Thursday, 30 October 2014

Photos from Paris

Our life is a bit split between two places for the moment. It seems we just settle in here and find a rhythm to our days and its time to pack the suitcases again and head up to Paris. Seeing friends is our priority when we're in the city, the landmarks like the Musée de Moyen Age at Cluny or the Eiffel Tower are a bonus. And still, even in the city we tend towards the wild and time spent in the Fôret de Meudon surely helped create continuity between our two worlds.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Poem Published

Back at the beginning of the year, which seems a very long time ago now, I hesitantly took my courage in my hands and sent off a very favourite poem of mine to an independent press' first annual writing competition. That press was Mother's Milk Books and a few months later I was over the moon when I found out that my poem had won! I remember dancing around the kitchen in elation. 

As part of the competition's prize the poem has now been published in a small anthology. You can buy the book directly from the editor or here via Amazon. Earlier in the year it appeared in the summer edition of Juno Magazine.

I feel very proud of my little poem making it's way out there in the world. It was a wonderful moment to finally see it print. A big thank you to Teika at Mother's Milk Books for running the competition and making all this happen!

As both the poem and a prose piece I wrote which also made it into the anthology were inspired by carrying my babes, here are some of my favourite carrying pictures...

Monday, 6 October 2014

Why I love Libraires

As homeschoolers and bibliophiles we spend a lot of time in Libraries. They're one of our children's favourite places. I love their potentiality. What treasures will we find? What new subjects will we decide to learn about? Will they have our favourites? Yakari, Sheltie, one of Kazuo Iwamura's lovely Mouse Family series? There are thousands more of course and so many waiting to be found and that's the wonder of libraries. What are your favourite books for children and for adults? What was the last great read you picked up? 

Being new to the area our local libraries are completely new to us and so last week we spent a lovely afternoon discovering Pontivy's Espace Kenere. 

A trip to the library is a long affair in our family. Each child heads off independently (yes even the 2 year old) to find their books. We do our own browsing, picking out things we find beautiful or think will interest the children or ourselves. We also guide the children towards the shelves that hold the books on subjects we know they're interested in. 

Once they get them home, both our beginning reader and our 'non-readers' (I'm not convinced this is really an accurate term) spend hours with their books. Their noses stuck in them, right on the page, devouring them, this is their first fling with these new treasures. 

They pick up an awful lot of information without either of us having read a page to them. I believe this is also one of the most important steps on their journey to reading. Not only is their passion for the written word growing, so is their understanding of the myriad of universes and knowledge books can unlock and at the same time they're studying the code and structure of the written word and trying to make their own sense of it. It's fascinating and heart warming to see. 

Later, over the weeks that these new friends spend in our home, we will read them together many times and that will be our part in this journey. But the children will also carry on with their own discoveries, copying out a section of text that interests them or drawing pictures inspired by the stories or watching a film because an interest has been sparked. So many connections spreading out like a web from that first and most exciting object of potential, a book. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fresh food from the Garden

It was one of my dreams when I thought about living here to eat food we'd grown ourselves. And now that dream has come true! Our first bed has been a hands down success, the radishes are juicy, the rocket is rampant and even the lamb's lettuce after a slow start is going strong now. 

Here's what's we've been doing with all this green loveliness...
  • Tossing the rocket with rock salt, balsamic vinegar and good quality olive oil and eating it with tomato salad and sheep's cheese.
  • Sprinkling shredded rocket onto homemade carrot and red lentil soup. I like this recipe which I tweaked a bit, as in we didn't have any sweet potato so I just used carrots it came out yummy and thick, oh and I didn't do the topping as my kids preferred homemade wholemeal bread and butter to dip in their soup. 
  • Eating lambs lettuce and runny eggs, it's so good dipped in, with steamed broccoli and more homemade bread to accompany.
  • Throwing handfuls of rocket onto homemade pizza topped with mozzarella and artichokes.
  • Tearing rocket into pasta with pan-fried courgettes, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
  • Eating the radishes straight out of the ground!