Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Time No Blog

I lost enthusiasm for blogging after the extremely unpleasant hoo-hah which shall (of course) remain unspoken. Having people and companies demanding removal of this, that and the other makes it feel tainted, somehow. Not my private little haven any more (lol, well, as private as a public blog could be!) Must try and get back to it as Emily loves to look back on things she's done.

It's been a fairly trying time for us adults. Quite apart from all the distress over the corporate sanctioned theft of my copyright, misattribution of my work and "all that", it turned out that the press agency didn't pay one of our invoices from last month. It will be paid in next month's batch, but that's not much help to us in our dire cashflow situation. Sigh. Meanwhile, the BBC have now gone two months without paying us, due to cock ups in their outsourced finance company, despite the lovely producer of our section rowing daily with the finance department over it. Last I heard earlier today, she's hoping to get them to release an emergency payment which should be with us by Monday. But other promises of dates we can expect the money have come and gone half a dozen times so far this month, so I'm not holding my breath. So all in all, we're about two and a half thousand pounds down on our normal and expected income this month.

We've missed all of our credit card payments for May. All of our huge first of the month outgoings will bounce on the first of June. We're struggling to find cash to go and get a loaf of bread at the moment, so it really is rather dire. I've stopped answering the phone as it's just more call centres from exotic parts of the world demanding payment that we can't give them because nobody's bloody well paying us on time. To say it's not been a good few weeks would be rather British understatement, I feel. So let's do that then. It's not been a good few weeks.

Educationally and socially, however, Emily's been having a great time, so let's focus on the positive. We've seen lots of our friends and Emily's thoroughly enjoying her garden project. Highlights since I last blogged have included:

  • Emily starting a daily nature journal, inspired by some old ones of Uncle David's that Jon found when sorting out some stuff in the loft. Pictures of yesterday's and today's are further down.

  • Huge amounts of bug hunting and gleeful identification.

  • Lots of relaxing in the garden which Jon has made look and feel *amazing*. I used to hate being in the garden. Love it now!

  • Veggies in Emily's vegetable patch are growing really well; homegrown lettuce has been on the lunchtime sandwich menu often.

  • A session at our house dissecting flowers and seed heads with Mei Lin and Jasmine to learn about the life cycles of flowering plants.

  • A walk in Twigmoor woods with friends we haven't seen for ages - Emily and Romy managed to turn rolling in the mud into an absolute art form!

  • Reading a book about ants, capturing some to observe and Emily making a detailed few pages of diagrams and notes about what she'd learned.

  • Move investigations into our rotting tree stump; a dead female stag bettle was found and has been named Lily, and kept lovingly in a cardboard box!

  • Finding out about the fascinating lives of may flies after one crash landed on Emily's trampoline.

  • An investigation into why nettles sting and why dock leaves work as a remedy; testing the PH of the leaves; trying out toothpaste as a remedy for red ant stings/bites too.

  • Fabulous woodland walk with Mei Lin, Jasmine, Alex, Natalie and Jacki to introduce Alex the woods nearly opposite his new home in our village.

  • Emily overcoming a trauma on that same walk - the woods are behind her old primary school in the village, and having walked through them we took the kids to play in the playground outside the school playground. Emily was temporarily terrified of going near the place as there was a PE lesson going on and she thought her old teacher would see her. Hope that woman's proud of herself - capable of inducing that kind of fear in a child who hasn't even seen her for four years. Fortunately, with hugs and a pep talk from her friends, Emily quickly got over it and played very happily in the playground in full view of the miserable looking school kids and cross looking teacher (not Emily's old one, as it happened).

  • Much tai chi and karate.

  • My Mum's birthday, for which Emily made her a beautiful chocolate cake and created/designed her own perfume for my Mum from the perfumier kit she had for Christmas. She called the scent "Scent of Dreams" and once she had the recipe right she worked out how to scale it up from the 1ml trial size into the full bottle size and then bottled it and wrapped it up :-))

  • Tree bashing with an umbrella underneath to examine beasties - Emily found a click beetle and a vine weevil among lots of spiders and woodlice.

  • Measuring the garden and its features with Gramps' metre rules and drawing a scale plan of it on graph paper.

  • All sorts of others garden related bits and bobs....

Here follows a bit of a photo fest, purely to cheer me up!

Nature journal pages:

Fun and games in the woods and playground:

A swinging beauty and a birthday cake, plus Nana delighted with her cake:
And some of Emily's recent garden photography:

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