I haven’t forgotten about this blog….it’s just been extremely hectic and there’s been no time to post! And here we are, nearly Christmas already. *slaps wrists*
It’s been a funny old month, filled with Blue, Blue and more Blue, lately with added tinsel 😉 Some “proper” home education did sneak in at times, but more by accident than design, to be honest. Emily’s done lots more work with Gramps during her Monday afternoon sessions, notably a project of several weeks where they built from meccano and then programmed from scratch a working windscreen wiper model – I’ll do a separate post on that impressive achievement! Gramps has been very ill for the past couple of weeks, but is on the road to recovery now, and has been happily teaching Emily some mathematical card tricks ready for Christmas!
Emily has been making lots more Harry Potter art, and has started re-reading the Northern Lights trilogy too. There’s been some maths and some economics at odd moments, and yesterday she completed a mini science assignment finding out about the threat to earth from asteroids and other near earth objects, and about the various Spaceguard projects which are trying to minimise the threat and work on solutions to avoid a catastrophic impact, should we never need to do so. She did very well with that.
Other than that, it has been a fairly quiet month for home ed. Emily hasn’t been all that well and hasn’t been sleeping well, so beyond riding every day we’ve been taking it easy. She’s getting much better now, though, and I have ambitious plans for the new year. It’s so tough to find time to fit in the daily riding AND daily home education AND daily real life earn-money work AND daily care for father in law. There are not enough hours in the day. Somehow, in 2012, I’m determined to organise it all better; I’m just not yet sure how.
The Christmas decorations went up on the 1st December and we’ve done a few Christmassy bits and pieces, including some woodburning/pyrography crafts and some cooking. We made cakes and sausage rolls to take to the spiritualist church’s Christmas prize draw service, which went down very well, and Emily has been delighted to discover various bits and bobs of vintage jewellery in her advent calendar boxes 🙂 It’s been quite a low key run up to Christmas, though, compared with other years – a combination of us being so busy and Emily being that bit older and not so keen on Christmas crafts and faffing about. We decided early on that this December we’d try to fit in some family games nights for the tree of us, since most of our evenings are taken up with work; we’ve had two so far and absolutely loved them, with a third planned for next week, and then over Christmas, New Year and Emily’s birthday we always have games nights with Nana and Gramps too, so that should work well.
Business-wise, things are up and down. Plenty of new clients are enquiring about astrology, but I’m not managing to convert all the enquiries into contracts, which is annoying. My book, um, hasn’t made much progress since I actually signed the publishing contract, so it’s going to be a mad rush after Christmas to get the damn thing written – sigh. I sort of knew this was going to happen – it always does – but I do work well under pressure and am used to turning things around with a very tight deadline, so I’m crossing my fingers that it will all work out. Jon’s been approached by a church in Louth to do some mediumship demonstrations in the new year, which is exciting, and he continues to do masses of work for the local spiritualist church, and has nearly finished writing their mediumship development course which he will teach in the new year.
And then there’s been the riding. Oh my, the riding. On New Year’s Day, we will have had Blue for exactly six months, and it’s starting to be hard to remember what it was like before we had him! We’ve been to ride him almost every day, Monday to Friday, since then; we’ve missed a handful of days in the last month because of ice or extreme winds, but that’s about all. When we first got Blue he was extremely anxious about going outside the yard without any other horses, because he never went out on his own. We soon got to grips with building up his confidence, though, and now he really enjoys going for miles and miles with Emily riding and either Jon or I walking or biking. A few weeks ago, we tried something new – me driving and Emily riding, so that we could go much further. He was as good as gold that first time, and all I had to do was drive a fair bit ahead and then pull over and wait, rinse and repeat.
The second time we tried the drive’n’hack routine, however, he went slightly potty half way out, and began to back down very steep ditches, spin around and generally go nuts in the middle of the road on a blind bend on a country road that most drivers treat like a racetrack. That was extremely frightening, as he was so hard to get back under control, and even with me abandoning the car and trying to lead him, he wouldn’t play ball. We had to give up in the end as it was simply too dangerous, and we turned back for home rather upset and wondering why he’d suddenly turned against hacking like that.
It turns out, we think, that he just suddenly got really frightened about there not being anybody with him (on foot – obviously Emily was with him!). Slowly and surely we’ve gone back to building up his confidence and he’s now (almost) cottoned on to the idea that he can safely follow the car and that he’s not completely on his own. Still, with the weather now taking a turn for the worse, we’re going to have to scale back the hacks a little anyway, so for now we’ve gone back to walking on the shorter routes. It was a timely reminder to us, though, not to get complacent and think we’ve got this horsey thing cracked! Bless him, he’s being so brave 🙂 🙂
And so here we are, and in just over a fortnight’s time, Emily will be 13 years old and we’ll have a teenage daughter. I have no idea how that happened – it seems like ten minutes ago that we were leaving the newborn intensive care unit with out tiny bundle. Today, Emily, Nana and Gramps went out for their now traditional pre-Christmas antiques centre hunt at Hemswell. And what did my nearly 13 year old come back with that Nana and Gramps had kindly splashed out on for her? A pair of long, vintage evening gloves, and an expensive teapot to match her favourite tea service, together with an extra cup, saucer and plate for same. And she was so excited! Apparently, she also wanted to buy an antique pocket watch, but they were too expensive…… With her love of all things vintage developing further by the minute, something tells me she’s not going to be your typical teenager!