3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London

3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London

When experienced in the right way, the capital of England is one of the vast and profound classrooms. A British study visit to London is the most exciting way for teachers to bring a vast art, history, and cultural pottery to life for students, and the opportunity to stimulate young hearts and minds outside the classroom is fun and privilege. 3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London
Learn English Travel to London

However, by its nature, planning an educational visit to London can be a challenge in itself, with the temptation to see as much as possible in a limited time potentially overshadowing the quality of the experience. Signing up a special tour operator to create a travel plan based on the chosen theme is the best way to ensure a focused schedule.

Here are three suggested themes for those planning a visit to the capital on a UK study tour.

Investigating Politics & History at the Parliament Building

The journey to the seat of the state government has the capacity to actualize British political history and intrigues in a brilliant context. Exploring the Houses of Parliament can inspire students in various aspects of the governance process, from the passionate debate, to the thorough responsibility of British citizenship.

Students can explore buildings, meet local lawmakers, visit observation galleries to see Lords or lawmakers in debates, and participate in workshops related to law-making, campaigning, rapid debate and voting. In addition, the area around the House of Parliament is home to a number of other important historical sites, including Westminster Abbey, Jewel Tower and Parliament Square.

Explore the Science & Nature at the Natural History Museum

The Museum of Natural History can be somewhat less prominent than the cultural giants of the British Museum and the National Gallery. Its simpler size does not at all diminish its educational value and provide multi-faceted goals for students of all ages. 3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London

The building where the Natural History Museum is located is one of the best neo-gothic architecture examples in the city, and its majestic entrance façade is the realization of Alfred Waterhouse’s vision of creating a ‘cathedral to nature’. An impressive exhibition in the form of an expansive collection relating to nature, provides much inspiration for discussions with and among students.

The nearby South Kensington museum area is also home to some great educational sites, including the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial.

Soak in Literature & Drama at the Shakespeare Globe Theater

There is no better way to bring dusty works from Bard into a sharp contemporary context for younger groups rather than through visits to the iconic Globe Theater. A visit to the theater gives young people a deeper appreciation of the timeless text of Shakespeare and lets them see Elizabeth’s theater experience in a new light. Through workshops on site, students can explore aspects of the playmaker’s theme, and learn what goes on behind the scenes to start a theater performance. 3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London

The surrounding area also provides an opportunity to visit the original Globe sites and archaeological sites unearthed from the city’s first Tudor theater, the Rose Playhouse.

Basing a UK school tour on a themed trip can provide an excellent foundation in many subjects for young people in an easily digestible, educated and entertaining way.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in English study tours for school and youth groups, as well as travel to destinations in Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. 3 Main Themes for Learning English Tour to London

Packing Tips for Travel Worldwide

Packing Tips for Travel Worldwide

You are leaving weeks of exciting and round-world adventure and no doubt everything you’ve done over the last few months has continued to this day. You’ve updated your passport, purchased your flight tickets, booked accommodation in different cities, bought annual travel insurance and you’re now ready to start packing for this long-awaited adventure!
Not sure where to start? We’ve covered some practical tips when you start packing for your trip.

Packing Tips for Travel Worldwide

Luggage or backpack

While the debate continues over whether a suitcase or rucksack is best on a round-the-world trip, we believe hybrids are ideal. You want a double-wheeled bag as a backpack for mobility and maximum comfort. You never know when you have to run to catch a train or bus that goes to the next destination, and have a bag that you can steer or ride comfortably will make it much easier. In addition, choosing a cloth bag because of the difficult problem favored because it allows your goods into the storage more easily.

Less is more Packing Tips for Travel Worldwide

When you have to decide what to take with you, there are items that are not appropriate for negotiations, such as passports, money, credit cards, and annual travel insurance information, as well as special items such as prescription eyeglasses. But when it comes to packing clothes, shoes, toiletries and equipment, remember less always more, and more stuff can be bought on the road if needed.

In fact, packing for any climate and situation you might face on your journey is almost impossible! We recommend three out of each clothing category: three pairs of pants, three shirts, three pairs of socks, three pairs of shoes – you get the idea. Remember that you will be able to wash your clothes on the go – a good bonus for packing light.

