Kite flying for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Kite flying for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Come take a walk with Peggy and her family while they fly Kites along the beaches of North East England.

Oak Trees Studio

Lets Go Fly A Kite is our theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week. We have had lots of family fun with kite flying over the years. I remember when our younger children were still quite small, we made a homemade kite from upcycled plastic sheeting – it was almost as big as the youngest child. This kite lasted several years but then our youngest decided he wanted to make the really old fashioned kind of kite – from broadsheet newspapers, sticky tape, garden canes and string. When it was completed, this one flew well and provided hours of fun on windy days.

kite surfer at South Shields

We generally go kite flying in our local park, close by to where we live, but on our Summer visits to the seaside at South Shields, we often see a different type of kite flying – kite surfers enjoying their energetic sport. Our seaside sport tends…

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the gardens of eden – the eden project

i haven’t really been doing much in the weeks leading up to school, and that dreaded first day is creeping ever nearer by the minute…so it was a nice change to get out of the house on monday and take the drive down to cornwall to go visit the eden project with my family! if you don’t know about this place, the eden project is a huge, huge garden full of plants from all over the world – a nature photographer’s heaven! you would not believe the amount of people running about with their cameras, and i was one of them ;3 so grab a chair, put your feet up and take a peek at some of the (good) pictures from my trip! trust me, i took a lot of duds…

average bank holiday weather...

average bank holiday weather…

biodomes are cool too - this one was the mediterranean zone

biodomes are cool too – this one was the mediterranean zone

oh amaryllis...your name's included in so many puns, it's unfunny

oh amaryllis…your name’s included in so many puns, it’s unfunny

i don't remember what type of flower this is, but it reminds me of hawaiian leis

i don’t remember what type of flower this is, but it reminds me of hawaiian leis

more generic flowers - this one's from the rainforest zone!

more generic flowers – this one’s from the rainforest zone!

*insert ice bucket challenge joke here*

*insert ice bucket challenge joke here*

as i was taking the picture another family came up - their conversation went something like "don't put your finger in it!" "it might be poisonous"

as i was taking the picture another family came up – their conversation went something like “don’t put your finger in it!” “it might be poisonous”

the weather cleared up by the end!! finally some non-liquid sunshine...

the weather cleared up by the end!! finally some non-liquid sunshine…

another bonus from this trip (other than the whole amazingness of this place) is that i have a few good pictures to enter in the school photography contest when i get back ^0^ do you guys like these? everybody’s so professional with their photography here, so i know your advice will be good ^_~ thanks!!

~miki ♥

take care

suki and lyle left today.

in a frenzy of suitcases, papers and tears, they stepped onto the coach that would take them back and away from myself and my family, into new cities,  lands and new stages of their lives. tear-stained and weary, i waved them goodbye as they left to move on.

then i woke up and realised i would have to do it all again.

the days had passed too quickly before my very own myopic eyes. it seemed suki had only moved in yesterday. and lyle just a second ago. he’d only been living with us for about- what, a week? – and here he was, packing up already. formerly messy rooms were starting to regain a sense of order, but not in any good way. suki’s cosmetics and various toiletries no longer invaded our bathroom. lyle’s perpetually unmade bed lay perfect. yet in the midst of all this change, the two were as casual as ever. lyle chatted on the phone whilst brushing his teeth. suki watched some asian drama or something. they had brunch. and i had an urge to scream, no, don’t go yet, please, we have so much more to do, and cling onto their legs. either that or drug them and imprison them in our (non-exsistent) basement. so i watched and waited for that final car journey to make its arrival.

it’s such a shame. we could have done so, so much more. i only really started talking with suki and lyle 3, maybe 4 days ago, and i don’t know why. we just seemed to open up so much more easily. i joked around with suki, and i found out that lyle was into a ton of bands i like as well. we snarked and laughed together, and if  only, if only i had taken my opportunities earlier, we could have spent more time together, while they were still in this city. as i type this, they’re probably on their way to london, in some ratty old coach. but i don’t know if they’re missing us.

so this morning we clambered into a packed car with a boot full of suitcases and set off for those final goodbyes. my heart had been in my throat the whole day – that lump just kept stabbing. i might be a cold, soulless demon child before, but i was pretty much on the verge of tears. i couldn’t get myself out of bed, let alone into that car. my mother even thought i wasn’t coming, which shocked me. how could i not go? i love suki and lyle. i love them and i cherish everything i did with them, and yet i cannot let them go. they talked nonchalantly about customs, about packages they had sent, as if this was no big deal for anybody. i stared out of the window and tried my best not to cry.

eventually we had to arrive. i offered to help them carry suitcases, to do whatever i could to delay their departure from us. but that final moment just came too quickly. i thought it would be like prolonged torture, but it was more like prolonged torture leading up to a little pinch on the arm. there were no tears. no great gestures of emotion. hardly anything.

“see you soon.”

“i’ll come and visit you sometime, yeah?”

“take care.”

