The Very Hungry Princess


Birthday week

We made the fatal error of saying to Pony-rider “what would you like to do for your birthday – you can do anything you like!” Now that I think about it, I realise that we got off lightly. She could have asked for a trip in the Virgin Space Shuttle!

Instead, she asked for:

1 trip to Grandma’s,
1 trip to a Farm,
1 trip to Toys ‘r’ Us,
1 Swimming Lesson,
1 Party,
1 slice of Swiss Cheese
1 Ice-cream Cone and
1 Slice of Salami
(just checking to see you’re actually paying attention).

So instead of a birth-day, we ended up having a treat every single day for an entire week: Monday was a trip to a farm and a swimming lesson. (More about the Farm later).

Tuesday was a trip to Grandma’s (actually we had to go Monday evening because she particularly wanted to wake up at Grandma’s on her birthday – we obliged.)

Wednesday was a trip to a favourite local place which provides an outdoor play-area positioned conveniently close to picnic tables where mums can chat over coffee (a treat for me too!);

Thursday was playgroup, followed by the girliest girly birthday-party imaginable (it was so great – maybe more about the Party later too!).

Friday was play at an indoor play-centre (while the mums had coffee) followed by lunch at the unspeakable McD’s, and in the evening a surprise visit from some friends from out of town who took us to Pizza Hut!

And finally, on Saturday we shared the birthday cake with her best friend (who couldn’t make the party due to not actually being a girl).

On Sunday, I laid in bed with a headache, neck-ache, back-ache, leg-ache, etc., the result, I think, of party-stress and way too much icing, coffee, chocolate, cake, McD and Pizza Hut. I did eat one nice green leaf, and after that I felt much better. 😉


Originally posted on the Svengelska Hemskolan blog.



I know, I know, nothing for months and then three posts in one day! I apologise, and do plan to get organised and blog regularly from now on…. maybe.

September has been nice and short for us as we went away in the second week, so our ‘Week 1’ starts in the middle of the month.

Week 1: 15th-19th September

We had a fairly good start the first few days, with some ‘Morning Time’ and ‘Table Lessons’ but mostly either one of the children or I was too tired to do much of what I had planned for the afternoons so we have mostly watched documentaries for our Middle Ages project.

The main challenge has been getting up earlier after such a long holiday.

We did have a couple of outings though – once to an informal home ed group meet-up (at the park), and once to Launceston Castle.


Launceston Castle is a great ‘English Heritage’* site to start off our Middle Ages project. It is a classic example of a Norman motte and bailey castle, which would originally have been made from wood and was later rebuilt in stone around the 1200s.

English Heritage were very friendly and accommodating – as long as it is in term time and you book at least 7 days in advance, home educators go free.

Week 2: 22nd-26th September

This week has seemed a lot less productive, and the problems with getting up early (and not wanting to go to bed earlier to make getting up earlier easier) haven’t improved so far.

One outing this week, a music session with our local home ed group. My children didn’t join in (their friends weren’t there for one thing). But the music man was excellent and he’ll be coming back so hopefully they’ll enjoy it more next time.

Having the freedom to opt out if they want is one of the advantages of home education. (I remember no end of compulsory activities at school, which achieved little but to make me inappropriately compliant, so it is something I resolved never to do to my own children. It seems something very important in this day and age that children should not feel afraid to say no if they feel uncomfortable.)

There are two more days of September but I’ll count next week with October.

*All of the ‘English Heritage’ sites I have visited in Cornwall have had the word ‘English’ scratched out. Whilst I don’t approve of vandalism, I can completely understand it. Cornwall, whether recognised or not, is a Nation. It is not England, and it is inappropriate and offensive to Cornish people to call sites in Cornwall ‘English’. I happened to notice that there is a group called ‘Cornish Heritage’ which has only a few sites. If the government has any sense, they might consider approaching Cornish Heritage to see if they can work together so than English Heritage sites in Cornwall can rather be known as ‘Cornish Heritage’ sites. #justsaying


We went earlier this week to see the ruins of a Penhallam, a Cornish manor house.

I expected the remains of walls at least, but instead there were grassed over mounds where the walls were. It was a beautiful location, but it was a long walk with a disappointing conclusion.

It was a lovely walk though, through woods and by a stream, which ended in a moat around the grounds of the manor house, giving an idea of how magnificent it must once have been.

Since there was not a great deal left to look at, the site was dotted with information plaques. Amusingly, ‘English’ had been scratched out from all mentions of ‘English Heritage’. Quite right too. 🙂

Reading the plaques, it was quite eye-opening to realise that the manor, which at one time had been a great estate, had been given to a Norman noble who only used it as a country house to visit occasionally, actually living elsewhere, and when in the 1300s there was no male heir, the house was eventually abandoned and was allowed to go to ruin.

Today we were watching the BBC series ‘Tudor House Monastery’ and it was interesting to compare the rooms from the Cornish Manor House’s siteplan with the way the rooms were used in the Tudor Monastery Farm.

But I have to confess to a little bit of disappointment not to be transported, Time Team style, back to the early Middle Ages when the house would have been at the height of its use. 🙂

P.s. I have more photos, but I can’t get them to load 😦