Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Education of Circumstances

It's been a very educational few days for Emily, due to real life events, namely the transfer of power from one prime minister to another and the extensive flooding. Today we had a citizenship day, which is code for having spent most of the day watching news 24, lol. Between watching the news coverage, talking with us and browsing some pertinent websites, Emily learnt a lot about the structure of the British government system, the way the Houses of Parliament work, voting rights, constitutional issues, the role of the monarchy etc etc. Oh and (very) modern history too, if you include all the "looking back at the events of this government" type things that have been on recently.

Actually, on a separate note, but prompted by all the "end of an era" look backs that I've seen, it is quite a strange feeling looking back on the last ten years and wondering what Emily will make of these times, historically and politically, when she's older. Without getting into politics, I've largely been pleased with the "Blair Years" (which seems to put me firmly in a minority, lol), but regardless of anyone's political viewpoint, watching the handover of power today was quite emotional for me personally. In May 1997, Jon and I were newlyweds, I'd just started a new job and we seemed to be permanently settled in Bracknell. Having grown up in the Thatcher years, there was a tangible sense of excitment on the morning after the election that I can remember clearly. We could never have imagined then that ten years later we'd have a daughter, be home educating, be self employed and be hundreds of miles away from our home turf. All entirely unconnected to a new prime minister, granted, but it's just the way it prompts you to look back in time. Mind you, I like it when the UK does an "occasion". I like the traditions and learning about the protocol and the ceremonies (or lack of them in this case). I'm kinda holding out for a royal wedding soon for much the same reasons!

Anyway; the other real life issue this week has been the flooding. We're fortunate in that we haven't been affected at all personally - even on the worst day it never progressed beyond "very wet" on our road. Just two minute's walk away at the village stream it was a different story though and some houses there were very badly hit. The little Scotter bridge at the end of our road was shut at various points due to a crack in it, and one of the main roads near us (the Asda road, for those who know where we are) has been closed for a while due to another collapsed bridge). On Monday night, Jon went out to his psychic circle but was turned back by police near the railway bridge on the Gainsborough road due to the flooding; it was still shut last night so Emily and I missed yoga.

Again, lots of educational stuff in there. Emily and Jon have gone for lots of walks over the last three days to see what was happening down at the stream. Some photos: First of all, the road bridge just at the end of our street, which carries the main A159 over the stream. On Monday night, the water was already flooded and high, but you could still see the archway. By Tuesday morning, the same bridge, the archway had vanished.

This was one of the seats on the bank of the stream, plus a stark reminder that not everyone was as fortunate as us:
More general photos of the scene:

And finally two taken this evening, in a lovely bout of sunshine. The village ducks don't seem to mind the situation, but even after well over 24 hours without any rain, the water has only just subsided slightly below the arch of the main road bridge.

Away from the floods and the politics, Emily's been very busy too. She's done a lot of work on magic squares (her "homework" from Jackie, lol!) - she worked out about 30 of them and then used her art program to produce some beatiful tesselation designs using the magic square patterns. We've finally started work on the long awaited Europe project in Geography, and Emily has been labelling maps of Europe with water and land features, ahead of plans to look indepth at each country. And Harry Potter fever mounts. I'm not sure if my small excited person could possibly get any more excited!


Sarahs Home said...

Glad to hear that you have not been personally affected by the flooding.

Sarah x

Hazel said...

Wow! Fab photographs. You should send some to the evening telegraph.
H. xxx

Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Glad to hear you escaped the worst of the bad weather. We thought of you when we first heard the "danger" areas for flooding. Brilliant photos. Elle