Well, after much thought i have decided to get Blogging. I'm sure someone out there will find my ramblings interesting.... or at least i hope they do!
I'm Pip and i live in a very small village in the Oxfordshire countryside. I share my little part of the world with my partner Lee, two children, Brendan (8) and Kenzie (4), one dog, two chickens and a hamster! I'm a stay at home mum and spend my days juggling the job of a mum with the job of a childminder. Thankfully the two are not too dissimilar!
Recently i have become very interested in finding a "better way of life"! I look back at my childhood and remember playing outside, creating a snail world in an old wheelbarrow, climbing trees, making dens, playing in the river, looking after chickens and collecting eggs....... this is not the life my boys have and its started to bother me. My partner is not an out doorsy type of person and his interests are computers, DVDs and gaming. The boys love their consoles and gadgets and i LOVE my laptop and have a self confessed addiction to Facebook! while i see a place for this in our modern lives i have been concerned that we are all becoming very detached from the natural world.
The pace of life seems rushed and a bit "false" there is no time for play and exploring and all our learning is handed to us through the magic box on the wall. It's all second hand learning.
So i have started to change things! We still have our gadgets and the TV and Laptop still plays a big part in our life but I'm trying to balance it. My boys are starting to experience life in a different way now.
Last year we planted some veg.... a couple of Broccoli plants. We didn't get to eat any of these as the plants became over run with cabbage white caterpillars. But suddenly my children and the children i look after were totally engrossed in these little green creatures that were stripping our Broccoli to shreds before our very eyes! We collected a few and popped them in a pot with some leaves. We watched these Caterpillar's eat and eat and then form chrysalises and eventually hatch in to cabbage white butterflies who flew away! We made a book about the life cycle, the children pretended to be Caterpillars and wrapped themselves up in blankets and wriggled around the floor, pretending to eat, sleep and eventually hatch in to beautiful Butterflies! we found stories to read and made many paintings! It all flowed so naturally and they learnt so much, as did i! That was probably the eye opener for me!
Last half term i spent several days in our local woods. I took blankets, water, food, pens and paper, buckets and spades and found a fantastic spot with lots of old branches and a huge crater in the ground that made an interesting place to spend some time. We made dens with the branches, used the blankets to sit on, pealed sticks, dug holes, collected pine cones. At no point did i hear "I'm bored!" or any sort of arguments or requests for telly..... and the inevitable argument over what channel they wanted to watch! There imaginations flourished and only when we ran out of water did we return home, with a real feeling of peace and happiness! I shared this experience with a very good friend and she joined us on one of our trips to the woods. I think she will now be joining us every holiday!! The thing that really stood out was the fact that i didn't say "NO" once! The boys could run, shout, jump, throw....... at home in a small 2 bed house, these things can soon grate on you and i find I'm often using "NO" and "DON'T" a lot more than i would like! instead i seemed to be using much more positive vocab and praising them came naturally.
A couple of weeks ago i decided to ditch the plans for the beautiful decked garden with pot plants and "Features", which i had spent months planning in my head, and instead decided on the much more "natural" approach! We now have 2 chickens as a result! Matilda and Gertrude (who you will hear a lot more about I'm sure) and started to plant up seeds with the boys for a veg plot! Both of these choices have been a huge hit and the new argument in the morning is not so much about "what TV channel to watch" but "who is going to get the eggs today!!" They understand where eggs come from and get very excited about collecting a fresh warm egg and eating it 10 minutes later! Their Breakfasts are now more filling and sustaining and it's not a battle to get them to eat before school!
So this is my"Worms Eye-View" of life in our house (and garden).......... If it inspires just one person out there to try a bit of nature........ well I'll be a very happy chicken!