Our New Home – Creative Writing

I gave Jess a bit of creative writing to do and it’s the most enthusiastic I have ever seen her when given work to do.

I asked her to write about the new home we all want, telling me about where it will be, what she would like around the area and what she wants in the house. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the writing and how quick she got it done. I must find something else along those lines again.

Here is her idea of the ideal house:

What My House Would Be Like When We Move

“My house would be in the middle of Scotland or near Loch Ness with forty or so acres of land for the dogs to run round, a pub for grandad, a game place for me and Abbiegail and a lake for nanny so she can get her steps in but it will be packed with swans, geese, grebes, ducks, fish and a heron or two.

In the house there would be one master bedroom two large bedrooms and one guest bedroom with a bath room in each bedroom as well as a TV. There would be a library for me, my Nan and my grandad with three comfy chairs and a couch (and no grumpy librarian saying shhh or quiet or glaring at you every second you are in there). Two living rooms one for the dogs and one for us because nanny doesn’t want every were covered in hairs or smelling of dog. The kitchen would be big and it would join to the living room that isn’t for the dogs.

In the back garden there would be as well as two workshops for my grandad, a pond with fish, a smallish treehouse for me, a small shop, and a well, there would be a barn with chickens and goats, from the chickens we’ll have fresh eggs and some chicks, from the goats we’ll have milk that can be made into goat’s cheese and two goats that breed so we’ve got kids.

In the aria around the house I’d like to have a small village with a bakery, a butchers, a post office and a Fulton’s but I wouldn’t mind if it was close to Maya and Maddie but that is what my house would be like when we move.”


NOTE: Maya & Maddy aren’t friends but 2 puppies from the litter our dog had in April who both moved to Scotland.


Science Lessons

We have decided to start having some science lessons at home. Sounds easy but I’ve got a 13 year old who is working at GCSE level and a 10 year old who is working around year 4. Add to this the fact a friend is also going to be joining us with an 11 year old and a 7 year old, This could be FUN  🙂

We are starting tomorrow with Acids and Alkalis, as I had to buy some PH paper to test some dog shampoo I’ve made. That is anther story


Bullet Journal


The other day my (home educating) friend was talking about how her life had been changed by her bullet journal, OK maybe a bit of an exaggeration.  She did say it was a lot easier now to keep track of what they had done.  I had read about bullet journals a while before but thought they were just a glorified diary so dismissed them, but they are so much more. They are a diary, a ‘to do’ list, a notebook, a planner, even a scrapbook,  in fact anything you want it to be. After seeing hers I decided to give it a go.

I went for a ‘dot’ one, just a series of dots on the pages which make it easy to draw boxes and straight lines.  Although any form of notebook can be used as a journal. My bullet journal arrived earlier today, I do love Amazon Prime for the quick delivery  🙂 Now, where to start.

I could really do with keeping track on day to day events, especially where the home education is concerned, it’s so easy to forget what you’ve done or need to do.

As it’s halfway through May I’m probably going to just have a play and decide whether I am going to do it properly next year. There are so many ideas online on how you can set it out and customise them. I’m not the best artist so I’ll stick with the basics for now I think.


As you can see, I utilised some sticky stars on the front page that I had been keeping for years as they would come in useful one day, they did 🙂 I also printed off a calendar on which I circled birthdays and some days and numbers (as seen above) for an easy start.

Inside the back page I’ve done a weight loss chart, hopefully that will be the first page I complete 😀

It’s still early days and at the moment it’s a chore setting it all out, hopefully it will get easier and become a ‘go to’ item instead of the calendar. I will keep you posted.

IBS – FODMAP Diet – 3rd Week Update

Its three weeks since I decided to try the FODMAP diet for my, possible, IBS. The first week I followed the diet to the letter and after the first two days, no stomach problems. Apart from having some homemade vegetable soup my diet was very boring though. Porridge for breakfast every day. Then I had boiled potatoes and carrots with either pork steak or chicken for my evening meal for the first 5 days.  So at the weekend myself and Abbie decided to see what I could eat.

On the Saturday we made sweet & sour chicken, corn bread and chocolate cake, all FODMAP friendly. On Sunday I did a roast, I was allowed to eat everything apart from gravy, I was naughty and had one spoonful though.

