Monday, 27 September 2010

Wheal Eliza

We took a walk on Exmoor yesterday. Starting in Simmonsbath and heading out to Wheal Eliza Cottage. The ruins of a tiny cottage left out on its own on the moor. You can just see the wall of it here. The boys and I stood in front of the piles of stones and imagined what it must have been like to live there.
Fin said it would have been boring to live such an isolated place, but then when we talked through what life out there would have involved, he decided there wouldn't have been time for being bored. It must have been so beautiful and so hard. They were probably snowed in for weeks or months at a time up there in the winter.

We had hoped to walk on to Cow Castle, but Jack had tummy ache and I wasn't convinced he would last so we will leave that one for next time.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Vocation Vocation Vocation

Some places make you feel at home. Like you should be there.

Some times you just know you are where you should be.

Sometimes you find yourself bathed in autumnal sun, planting tiny little plug plants in a field of dwarf clover, talking to your friend and listening to the sounds of happy children as they roam unchecked around the farm. 

I had the most sunny, beautiful day at the Share Harvest Farm yesterday. I spent the day working in the fields, whilst answering texts and phone calls for help and advice from two women who were in very different labours.

And as I carefully dug the little holes for the tiny cabbages, and leeks, and spring greens, and talked a woman through how to stay relaxed, and another through how to up her hormone levels, it occurred to me that this was about as perfect as it could get for me.
 My own personal work ideal!

Oh, and I also realised we need a farm, or a small small holding at least! Time to get thinking again.
Updates on the births over at the Birthwise blog. 

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A Day Off and Working

Fin's operation was only a partial success. Although they managed to straighten his nose as far as possible, it isn't straight. Fin is taking this quite badly as I think he was all geared up for everything to be back to normal by now. They have talked about cosmetic surgery to correct it, but the procedure sounds horrendous, involving chisels, and he can't have it done until his late teens as he is still growing.

When I say it isn't straight, it's not badly wonky either, or that noticeable, but to him it is glaringly obvious. We are just all trying our best to keep things light and positive, and focus on planning for all the excitements of the season ahead.

I cancelled a Couples Workshop I was supposed to be teaching yesterday, and Fin didn't want to see anyone so he skipped his youth theatre practice in the morning. He really just wanted to sit on the sofa and watch films so in the afternoon I left him and his Daddy to the sofa and took the littlies to the Working Day at Ashreighney.

Which as far as I can make out is a ploughing competition involving every conceivable method of dragging a plough over the ground. From the gleaming Massey to the tiny little vineyard tractor designed to be narrow enough to fit between the rows of vines, and these beautiful chaps of course, they all ploughed their little strips. There was no urgency though, or sticking to your own patch as the tractors seemed to take turns, swapping and moving around, and stopping to chat.

Jack and Lily followed this chap, with Jack launching his usual flurry of enquiries until by the time they had done a few turns Jack was naming the various parts of the plough, and explaining how the ropes steered the horses. He never quite managed to absorb the bit about ' don't touch their back legs or go behind them' though, and was constantly having to be called away. I like to think of it as 'selective genius'! 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

An Underactive Danger Gland

I have obviously been thinking a lot about what happened to Finley at school. And I have talked to him about how to be more 'danger' aware, how to spot the danger signs and steer clear. Finley seems to be almost completely unaware of danger, which is a little unsettling as a parent, or at least it should be, and it it when I think of it, but at other times, it's not!

I have an under active danger awareness, and so does my son! Thinking about it I have real difficulty in feeling worried, or spotting potential dangers. In a world where people seem to see rapists around every street corner I seem to have missed out. And I guess my son has as well.

My lack of danger awareness in it's most innocent form gives rise to uncomfortable situations with other parents where they question why I haven't stopped Fin from doing things, or ask the questions about safety that haven't even occurred to me. At it's most serious it has allowed me to walk headlong into seriously sticky situations where luck and luck alone have meant that I'm still here and not on the front cover of a national newspaper.

It is bravery, and to be brave is no bad thing, but to be brave and stupid is disastrous. I am afraid of the dark, but not overly. I fear being near big drops and cliff edges with my children, and can't bear driving along roads with drops on one side, but I have never been afraid of another person, ever.

I think I need to teach my children to become more danger aware, but first I think I am going to have to teach myself.

Fin goes in for his op to straighten his nose tomorrow, and I am afraid for him. I fear for the discomfort he will have to go through, and the horrible experience that is a general anesthetic. And I'm afraid for myself, as I know how gut wrenchingly nerve shakingly upsetting it is going to be to hold his hand and watch him go under.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.
It's a YES

Here's to the power of thought, of will, of intent, of Isis.

To all the things we can't see, and all the things we can't explain, and magic, however it manifests itself.

I want to sing and shout and scream and dance and I can hardly contain my overwhelming happiness.

And I knew, and told them all, but they doubted, but I KNEW.


