Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Christmas food & Harry

It's strange isn't it how once Halloween is over and done with, the shops decided that its 'time for Christmas'. Our farm shop & garden centre customers have been transformed into Santa's Magical Wonderland, all twinkly lights, ho ho ho's & scrumptious looking hampers, overflowing with the epicurean delights that are Christmas.

I am one who feels Christmas is at Christmas not 6 weeks before, but, we have to prepare and make those festive flavours that plump out our order books at this time of the year. Yes, ice cream is an all year round delicacy, so this year we are making Christmas pudding, cranberry & redcurrant, marzipan and cointreau & orange flavoured ice cream. So far, the Christmas pud & the cranberry are the favourites with our customers. I have noticed that many of the food magazines are featuring Christmas pud ice cream in their festive menus. Good choice!

Returning my previous blog, Harry was amazed at all the responses, he doesn't feel as though he is any different to anyone else, such modesty. Someone asked how we had managed to get Harry motivated, how much push and shove had we given him. The truth is, in fact, we did very little, no not being cruel or neglectful, but explaining that a] this was the problem, b] this is how you can learn to cope and adapt to dyslexia & finally c] we can't make you do this but everything is in place ready for you to try. I know that computer games are slammed by so many 'experts' but we have found playing them in Harry's case, really jumped started his reading and comprehension, because he HAD to read & HAD to understand the on-screen instruction, oh and then there are the benefits to the hand eye co-ordination. He tried. He tried so hard, A's for effort, not so good for exams but you can't win all the time now can you? It's hard with exam results, your friends tell you how well their offspring are doing at school, 'little Freddy has got straight A's', it's normal, parents boast. You just have to let go, ignore little Freddy's results, and smile. Everything is a bonus, you know how much effort it takes to get a D grade, for Harry, he has been spared the pressure of getting good grades in readiness for university, he was able to enjoy his teens.

Well, there you are then, a quick little bit of extra concerning Harry, who has been busy making mango sorbet today. Just don't give up or let them give up, but what ever you do, don't take the fun out of learning by pushing, it's a bit like schooling a young horse, you don't want to present it to a fence beyond it's current ability and over face it, putting it off for ever.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

dyslexic child

Today, as usual l am sat in the dining room cum office, catching up on the accounts. As is always the case, l am daydreaming, my excuse for wasting time. I am emailing, chatting on skype, listening to the wireless. I have in front of me, on the floor 6 large piles of A4, bills paid, bills to pay, bank downloads, remittance advices, VAT print outs, it looks very organized. it should be all filed away in the colorful collection of folders shoved onto the shelves. They are not and l am just getting ready to hole punch.................

The internet is wonderful. I can sit here, listening to the wireless and the current item on the Jeremy Vine show on radio 2 is continuing the theme on the best childrens bedtime stories, the choice is down to the final 8 titles.

As a child, in fact even now, l am what you could call a 'book gobbler'. I read, l read obsessively. I have favourite authors and pre-order their new titles. I have books everywhere. On book shelves, next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the spare bedrooms, any flat surface you will find books. Paperbacks, hardbacks staked precariously in large, wobbly piles. Farmer suggests that it might be an idea to open a used book stall in the garage. I don't think so.

I am side tracked, l was going to mention my favourite childhood reads but, well never mind my brain is off on a different tangent. When Harry was born, l would read all about hungry caterpillars and fierce bad mice and wondering hedgehogs. As he got older would buy stories for him to read and enjoy. He preferred story tapes and would be able to recite all the Roald Dahl stories word perfect. By the time he reach 6, his reading was pretty bad, a real struggle, a chore more akin to pulling teeth than something of pleasure. Needless to say, l was concerned. A visit to the village school and discussion with teachers did not exactly allay my worries. To me, and as there is dyslexia in the family, Harry was showing the classic signs.

We moved school, Harry traveling up to Scarborough everyday and within his 1st week at the new school he had been booked for assessment with the Dyslexic Institute. Dyslexic, Harry was dyslexic, high IQ but disorganized, dancing words & letters chasing each other across the pages, the world seen as a multi-layered 3D adventure. For the duration of his school years, he attended the Dyslexic Institute. He learned to touch type, to organise his time, to learn how to manage his pictorial world in the flat real world.

Harry, is now 21. He runs the ice cream production side of the business. His spelling is still truly unique and he still sorts out problems using the 'picture in the head technique'. He has found a balance, he still hates reams of text, but just gets on with it; he plans out his day so he knows where he is and doesn't get lost. Pretty amazing really, well done Harry, your hard work has paid off!

The picture is totally unrelated to this blog, but it is of the beach.

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