Posts by Twister

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Jan Fennell is a very outdated dog trainer and isn't highly rated anymore in the dog training world. Her methods are all based on dominance/pack leader theory, the idea that dogs will behave as long as they see you as a dominant pack leader. This is a flawed theory which has long been disproven - modern studies have shown that dogs don't form wolf-like packs and are not striving for dominance. Her "Amichien bonding" technique advocates using things such as always eating before your dog does, right from puppyhood, as apparently this is what happens in the wolf pack and shows you to be the leader - it's not, though, in any pack the pups always eat first as they are the next generation and are the priority. Such techniques are pointless.

    She doesn't have much concept of how dog behaviour actually works. Her methods involve the use of VERY harsh techniques which involve sudden and protracted periods of ignoring and shunning the dog (which creates confusion and depression) and insisting the dog 'earns' practically everything it wants. It can seem to work, generally where the dog previously had no rules or boundaries and now there are very rigid rules and boundaries. Unfortunately this can come at the price of the dog being depressed and shut down. For some people, a very flat, depressed, shut down dog can appear to be an improvement over a bouncy mannerless nutter!

    Please also avoid Cesar Millan type techniques. He is an awful dog 'behaviourist' for a variety of reasons. And avoid squirting her with water or citronella squirt collars - these often offer short term quick fixes but can do long term psychological damage.

    Unfortunately, as with most things, there is no quick fix - clicker training is probably your best option. Maybe look at the 300 peck method, many dogs are successfully taught loose lead walking using this method.

    Out of those, for me, horsebox all the way (if you can find a good one, like you said). Horseboxes don't attract the same attention as other vehicles - keep the 'horses' sign on the front and scatter a bit of straw around when you park up, and you'll be left alone. Most of them are low mileage and not been thrashed cos people only use them a few times a year for horse shows, most of em already have walk/cut through to cab, and the luton area is really useful.

    I wouldn't get a bus/coach, personally. As nice as they are, it's not like it was in the 90's where you could pull up on a site and have plenty of room to park it and a group of mates to look after each other, nowadays you're limited to laybys, grass verges or industrial estates, and for me buses are too big and too conspicuous when travelling alone, i'd be worried you'd attract too much of the wrong sort of attention. And especially if you need to stay around the same area, you'll probably already be limited on parkups without losing some because people don't want a traveller there.

    Stealth is the way to go.

    well I feel very sorry for her
    it is obvious that she was not coping as well as being an alcoholic I would guess she had some serious mental health problems. She was also the victim of domestic violence and ended up being a single parent of 8 children. She had a deep distrust of Social Services (thats not unusual)
    Yes what she did (or didnt do) was terrible and deserves punishment but what she also needs is is extensive help with her mental health

    This, absolutely.

    Not read all the replies on this thread yet, so am talking generally, not replying to anyone specifically here.

    I think it's a misconception to say home ed children (or just children who move around a lot) would miss out on anything, whether it be socialising, sports, higher level education, etc. Most areas have thriving home ed groups where kids can meet up with the same group of friends several times a week, whether just for fun activities like bowling or for things like museum trips, and being home ed doesn't exclude you from any of the things school-going children do to socialise, ie playing with local children, neighbours, swimming/dance/horse riding clubs, youth clubs, relatives, family friends, etc.

    Although a lot of H.E children might learn autonomously (where the child decides what they'd like to learn about and when, and the parent just helps facilitate that, rather than following a set curriculum or doing specific lessons each day), there's no reason they can't study for exams and grades if they want to - home ed children are able to take GCSE's just as any other children are. In some ways I think H.E children are more likely to do well in exams, because it's their choice to take them and they can take the ones they're really passionate about (as opposed to school where it's compulsary to take certain subjects, and you can't always do all of your desired subjects because of clashing lesson times) so they're more motivated to study.

