Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not like that ...

Oli asked me today if I knew how old he was and before I could answer said, 'I'm three and a half.'

I replied, 'Wow Oli, three and a half is great.'

To which he said, 'Not like that, three and a half.'

I asked, 'Say it again Oli,' listening close ... and heard 'Free and a half.'

So I said, 'Oh sorry Oli, so your Free and a half.'

To which her replied, 'No ... I'm Free ana half.' ... slight exasperation in his voice now.

'O.K. Oli, I've got it now, Free ana half.'

'Oh ... not that, I said, Free ana huff.'

So I tried again, 'Is it Free ana huff Oli?'

'Not that,' says Oli back and this time I look him sqaure in the face, look and listen and ask if he'd say it for me one more time ... and then think I've got it ...

'I've got it Oli, you are Flea in a huff.'

'Yeah that's it!' he replied, with a sigh of relief and a smile.

I almost laughed outloud as he was getting a little bit like a 'fea in a huff' with me while I couldn't pronounce his age the right way.

What I found fascinating in this exchange was that Oli needed to hear it from me exactly as he says it himself.   This is to my experience really unusual.  Young children, mostly hear it as we say it even if they can't say it precisely for themselves yet.  This means, most would hear 'three and a half' said to them, say it as best they can which might be 'free and a half' or 'flea in a huff' ... and in conversation, would correct you if you say anything less than 'three and a half'.   They don't hear themselves saying it differently or not quitely.  Yet here was Oli totaly dissatisfied until I heard every nuance of how he said it and said it back to him the same way he says it.  Fascinating indeed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gentle rain ...

Eden, Mika, Cassius, Archie, Lola and Francesca spent hours today playing in light drizzle ... it was only in the afternoon that it started to feel a bit cold ... so it was quite lovely to be in this gentleness today ... still and quiet and lush ... and we all got cosy before this with guinea pig cuddles all round ...

If there was a creature to be found ... Cassius was our man ... slugs and snails, spiders and worms ... they all showed their heads when he was around and he was deft at getting them on a stick or showing them to us all.  Right from the start of the day, I could see he had a way with each creature he encountered, from  the most gentle and tender of approaches with Possum the guinea pig ... to a stick with a spider dangling that he held like a master, for all to see ...

Eden and Mika were totally delighted to be both at the farm and together ... they are both very funny in the sweetest of ways.   Mika was looking at me with her brown eyes like a pond you could fall right into and I said, 'Look at you brown eyed princess.'  She quickly replied, 'Pink eyed princess'  ... and all day ... all things ... were pink ... now that's what I call seeing the world through rose coloured glasses.

Eden had the cutest picture with him that he'd drawn before coming, paper in one hand, pen in the other, he wandered roung looking like an artist in residence or man on a mission ... until eventually it was ok for the paper and pen to go away for a while so his hands were free to play.

Francesca found a goose egg in the duck house this morning.  It was huge and she stumbled and dropped it, then turned to show me a very cracked though somehow still intact egg.  This is never a problem as the pigs LOVE a raw egg ... it's quite the piggy treat and Greta who has piglets coming was happy with her gift ...

Having Lola along was like being with a walking history book ... and I mean that in the best of ways, she has so much history with things down here at the farm that she and I were able to banter about this through the day ... which we both really enjoyed.   

... and Archie was ... well, Archie, huggable, affable, funny, loving and really good company.   He also thought I was a pretty good singer while I made up songs about everyone ... what started as a moment turned into a string of requests ... each child wanting to hear, their name and their song ... Archie loved this and found it really funny as I made them all up on the spot. 

The dynamic between the children was gorgeous ... all day long ... it took no time to warm up and we walked and climbed hills, visited gardens, played in the sand, picnicked in the barn and by the afternoon we pretty well had the whole farm just to ourselves.  Songs were sung, games were played, new friendships had formed and everyone headed for home, filled up, feeling good about themselves and having loved the time together ... mm..mmm ... life doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Balmy, damp and beautiful ...

From the warm sunny days we had in the middle of the week to friday morn ... and the weather had turned grey and wet ... though was most temperate and balmy.

We spent an age in the garden in the morning. Looking at dew drops, picking flowers, gathering spinach to feed the chickens and schlooping about in the damp ... as well we picked up a couple of slimey hitchhikers ... one who travelled on Magnus' arm and the other Dakota's finger ...






Put your hand in the middle ... if ...

It was such a beautiful day on Wednesday ... sun shining, clear sky and five gorgeous little friends together for the day ... in the morning as they milled around just enjoying how it felt to be together ... everyone started showing hands in the center of a circle they were standing in ... a bit of chatter about how old everyone was started to happend and Samson piped up, 'Hey put your hand in the middle if you're three?'

Guess what?

All hands went in the middle and the generall consensus on everyones face was this was an awasome thing and the best gang in the world to be in ...

From the Frankie and Ella with the flowers in the morning while Samson, Kornelius and Oli jumped and climbed ... to an afternoon down the back where the girls lugged logs and sticks and built with them (a huge worm house actually) and the boys lay together on the picnic blanket with me and cuddled and schmoozed ... all very gorgeous indeed ...

Under the Oak tree we go ...

Mulling over possibilities

It's flowers for me once more ...

... me too ...

Action stations and flying leaps for Oli ...

Kornelius considering the jump ...

... and no holding back for Samson ...

This weeks tee-ah-wah

... one for me too ...

... we even found things glinting in the sun ...

