30 October 2015

Experiments and Suprises







I am sure I have had tongues wagging recently in my village.  I realise it is rather conceited of me to believe that people have been talking about me behind closed doors but I am good at giving them ammunition.  I am the quirky woman who does things rather differently which will always set me apart from the long term inhabitants of the village where being different is not the norm.  We are feeling our way through the maze, not entirely successfully, of children being more independent which I am all for, but I couldn't be making a bigger bosh of if I tried.  I managed to lose a child between my house and the village hall, a walk in a straight line along the same road, turning up at a meeting, late, interrupting it because I couldn't see Cameron and then walking back out again.  You see, great fodder!  So as I stumble around not doing a very good job of it, I realise I need to take a leaf from my mothers' book, arrange a return time and ring me if you are going to be late.  We always had a pocket full of 10p's which probably wouldn't get you far these days, even if you could find a working phone box.  But first things first a watch with a battery that makes the time right, one step at a time eh?

I have joined Facebook.  I haven't joined in the party just crept in the back door and am watching slightly bewildered from the kitchen.  My local home ed groups use it, a lot, I was missing out on stuff going on relying on friends texting me which wasn't really fair on them or to be honest terribly reliable.  I may make it my mission to be the person who has been a member the longest and has no friends.

Talking of kitchens my benign neglect in my own has led to some interesting suprises recently.  I have started making my own yogurt again, I have found a way to make it just how I want it, bits of lots of recipes.  I have come to realise that some recipes are a bit like fairy tales once they are written down they become static and sometimes redundant as they only really work for the author. Take sourdough starters, something else I have been dabbling with, the state of your starter can depend on so many variables that become more intuitive over time, it would be better to talk to your neighbour about it than someone blogging thousands of miles away, but when you don't have a sourdough baking neighbour the blog will have to do.  The recipe is then a starting point rather than an end in itself, seeing it like this takes you on a much more productive and enjoyable journey.

Today is the day that we didn't meet the deadline to apply for a place at secondary school for Cameron.  I have been mulling this over for some time now, as regular readers here will know.   I had thought I had made my decision but a chance conversation with someone at orchestra got me thinking again.  As the head of a very small localish secondary school I can't say I wasn't, initially, tempted by what she had to say about her school.  But aside from the practicalities of having to drive him there and back everyday it is the curriculum that I have issues with and that won't change with the size of the school.  So for now we are committing to the home, it doesn't feel any different for now and probably won't for a while, when his peers make that big step I know that it will mark another different step in our journey.  Six years ago this day felt like a long way off, now it is has come and gone and life continues, rolling slowly onwards.

Autumn is a good time of year for foraging, if you are a dab hand at it all year round is good but I am not so tend to do more at this time of year.  We picked rosehips way before the first frost, which is supposed to improve the flavour, and made syrup with them, well strictly I didn't because it didn't have any sugar in it.  I used it on my breakfast it was a little tart but the fresh fruit helped that.  A few days after it ran out I started to feel the beginnings of a cold, a garlic syrup was recommended to me.  The four days it takes to brew were full of aching fever that wrapped me up completely in its grip, the first day after my first dose I was so glad to be free of it.  The recipe calls for a lot of garlic so I was glad to be able to use my own, once the cloves have steeped they can be frozen and used in cooking, a ready supply of peeled garlic.  Now I am feeling a little better I will be on the look out for more rosehips...........


36 comments:

  1. Well, a big step indeed, or rather a big not step, but one made with a lot of thought and attention behind it, I'm sure you made the right decision. I'm intrigued by garlic syrup, what does it taste like?

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    1. The garlic syrup I will be totally honest tastes revolting but you can rid of the taste by drinking something immediately after..........

