Saturday, 23 February 2013

New Birthing and Doula blog!

Very exciting news m'dears...

I have had a very exciting few days....

Firstly I became an auntie to a gorgeous lil' baby girlie :-)

I am also delighted to be joining the DOULA UK magazine editorial team and working on some stuff for JUNO MAGAZINE for their summer issue.

And....whilst being in hibernation feeling-pooey-and-ill mode, I have been quietly getting my shiz together and now have a new Doula website and Blog with the help of my lovely techically whizzy Pete and our equally technically whizzy friend Ian, so do pop on over and take a peek.

It's brand spankin' new and I'm rather proud of it. Hope you like it.

Lots of love everyone xxx

Check out my new Birth Blog!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

British History Podcast

Hey. Feeling a little better today and my cold is gone. Yay! I overdid things with my back - boo! So that is sore now. But.... feeling a lot happier. Thanks for the support and bloggy love.

So, moving on, I want to share with you a really great resource which we have been following for a couple of years now. 

It might sound a bit weird that an American should be doing a podcast on British History, but this guy IS actually British, and what is more he is awesome. He truly knows his history, and tells it in such an easygoing way, bringing to life the chronological history of Britain in mini-episodes. He is much more fun to listen to that those serious types (Simon Schama et al) and I often listen to him last thing at night to drift off too (Although I usually listen to then end) Yeah he occasionally bleeps out the odd swear word, but I personally really like that he just talks in a normal and real way and isn't at all pompous. He's done something 93 episodes at the time of writing and half of those were just covering the Romans!

Go check out his podcasts in the itunes store and if you want to listen to them in chronological historical order, then scroll down from the beginning and work your way up the list from the bottom.

and if you likey, go take a look at The British History Podcast Website  He does this job full-time now but nearly had to give it up recently and go get a paid job. Thankfully he has just announced that thanks to donations and support he can afford to make a living from his podcast and website, which I for one am really pleased about!

X Enjoy! X

Monday, 18 February 2013

Normal service will soon be resumed

Apart from Indie learning to read and a really gorgeous phonecall and skype session with Lucy over at Dreaming Aloud and the company of some friends in the village over the last couple of days, it feels like one of those tumbleweed weeks when nothing in particular happens and the world seems a bit grey.
I've had a horrid cold and felt like my head was in a clamp (fun with bouncy boys in the house) and spent several days literally sat in an armchair by my woodburner just feeling a bit poo with a blankie wrapped round me. Pete has been doing all my jobs. He's been a trooper, but is understandably, knackered.
We're both feeling a bit lost at the mo....restless....uncertain what to do on so many things.
I don't know why we're feeling like this.
I try and cheer myself up with this and that and it works for a while....
Maybe it's the time of year.
Maybe its worrying about our finances since they're all so completely tied up in horrid business wranglings.
Maybe its a hankering for the open road.
Maybe it's the very very BIG talk we had about having more babies or not and all the tears that flowed with it.
There are always things to be grateful for and to look forward to but I'm having a wallowing moment.
I know it will pass and I know happy things are round the corner. They always are....
and I shall soon be launching my new Doula website and Birth Blog.... so watch this space folks!

Friday, 15 February 2013

I like Peter and I like Jane

Well who would've guessed it?  Somehow after reading just a few odd words here and there, Indie today can suddenly just read, which he demonstrated today when he brought me a pile of Peter and Jane books and announced that he'd like to read them aloud to me. He then astounded me by reading the whole of 1a, 1b 1c (you have to write in that one) and then half of book 2a! (At which point he realised Peter and Jane is actually really f*cking boring and was starting to parody a bit - but who cares? He's reading. Sentences! )


He actually read the entire first book whilst spinning round and round in circles in the kitchen as I cooked pancakes!

He is one of those kids that reminds me of Sir Ken Robinson's descriptions of children who cannot think unless they're moving their body. Like they literally can't stand still. And that is Indie all over!

He is forever twisting and turning and spinning and moving his body, rarely sitting completely still!

And there it is.

When you don't force, when there are no tears, when you are not trying, when you let them come to it on their own terms and in their own timing, it just happens.

After prompting him with the odd word in the first three books he then announces when he got to 2a, he said "Paula I don't actually need you anymore because I'm actually doing this pretty perfectly on my own!" And so he was.


Eh?.....Eh?......Eh?.....What? ...... oh I've forgotten.

If you have never watched......... 
then I suggest you drop absolutely everything and watch it NOW! 

My sides hurt from laughing!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Birdy birdy bird!

  Thought I'd upload some pics from a lovely but bitterly cold day we spent at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Maybe you recognise it from TV?

( Those are not my pics by the way!) 

But these ones are....


Had a crappy horrid cold since then - booo!!! But it was nice to be out amongst the flowers and the birds....

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Introducing the Cleary Family Museum!

