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Posts Tagged ‘summer holidays’


You know, it’s strange.

When you’re home-educating, school holidays kinda don’t feel much different to any other time. We had intended to keep up a scaled down learning schedule over the “school holidays” but, quite honestly, I’m enjoying the break myself.

Well, the break from having to whip out the laptops and maths and English stuff each morning anyway. There’s not much else break-like going on.

Just more of the usual work stuff, I guess. Jake has been helping out a bit. He’s earning some pocket money by getting stock updated and put on the website and it’s good for him to start associating real labour with real reward, especially when he is saving up.

We’ve got all his courses sorted for September (his English course with Catherine Mooney and his Maths GCSE course, now that we’ve found a school network willing to accept him as an external candidate next summer. He’s going to have to work hard (something of which we’ve yet to be convinced he is able!) but I believe he can get good passes in both, which will put him in good stead for the college plumbing course he wants to do next September.

Now that I’ve forked out the money for the courses, he’d better work hard or I’ll be docking it all from his wages!

El’s busy being the social butterfly with regular friend meet-ups. It almost makes me glad he isn’t in school with even MORE friends! We’d never see him (or, perhaps worse, there’d always be too many kids in the house!)

He’s had his birthday since we last posted. Someone (may have been me) decided it was a good idea to get him an electric guitar for his birthday.

What was I thinking?

Truthfully though, it sounds really good. He spends a bit of time, every now and again, teaching himself something from YouTube and the guitar itself makes a good sound (used with the amp we already had for his beatboxing microphone)
I did research decent makes for beginners (on a small budget!) and managed to find a half-decent one at a reasonable price (ex-display model) so I’m glad he enjoys it.

Whether the neighbours enjoy it as much…

So, yeah. Not much else has happened really.
We’re counting down the days until we go back to Portugal for our holiday though. It feels like a long time coming. We thought about trying to book a few days away somewhere (anywhere!) during the summer but, jees, those prices?!

Even a last minute booking in some dodgy caravan park (static vans) was over £500 for the week! Sod that. I’d rather save my money!

Anyway, at least the weather is half-good. I say “half” because it’s doing it’s usual “can’t-make-its-mind-up-what-to-do” thing, as British summers tend to do, but at least we have had some nice days. It’s not like we’d be out in the sun much anyway, even if is was nice. Eliot and Jake miss The Lighthouse though. Our neighbouring pub (The Stag’s Head – it’s only about 5 doors away from us) is a poor substitute, but we have been in there a handful of times now, which we’d never done prior to moving.

It’s a handy watering hole on the way back from walking the dog…occasionally at 11pm!

This one obviously wasn’t taken at 11pm!

Anyway, only about 3 weeks and we’ll be getting back to our school/work juggling schedule again.

I’m not sure which I prefer!

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In some ways, it feels like we have been here forEVER, but in other ways, it’s hard to believe that four whole years have gone by already!

I suppose I should do a bit of a general update really. It has been a while and, while much of the past months have been “same old, same old”, stuff has happened as well.

For example, school finished for summer – over a MONTH ago!

Jake’s last day was 3rd June, I think, and El finished classes on 30th May, only going in on the Monday and Tuesday after that for half-day events and school trips. That already feels like YEARS ago!

Actually, I should start with school updates, shouldn’t I?

Eliot passed his year 4 exams – BARELY! Like, by 2%. God knows how he is going to cope with year 5, but I think he is ready for the change of school. The big school (which now does years 5 through 8 – more about that in a minute!) is right around the corner from us, and I think even he is ready to move onwards and upwards, although how he will do with a year 5 curriculum is anybody’s guess.
At least he is starting in year 5 with a decent knowledge of spoken and aural Portuguese, which is more than Jake had when he plunged in at year 6!

So yeah, that’s good anyway. Eliot moving school is definitely a big step.
He’s a big boy now. Hardly my baby any more (although I still call him that, and he’s fine with it!)

My big boy! Now, who put that beer there??!!

My big boy! Now, who put that beer there??!!

Jake is repeating year 9. He actually could have taken exams and probably passed all of his failing year 9 subjects, but we (Jake and I) both decided that it was better that he repeated the year. At 14, he is quite young to be moving into what is the equivalent of doing 3 year A-levels/college, so I’m pleased to have him in year 9 for a bit longer.

That news would have been even better if it wasn’t for the fact that they are stopping teaching year 9 (academic subjects anyway) at Das Naus (the school next to us).
We were quite looking forwards to having both boys in the same place, with no worries about transport, but now Jake will have to go elsewhere for year 9.

