A Quote From Gracie Chick In A National Newspaper!

On my blog I aspire to write about the world from different angles, in different styles, from different viewpoints and opinions, to challenge and to support, to make a difference through what I love, which is writing.

I am passionate and inquisitive about the world and everything that goes on in it, good and bad, and so are many other kids and young people across the UK.  That’s why a newspaper called First News has been produced, to quench our thirst for an understanding of the things happening on our planet.

It’s brilliant because it really recognises the fact that informing children is extremely important. After all, we are the next generation. It tells me and the other 2 million readers all about politics, the environment, immigration, events, sport, local issues, world issues, interesting stories, crime, interviews, advice and more.

They also have a website, feel free to check it out if you too are someone who wants to know about the world. You can watch daily news bulletins, find out about being a child reporter, enter competitions, have your say in polls, watch videos that explain things like the Refugee Crisis and make a difference. http://live.firstnews.co.uk/

I regularly visit this website and only this morning I found out all about youth courts, gun crimes in America, a plane crash in South America and children making journeys to school and what dangers they face in different parts of the world. You can comment on all the articles they write too and I often do, as I like to express my opinion.

Also this morning I was reading my weekly newspaper when I came across the ‘Quote Bubble’, the place where they put a comment from one of their readers.  I read it with interest, as I saw it was on Donald Trump. But when I saw the author of the comment I couldn’t believe it. It read:

Quote: First News Reader, Gracie, on Donald Trump:
“I think people voted for him because they wanted change. I wonder what sort of change he will bring?!”

A few days before I had written those very words on their website and now they were in the newspaper for everyone to see. I felt so privileged to have my views published like that and so proud that they had seen them interesting and thought-provoking enough to put in.

Thank you First News!

 

 

Dungeness Adventure

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Saturday 10th of the ninth month, 2016, and it’s another windy day on Romney Marsh. Not wet or particularly cold, but bright and very blowy.

We’re at RSPB, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dungeness, armed with binoculars and a keen enthusiasm.

I love birdwatching. My parents tell me that when I was just learning to walk, in our house, there was a Gracie height window that looked out over the garden and I would stand or sit and watch the birds for ages. Maybe that’s where it started. I’m quite good at identifying birds, I know a lot of different kinds, species and families. But my favourite bird has to be the Wren, it’s so tiny, but it has a huge voice. Once when I was playing hide and seek with some friends, I hid in a hay pile, at the time we kept goats, I completely buried myself and a little wren came and was jumping around on me, oblivious to the fact that, underneath the unusually human shaped hay stack, was me!

Anyhow, Dungeness now being our local nature reserve, we wanted to check it out. The first highlight was almost as soon as we walked through the door of the visitor centre. One of the walls was completely made of glass and looked out over a vast expanse of water  with many, many sandbanks and little islands dotted across it. The guy at reception smiled at us clutching our binos and membership cards. “Look out there,” he said “See the two white blobs on that island?” I’d guessed before he said it. “Great white egrets!”

I’d never seen a Great White, though I’d always hoped to after seeing so many little egrets when we lived on the boat last year. These Great Whites were magnificent. Looking through a magnified lens, I saw them, their big bodies covered in vanilla coloured feathers, their necks long and arching, their beaks thin, curved and the colour of sunset, their legs stick-like and a dark grey.

Great Egret Photo

 

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Moving out into the reserve, past a pond of flitting dragonflies and noisy frogs, past ditches full of tall, conferring reeds, alongside the shimmering lake.  We reached the first hide. Pushing open the door the hide was jammed with serious looking birders, all sporting several pairs of binoculars round their necks and peering through huge, high power telescopes. We sat down on the bench and, putting our binoculars to our eyes, began scouring the scene for any interesting birds.

I like to watch them going about their daily life, fighting, feeding, tending to their young, mingling, flying. After a while we’d seen some ringed plovers, some curlew sandpipers, a lot of great crested grebes with young, coots, swans, cormorants, tufted ducks and shovellers. Quite good for under an hour of birding.

Ringed plover walking in shallow water

Ringed Plover. Very cute!

