Much positive, if exhausting, going on here at the moment. Lots of photos further down 😉
Last week Blue had a week off in a lovely grassy field, so we didn’t see much of him, but he was back yesterday. We did pop to see him in the pouring rain on Tuesday, some pics of which are below. The week before, however, Emily saw him every day as usual, and made lots more progress with jumping and with getting him onto the *correct* canter lead on his least preferred rein, which takes some doing. One day that week we took him out on a little hack down to Scotterthorpe and a track he has consistently spooked on before, spinning, backing into ditches and generally being dangerous. Before that day, we’d never got him more than five minutes out of that village before we’d had to turn back, but Emily went at it with a new, positive attitude, and took no nonsense from him. And what do you know? After a battle of wills for five minutes between Blue and Emily, he calmly carried on and didn’t bat an eyelid thereafter. We went down the track, way out into what looked like the middle of nowhere, past fields and woods; it was gorgeous. Eventually, the track looped back onto the Susworth Road near Laughton Woods and the river, and from there back in a huge circle to the riding school. I was knackered by the time we made it back, but Blue and Emily had loved it; it was just over 5 miles, that one. At least all this walking is helping with the weight loss!
Away from horses, there’s been lots of home ed for once. A trip to the library some time a week or two back yielded lots of new fiction for Emily, plus literature guides for Lord of the Flies and for Pride and Prejudice, and copies of said books. We’ve finally had success getting stuck into some “proper” literature study and analysis, starting with Lord of the Flies. I “did” LOTF as part of my O level English Literature, and I loved it. Emily’s, um, less keen – but she’s getting on with it, which is something. She thinks she’ll probably like Pride and Prejudice better. I suspect she’s probably right – although I’ve never read it, having been bored rigid every time I’ve tried. Oh well, one I like, one she (might) like – seems fair.
French is moving on well, with Emily being fairly solid on the perfect tense and the future tense now; we’ll move on to the imperfect shortly. Even maths is getting done without issues, although that might be because she’s discovered that the first algebra chapter in the book is more or less revision of what we already covered yonks ago. The US politics book is proving a bit too much, though. I’m still looking for something simpler (but not dumbed down) on American politics, so that we can follow the presidential election stuff imminently. Economics is still going well, with unemployment being the next topic on the agenda. Science is going OK; history is falling by the wayside slightly, but that’s really a time issue.
This week just gone, we made the most of having more time (minus Blue) to take two days to work on a business studies/marketing mini project. Emily chose three items (a particular type of chocolate, a perfume and a household cleaner) and for those items, she was tasked with creating/researching the target market, the USPs, the price, the name/branding etc. She then had to photograph each item in a way that would be suitable for a magazine advert. She had a ball doing that, and I was very impressed with her end results (although there is an unfortunate typo in the vintage perfume ad…but hey ho). The adverts are in the set of pictures here.
In real life work, things are tentatively improving. We still need to get to better grips with the concept of pitching feature articles…not being particularly of the “sell yourself” mindset, we do find that hard although we have plenty of ideas and experience in the actual writing. That’s the problem when up until now clients have come to us rather than us having to go and look for clients! An American friend is working on sourcing some content writing work which he is sharing with us, which is extremely good of him and quite a blessing at this time. We’ve started doing some free stuff for various communities around the web, including the rather lovely Soul Cafe – like a spiritual Facebook. I’m their resident astrologer now, and Jon is hosting an online mediumship event for them next week.
Speaking of mediumship – the other week, Jon *finally* got to do his first ever public platform demonstration of mediumship, when the medium who was down to do that night kept her promise (made months ago) and invited him to join her. By all accounts, he was fantastic – and she is going to pass his number on to booking secretaries around the area. We’re so proud of him. He’s also in the middle of writing a mediumship development course which he will run and present at the church in the new year 🙂 🙂
In addition to the feature writing and content writing, we’re also in the middle of writing an ebook about ouija boards, with plans for many more in the pipeline; we’re also investigating commercial writing prospects, and still editing at the US directory albeit in a scaled down manner in accordance with their cutbacks. Between all of that, home educating, going riding with Emily every day and running around after Jon’s Dad, there’s barely time to breathe…but we’re hopeful that it will all turn out to be worth it soon 🙂