We are a little geeky about history in our household, and this has led us to collect all kinds of things...which have been slowly forming into something of a museum! It's a mix-up of natural history and all sorts of bits and bobs

 fossils * crystals * shells* beach finds * pottery fragmanets dug up from our garden * glass bottles * insects* owl pellets* an old camera * some old binoculars * a viewmaster plus lots of reels * coins * bones * a tiny lead soldier on his horse from our garden * a cameo bust also dug up from our garden * a really old hand-made shoe found in an abandoned house in a forest in poland * a first aid box from ww2 * replica artefacts from museums / horrible histories live theatre shows * set of original newspapers from famous dates in history * old magazines from the 1960's * metallic objects * an old grain shovel that we found and cleaned up

I am a total total history geek!

Did I ever tell you that we collect postcards and stamps too? 

That will have to wait for another post.

What do you like to collect?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Moods of Motherhood - Who is going to receive this beautiful book?

The Ordinary Goddess, Rose, Liz and Awen - You are all winners! 

Please contact me by email and let me know your addresses and you will each receive a copy of Lucy's book. 


Congratulations on being brave and awesome mamas! 

And if you haven't already bought a copy for yourself dear readers, add it to your bookshelves - it will be a good friend to you on your parenting journey.


Big love x x x

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Put cuddling back in the curriculum!

Anyone who knows our family will know that we are a pretty kissy and cuddly lot. I love the fact that my boys are very free with their affection, and one of the lovely things about our home ed community is that people hug one another, a lot!

The big kids hug the little kids and give them piggy backs. The young kids cuddle the still younger ones. The grown ups love and care for one another, and each others children too.

It all sounds very rosy and peachy doesn't it? Well actually it is just like that. Really!

And it always shows when we get together with schooled kids, just how uptight school makes them in a way and they seem to melt a little and enjoy the fact that they don't actually have to pretend to be all macho with their buddies, a hug is ok - it's safe and fun and not something dangerous or harmful!
No need for manly hand-shakes when a good ol' squeeze feels better. Oxytocin is the substance and currency that flows round our body and gives us feel-good endorphins that boost our immunity - so why not hug? Everyone should just walk round hugging everyone else all day long if you ask me!

I fear that in order to 'toughen up' the nations kids, by it's very structure and organization, strict timetabling denies kids the daily, stretched out, health-sustaining dose of cuddles they need for their health. Teachers are not really allowed to cuddle any more. They're not even allowed to put a f*cking plaster on them for fear of inappropriateness! We've become so paranoid that our poor kiddies generally have to wait till they come home to get a much-needed cuddle - and often by then they have become a little anaesthatized to that core need. The very human need for touch.

No matter how loving parents are at home, I wonder sometimes if school progressively intellectualizes our little ones out of the emotional sphere - teaching kids to rise above all that babyish nonsense - behaving as if knowledge, and more specifically only certain kinds of knowledge,  are a more important pursuit. It must be hard to see our beautiful kiddies become toughened up by the school process... unless of course we welcome this change and see it as necessary.

I am not implying that every school makes heartless brutes of our little ones, or that parents are emotionally neglectful in sending them there. I'm saying that generally speaking, broadly speaking, there's not enough love going on in the school day and that cuddling needs to come back into the curriculum as a vital life-skill and health booster. Kindness and love certainly exist in school - no doubt about it - but that skin-on skin oxytocin-bringing kind of love and kindness must surely take the back seat. Is it babyish to want to sustain this for our children? I don't know....

Cuddling makes people softer and nicer. I know that the thought of their kids being soft and nice is terrifying for some parents, preferring to toughen them up for life in the 'real' world where nastiness lurks everywhere and bullies will supposedly hurt our nice kids by being bigger and stonger and more brutal. So what's the answer - make our kids into bullies so they can cope with bullies?

I believe absolutely that there is more than one way to be strong. Look at the way that a silk rope is stronger than a steel one. There is more give and flexibility and it is completely natural!

The strongest known material to man, stronger than Kevlar. made of spiders silk was woven to make this exquisite cloth!

And look at the gracefulness of willow - bendy, water loving, flexible, supple and strong at the same time....

A willow tree - I made my marriage vows by a willow tree - it has reminded me over the years that love is gentler and stronger when we are flexible, bendy and drink lots of water (in a metaphysical sense)

Water is another example of immense power that comes from being soft and free-flowing - think what it can do just by gently flowing along in the direction that it instinctively wants to go.

And think what power there is in non-violence....

What are your thoughts dear readers? How do you feel about cuddles? Are you getting and giving enough of them?

Do you think cuddling features enough in the curriculum? Do you agree or disagree that love should get more attention in the curriculum?

There are so many problems in the world caused by violence that surely if we just raise generations of kids with more love, it stands to reason that this will result in a less violent society.

Here's a thought: Do schools, on some fundamental and even unconscious level, perpetuate the status quo because violence is actually profitable for the nation on some level?  Could we cope with a society that is all loved-up and happy and at peace with one another? Or would that mean that people wouldn't buy so much stuff and go to wars, from which we profit? Would society as it we know it, crumble, and therefore need entirely re-structuring, if everyone were happier and more loved-up?

What do you think?

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