Every week I’ll be popping by to share parenting challenges and wins, recipes, foraging ideas and more. I’ll let you know what my 4-year-old and I are up to – cool places we’ve been, books we’re reading and what our home education journey looks like says Melissa Corkhill.


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This week I’ve been mainly working – 5am starts and late nights to build our new website, alongside our home education days.

A big shout out to my partner for all the fort-holding, lego-building, meal-cooking, meltdown-managing that he’s done so that I could get our shiny new website finished!

Here are some of my highlights:


The city is in full festival swing – I love it! I picked up the Fringe programme a couple of days ago, and there’s about 20 events a day, or more, to choose from. Last week we joined the Home Educators in the annual kids’ parade – it was so much fun and pretty emotional (I had a cry before we'd even started!).

Each child decorated their own dream cloud (either sweet, or nightmare). One of the children who'd created a nightmare cloud had written 'school' in bold on the front. We had a giggle because we were sandwiched between every schoolkid in the entire city!

We also went to a free outdoor art installation called 100 Miles of String – I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the practice of wrapping string. If you’re in Brighton, and looking for something to do on a sunny day, go do it – it’s surprisingly meditative, and playful. Artists Leap Then Look need some help too - there's a lot more string required - they'd used 7 miles of string when we added our spools.

You can crawl right underneath the structure and the invitation is to 'weave, wind and criss-cross the installation, creating complex patterns and dense webs'. I love that we've woven bits of this collaborative project in the heart of our city - planning to go back and see how it's progressed tomorrow!

A photograph showing a large willow and tissue paper swan being walked through the streets of Brighton
One of the home-educators' big builds for the annual Brighton Children's Parade


I was so excited to receive a sunflower growing kit from Simon at strawbaleveg.co.uk a couple of weeks back. The little one and I got started straight away, tucking the seeds into the organic compost provided, and this week we’ve got plants ready to pot on. I think it’s the first time my daughter’s really engaged with the whole seed-to-plant experience and believe me, those plants are her ‘babies’. She's been carefully observing their growth and accessing what they each need.

The kit is brilliant – everything you need to grow 18 sunflowers and 6 beans, packed neatly into a cardboard box, with clear step-by-step instructions. Plus organic compost and reusable seed trays. There are 3 different varieties of sunflower (I'm intrigued to see what they'll look like when they flower - love the look of Ring of Fire). I thoroughly recommend the kit – it’s a really simple way to get started growing with little ones.


I’ve got a couple of bottles and Kilner jars full of rhubarb champagne brewing away, which I’ve been burping regularly so that we don’t end up with exploding bottles and sticky liquid everywhere. My eldest and I had a sample the other day and the fermentation still has a way to go - it's still very sweet, but has a lovely rhubarb flavour.

The nettles are great at the moment - I use them to pack a punch in my morning smoothie. I pick a bag of nettle tops (avoiding all the ones with chrysalises or caterpillar evidence!). Then I blanch them in off-the-boil water and lay them in a thin sheet in the freezer. When I come to use them, I can just break off a shard of nettle goodness.

Here's my smoothie recipe: 1 banana, handful of frozen greens (nettle tops or spinach leaves), 1.5 cup of oat milk or water, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon cacao powder, plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Blend all ingredients together and enjoy. I drink this every morning through the whole year. #creatureofhabit

Nettles are packed with vitamins A, C and K and loads of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium and research suggests they can help to control blood sugar and reduce inflammation too. And they taste deliciously earthy!


I'm so happy to have discovered the delicious Argan and Sea Buckthorn Face Oil from Blue Labelle. It won Bronze in our Natural Beauty Awards a while back and it’s an amazing product. So rich and nourishing, and smells absolutely gorgeous! It's recommended for those over 30 to keep skin in optimum condition. My skin is grateful for it - it certainly feels rejuvenated. A couple of drops work well under moisturiser for daytime use. Throughly recommend - it's a real treat!


I’ve just finished A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan, which I really enjoyed. It's written by a neurodiverse author and explores the challenges of social interaction and relating to others, in real depth. It's slow and considered, not a pacy page-turner. And I've just started The View From Down Here: Life as a Young Disabled Woman by Lucy Webster. It's a powerful, honest memoir about the struggles of a being a disabled woman, living at the intersection of sexism and ableism. I'm learning so much, and there's so much to think about.

My daughter and I are loving Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingren - these books are so uplifting and funny. We're enjoying reading about Pippi's unconventional life and superhuman strength. She's unpredictable and my daughter loves that she has NO rules! We've laughed a lot at the antics of Pippi and her pet monkey, Mr. Nilsson. And had lots of discussion about life with no-one telling you what to do!

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Can't wait to hang out with you!

Love from Melissa

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