Week two started off well until the Sheppard’s pie, even worse, my husband’s homemade Sheppard’s pie. I simply couldn’t resist it but thought I would be OK. The only things in it I shouldn’t really eat was onion & stock cubes. I did only had a very small amount as well. I waited for the stomach ache to start, but nothing, I was fine, see, knew I would be! The next day Abbie baked cookies, again I know they had flour in but surely one wouldn’t affect me, again it didn’t. I then started to become very complacent, major mistake!

You can see where this is going can’t you? By Saturday all these little bits and pieces that ‘would be fine’ have resulted in me being awake half the night with stomach ache and sitting with hot water bottles all day on Sunday.  I did used to have willpower, no idea where it’s gone.

The third week was really bad for the first 3 days, I did follow the diet again and things started to settle down properly on Friday. I was eating mainly bland food that week and on Friday started adding in omelettes and more stir fries.

This week we went to Chester Zoo, so I did eat a few things I shouldn’t again but lucky it wasn’t overly bad. Restarting properly again this week, just hoping I can find that will power, it must be somewhere.

If you would like to have a look at my FODMAP recipes I am starting to list them on my website.


After going back and forwards to the doctors with numerous stomach & digestive problems I am going to work on the assumption that it is most probably IBS which is behind it all. As there is no actual test for IBS the diagnosis is a bit hit and miss. Last year they found I had a helicobacter pylori infection, acid reflux & gastritis after numerous tests. I was on antibiotics & other tablets for just over 2 months, everything settled down for a while but the last 6 months have been hell.

I have lost count of the number of things I’ve had to cancel over the last few years as I’ve not been able to leave the house because of stomach problems. Regularly when I was working (I’m self employed and I do shows & events mainly at the weekend), I couldn’t eat from lunch time the day before so I could leave the house early the next day. I would regularly not dare to eat for over 24 hours when I was working. This of course made my digestive system worse though, and the vicious circle started again.

I have already found a few foods that cause me problems such as onions, anything fizzy, fried/fatty foods & some vegetables.  A doctor suggested FODMAPS which I had never heard of but I’m willing to try anything to get out of this cycle of stomach cramps, diarrhoea & bloating so I can start to enjoy life again.

Let me explain about FODMAP, in case you, like me, have never heard about this. FODMAP stands for:  Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides & Polyols, bit of a mouthful I know. These are a collection of poorly absorbed simple & complex sugars which are found in a variety of fruits & vegetables but they also found in milk & wheat.

I have done a fair bit of research on what foods are likely to be bad for me but last week I found this page which contains a list of bad and good foods. I am starting changing my diet from tomorrow and I am aiming to just stick to the ‘good’ foods for between 2 and 4 weeks and then I will start to re-introduce some things and see if I have any reaction to them.

There’s one thing that I can’t cut out, milk. I cannot drink tea & coffee black so that has to stay in my diet but I will cut down as much as possible. The rest I will stick to, it is going to be hard but I have to look at the long term benefits. I will keep you posted on how I do with this.


#Walk 1000 Miles

I lost track of our 1000 mile challenge after February last year, there was too much going on. But, my total mileage for the year was a little over 1900 miles!!!

This was my total mileage which was every step I took when wearing my fitbit. My goal was to only use the amount of miles I did ‘boots on’ but that was impossible. I am more than happy with that total though and I am aiming to beat that figure this year.

In January I did 164.1 miles so off to a good start.

A Little Luxury

Before I took the children out of school I had 6 hours 10 minutes each day, Monday to Friday (in term time), when I could have time to myself.  Now they are here every minute of every day and although it can be very rewarding it can also be very hard especially when you want a little ‘me’ time.

I’ve given up an awful lot to home educate and have to juggle so much each day. Collecting birthday & Christmas presents needs military planning to make sure the child doesn’t see the present. The shopping used to be done while they were out, now we have to drag unwilling children around the supermarkets.  I used to love to sit and read when it was quiet, it never seems to be quiet enough now to concentrate.

But, the little luxury that I can’t do without is my bath once a week. Now before all the yuck’s start, the once a week is my ‘take as long as I want in the bath’ night.  Other nights are a shower or a 15 minute bath. I used to do it regularly, but during the day, when they were in school, now, forget it.

The warnings start 2 hours before, I’m going for a bath at 6pm. I’m going for my bath in an hour. Does anybody need the bathroom before I have my bath in 30 minutes. In 10 minutes I am going to lock the bathroom door, if you don’t go in now you can’t for a minimum of an hour. They all know that unless someone is dying that I am not moving until I’m ready.

