English country gardens

We got back from England having had a lovely relaxing time – well mostly.  Especially with the nature.  My parents have a pair of thrushes nesting right outside their patio window, and we spent a lot of time watching them scurry in and out with full beaks.  They clearly regarded us with suspicion, and if we happened to be outside, would often wait until we went in to head for their nest.  So we would go in on purpose.

They did not really choose the best place for their nest.  The morning after the family party my parents were really worried about them, because we couldn’t really keep everyone inside.  They were convinced the chicks had died.  But no.  By the time we were getting ready to leave we all agreed that the poor parent thrushes were looking very thin and gaunt.  Hopefully we will get some photos of the fledglings soon.

My parents enjoyed Antonia’s enjoyment of nature.  We went walking in the park and looked at trees, bugs, birds and hordes of tiny froglets hopping all over.  This was the most exciting to me, but Antonia was most delighted to hold a damsel fly on a stem or have a huge sleepy moth crawling all over her.

My parents are pretty pro-home education (the UK term for homeschooling) at this point, having seen the result.  My father is even apt to refer to his home educated granddaughter in a loud voice in public places.  This is partly because they see that she can read, write, calculate and recite poems with the best of them + at the same time she has lots of time to enjoy nature, soak up Shakespeare slowly, draw and play with her teddies.

There is also the fact that when you read the British Education Minister’s not so positive remarks on the subject of home education right there in the education column of the newspaper next to what it says about the state of British schools, he inevitably comes across sounding like an idiot.

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