Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Positive Vibes

Must get back to updating here more often; can't remember much of the last ten days! It has been a largely positive time, though, I'm pleased to report.

We've been very, very busy, with lots of Grandad appointments and other bits and pieces going on, so we don't seem to have sat still very much. Grandad's ex daughter in law (as in David's former wife, not Jonathan's!!) plus two of his grown up grandchildren came up from Somerset to visit him last Saturday, which was nice. He hadn't seen Carol for nearly ten years, not since we moved up here, so I think he was chuffed. In honour of our visitors, lol, Emily and I had a HUUUUGE clear up of our dining room/Emily's work room. People who have visited it in its previous incarnation wouldn't recognise it now! We now proudly have a lovely corner sitting area with Emily's altar table and festival tree in it too, and two settees. The rest of the room has been thoroughly cleared out and all of our educational stuff sorted and neatly arranged. And no clutter!! What's more, we finished clearing up on's Tuesday and it's still tidy! This is a record, believe me.

Emily's been a busy bee education wise recently. She's finally getting to grips with times tables, since we've gone for a different approach of spotting the patterns in each, instead of pure rote learning. She's also doing fantastically well with spelling. Can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but we're using this Speling Power system, which seems to be working really well. And yes, one day, I might go back to using something produced in the UK. If and when anything half decent that isn't stuck to the ridiculously inadequate national curriculum is produced over here. Emily's also been doing more history (we're still on Egypt, sigh, but she's still enjoying herself). She's starting to struggle a little with the latin now; the course has reached a point where the grammar gets harder and there's much more to remember. She's still keen to carry on with it though, so we're perservering. It's just a matter of practice, really, and there are some things that just have to be memorised, there's no way round that.

On Friday, Jackie, Mei-Lin and Jasmine came round for the day, which was lots of fun. Emily's making surprisingly easy work of long division, which Jackie has been teaching. It's rather curious how she can get Emily and her girls to sit down to maths without a murmur of complaint...yet when I wanted Emily to practice what she'd learnt the next day I had a rather different reaction. Rolls eyes. Still, apparently it works both ways - Jackie's girls work beautifully for me with Emily, but evidently aren't so enthusiastic when she wants them to do something, lol. Anyway, apart from Jackie's maths session, I taught the three of them about air resistance with lots of messing around with parachutes. In the afternoon, we all made gemstone wishing trees to celebrate (early) Litha and the summer solstice.
The girls played happily all day when they weren't "working", with trampolining, drawing, nintendoing, polly pocketing and barbieing. This Friday we'll be going back to theirs, for more maths from Jackie (I'm loving passing this responsibility!!) and for some creative writing and history from me.

Yesterday we went to visit Hazel, Romy and Tansy. I had a fantabulous cuddle from the gorgeous Tansy while the big girls played on Romy's trampoline and busked (?!). Emily was enchanted when Tansy smiled at her - I think the prospect of potentially having a baby brother or sister at some time in the future no longer seems quite so horrific to her ;-)

Emily's been to her usual ballet, yoga, tai chi and karate lessons this last week, although she didn't go to football, but will get back to that regularly soon. The ballet fiasco continued - Jon discovered last Saturday that this "show" is actually a full scale concert on two nights at a local school. Had he not pinned the teacher to the wall with his hands round her throat (I'm kidding - I think) we probably would never have known. Anyway, the woman spent all Saturday morning shouting at the kids and had Emily's friend Kayleigh in tears and Emily nearly in tears, because they and all the others were struggling with the dances for this show. Next Saturday was to be the last lesson of term, with the concert the week after. Saw red. Decided Emily's not doing the damn show. It's simply not worth the hassle. She was very relieved - it's just not fun any more. So we've had it with ballet for now. Emily can start back in the new September term and we'll see how it goes from there. She's done two of the huge Plowright Theatre shows now, so she's had the "experience" and confidence boost that comes with that - she doesn't need to be yelled at for another week over a show nobody even knew about and which the teachers couldn't even be bothered to properly explain to the parents. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Jon's psychic development is really gathering momentum at the moment. At his circle meeting on Monday night another woman sought out him specifically to do some psychometry for her. He's getting quite a reputation :-)) She was exceptionally moved by the information he gave her about her late mother. Kerry was taking photos during the evening again, and all the ones of Jon are covered in orbs - no orbs on or near anyone else she photographed. Weird. Last night, Jon did a reading for me using a ring I wore constantly as a teenager (long before we ever met). Now, obviously, he knows me better than anyone, but the little details he came up with about that period of my life were very impressive!

The retail side of the business is still winding down, but we're almost done with tha now. Right on cue, lots of little things have been happening that seem to tell us we're doing the right thing in moving away from retail and into developing Jon's abilities and my writing. I've been offered a new commission from the press agency, which will bring in another £500 a month, which is great news. Also, something that happened yesterday right out of the blue was a bid odd - back in 2003, I was approached by a publishers about writing an astrology workbook. We worked on the project quite a bit with them and had the whole concept mapped out, they'd sent me mockups to fiddle with etc etc....but in the end, nothing came of it, they dropped the project because "it wasn't the right time". I'd been paid for my concept work, so I wasn't too bothered and forgot all about it. Yesteray, the editorial director rang up and spoke to Jon - the think the timing is apparently good now and they want to discuss going ahead with the book after all, after all this time! So, we shall see.

I think it's becoming clear to both me and Jon that there is life after retail. Dumping that side of the business, which we've spent nearly ten years building up, has been a huge leap of faith for us. It's been a scary few months, puncutated by lots of "what the hell are we doing? We must be insane!" moments, and lots of worrying about where the income is going to come from to replace the dwindling retail sales. But I'm getting the distinct impression that it's all going to work out rather nicely :-))) I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and there are very many individual things that have happened over the last six months that all pointed us down this path. When you add up everything together and start to look at the links between one thing and another, it feels very "right".

Tomorrow is set to be very busy; Emily and Jon are out at tai chi in the morning and Jon's out in the afternoon too. We'll be celebrating Litha/Summer Solstice and also Grandad's birthday, so we've got a festival tree to decorate as well as a birthday tea to prepare. Friday we're out, then Sunday is Emily's charity kickathon, plus we have masses of writing deadlines this weekend again. The really, really good news is that we've finally found a free week to go to St Bees, so we'll be heading off to the caravan on the 7th July. We were going to go the first week in July, but Jon's attending a reiki training course on the 6th, so we've moved it to accommodate that.

This means that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be released in cinemas while we're away, but fear not, I've booked tickets for me and Emily to hot foot it to our local cinema on Monday 15th, the minute we return. I'm glad to see they're doing early morning showings, and I'm VERY glad that we'll get to see it before the school holidays kick in :-// And then of course, at the end of that week, it's 21st July and the Deathly Hallows book will be released. Excitement is reaching fever pitch round here; Emily and I have discussed just about every possible theory a trillion times over, lol. She thinks Snape will die defending Harry. I'm really interested to see what happens to Draco, and I'm taking bets that Harry will die. Possibly. And that Lily was an unspeakable, somehow connected with working in the Love Room at the ministry. And what's with the riding a dragon thing on the US artwork?? Ooooh, the suspense!


Pixies Den said...

Hope you all have a good holiday, you will be just a few miles from the place we call home, at the moment you will definately need wellies!
Love your blog, we too are on our summer break now, its good to do stuff whilst the schools are still in isnt it?
M, J , E and D Happily home edding in the lakes.

Nikki said...

Thank you for the good wishes. You're lucky to live in such a lovely part of the country!