Thursday, March 29, 2012

To the allotment

we went, H and I (who was off school, sick, but was so enthusiastic about what we were to do that he wanted to come) and made the first fire of the year. He was not impressed in the end "Fail, fail" (too much newspaper and dried, old weeds and not enough big sticks) but it went better than last time's when everything was so damp.
I planted out the red onions which have been sitting on a windowsill, in their toilet roll pots of compost, growing unspeakably fast as if they needed to reach the sun by Easter. In between the rows, I planted carrot seed, as advised by YouTube star, Claire's allotments. The carrot flies hate the smell of onions and vice versa is the reasoning behind it. There's not going to be any flies though if the rain doesn't arrive and nothing has moisture in its stalks in order to poke up through the soil. I just had a bit of water left in some buckets that had  melted snow in to water the seeds; the water doesn't get switched on until sometime in mid-late April. The council assumes it'll rain before then, well this ain't Sheffield, it rains as often as it snows: very occasionally!
S's work experience has been a positive thing. He's not had to make tea for everyone nor clean the loos and best of all, not been left to twiddle his thumbs as they have had lots of relevant things for his abilities. Who wouldn't like to press those beepy scanners and announce you owe 26 kronor in fines? I think a major 'learning attainment' is an increase in confidence. They had to arrange everything themselves, and S, mashaAllah did all the approaching and talking. Many of his friends ended up in relative's businesses. He would've liked something relevant to his possible future as a Doctor, but Hospitals couldn't provide anything, nor the Chemists, but this is understandable. Funnily, shops have restrictions on under 18's handling payments at the tills, but this doesn't seem to be an issue at the library. I suppose £50 fines or £25 on photocopies would just not happen!
He has his last work experience day tomorrow. It's zoomed past. In fact he was ill on Monday, the day his teacher had come to 'inspect'. S had diligently tried to inform the library staff of his illness, and they finally answered the phone by about 1:30 pm. I was considering walking down there and telling them. Somehow perversely, it's reminding me of the time I was in the doctor's trying to book an appointment, and was told I had to phone their booking line. I would've phoned them, there and then, glaring at them in front of me as they answered my call, if I'd have enough money on my mobile phone.
Anyhow, they're quite laid-back down the library, and S would like to work there as a summer job. Abundant computers (plus, maybe, the presence of books) does make it an attractive workplace for a teenage boy.
He served our neighbour yesterday and now we know he's the man to ask about Apple computers as he purchased all the back issues of the relevant magazine.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life moves on

S is in his second week of work experience, at the library. He is quite enjoying scanning the books and taking the fines. He even got a cup of Earl Grey today. I'll have to cut short as Hz is ill and has woken up for the 2nd time in an hour. We've all been ill recently, except solid old M.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gardening has begun

So far, in order of sowing: leeks, tomatoes, parsley, lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes (I'm daring to plant them this year as they are hard to get rid of, apparently. But they are next to the mint and strawberries so I think they'll have a fight on their hands!).
I wish I had some photos, but it's been so long since I've used the proper camera that it'll take me ages to upload anything (I'd have to locate said camera first!).
I've also treated myself to some mini daffodils which look much like the pic at the top, except they're in a blue IKEA lemon squeezer pot,  which turn out to be Sweden's national colours!

As for the other growing beings in my house, things are plodding along nicely. Hz does his best to avoid going to the childminders, despite having much fun when he does go there. S and M continue to swim twice a week, and H is asking to start football...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sweden still surprises me

The dark, grey days are upon us, and I'm telling myself "It's not time to hibernate, you don't need sunlight, you don't need sunlight. . ."
The working day in Sweden often starts at 8 a.m. and the fact that the sun rises after this meant my 'all things garden-related- tuned' ears brought me to take a look out the window when I heard the whir of a lawn-mower. It's hum was steadily getting louder and then quieter as it was going up and down, clipping the last blades of growth of 2011. I was amazed at the punctuality of the gardener and the feeling of just-getting-on-with-it even before I'd got myself properly dressed. I was particularly amazed that anyone mows lawns with the headlights on on their grass-cutting tractor in the semi-darkness! But then most of Sweden would look a bit rough around the edges come Autumn time, and that would just not do!

