Who Built the Ark?

I’m thinking we should! ๐Ÿ™‚ This weekend our village was hit by flooding. Unfortunately our house is classed as ‘at risk’ due to its close proximity to the brook.

This was the view from our window on Sunday and it remained this way ALL DAY and most of the night. We had been issued warnings and at 7.15am there were some large puddles but by 8.45am it was like this;

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Poppy and I went for a walk with Skipper, he was not impressed

not amused :/

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Its funny how something like this brings communities together ๐Ÿ™‚ one neighbour produced a tray of hot chocolate and a group of us stood around chatting in the sunshine watching the muddy water swirl its way round our feet and our pathways. It was quite surreal, a bit like something out of a Dr Seuss book, branches and twigs floating, apples bobbing and even the odd fish swimming in the road! Bizarre!

By the afternoon with water levels still rising, we decided to move all our photos and other valuables to a higher level, put the freezer onto bricks, and lifted other furniture items as best as we could. Then it was a case of sitting and waiting.

Thankfully by morning the water had drained away, as if someone had removed the plug. Though saying that, this afternoon has been heavy rain and the puddles are getting bigger and the brook getting higher. Fingers crossed.

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Flood warnings and other things

Other things that have happened over the last week.

The girls had their final animation session but unfortunately they didn’t get to complete within the time allocated due to high numbers of children vs laptops/software available although they will hopefully get to finish it at the next Arts Award. They have loved the animations sessions, spent time with exisiting friends and making some new ones too ๐Ÿ™‚ We are hoping to continue working with this group in the new year on other projects/workshops which the girls are looking forward to.

After hearing about one of our friends sons recent application and interview to get into college to persue a career in photography, Skye is getting anxious about not being good enough at maths and have been making special efforts to do maths at least once, sometimes twice a day! ๐Ÿ™‚ She is developing a very mature attitude to her work, probably because she has a goal and seems determined to reach it ๐Ÿ™‚

There has been conservation group, this week they were laying bark chips around the site. I really need to go back and visit to see what work they have been doing. Sounds like there are quite a few changes since I last visited! Thankfully the weather stayed dry for them as we have had so much rain! So much so, my Dad had to pick me up in his 4×4 on Thursday so i could get to work as we couldn’t get off the driveway!! We live very close to a brook which is mostly fairly shallow but with the amount of rain we have had over the past few days alarmingly rose the water levels! Though within 24 hrs the flooding had susbsided, although the brook remains very very high and we have been issued with a flood warning for the weekend ๐Ÿ˜ฆ eep!!

I finished part one of my Secret Santa and will hopefully finish part 2 this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Poppy’s is fabulous and she should be finished this weekend too ๐Ÿ™‚ Skye still has lots to do, she has a plan and if she is left to get on with it she should get it done this weekend. Wayne’s is simple and won’t take long at all, I just need to remind him to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

I have spent many hours gathering inspiration and ideas via Pinterest and have so many projects I want to do with the girls ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry and I are going to get back to our Artetc days so watch this space for more fab art projects ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls have been Skyping various friends, I love hearing them giggling and chatting. I love Skype and its great for the girls having many friends dotted around the country ๐Ÿ™‚ Though saying that I am constantly losing my laptop, which incidently has a screen fault and so needs to be sent back under warranty for repair/replacement so we will be laptop-less for a couple of weeks!! Argh!!! Its still useable but the screen is ghosting and has flickery lines running down it so not ideal ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Its going to be a busy weekend, Wayne wants to do some more decluttering, clearing out all the girls workbooks. We more or less know which workbooks the girls will be working from and need to get rid of the ones that they no longer use or need. Saturday evening we are visiting friends and are very much looking forward to that. Sunday is likely to be a crafting/baking day ๐Ÿ™‚

There has been lots and lots of dancing, mostly to Gangnam Style – that song is driving me mad!!!!! Although they do dance well ๐Ÿ™‚ Poppy has expressed an interest in starting dancing again so i need to look into that. Skye has decided that athletics is not really her thing and would rather do something creative, she would ideally like to do something like Stomp but I don’t think there is anything like it around here. They are both keen to try the circus skills workshop so will definitely take them along to that.