Now, the main bit of luxury is filling the bath up so high that the water immediately starts to go down the overflow the minute I get in. No problem, I just keep filling in up. Lots of hot water and bubbles are the order of the day.

So, you can keep your flowers, chocolates & bottles of wine, OK maybe not the wine. The only treat I need is my deep, hot, bubbly bath and an hour with no interruptions and I’m happy.


Tour of Britain 2017

We’ve just got back from watching the Tour of Britain 2017 which came through our village.


The Tour of Britain is a multi-stage cycling race which is conducted on British roads, the competitors race across Great Britain to complete the race in the fastest time. The total distance is around 1300 km. The section we viewed part of was 165km.

This is the first time we have actually gone to anything like this but I think the children enjoyed seeing all the bikes, both motorised and pedal powered.

I don’t think we have a budding cyclist in the family, far too energetic. As a friend Jodie just said  “I can just about get out of bed in a morning, never mind that!!” I second that.

I feel we may have a couple of blog posts being done before the end of the day. I knew there was a reason I took them to watch it.

Minecraft Review

Explaining the game and its mechanics:

Minecraft is, by far, one of the most popular survival games ever made. Despite its purposefully blocky graphics it still surprises players with outstanding visuals, whether it’s in a deep ravine or on top of a snowy mountain. It’s a good tool to use to teach kids, I have a world for my sister and in it is a diagram of a flower.

Frequent updates make the game fresh and interesting with every major update. My favourite feature of minecraft is the range of unique biomes and monsters the player can come across.

There are different ways to play this game, from Creative mode (which is a risk free way to build or explore) to Survival mode (Exactly how it sounds, survive). Survival its my favourite, it makes it so, in order to survive, the player needs to gather resources. This includes building a shelter before night, otherwise the players chance of survival drops dramatically as a rage of monsters spawn everywhere. Creative, however, prevents this as the player flies around the world risk-free, doing whatever they want without consequence.

The player will often encounter naturally generated structures, such as villages (a good source of food and items) and the stronghold (every world has this and is the only way to find the End Portal). But other, more rare structures include; Jungle temples, dessert temples and mansions.


Bugs and lag:

Lag is a real problem in Minecraft, although usually infrequent, it can be annoying if it happens at just the wrong time. I have a world in creative where I build mini-games and one of them I have had to put Out Of Order due to extreme lag near the top, I’m always afraid my game might crash whenever I go up there to try and fix it. There is also the possibility to fall though the world because the chunks haven’t loaded, but that’s rare.

Bugs are much rarer and it’s usually funny when they happen, like floating blocks or a zombies who decides it would fun the walk aimlessly in circles. But sometimes they can cost the players life and items, such as invisible lava. All these usually fixed by a quick exit and re-load.


This is a bad glitch and has happened to me a couple of times…


Minecraft is my favourite game, with its diverse range of thing to do and accomplish. The Educational value includes things like; coordinates X,Y,Z (as this is what the Maps use), Strategy and Problem solving. The only limit is your imagination… 

4.5 Stars





Clip Clop Chronicles – A Review

Jess received this book as part of her birthday presents. The book is set in central Florida, it follows the journey of Roz who is a twelve-year-old, horse mad girl. She is determined to make it to the top of the equestrian world but her family think riding horses is a sport that Black people just don’t do.

This is a story about determination to succeed and this is the story of her fight to prove she can be whatever she wants.

This is Jess’s review of the book:

Clip – Clop Chronicles is about a black girl called Roz age 12 whose dream is to be a horse rider. She tries to earn money to go to horse riding lessons by mowing other people’s lawns but in a storm things turn against her and a tree comes down on her lawn mower and the engine took most of the damage but luck had it that her mum and dad were nice and paid half of what she needed and she had enough now to take riding lessons.

She goes thru 1 teacher before she finely finds the right teacher to teach her. Her teachers name is Ms Mae, and she is a nice teacher and kind to all of her student’s but I think she liked Roz best.

It is a good book and there are no pictures so it gets you to use your imagination I have learnt that bad things happens but so do good things like Roz’s lawn mower broke but she when horse riding I think children from age 8 up would like it

I would give the book:


5 StarsClip Clop Chronicles - A Review