As the year ends…

 

It is well past midnight. I sit here reading random things and not wanting to sleep. The long evening nap I had today has nothing to do with this. Everything is quiet and all I can hear is the slight humming noise from my laptop and the noise my keyboard makes as my fingers dance on them making a beautiful string of words.

The window is open. It is strange for me to have my window open in December. But I have mixed feelings today. I am warm but still feel the need to have two hot water bottles by my feet. I can understand why son was a bit all over the place today as well. Probably all of us are going through a phase. Not sure what phase it is though.

I feel the cool breeze on my bare arms. I kind of sniff automatically to see if I can smell wet sand, the kind you get when it starts to rain. I forget that I hardly smell that here as it rains all year long.

I want to fly, go somewhere nice and quiet and do nothing, just read a book maybe and laze around and eat healthy and tasty food and not worry about anything.

The year is coming to an end. Does it make a difference anywhere? Will things change drastically on New Year’s day? I have no clue. But I am changing, a little, a lot… One thing at a time and I am not the same person that I was the last year or even last month or even yesterday.

I know my randomly rambling away here. I will stop now. I just wrote this because I felt like writing something, like finishing off the year on a positive note.

Good night everyone.

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Camps, competitions, and awards

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I’m just back from a scouts camp over the weekend. Completely knackered but feeling happy. I was talking to the kids and asking them what they enjoyed about the camp and what they didn’t. They were talking about how their team wasn’t interested in teamwork and were constantly bickering. Then the topic went to the other kids they shared their room with. My son said, “one of the boys in my room was Nathan who got so many awards”. My daughter mentioned how Nathan got an award for being brave and courageous for doing the crate climbing activity when he was absolutely scared of heights. Then she said “Amma you could have done it, because you don’t like heights and you could have got an award too” I started laughing and I said but I didn’t want an award, then she asked ‘Amma if I had said that I was scared of climbing would I have got an award? (She is a rock climber so there was no way that she is scared of heights)” I asked her why she wanted an award and the topic went back to the best cub award. My son turned around and said “You know what, Molly should have gotten the best cub award for the camp” I was really really surprised. I asked him why and the two of them together said “She was very sweet and nice to everyone and helped everyone” I realised then that they actually didn’t care about getting an award for themselves. There was no competition, no pressure to feel good, nothing. It was just about having fun and doing things right and being curious.

PS: The said child Molly has behavioural issues and I was surprised that she could even come to the camp. The child is heavily on medications and needs melatonin to even sleep. But my children who didn’t know any of the histories of the child could see the kindness that was in her  So happy that I chose to homeschool my children and not put them under peer pressure and competition and just enjoy the moment.

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3D printing and unschooling

My kids have been eyeing the 3D printer in our library for a while. They were encouraged by the library staff who were ready to make and print anything for them. I kept holding them off saying, first design your own stuff at home and then we will see.

So slowly they got on to the Tinkercad site to mess around, all three of us tried a few different things, Then when we thought we were ready for some serious stuff, the kids borrowed a 3D printing book from the library and got on with it. My daughter wanted to know what I wanted to be printed and when I told her I wanted a photo frame, she went on to design one asking me what extra add-ons I wanted as she went along. My son was designing the Millenium Falcon in the meantime.

This went on for a day before things changed drastically. Abhi decided to design a washing machine with a soap dispenser that was removable and knobs that were turnable (print separately and glue) and Anou made an astrobot with a beret sunglasses and mustache.

They went ahead and printed and it I wasn’t surprised to see the final results. So proud that they decided on doing something and they found their way to do it.

ASTRO

WM

WM1

 

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Arrivals, departures and in betweens

I saw this post and that brought back wonderful memories and I just had to write …..

As a teen, the first year that I was in the student’s hostel I used to look forward to the trip to the station once a month to book tickets. It was always at the quiet time at the station as it was not peak hour, yet there would be people milling about, some travelers, some people coming to receive their friends, families, colleagues, etc and some whose life depended on all of the above.

Later on, when working at the hangars, a part of my daily routine would be to sit at the terminal every evening before I took the bus home. Randomly watching people come and go. It was always a wonderful sight. I always think, next to hospitals, the only place where people showed unconditional love without restraint was airports/train stations/etc.

Have you ever stood back and watched kids run out of arrivals? Such a beautiful sight. It doesn’t matter if they were on the plane for half an hour or for half a day. They always have the energy to run out to hug the person waiting for them. Many times they would start off on their stories with the other person/people nodding their heads and smiling and trying to make sense of all that has been said.