Unfortunately we are forecast a very wet weekend and so we are keeping fingers crossed we don’t flood, though our house is on a slight uphill slope so we should be ok!!

Historyetc – Japan, 30 Years War, Grimms Fairy Tales and Zen Gardens

I have no idea where our days are disappearing to! Another fab Historyetc day. I was awake ridiculously early and managed to get back to sleep for an hour but was still up and about by 7am. I was wanting to make St Martins Day lanterns out of tin cans but as this was a last minute decision, hadn’t actually got enough empty cans for everyone, cue making tonights dinner at 7.15am! Only managed 6 of the 10 cans needed but it was a start ๐Ÿ™‚

Prised the girls out of bed, and send them out in the rain to walk the dog after Poppy made them scrambled egg and crumpets for breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s very competent in the kitchen and I love that ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived at the beans later than we hoped but it was a slow start for everyone, not just us ๐Ÿ™‚ Chris managed to empty contents of tinned fruit so I could fill the cans with water and freeze ready for making our lanterns. Unfortunately they didn’t freeze in time so will hopefully finish this craft another day ๐Ÿ™‚ This is more or less what we were hoping to achieve. Once the water has frozen, lay the can onto a towel, draw out a simple outline design onto paper, wrap around the can and fix with tape. Then carefully using a nail, hammer holes around the outline of the design. Freezing the water stops the can from caving in when making the holes. Remove the paper and voila ๐Ÿ™‚ I will probably spray paint the cans afterwards to preserve them, especially if using them outside ๐Ÿ™‚

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History not being my strong point, my contribution is baking and/or cooking! To begin we prepared some gingerbread representing one of Grimms fairy tales ๐Ÿ™‚

Gingerbread
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
125g butter
175g soft brown sugar
1 egg
4tbsp golden syrup

Mix flour, ginger, bicarb and cinnamon
Add butter and rub with fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Beat egg and syrup
Add to breadcrumbs and mix until it clumps together.
Tip out dough and need until smooth.
Wrap in clingflim and chill for 15 mins.
Roll out dough 1/4″ thick and cut out shapes
Bake for 12-15 mins at gas mark 4
Leave on tray to cool for 10 mins then transfer onto wire rack

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To celebrate St Martins Day we baked a deliciously sweet apple cake.

Swedish Apple Cake

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 apples
1 3/4 cup self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cloves

Grate apples without peeling
Cream sugar and margarine
Add eggs and vanilla
Add flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Mix
Add apples and mix
Pour into a lined 8″ x 8″ tin and bake for 20 minutes at gas 4

For the topping:
Melt 3tbsp butter
Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp milk
Add 1 1/2 cups demerera sugar and stir to a paste

Remove cake and carefully spread the topping over the top of the cake. Bake for a further 25 mins.

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There was some Taj Mahal style tile painting, Japan mapwork and Zen garden design happening elsewhere, unfortunately lacking in photos due to mostly being in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

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There was also plenty of opportunities to ‘hang out’ with friends whilst chatting with others ๐Ÿ™‚
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WedEd – Zentangle doodles, human cells and a sing-song

I was awake stupidly early this morning, no idea why. Made the most of it and took Skipper for a walk, then got on with making this carrot and courgette soup (using vegetable stock) for todays WedEd lunch (it was delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Skye started the morning writing a poem to enter into this RSPB competition and took herself off to her bedroom to finish it when Merry and co arrived. Poppy started her morning reading ๐Ÿ™‚

We started with zentangle foot and/or hand drawings. I love these ๐Ÿ™‚

zentangle hands

Zentangle foor

Merry took a group for poetry, they did something relating to Remembrance Sunday/war. Helen set up the microscope and looked at human cells, scraping the inside of their cheeks and putting the scapings onto slides ๐Ÿ™‚ Eeewwwww :/

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After lunch there was more science and poetry, some playing in the garden and with Christmas camp only a couple of weeks away, HH played the piano and we practised some Christmas singing ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then some fimo-ing, they made some fabulous fimo lanterns, by wrapping some black fimo round a small jar, cutting out shapes and filling them in with translucent coloured fimo. They looked amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

fimo lanterns

and then it was bells with Em ๐Ÿ™‚

practicing the bells

Finished our day with yummy curry prepared by myself, Em and a couple of the children ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you all for another fab day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Decluttering