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  2. I know just what you mean about marching to a different drum - I do it too. My Mum used to say "Never mind what everyone else does/says dare to be different" and I am. My sourdough starter languishes in the fridge as it didn't really work and I keep meaning to have another try and forgetting - do let me know how yours gets on! For colds I usually make a few bottles of elderberry syrup which is apparently full of Vit C and tastes lovely though it is quite sweet and a slice of lemon added (also filled with Vit C) gives it an edge.Glad that the secondary decision has now been taken and hope it all works out well for you and your son. Carry on being different and take no notice of what people might think or say in fact they are probably far too busy with their own concerns to take as much notice of us oddballs/misfits if that's what we are! Keep posting I love reading about your doings.

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    1. I am sure you can get your sourdough working again apparently they never die just need feeding to bring them back to life. Have a Google and a read around that's what I did! I cannot eat elderberries they make my crohns bad as does lemons but I do make syrup for the rest of my family. Thank you for your kind words :)

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  3. Walking a different path can feel a little isolating and lonely sometimes, and like you, I definitely give people much to talk about :)

    I just take garlic straight up when I get sick. I take a clove a day for health maintenance, and then when I get sick, up it to two or three a day. It works like a charm.

    I have left all social media behind, and don't really miss it. But it is good for connecting to other homeschooling families, and for seeing what the homeschool groups have planned. Like you, I have a few friends who keep me in the loop, and so far it works for us.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. It's true it can be isolating but that is never something I have felt, I am by nature quite an introvert so not too bother to spend lots of time alone. How do you take your garlic Kim do you eat it raw or cook it in food? We do eat a lot of garlic, all those cloves I peeled are going down fast!

      Hope you have a lovely weekend too :)

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  4. Well that's a great advertisement for rosehip syrup, something I've never made or even tried. It's so good when you find a good natural remedy rather than relying on lotions and potions.

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    1. It's quite sour without the sugar but with the fruit in my breakfast it tastes fine.

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  5. Hello! Thank you for popping by my blog; I love finding new blogs via the comment section. I've enjoyed reading back through some of your posts. Well done you for doing the home schooling, I'm not sure I would have been up to that! Good luck with your sourdough starter - I struggled with making mine and had to stand the bowl on an old adapter to keep it warm enough in my icy kitchen! Remember: quirky and different people are always far more interesting! Have a great weekend. xx

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    1. Thank you for visiting :). My kitchen is not that warm either and my experiments have made me realise that that doesn't really matter you just need to do things slightly differently especially when you are reading instructions written by someone living in California!

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  6. I'm grinning at what you've said about Facebook, I have mixed feelings about it. Honestly, I don't think I'd see any photos of my niece or old friends' children if I weren't on it, so I appreciate it for that reason. Hopefully it will make your life easier in some way. Glad you are feeling peace about your schooling choice. Have a great weekend! :)

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    1. I agree Carlin it has its place. I am tempted to 'friend' my family in your part of the world as none of us afford the airfares to meet in person ;).

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  7. We live in rather a small, quiet village. The people are absolutely lovely but we are definitely the "weird" family rounds these parts :)
    We also made the decision to home school our second high schooler this September. After four whole days trying out the local secondary school she decided it really wasn't for her.
    Good luck with your sour dough. I love sour dough but haven't been brave enough to give it a try yet :)

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    1. The people are lovely here too and despite my oddities they are all charming and polite to my face :). We are lucky that our children have the option to try school but can be at home when it is not for them.

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  8. I wish you lived next door. I'd love to discuss yoghurt and sour dough starters over the garden fence or a cup of tea. Not that I know much about dough starters. I still waver over our decision not to go down the homeschooling route. Hmm....

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    1. It's never too late to change your mind........

      I don't think it would matter how much you knew we could learn from each other!

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  9. Great pictures of what is on offer in your area. How do you manage to grow such big garlic bulbs I never have much success with them.

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    1. I have grown this variety for the last couple of years, they were big last year but this year was a bumper crop. The variety is Albigensian. I sow it in late Autumn and we always get lots of frosts and really cold temperatures in the Winter which I have always been led to believe is good for garlic. We had a very cool, wet summer this year which it seems to have loved. You are supposed to feed garlic in the spring and summer but I never do........

