Category Archives: Uncategorized

Numbers are FUN

Incorporate some counting daily, by counting different things like the number of steps to the front door, or number of fingers on one hand. I know, I know, it’s only 4, but just count the thumb as 5 for now 😉 If you are bilingual, then you could count in one language up the stairs and in another down – that is what I do. We live in a second floor flat and there are 4 flights of stairs. I only ever go up to 10 in each language, but it works. It worked on our almost 11 year old and also our 2 and a half year old – he is fluent in English and German already, as was his sister at the same age.

Toddlers wont understand numbers at first. The may begin by copying the words, but they wont really know what numbers mean or how to count. Take it easy, no pressure. start off slowly by counting 2 soft toys, 2 shoes, 2 socks. Then you could try asking them to bring you 2 toy cars, 2 soft toys, 2 crayons etc. When they get the idea of 1 and 2, build on that.

Find nursery rhymes that incorporate counting.  Both mine loved (the littlest still loves, and teh big one loves singing to him):

(hold your 10 fingers up in teh air and wiggle them around)

10 fat sausages sizzling in a pan

10 fat sausages sizzling in a pan

1 went pop and the other went bang (pop you finger in your mouth and clap your hands and hold up 8 fingers and…)

8  fat sausages sizzling in a pan

8 fat sausages sizzling in a pan

1 went pop and the other went bang (pop you finger in your mouth and clap your hands and hold up 6 fingers and repeat until you get to 2 and at the end hold up fists with no fingers and sing…)

No fat sausages sizzling in a pan…..

Remember little and often is best.

Pimalai Resort and Spa, Thailand

Serenity…Peace…Solitude…Escape…Quiet…Nature….Relax…Revive…Enjoy…these are just some of the words that come to mind for Pimalai. Throw in luxury, elegance, nature and genuine friendly service and you have an offer that is hard to resist. Be it for a honeymoon, a diving experience, a get-away from every day life or even for a business meeting.

There are 150 islands that surround Krabi, creating a maritime playground like no other, and their palm fringed beaches, waterfalls, caves, reefs, strange rock pillars and caves have featured in many blockbuster movies. This favoured location is like a honey pot to a bee for sub-aqua enthusiasts and seaborne adventurers. The transparent clearness of the Andaman Sea makes this pure paradise – words can’t stress this enough!

One of the pure, unspoiled islands is Koh Lanta Yai, which is a sanctuary for Pimalai Resort and Spa, nestled in the lush tropical rainforest as it meets the pristine beach. On offer are subtle 5* comforts, natural beauty, being removed from the crowds, and no noise except the sound of the waves. The resort is well tucked away, built amongst 100 acres of tropical vegetation, with direct access to a 900-metre stretch of beach. The contrast between the buildings spaced apart and the luxuriant embrace of nature is inspiring.

There are 121 types of accommodation – rooms, suites, beach villas and pool villas – all very elegantly designed. There are 3 restaurants serving a large choice in cuisine. There are activities available to the restless traveller to introduce you to the area. For those of you who just want to chill out there is an infinity-edge pool. However, for the ultimate escape, the spa offers a range of Thai-based therapies. One of the places on earth that deserves the title of Eden!

To get there by road from Krabi, Phuket or Trang airports can be arranged by the resort, consisting of a 50minute drive from Krabi Airport, 1hr 30min from Trang Airport and 3hour drive from Phuket Airport. This takes you to Bahuahin pier where next to the public pier, the resort maintains a private jetty and convenience station.


-> Spa
-> Infinity-edge pool
-> Fitness
-> Water sports
-> Sea Canoeing
-> PADI diving centre
-> Gallery
-> Shop


-> Koh Haa
-> Elephant Trekking
-> Bicycles
-> National Marine Park
-> Snorkelling excursions to Koh Rok
-> Thai cooking classes


Related link:

Pimalai – Resort & Spa – At Pimalai, rekindle your love for nature amidst lush tropical forests and the endless Andaman waters. Discover Koh Lanta’s best kept secret, nestled within the solitude and serenity of surrounding mountains. The name “Pimalai” is derived from ancient Sanskrit, meaning, “a little patch of Heaven”.

Interesting reading material:

Thailand’s Islands and Beaches (Lonely Planet Country Guide)

Thailand (Lonely Planet Country Guide)

The Rough Guide to Thailand (Rough Guide Travel Guides)

India’s Amazing Diversity

Indias diversity

India’s amazing diversity offers you everything you could ever want in a holiday. From the moment that you set foot in India to be greeted by a graceful namaste, a gesture that denotes both welcome and respect, you are on the way to one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by a spectacular coastline surrounded by three seas, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, golden beaches, misty mountain retreats, colourful people, rich cultures and festivities.

