Tobogganing at Tallington

Met up at Tallington lakes with a local HE group for a fun morning of tobogganing 🙂 Who would have thought that so late in September we could be having such amazing weather! Far too hot to be wrapped up in long sleeves, long trousers and gloves!! So amongst the moaning about being too hot, needing drinks, having such a long way to walk up the hill, a great time was had 🙂






Arts Award – Gouache

Fridays is usually a Daddy home ed day but I was lucky enough to take a Friday off work and go along to one of their Arts Award sessions. This week they were working with gouache (pronounced gwash). Its a bit like watercolour but thicker, the colours are more vibrant and it can be layered. Only downside is that you have to wait for each layer to dry before applying the next.

So, what did they do? Well firstly Leigh gave them a small piece of paper and asked them to draw simple shapes onto it.

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They they chose a selection of colours and ‘coloured in’ the shapes using the gouache.



Once this was done, they could then add some decoration, swirls, spots and anything else they wanted to enhance their work. Finally they outlined selected bits of their picture with a black marker pen. The results were fab!

Skye's finished gouache painting

Poppy's finished gouache painting

They were then encouraged to choose a picture from a magazine and try to recreate it. Skye chose a butterfly and Poppy chose a turtle.

The idea was to sketch the picture first then apply a block colour, building up colour and textures. Leigh did say that many artists who use gouache often have 3 or 4 paintings on the go so as they can allow time for each layer to dry yet still carry on with their art work!


Concentrating hard


Poppy's turtle

Skye's butterfly

They’ve yet to complete these paintings as we have no gouache at home and they ran out of time in their lesson, but will post them here once they are finished 🙂

After the session had finished, the girls had a quick play at the park, sharing the beans picnic as I hadn’t realised I was supposed to bring one with me! So thank you Chris 🙂

Historyetc – Anglo Saxons

Another craft filled day at the beans for historyetc. I took along Anglo Saxon cooking and we made Honey and Cream Cheese Slices, Griddle Cakes and Honey Oat Cakes. All were rather delicious but the favourite was definitely the Honey and Cream Cheese Slices. I have included the recipes below.

Griddle cakes
Spelt flour
Sugar and/or honey
Rolled oats
Dried fruit
Milk or water
First put 1 part butter, 1 part sugar and 2 parts flour into a mixing bowl. Add a blob of honey. Rub in until you get even breadcrumbs (like when you make pastry). Add extra
flour/butter as needed. Add a little milk or water to bind into a dough – not too much or it will become sticky. Knead briefly. Add as many oats and dried fruit as you like and knead into the dough. Take small balls of the dough and flatten into rounds (3-4 mm thick). Melt some butter on a griddle or in a flat pan, and drop the cakes in. Turn every 30 seconds – 1 minute until both sides are nicely browned. Eat while still hot!


Honey Oat Cakes
Serves 10-15 people.
350 g (12 Oz) Rolled Oats (Whole rolled oats if possible)
225 g (8 Oz) Butter
225 g (8 Oz) Honey
Pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add the salt, honey and oats and stir until they are well mixed.
Spoon the mixture out onto a greased baking tray or swiss roll tin and press it down well.
Bake at 325F/170C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for a few minutes then mark into squares while still warm and serve when cold.


Cream Cheese and Honey Slices
Serves 10-15 people.
100 g (4 Oz) Plain Flour
75 g (3 Oz) Soft Butter
100 g (4 Oz) Cream Cheese
50 g (2 Oz) Honey
2.5 ml (half level teaspoon) Ground Cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
Sift the flour and chop in the butter; add 15 ml (1 tbsp) water, work with a knife to a smooth dough. If necessary chill to make rolling out easier. Use to line a 28.5 by 18.5 by 1.5 cm (11.75 by 7.75 by 0.75 inch) Swiss roll tin. I actually used a 7 x 7 inch tin and the filling wasn’t that deep so I would suggest doubling the filling ingredients.
Mix together the cream cheese, honey and cinnamon and add the eggs. Pour this mixture onto the pastry.
Bake at 350F/180C for about 30 minutes.
Cut into slices when cool.


HH was encouraging them to create and illustrate some fabulous sewn books inspired by Beowulf. M bought along Celtic hama bead designs which were fab, B brought weaving, there was also G’s calligraphy badges and K’s ceremonial Anglo-Saxon badges so plenty to be getting on with 🙂

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Had the usual chatter and cups of tea which is always good 🙂

I towered up home made biscuits as a birthday cake for Skye and we all sang her a happy birthday 🙂


France 2011

Friday 2nd Sept, 3am, car loaded, tired but excited girls loaded, ready for the off, car wouldn’t start! Dead, nothing 😦 Put car on charge for 20 mins, still nothing, almost flagged a passing police car but hesitated too long and missed him 😦 Where are the jump leads when you need them?? Only one thing left to do, dash to nearby 24hr Tesco extra and purchase (the last set of) jump leads!

4.25am we were on our way to Dover, screeching in with only minutes to spare!

Had a good run down to the campsite. Our home for the next 7 days was nestled in the forest across from a lovely lake so lots of frog hunting 🙂


We were very fortunate with the weather, although it was not hot and sunny every day, it was warm enough for the girls to swim in the outdoor pool, which we mostly had to ourselves, there was hardly anyone on site!



We managed a trip to see our lovely friends Nicki and Paul and their girls G & C. They own a beautiful farmhouse and gite complex with a pool 🙂 and had kindly invited us to stay overnight. We had a lovely couple of days with them and wished that we have booked the week there!

Didn’t do a great deal else, had a couple of days out geocaching, wandering round local towns and markets which was nice. We drove past some gorgeous troglodyte homes, some were up for sale 🙂





Our next stop was a site about an hour away from Paris, Le Croix de Vieux Pont. This is our 5th visit to this site as it ticks lots of boxes, indoor and outdoor pool with slides, a lake for pedalo-ing/canoeing, close enough to Paris/Euro Disney. Unfortunately the pitch we were given was not great but ok. Very close to the pool so the girls were happy 🙂

On our way to the site, we diverted slightly to visit a favourite Chateau of ours, Pierrefonds, where they were filming the next series of BBCs Merlin. We spent a couple of hours watching the filming, unfortunately we didn’t see Merlin or Gaius, (though we saw Merlin’s double), however if we had stuck around for a while longer, we would have seen Merlin 😦









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Shame the last pic came out blurry 😦

Most other days were spent at the pool, though on one of the cooler mornings we packed ourselves off geocaching and drove down this dirt track, skidding through some rather large muddy puddles and literally abandoned the car on the edge of a field and traipsed into the woods in search of a cache. There we found caves which served as a depository, a hospital and a place for soldiers to rest during WWI. There were trenches, an old railway track which was used to transport supplies to the soldiers. A very interesting site 🙂 That is what I love about geocaching, it leads us to places we would never have found.









We found the cache!


..and a bug (a real life one, not a Travel Bug)!


Another cache site took us up a hill beside a cemetery but unfortunately the area where the gps was directing us to was fenced off but Skye did spot a very small, gold coloured snake (unidentified) so not a completely wasted walk!

We visited Tours which we have wanted to do for a long time. Definitely worth the trip, it was beautiful. Especially loved the gorgeous medieval buildings.







Girls especially liked the Boulangerie 🙂


Another fabulous holiday.