Try choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched and made from a cloth that dries quickly. If you have items that can serve a dual purpose, such as women’s sarongs that can be used as beach towels, skirts, shirts and scarves, the better! If you are not sure about the item, choose not to pick it up. Wear minimal toiletries, as these items will weigh you and can be purchased overseas, as per your requirements.

Get Packing

Save space in your bag by rolling clothes instead of folding and stacking. Pack socks and underwear shoes and the contents of every possible cavity. Wear large items on the plane, such as hiking boots or winter jackets, to save space in your luggage. Place all essential items, such as passports, money, annual travel insurance information and electronic goods in a safe and accessible place close to you. As an additional security measure, take a photo of your document and take a photocopy in a different place than the original.

Getting your stuff together for a trip around the world does not have to be a chore! Light and smart packing will go a long way in ensuring you have everything you need to make this trip an experience of a lifetime.

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning specialist team in a single global travel and annual travel insurance policy. In addition to offering attractive offers for travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holiday.

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

It’s never fun to contemplate something might be wrong while traveling. Most of us are swept up in excitement, or distracted by all the details of the planning involved, so we barely think about ‘what if’ second thought. However, with so many factors and variables involved in the ‘going on holiday’ experience it is imperative that the majority of them run smoothly. Unfortunately, the law of probability may be against you, so it is best to fight comprehensive travel insurance.
Worst case scenario

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

So, let’s intermittently enjoy all the annoying little sounds in your head and ponder all the things that might go wrong. The basics come to mind first; What if my flight is canceled or delayed? Starting the journey on this false footing could start a worse domino effect. Flights, though most airline aviation efforts, are still a rather unreliable form of transportation. They are subject to Mother Nature’s will and human ability to accurately adhere to tight schedules, both of which lack a track record that is usually strong or steady. It is best to think of comprehensive travel insurance as a convincing grandmother’s voice, offering wise advice and telling you not to worry, go and have fun. At the most basic, travel insurance will cover the cost of flight delays, cancellations and public transportation associated with shenanigans that you may encounter.

Other common problems most people have about travel include issues with accommodation, baggage loss, and / or injury or illness. Depending on your purpose, some of these issues are more justified than others. Before traveling abroad, you should read carefully the FCO’s website for any travel and health-related travel advice, including recommended travel inoculations. Again, comprehensive travel insurance is your safety net if you are sick or injured while abroad. Costs that are potentially spent overseas from travel to A & E vary greatly from country to country. Regardless, the last thing you want to worry about right now is the astronomy hospital bill to take home as a souvenir.

More Means Less How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

The more ‘comprehensive’ your travel insurance is, the less you have to worry about. Even the most talented carrels are unlikely to fret about any possible problems or disasters that can happen while traveling. Most of us can not anticipate randomly harbors of coconut bumps, or snow shorts while on a ski trip, which is a true insurance claim that has been covered in the past. A comprehensive travel insurance job is taking both the headaches and the concerns of the traveling process.

Positive thinking!

Ultimately, the best form of comprehensive travel insurance you can buy is the kind you do not use, and then wondering ‘is it really worth the money’? The answer is ‘yes’, it’s really worth the money, and it’s always better not to tease the fate. Destiny likes a good challenge and seldom fails to deliver it. So ask for your grandma’s wise advice and get the most travel insurance you can. Then you can really go and have fun and not worry about anything!

Author Plate

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning specialist team in annual, family, single travel and all other types of comprehensive travel insurance. In addition to offering attractive offers for travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holiday.

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica is getting better and better. Long gone are the days when taxi service on the island was just a means of getting from point A to point B. With the advent of the internet guests now have the convenient option to research and pre-book. In this new and competitive era, operators now have to step up their game to meet the demands of the Airport Taxi market.
Montego Bay, the prided city, is the gateway to Jamaica and boasts an international airport as well as a cruise port. As such, Private Taxi Taxi Service in Jamaica is crucial, as visitors need to move around quite often. In securing Airport Taxi Service, there are various options to consider that can be made prior to arriving in Jamaica.

 

As an add-on, some airline tickets do offer ground transportation which takes guests to their final destination. Further, some hotels do provide shared shuttle service as another option for transportation. Upon arrival in Jamaica, there is a taxi stand at the airport in Montego Bay where one could just walk up to the desk and get a cab immediately. Usually, this option is more expensive; as you know anything to do with airport comes at a higher price.