At any part of the year India can offer you a dazzling array of destinations and experiences. In summer, when the subcontinent is sizzling, there are spectacular retreats amidst the heady beauty of the Himalayas or the lush heights of the Western Ghats with cool trekking trails, tall peaks to conquer stretches of white water for the adventure seekers.

In the cool of an Indian winter, cities come alive with cultural feasts and FESTIVALS of music and dance. The balmy weather is an ideal time for you to go century hopping in romantic cities studded with medieval forts and palaces. The sun-drenched beaches are inviting and wildlife sanctuaries with their abundance of flora and fauna are a-buzz with the nurture of the young.

You can taste the delights of the Indian monsoon anywhere in the country on a camel safari in the Rajas than desert when nature comes alive and the peacocks dance; along the west coast where the relentless slant ingrain paints the countryside in brilliant greens or even trekking amidst the stark grandeur of mountain valleys lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.

Experience exotic India

Live like a maharajah in the rich ambiance of royal forts and palaces that are now heritage hotels; luxuriate in the serene beauty of a coral island with its turquoise lagoon; participate in the exuberance of a village fair or a colourful festival; day dream on a house boat drifting down the palm – fringed backwaters; delight in the grace of a dancer or shop till you drop – buying exquisite silks, carved figurines, brass and silver ware, marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, finely crafted jewelry, miniature paintings, carpets….at unbelievable prices.

India, always warm and inviting, is a place of infinite variety – one that favours you with a different facet of its fascination every time you come on a visit.


India – climate, when to travel and where not to travel part I

The freedom to home educate

The moment I held our new born daughter Inky in my arms, I already knew we were going to Home Educate. It was never a choice for me, I somehow just knew; call it my motherly instinct! A natural progression of parenting. Inky is almost 11, and we have not had any regrets, nor looked back since. When Inky was 8 she did ask to go to school and in the nature of our child led home ed journey, we let her go. 6 weeks later she realised the grass WASN’T greener and asked to come back out again. She found school extremely boring and it just didn’t suit her. We took her back out the moment she asked. Our family lives on the coast in West Sussex, and we are fortunate to have a large network of home educators in our area with whom we have regular contact and share concepts and ideas with.

Here in the UK, HE (Home Educating) is 100% legal. There is no legal obligation to send your child to school, but you must notify the school in writing if your child is registered at school or they will be marked down as unauthorised absences. You as a parent, have the right to withdraw your child from school anytime that you see fit. This is a simple process which involves sending a de-registration letter to the school, and your child’s name MUST be removed from the school register within a few days by LAW. No one knows the exact amount of children being home educated children in the UK, but estimates vary between 50-80,000. Many families choose NOT to register their child with the LEA (Local Education Authority), especially if they have never been in the system, as there is no obligation to do so, so the actual number of home schooled children in the UK is undoubtedly higher.

The reasons parents may decide to HE their child are varied. Sometimes they choose, like me, right from the start not to send their child to school. Or they may feel their child is not getting enough out of the national curriculum, or they were unable to get their child into the school of their choice, a child may be bullied at school, they may travel a lot, or a parent has a child with a learning disability that requires more personal attention than what public schooling would be able to offer, their child may have become unhappy at school, ask not to go to school, dislike learning since going to school, not seem ready for school… These are only some of the possible reasons parents may have chosen to HE, and in the end each of us must choose what we believe is best for our children.

To obtain more information on the legalities of HE in England and Wales, there is a great resource called Education Otherwise, you can visit their website at You can find de-registration template letters here too, home ed groups in your area and the legal requirements.

Why are more people choosing to home educate

Reasons and Benefits for Home Schooling



I was wheeled through in to a tiny little room full of drugs and chemical concoctions, some of which were going to help save my life. I cannot remember the anaesthetists name, but she was a very young, pretty looking girl. She held my hand as I went under and told me to think of a place where I would like to be right now where I felt safe and calm. Oddly enough I thought of Brazil, not Sam and the kids, where I had spent 6 months with living with Shamans in 2004 before I’d had Inky, right by the beach with virgin rainforest directly behind us. Then I remembered that I’d had a dream the previous week that I was finally going to visit Brazil after 12 years of missing this vibrant, beautiful, yet in areas devastated by deforestation country, in a tiny business plane. In the dream I’d forgotten something and had to get off the plane whilst it was flying and the pilot said I’d be able to get back on (even though the plane was still airborne?!?)… Brian woke me before the dream finished.

