Wednesday, 16 July 2008

A year today!

It was one year ago today that we finally moved to this house after a a horrendous trying-to-move process that took about 18 months, so it's time to reflect on what we have achieved during this time.

We wanted: a smaller, friendlier place to live with it's own character that wasn't just a suburb of London; to get involved in a local home educating community; to get an allotment; to grow things in our own garden; for the children to have more space to play in; to have more space in the kitchen for baking and eating as a family around a table; more green space easily accessible; to make friends.

We are still getting used to the town but it is smaller and friendlier - people aren't often shot round here which is an improvement, plus we're not too scared to go to the local parks and playgrounds due to drunks and junkies and anti-social teenagers.

We now regularly see around 6 or 7 home educating families and are getting to know them. This suits us better than going to groups at the moment.

We have an allotment which we finally got in March (forgot to take my camera there today) and which the kids are now enjoying. We've also had a nice crop of potatoes from it.

The garden is long and narrow which is a difficult shape to take advantage of, but it has provided the children with space to run around, play football, skip, ride bikes, do gardening and have a playhouse. We've also had a good crop of garlic, onions and strawberries from it, as well as growing herbs, runner beans, tomatoes, raspberries, carrots, sprouts, apples, pears and cobnuts. It will take a while for the trees we've planted to grow taller but the garden looks much better and is such a fantastic thing to have. Unlike our previous tiny patch of grass, this garden is enclosed, away from traffic and I can let the children out there unsupervised without worrying they will get run over. This is how the garden looked when we moved in:

And this is how it looks today:

We have a kitchen table and we bake and eat as a family. Despite much less helpful public transport, we have been getting out and about much more and maybe we are slowly making friends.

We've also done loads of small but vital jobs round the house including getting a water butt, compost bins, bike shed, putting up shelves, getting an oven which actually worked, getting the boiler replaced and so many other things which sound trivial but which have contributed to the running of our household so much. I'm so glad that we no longer live in a 1 and half bedroom flat with 2 small children and a cat, with no space for a table to eat and draw at.

It's been a tough and busy year involving me doing a lot of things I really dislike and really stretching me beyond my comfort zone practically the whole time, but things seem to be settling to a new equilibrium now. We have space - both physical and mental - to think beyond the immediate and to make tentative plans for the future. The children are thriving - my daughter can now ride a 2 wheeled bike, skip, read and write, make complicated art items involving scissors, glue and sellotape; my son can now ride a two wheeled bike with stabilisers, use scissors, write some letters and numbers, recognise some words including his name, help baking.

It's been a massive year for all of us.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Wow! A whole year has gone by...
and you have done soooo much. Well done you!!!