And the departures, that is a different story altogether. Whether it was the red eye that I had to take for work or whether it was just the evening stroll to the terminal, I would always find interesting incidents and make up my own stories in my head. People leaving each other for studies, you can always see the sadness in their eyes, but some of them have the excitement and fear displayed too. People leaving for work, which is usually a short trip and them putting on a routine or a bored or interesting face based on the work they would be going for. Families or single people going on for holidays, usually you see the excitement. If it was someone like me, you can even catch them giggle as they are reading a book standing in the neverending security queues. Children running here and there in excitement. People crying or trying to hide their tears with that smile that says a thousand words. The tight hugs which mean a million words. There is so much going on there that you could write a book on each one of them or make a movie.

I could live in an airport terminal and thrive on what I see around. But I also love traveling, getting on that plane or train, listening to stories of fellow travelers, of the crew, of people selling random stuff on trains, people waiting on stations and airports…

I also love coming back to my own bed or sometimes even that good hotel where I get a comfy bed and look for more adventures. Terminals are interesting but so is life in between departures and arrivals.

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Our random day

Yesterday was not a random unplanned day. We had planned events to go to. Nowadays we have a lot of planned events to go to and that might get a bit boring too, but we pick and choose where we want to go anyway.

So, the day before yesterday was roasting hot. We were all loafing around in our shorts. We were hoping the weather would remain the same at least until the weekend. Met Eireann said spring was around the corner finally.

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Based on all that we were dressed in light clothes (but knowing Irish weather, I had a thick jacket over my sleeveless top, kids had full sleeve t-shirts under their think jackets). Only when we stepped out of the car at the train station did we realize how cold it was. It was quite windy (Thanks to yet another storm).

We got on the train and headed out to Dun Laoghaire, changing trains in between at Pearse. The three of us were lost in our own books. When we reached we knew we were early. Google maps said clearly “The National Marine Museum will not be open when you arrive”. Very smart! We dawdled on for a bit, enjoyed the cherry blossom trees in full blook, views of the pier and then reached the destination with more than a quarter of an hour to spare.

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We decided to get into the library right beside it (do we need any reason to get into the library?). We had about 17 minutes and decided to spend it usefully.

Kids found a book each to read. I wanted to read a book too but the views were beautiful so decided to spend time taking pictures rather than just read. More of “live in the moment” thought. It was quite misty and it just proved that the Irish weather is consistently inconsistent.

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When it was the time we left the books to go and join the crowd at the museum. The museum was small, inside an old church. But it was very informative and we loved the exhibits. There was even a quiz sheet which we got to do.

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Guess what this is?

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This is called a stick map. Learnt it from my children today! Supposedly the sticks are wave patterns and the shells are islands and this map is from Polynesia/Marshall islands/Indonesia. Reminds me how much I have to learn still.

Some pictures from the museum,…

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The kids read somewhere that there was a quiz sheet and got that and started wandering around doing the quiz. The one hour time wasn’t enough for us. We could have sat there for another couple of hours and enjoy and learn much more.

But the plan for the others was to walk to one of the Martello towers. Which was 2.3 kms walk from where we were. The weather had turned lovely inspite of what it was in the morning. It was still windy which made it nippy, but the sun shone really bright. The walk was fun, with kids running and picking stones and shells off the ground, the adults chatting away and some taking pictures.

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Once we reached there everyone had something to eat to get their sugar levels up. There were people outside swimming and even just sitting on the wall and watching them was fun.

We did a quick tour of the martello tower and were amazed by the size of the cannon tools and the thick walls and the story behind it. We couldn’t go up the tower because it was well and slippery, we hope to get back there in summer to check the upstairs bit.

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After the tour, while I wanted to go home, my kids had other ideas. They had read half a book in the morning so decided to go back to the library to finish reading the book. So we walked back the 2.3 kms again. This time stopping to skip stones in the sea, collect stones and shells and sea glass and playing and taking pictures. It was so much fun. We realized we need more practice to skip stones!

 

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We finished reading our books and we had fun with Sophie the dog in the library who other children were reading books to. We borrowed some more books from there and took the train and bus back home. It was more than 6 pm when we came home and the kids got lost in their books again.

Sometimes even our planned days have unplanned bits added to it to make it so much fun.

 

 

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Lunchtime with M&S! – 8

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“Sat, what are you staring at your mobile and shaking your head for?”

“Just reading someone’s status on Whatsapp Matt and it is something that I don’t agree with”

“What does it say?”

Kreacher taught us that “if you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – Sirius Black. For a start it shouldn’t be “man’s”, it should be “man is”.

“Ah the grammar Nazi”

“It is just not about the grammar Matt, I  am looking at this and going there is something wrong. Why would someone look at someone else and feel they are his inferior? Why is everyone not treated equal in the first place? We are all different, but one is not inferior to the other, that is how it should be right?”

