Saturday 29 October 2016

Project 366 week 43


Took a half day at work because we have family coming up from down south for a funeral and I needed to organise beds and food for them all. Took the dog a walk after all the organising was done, the sun may have been out but it was freezing. The jacket ended up zipped all the way up and the hands were stuffed in the pockets.


A family funeral. RIP Uncle Vic.


When in at daughters I glanced up at the town clock on the way out the door, and then did a double take. The clock has been put back an hour already. This has DD1 confused as she uses it as her kitchen clock.


Had a notion for a Chinese, so as it was dry decided to walk the dog and then nip in and get one. Sadly the one we normally use, which is the nicest and handy with being right next to the bypass was shut so had to divert a few miles across town to a different one.


Bob decided he was staying the night, hopefully this will become a regular thing again. DD1 dropped him off and the other three came to play as well for a while. Daughter is making bed time a bit later every night this week ready for the clock change at the weekend.

Finished the first of Dinky's cross stitches for her quilt. Just got the waste canvas to take out.


Bob came for a walk with us. Was a lovely afternoon and I only had on my body warmer, no jacket was needed. Some beautiful colours along the river walk.


I hunted out the hama beads as I have an idea to use some of them. The children use to use them but haven't in a long while so pointless them sitting going to waste. Watch this space, if I can get the ideas to work I will share some of my creations with you.

Christmas baubles

Thursday 27 October 2016

Trialling a new educational geocache trail

During the children's October holiday we saw a local outdoor centre looking for people to trial a new educational geocache trail, so we volunteered.

Dumfries House Indoor and Outdoor facilities at Cumnock advertised on their Facebok page
we are looking for families to come and try our new 'Science Safari' Geocache trail - a hi-tech treasure hunt if this is all new to you. Using our GPS devices, explore the estate to find the hidden treasure and complete our science linked challenges. Pick up clues along the way to complete the trail and win some Institute of physics goodies back at base.
It sounded right up our street, so I signed us up as a family of four, me, hubby, Fifi and Bob.

The facility is right next to the car park so we headed across and found a fellow cacher there, Paul, who joined us for the trail as his girls were not wanting to come. We signed in and picked up a preloaded GPS machine that I handed to Fifi.  The caches are not being released to the public so our machine was no use. We also picked up a sheet that gave the order of the caches we were looking for, the sheet also had a clue for each. The sheets were done in such a way that different groups would be looking in a different order so that all groups would not be looking for the same one at the same time. Paul had arranged to pick up the coordinates and had programmed his machine earlier on. He showed Bob how to use and then left him with it. This was good because it meant both the children had a machine to work with and let to a bit of competition of boys v girls.

we found the first cache very quickly 

This one involved using string telephones and taught them about sound waves and vibrations.
string telephones 

Paul and two other cachers 

Bob wandered away looking for No.2 

Bob and Paul were off. 

We learnt about our CO2 footprint, how many trees it would take to cancel out our footprint, and how dead trees release the CO2 back into the atmosphere when they die.

we bumped into some others doing the trail

In one of them we had to measure the height of a tree with a straw clinometer

measuring the height of a tree. 
 The straw clinometer did not work overly well as the thread was to thin and blew in the wind. So they cheated slightly and used a much smaller tree.

using a straw clinometer

Sun exposure beads worn in hot countries

walking along the wall between caches

we took some time off to climb trees

This science theme for this cache was gravity and Bob had to work out how to spin an astronaut in a cup upside down so it did not fall out.

spinning the astronaut 

Fifi also did some tree climbing

By now Bob was having a ball and determined that the boys team would beat the girls team. He disappeared off across the field to find another one. 

He found it before any of us got here. This one was learning about Fibonacci Numbers and how they appear in nature. This one tested Bob's adding up skills.

Bob found it.

Bob adding up numbers with Paul. 

Us girls were in front this time.

we stopped to admire the ceiling inside this building. 

love the colours of the bridge, 

They ran on ahead to find the last cache. 

which was cunningly disguised as a snail - not a plastic box. 

Back inside the science centre.

Once we had found all the caches we had collected six letters which Bob rearranged to make the word nature. We took out GPS machine back to the centre, filled in their feedback sheets and picked up their prize.

We stopped for some lunch before they headed off to play in the play area. 

The first area was based on water. Archimedes screw, locks and pumps had them moving water from one area to another.

They also used the bike and pump to shoot water high into the air, the harder you peddled the higher the water squirted.

Bob being musical.

They had a great day and spent time in an area of the estate they previously had not been to. 

They had a great day out, thoroughly enjoyed finding the caches as well as doing the experiments contained within each cache. 

Country Kids

Saturday 22 October 2016

Project 366 week 42


The sunrise is getting later, and I loved the pink tinge to the fluffy clouds as I left for work.


Hubby had an appointment for a scan this morning. He has waited for eleven weeks for it, to be told the scan he was sent for is not the right one for what he was complaining of. So back to the GP and ask again.
While we were waiting on hubby Lilly and I made use of the paths round the hospital and went for a walk. Here is the hospital from our walk.