He’s chosen Gil Eanes (there was more than one choice in town) and we’re fine with that. Hopefully, we’ll get him signed up in a few weeks without any problems (hahahahahahahahahahaha – no, seriously!) and he’ll just have to use a bus for school. He’s quite old enough to do so, and the whole experience of having to actually “commute” to school will do him good.

Fortunately, he isn’t bothered about it all. He’s quite content to repeat year 9, not at all bothered that he’ll be repeating it in an entirely different school (a lot of his friends are going to the other one) and isn’t bothered about using the bus.
Oh well, I suppose indifference is better than him hating the idea!

My "mature" teen on a rare sighting outside the bedroom!

My “mature” teen on a rare sighting outside the bedroom!

What else has happened?

Wendy (my sister) came to visit for my birthday, which was nice. We spent a few days eating, drinking and generally lounging about, all of which was great fun! She then flew home and signed for her first ever house! Having lived in rented accommodation since she left home, finally putting down roots and buying a home is a HUGE step for her!

Way to go, sis!

My new skinny sis on her visit (well, she’s not a new sister, obviously, but she IS newly super-skinny!)

We’re super-busy with work (always good) and we have very few visitor bookings this year. None who need to stay with us anyway, which is even better, because it means that the boys get to keep their own space. Recently purchased bunk beds for El’s room make it slightly less disruptive if we have to move Jake into there, but it’s much nicer not to, obviously, and for Jake to keep his own room.

Not that Jake is much bothered really, because, well, he’s an indifferent teen and doesn’t much bother about anything (except chores. Boy, does he mither about those!)

Oh yes, we went to Jerez for the MotoGP at the beginning of May (I really HAVE been slack about updating this blog!).
We left Jake at home (with plenty of food supplies) and drove over from Friday to Sunday.

We had a completely awesome weekend. Drive took us about 4 hours, we stayed in a decent enough apartment (rock hard and creaky beds aside!) in Jerez and watched fabulous racing, including a race from the unstoppable Marc Marquez!
We took soooooooooo many photos, I don’t even know where to start, but here’s a few.

It’s weird to think that Marquez is now 8 wins for 8 races! It’s quite mind-blowing really. Am looking forwards, as always, to the race this weekend to see if he can make it 9 for 9!

And speaking of this weekend, we are off to Seville for a long weekend (we go tomorrow: Thursday) for Eliot’s 11th birthday.

Having driven past it twice now, first en route to Gibraltar and then on the way to Jerez, we’ve realised it’s actually quite close, and there’s an apparently very good theme park and water park, called Isla Magica, there which should a) make a great day out for El’s birthday and b) quench our long-deprived need to a return to Orlando!

We’re doing Isla Magica on Friday and have Saturday free to either go for a second day or mooch around Seville a bit. Even Jake is coming with us this time. It wasn’t optional (being a birthday celebration weekend ‘n’ all) but he doesn’t seem to mind. A few days in the “real world” will be good for him. Even if he doesn’t own and refuses to wear a pair of shorts. So he’ll be baking and melting in the 40C which is forecast in Seville this weekend!

Teenagers, eh?!

I think that’s our news really.

I know I’m behind with my Gibraltar A to Z, but quite honestly, at this point, it probably won’t get done. Don’t hold your breath anyway. It’s not THAT good LOL

I’ll try to do a Seville post sometime after we’re back. Maybe one for the trip and a separate one for Isla Magica. Depends what we get up to and whether it warrants more than one post. Might just do a picture post. We’ll see.

And speaking of pictures, let’s have some sunny, blue sky posts. I know the UK has been enjoying some (can I say “unseasonably”?) summer weather lately, and our summer pretty much here to stay until about October now, so I’ll try to keep sharing the sunny pics for when the “real” British summer arrives (you know, the one where it rains for days on end.)

Just so y’all know what you could be visiting if you popped over to see us!

It’s always nice when people come here on holiday and we get chance to meet up. A school friend of mine recently came to the Algarve with her family and it was fantastic to see her again, after 20+ years, and meet her brood!

So yeah, if you ever visit the Algarve on holiday, give us a yell and we’ll show you this lot!

View from the pool table at our local – The Lighthouse on Lagos Marina

Across Praia de Batata, Lagos

Our beautiful “green tiled shop”, complete with the Jacaranda tree in bloom.

View from the Science Centre and roof of the market building on the Avenida

Nik’s bike when he took it up to the Autodromo race track for the World Superbikes last weekend

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