Sunday, 6 May 2007

India and the Beamsley Beacon

Finally after a few little diversions via India and the Yorkshire moors, we are off on our Poop in Europe tour today. We leave London this morning, pop in to see our old friend Alison Foster with Rourke and Kyla in the new forest for lunch, then take the ferry from Portsmouth tonight and arrive early tomorrow in Le Havre on our way to see Monet’s gardens in Giverny.

After the Lifeline walk finished at the end of March, Von nipped over for a well deserved break with fellow yoga teachers Su and Michelle to India. She started on a beach in Trivandrum and ended up travelling north on trains to Delhi, Varanasi and the Gangees. She’ll post up a few of her amazing experiences of her month long trip plus photos later.

Moses, the kids and I spent April really chilling out at Grandma and Papops house in Dulwich and enjoying London’s fine sunshine. We had a great weekend with my cousin Helen and goddaughter Cleo at their gorgeous new Malt House in Addingham village at the base of the Beamsley Beacon in Yorkshire. And enjoyed a lovely few days at a campsite in the middle of the New Forest with the Purdays - John, Caroline, Maya (goddaughter #2) and baby Violet – where Moses met his first horse and cow. Ellie said her goodbyes to Connie and Livi from school, Josh likewise to Halim and Tyran and we all cried buckets this week leaving the Jagos of Brockley for the last time in who knows when.

Home schooling is in full swing. Josh and Ellie will share how it’s been going and what they’ve been discovering on their next post. Anyone not entirely happy with the idea of forcing their children through a school system they might suspect is no longer fit for purpose, must read “Free Range Education” by Terry Dowty – the book has blown my mind. All my fears about whether or not we are doing the right thing by taking on the responsibility for educating the kids were dispelled immediately by the end of chapter 1. We’ve joined Education Otherwise and feel not only completely legit but also fabulously free. Free in the knowledge that they will love learning from the experiences we have together as a family, in ways they prefer, and in their own time. Free to wonder. Free to enquire. Free to explore this thing called life.

So our huge Motorhome (we really do need a cool name for our new home soon – any suggestions?) is packed ready to go including a brand new top box (cos like a muppet I knocked the first box off under a bridge only an hour after buying the bloody thing). Clothes? Check. Educational materials and dvds? Check. Lonely planet guides? A few. Food? not much. But so looking forward to ventures into little European markets buying enough fresh stuff for the day, cooking it on the barby that plugs into the side of the motorhome and washing it down with local vino. Music? All our CDs on the laptop. Golf clubs and cricket gear? Josh’s kit’s on board and I’ve sneaked on my Sand Wedge. Kids’ wet suits? Yep but keen to head south for warmer waters and buy our own surf boards.

Itchy feet? Oh yeah. Plus some rather large butterflies flying around at faster than the average butterfly flutter pace in our stomachs. What on earth do we think we are doing?

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