You know, that little 'oh' which escapes your lips when you peek into the window of the really lovely interiors store but you can't go in, cos you can't afford a tea towel?

The little 'oh' for the vision in perfect cotswold stone as you round a bend in a sunny village, to be greeted by the front cover of a Joanna Trollope paperback?

That little 'oh'.

OK, so I have never heard of this guy .
I am probably the only person who has never heard of him, and you are all probably going 'how can you NOT have heard of him?!) and laughing into your early afternoon tea, or 'oh that old fraud, you don't want to read anything by him' and smirking knowledgeably.

But I had never hear of him, so I approached 'The Zen of Attraction' - with a completely open mind - or some would say blank space - and ... well ... I kind of like it.

1. Promise nothing. Just do what you most enjoy doing.

2. Sign nothing. Just do what doesn't require a signature of any kind.

3. Offer nothing. Just share what you have with those who express an interest.

4. Expect nothing. Just enjoy what you already have; it's plenty.

5. Need nothing. Just build up your reserves and your needs will disappear.

6. Create nothing. Just respond well to what comes to you.

7. Seduce no one. Just enjoy them.

8. Adrenalize nothing. Just add value and get excited about that.

9. Hype nothing. Just let quality sell by itself.

10. Fix nothing. Just heal yourself.

11. Plan nothing. Just take the path of least resistance.

12. Learn nothing. Just let your body absorb it all on your behalf.

13. Become no one. Just be more of yourself.

14. Change nothing. Just tell the truth and things will change by themselves.

Copyright 1997 by Thomas J. Leonard All rights reserved

Obviously, I couldn't actually get past number one, and number two is a non starter.
But it's a lovely idea :0)

Ah yes...

Thanks, Dorothy, I knew there was something!

The girls are loving school. Three days in, we are all exhausted from all the accurate time keeping, and H is getting used to mountains of homework which, bizarrely, she quite likes. We'll see how long that lasts! Boo is a fish in water - always social and competitive, she loves the charts, the competition, the PE ... she was always going to love it though!

It feels a right time as if H is finally (an unbelievably, thank you , Lord!) ready for it all, in a way which was unimagineable at 6 - it's taken six long years, and now, I believe, she can cope. Boo probably would have been ready earlier, but not at the just-barely-four they wanted her. She was still a baby, she still needed her mother. That's the sad thing about the system, it insists that one size fits all.

I don't know how long this season in our life will be, or if we will ever home educate again, but two things I do know:

Firstly, this was a necessary thing - it was only after they were at school that I realised how hopelessly dysfunctional our home had become. It will take me at least half a term to get the house into a state where I would not be too ashamed to invite someone in. Hey, maybe this is why we don't have any friends?

Secondly, if ever we do home educate again, it won't be until we move somewhere else. Or, if it becomes critical and we are still here, I will do so in isolation, or with the local home educators. One of the biggest burdens I feel has been lifted from me, is the 'christian' home ed group we used to attend, and the unkindness and bullying of some (chiefly one) members. I know the children also feel the weight has lifted, that they don't have to spend time with such thoroughly nasty children. The two families who were lovely, we are still in touch with, so we can still see them. The others? So long, and thanks for nothing.

By contrast, both children and adults at the little christian school (where I don't feel the need to use inverted commas) seem polite, normal, and friendly.

So our interim report is, so far, so good.

One Oh One

With a burst of inspiration, we decided to look at multi generational vision. We've had some help from Vision Forum, but in the end, we had to decide we wanted to do this ourselves.
What do we believe God wants of our family? Where do we want our family to be in ten years' time. In twenty? In fifty? Long after I am dead, what do I want for my children, and their children and their children.
Dude, it is the most freeing process.
Because if you can give yourself two hundred years to do it in , anything's possible!
We realised that we ultimately really, really wanted a farm. Planning within this lifetime had left us settling for tenancy, but giving it large with the daughters and the sons of the daughters, we decided we wanted to own those acres.
This country once had the most beautiful farms. I recommend Gordon Beningfield's The English Farm. Mixed farms of immense complexity, the names we give now to biodiversity, edge, sustainability, all unknown to our tweed and cord clad forbears, were real, and beautiful, and rolled endlessly on with our perfect seasons.
We want that. We want to unspecialise, to provide, for ourselves and our village, a brilliant carpet of little fields, a little tractor, and variety of produce,which sustains the soil and the hedgerow, feeds the stock, and picks up the precious thread, sewn through the plough and the hedges, the gold corn and the nut brown forest, the lovat hedge and the dove grey dawn, from a time when Saxon peasants wove stock proof hedges. To now. And beyond.
And with this freedom, came a new idea. (Another one?!) and now, it is safe, and warm, and unborn, in our house, but if it becomes real, it will, for me, crown a year of glory, and I will take it up, and offer it with praise to the One who inspires us day by day, and shout with great joy at the hills.
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