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  • Kinloch Rannoch | Writing, life and other animals
    Blog Photography 1 Response Feb 08 2010 I haven t posted any photos for a while Just going through some of my shots of a trip to Scotland during all the snow in January and thought I d post a couple of them up here to share This is a willow tree outside our apartment looking out over Loch Rannoch real winter wonderland stuff and this is a shot of Schiehallion taken from the banks of Loch Rannoch early one morning It was the only day we saw the mountain for the rest of our trip it was shrouded with low cloud Technorati Tags Nikon D90 blog Loch Rannoch Scotland Schiehallion Kinloch Rannoch Posted by Calvin at 12 56 Tagged with Blog Kinloch Rannoch Loch Rannoch Nikon D90 Schiehallion Scotland Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read Calvin s writing on Ireland s leading Wildlife and Nature blog Ireland s Wildlife on Facebook Recent Posts Empire it s finally out there Ireland s Wildlife sails past 4 000 likes on Facebook Web content help limited time offer Web Content Review Here comes the rain again West Cork Summer

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/kinloch-rannoch/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Nikon D90 | Writing, life and other animals
    from the banks of Loch Rannoch early one morning It was the only day we saw the mountain for the rest of our trip it was shrouded with low cloud Technorati Tags Nikon D90 blog Loch Rannoch Scotland Schiehallion Kinloch Rannoch Posted by Calvin at 12 56 Tagged with Blog Kinloch Rannoch Loch Rannoch Nikon D90 Schiehallion Scotland Starling and Lacewing under rated wildlife Photo Blog Photography 1 Response Sep 24 2009 A couple of wildlife shots pulled out of the archive the first a lacewing was shot on my old old 3 2 Megapixel Nikon Coolpix 990 back in August 2003 amazing for Macro work and still going strong to this day The macro is something I miss on my Nikon D90 and a decent macro lens is on the wish list The next was taken the weekend I got the D90 on a shopping trip to Cheshire Oaks outlet village I was outside playing with my camera while my wife hit the shops There were some starlings picking at bits of food discarded by passing shoppers While they aren t everyone s favourite bird starlings have some amazingly iridescent plumage and the detail is amazing Posted by Calvin at 15 53 Tagged with Lacewing Nikon Coolpix 990 Nikon D90 Starling Male drivers wanted on Sherkin Photo Blog Whimsy 2 Responses Sep 08 2009 Spotted this sign attached to the gate at the dock on Sherkin Island recently Wonder what the equality ombudsman or whoever looks after that sort of malarkey would make of it Not so much a glass ceiling more a glass windscreen I suspect Posted by Calvin at 17 29 Tagged with Fun Nikon D90 Sherkin July in West Cork would you go out in it Photo Blog West Cork No Responses Jul 09 2009 View

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/nikon-d90/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Is missing school really such a big deal? | Writing, life and other animals
    quality time with the whole family is an all too scarce commodity in many households today especially where both parents are working hard just to pay the bills That alone would be worth missing a bit of school for surely but there s also the educational element of travel to consider Introducing children to different people cultures art history climate and environment is all a lot more vivid real and memorable than anything they ll experience in an Irish classroom As well as teaching them things first hand it also helps to reinforce what they ve learnt in school putting it into a real world context that s invaluable We ve been taking the girls off school as necessary always with the principal s consent I hasten to add since they started and their education hasn t suffered a jot In fact I d argue it s been enhanced immeasurably by their travel experiences Take our last trip to Morocco for example when they came back the principal asked the twins to do a short presentation on their experience of a Muslim culture to the rest of the class watching them put together their little project I was amazed at how much they d retained Experiencing something first hand is infinitely more educational and engaging than reading about it in a book or being told about it in a classroom In Ireland the National Educational Welfare Board NEWB is the Government quango responsible for tracking attendance School principals are obliged to report cases where children are absent for more than 20 days in one school year to the board but within that limit it seems a common sense approach is the order of the day Allowing parents and schools to come to an amicable arrangement about planned term time absence

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/09/18/is-missing-school-really-such-a-big-deal/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Absenteeism | Writing, life and other animals
    325 821 of them without the appropriate authorisation from schools Those are pretty big numbers but I don t necessarily buy the assertion that this is such a big problem Who these days can afford to take their family holiday during the school breaks when prices for flights ferries accommodation attractions and practically everything else are inflated to the max Not to mention the fact that if you travel in peak season i e the school holidays wherever you re heading is bound to be crammed with throngs of tourists Thanks but no thanks I can see how children bunking school without the school or their parents consent is a crucial issue that needs to be tackled head on and how missing a stint during the latter years of secondary school with exams looming might not be the best idea in the world But seriously if a child is out for a week here or there during primary or early secondary school what are they really going to miss Not a lot I d venture and think about how much they have to gain Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 14 23 Tagged with absenteeism Children evening echo school absence

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/absenteeism/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Summer holidays, already? | Writing, life and other animals
    the approach of the summer holidays is positive but as a parent the imminent prospect of the kids underfoot all day every day is something of a mixed blessing We re fortunate that we both work from home it means we can manage our work around the children without having to embark on that often soul destroying quest for quality affordable childcare A lot of people aren t so lucky and I know the holidays can be an absolute nightmare for families where both parents work in 9 5 jobs But working from home with the children around brings its own set of challenges chief among them maintaining and anything approaching acceptable level of productivity which can be difficult at the best of times when you re the only one motivating yourself Your work rate which when you re self employed is directly proportional to your income can dip sharply unless you keep a very close eye on things and there are well more distractions than usual Because you re around the children automatically think that you re available client phone calls and imminent deadlines notwithstanding Their world inevitably revolves around them they simply assume that yours does too Work stuff simply isn t on their radar And then of course there s the issue of the twins giddy energy and constant competition When they get into that twin zone they re beyond the reach of normal parenting and things escalate quickly with predictably explosive results So we ve decided that for the sake of our sanity and theirs we need to introduce some form of structured activity this year just to break things up a bit For the last few weeks the girls have been bringing home leaflets and pamphlets filled with details of the various summer camp activities

