Sandhamn

A couple of weekends ago we were invited by friends to stay in a cottage they had rented out on the Stockholm archipelago – the island of Sandhamn.

Leon and Maya had been invited to an overnight party, so we went just with Alfie and Ted, which worked out well as they have two children, Klara and Johnathon, who are the same age.

And it was a cottage that playwright August Strindberg had stayed in! πŸ˜„

We had a lovely time, playing hide and seek in the cottage, walking through the very green forest to the beach with the beautiful stones, and paddling in the sea.

Recipe Day

Thursdays are supposed to be ‘recipe day’ over this summer holiday –  and this last Thursday was a perfect day for ‘recipe day’ because it poured with rain all day!

Well, Maya got to work busily making cookies – lots of them….!


And Ted had seen some ‘frog cupcakes’ in a magazine he wanted to make…


Alfie loves, and really wanted to make jelly. So we (he needed help here, and it took a while!) made rainbow jelly…


Delicious! πŸ˜„

Leon was going to make dinner, but Leon, being Leon, has recently been engaged with an outstanding lego creation…this is how it started…


…but now, after many hours work, it has progressed. I’ll have to put up a picture when it is finished! πŸ˜„

First Day Of Summer Holidays!

Well, okay, not the first. We’ve already had a week. But I mean the first without sun, sea and sand on our doorstep. Well, with a little sun perhaps…. πŸ˜„

First thing yesterday morning I made three summer holiday rules…

a) Be awake by 9am

b) Dressed and eaten breakfast by 10am

c) Before any screen time you need to have…read for 20 minutes, tidied your room, done a maths problem or a writing task (of which I will provide), done a job from the job box, and played or done something creative for 40 minutes. πŸ˜„


Of course, Alfie growled at this. But he would do – and esentially it is mainly meant for him – for he is our ‘screen curiosity box’! πŸ˜‚

(And the waking times are meant for Leon and Maya…the teen / preteen…who could sleep until 11am if we let them!)

Then, Maya wrote us a ‘bucket list’ of things to do, before the words ‘I’m bored’ arise…. 


So far, so good!

Leon and Maya spent the day playing board games, messing about in the garden and doing some gardening, and some maths problems. Barely any screens involved.

And Alfie was a little trickier – he did keep sneaking back to that screen! But he also read a book for an hour, tidied his room, did a job, did some drawing, made a film with Lilly, and played outside with his friend Rasmus, as well as with his siblings.

Ted is never a problem with a screen. He’s never even touched an ipad or a mobile phone!

I also have a ‘vague’ structure to each day, which I kind of used last summer holiday, being ;

Monday – Library Day

Tuesday – Art Day

Wednesday – Outdoor Adventure Day

Thursday – Recipe Day

Friday – Educational Day

Well. We’ll see how that goes. As far as I’m concerned, every day is educational day really. And sometimes we won’t want to do what’s on the ‘structure’ – like if it pours with rain, or if we don’t need to change our library books. 

But it’s nice to have a bit of structure. And nice to have a bit of a routine. But as I want to be flexible, I’m going to make it depend on how we feel on the day!

For example, yesterday was ‘outdoor adventure day’ (though essentially I want us to go outside every day!), but having just got home from Turkey, we didn’t want a big adventure.

So I just chunted them out in the garden as much as possible. And we had fun.

Jumping over the water sprinkler…


And playing ‘Star wars’ with badminton racket ‘laser swords’ and bubbles from the bubble machine…. πŸ˜‚


And Leon and Maya spent a lot of time in the garden, especially in the evening. I’m not sure what they were doing – but there was a lot of laughter – so they must have been having fun!

And Ted. Well, he spent the whole day with Celina, in her paddling pool. πŸ˜„

So, it was an ‘outdoor adventure’ kind of day, despite being in our own back garden! 😊

Adventures in Turkey

We went on a big trip on our last day in Turkey – all of us together. And it was fantastic!