More and more people kept pouring into the hide. Eventually a nice lady with a European, maybe french, accent told us that everyone here was looking for a very rare bird that had been spotted on the reserve the previous day. It was called a Buff Breasted Sandpiper and lived in Canada and northern North America and was supposed to migrate to South America, but had got very lost and ended up here.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Suddenly a man gave a jubilant cry. “I’ve got it!” he said excitedly, not looking up from his telescope. “Where? Where?” asked everyone else. “On that island with a coot and lapwing. The one with a post behind it.” This is precisely what he told us.

After a while my binoculars set eye on a very small light coloured bird scuttling around the island. “I’ve seen it.” I told Dad and he directed Evan and Irys to its whereabouts.

It was hard to see against the sandy coloured pebbles, as it was much the same colour. But you easily see it because of its movement. It ran back and forth, to and fro, like it was on fast forward.

After a while of watching this lovely little unexpected visitor and all the other birds around it, we had to end our Dungeness adventure, it was back to the car for some of Gracie’s home-baked tea loaf.

Happy Days……….!

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Poppa

 

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The next part of our adventure takes place in Kent. Currently we are living in a house here, taking care of a good friend’s 95 year old father.

We are looking after Poppa, as everyone calls him, in his own home on Romney Marsh.

It’s a lot of work looking after Poppa and a lot of it my parents have to do, but I am Chief Tea Maker and I do bake a lot of cakes and puddings for him, as he does have a very sweet tooth. He’s a lot of fun to be around and everyone loves him.

It’s funny, but exciting for us to live in a 3 bedroom house, seeing as we’ve only ever lived in tiny houses and, just recently, in the back of a car!

We have our own room, me, my brother and sister, and we look out of our window in the morning across the flat marsh with sheep grazing in the sunrise. It’s beautiful.

I’ve set up my own little corner on the landing with a table and a chair. I’m right next to a window again and the view looks like a painting. I have my stack of books and my writing stuff. And, of course, a tin of biscuits! It’s blissful.

This morning Poppa did some Homeschooling with us. He seemed to be enjoying himself. He made everyone laugh by playing Irys’ recorder!

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Looking after Pops is a pleasure for us.

We always said that if someone’s in need of help we would make it part of our journey to help them and we are.

 

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A good student

My First Published Article

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The aspiring author.

Remember Viva magazine? The one my friend Alice and I were interviewed by? Well *clears throat*, after reading this blog, they decided to ask me to write them an article! The article is about how me and my family are on a journey, at the moment in Mo (our Morris Traveller campervan). It’s also about our learning and our home education, my hopes and dreams and more.

You can read it online here, at http://www.vivabrighton.com/#!viva-lewes/c58g

It’s page 79. If you can’t get to it, tell me in the comments and I can always copy it over onto here!

 

Alice And I’s Interview: A Wild Taste Of Fame!

wildsaladThe sun beat down on us as we walked through the field, sun hats bobbing, hands trailing through the long grass. We stopped every now and then to point and then set off at a quicker pace towards what we’d spotted. Then we’d stop and begin to harvest, sometimes crouching down and sometimes reaching up. Our chatter floated away on the slight breeze.

The salad we were planning to make was a picture of summer colour. With thirteen different flowers of red, orange, yellow, purple, blue, pink, white and cream and five types of leafy greens, this was going to be a work of art.

We set up in the shade outside Clarabella, our vintage train carriage. We laid out three pretty china plates and three elegant silver forks. Then three glass mugs, one with a sprig of self heal, one with a floret of meadowsweet and the other with a few creeping thistle flowers.

But there was two of us, Alice and I, who was the third person?

I laid out a sheet of dirty white paper on the wooden table and then put all of my specimens out on it. Then, in my neatest, black , loopy handwriting I labeled them with all of their beautiful names.

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Soon our mystery guest joined us, Rebecca from the Viva Magazine. Viva is local to Brighton and Lewes. She was here to interview me and Alice.

In the interview I made sure I was bold and enthusiastic, as I wanted to make the most of this great opportunity and not ruin it by being shy.