Coffee morning at the complex. Today the couple I made the cushion for had a cake and a small party. They tell me they loved the cushion.


DD2 and Ziggy are down for a few days. I popped Ziggy in her sling and took her for a walk with the dog. Best picture I could get of her from in her sling.


DD1 and SIL wanted to go shopping and Bob was away with the other grandparents so DD2 and I took the gruesome twosome to the park.


Ziggy is such a happy wee thing, rarely cries and sleeps all night.Unlike Spud who for all she is also a happy content baby at 7 months is still up two or three times a night.


Finally got round to sorting out my messy box of threads the other day. Think it will be a long while until I run out. Some originally came from DD1 and others have been kits I have picked up in the charity shop that while I may not like the design the threads never go wrong.

Monday 17 October 2016

The world seemed a better place when I was growing up. #brightFuture

I have taken up a challenge to discuss #brightFuture .

Unilever’s #brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.

I suppose every generation says it of the next generation down but the world seemed a better place
DD3 and two friends Darvel Park Jan 2001
when I was growing up. Hot Summers with long lazy days out on our bikes, playing on the beach or wandering off down the park all day with a jam sandwich wrapped in a bread wrapper We had the freedom pretty much to do what we wanted, our parents did not worry as it was normal to disappear for six or eight hours at a time as long as we were home for tea. We would spend all day by the open air swimming pool and did not have the knowledge to know to use sun screen. Not to mention the proper cold snow filled winters, where we used our sledges regularly and built snow men bigger than us. I remember one year hollowing one out and deciding to put the contents of the fridge in it over night, and my parents going nuts at me because the milk was frozen in the morning.  

When it was normal to thrown half a dozen kids in the back of the car and set off for the day. Long before seat belts and car seats existed. We hitchhiked the six miles home from school on the days they shut the school early and did not run the bus until the normal time. At that point I may add we lived very remote on what seemed to me to the very end of Scotland and apart from Military Vehicles and personnel there was little used the road so we were relatively safe. 
The grass may have always seemed green and the world idyllic and parents of today are horrified at some of this.  But then maybe previous generations had it wrong as well, go back a few more generations and we were sending children up chimneys, making them work in factories and sending them to work in the mines - so maybe it was not really the good old days for any previous generations. 

  • This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.

But how can we stop our children looking back and saying my parents were the generation responsible for this or that, or do you remember when such and such was normal? The controversial topic of the moment is Brexit. Will my great great grandchildren look back in fifty years and wonder how we could have got it so wrong? Or will they see it as the best vote this generation ever made. Joining the EEC as it was at the time was also controversial and made for a very large divide at the time as well. Will Brexit help to build a brighter future for them? Only time will tell. 

I think knowledge and understanding is a great place to start. Teaching your children about the world round them. Making them aware of how they as individuals fit into the bigger picture. How the small things they can do have a much bigger impact. I remember as children my mother turning on the tap when we brushed our teeth and left it running the whole time. Water meters have put an end to this for most people.We have never had a  water meter but my children were taught to use a cup of water to dip their brush in and then a mouthful to rinse with. Having said that modern thinking on teeth cleaning is a dry brush and no rinse so some evolving ideas are good for us.

getting wet and muddy
Last year when we visited the Falkirk Wheel the older two grandchildren spent some time in the water play area and part of that area is a pedal bike. It taught the children that in areas like Malawi some women spend all day pedalling a stationary bike that is used to bring water to the surface, no pedalling no water. We take running water for granted, and every day things that involve running water help to keep us healthy. From loading the dish washer to popping a washing in the machine or bathing the grandchildren are all just taken for granted.  Just as well really the state the twins are in when we have been to the park. Minky loves puddles, and mud. Using a shorter wash at 30 degrees with Persil is all that is needed for most washing, helping to make a #brightFuture for our children and our planet.

  • Persil encourages our children to get outside and play, inspiring them to grow and learn in an interactive way.

an autumnal tree
I had never heard of  things like a CO2 footprint when I was a child, but again education on such subjects is standard in modern thinking.  Joni Mitchell in her song Big Yellow Taxi has the verse "They took all the trees, And put 'em in a tree museum, And they charged the people A dollar and a half to seem 'em" . This at the time it was recorded was a very forward thinking lyric, but maybe not far from the truth.

Fifi has been taught about palm oil at school, and thus has insisted her mum does not buy products containing it. We all know it was readily used in a very large number of products for years without us really giving much thought to what it is or how it is grown. But now they realise the ecological damage it does by devastating rain forest and destroying the natural habitats of countless species of animals. Not to mention robbing the indigenous people of their land and thus their livelihoods. Palm oil use to be listed under various names but thanks to Paignton Zoo and EAZA all products sold must state on their packaging they contain palm oil. 

  • Six out of ten parents saying that they have started to live in a ‘greener’ way at home at the suggestion of their children.