First we took a boat out to some volcanic mud baths…


Yes. The ludicrousness of it all is that we covered ourselves in 800 year old volcanic mud, which supposedly would make us 10 years younger. That makes Ted now -5, and Maya just 2. πŸ˜‚ Leon was happy to stand in it up to his knees, but that’s all – “far from fresh” was his explanation! 😝Alfie wouldn’t go near the place! 😳😱

Afterwards we washed it off with cold water, before entering the thermal pools…


Remarkably, our skin did feel a lot softer afterwards!

Then we took the boat through a bird and turtle nature reserve, where Alfie was extremely happy to have got to drive the boat! πŸ˜„


On the way we saw rock tombs – incredibly impressive ‘temples’ where the dead were buried (these being wealthy people, and the bigger one being for a King) dating back to 2400Bc. Being made of limestone, these temples have survived, even surviving earthquakes!


After lunch, we drove to a beach where there was a WWF turtle sanctuary. We learnt how they rescued turtles who had been hurt by propellers or caught in fishing nets, and would then be released in to the wild…

This is termed as ‘turtle beach’, a place where the turtles come year after year, to bury their eggs – thus the protecting cages.


Of course, then we had to have a swim – in the warmest ocean ever!


And make ‘Hogwarts’ in the sand…complete with Hagrid’s hut, his pumpkin patch and the forbidden forest! πŸ˜‚


A wonderful trip indeed!

Goodbye Turkey! A lovely country with wonderful people! πŸ˜„

Boat Trip In Turkey

While Richard and the small boys went on a pirate ship trip, I took the big kids on a sailing trip around the islands on the Lycian coast.

It was wonderful…

We had the chance to swim, and to snorkel, and not only saw fish, but two sea turtles! We had lunch on the boat, and after lunch went on an inflatable ‘sofa’, pulled by a motor boat! Lots of fun!


The trip took us to a number of different swimming areas, including a couple of islands where we could get off and walk around. On one of which we found a few examples of pumice stone!

Wonderful! πŸ˜„

Relaxing In Turkey

One week ago we left for a wonderful, relaxing holiday in Sarigerme, in the Dalaman region, in Turkey. Amazing weather (between 27 and 30 C each day), a fantastic hotel, great food, and lovely people. 

Here are some shots of our time relaxing by and in the pool, and by the beach….


There were parasailers on the beach, and the kids enjoyed running in the shadows of the parachute… πŸ˜„


There were various pools, and we all had a lot of fun…


We often took walks around the hotel complex, especially evening walks – and Alfie and Ted enjoyed being sent off to the playground after dinner every evening… πŸ˜„


..as well as enjoying the free ice-cream and drink on offer…. πŸ˜‚


Alfie and Leon shared a room, and enjoyed their time together… 


..and there were lots of beautiful flowers…πŸ˜„


..as well as interesting ‘wild’ nature…


And that was the ‘basics’ of our holiday. The next post will be on our adventures in Turkey… πŸ˜„

The Last ‘Family Mulle’

Family ‘Mulle’ is the forest school, with families for children of 2 – 5 years old. We meet once a month (occasionally twice) in the forest at a local nature reserve, to sing songs, listen to stories and do crafts based on a specific nature theme (such as birds, animals in hibernation, etc).

‘Mulle’ is the troll-like character who is often in the stories and songs, along with ‘Laxe’ the salmon.

This month we met at the same nature reserve, but by the lake, looking at ‘lake creatures’. 

I loved the fact that the old lady (she is probably at least 60 years old) donned a green wetsuit, and appeared swimming out of the freezing lake, dressed as Laxe, to tell the children about water safety, and how it was bad for the environment to pee in the lake – much better to pee in the forest! πŸ˜„


She then strode back in to the lake (bear in mind that the water was still around 10 C at this time!), and swam off (before joining us later, as Kerstin, the leader)…


There were lots of activities to try, but the only one Ted was interested in, was using a net to try to find lake creatures….


We didn’t find any – but he was happy to fish out pond leaves, and an old newspaper!!! 

Later, when it was time to sing songs and dance, Mulle the forest troll joined us….


This is Ted’s last time at ‘family Mulle’ because next term he will be old enough to join ‘Skogs Mulle’ (forest Mulle), for 6 and 7 year olds, where they go on short nature walks with the leaders, without their parents. πŸ˜„

It’s been a wonderful activity to be a part of – we’ve really enjoyed it!