It's half-term hols now, although I've got more than usual to do on the writing front. The elder two went to the archive centre today where they had detective activities for kids. I'd forgotten all about micro-fiches which DH had tried in vain to explain to the older ladies working there that they should be replaced with something digital!
H is still ill, with a chest infection. The doctor described it as bronchial pnenomia which sounds much more serious. H turned out to be allergic to the penicillin he was prescribed (about 7 quid, doesn't it cost 50 p to make or something?) and another 10 quid on the new antibiotics. Rant over.
 Alhamdulillah we have cures like these.
Hz has been adamntly refusing to go to the childminder-- it makes it harder when the boys are off school. But how people with 3 year olds hold down even a a part-time job is beyond me. But that is what the majority of Swedish women do--Hz, despite his Swedish citizenship, is not going to bow to these societal pressures!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cute phrases 2011

I am supposed, as a would-be writer, to write every day. Well, it's not been happening on this blog obviously, but the above is a typical view of my weekday mornings. (The Sweet peas are still coming, although not in such abundance).
Anyhow, here's a collection of utterances I've gathered from my big, dark blue week to page diary which is trying to organise my life (and not quite succeeding). I try to write them down as soon as I hear them as I'll never rember them otherwise. Does this count as my daily writing?  I have learned that this blog, and most others, can now be nobly called  a piece of Creative Non-fiction. That does sound posh, doesn't it!

M had some grammar homework involving superlatives. Biryani logically extended it to:”table, tabler, tablest.”!

For some reason she’d been talking quite a bit about death—I was “only a little bit old.”

She plays the game on ‘Martha Speaks’ website—“They know what ‘ex-aasted’ means and you don’t”
B --“angry, feel like you’re worried about something”
Was that ‘exasperated’, or ‘exhausted’ in a US accent? should check what my kids do online more often!

We are playing a game
me -“you’re wasting your time” (I don’t recall why I said this!)
B-“I don’t have any time, only if I hold the timer I do.”

He had lost his boot and straight away announced:” can’t find it anywhere.”
As if he’d really been looking everywhere for it, my foot!

Hz’s mispronunciations:
“I got a i lossy”-- Ice lolly
“Wishwasher” --Dishwasher
“Weewok” --Ewok (Star Wars)

Biryani made some instructions on how to make a stop sign: ’HOW TOO MEAC STOP SEIN’

I hope this post makes some sense. I've been called away to a bathing situation and so I'll just press publish.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I give in, Summer has gone

OK, it’s officially Autumn. Not because it's been less than 10C for five days in a row, but because I have carried out the biannual Cellar Mission. I have delved, cast aside things I never will understand why we kept, and hauled up dust-smelling carrier bags full of musty jackets and cheesy boots. I hope and pray there are a few pairs of matching gloves to be found when I work myself up to the next stage: getting the kids to actually try the winter attire on.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I'm allowed to Home Educate in Sweden....

Myself, that is! I've just started an online Uni course in Creative Writing (in English)- no compulsory attendance, no need for social training (I'm supposed to have passed that unit by now, I assume)
So there you have it, home education is allowed in Sweden, as long as you have done your 9 years school-duty first.

 It's actually a pretty enjoyable course, no rights or wrongs really. This used to put me off English in a way, maths was either right or wrong and so less 'mysterious'. Now I've overcome that, may be through looking at education through different spectacles.
And if anyone's interested, if you're from the EU it's free and can be done entirely online- I think the basic requirement may be English GCSE, although maybe any A-level done in the English language. I got on with my British Uni degree, but they kept asking me for evidence of my A-levels done in the UK. (the Swedes who apply have to have an Advanced level in English (typically achieved at the end of sixth form college)- but that's not he same as a British A-level English, that's why I wrote about GCSE English being enough).