The best and most convenient option for securing a taxi in Montego Bay is to pre-book online. There is a myriad of options online all waiting to provide you with the best service ever. For the most part, the vehicles used are modern and fully air-conditioned and kept in an immaculate condition. These vehicles range from sedans to mini -vans which are capable of fitting up to 10 persons comfortably. As a commitment to the safety of your children, some taxi service on the island even offer complimentary child seats.

Though categorized as an island, Jamaica is a little bigger than most first time visitors think. It measures 4,411 square miles and has a population of almost 3 million people. This also means that some final destinations may be a bit farther than expected; up to three hours at most; so a comfortable ride with an amiable driver will be welcomed perk to your road trip experience.

Additionally, Tours and Excursions can also be booked on line and enjoyed as a private exploration of the island. For sure, a private tour is a better option than shared and it may not even cost more. You become the master of your vacation experience for an affordable cost. This option also gives the opportunity to save time so you can do more during what is already too short a stay in Paradise. Vacation time is precious, no need to wait on a big bus to be filled. Private taxi service in Jamaica is a better option.

Family Fun in the Sun: A Guide to Les Arcs

Family Fun in the Sun: A Guide to Les Arcs

Looking to escape to the mountains with your young ones for that magical, glowing combination of sun and snow? Les Arcs is one of the best skiing resorts I know for families, with accessible slopes for youngsters and intermediate skiers, a great range of activities, and affordable prices. Here’s why it makes an ideal spot for a winter holiday destination the whole family can enjoy.
Beginner-Friendly Slopes

 

Les Arcs is home to over 200km of pistes, many of which are perfectly suited for beginner or intermediate skiers, comprising gentle, smooth runs lined with trees that all lie within easy reach of the main accommodation villages. The best blue runs for new skiers are at Peisey-Vallandry, served by their own drag-lifts, at Arc 1800, which is near the fantastic Mille8 complex, and Arc 1600, which is served by the Combettes lift. There are also good runs for novices at Arc 1950 and 2000, while slightly more seasoned skiers should make for the Apocalypse snow park, which has plenty of pistes for those of an intermediate level.

Winter Activities

What’s great about Les Arcs is that it’s not just a skiing resort, but an all-round winter holiday haven with a vast array of activities for the whole family:

• Snowmobiling at the Arc Aventures forest park is a fantastic way of exploring more of the mountains for families with children aged over 10. All you need is a driving licence and you’re free to roam.

• At Rodeo Park, meanwhile, you can take part in a Luge Run and ride down the toboggan piste by night, for an added icy thrill! If you have a ski pass it’s free, and open to children aged over 10.

• If the weather doesn’t play ball, then play the Laser Game instead. Housed in two large ultra-flourescent rooms in Arc 1800, and open long into the evenings, this is guaranteed to entertain the whole family and exercise your competitive spirits.

• Over at Arc 2000 in the Place de la Patinoire, meanwhile, there is a large natural ice rink, with plenty of space for mastering the skating basics – simply hire some skates and let yourselves loose.

Mille8 Centre

This is the real jewel in the crown at Les Arcs for families – a gigantic centre containing both an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, fitness room and gym, spa with steam rooms and saunas, and much more besides. After all that work on the slopes, what perfect way to unwind than with a massage jet and bubble bed? If the children still have energy to spare, there are waterfalls to explore and a river splash and games area that will be sure to tire them out!

Getting the Best Out Of Your Trip

Taking the whole family on a skiing break is a great way to get active and enjoy lots of different things together, but it’s always safe to prepare for any small bumps and bruises you may encounter along the way. Taking out a comprehensive winter sports insurance will give you all the cover you need, and keeping you protected in the case of any eventuality. Make sure to choose a full winter sports insurance, as these policies take into account all the many different activities you’ll want to take part in out on the slopes. To find out more about which winter sports insurance is best suited for your family, get in touch with InsureMore, and we’ll help you prepare for your perfect snow-filled, action-packed holiday in the mountains.

