Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ups and Down

I managed to upload my new background image from twitter to Blogger too, so I thought I'd better post something to draw attention to it, lol!

The photos are used here with kind permission, but are copyright to John Walmsley 2010, (thanks again John).

As always, we seem to have done lots yet done what feels like very little in the past week or so! Roarke took the boys on a home ed visit to Reigate Fort. William in particular really enjoyed it and Roarke said he asked some really insightful questions. It is brilliant to catch these glimpses of what is going on inside his head and to be encouraged that some things ARE going into storage in his memory banks... Generally speaking, with the ASD, it seems that everything is now and nothing else has any meaning. His world is his immediate vicinity and this present time only.

He hasn't made any more effort to sit in front of the reading websites but we have noticed more and more that he is obviously reading an increasing number of words around him.

An interesting thing has been that Jonathan has taken to "reading" his own bedtime stories. He knows them all off by heart (the Peppa Pig collection) but has never sat and looked at the pictures (he's usually playing in the bedroom or in his bed when we read them). A few days ago he took one of the books and started turning the pages, saying the story out loud as he went. It was fascinating to realise that he was looking at the pictures, working out what was going on in them, and then adding the mental commentary that he had in his head - sort of syncing the visual and the audio if you like. Of course this "reading" of the pictures is exactly how Josh and Samuel learned to read and is a natural stage.

What we noticed though was when we passed the book to William for him to do the same - he couldn't. Despite having sat in the room and listened to the stories every night when we read them to Jonathan, and despite the fact that William DOES look at the pictures, he couldn't do that "syncing".

I've been helping BCC to put in a funding application for funds for the Hope Foundation. Having fed almost 4000 people in the borough of Bromley, and with at least 31 statutory and non-statutory agencies now referring people in need to Hope, we need more funds! Everything to date has been provided through the giving of the congregation.

Josh has started helping at Baseline, going an hour early on a Friday to help set it up, which is awesome. Samuel of course helps out with the multi-media in the ROCK Sunday School once a month. It is so cool to see the boys deciding of their own accord to serve.

Roarke has had some merchandising work to do which has been timely, and he is also making great progress on an extension of our Where2Eat in Kent business. His preparation for the Triathlon is slowly building - gradually because of his gout and other issues - but he has now gone from a size 42 waist since Christmas to a size 36!

Tuesday evening I went to a friend's house for a "girls night", with 11 other women, and enjoy good food and a good natter - lovely!

The major downside this week has been having the builders in. The landlord's solution to the damp problem (penetrating damp across the whole of the front and side of the house, and mould all inside the bays) was to pay to have extractor fans fitted. Despite having a heat recovery unit, the already-cold temperature in the living room and bedroom has plummeted with these things on. They are also unsightly and very loud. I'm not a happy bunny. Still it is no surprise that this was his preferred option - the alternative being the have the house coated/rendered and replace the two bay windows with modern pvc glazing...

Today I got a (very) early birthday present from my Mum - La Varenne's Cookery: The French Cook, the French Pastry Chef, the French Confectioner! I like this version as not only is it a modern translation but it has added in all the history and context of Francois Pierre's food. I hope to learn a lot!

I'm currently finishing a report for my local authority. I was contacted by them recently and the gentleman said that he understood I had withdrawn my cooperation with the LA as protest over the Badman Report and Clause 26. He asked if instead I'd consider sending in a report. I decided in the end that I would, because I want to make another point - *my* idea of a report summarising the past year and talking about the year ahead does not match with anything that I have seen suggested or outlined by anyone at DCSF.

Once I've sent it in, I'll post it here and you can judge for yourself :-)


Freya's Staff said...

I'm glad to hear the ups...

Although, the pictures on the left make it impossible to read the white text that overlaps them...

I had to highlight the text to be able to read it

thenewstead6 said...

What size screen? On my screen there is no overlap. I had tried to set the image to ensure that didn't happen, which is why the middle is black and the pictures are right at the edges...

Vicki said...

I'm using a 22inch monitor and I can't read the writing over the pictures.

It looks nice with the pictures though.