We went to the Natural History Museum in London on Sunday.


On our home education journey, I have worked out that we can pack our weekends with stuff so that Him Indoors can join in too.

We had a great day and I intend to blog a review at some point with photographs.

My son said he wanted a Mining kit so as we now save on school lunch monies, we were happy to let him have it. Of course, as soon as we got home he wanted to mine. He was a bit disappointed that he could not find the minerals hidden in the sand block immediately. He wants to be an archaeologist so this gave him a real insight into how it can take a long time to discover just one item and that patience is required. Like myself, patience is not his strong point.

My daughter helped him and was lovely at using lots of reassuring words. Both myself and Him Indoors pitched in but at the end of the evening, we had only released one gemstone.

The next day, my son started again. At one point, he felt that water might speed things up and headed to the downstairs bathroom. Then the children went into the garden and soon were showing my their finds.

When I went to the loo later, I found that the plug in the sink was lodged and not to be moved with sand around the edges making it impossible to shift. I was not best pleased. When you rent rather than own your own home, such things are big worries.

My son had done nothing wrong but I can do without irritations like this and I wondered how Him Indoors would react.

When he came home from work, I outlined the situation. He went off to the bathroom and was back within seconds saying it was all OK now. It turns out that he knew there is a lever which lifts up the plug. Nobody told me!

So my son and daughter learned they need patience to make great finds.

I discovered that things aren’t always what they seem and sometimes I worry way too much.

This is my Magic Moment of the Week.

I thought I would write this tomorrow but I am hurting tonight.

Dad died 2 years ago tomorrow as the seasons changed.

I went upstairs to my bedroom earlier. Nobody came up to see me or not until New Tricks was finished because that is more important.

I am hurting because I know Dad would have been there no matter how tired he was, how much pain he was in himself, whatever programme was on the telly or how dazzling his career was. I guess I was spoiled. Nobody will love me like that again.

My children tell me how vital he was to this family. They remember him giving them custard creams after school. My eldest son remembers being bullied and none of my efforts working. Granddad advised to thump the bully and (although I banged on about pacifism) it was the one thing that worked. They remember how my Dad had a good relationship with pets being particularly fond of our ginger tom Maximus.

My daughter tells me my Dad always meant happy family and smiling faces.

I have done a lot of things that Dad would have loved to hear about in the last 2 years – awards, trips abroad and even making money. I blogged out his memoirs and people read them. Dad always believed I under-sold myself. He wanted me to believe that people did really like me (something I always struggled with).

On the home education front, Dad would have said “It’s a new idea to me but if you think you can do it, I know you can and that you will have thought it all through.” He would have asked me if I needed any money or any help at all. He would have thrown himself into a new adventure and I would have known I was not alone with it.

And with Dad’s impeccable sense of timing it is midnight and a new day and he is still dad and still dead.

Rest in peace Dad until we meet again. I miss you.


Thursday seems to have flown round so it is time for my weekly Striking Mums post.


Can I just say how delighted I am with how people are responding to the whole concept of Striking Mums?

It is great to see very diverse mums taking part sharing their stories and truths. I love it when I see some real outcomes that I hope Striking Mums helped bring about – someone making an appointment for a health check, someone booking onto a course or carving out some precious time for themselves.

Last week, mums blogged about learning again very much in their own individual ways.

Common themes were how lack of time and money can act as barriers to education. It was noticeable that having a supportive family makes a huge difference and not every mum has that available to her.

There are certainly a lot of learning opportunities out there from psychology to macaroons, from English Literature to hairdressing.

What was clear from the posts last week is that you can learn as a stay at home mum, as a teacher, as a home-educator, as a student and as any combination of these things. Mums noted how therapeutic learning can be including during challenging periods of mental health difficulties.

One mum shared Nelson Mandela’s quote that “Education if the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

So that is learning for us.

I have learned that I need to write a wrap-up post in future as there is so much good content in the blogs linking up to Striking Mums.

This week, I want to talk about keeping mum. Keeping mum means not speaking or staying silent. Please interpret the questions in a way that makes sense to you as the individual you are.

1. Have you lost your voice? When and how did that happen?

2. How do you use your voice? Are you using it for yourself, your family and/or a good cause?

3. Is there anyone in your life who would prefer you to stay quiet? Why would they want that to happen?

4. Whose voice do you miss most and why?

5. What do you need to speak up about? Who to? What support do you need to help you do that?

6. Is your inner voice helping or hindering you?

Finally, I wanted to hand out a honorary Striking Mums award to Jamelia and Janet Street-Porter who have spoken out about their experiences of domestic violence. Please do what you can to support the Loose Women campaign on this vital issue. If you are experiencing domestic abuse or think you might be, the link will take your to sources of support. When people speak out about these sort of issues, they always help other people.

I would love to have your comments and if you blog in any way about yourself and how you are taking steps tiny or otherwise to change your life, please link up below. I will comment on every post, promote them on my social networks and include links in a round-up post next week.

Please use the hashtag #strikingmums on social networks.

Please grab the rather attractive Striking Mums badge in the sidebar and display on your blog.

Most of all, please visit the other people linking up to lend them your support.

I have set up a Facebook group for Striking Mums – you don’t have to be a blogger to join this. You do have to be a mum.

I have also set up a Pinterest board for Striking Mums

Have a good week and I look forward to hearing your voices.

Today, I finally managed to get registered with the local GP in a move towards greater well being.


I am not too impressed with all the silly little barriers to getting this done. You had to know your NHS number. You had to deliver your forms back yourself. Blah. Blah. Even today, the receptionist just copied my identity proofs and handed them back with no further guidance. I assertively asked for the Patient Information Leaflet I could see behind her. Shouldn’t that be handed out as a matter of course to new patients. This leaflet tells me I will be called for a check up which is good because I have various little health niggles.

1. Fatigue – I am OK but then when I do get tired, it is crushing and catches me unawares.

2. Itchy skin – this comes and goes

3. My toe nail has turned a strange colour.

4. I also sometimes think it would be an idea to get a little counselling. I have found it helpful in the past.

5. Smear test – embarrassingly overdue.

6, Weight – tedious to go on about it again but it does need sorting as I could tell as I trudged up the hill back home.

7. Thirst

Today, I walked with the children and handed those forms in. On the way back we had a little picnic.

This is not a momentous well being post but I have at least made a baby step in the right direction.

If bloggers had beatitudes, what would they look like?

What do you think of these ones?

Blessed are those with low stats, they show how to blog for the love of it

Blessed are the shy and self-effacing, they will end up getting awards

Blessed are those who mourn because sometimes even virtual hugs can help.

Blessed are those that make space on their blogs for charities and good causes, they will get a feel-good factor from making a difference.

Blessed are those who read and comment on other blogs, they will make blogging friends

•Blessed are those who do not chase stats and awards by whatever means, they will be able to look in the mirror and be proud at what they see

•Blessed are those who speak out when they see bullying or trolling, they will show the path for others.

•Blessed are those that have the courage to tell their truths, they will help countless other people and gain a little comfort too.

* Blessed are the blogging glitterati who make loads of dosh from blogging, always get awards, get invited to the best events and have millions of readers. They too have their stories and no doubt occasional wobbly moments.

I wonder what your blogger’s beatitudes would look like.

The Bloggers' Beatitudes