3 Rugged Travel Cameras for Adventure Lovers

3 Rugged Travel Cameras for Adventure Lovers

Whether you love hanging out underwater or exploring the Amazonian jungle, in this day and age, we all want to record our experiences for posterity. Unfortunately, even the fanciest smartphone just doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the desert, or survive a dive into the depths of the ocean.
Why should you compromise on quality images, portability, or special features? Good news: you don’t have to! There are loads of brilliant travel cameras on the market specifically designed to survive challenging environments – as well as connect to WiFi, record stunning 4K videos and more.

 

Of course, not all travel cameras are created equal! Here are three of the best that will perfectly capture the moment allowing you to share your adventures with friends and family and create hundreds of jealousy-inducing social media posts!

TRAVELLER’S TIP: Just as essential as the gear is the gadget travel insurance to protect it. Check out Let’s Go Insure’s independent and super cheap gadget travel insurance to bag the best deal.

GoPro HERO5

The GoPro HERO5 is a seriously practical camera – the perfect all-rounder. Easy to slip into a pocket, the gadget is portable and light so it won’t slow you down. Though it has a one-touch record facility (super useful by the way!),an additional feature is voice command. With just a word you can begin filming instantaneously and you won’t miss a thing. This is also handy if the camera is mounted in a less accessible place, such as at the front of a helmet or the handlebars of a mountain bike! The rugged little camera is happy at depths of up to 33ft and records video in a sharp 4K.

Nikon COOLPIX W300

The Nikon COOLPIX W300 is particularly handy for those who love diving beneath the waves and want to capture what they see down there. It is waterproof to an impressive 100ft and its sleek design means it won’t hold you back during dives. The COOLPIX has a great vibration reduction feature allowing you to capture smoother video and sharper photographs. If you do fancy filming any marine wildlife, you won’t be disappointed by the footage as the camera shoots in 4K and Full HD. The COOLPIX W300 is a hardy gadget and is shock proof from over 2 metres.

Olympus Tough TG-5

This travel camera should appeal to the photography enthusiasts out there as there are a whole range of accessories and add-ons available. From cases to extra lenses, you can build your perfect camera and travel with a range of gear to suit the challenges of different environments. From lenses that increase the zoom up to 7 times to an F2.0 aperture lens for shooting on the go, this action gadget is a one-stop-shop for all your needs.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S TIP: Make sure to make the most of the Olympus Tough TG-5’s microscopic modes. These modes enable you to get up close and personal with nature and capture unique images in breath-taking detail.

With these inspiring travel cameras your holiday snaps will never again be dull – it’s time to get creative! And with Let’s Go Insure’s gadget travel insurance you’ll pay the minimum price for optimal cover of your precious purchase. Bon voyage!

Get Clued Up on What Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria

Get Clued Up on What Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria

Each EU country has reciprocal health agreements with the UK, and as long as you travel with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you are eligible for reduced or even reduced health care. Bulgaria is no exception. Visitors with valid EHIC can access health services in the same way as Bulgarians do. Despite the real simplicity of the system, however, each country has slightly different rules and regulations, and it should be noted before they visit.
While EHIC is a useful part of the documentation, it does not cover everything. To complete your EHIC, investment in an adequate single trip or annual travel insurance is highly recommended. For regular travelers, annual travel insurance is a cost effective way to stay comprehensively.

Get Clued Up on What Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria

What is Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria?

Like most European countries receiving EHIC, personal care for medical care is not covered. If you have one trip or an annual travel insurance policy, you need to check the details to see if personal care is covered. To receive EHIC benefits you should see a physician contracted to the Bulgari National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). NHIF has a useful website with some information in English about their health system, so you can get directions before you travel.

Doctor

Most doctors in Bulgaria are covered by NHIF but should check first. Every time you see a doctor, you are asked to pay a small contribution, which you can not claim back with your EHIC. The doctor takes the medicine through a receipt or prescription form, which you then take to the pharmacy. With drugs for non-chronic diseases you get a receipt form, which entitles you to free treatment or reduced medical expenses, provided that the pharmacy is registered with NHIF. Prescriptions are given for the treatment of chronic illness and this must be paid in full. The recipe fee is non-refundable, unless you have one trip or annual travel insurance.

What about the dentist?

If you need to see a dentist while in Bulgaria, you should visit one that is contracted to NHIF. Otherwise, you are responsible for paying full maintenance and are not eligible for a refund with a valid EHIC. Different insurance policies have different rules regarding dentists, so check your annual travel insurance to see what you can claim back.

