Archives for posts with tag: Nature Month-by-Month

November is a month of remembering. There’s Bonfire Night – “Remember, remember the 5th November: gunpowder, treason and plot!” There’s also All Souls’ Day when we remember loved ones who have died. Then there’s Remembrance Sunday when we think about all those who have served in the armed forces and fought and died for our freedom. This year 10th November is the day on which Muslims remember the Prophet’s birthday. And there’s Transgender Day of Remembrance today as well.

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November seems like a good month to spend focussing outwards like this. It is a dark and stormy month with short days and often lots of rain. It can be difficult to find anything to lift our spirits and the temptation is to hunker down and become inward-looking, giving in to feelings of gloom and doom. Stopping to remember what other people have done for us, however, can help us realise how much we have to give thanks for.

I find that I am thinking a lot about my mum and grandma this month. They are both no longer with us, but the things that they taught me are still important and I am starting to pass them on to my children now. One of the things they both loved to do at the end of November was to begin thinking ahead to Christmas, and they would spend the last weekend of this month making mincemeat and Christmas cake and Christmas pudding mix. Here is the recipe for mincemeat which they passed down to me and which I will be making over the next couple of weekends. You can find it in my almanac for children, Nature Month-by-Month, published by Nosy Crow and the National Trust.

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If you are looking back and remembering someone special this month, my heart goes out to you. And if you are looking forward to Christmas, you’d better get baking!

 

 

 

This autumn term is very long . . . the summer seems a lifetime away and we’ve all – teachers, parents, carers and children – been working hard for weeks and weeks. So it’s a relief that the holidays are here again. I am looking out at blue skies and sunshine and hoping that this weather is going to last for a while!

But even if it doesn’t, there are lots of games and activities that you can do indoors. I had great fun coming up with ideas for Nature Month-by-Month – in the 2019 edition you’ll find lots of ideas for Hallowe’en games, for example. These can be played inside or outside. I loved writing about these because it took me back to when my children were small. I didn’t used to be very happy about them going Trick or Treating as we lived in the countryside and the houses were quite a long way apart from each other down very dark lanes! But I wanted them to have fun on Hallowe’en, so we would invite all their friends to come to our house and we would have a big party. Here are some of the games we would play:

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Recently I have been researching and thinking up new ideas for an updated version of Nature Month-by-Month for 2020, which has just come out in the shops.

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I decided to write about pumpkin carving, as we always enjoyed doing this during half term, and it was a great activity to do on a rainy day or during one of the dark evenings after the clocks had gone back.

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You can make yummy things from the pumpkin flesh, so don’t throw it away! You can make delicious soup by frying up the pumpkin with onion and then adding stock, nutmeg, cream, salt and pepper. There are lots of good recipes online. You can also make scrummy pumpkin muffins like these:

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Whatever you do this holiday – whether you choose to go for blustery walks or whether you stay indoors and keep cosy – I hope you have a good rest and lots of fun!

As for me, seeing as it’s so sunny today, I think I’m going to take the dog and go for a walk through the crunchy autumn leaves this afternoon. Or maybe even go for a swim if the sea is calm enough . . .

nala by the sea

(Vlad says, “You could always curl up with a spooky Hallowe’en read if the weather outside is frightful ! Mwhahahahaaaaa!)

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