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/06/17/summer-holidays-already/ (2016-02-15)
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  • School Holidays | Writing, life and other animals
    at the calendar this morning her lips moving silently as her finger traced the days She shushed me when I asked what she was doing turned the page to the following month and kept on counting When she finally finished I asked her what she d been doing Seeing how many days there are till my birthday she said brimming with excitement about an event that was still more than a month away She was already making lists of who she wanted at her party what sort of food she wanted what games we d play even what she was going to wear That s when it hit me there was something coming a lot sooner than her birthday something big that had approached under the radar and was now almost upon us I grabbed the calendar and the letter full of dates from where it was pinned by a magnet to the side of the fridge Sure enough there it was in black and white the kids only have two weeks left in school before they break up for the summer holidays Two weeks and then they re home for more than two months Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 10 34 Tagged with school holidays summer camp parenting summer holiday The holiday s over Children Education Evening Echo Column Parenting Travel Writing 2 Responses Jul 23 2008 Published in the WOW supplement of the Evening Echo For the umpteenth time this trip I found myself wishing I d bought a GPS navigation system before leaving Cork No more wrong turns no more uncertainty no more doubt no more trying to decipher ineligible foreign road signs through rainy windscreens As it was we d taken the wrong turn onto the motorway from Tours and were heading for Paris instead of Le Mans This wouldn t have been quite so bad if we d realised our mistake straight away But Murphy s Law works just as well in France so we naturally realised our error just after passing the last convenient exit to reach the right road Forty minutes later another exit hove into view We were miles out but loath to retrace our steps on the motorway we set off cross country Here a GPS would have come in really handy rapidly calculating a new route to get us to our destination as quickly as possible But of course if we d had a GPS we never would have gone wrong in the first place Seven hours later an exhausted Jones party rolled into Cherbourg Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 14 05 Tagged with Amboise France GPS Hereford holiday Loire school holidays the Evening Echo Tours uncertain car travel School holidays again Children Education Evening Echo Column Parenting Time management Writing 2 Responses Mar 27 2008 Time is a curiously elastic commodity One minute it s flying by so quickly you don t even notice it s passing the next it draws out into what seems an eternity

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/school-holidays/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Summer Camp. Parenting | Writing, life and other animals
    month and kept on counting When she finally finished I asked her what she d been doing Seeing how many days there are till my birthday she said brimming with excitement about an event that was still more than a month away She was already making lists of who she wanted at her party what sort of food she wanted what games we d play even what she was going to wear That s when it hit me there was something coming a lot sooner than her birthday something big that had approached under the radar and was now almost upon us I grabbed the calendar and the letter full of dates from where it was pinned by a magnet to the side of the fridge Sure enough there it was in black and white the kids only have two weeks left in school before they break up for the summer holidays Two weeks and then they re home for more than two months Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 10 34 Tagged with school holidays summer camp parenting summer holiday Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/summer-camp-parenting/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Surprised by the Costa Del Sol | Writing, life and other animals
    seats on the ferry they ve all settled down nicely and are reading their books or playing with their Nintendos Ahead of us lies Morocco and a completely new adventure but for the last week we ve been exploring the Costa del Sol and I have to say that after a first impression that lived up to all of my low expectations of the region I ve been very pleasantly surprised The worst thing about the Costa del Sol is the relentless sprawl of development that span the coast Hotels villas urbanisations glorified enclosed housing estates bars restaurants and associated commercial services pack every available piece of land between the small coastal resort towns We picked up our hire car at Malaga airport and didn t see a piece of open ground for the hour or so it took us to drive down the coast to our accommodation It seemed pretty grim We were staying in a resort between the exclusive harbour town of Puerto Banús with it s multi million Euro yachts and pleasure cruisers and the much more down to earth town of Estapona The resort was great the only downside was that it was between towns which meant we had to drive everywhere The driving though got easier as the week went on and the more we saw of the Costa del Sol stunning mountain villages like Caseras people watching in Puerto Banus strolling along the sea front in Marbella the more we began to like it Although there are countless examples of the overzealous and unregulated development that assailed this section of Spain s coastline in the 70s and 80 s there s also a lot of regeneration going on and a feeling that there s a real effort to improve things The climate of course is the biggest draw when you live in Ireland While chilly in the shade when the sun was shining as it invariably was it was warm enough to swim outside at the beginning of April While it s not a patch on West Cork for beaches and scenery the climate here in Spring borders on the ideal neither too hot nor too cold It s perfect for the children and the fact that there are other children around for them to play with helps to give Mum and Dad a bit of a break too By the end of the week we concluded that the Costa del Sol was somewhere we d all like to return to and that perhaps was the biggest surprise of all Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 22 47 Tagged with Evening Echo Column holidays kids 2 Responses to Surprised by the Costa Del Sol Dave says 12 June 2009 at 23 16 The Costa del Sol really is a beautiful place it s true

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/06/04/surprised-by-the-costa-del-sol/ (2016-02-15)
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