Girls were busy coppicing at the Wild Place on Friday not sure what they got up to when they got home. Chippery tea followed by The Middle and Modern Family ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturdayย I was hoping to start on my secret santa but wayne had other plans and we ended up decluttering, sorting and moving the bedrooms round.ย  I have never seen the upstairs of our house in such turmoil – it was quite stressful, there was stuff everywhere!!ย  Theย girls were really helpful and sorted out all the drawersย in their rooms and the wardrobes in the spare room, one of which we moved into our room after dismantiling and disposing of our wardrobe, we also moved our bed to another part of the room and now our room looks twice as big!!ย ย We were incredibly ruthlessย and what we didn’t ebay, weย donated to charityย ๐Ÿ™‚ To be honest, you would look at our house and wonder where all the stuff came from! Our house is pretty tidy and organised – mostly down to Wayne ๐Ÿ™‚ Sunday was finishing off clearing outย the spare room which will becomeย F’sย bedroom.ย  Wayne and the girls took all the charity stuff to Woodgreen and I finished ebaying the last few bits. It feels good to declutter and means there will be less to do when we go off on our travels but on the other hand when we prepare to go off on our travels there will be so much more to get rid of!!!

In evening we suggled up and watched a film, Cowboys & Aliens

Today was going to be a baking/cooking day but instead Mum picked us up and we visited my sister who is recovering from an op.ย  Had a lovely day, and her partner D cooked a fabulous veggie chili ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Came home via the drs as Skye had an appointment with the nurse for her tetanus jab.ย  The nurse wasย lovely and very easy to chat to, sheย had pink in her hair, brighter than Skye’s (as hers has faded a fair bit) and so they were chatting about that.ย  The Nurse had a random informativeย chat about std’s (with my consent) and then they had to listen to my mum chatting about them on the way home…….obviously so embarrasing as there was not a sound from them!!

Skye helped out a Cubs, she is really enjoying it and is quite popular apparently ๐Ÿ™‚ She has her favourites, though she know she shouldn’t and has been very responsible, planning and organising games. Tonight they played ‘Find it’ -she send the cubs out of the room, hid an object and they came back in looking for the object and when they spotted it, didn’t say anything just made their way to the centre of the room and sat down. Skye played it at a Victorian Themed party a couple of years ago and thought it would be fun – none of the cubs had played it before and loved it! She came home happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow is baking day ๐Ÿ™‚

Halloween

I am a little late blogging this but the girls did such a brilliant job with their costumes it seemed a shame not to feature them!

The night before, Skye had her friend A here for a sleep over and whilst they were upstairs doing whatever teenage girls do, Poppy carved a pepper as we struggled to find any pumpkins locally, but it worked well and looked quite cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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She also made a Halloween blood guts and gore cake using multi coloured mixture and covering it with a green icing spotted with red food colouring, though the photos doesn’t really show its true colours. It tasted yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

blood guts and gore Halloween cake

Halloween cake

They had been busy sewing, crafting and prepping for it on and off for a couple of days. I wouldn’t say we really ‘celebrate’ halloween but the girls LOVE creating outfits and dressing up, always have, and so this is just another one of those opportunities to do just that.

Skye created Little Dead Riding Hood, adapting an old halloween dress she found to make a cape, shortened a dress one of my mums friends had donated as part of or fabric stash and made up her face ๐Ÿ™‚ She looked gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚ You can see more ‘theatrical’ and creative photos on Skye’s blog.

Halloween 2012

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Poppy decided to go as ‘The Bad Hatter’ and made herself a fab top hat and put together an outfit from clothes we had in our fabric stash and dressing up box. She also did the most amazing ‘zombie’ style make up with pva glue, tissue and make up. This was her ‘practise run’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautifully gruesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Special effects make up - halloween zombie

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Peeling it off was fun though!

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But this was the make up she went did on the day, mainly because it was pouring with rain so it may not have kept its effect. She is very talented at applying make up, which is probably a good thing as she wants a career as a make up/special effects artist ๐Ÿ™‚

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Skye went with a friend ‘Trick or Treating’ and then came home and went out with Poppy. It was just a shame the weather was so miserable ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We had a some very wet little witches and ghouls appear at our door!

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