The next thing I knew I was in recovery. My eyes had trouble focusing at first. Eventually I spotted a clock on the wall and fixed my eyes on that. Only thing was I could see about 4 of them. Not like double vision, quadruple vision. as i couldn’t read the time I have no idea how long it was until I thought, ahh, it’s 130. So 1330. About 3 hours or slightly more/less since I’d been knocked out. I stayed focused on the clock, breathing fresh oxygen through my mask. My body wanted to go back to sleep, but all I could think was OMG IM ALIVE. MUST STAY AWAKE. MUST NOT GO TO SLEEP. WANT TO SEE SAM AND BRIAN AND INKY. WANT MY MUM. I WANT TO GO HOME. I don’t know how long I lay there, a nurse at my side, talking to her. Oral morphine at some point. Then my Mum was allowed in. ‘MUUUUM!!!!’ I introduced, or tried to introduce her to my nurse. Until about 15:00 I kept forgetting her name, although it was SAM!!! And each time, my Mum told me, I would say ‘but how can I forget that name when my partner is called Sam.’ Hehe. Pretty funny. Another thing, Mum made me aware that I was having a blood transfusion through a drip… something I felt icky about, other peoples blood, but in an emergency… Sam told us it was my own blood they had salvaged, cleaned up and were putting back in. WOW 🙂 Mum left for a bit, and I lay there till 16:30 chatting with lovely Sam. I actually felt like I’d made a new friend. Maybe everyone is, or appears, that kind and angelic though when you’ve woken with an euphoric feeling of gratitude, marvelling gratefulness at still being alive and allowed home at some point and to be reunited with my sweet family. I wondered if I’d ever see her again.
So, at 16:30 a male nurse called SAMMY wheels me back to my ward. My Mum comes to say hi for a bit and make sure I’m OK. Then leaves. I have called Sam already and he arranged for my Dad to have Brian. Actually, my Dad was going to have Brian anyways so I could go to the baby shower with just my big girly Inky and also give Dad’s girlfriend, Kate, a lift over. Nonetheless, Sam arrived around 6pm with fish and chips (he’d told me this is what him and Brian ate and I got a real craving for it). Up until this point I had drunk about 10 glasses of ice cold water (I was parched!) and not eaten yet. Saying that, I did get some hospital soup, potato and chive, which was cooling on my little hospital table when Sam arrived. I tried to eat some fish and chips, which was only luke warm by the time it was delivered, but it hurt my throat to swallow. I guess where I’d had a pipe down my throat when I was unconscious. Also I’d been on my phone a helluva lot talking to a good friend of mine, telling her what had happened, texting friends/family etc. I was buzzing with joy the whole time. I felt pure love and gratitude for the hospital staff (or life saving angels, I thought of them now, for they had saved my life), who had so changed my opinion of this hospital I could only ever associate with bad memories and the deep scars left by it. And now… I felt like something I didn’t realise needed healing had been healed. I thought if ever I need to take either of the kids to A&E/hospital for anything (god forbid), I would be OK with it now and not associate hopsitals (especially Worthing) as a place of sorrow. So, as I was saying, the fish and chips were a bit of a let-down, but I have to say – and even the hospital staff said no one had ever said this – the soup was perfect. Slightly salty, creamy and easy to swallow. I asked for more…

