Friday, 29 October 2010

Past Times

Phew the last day of the half term holiday and I've finally managed to put my feet up!  My week as a registered childminder has been spent with the littlies on a Halloween theme and we have carved a pumpkin, watched spooky films, been up to our eyes in crafting and yesterday had a Halloween party .... I'm exhausted and surely getting too old for this sort of thing ..... or is it the young ones that keep me active in mind and body????

The weather has been horrid so we have been confined to barracks and this morning one of the littlies brought a DVD with her called Greyfriars Bobby .... a charming tale set in 1858 about a cute little Skye Terrier who sat by his master's grave in Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh for 11 years.

Whenever we watch a film together I like to have a little Q & A session afterwards just to see how much of the story the children have absorbed and try to help them understand that some stories are based on fact and that children had to live in the most awful conditions in Victorian times.  We then try to compare this with the lives they lead today and to emphasise how fortunate they are to have comfortable warm homes, food in their bellies and parents to look after them.

I told them about my Newcastle nanny who was orphaned during 1919 when her widowed mother died during the Flu Epidemic ...... nan was aged 14 and one of 9 children, they were sent to a Convent and nan was put into service soon after ... her experience must have been awful because from that moment on nan fell out with the Catholic Church and would never speak about it save to say that they had to walk around sometimes in bare feet and she worked morning, noon and night and was lucky to get a Sunday off if the lady of the house felt she had worked hard enough.  I had to explain what a convent and a nun was and one of the littlies piped up like the ladies in Sister Act ..... had to chuckle at that one!

We finished the day watching the original Lionel Bart version of Oliver .... this has to be one of my all time favourite films

How cute was Mark Lester and Jack Wilde, sadly no longer with us, the perfect Dodger.

We had a little tear and sang the songs and again reflected on the lives of children in those days.  Now it may be just my age but I was surprised that the eldest child (now in year 6) had never heard of Charles Dickens .... surely his novels convey a message that should still be retold in our schools .... what do you think??

Enough of the serious stuff ..... I've got the weekend to myself and tomorrow I will be here



and here

This is my favourite wool shop based in Baldock, Hertfordshire and they are re-opening tomorrow in larger premises so it would be rude not to visit.

Must get some housework done too as next weekend we are off to the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia ........ having visited the Country Living Fair in Islington last year I have to say that I much prefer the Spirit Fair.  I'm hoping to squeeze in a visit to Liberty and Covent Garden too.

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing x


  1. It is such a shame that some of these older and timeless novels and authors are not being read and talked about at schools much anymore. Instead some of the books they are given to read seem (in my opinion) absolute rubbish.

    Oh you are going to have a fun Saturday! Careful with the wallet! ;-)

  2. All great films. Such a sad tale about your nan, but very typical'm afraid. I have a friend my age (a young 51!!). both her and her sister were put into care when her mum died and her dad could not cope with an 8 year old and a 3 year old. Her stories in the home are harrowing, but worse still, when she was 16, she had to leave the home (leaving her younger sister behind). She could choose whether to have a flat on her own (the idea terrified her) or be "fostered". She was fostered by an elderly couple, who really just wanted a slave to look after them in their old age. I can't believe this happened in 1976! My post today features children woking in mills at a young age. xxxx

  3. Those little people get a wonderful opportunity to learn with you! Wonderful! I laughed at your comment about being rude not to go to the re opening.... ha! ha! Enjoy your spending! You have earned it! :O)

  4. That's lovely that you make the films educational too. I haven't seen Greyfriars Bobby but it's sat on my dvd shelf. May watch it this Christmas, but it looks so sad x

  5. I'm sure both my children had heard of Dickens by the time they were in Y6, but perhaps had not read him! I think they preferred Harry Potter at that age. All reading is good, though. Have a lovely shopping trip - sounds like you have earned it!

  6. Well thank goodness you have plugged a hole in their education - Charles Dickens stories used to be just part of general knowledge, although I can't actually remember 'doing' him at junior school, but must have watched the films and TV serials. YOur Nan's life sounds a trial. People grumble about Social Services and all the rules and regulations we face these days, but these things might still be happening if we didn't have them (and I am sure they still do in many places)

  7. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)