Monday, 16 October 2017

October 2

This week was mainly full of normal stuff - running around between parents' evenings and swimming lessons and stuff.

Nathaniel had his first violin lesson and came away with his hair grinning. "I don't think that there is any way that that could have been improved upon" was his first comment as we left the house!

The weekend involved more scampering around to choir and group recorder lessons. But it did give me the chance to sit outside choir for 10 minutes in the sun with my book, listening to their impressively pleasant voices and enjoying the view.

The kids wanted to use hammer and nails and wood, so they went into the garden and a built a......., a something.

On Sunday we went to see Tommy Foggo for the second time! We saw it earlier in the year at Cycle Heaven (yes, a musical play starring a super-hero and his cello in a bicycle shop), but this year it had moved up to the Early Music Centre. It was just as good, if not better, the second time around. Definitely Nathaniel enjoyed it more now that he knew where the audience participation was and how to avoid it!

Then we headed out to explore a new wood, Hetchell, near Wetherby. It was a lovely warm afternoon, perfect for romping in the woods. We found old limestone quarries, and the kids (who are reading Pigeon Post) played mining until me and Ian got grumpy and insisted that we move on!

Then there were rope swings, streams to play on, crags to climb and lots of interesting berries.

Though what we somehow missed was Pompocali, the remains of Roman earthworks. we'll just have to go back........

Sunday, 8 October 2017

October 1

This week Ian was in Tallinn, spouting useful advice on a stage, and getting URBACT slippers (everyone carries around indoor shoes with them in Estonia because you change your shoes when you go inside, so URBACT gave all the uncouth foreigners slippers!).

There were strange things afoot.....

The children and I started our journey towards being pro-geologists, by making crystals. This started with lots of sugar, water, fruit polos and food colouring. I'll let you know what we've grown!

I spent a day speeding to a conference in London and back which was great fun. There is nothing better than a good reason to have to walk through Bloomsbury in the sun!

There wasn't enough wind to make sailing today a sensible idea, and also a marathon in the way of our journey to Bishopthorpe. So the kids spent a very happy morning making llama farms and trampolines in Minecraft (one day I'll take some screen shots and show you around our world), while we sat in bed with tea and books (very civilized). And this morning we took a wander along the Nidd Gorge at Knaresborough.

The kids practised their tracking, falling behind or racing ahead and then "silently" stalking us and ambushing.

There was much cutting of switches in trees to mark our route, and whittling of arrows with Nathaniel's birthday knife.

And we generally just enjoyed being in the woods and by the water. All the beaches we played on earlier in the year were well under water and we enjoyed watching the change between the rapids and the smooth deep water.

Then we wandered home for Sunday evening supper and Fawlty Towers. Most acceptable!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

September 4

This week, Ian was in Barcelona.

I expect he did some work. (He's back now - not "enjoying" the "referendum")

The kids and I had a very exciting (and late), night listening to Tim Peake (astronaut) at the University. He is so very great, and the kids were totally enraptured. Thea tried very hard to get her question answered, but there were a lot of questions. But it was definitely worth the late night.
(We got there early and used our science-communication contacts to get ourselves prime seats before they let most people in.)

To the children's glee, it was the annual school Sausage Sizzle the next day. We'd been making signs for the last few days, and then got to hang around the playground eating hot dogs and drinking beer while the children visited stalls (where they won piles of plastic tat) and played with their friends.

The weekend brought the sailing club course, and while Ian took Nathaniel to choir on Saturday, I went and taught people to sail in the sun. It was all very nice, even if I had to get into a silly RS Vision.

Day 2 was a great deal less picturesque, as Storm Brian approached (it's attacking our garden now). We did important sailing stuff like rescuing dead swans, de-ringing it and checking that it wasn't the victim of foul play (coz then we'd have to tell the Queen!).

Nathaniel went out solo, and put the adult novices to shame by sailing a full course, detecting and avoiding motor boats with aplomb, and generally proving himself to be a fine sailor. Fortunately, the senior instructor was watching, and so the only thing standing between him and a Stage 1 certificate is the fact that you have to buy them in packs of 10, so it's not really worth us getting any. He'll get his log book signed though, and lots of Stage 2 and 3 checked off.

Thea did some brilliant reach-reach tacking, and although she had someone crouched in the bottom, she didn't really need it. She was the star of land-based capsize drill and managed to persuade Nathaniel into playing too.

Adults went out in children's boats, and I had great fun around the corner where Storm Brian was well and truly on it's way. It's about the only situation where an optimist is worth sailing!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

September 3

Thought you might like to see what Thea thought was important to put in her "me bag" to introduce herself to her new teachers. They were supposed to put in 5 things that represented something interesting about themselves.

Monday, 25 September 2017

September 2

What is a good thing to do when you are 9 and 5? Make a camp in the living room and sleep in it! They slept here all night!

You need all your most important things - a little sun (solar powered light), a watch (hung from your tent pole), and a fossil collection to examine.

Then you invite other friends, build a cave for them, and all sleep in your camp for a second night!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

September 1

Whenever we get back from a big adventure, we're never really ready to be inside. So instead we made fires outside.

And made hot chocolate.

And although we couldn't manage wilderness, we did romp around Beningbrough, avoiding the natives and admiring the local exotic fruits!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July 2

So at last the end of term arrived. And there was much rejoicing.

It was pretty sad saying goodbye to Mr Knowles who has been an ideal headteacher, but we are told that the new (mystery) head, who'll be starting in January (Miss Bennett is in charge until then), will be as keen on all the good bits that Mr K was good at.

Thea is tired, but proud of herself for completing her first year.

If we were at all interested in what the DfE thinks children should achieve in class reception, then we'd be incredibly proud of what her report said. As it is, we think she is just the most amazing, inventive, generous, adventurous, intelligent, hard working, thoughtful, determined, imaginative and emotionally mature little person!

We celebrated the end of term with pizza in front of the first Harry Potter film,

And now the holidays are well underway.

Ian has been working hard in Siracasa,

And we've been doing some serious playing and appreciating of the british summer weather! Day one involved children disappearing into some woods while their parents sheltered from the rain and walked briskly to keep warm.

Day two involved more running in different woods with different friends,

while I found down-wind positions behind trees to enjoy my book and coffee in relative dry.

And then they cooked.

We had mexican food with friends last night (and a very late night!), and today we hit the river. There was quite a lot of river (see previous comments on the rain levels), and one of the jetties was totally submerged, necessitating a group effort in launching the boats into the current (!) one at a time, with the smallest crews already in position.

But the wind was brisk and all children had lots of fun whizzing around. I was ballast for N which meant I could attempt to take photos of everyone.