      It is one of the few really reliable vegetables I grow, I haven't bought a bulb in years ;)

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  10. I completely agree about your theory that recipes work only for the authors. it would explain a lot about the randomness of my kitchen successes......

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    1. It can be really frustrating can't it? Just rewrite them to suit you!

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  11. Oh, I feel you on the "making people talk"... Although we seem to make people curious, even inspire them a bit with our more simple ways, many stay away so it has been quite lonely sometimes. But the connections we have made now are stronger aand more fulfilling. Quality over quantity right?

    I left FB a while back and don't really miss it. But I can understand needing it as a tool for homeschooling. Just don't get cuaght up in it, you know? That is where the risk lies. So much negativity out there, it's hard to escape it when it's thrown at your feed on a daily basis.

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    1. It is lonely Yanic, as lovely as the people are in my village I have never felt a connection here like I do with other friends. I definitely agree with quality over quantity.

      I have heard about the negativity of FB, which is why I have held off for so long. Geographically my home ed community is really spread out so FB really fills in those spaces for us and allows us to organise things that would otherwise be more difficult. I have only joined three local groups and one national nature organisation so far and my feed is really quiet.

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  12. I joined FB in the summer as there were some groups linked to some online courses i was doing, but i'm still not comfortable using it as i'm not sure what other people can see about me or how much i want to write in that forum. I have 9 friends now!!! and they are mostly relatives in NZ. I can see from my limited use that it can be a real time stuck if you're not mindful about it. i read somewhere about using a timer to make sure that all your day doesn't run away with you and i think thats definitely one to try. I'm linked with a home ed group Mudpuddles and Meteors (a reader rather than a contributor), which is a group you might like.

    Fine decisions to make about schooling, you can always change your mind if you all need to. We get a bit hung up on the schooling thing in the UK i think.

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    1. I must admit to having spend a lot of time reading all the privacy stuff on Facebook before I opened an account. You should have a look on there it is well written and is easy to follow and to work out who can see what. It is possible to post some things and only share them with particular friends.

      You are right that we can change our mind, that has been our philosophy so far. It felt like a big step when we decided not to do primary school, at the time everyone said to us what are you going to do about secondary school we had no idea then it seemed such a long way off. But now that it has come round it has felt quite daunting and as so many people seemed to think we wouldn't home educate beyond primary school age I wanted to be clear in my own mind as to why I had made the decision I had, not so much to justify myself but to ensure that I had made the decision for the right reasons!

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  13. We have rosehips galore by the beaches here. So many! They are shriveled now though, with the cold.

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  14. Lovely to discover your blog. Thank you for visiting me. I'm looking forward to reading back now. X

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    1. Welcome Jules, thank you for visiting :)

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  15. I've been dealing with a cold since we returned home last week. I whipped up my first batch of elderberry syrup from the berries I had in the freezer and have been drinking lots of ginger tea also. I haven't heard of the garlic syrup - I'll have to look at it, though I'm thinking the elderberry might taste better! My kefir sourdough is still happy and bubbling, though I am totally winging it!

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    1. The elderberry syrup does taste better, I only wish I could drink it but it sets off my crohns disease. Winging it is the best way with sourdough I have decided!

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  16. Hello just arrived at your blog. I remember blackberry picking so well when I was a child and having a crumble made. I need to do this with my kids, most definately. Get well soon Leah X

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  17. I am not on fb and I will resist until the bitter end :) I like knowing you are the quirky person in the neighborhood that makes me not alone in being quirky!!

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    1. If it weren't for the home ed groups I would have no reason to be on there, I am not planning on linking up with anyone else :).

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  18. Fb is such a double-edged sword, but like you I have found it really second to none when it comes to home ed networking and it lets me keep in touch with friends and family at the other end of the country x

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    1. It is second to none. I can't believe what I was missing out on on there. We have been to so many great things since joining :)

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