The pros and cons of a working holiday

smilehy face and an unhappy face

My recent posts about working holidays have inspired others to do the same, which is great. But there are a number of things that need to be considered before jumping in; although jumping in is always a great way to learn, albeit the hard way.:) Continue reading

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Feeling all woofed out

In my last post I spoke about our adventures in Cirencester while WWOOF-ing(WWOOF: World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) . Somewhere in that post I discuss meeting our host and how well I thought we would get on. However, during the course of the week things changed dramatically. Continue reading

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Off to the Cotswolds

tress with house in background

After our fantastic WWOOF( World Wide Opportuitinies On Organic Farms) experience in Dewsbury, last summer, I was excited to organise another trip, but this time I was keen to stay with a few hosts in different locations. First stop: Cirencester Continue reading

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Monopoly Run

Get a map of London and challenge yourself to visit all the places on the Monopoly board! Great if you like being out and about.

Ideas come from everywhere

One of the ways we have found to combine our mutual love of London and monopoly is by visiting all the places on the monopoly board–a great way to get to know London better and have some great days out. Continue reading

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Speak up for what you believe and teach your children to do the same

A few weeks ago I took my son, Kai, to the London Wetland Centre (a wildlife centre in West London) to make up for not going to France. We’ve wanted to go here for a long time and checked out the website before going to see what was on offer; we were especially keen to see the otters. When we got to there we were hugely disappointed. The first birds we saw (barnacle and red-breasted geese) were huddled under a tree, unable to go very far due to the small area they were confined to. I didn’t realise that many of the birds there have their wings clipped( until one of the other visitors mentioned it) which made watching them very uncomfortable for me.


Very sad!


There is a selection of wild birds(not the above) that can be observed from the hides with and without binoculars. It was a pleasure to watch the wild birds, knowing that they can come and go at will, which is sort of the whole point of watching wildlife.

The most disappointing part of the visit was seeing the otters in their small enclosure surrounded by a pool of stagnant water. It was absolutely heartbreaking watching them running around as the crowds built up at feeding time, barking and yelping because they knew it was time for food( okay they could have been barking for another reason). The keeper informed us that the otters were raised in captivity and this was for their own protection, due to a decline in numbers. But I don’t feel this justifies keeping these magnificent creatures in captivity. Wouldn’t it be better to invest all our efforts to deal with the man-made causes of their decline including their loss of habitat( currently the main cause of a reduction in their numbers), poaching, their use in food and medicine, etc.


One of the two otters

I moaned quite a bit during the day, so Kai says. I was still very upset about not being able to go to France and this could well have made things worse. But I was very unhappy with certain aspects of the centre and it was important that my feelings had a productive outlet. So I resolved to contact the London Wetland Centre and offer some feedback from our visit when I returned home. I emailed them during the week and look forward to their response, if it comes. It is important that Kai see’s that I have the courage to speak out and stand up for my beliefs, then hopefully he will learn to do the same. It’s easy to moan and complain about things we do not like, but it takes real courage to take action. When those who are experiencing injustice are not in a position to speak out for themselves, it becomes the duty of those who can to honour the call.


Picture 1 credit: Taymaz Valley

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I can’t home-educate because…

“You home-educate, really?”

When people find out that I’m home-educating they are curious and quick to applaud my efforts, but often end with, “I couldn’t do that.”
The two main issues people generally have with home-ed are money and having to deal with their child full time. Yes, money can be an issue, if you let it. But when isn’t money an issue? I’ve rarely found someone for whom money isn’t an issue, and that’s irrespective of whether they home-educate or not. But that is not want I want to discuss in this post. I want to talk about the other issue: being forced into a very close and intense relationship with your children. Continue reading

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Refusing to tread the well-trodden path

Secondary school: should we or shouldn’t we?

It’s that time of year when many children in year 6(aged 10-11) are preparing for SATS and have recently found out which secondary schools they have been offered places at.
I applied for a secondary school place for Kai last year, while he was in school, as it made sense at the time.  We recently received confirmation that Kai has been accepted at a very good boys school in my local area but I’m doubtful as to whether he will go. Good school or not, it’s still a school. And that’s likely to mean a restricted education within the confines of the school gates compared to the freedom and broad education he would receive outside of school. Continue reading

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