 

The Acorn Inn – Evershot

I’ve recently returned from a five-day break in Dorset, which is on the Southern Coast of the UK.

We had a wonderful few days away discovering the county of Dorset, where we discovered some stunning scenery (watch out for another post about that).

For now, I wanted to tell you a bit about the place we stayed at, The Acorn Inn in Evershot.

 

This is the place that inspired me to write my Miss Marple short story.  If you haven’t read it yet, then please have a read as I am sure you will then see why the village of Evershot inspired me to write the story. Part 1 can be found here and part 2 here.  Part 3 will be posted very soon.

The Acorn Inn boasts a worthy history; built as a coaching inn in the 16th century it was originally called the Kings Arms and brewed its own ales with water drawn from the source of the river Frome.

When the Acorn was built there were six other pubs in the village!  Now only the Acorn Inn remains.

It is believed that Judge Jeffrey’s used what is now the lounge of the Inn, as the court for sentencing local convicts to be hanged.

Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles is set in the immediate area.  Evershot is referred to as Evershead and the Acorn Inn was called ‘The Sow and Acorn’.  Tess walked many miles to meet Angel Clare’s parents.  She stopped half way in Evershead and breakfasted at Tess Cottage just next to the church.  The Acorn Inn also features as ‘The Sow & Acorn’ in two of Hardy’s other powerful short stories:  In ‘Interlopers at the Knap‘ Philip Hall collected Sally’s dress that had been left here by the carrier and in ‘The First Countess of Wessex‘ Squire Dornell’s man Tupcombe, sat in the inglenook in the hope of hearing news of Betty.

I thought the Inn might be haunted, but unfortunately it seems nobody has ever saw anything paranormal.

Evershot is a quintessential English village, with a church, village shop, bakery, hotel, deer park and, of course, the Inn.  The centre of the village has remained largely unchanged in the last 150 years.  Historically, it began as a Boar pen around 1,100 years ago and as the source of the river Frome is located just behind the church, the population grew rapidly.  Population growth has dropped in the last century and today is around 200 people.

The village school was founded by Henry Stickland in 1628 to “to teach men true learning and fear of God”.  It is now a Church of England primary school.

The village Bakery has been here for 150 years.  It specialises in artisan bread which has been made the same way in all that time.

In more recent times Evershot’s claim to fame is being the film set for part of the latest film adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette amongst others.

one and a half

i’ve always been interested in immigration and the people who choose to make a foreign country their home – probably because i’m an immigrant myself.

i came to england from burma with my mother when i was 6 months old, joining my father who had got a job here a couple months previously. he was present for my birth, then jetted off on the boeing to start his new life. i like to call myself a 1.5 generation immigrant – i wasn’t born in england, but i’m too young to remember burma (and my burmese is downright pathetic now – my parents see this as a good thing though, since we are living in england).  my parents and i are pretty well assimilated into british culture – my dad’s english is pretty perfect and my mum’s is wonky, but good enough for people to understand the gist of what she’s saying. a while ago, i found a hilarious, but extremely bittersweet blog post about being an ‘engrish’ to english translator – a mortifying experience i, and probably many other children of 1st generation immigrants have had to face. my parents have also been pretty stereotypical 1st generation asian parents too – amy chua describes them perfectly in her description ‘on generational decline’ in the (in)famous book battle hymn of the tiger mother:

“The immigrant generation (like my parents)  is the hardest working. Many will have started off in the United States [or whatever cushy first world country] almost penniless, but they will work hard until they become successful engineers, scientists, doctors,  academics, or businesspeople. As parents, they will be extremely strict and rabidly thrifty. (“Don’t throw out those leftovers! Why are you using so much dishwasher liquid? You don’t need a beauty salon – I can cut your hair even nicer.”) They will invest in real estate. They will not drink much. Everything they do and earn will go toward their children’s education and future.”

in comparison, the second generation (i include myself in this – 1.5 does round to 2) is described as floating on the success of their parents, also working hard, but probably not as hard, as them. they simply don’t have to. and their children after that is the one chua “lies awake worrying about” – the third generation is born into the wealth of the upper middle class and knows that their rich parents can provide everything they need and want without having to work for it. a study somewhere shows that third generation asian-americans score about the same as their white counterparts in maths tests, despite the stereotype that all asians are amazing at maths. scary.

for some reason, as soon as i started secondary school i managed to find myself in a friendship group full of mixed-race, immigrant kids. we’re all smart girls, with perfect english, and quite a few of us have scholarships. but if the bnp or any other scary far-right political party takes over the uk, then 7 out of the 8 of us would probably be deported. the latest immigrant is blanche, a perky half-german, half-english gal, with a bit of french in her as well,  who speaks perfect german and perfect accented (it’s not a german accent, but not an english one either – a lot of people think she’s american) english as well. she moved to the uk with her mum and older brother when she was 5 years old.

any of you guys in the covey immigrants, or mixed-race? do you have any interesting experiences of culture shock to share? i would love to know ^^

~miki ♥