And the hospital?

When you travel, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility of having to be hospitalized. However, accidents do happen and it is best to know the procedure, just in case. Inpatient care is general and private in Bulgaria, but if you only have your EHIC, you should make sure you visit the NHIF contract hospital. You will then undergo your treatment and will have two more checks after your hospital stay.

Remember… Get Clued Up on What Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria

Wherever you travel into the EU, regardless of the benefits you can exchange with your EHIC, it’s always best to protect yourself and get the best single trip or travel insurance.

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning specialist team in a single global travel and annual travel insurance policy. In addition to offering attractive offers for travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holiday. Get Clued Up on What Covered by EHIC in Bulgaria

Falmouth Cruise Excursions

Falmouth Cruise Excursions

Whenever you enter the parish of Trelawny in Jamaica, you should know that you have been exposed to one of Jamaica’s greatest treasures. The parish boasts a capital with an interesting history; it is a small town with an opulent history. Situated on the northern coast of Jamaica, Trelawny is the fifth biggest parish of the fourteen on the island; covering a total of 333 square miles.
The parish has part of its recorded origin in the colonial past; it came into being in 1771 after a long and arduous struggle by the plantation owners for about 38 years. What is now known as Trelawny was part of the parish of St. James, now the neighboring parish, of which the capital is Montego Bay. During those times, the grouse among the island’s inhabitants was that the journey from Trelawny was too far for plantation owners to leave and travel to Montego Bay to conduct business. Their solution was the push for St. James to be divided and create another parish with its own capital.

 

The early days of Falmouth saw prosperity as Falmouth had the busiest port in Jamaica. However, that was short lived and after the abolition of slavery the economy took a nose dive. Today, the newest and busiest cruise port in Jamaica is located in Falmouth. The Falmouth Port has now been transformed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to accommodate large cruise vessels including the Harmony of the Seas which is the world’s biggest. While there are not many options of excursions to choose from in Falmouth, one can find many excursions in the surrounding towns.

Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s resort towns and is just one-hour east of Falmouth; it is blessed with numerous interesting and thrilling shore excursions. Marketed Falmouth Shore Excursions usually include the famous Dunn’s River Falls; so too are the Blue Hole Secret Falls, Mystic Mountain, River Tubing, Horse Back Ride and Swim and much more.

Heading west of Falmouth, is Montego Bay, another resort town, home to the Rose Hall Great House, Dr. Cave Beach one of the best beaches on the island, Zipline, Rockland Bird Sanctuary famous for hand feeding humming birds that live in the wild and other thrilling adventures to include Dolphin Swims.

If you will be on a cruise arriving at the port of Falmouth, there is plenty to choose from. It is important that you consider your interests and pre-book your Falmouth Shore Excursions as a Private Tour with a reliable and reputable transportation provider. You will find that by the time you disembark your luxurious sea vessel you will be off on your island adventure and be guaranteed to enjoy your already short time on the beautiful island of Jamaica. Come to Jamaica and feel alright.

Making Magical Ski Memories with Children

Making Magical Ski Memories with Children

If your little ones are newbies to shredding powder then it is understandable that you will be preoccupied with making this a fun and memorable activity. I am a strong believer that the most important element in the equation is choosing the right resort.
Morzine is a superb choice as it is one of the few resorts with a Famille Plus status, which is awarded to those who demonstrate excellence services for families. It is also easy to reach with a Geneva to Morzine transfer. Morzine has gentle slopes, expert ski schools, charming chalets and dozens of great kid-orientated activities. This creates a wonderful atmosphere that will help your kids to embrace the world of skiing!

 

Read on for advice on helping your kids to have an unforgettable trip.

Are They Ready?

One of the most common questions that ski-loving parents ask is “when should my child start skiing?” Provided they have good balance and coordination, they should be able to get the hang of it. A love of snow is also a plus and not an issue with most kids!

How Can You Encourage Them?

A skiing vacation is not an ordinary vacation. Help them to get in the right mindset by showing them videos, reading books on skiing and generally showing them what a fun activity it is (this should not be too hard!) It is also wise to get them to try on their skis in the safety of their own home – this will develop confidence and make the first day less intimidating.

