Sunday, 31 May 2009

Future Stars of 2012

Well maybe not! This was the first Devon league meeting we'd been to this year, and Ellie's first one ever. At the end of the first round of the Under 10s long jump she was in 3rd place with a jump of 2.50m, but got beaten into 5th when two people jumped 2.52m and 2.53m in the third round. Still that's not bad considering she's a Year 3 and she was competing against some children who are in Year 4.

Adrienne is an Under 17 now, despite still being only 15. She came 1st in the discus and the shot put. But she was the only one competing!!!

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Yes, we came back for more today! I had to get up at some stupid hour this morning to drive Carl to Tiverton to catch a train to Bristol and then the plane to Bordeaux. So after he'd gone I took Cailtin and Ellie to Costa Coffee for breakfast, where we met Jo and gang, and then we all headed off down the M5 to Escot. We went to say hello to Alan, the guy who ran the course for us last Friday, and he made us a drink, then we went exploring.

The kids were desperate to go in the maze first, having already sussed it out while we were sat round Alan's campfire, so of course they found it hilarious that they got to the middle before us. After that we took them walking round the woods. They loved the rope swing, but only Cailtin was brave enough to go on the drop slide. They played in the playgrounds and climbed trees. Then after lunch it was time for ...

I opted for taking photos this time, having done it before. They loved it so much they did it twice, and still wanted to go again!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Forest Schools Training Day

I've been in south Devon all day, at a place called Escot (Google it if your interested) on an INSET day with school. We were training for Forest Schools, a new initiative my boss has introduced, getting children to learn in the great outdoors. We were all a bit worried before we went down, having visions of being out in the middle of nowhere and having to fend for ourselves, but it turns out it was all most civilised.

We had coffee and croissants for breakfast in a tarp-covered shelter, learned how to make a name badge by sawing a bit off the end of a tree branch, then went for a nice stroll around the grounds of the stately house. There are playgrounds, slides and swings in the middle of the forest, a bid of prey centre - its great. Once in the forest we had serious training to do. We blindfolded each other and led our partners to a tree and away again. Then we had to find the tree we'd been taken to. After that we had to walk with mirrors held up to our noses so we could see the tree tops - Sky Eyes they were called. And if you think the sight of a bunch of teachers walk around a forest with mirrors glued to their noses is ridiculous you should have seen the five of us who were brave enough to wade barefoot up to our knees through a wetland bog! Unfortunately the only photos are on the school camera, which I don't have. But watch this space cos Jo and I loved it so much we are taking our kids back in half term.

The only thing I really wasn't sure about was the squirrel stew they served us for lunch!

Monday, 11 May 2009


Just got back from a week in Turkey, not a holiday but strictly for work purposes you understand! I went with Jackie, and the Boss, as part of a two year long project to promote understanding of other European cultures and create a shared educational bond. So of course we had to immerse ourselves in the Turkish culture, which we did with much gusto. Above is a photo of Jackie and I immersing ourselves in the tourism culture by visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, which you can just see in the background at the bottom of the hill.

This is Heirapolis, another ancient city high up in the mountains, which bizarrely they are reconstructing. I would have thought ruins ought to stay ruins myself, but there you go.

The ruins of Heirapolis lead into one of Turkey's World Heritage sites - Pamakule. This is not snow you see behind me, but calcium deposits. It's all very pretty and when you get to the end there are manmade versions of the pools which you can go paddling in if you don't mind sharing the water with the Turkish tadpoles.
We also went for a Turkish bath, where the sight of two naked Germans nearly caused us to turn tail and flee, but fortunately nakedness is not obligatory, so we emerged an hour later, scrubbed clean and thoroughly massaged. Thankfully for all of us there are no photos of this experience!