Tuesday, 22 September 2015

This and that and camping

In an effort not to neglect the blog for such a long time (whilst still aiming to actually write up Le Grand Trek), here are some bits and pieces that have happened:

Nathaniel became 7!

Thank you for his presents. He was not greatly impressed to have to go to school on his birthday, but I think he'll get over it. We shall have a party in a couple of weeks time. Oh, and Thea made the cake:

Thea and F and I spent the afternoon at the pump track. Which isn't really news, it's just that it was so much fun!

The kids zoomed around the track giggling and each other and I sat on a bench and read a book and suddenly properly realised that if we follow the recommended Govian trajectory, Thea will be at school this time next year. And instead of spending her afternoons learning about weights and measures and motion and all those other un-lessons that real life provides, she'll be in a classroom messing around with plastic in an attempt to provide "play". Hmmm. We'll have to see.

In the meatime, we shall enjoy cycling. And stopping for frequent blackberry and banana breaks!

Thea started cello lessons! So far it has been a great sucess and she is having soooooo much fun. Here is a particularly tuneless and scan-less rendition (not sure what came over her!) of her first song, designed to help them learn how to hold their cello firmly:
We had a camping trip to Slenningford.

New babies and house rennovations left us with a slightly different camping crew, but we still had lots of fun. The kids rampaged in and out of the water.

Nathaniel enjoyed discussing the relative merits of different tents and their materials:

And we were all jolly:

Beer o'clock!

Sunday, 6 September 2015


Yes, we are still here. And the garden has grown lots (massive courgettes):

And yes, we will post about The Holiday, but until I get around to it, here is what we did when we got back. We went sailing.

We all got a sail and Nathaniel did some helming and we all laughed at me who had insisted on everyone bringing jumpers with them (it felt distinctly chilly and not the 32 degrees we were used to!).

And we all had fun and got home far later than we had intended. Now we have just one day left to sort ourselves our for school and kindergarten starting......

Monday, 18 May 2015

Camping II

The weather was no more promising than usual, but we went anyway. Our consession was to find a campsite in a valley rather than on the side of a hill, and as most sane people felt it wasn't a camping weekend, we were able to go to an overly-commercial site and have it to ourselves, thus managing to keep the pretense that it was just a private clearing in a moorland wood! The most important thing was that it involved a fine journey across the moors.

It almost failed within the first hour. Thea was enjoying some gentle swinging from an adult when that cry was heard, and as Ian and I ran across the field, it became clear that Thea wasn't able to grasp anything with her hand and had made her own diagnosis. While the rather rattled adult sprinted back to the reception (a good 15 minutes walk away) to enquire as to the local A&E facilities, Thea and I were brave (don't know which one was more so), and I popped her elbow back in. Good thing I pay attention to doctors

Needless to say, I DO NOT INTEND TO DO THAT AGAIN! There will be no more swinging off adults. Ever. Not until she is 18. Understood?

Then we sat and consumed most of a packet of jelly babies between us (I needed them more than her!), until she was wiggling her fingers again happily and the camping trip could resume as planned.

I think you all know the drill by now. The kids play in ponds (catching tadpoles this time), in streams, on bikes, up trees etc and are pretty much left to themselves while we make fire, chat, admire the scenery, drink coffee and whisky and eat cake and other tastiness until the next meal arises.

Many feet went into the pond unintentionally and the amazing heated bathrooms were used to dry their boots and shoes and trousers by lying them on the underfloor-heated tiles overnight. Dorothea and F went on their own adventures by themselves - the first time that they've been confident enough to go off on their own. They found rabbits and ducks and all sorts.

There was fine eating as ever. We consumed proper Korean curry, a cowboy breakfast, toasted marshmallows, pitta heaped with mushrooms and scrambled eggs, pink custard (I don't recommend it), Jacy cake, chorizo pasta and more impressive coffee that you comfortably imagine.

On Saturday we ascended Chimney Bank in the howling wind to eat lunch in a hollow and explore.

And then there was visiting the park and more fire and more eating and more chatting and singing.

It doesn't sound that exciting, but it was lovely. It was on the chilly side (I had at least four layers on at all times), but we were never properly cold. Of course those with stoves in their teepee don't need to sleep entirely in their tent. They might need a breath of fresh air.....

Everyone was happy.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The 'Cello

Just to prove that we are not pushy parents.....

It's all her idea. Really!

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Moor

It has already been well documented that I love the moor dearly. It is one of the best things about living where we do. Here are two reasons why:

Because sometimes it's nice just to cycle to the shops to buy some not entirely necessary eggs and then come back cross-country.

The route back is along an ancient (maybe) path that leads directly to the Minster, so you always feel as if you are heading straight for it. When the sun is shining and the west towers are almost glowing, it is even better.

Because sometimes it's fun to take lunch onto the moor for no apparent reason. Then we can eat and play with kites, which is nice.

Except this time it didn't end very well. Good bye red kite-kite. You have been loved.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Nathaniel has decided that he would like to be an architect when he grows up and spends a great deal of time reading his various buildings books and designing his own constructions. He is very interested in columns at the minute and we have to stop to examine every one we pass and establish whether it is true to its order or not.

Today we took a leisurely scoot after school to the Yorkshire Museum. It was very pleasant.

Then we examined the Roman section of the museum in detail and spent half an hour making mosaics.

Then, before music, we killed some time eating cake at the library and browsing in the architecture section. Somehow, Nathaniel has got to the ripe old age of 6 without realising that we can just find the section of the adult library which deals with his interest and then sit on the floor and look at all the pictures! We had a very good 20 minutes in the architecture section looking at pictures of Roman and Greek ruins and Arts and Crafts houses.

His next plan is to design a cathedral in modern/classic style. Here is one of his prototypes. It has a selection of columns (he admits that he got the widths wrong) and domes (like Hagia Sophia), with sky lights in the top to let in light. There is a modern stained glass window in an inverted V-shape, and a music room from which is appearing the Tallis Canon.