Look back on how much the world has come on, back in the 1930's people went to the cinema to watch news reels, in the 1940's and 50's which in relative terms is the blink of an eye, people began to bring televisions into their homes, Few programmes were made and the news was a sombre affair watched by adults. Then along came Multi Coloured Swap Shop, that I use to watch to see Noel Edmonds,  that launched John Cravens News Round, a news programme made for children, This went on to have a slot of its own Monday to Friday and nowadays you get news programmes made by children for children.  The few channels that did exist stopped broadcasting after the ten o'clock news and I remember them closing down for the evening by playing the national anthem.  Fast forward to today and television runs 24/7 with more channels than anyone can begin to watch.

  • Furthermore, Persil has backed a global initiative ‘Learning for Tomorrow’ partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.

 The internet also contains so much information. Children are much more aware of the world around them and we all know about the plight of the children in war torn Syria or a devastation tsunami or hurricane, they are aware of the work charities like UNICEF do, and I think every school child in Britain has been involved in some respect with Children in Need. Children learn compassion for their fellow man in a way my generation did not.

The internet of course leads to its own set of problems. Is the ten year old boy your child talking to on line really another ten year old boy or an adult grooming him? Thanks to discussions we have we can empower our children and make them more aware of potential dangers and I know my daughter tracks closely online what Fifi does. We can teach them to stay safe but more to the point speak about any concerns they may have or anything that is worrying them in a way I would never have done with my parents. In my day children were seen and not heard. Thank fully now children are seen as valued members of the family with opinions of their own, opinions they are encouraged to vocalise. In my opinion maybe they are given chance to be too opinionated and appear over indulged. 

old fashioned way of learning?

  • Equipping our children with confidence is essential and we can help in achieving this by providing them with the right resources. The Dove Self-Esteem Project has worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials, making a positive impact on 19 million young lives

sustainable power 
When the grandchildren stay over they like to cook and bake. This teaches them valuable skills and we can discuss healthy options. The world is riddled with illnesses caused by unhealthy eating habits. I would like to think part of the legacy I pass onto my grandchildren, as I did to my children is the skill to fend for themselves and cook meals from scratch.  They have been using sharp knives to chop the vegetables since they were about four, they have to learn how to use dangerous items in a safe manner. Both the older grandchildren were capable of cooking a full roast dinner by the time they were ten. Ten years ago when cooking the food we would have had to put on the oven on to make a few cakes but now we can reduce our power usage by using a cake maker or the halogen oven, a much more environmentally friendly option, not to mention the difference in the bills over a year. 

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever

Sunday 16 October 2016

My Sunday Photo week 12

A walk along the beach the other day, at the point the river runs under the bridge and meets the sea.
Spotted the cygnets as they got swept past rather fast as they must have got caught in a current, they looked like something from a theme park as they hurtled by at a huge rate of knots.


Saturday 15 October 2016

Project 366 week 41

I will share a laugh with you. About ten days ago I had just pulled into the drive way and was getting out the car when a parcel delivery van pulled up and said he had a parcel for me. So I signed for it and took it in. Looked at it and knowing I had not ordered it thought it must be a competition win. Decided it would do Ziggy next Christmas and it was put in the loft.
Was pm'ing my neighbour about other things during the week and she mentioned a missing parcel, turns out the parcel was hers and the driver and delivered it to the wrong house. The writing on the label was minute and I have to say I did not even look, just popped it in the loft. Oops!! Luckily enough she saw the funny side of it.


Loved the colour of the sky at sunset tonight,


A walk down the sea shore with hubby and the dog. Spotted the feather with raindrops on and really quite liked it.


Got a phone call from daughter to see if I fancied taking the twins out so she could get an hours sleep, so we took Spud as well. Spud is not overly well with a sticky eye and a sore throat and ears. This is Spud's first time in a swing.


Finished the cross stitch cushion last week so went back to finishing off Minky's.


We had spotted an advert for a local facility looking for families to trial a Science Safari Geocache trail. As this is never going to be available to the general public as such we decided to go along and give it a try and give them our feedback. I thought it would be a great chance to spend some time with the older two without the twins.

We had to find caches as per normal but then each box has a science experiment for the children to do inside along with information to read. They learnt about Fibonacci numbers in nature, CO2 in trees, gravity and various other interesting facts. We had a great time, blog post to follow. Bob was in his element using our friend Paul's machine and running on ahead and finding the caches before his sister.

Here hubby and Bob are using string telephones while Fifi and Paul watch on.


We had some of these with us yesterday, I hate the things so I lovingly shared the ones from the tin I The kids mentioned that their mum loved them, so when I spotted these in the supermarket being the nice mum I am I bought them for DD1.


Last year in the Facebook Advent comps I won a voucher for a free service at Halfords. Well yesterday I got round to using it.The staff were friendly, ran me to my work, and did a great job. They even washed the car as well. Knew the win would come in handy.Thanks Halfords.