“Nothing wrong  Sat. The whole world works on this inferior and superior thing. You can see it in work, in families, in politics, everywhere, including in ashrams.”

“Maybe, but somehow I can’t see it that way Matt 😦 Maybe it is just me. Yes, we all have our likes and dislikes but how can someone think of someone else as inferior or superior? Define inferior to me Matt.”

“Not sure how to define Sat, maybe financially not equal, maybe educationally not equal, maybe looks… I don’t know”

“How does someone even define all this? Money is a reason to make anyone feel inferior? If we don’t get help from all these people around us, do you think we can have a good life? If the sanitary worker did not clean everything for us, imagine just one day, all those who a person considers inferior stops working for them will they have the life that they have? From the cleaner to the driver to the domestic help? And if a person cannot have the life that they normally have and they have to get down on their hands and knees and do all that work for themselves, then aren’t they now inferior to the people who are not doing those jobs?”

“Sounds interesting, I have not thought about it that way.”

“Life is quite simple Matt, let’s not complicate it. I wish people understood that. All of us are born from a mother and all of us will die. And we all have to eat an sleep to live. We are different in certain ways and that does not make us inferior or superior, just different, that is all. I now know how to know about a person is by seeing how they treat others, period.”

“Agree, now can we treat ourselves to some ice cream please?”

Sat laughs and heads towards the ice cream counter.

 

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The Whisky words writing project.

My work, “I want to break free” was selected for The Whisky words writing project…

https://myspirals.com/2018/03/21/whisky-words-project-10/

want to break free.

She walked with him on the beach.They rarely meet and this is one such rare day. She withheld her craving to hold his hand. It was a public place and they could not be seen like this. Just them together would bring up questions, unwanted questions… forget holding hands.
They have known each other for years, decades even. What started out as friendship became close friends and then something that shouldn’t have happened did happen just like that. By then he was married with two children and she was separated. Why did they cross that line when they did? He just claimed that he wanted to make her happy. She took that as a valid answer and left it at that. When you are best friends with someone you love and respect them, a lot of their flaws are pushed behind. Probably that is what she did too.
Why do we do the things we do? Nobody knows. There are reasons which are very valid, but others do not see it. Only we know and the reason however flimsy it might seem to others is very valid for us, at least at that moment.
As I said, they met rarely, maybe once in a few years. She still remembers meeting him for the first time. He sat across the room from her. Her eyes darted to him every few seconds as she was talking to the others but neither of them made an effort to talk to each other and not even the next time they met. Once they started talking though they spoke and spoke, sometimes all night long. They thanked Graham Bell for his invention which brought them so close together even though they were hundreds of miles apart. When you bare your heart and soul to someone, share all your secrets that nobody else knows then I guess the wall breaks. The wall here broke too.
The initial stage was fascinating, but it started to wear off soon. The topic now came back to sex irrespective of where it started and it starts to get boring beyond a point. Especially if you are used to discussing a whole lot of things about every single thing in the world. They also slowly they started feeling guilty. That was bound to happen too. She didn’t know how to articulate her feelings. He would show his guilt by avoiding her completely and give her no rhyme or reason for doing so. They were playing emotional hide and seek, only, in this case, he would hide away and then seek her when he wanted to. There would be phases of silences which would kill her. Anything she tried to break his wall would end up as a failure. She would go mad and then when she just gave up everything and started building her wall up again, this time only higher, he would come knocking again and break all her defenses.
Today she has been fighting with her own thoughts though. Something told her that she had to stop. She had started recognizing things that she hadn’t done before. She was sick and tired of the patriarchy. She could call him only when he wanted to talk to her yet he wanted her full attention when he spoke to her. She got replies to her messages only when he felt like talking to her. Even if she wanted to go back to just being good friends he said once the line was crossed it was difficult to go back. He told her how women could never get out of an affair because they have nothing else to do and their mind was not busy they kept thinking of the same thing over and over again. Today she had to decide.
He asked her if she wanted to cuddle up with him somewhere quiet. Amazingly she stopped walking, turned around to look at him in the eye and said “I don’t want to do it. Not now, not ever. I don’t want you to feel guilty and surely not because of me.” She had a wide grin, She was happy she could say it finally and felt so free just saying it. She looked at her watch and said “Time for my flight pal, have to head to the airport. bye” and walked away leaving him in the sunset. She felt happy to have had the courage to break the relationship which till now she thought was her lifeline.
Till now she had trusted him and he had let her down many times by not being there when she wanted, while she has ignored his faults and dropped everything to be with him when he wanted her. But today was the day to break free, to make that change forever.
Sometimes we do things which appear as though they do not have a reason, but there is a reason, a very valid reason. We get inner peace when we don’t let others control what we do anymore.
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