Friday 18 March 2016


Five aliens in a flying saucer, flew round the world one day. They looked left and right, but they didn't like the sight, so one of them flew away. Whoosh!
A song I taught my children today. Whoosh is the pertinent word as that is how time is all the time. This post is filled with photos of a great weekend in Northumberland that is already two weeks in the past. We went to meet up with old friends from Andy's childhood (for everyone's recent or soon to be fiftieth birthdays) that he has stayed in touch with all his life. This always amazes me as I have failed to do that. I am still in touch with one friend from secondary school but we don't see each other. We hired a huge house on a hill in Embleton, which overlooks the sea and Dunstanburgh castle. It was a lovely weekend and a complete change from life here. It went by in a flash. It was followed by a week filled with parent's evenings, and then this week has been all about our nursery assembly. (which went well-I was so proud of them. This time we didn't just sing songs, but showed a piece of art work, and a skill!) On Friday last week we had a visit from the SIP (School Improvement Partner), a particularly joyless woman from the local authority, the same one that served my old school. Apparently, the early years did OK in her estimation, so that's OK. Then next week we have the head of education in our borough visiting on Monday. All these things mean that we have to be looking our best and everything up to date, so this weekend is going to be one of working. But at least I can sit indoors, watch a bit of craft tv and drink coffee, while I spend my unpaid hours doing my learning journeys! I am also hoping to crochet 25 more eggs for next week and finish crocheting Humpty Dumpty, as Easter and Spring will be dominating. I am going to enjoy looking through these photos again and remembering the weekend, while waiting for my dinner to cook, the dinner I thought was microwavable, but isn't. 
 The house was huge. This is the beginning of the first evening, chatting, wine drinking, and waiting for the big room raffle to begin. Phil, Ali, Bob.
 Room numbers are given out. Andy and I got one with a bathroom that is bigger than our bedroom at home. The bath was in the middle and there was a walk in wet room style shower too. Phil, Rob, Andy.
 Ali, Rob, John. In the huge kitchen with the log fire set into the wall. 
 The view of the castle from the front window, where you could sit on the huge window seat. 

 Loved this sign. On the way down to the beach, a ten minute walk away. Andy, Phil and I went for a really long walk on Saturday, first towards the castle, and then back through strange wooden holiday chalets on the dunes to a small village to have lunch in a cosy pub.
 It turned into a beautiful morning for a while, though later we had rain and sleet and freezing wind. 
 The castle looks like jagged old teeth. 
 This little plane flew over during the sunny part of the day. 
 Rusty stuff. 
 Andy doing what he always does, climbing on dangerous rocky surfaces. he is good at it but I always worry. This is a strange rock formation that almost looks manmade. It is like a wave of rock. On top were very regular square shaped steps. I was very slippery near the bottom of the sloped part so I didn't climb up!
 My favourite of the many chalets. It felt like being in Norway.
 The sleety and freezing winds part of the day-luckily just before we got to the pub. The pub immediately filled up with queues of people, just after we got there and got a table, so we felt lucky.
 Mmmmm, soup, warmth and a rainy view. 
 Making it back to the house on the hill. Ours is the left one of the two white houses. The little building to the side is also part of it, and had artwork in there, but was open to the elements, and in the process of being done up. It is two storeys and would make a perfect studio.
 The hedges all look like this. It seems a combination of the wind and neat trimming. 
 Bob, Maisie and Andy. Maisie wanted to dip her feet in the sea. She did, but not for long as it was freezing! I also dipped mine the day before, but with their shoes and socks on and by accident!
 Aaah lovely!

Thursday 3 March 2016

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair

I spent quite a large part of the weekend making this tower, to use in storytelling. This week was book week, and we read the story of Rapunzel. It is actually quite a disturbing story, but I lightened the disturbing bits and the children thought that if the witch apologized then everyone could be friends at the end! They used the tower and the dolls I made a few years ago to retell the story themselves, and did so really well. I love story telling and I love to pass that on to the children if I can. Apart from being fun, it is such a great way to learn about so many things. 

I found this face in the newspaper I used for papier maché and stuck it on the ceiling of the room. Nobody commented on it as far as I know. Today was world book day, and the whole school dressed up, with hasty arrangements made for children who didnt have a costume. It was a really lovely sunny day, so we got some great photos. My favourite two were Spiderman (Daily Mash headline today was something like 'World book day sees thousands of children dressing up as film characters') doing the hoovering with the Henry Hoover I found in a charity shop a few weeks ago, and Iron Man sitting on a small stool in sunlight, looking pensive. I also got an amazing one of Cinderella eating an apple.
I couldn't resist doing a mini photo session using the tower and some dolls before I took it in on Monday. Results below!
These are Chinese tumbling dolls. They arrived with their feet tucked into their hands in a very uncomfortable position, so I untucked them.
This family was a recent very naughty purchase. They are modern dolls, made by Djecco. There are three families and this is the Gaspard family. I bought them from a lovely but very precious toy shop near here. The lady who runs it asked me who they were going to. Instead of telling her the truth, for some unknown reason I lied and said 'a nephew'. 'A nephew', not even 'my nephew'. I don't know why I did it, but somehow I felt embarrassed. Stupid I know. Anyway, they are mine all mine now and live in one of the dolls houses with some very old furniture. They are making the best of it, and enjoyed their outing to the tower.

This little man looks right at home. He reminds me of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican.

This rosy faced doll liked the blue of the room. 

Not a doll strictly. I got her from the boot fair ages ago. Beautiful!
Alice popped in. 

Have a great weekend!