Simple, but lovely day today. Work for me. followed by shopping in town in the morning (including a stop at a great newish chocolate shop called Cocoa Amore where we have rapidly achieved first name terms with the owners, Fair Trade shop for the sale, HMV for music). Lunch at Cafe James. We also encountered a new youth work project in the city centre for which I think we'll end up doing some voluntary work. Twenty five NEETs living in hostels get intensive support and training. Liked the young people involved, liked the fundraising manager, liked the project manager (clearly recruited for his manner with the young people rather than his organisational or project management skills).
That's not the only voluntary iron I have in the fire. There's a possible Thing with the homeless in the city, and a possible Thing arranging some informal training for student GPs on breastfeeding matters. On the last I'm no expert and will be mainly having an organisational role. It's planned for much much later in the year/early 2015 though. So we'll see. It feels good dipping my toes into voluntary work again. Even if one of the three possibilities come off it will be great.
In other news I'm nearly ready to submit the first of six chunks of work to the publisher on the book. Hurrah-feels good. I have another book in mind and have approached two friends to co-author it. It's a slow burn one though, because we're all super-busy. It is a book for the evidence-informed parent-kind of like the Ethical Shopping Guide, but on parenting 0-5 year olds. Absolutely unbiased, presenting key evidence, case studies, reflection points. That kind of thing. Need to figure out whether there's a market for it first though.
Background reading for the PhD is cracking on, which is Good. I reserve my bath time for reading papers. It works well.
What else? Oh yes, an application for some as-and-when work at a localish university that would be great to be part of. Basically brings together the strands of my career in a really helpful way. And flexible, so space for home educating/writing/consultancy alongside.
I don't think the home ed co-op is going to work out. Over time the families' needs have diverged. And there are five babies due, and the parents haven't got a clue what is coming...And while I am happy to put hours in on projects that are truly collaborative, I don't have the time or energy to be the rabble-rouser or the completer-finisher all the time. It's all good though-at least one other family still wants to make a go of it, and between that, M and flexible working conditions I still think we will be able to keep A out of Reception at least. And we will pray that a new govt comes in with a sensible Education Minister (and no, I'm not impressed with Tristram Hunt this far) and we can look at schooling in the future if that's what A wants.
A herself is just amazing. Love her more every second. I'm realising more and more she is an introvert in the same way her father is-she loves seeing her friends, but needs quiet/personal/downtime afterwards. She finds it tiring rather than invigorating in the way I do.
And who knows about little R. She's curious, cuddly, pukey, grinny, book-and-music-loving and although she looks very like her sister at a younger age, is very much her own person. Can't wait to see how she blossoms.