovely name don't you think?
 Lovely knocker. 
 Idyllic stream. 

 A footpath we explored. It just goes around the back of the village and isn't that far but was very pleasant nonetheless.
 A lonesome tree. 
This beautiful tree with its matching tulips is in Eynsford just down the road. I saw it on Saturday but didn't stop to take a picture. After stopping to take this one we drove up over the hills just to see where it went. It actually came down over the hills again at the other end of Eynsford but it was fun! Eynsford is worth a visit as it has the remains of a Roman villa there. it has not very good memories for me though as it is the scene of the worst school trip I ever organised. Really very bad. So bad that I still remember it in great detail!

Wednesday 16 April 2014

I am not a millionaire yet!

Last week was spent almost exclusively getting ready for the craft fair. As well as two days of wet felting (aching arms but if I did that all the time I would be very very toned in the arm department!) and lots of crocheting, I also sorted out and packed all the 'vintage' things I have been buying to sell. I was optimistic at the start of Saturday when we set off. We got to Otford nice and early, so bought breakfast from a lovely cafe and talked to the very nice lady owner. Once I had set up ( a fairly stressful experience!) Andy went home on the train. It was great having him there to get the stuff from the car and provide moral support! There was no room for any of the vintage stuff so it all stayed packed and went back into the car. Four hours later I had made £1.50-on a bag of beads-bagged, not made by me, and a bag of felt balls-made by me. Luckily I am not trying to make a living at this. There were not that many visitors to the fair, and they were mainly elderly people. Some very nice people and a few complimentary people and one very rude woman who said 'Ah yes, this is felting.' She then picked up one of the faces and said, 'But what would you do with it?'/ I shan't tell you what my mental reply was! Despite the lack of interest, I did have a lovely day. The stall holder next to me, Tamsyn, was really lovely and we chatted all day. She makes great little fimo things. I bought a jelly bean bracelet from her which looks very real. There were another couple of women nearby too who were nice. There was a delicious cake stall next to me the other side and I bought some of their cherry bakewell cake-mmm! After I packed up I then went and looked around the little junk shops in the village and spent some of my float! I took my friend back there today for a look around and some lunch. It is a really pretty place. 
The other good thing about the fair is that having to tidy up all my wool and stuff I had out to get ready for it has spurred me on to have a massive sort out session. Things have gone to the charity shop. The things I bought specifically to sell are going to go on ebay and if they don't sell then back to the charity shop. I have cleaned the back yard, taken horrible things I did not want to the tip, and this evening I have sorted out all my dolls house stuff so they are able to be done-finally! I am most pleased with my efforts and how the main living area looks at the moment. Still cluttered but not in that way that is encroaching on the floor space! I had the brainwave of using the table football as a table-with a piece of felt covered wood on top and it now has the first dolls house on it, ready to be played with.