Hello, and welcome to my new monthly newsletter!
This has been something that I've wanted to get off the ground for months, and with all this precious time at home, I've finally been able to do just that. This is a place to document and share a few monthly highlights, along with book recommendations, recipes, interesting articles, links to other blog posts, free resources etc. etc. If you have a specific request, please drop me a message at email@example.com
Celebrating May Day.
This year we made some simple little posies out of card, which we filled with flowers and foliage picked from our own back garden, and hand delivered to a few local friends and neighbours. Traditionally, you would hang the posy on your neighbours front gate or door, and leave it there to be discovered. We decided to knock on doors, partly because we wanted to see our neighbours faces after weeks of isolation, but we were also concerned that they might not be discovered due to people not leaving their houses in days.
Yellow: A Solo Exhibition
We decided to go ahead with Bean's 'Yellow' painting exhibition (which we had planned for the end of March), giving her friends and family virtual tours on Skype. She raised £25 towards the cost of equipment for her 9th birthday guinea pig enclosure.
Our tadpoles have legs!
Last summer we added a teeny tiny pond to our little urban garden. We thought we had a resident frog, which Bean named Trevor, but I think Trevor was likely one of a number of frogs living in our neighbours far superior pond! Anyway, we didn't get any frog spawn this spring, but our neighbours kindly donated us a small bucket of tadpoles, and they are thriving. It's been so exciting to observe them changing in our own little pond.
Gardening, gardening, gardening.
May has been a busy month for us in our garden. We've been planting out all of our vegetable seedlings, thinning out trays of flower seedlings and even harvested our first strawberries! We've made a start on our new raised beds in our front garden too, planting a scented Jasmine, a Lilac shrub and some annuals.
Our first socially distanced walk.
Last week we ventured out of Bristol to meet a friend for our first socially distanced walk. It felt wonderful to be out of the city, in a wild open space, with the wind blowing away all the stresses of the last 10 weeks. Social distancing is hard for young children, but we were firm about them not touching one another or passing things back and forth. They managed to keep their 2 metre distance for the most part, and now we are back in our family bubbles, longing to see each other again.
We've been really enjoying reading Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy during our morning time (recommended by the lovely Eloise @mightymother). It's definitely one that I think we'll revisit regularly as Bean gets older. We've also been really enjoying the Dr. Xargle series of picture books. They seem to appeal to Bean's sense of humour, and laughter is such sweet medicine.
I've been dipping in and out of a few books, but find it so hard to concentrate these days, with my mind whirling with uncertainty. I've had better success with audio books, which I'll share below.
One of the things that we've been missing a lot during lockdown is regular visits to our library. We have an excellent home library, but our collection is mostly non-fiction. What we really miss is gathering up a big stack of picture books, which we tend to read just once or twice before returning to the library for more.
For the past few weeks we have been swapping books with one of our neighbours. Once a week, we drop a small stack of picture books outside her door, and she does the same for us. We leave the books in quarantine for a few days, read them and return them. It's not the same as visiting the library, but is helping to bridge the gap for us, until the library reopens.
Audio Books This month has been dominated by listening to the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, on Borrowbox. I wasn't planning on us reading any further than the first book, as I was concerned about the content being too scary for my sensitive child, but she is gripped and insistent! It's been an absolute godsend these past few weeks, as it has been one of the few things I can reliably settle her down with if I feel like we're in need of a bit of quiet time.
I'm half way through listening to The Whole-Brain Child on Audible, which I'm finding absolutely fascinating and is helping enormously with understanding a few emotional barriers my daughter has. I've ordered the paperback, as it's one of those books that I know I'll want to refer back to, and it also includes lots of visuals which obviously don't translate on audio.
I've just started listening to Notes on a Nervous Planet which could not be more relevant and timely, given our current climate. I'm not able to review it fully yet, but am finding that a lot of what he talks about in the opening chapters is resonating with me. The many pitfalls of modern life.
Here are the blog posts I published this month, just in case you may have missed them.
If you have enjoyed reading this monthly newsletter, and don't want to miss another one, perhaps you might like to subscribe? I can promise not to flood your inbox with spam (but I can't promise that I'll remember to send newsletter reminders either!)
Next month, I'll be sharing how we celebrated Bean's 9th birthday during lockdown.
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you do click through, Bean and I will receive a small amount of commission which will contribute to new books and resources for her home education. You can, however, find all of these resources elsewhere, including other online retailers, second hand selling pages and your local library.