That one time we disappointed science on an international level. 

You know those Pinterest memes that we all love in a schedenfruede sort of way? On one side is the goal – a perfect, giant, lifelife Cookie Monster cake. On the other is what actually happened – a melted Smurf-looking apocalyptic nightmare.

My life is sort of like that.

You see, I belong to a lot of great UK based home education Facebook groups. A few months ago someone posted a link that sounded awesome. The kind of link that makes you feel smug to be home educating, because your children are getting to do the stuff of dreams, the things schooled children can only dream of.

In this instance, it involves space seeds. Yes, the British astronaut currently residing in the International Space Station brought some seeds into space. Said seeds return to Earth soon. They needed schools and home educators to grow the seeds.

I was like, ‘Oh! How bloody majestic! How amazing! We like space. We like astronauts. Yes, we’ve killed a lot of plants in our time but these are effing space seeds. I am creating the perfect childhood. I hope they select us.’ I filled in the form, quietly writing as minimal an amount as possible because some part of me already knew The Truth.

And The Truth is now. A long ass email filled with a list of supplies and instructions. I didn’t get much past how we need to plant this stuff on an exact day and do precise measurements on specific dates and log them in some national database. I just inwardly cringed and forwarded the email to Suzy.

She didn’t reply in a favourable way.  We’ll leave it at that.

So now some seeds are winging their way back from darkest space, down to our magical and mysterious blue planet, landing right on my very own doorstep. And all I can think is, ‘Oh, fuck.’ I’m not a measuring on specific days, remembering to water shit sort of person. We don’t even have any compost. The little pea plants that started growing from Woodcraft Folk (why, yes, we are those sort of people) can attest to the fact that even the most hardy, friendly, survival-y plants come into our house and enter a season of neglect and potential abuse.

I’m trying to be positive. I mean, in the last month we met an actual astronaut. We watched what happens to troll dolls when placed in a vaccuum – and so should you. You’ve not lived until you have. But I digress.

We’ve touched components from the International Space Station, we’ve watched how a 3D printer is being built that will be able to replace things using fucking MOON ROCK as a printing material.

All that is awesome. But now these seeds are coming. And the emails that accompany them are all feverishly stern – DO NOT ACCEPT OUR SEEDS UNLESS YOU ACCEPT YOU ARE A SLAVE TO THEM FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. Don’t go on holiday. Give them only exactly as much water as needed. Make sure your ruler or measuring device is the most accurate measuring device in the history of measuring devices.

I don’t function well under this sort of pressure, man.

Random strangers on internet forums are banging on about how blessed they are to have been selected. Meanwhile there I am, coldly assessing how many people post about these seeds and trying to decide if Planet Earth will have enough scientific data if our particular packet of Space Seeds languishes on the windowsill next to the free potato planting kit we received and never followed up, the poor pea plants leaning haphardzedly in a corner of the kitchen.

Yay. Space.


Oh, shit.


We did all this in an hour! (And ate popcorn while we did it.)

S has had a bit of a cold/cough/congestion the past couple of days, and today she said she felt poorly. So we decided to stay home.

She asked if we could build something, so we got out our huge box of scrap shop supplies…and then she just kept coughing. Our friends told us about a cool germ experiment, so we did that….and then just kept going.


germ experiment

We talked about how you can’t see germs with the naked eye, and agreed to pretend that glitter was germs. Squeezed glitter glue onto hands and everyone rubbed in in so it was spread everywhere. Then we tested ways to get the ‘germs’ off our hands.

Clapping our hands together didn’t work. Neither did plain running water. But soap and water got the stuff right off! This led to discussion about hand washing in general….I must say, I’m relieved it worked. Was a bit amazed the plain water did nothing!


Used small plastic pots as our base. Kids decorated with red tissue paper and orange wire/string stuff. Then we added vinegar and baking powder!

Wasn’t as big or impressive as I’d hoped, but then I didn’t research it very well. Did make cool bubbling noises, and looked a bit more interesting with red food colouring added.

Was also excellent for sacrificing poor lego people in the lava.


The volcano thing led to a much loved activity – going through the cupboards to find stuff to mix into our already rancid stale volcano soup. Dumped it into large bowl and let them have free access to the spices….and coffee…and marmite.

THIS IS THE ULTIMATE ACTIVITY. But perhaps not for those with strong gag reflexes!

Both said it was like being at the science museum, and it was suggested that ‘perhaps we will be scientists soon, as we keep doing more experiments.’


M found some shiny gold paper and said we needed to make a pyramid, like the Eygptians had, and cover it in gold. No idea what sparked this, but the use of grown up scissors, various types of tape, and Shreddies boxes made this a very fun thing to make. And it looks awesome.

It makes me feel like I imagine parents who take Pinterest seriously might feel upon completion of a cool project, right before they open a pyramid themed Etsy shop.