    Personally, I had a horrible time at school, the bullying was horrible, the teaching didn't motivate me so I didn't try very hard or enjoy it very much, but i'm not against school, I think there's some, probably lots of children who thrive on it, do enjoy it and get a lot out of being taught in a structured environment. I think there's a lot who don't though, and I know i'm not the only one who feels their life is still affected now by bad experiences at school. I also think school sometimes teaches you an awful lot of things you don't need to know, and nothing about the things you do - I know children leaving school who could recite paragraphs from textbooks but didn't know how to boil an egg! I think there's a lot of misconceptions around home ed (that they won't get to socialise enough, that they can't take exams, that they won't be able to study to a comprehensive enough level to achieve top grades, even that home ed is illegal, none of which are true) that it puts a lot of parents/children off looking into it further, which is a shame, because it can be really beneficial for a lot of children and a wonderful experience for parents.

    In one of the books I own, Travelling Daze, there's a chapter by a girl called Ferdia who was brought up as a New Age Traveller. She spent her childhood being a mixture of home educated and spending short amounts of time in various schools, before settling down in a house and eventually going to school full time. In the book, it's clear that she found that the lifestyle and her experiences growing up played a positive role in her education, rather than having any negative effect. One section reads:

    'Alongside discovering rock climbing at school, I was also throwing myself into anything and everything that came along, from hockey to theatre, from Army cadets to European exchanges, from athletics to volunteering. I was a hugely enthusiastic student too, until I got fed up of 'jumping through hoops' to pass exams, and doing extra curricular stuff just because 'it looked good on your cv'. These seemed soulless reasons to do anything. Yet I continued to perform at the top of my year academically, and by the time I left I was placed 3rd in Wales for long jump, had been vice captain of the hockey team, leader of the army cadet force, head girl, and travelled all over the world. Going to Edinburgh University to do Human Geography after a year out, including visiting the beautiful area around Orgiva in Southern Spain, my A-level results meant I was able to jump straight into the second year of my degree. I graduated last year with First Class honours and am now doing a one year postgrad course at Glasgow funded by my developmental scholarship.

    The reason I've put together this nauseating list is not to salve my ego, but to make the point that I think that my achievements (in all their forms) are not despite coming from a Traveller background, but absolutely because of it. A few years ago, Fiona and her colleague Ross from the Traveller's School Charity, with artist Loll, put together the Tess the Traveller book series, which was supported by the Travellers Aid Trust, and which explores the lives of a single Mum and her son who live in a vehicle. Here's what the Daily Mail had to say about that:

    'Critics accuse the Tess stories of romanticising the Traveller lifestyle and encouraging children to follow it instead of achieving in education'

    Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe said:

    "If we're really committed to family life in this country we need to show children the values of family. If we want to promote stability then we need to have books that show characters living with two parents in a conventional home. Otherwise children will grow up believing that a Traveller's life is something beneficial."

    Regardless of the ridiculous assumptions about the immorality of single parenthood, this prime example of UK media coverage makes me laugh because if there ever was a demonstration that being a Traveller and exceeding in the traditional education system are not two different things, I am probably one of them. I also find this article revealing because of the questions it raises about education. We all know what it means by education, it means formal learning in school and university, it means reading and 'rithmetic, it means curriculums and conventional career prospects. But for whom is it to say what knowledge is valuable, how it should be passed on and used, where it should be passed on, when and by whom?'

    I can't see anything wrong with that, but run it by the Learning Under The Trees fb group if you're unsure, they have some super knowledgable people there who can help you draft letters and stuff :) Can't remember if I already sent you link to it, fb me if you need it :)

    Tonight's update from Stop The Cull:

    "roadwater, carhampton x 2, vellow, wheddon cross, dunster All shooting. Loads of police out, NFU security with dogs in toyota hi-lux. All really kicking off all over the zone, sabs and badger patrols & "somerset against the badger cull" All doing what they do.
    Early reports are the shooting has been stopped at all these sites. Together we can stop the cull, Please do try to get into the cull zone and help to stop the cull, its only numbers on the ground now that can stop it.."