More details to follow, but for now just go and WISH. Whatever you want, whatever you need, just wish with all your heart and thought, and imagine it happening. Imagine how it will feel when it happens, see how you will react, feel the joy and excitement welling up inside you, and just keep doing it unitl it becomes REAL.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Rocks along the Road

Finley and I went to see the Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant at the hospital yesterday who has booked Fin in for his corrective procedure on Friday.

If you have never had to watch your child be put under with a general anesthetic you are fortunate indeed. It is one of the most disturbing and upsetting things I have ever had to witness.

I am struggling to find positives in my feelings at the moment, and am trying hard not to let feelings of anger and disappointment become too great a part of our lives.

Fin has returned to school today as I did say he could go back once he had had his Consultants approval. I am trying very hard to keep up with Fin's confidence and enthusiasm, and not show him my own fears and concerns in case they become part of his story.

I believe very strongly that great things are just around the corner for our family, and that these are all just rocks along that road. We will never get where we are going if we fall foul of the rocks and give up on our journey.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Rocks and Hard Places

We have been having some particularly trying times around here of late.

There have been some really good happenings happening, such as starting planting out some plug plants at the Share Harvest. This is really the very beginning of the 'harvesters' involvement in the project, and due to various factors such as ill health and holidays, I am the first and currently the only harvester working up there.

It felt so good to put these tiny little plans into the earth that John and Carrie have spent years improving. And the techniques we are using are so different to the 'conventional' methods, it is all very exciting and unprecedented.

Jack started in Hedgehogs class which feels wonderful. He loves it, and is a lot calmer now he has access to all the books and equipment available to him at school. They are currently studying Native Americans as the whole school learning subject so we are drawing totem poles and wolves now instead of city scapes and volcanoes.

Fin started Secondary school last week which was a tough thing for me to integrate. It isn't the growing up thing, I'm fine with that, it was more the change in influences and attitudes that was bothering me. As Fin neared school change age we explored various possibilities, looking at different schools and considering the possibility of home ed-ing. I did home ed Fin for about 8 weeks around the time of our move when I decided to remove him from his previous school. I was unsure at the time how his schooling would work out, but was prepared to keep him at home if that was what worked.

As it was he was offered a place at our local school which he really wanted to take up. I would have quite happily kept him at home but he really wanted to be at school so that was his decision. And it was a good one as he had a wonderful time at our local primary, and they really helped to undo a lot of the very destructive and unhelpful programming that he had received at his previous school.

So Secondary school. We eventually settled on him going to the local secondary for a number of reasons. Having looked at most of the schools in the area I had come to the conclusion that they were all pretty much of a muchness, and at least with this one it would be where most of his friends from school would go. It was in our local town and the bus collects them from right outside our sitting room window.

So he went, and loved it. Made some really nice friends, and met up with some old ones, and was having a lovely time. Right up until some boys took a slight dislike to him as he didn't like them and started saying they were going to knock him out etc. He thought it was just mildly amusing but I was concerned as I felt these were the sort of boys that Fin hadn't encountered before and that he was maybe unaware of a potential problem. I decided when he set off for school on his 4th day that I would e-mail his tutor that evening just to express my concerns.

Then I got a phone call just before lunch to say Fin has had his nose broken at break time.

 Seems one of these lads decided to stop waiting for Fin to bite and try to antagonise him. Fin was stood talking to a group of friends when this boy and some cronies came up behind him and started to unzip Fins back pack to get stuff out. Fin turned around with this lad right up in his face, called him a name and pushed him away, at which this boy used his elbow to break Fins nose.

The police say it's probably GBH and that the way the boy hit Fin is a recognised martial arts move designed to cause maximum damage at close range.

The school have so far done nothing, saying they are waiting to see what the police do. In fact the only thing they have done is lie to me and tell me that all the witnesses said Fin hit him first. When I asked to see the witness statements they changed their story to say that only some said that, basically the ones taken from this lad and his gang! They had the all out nerve to suggest I needed to come in to talk about how we could help channel Fins energies into something positive!!! I told them that what with rugby, boy scouts, youth theatre, guitar, knitting, sewing, surfing, walking and helping at the farm I didn't think he would have the time!

I am left with zero confidence in the school and a sinking feeling of inevitability. Fin is just desperate to get back to school. He was loving it and he just can't wait to have all the subjects he still hadn't tried out yet. I think he is naive and doesn't understand how these sort of thing work. I'm sure there will be more trouble, especially with the school being so unhelpful and with this boy likely to be arrested.

There are just so many rocks and hard places in this world that sometimes it can be hard to see how things will ever turn out well! I just have to put my faith and trust in the universe and hope I receive the guidance I need to make the best choices.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tail Chasing

I have been neglecting this space of late.

There has been a lot going on, some good, some challenging, and I have found myself stretched both physically and mentally. I will be back to update and become more present again soon, but for now I must concentrate on getting straightened up and on figuring out how to work the camera my Mum has lent me.

I'm really missing my camera.