Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wicked Wednesday :: two outta three ain't bad...


And, to move on from the sentimentality of whether it can possibly be true that Noah is going to secondary school in a matter of weeks, it's Wicked Wednesday, hosted by BrummyMummy - a photo Linky for those family fail photos that you can't possibly add to a photo Linky...

Taken last spring, but a definite favourite still - don't ask me what Noah is pulling the face for - I have no clue.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

brummymummyof2

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

secondary school? already? (are you sure?)

So, Noah finished school the week before last. As did Petal.  As did Smiler (well, last week, not the week before).  But it was different this time for Noah - because he won't be going back.  That was year six, the last year of primary school, and in September he's starting at Bristol Metropolitan Academy (Bristol Met).  There's a little voice in my head ... actually, stuff that, it's not a little voice, it's a loudmouth complete with megaphone screaming 'Secondary school!  He's going to secondary school!'


Part of me is hugely relieved - his school was quite small, in a technically deprived area, he's very bright, and that made him a target.  Seems like all the kids in his year have had TV's in their room and their own mobile phones since year two, whereas we have one TV in the house and will be getting Noah a mobile in the next couple of weeks 'just in case'.  All the kids play football every break time, and coordination is not one of Noah's strong suits.  He trips, he fumbles, he misses.  He's been bullied, on and off, but the last year has been easier because (and I know it's horrible to think like this) the ringleader has been much quieter since last summer, when his mother died.  I only found out on the last day of term that she killed herself, and I feel guilty because his more subdued personality provided Noah with relief from the stress he was putting him through.

Noah is the only child from his primary school going to the Met, and as there will be almost four times the number of students in his year, it's going to be a big change, but hopefully a chance to make new friends.

But ... secondary school?  How have I got a child in secondary school?  Never mind that Smiler is the school year above Noah, and moved to secondary school last September - Smiler is (understatement of the year coming up) ... different.  How can my buddha baby (bellywise, not temperament wise!) be going to secondary school?


Anyone else feeling inordinately surprised that their little people are getting bigger?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, 28 July 2014

Point + Shoot


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A child free Point + Shoot this time around - the school holidays have started in ernest, and a purposefully purposeless couple of days were in order, so they had a couple of days free from me and the camera too!  All taken in the garden (apart from the one of Eli in the house!), soaked in sunshine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, 27 July 2014

chocolate. Need I say more?


At the Bristol Foodies Festival we were lucky enough to not just get tickets to see Fiona Sciolti talk about her gorgeous chocolates, but for Noah and Petal to join her at the front!

While Fiona told us about the history of chocolate, how it's prepared and how those processes have changed over time, Noah and Petal got busy taking turns grinding coco nibs with the pestle and mortar.  The theory is that while they seem dry, if ground up the oils are released, making a paste - the seriously old fashioned way to do it!


Smiler watched with interest, but you could see he was pondering the announcement at the beginning of the demonstration - Fiona and Giles had mentioned they've recently branched out into ice cream..

As Petal and Noah continued to grind away we learned more about how the process involved have changed over the years, impacted by the development of various machines which changed the texture and experiments in ingredients which altered not just the flavour but also the form - chocolate in bars for example.

Seeing, touching and smelling an actual real live cocoa bean and cocoa butter together with various bits and pieces that were passed around added a sensory element to the presentation, which was fab for Smiler, and helped him (finally!) move on from the ice cream.  

... And Fiona explained that since white chocolate contains cocoa butter this means it is officially chocolate, confirming my lifelong position on the matter!


The flavours of Sciolti chocolate are developed by Fiona, and kept to a relatively small range in order to ensure the highest quality is maintained.  Committed to using natural flavours and genuinely local ingredients (including flowers, fruits, cream and honey), Sciolti has attracted a fair bit of attention, including several awards - not surprising in the least if you take a peek at the website.  While you're there I recommend you read Fiona's news page which gives an idea as to why her demonstrations are so popular - her approachable manner and obvious love of what she does is clear, as is her irreverent sense of humour!

With the grinding all finished, the kids tried the chocolate they'd made, having been warned that with its intense taste and lack of milk and sugar it would be nothing like the chocolate they were used to.  Noah and Petal both professed to enjoy it, but then I have yet to find any chocolate that they won't eat.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When we passed the stand a little later Smiler spotted the sign and recognised it from the demo.  After trying a couple of flavours of chocolate (I highly recommend the strawberry cream if you get the chance to visit a similar event, or you can buy online ... I just spotted Raspberry pavlova ... ooo ... and they do chocolate spoons too ... even more ooo!) we decided the ice cream looked too good to resist!  No photos of anybody tucking into their chosen flavour as I was busy with my own, but as well as being the cheapest available at the event I genuinely struggle to believe there could have been any others that tasted as divine.

Mmmmm...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

silent sunday


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

shh...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~