    Also, it has been clarified that the new Camp Badger site has landowner permission :) It is child and dog friendly, and it's free, there is no running water or facilities (though you are able to get phones charged) but is a safe site full of lovely people :) Cars, tents and vans welcome, but buses won't fit through the site gate. Location is to be kept secret (obviously it's in Somerset) but you can message me for details or see the pinned post on the Stop The Cull facebook page. Anyone planning to visit Camp Badger, whether just for a few hours or a few days, they could really use bottled water, tent pegs, tent poles, torches, hi viz, whistles, wind up radios, old/spare tents, old/spare sleeping bags and anything else you'd like to donate, but more than anything they'd just appreciate your company and support. :)

    As for Gloucestershire, although shooting doesn't appear to have started yet, Badger Patrols are already up and running and could use more people - all peaceful and completely legal, lovely bunch of people, search Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting on facebook for more info :)

    The previous Camp Badger site in Somerset was evicted but a new one has just been set up, it is free and is child/dog friendly. Phone 01386 761455 for details. Alternatively, if you aren't comfortable with wild camping, there are plenty of authorised camping sites in both the Somerset and Gloucestershire cull areas, obviously these cost money though :)

    Got Seb via word of mouth on Tribal Living.

    There are already quite a few Facebook groups specifically for buying and selling hippy/traveller live-in vehicles, which are quite busy with a decent amount of members. Dave has a for sale section on his Traveller Homes website and Tribal Living have a live-ins for sale section.

    [h=5]Data from the randomised badger culling trials in the late 1990's found that 16% of slaughtered badgers were infected. 84% of badgers culled were healthy animals. Assuming those figures are still relatively accurate (and scientists reckon they are), out of the 5000 badgers they plan to cull in the two pilot zones - Somerset and Gloucestershire, approx 4200 will be healthy ones.

    Still think the cull makes sense?

    Sign the petition:

    Join the badger patrols:…/1395933220624541?fref=ts


    Never lived in one, but I wouldn'tve thought the reaction you'd get would be that much different than other living vehicles.

    My partner was horsedrawn for a bit and said the reaction he got then was better than when he had lived in vehicles, think because people liked to stop and pat the horse, but nowadays, horsedrawn travellers seem to get as much hassle as any other travellers, so I wouldn'tve thought having a bowtop instead of a truck/caravan (especially one towed by a vehicle not a horse) would make much odds.

    Practically, they're a bit of a liability if 'wild camping' because you have to get out of the bowtop to get into the vehicle, so if you got hassled by anyone you couldn't make a quick getaway. They're very pretty but probably not that practical unless only using for festies and paying campsites.

    Try the New Age Travellers group and Bus Love group on Facebook - have seen caravans go for free on there before, one just a few weeks ago :)

    Are you planning to register him as nomadic as in he'll go to school for part of the year, or nomadic as in he won't go to school at all anymore and you'll home ed him? Don't know much about the former, but the latter, permanent home edding, is very easy in terms of legality, there's very little you need to do in terms of keeping in touch with a local authority and you can 'school' in whichever way suits your child and lifestyle, not having to follow a particular curriculum or anything ...

    Will message you on FB with a link to a FB group which can probably advise you :)

    I think it's true. I don't *dislike* children but i'm not the most natural at talking to/playing with little kids, is different with Rosie though. A couple of my friends are really awkward around other people's children and/or find them irritating, yet have children of their own. It's definitely different with your own child. That's not to say you don't still find them irritating sometimes, but it's a different feeling with your own child than with someone elses, a roll-your-eyes-but-in-an-affectionate-way kinda feeling :P

    Rosie was brave at the doctors today :) I didn't know they'd give her a certificate, her first one ever (apart from her birth one, haha!)! The nurse was really impressed with her speech, says she's ahead for her age, and even more impressed when we said she doesn't go to nursery. Said her grammar and understanding of I/you/me/he/she is 'exceptional' for her age. I am a proud Mama :)

    Be glad she's not in power anymore, certainly. Be glad that she's gone and can't do any more damage, even.

    What's disgusted me are the people saying they'd dance on her grave, or even that her body should be strung up and publicly flogged. That's sick, that's just disgusting. I hate the things she did when she was prime minister as much as the next person, but to say you'd like to flog the body or dance on the grave of some senile, elderly lady is just disgusting :S