The first thing Rebecca asked me was: what is your job? I replied that I was Alice’s student and that she taught me everything she knew about foraging and herbal medicine.

While Alice went to get the hot water for the three different teas for our journalist to try, Rebecca quizzed me on how I thought each of them tasted. I told her that meadowsweet is vanilla-y, creeping thistle has a gentle and honey like flavour so is soothing and self heal tastes green, bit like green tea.

Alice arrived with the water, smiling her usual wide smile. Rebecca liked self heal best.

Then we ventured out of the shade and into the baking heat again. We walked around the field again showing the reporter the plants growing in the wild. All the while Rebecca snapped away with her big, black, fancy camera. Photos of the sunshine, of me holding the creeping thistle tea by the creeping thistle, of the creamy meadowsweet flowers and the delicate yet prickly thistle flowers.

When we got back I read out the whole list of ingredients for the salad and together me and Alice told Rebecca a bit more about each plant, its medicinal properties, how to identify it, along other useful facts.  Rebecca scribbled it all down in her notebook, me glancing over at her trying to make sense of her shorthand.

Then, after a load more photos, we tucked in. The salad was like a rainbow of tastes, from hot and spicy nasturtiums to cooling, cucumber-y mullein flowers. The array of textures, mucilaginous to crunchy. With a drizzle of sweet, pre-prepared by Alice, blackberry vinegar, the salad was just what we all needed on a summer’s day.

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Overall, the interview went really well and I’m grateful to Alice for inviting me along to help out. Rebecca was friendly and keen to learn and I think she enjoyed herself. I can’t wait to read a certain article in the August issue of Viva Magazine.

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Deja Vu: How About You?

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What do you think about deja vu? For those who don’t know what deja vu is and/or are interested in the dictionary definition ( like me, although I’m pretty interested in the dictionary definition of everything. Yeah, I have read the whole dictionary! Yes, really! Anyone else who’s done that? Thought not ). Anyhow here it goes: The illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.  It’s french for ‘already seen’.

But, the big question is, is deja vu an illusion? Hang on, am I questioning the  dictionary? Yup, I am.

Personally I love Deja Vu, it makes me think. In fact, it usually sends volleys of thoughts flying round my brain, that I can’t seemed to harness or control and that I end up thinking about for hours. It’s also brilliant inspiration for stories, the mystery, the romance of it all. I’m a Deja Vu enthusiast.

But I know that’s not the case for some people. Whilst researching this marvellous thing ( Thing? Not quite sure what to file it as )  I read about people that live their lives in a constant maze of Deja Vu. Like they’re wandering round a labyrinth of some sort. Having Deja Vu of having Deja Vu and so on.

I want to know your views on this and your experiences.

 

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Places to go, things to see…….

This post is all about the places I’d like to visit in my lifetime. So here it goes:

Italy

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Absolutely amazing

Everything about Italy appeals to me, the food, the scenery, everything. But most of all I love the idea of the people. They are so family orientated, so friendly.

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A family eating together

I am teaching myself Italian so that I can go there when I’m a little older. I specifically want to visit San Patrignano, a drugs rehab centre in the Rimini Province.

It treats all of its guests like family and gives them all a purpose in life as San Pa is a working community. It has a bakery, dairy, carpentry workshop, kitchen and much more. If you are interested in San Patrignano and want to find out more than you can read my previous blog all about them at https://graciechicksblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/project-patrignano/

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America

Secondly, America, as this is where my pen pal, Acacia, lives. Our Mums are friends and we have always emailed or written to each other.

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Also, America has some pretty awesome wilderness that I would love to explore.

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Cool!

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Wild

Greece

The history of this country always fascinated and excited me, both the ancient and mythological.

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This would be incredible to see.

The weather and the food also look beautiful.

 

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Hey, where would you guys like to go? Where would your ideal location be?

Quotes

Seeing as I wrote a post about inspiration a few days ago. I thought I’d put on some inspirational quotes today. *smiles* I love quotes, to me they’re a sort of poetry. I think quotes are a brilliant way of using words.

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