Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Last Children In The Lounge-Room

True confessions: I'm a bit of a mole. Not moll - I almost always put on undies before getting out of a stretch Hummer and I wouldn't text Warnie with a ten-foot pole made of hand sanitizer. But I am an inside lass. A house mouse.

This week we set up a mud pie kitchen, inspired by some of these amazing set-ups.

I was also fascinated last year by Richard Louv and his book The Last Child In The Woods (you can read more and listen to a podcast here.) He talks about modern kids being affected by what he calls Nature Deficit Disorder. We're surrounded by bush and beach so we've got no excuse, like your groovy urban kidlets, but still, we're too often inside, cooking and pottering.

Keith is a lizard, always in search of the sun on his face, so when he gets off work he is always taking the kids off to the beach to explore, and they love it. But within sight of the house, one or both of my little house mice will play for a while and then squirrel back into the house to their books and puzzles.

There are many charms to the inside life, of course. Right now Ivy and Keith are reading together this lovely 1912 copy of Peter Pan. (Ivy is especially gripped by the thrilling gory tales of hand-chopping and crocodiles.)

But I do think we should get out more.


  1. i'm a homely homebody and proud of it. thanks for the inspiration, we're having mud muffins for dinner.

  2. I'm very much the same, unless I've got a good warm day, a shady patch, and a book, I'm more likely to be inside. Unfortunately, the kids follow my lead (and follow me everywhere).

  3. its so interesting....i wonder if its modelling. matilda is the opposite. she is outside the second she sees sun...and im very like that too. she is wlays watering plants, playing with water, scootering, playing tennis, bike riding and generally going. she loves her books too....but a pile outside on a picnic blanket it her idea of heaven. we have to try to stay in more:)) lisa

  4. Hi Rachel,

    I love your blog! I just wrote an email to send you but realise I have no address, so I hope it's okay to write it here....

    I have had your guest blog at ecomilf bookmarked for ages, and now that I have won a breadmaker on ebay I am ready to get baking!

    I would love to bake your EveryDay bread, but as a complete novice I have a question, when you have a moment could you email me? nataland(AT)

    The breadmaker comes with limited and old instructions, from what I can gather it is important to put liquid in first, and then dry and then yeast. However it looks like you need to put the water in at a certain temperature.

    My question is:
    Should I follow your recipe, but make the water hot, and put that and the oil in, then all the dry stuff (do I premix this, or just put it in in the order it is listed?).

    Your advice greatly appreciated!

  5. I have a copy of Peter Pan of about that vintage (mine is green though) that was my grandmother's. It is on Chet's bookshelf waiting for the right time. Glad to see Ivy loving it.

  6. For me, spending time outside is a bit like dry-cleaning. I don't do it as often as it needs to be done, and once I do it, I wonder why I put it off for so long in the first place.

    BTW, I suspect Ivy is getting more gorgeous. Please halt this before my head explodes.

  7. Sorry Nat, will email today with bread stuff!


Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.