Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Seeds of Knowledge

So this is a short post about a seed project we have been doing over the past week. Nothing spectacular, just planted some 'micro greens' (pretty much the same as cress seeds) and charted their progress with photos. It's nice and easy and as they only take seven days to grow, it doesn't lose their attention.

It wasn't a planned project, none of them are, purely child led. Took my youngest to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. An amazing and beautiful space, like a mini Kew, very local to us in Romsey. We go there often and it's 'pull', is the fact that it's different every time you go and they combine it with a never ending supply of art projects and exhibitions. Plenty of 'trails' to follow either looking for art or plants or both around the gardens to be ticked off on a sheet. My favourite thing is the plethora of pretty stuff hanging from trees and the statues and sculptures that appear from behind flower beds and ponds. They have an awesome tree house and a crazy swing and quite often you'll find a string quartet or similar playing there. It's a lovely place. Find out more HERE.

So, long story short(ish). It was a beautiful Sunday with the most adoring winter Sun. The kind og light that makes you think, even at the beginning of February, that spring is most definitely around the corner if has not already arrived. It was a definite 'we have to be outside day' and as it was just me and my four year old home that day, we decided on a Mother and daughter adventure. We wandered around the gardens, wobbled on the 'wobbly bridge'. gazed at the flowers and checked out the semi frozen pond, which my four year old was utterly entranced with.

Then we had a hot chocolate and some cake. I say 'some cake' rather dismissively, as the cakes there are absolutely not 'some cake' more like 'the cakes'. We had the chocolate cake, which was perfect. however, I found out a few days later from another visitor that day that it seems we missed a particularly wonderful lemon and blueberry cake by a few minutes!  It was a particularly busy day in the cafe, as the sun had brought the world 'and his wife' to Hilliers. Afterwards perused the items on display in the gift shop and couldn't make a decision between us for a treat I had promised. Deciding to walk on up to the main garden centre, located on the site, my daughter chose a child's gardening kit. Comprising of a little bag, fork, rake, trowel and 'cute as hell' watering can! With this in pocket, we headed home for an afternoon nap, that fresh air had made me sleepy..

Arriving home, there was no nap!
Instead, another TWO hours in the garden with her new kit. Digging worms and putting them on the compost heap. I'm no gardener, but I'm pretty sure she made the right call. That's when she wanted to plant some seeds. I knew I had some in a drawer somewhere and managed to locate them, dug some soil from the garden, popped it into some old chinese plastic tubs (awesome for paint, glue, storing beads, stickers, and clearly seed trays) and she threw the seeds on top. Add a little water from her watering can ( the cute as hell one) and left on the window sill. Job done! Would have got my nap then but it was supper time.

So.... we photographed them every day, printed those pictures out and had a vague idea to pop them on a larger piece of paper or some kind of book and pull up some facts about germination etc.

That's when my nine year old came in, previously disinterested at best, on the 'seed' project.
He took one look at the printed pictures and said that we should cut them out and make a flip book. He said it would be like a time lapse video.
Now I think that's genius.
He did also point out that 'maybe this year, considering you are trying to teach us to be self sustainable with our gardening adventure, we could perhaps have a crop of potatoes that gave us more than six tiny specimens that couldn't even feed one of us...like last year'

'Ok...will try harder...'

Not sure if that is genius or just logic. Either way, I am equally admonished and proud.

But this is WHY I love home Ed.
We are making said 'flipbooks'.
It's a much better way of illustrating the growth of a seed to a shoot.

It began with a four year old gardening, pulled in a nine year old with the flipbook idea and then add to that the interest of my thirteen year old ( he's now using the images to do an animation on the computer) and we still haven't actually got down to the facts!

I'm pretty sure this is autonomous learning.

For all of us:)

Monday, 16 February 2015

A beautiful break up

When a relationship ends it can be sad. It can hurt. It can change you. It can break your heart.  I had let this person into my heart and given him mine. I loved him and he loved me. I had trusted him with me.

When events occurred that meant its demise. I was measured, cautious with my responses, considered with my feelings and his. I was aware of the pain and let it out slowly like letting the air from a balloon. I was not on any account going to break or fall apart or let any bit of me die. I didn't have time or the inclination for that and I was up to a point really quite proud of how I handled it. He was too I think. He has really hurt me and others and that hurt him. I wasn't even that angry, though did slip a few times into blame and guilt and resentment. Couldn't resonate with that though. Just didn't feel like that. 

It worried me... Too calm... you know? But for the best. I was quiet and tearful and plotted my grief into blocks of time and tried to slow it down, slow the onslaught of pain to an amount I could deal with. Palliative care for the inevitable. My friends and family's response was a mirror of this. The trust they afforded me was unanimous. You see they all knew I would deal with it in my own way and the best way possible. The beauty of being in love you see was not something I was prepared to lose. I'm not losing that. I'm not letting that be marred or tainted by actions that are entirely human because they are only a tiny part of humanity, the sum of which is love in it's entirety. I forgave straightaway. I just did. Emotions that are harmful to oneself when you think. When projected on to others they are useless. Anger and hate doesn't hurt anyone but yourself, so I quelled that by liking myself.

Don't get me wrong here I'm not wandering around like a nymph in a grassy meadow playing a harp. (but if I was I'd look like the one in the picture)
I'm unkempt, not sleeping and my house is untidy. I've not done stuff I should have, I can't talk very well. I'm watching TV and sitting on the sofa and staring into space. Letting this hurt engulf me one wave at a time. This is where the beauty comes in. 
Despite all my quiet and measured coping.. The pain is still coming, wave after wave and stronger and more intense, just like the birth of a child. The strength of the love I have for this person must mean that the pain has to equate. I loved him like no one else so this is going to hurt like nothing else...

Oh and it is. 

But that's a beautiful thing and just as beautiful as what we had. A part of life. I mean, I'm alive. I still love. We'll all be better for this. All be where we are supposed to be. I won't be jaded or bitter or different. I'll be me. I will brush my hair tomorrow and I will wash up. I may cry too but I'll probably laugh as well.