Laugh at Tumbles

We all eat the snow at some point. It is important to let your kids know that they will fall over, but that it is all part of the process and a key stage in learning. Tell them amusing stories of your own faceplants and laugh whenever you mess up on the slopes. This will keep things positive and add humour instead of stress or embarrassment.

Lessons or Go Alone?

This comes down to personal preference, but if you are confident that you can teach your children the ropes then, by all means, do so – they will feel more confident under the tutelage of a parent. Start them on gentle runs on the baby slopes and make the experience as happy as possible. On the other side of the debate, ski instructors are trained in helping youngsters and provide a fun and safe learning environment. It can also be beneficial to learn alongside kids their own age too.

Tips and Accessories

One great tip I’ve picked up over the years is to give your kid the handle end of your ski pole and hold it across both of you for support. This helps them to get used to the feeling of travelling across the snow. Harnesses can also be of great assistance in developing confidence with newbies.

Strike a Superhero Pose

If they are struggling at any point, get them to strike a superhero pose with their head up, hands on hips and legs shoulder-width apart. In addition to adding a bit of humour, re-search shows that adopting this pose boosts self-confidence and allows them to be in the moment. This is a handy tip not just for skiing!

Overall, it is essential that you let your children progress at their own pace and you should never push them. They should associate skiing with fun and the best way to do this is to create a positive environment in which they can learn.

How to Get to Morzine

Flying to Geneva from London takes around 1.5 hours and many of the budget carriers make the flight. You do not want to be messing around with public transport with little ones in tow, so I suggest booking a Geneva to Morzine transfer for stress-free access. The journey from Geneva to Morzine takes just over an hour by road.

Welcome to Fall

Welcome to Fall

I have just spent a week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The foliage was just starting to turn into a wonderful koliascope of colors. Unseasonably warm then while there, we are now getting back to the usual temperatures of October. The gardens are wilting down, the skins on the tomatoes are thicker, canning and freezing are in full operation. Corn stalks are turning brown in the fields, and as the leaves die back, acres of bright orange pumpkins are evident against the backdrop of browning leaves. Sumacs along the edge of the swamps are bright red and are probably the earliest of the changing season.
The tree leaves, although still changing color here, are starting to drop. They go in stages. Most noticeable are the maples as they seem to go overnight. The oaks, that are most abundant in this area, go more slowly. Many do not lose all of their leaves over the fall but wait for spring and new growth. All I really know is that by Thanksgiving I will be knee deep in leaves and thanking God for leaf blowers.

 

Right now the houses on the street are slowly starting to sport scarecrows, orange lights, pumpkins, and corn stalks. Soon the neighborhood children will be buying and making costumes for trick-or-treating. I’m stocking up on candy bars as there will be about one hundred little ones knocking at my door. Some not so little ones, too. I chuckle at the less than one-year-olds that come in their parents’ arms, knowing full well that these babe-in-arms will get none of the bounties.

It is a wonderful time of year. With a chill in the air, it is a great time for walking and hiking. Despite a year with a heavy infestation of gypsy moths, the oak trees have put out an abundance of acorns. That means that with this bounty the squirrels will have been just as busy reproducing large litters. That may mean a problem for next year. If the season does not provide for the newcomers, then the population of squirrels will dwindle again. They come and go from year to year.

It’s the time of year that I start looking towards my own Halloween decorating. I don’t do a lot, but do enjoy carving pumpkins. Choosing from a collection of patterns that were collected over the years, I pick them based on available time and the effort required to do the work. There is a ghost that hangs from a tree to welcome the kids with a cackle. Using white paper bags and black silhouettes, luminaria lines the walk up to the front door. The advent of flickering battery operated lights take away the danger of flames in the pumpkins and luminaria. Other smaller lights and decorations are brought out of storage. The costume for the dog involves a bandana and motorcycle hat. My own costume comes from a collection in that same storage area and varies from year to year. With a motorcycle dog, then a motorcycle Mama may end up being the choice.

Not a big fan of roasted pumpkin seeds, when the guts are pulled from the pumpkins, I put the collection in a large shallow roasting pan. This pan is placed on a storage box on the deck just outside of the living room window. From my recliner, I am privy to a private show of the squirrels coming up to feed on them. It keeps them out of the bird feeders. The biggest male always stakes his claim on the pan of seeds, chasing away all others. Somehow that just doesn’t seem fair.