I'm always happy to help even if the load is a big one ... it's acutally kinda fun with the wheels ...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Overheard today ...

Now I've never posted like this today, something overheard from a child we don't know, yet felt this was totally with sharing with you all ...

A little boy called Pete came into the guinea pig house today with his mum ... eyes shining bright, he climbed on the bench chatting away all the while.   His mum was asking if he wanted to hold a guinea pig.

Pete said, 'Yes' all the while twitching with excitement at the thought of holding one, as he chatted away.

When his mum got a guinea pig out, his face lit up even more and he said, 'I love it! I love it! I love it!'

... as his mum came over, the guinea pig within touching distance ... Pete saw it wiggle and twitch, and suddenly seemed overwhelmed with not knowing what to do. 

He pulled his hands back, looked his mum in the eye and said, 'I don't love it anymore.'

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey, I got the same as yours ...

This little gem popped back into my mind this morn and I had to share ... last wednesday, down in the Witches Garden ... which is where we seem to spend more and more time as the children fall more and more in love with each other ... Frankie needed a bush wee ... once done, she stood up, pulled her undies up and Ella near by called out, 'Hey Frankie, I got the same as yours.'  Frankie looked up and Ella lifted her t-shirt, pulled her jeans down over her hips to show Frankie that she too had undies on with lady birds all over them!!

Frankie instantly saw what Ella was excited about.  They then both waddled towards each other with pants below their hips, lady bird undies on show, beaming smiles on their faces and checked things out up close.  Yep, definitely the same.  In total joy at discovering this, they reached out for a HUGE hug ... and  wrapped each other in happiness and wonder all the while beaming mega-watt, twinkly, blue-eyed smiles.

Ah .. hh the simple things in life!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Once upon a time ...

Frankie, Ella, Kornelius, Samson and I headed down to the vege patch early this morning ... and after wandering the gardens, seeing all the flowers in my plot and just enjoying the beauty and sanctity of having this space to ourselves, lots of gorgeous play bubbled away ... Frankie and Ella were in wonderland as there were lots of flowers they could actually pick and play with.  Samson and Kornelius kept wandering a small distance away and calling, 'We're going to find adventure!'   Which from what I could tell meant they took big purposeful strides away from us for a moment and soon dropped to look at the flowers and bugs.

Kornelius came and told me, 'Ah-nella, Anna told me and Samson, 'Handsome and Grattle' in the car.  I asked, 'Did you like it Kornelius?'  To which he replied, 'I did' and he gave me a precise of the story he'd heard ... then asked if I'd tell it to him ... and I began ...

A long time ago, a ...

Kornelius interrupted, 'Not like that.'

So I tried again, 'Once upon a time ...'

Kornelius interrupted, 'Not like that.'

I tried once more, 'How about like this Kornelius, There was a boy called Hansel and a girl called Gretel ...'

'No, not like that.'

'How about you tell me again?'

'No, I want you to tell me.'

Hmm ... 'How do you want me to start it Kornelius?'

'Can you tell the one about the girl?'

'Which girl is that?'

'The one with the red.'

'Little Red Riding Hood.'

'Yes, dat one.'

'Ok, Little Red Riding Hood and the big, bad wolf it is.'

'No, not that one with the wolf, she had foxes.'

O.K., my patience was starting to thin just a tad ... even though Kornelius was quite happy and content ... which showed he has a lot of patience, given how bad my fairytale knowledge was for him.

Then along came Samson.

Kornelius said, 'Hey Samson, do you want me to tell you the Handsome and Grattle story?'

'O.K.', said Samson

... and off Kornelius went ... Samson sat back as Samson does, more feeling how good it was that his friend wanted to tell him a story than anything else.

However ... Kornelius wasn't quite telling it like Samson wanted to hear it!

... I was about to learn how it was done ... all Samson had to do was lean across ... and in the quietest of voices tell Kornelius what he wanted in the story and Kornelius obliged ... right down to the point where he looked into Kornelius' face and said, 'I think you need Astro-boy in the story now.'

... and Kornelius happily obliged for his dear friend Samson.

Now that's what I call the power of love.

... meanwhile Frankie and Ella were totally immersed in creating immense beauty with each other and once done they decided it was time for a wedding.  To my eyes and ears they were calling for a ceremony in which they could share the beauty and the feeling of what they'd been immersed in ... in the best way they knew how.

Friday, October 7, 2011

... a pocket full of posie ...

... in the garden this morning, we shared the sheer joy and pleasure of picking flowers.   There are literally hundreds of little pansies and violas in my vege patch right now, all colours and hues ... and Jyra, Dakota, Ted and Ari were really, really happy to look at them all and pick posies together.  This was so sweet and the gentlest of fun too.

... and when it came time to go to feed the spinach and chard to the chickens ... all of which Ari loaded up at first ...

... we needed somewhere for those flowers to go and Jyra decided to fill her pocket with her posie ... and was soon followed by Dakota who did the same ...

Just before our day finished, we were in the ever so gorgeous and much loved little haven that the Witches Garden is, and Jyra came up and told me she was hot and wanted her hoodie off so she could dance.  She then came up and gave me two sticks and asked me to make music ... which I did and ever so freely and beautifully, she took flight in dance.  This was immediately contagious and all the children joined with her ... piling more sticks on my leg each time they wanted a different song to dance too.

At one point, Ted and Ari got the sticks and sat together making music while the girls danced on.  This was all incredibly spontaneous, very cooperative and extremely beautiful ... such a privilege and a joy to witness ... oh ... and to be asked to make music for!