Sam stayed until around 20:30pm. At 9 my last blood test was done (I’d had one immediately upon waking in recovery – the results were already better than when I’d come in in the morning) and then the night staff came on. From here on I didn’t enjoy my stay as much. Where I’d drunk so much water, I was going for regular pee’s. I done 3 with help, the last 2 I walked myself to the loo, passing the desk of nurses. My blood results were meant to be back by 21:45. Every time I passed the desk I asked for my results after 21:45. They tried to coax me in to staying the night saying I needed rest and sleep. I couldn’t. The lady opposite me was off her face on drugs and kept on asking for more, on top of that surrounded by moaning groaning people, whistling nurses who feigned cheerfulness but got snappy when asked a question… and then hearing A&E staff who came up to the ward saying they would have to start wheeling patients up here because they were full down there, and also that they were short 2 beds… then a couple patients arriving from A&E. How was I meant to rest, plus I had my heart set on going to my Dads.My Mum and Inky were waiting to come and pick me up. At 23:30 I’d had enough of waiting. I went to the desk and said that I would be discharging myself if they didn’t get my results in the next 10 minutes. I had them in my hand in 2. All good 🙂 I messaged my Mum to come and get me. Yippeeee!!! I now had to get dressed alone. The staff were pretty unhelpful. T’was slightly laboursome but I managed and didn’t even get escorted out by anyone. Walked myself down 2 flights of stairs and several long corridors to the great outdoors. INNNNNKYYYY!!! My big girly. So happy to see each other, holding hands the whole way to my dads. I would have stayed at Mums, but I was worried her/our gorgeous dalmation would jump on me, hurting my fresh scars. I was glad I had seen Inky too as I had been worried about how she was feeling. She was going back to my mums to stay as there wasn’t enough space at Dad’s for all of us. My Mum would drop her to my Dads in the morning.



Speech Development In Children

Remember: Children are ALWAYS Listening

Long before children are able to talk coherently, they have been listening to and absorbing EVERYTHING they hear. Often times we, especially the parents, aren’t even aware that a child is doing so. Once they start talking however this becomes apparent. We need to talk to our children with respect and with clear and precise vocabulary, paying particular attention to the pronunciation of words, not swallowing or missing out letters. If you want your child to be well spoken then you must set a good example and talk with your child exactly as you want to be spoken to and exactly as you would like them to speak! (The same applies to behaviour as well. Behaviour breeds behaviour! If you are positive, the child will be. If you are negative, likewise the child will be!). AND this must be done earlier than perhaps previously considered necessary. Babies, even before birth, can hear what is going on in the outside world and this adds to their language skills. This continues to play an important role in the child’s experience in the first months and years ahead. At this age children show an unearthly ability to absorb language in all its complexities, and not just one language! A child is greatly helped in the development of good language skills by being included in our conversation from the very beginning. We must listen and speak respectfully with our children from birth on. The way we talk with one another is also important. We need to set good examples. A child’s spoken language is the foundation for their later ability in reading and writing.

It is no coincidence that some children are good at reading and writing and others are not, (unless of course they are dyslexic or have some other learning inability), that some find joy in doing so and others don’t. The pleasure and fun of exploring language begins early, and is the most intense, in the first three years of life.


The attention we give a child when he first begins to talk to us is important. Children may becomes so excited about their ability to talk and being able to express themselves that they stutter. This is a very natural stage when learning to talk. It is signal for the adult to stop, listen and look the child in they eyes. Missing words should NOT be supplied. The stutter should NOT be commented on. A child that feels listened to in a respectful manner generally calms down and develops the ability to speak more clearly..

Your Help

To be successful in language a child needs confidence that what they have to say is important, a desire to relate to others, real experience on which language is based, and the physical abilities necessary in reading and writing.

A child’s language development will be aided and enriched by providing a stimulating environment, with abundant sensory experiences and in language, providing a wealth of experience, because language is meaningless if it is not based on experience.

Experiencing real objects should come before pictures or names of these objects whenever possible. E.g. if you have a new book with pictures of fruits and vegetables, let the child handle, smell, cut up, and taste a piece of fruit. Then go and look at a picture of it, and other fruits, in the book. The intelligence is then founded on first hand experience.

Children want to learn the name of every object in their environments, and the meanings of the words that are heard. Children are so eager to be able to communicate about daily life with their family and others they know! Name everything in sight, whether in the home or out of the home, to your child, point, clearly pronounce the words of kitchen objects, toys, food, vehicles, trees, ants, butterflies, flowers, clouds, airplanes, glasses, cups, cutlery, crockery, electrical items, cats, horses other animals, cushions, blankets, pillows, pictures, jewelry items, clothing items, dogs, etc…

Imagine – John Lennon


A powerful, moving song. Need I say more, im sure most of you are familiar with it. Enjoy and think about the implications Lennon’s words have and what a long lasting impression he made on the entire world.

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

When real meets unreal, Danny Macaskills Imaginate

WOW! Though this is an ad made by redbull (something I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole), this is an amazingly, awesome, perfectly made video! Makes me wonder what our children really see in their minds eye when they’re playing. Like when they talk quietly whilst playing with their toys, narrating made up stories… this has always fascinated me. Please please watch, you (and the kids!) wont be disappointed and will think twice about how you handle taking children away from playing mid game…Enjoy…