Community Payback and no Goldilocks

My weekend has been busy as always. Yesterday I was hoovering, I should say vacuuming the living room, when I became aware of a persistent sound of metallic scraping noises somewhere out in the road. I pootled on, hanging washing on the line in the sun, a great treat now that spring is here, and generally tidying. It wasn’t until I realised that the dogs were roasting in their living room window seat, and I let some fresh air in that I found out where the noise was coming from. A woman emerged from a large white van parked opposite, wearing a hoodie saying that her name was ‘Supervisor’.

I noticed the first of three young men because he was shovelling the gutter right beside the wheels of my car. A bit panic stricken, I threw the window wide for a closer look, and two more appeared. All three were wearing bright orange tabards with ‘Community Payback’ printed on them. The Devon and Cornwall police website has this to say

Community Payback can be part of a ‘community sentence’. A ‘community sentence’ means that the offender is supervised in the community and in the case of Community Payback has to carry out between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work. This work benefits the community – and means the offenders pay back the community for their crimes by doing tough demanding work. For this reason members of public are encouraged to nominate Community Payback work projects for offenders which will benefit the community. 

I would have liked to go and talk to them but I was in housework clothes and had wet hair, so I made a point of catching the supervisor’s eye and each of the guys to say thank you. The road is now weed free, and has saved residents the task of clearing up, as the council no longer has the resources to do it, despite the outrageously high council tax.

This morning I was visiting my family, for two of my grandchildren’s birthdays. Louisa is seven and William is three, I have no idea where that time went. Today at 11am was Williams’s party but Louisa was over excited by 9.30 so I decided to take her for a calming down stroll. We set off around the block, ‘Getting out with nature’ as she puts it, picking tiny wild flowers and stroking catkins. There were a couple of flowers that mummy apparently says are weeds, to which I replied that weeds are just flowers in the wrong place.

After not very long Louisa wanted to go home, she didn’t want to miss a moment of the party. We had about fifteen minutes to walk and she had lost interest in wild flowers. More distraction needed! I challenged her to tell me a story about nature. She started by picking a forget-me-not and saying that a girl found lots of them on path. The girl picked and picked them, but she became very hungry and didn’t have any food. She passed the story on to me, so I sent the girl deep into the woods until she found a cottage.

You know the story, Goldilocks meets the three bears, sits on their chairs, eats their porridge and falls asleep in baby bears bed. Except that her name wasn’t Goldilocks it was Meg. The bears were pandas and the porridge was chocolate cake. We had a great time embellishing the story, making it ours. I hope that one day she will be walking with her granddaughter, telling stories about walking in nature with her crazy story telling mma.

So that was a little of my weekend, how was yours?

 

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Reluctant William

New Years Day at Blackbury Camp and dens need building, according to Louisa anyway.

William thinks otherwise
William thinks otherwise
Can't you see I'm wearing my crocodile gloves and that's far more important!
Can’t you see I’m wearing my crocodile gloves and that’s far more important!
Okay, I'll just bring you  one stick
Okay, I’ll just bring you one stick
No I'm not going to be in your den photo.
No I’m not going to be in your den photo.
Brothers, honestly!
Brothers, honestly!

A Very Creative 6 Year Old

 

Yesterday my Granddaughter came over to spend some time making some art with me – there’s a lot of art and craft materials in my house! I had a few plans and ideas in mind before she came, so to save time I cut out some paper circles and triangles.

She chose some paint colours to work with and started mixing!

art1

We made some pompoms the old fashioned way with two cardboard circles and some wool, to which she then added some more circles that she had drawn on – Olaf included!

art3
Next, we moved onto a bigger project, abstract circles with pretty paper and glittery pens.
art2
In between we baked cookies – not the best ever but we managed to put ourselves outside of some all the same, followed by lunch and the best piece of all.
art4
Again, I was mainly the labourer here, cutting out, pouring glue and washing paint pots. It was well worth it though, she was so very proud of her creations, and so were her mum and dad when she took them home. Thanks for a lovely day Louisa!

An Officer and a Gentleman

Britannia Royal Naval College, the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, sits high on a hill overlooking Dartmouth in England. Royal Naval officer training has taken place in Dartmouth since 1863, but the buildings we see today were only finished in 1905, previous students lived in two wooden hulks moored in the River Dart. The foundation stone for the current building was laid down by King Edward V11 in March 1902. Sir Aston Webb designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill and practically completed in 1905. The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905.

King George V and King George V1 were naval cadets at Dartmouth, as were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. It is said that the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth at Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain’s Armed Forces. Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.

BRNC is widely considered one of the most prestigious officer training establishments in the world, their website says that they are

Delivering learning that is inspiring, challenging and relevant to meet Fleet operational capability. It has been at the forefront of the education and development of world-class Naval Officers in Dartmouth since 1863.

Fourteen years ago my son joined the Navy and since then he has risen the ranks as a submariner to Chief Petty Officer. On Thursday I went to see him ‘Pass out’ as Sub-Lieutenant at Dartmouth. A very proud day as you can imagine. Here is a slide show of the day.

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Amiir and Family

Culture shock kids. I read this with my breskfast on the BBC News page and it touched me so I thought I would share. It’s comic strip presentation will appeal to kids and would be a really useful teaching aid, showing how hard it can be to take your family back ‘home’, when home is so different from home.
So, tell me, who do you empathise with? Are Amiir’s children spoilt? I wouldn’t have taken them home early, would you ?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24869363

Scarlett gets her middle name

I’ve been pretty busy recently and as some of you know the main reason is the arrival of my third grandchild, my daughters first daughter Scarlett! I’ve been up to stay twice this month and I’ve had such a special time, bathing her and going with Nina and Steve to get her weighed. This week we even had a professional photo shoot, when Steve set up his studio lights, and I got to play with his serious camera to take photos of the three of them. Of course there are plenty of me with Scarlett and Nina too, maybe I’ll post some once Steve is happy with them. Meanwhile here are a few that I’ve taken.

My favourite dress

Scarlett didn’t have a middle name at first, but I’m thrilled to bits that they have chosen Ngozi. It’s a Nigerian Igbo name that means ‘Blessing’ and it’s great that she will carry a little of her cultural inheritance forward.

As well as all this I’ve been writing an assignment for my creative writing course and doing lots of craft fairs, but things are settling down now!