Monday, 30 November 2009

The cold

It was rather chilly this morning. Recently the little man has found the world a bit on the cold side. On the day that we got evacuated from the park he was so cold that he cried all the way home. We've tried all the sensible things, but it is hard to get boy tights that are not pink, and you can't really wear babygrows under your dungarees these days as when we get inside he is far too hot.

This morning as we went out to the bike to go to the Steiner group, it started sleeting. So we wrapped up warm:

Nathaniel is wearing:
- vest
- shirt
- dungarees (canvas for windproofing)
- woolly jumper
- tracksuit bottoms
- quilted coat (care of second-cousin Nicholas, thank you!)
- mittens
- buff around neck and head
- hat
- cycle helmet
- blanket
- adult waterproof over entire seat

He was actually warm when we got there, and cosy enough to fall asleep on the way home! This week I shall mainly be scouring the shops for snow suits and tights!

Saturday, 28 November 2009


We've been a bit slack on the photo front recently, so here are some to keep you all going. (23 days, Nimmy!)

Anyone would think we were related.....

Hail Bright Cecilia

This term's choir programme was exactly how I like it - a selection of wierd and wonderful music, some of which I am entirely unsure about until the final rehersal when it suddenly becomes some of the most dramatic, exciting and beautiful music I have ever heard!

Whitacre, Dove, Lauridson (though gone a bit too Classic FM this time), Tavener, Leighton. All good stuff!

Rosey and I played our standard game of lying on our back on the Chapter House floor. This is for two purposes: 1) to look at the ceiling properly

and 2) to see if we can pursuade any tourists that this is the done thing!!

Here is my homage to the marvellous tiling:

When we came out after the rehearsal it had turned into a proper british winter afternoon - all cold and crisp and slightly grey. Oglethorpe was pretty:

And I caught a Minster-man embracing modern technology which amused me:

Friday, 27 November 2009

Nathaniel and his Spaniel

Nathaniel has never shown any great interest in soft toys. He has a fair few, but aside from an episode where he liked to dribble on and try and bite the nose off of a giraffe, he has always prefered toys with wheels to turn!

However, recently he has discovered the furry nature of a lot of his toys and he is loving them! His favourites are an owl called Olly (named after a rather similar owl that Ian owns), and a spaniel that his Spare-Gran-Anne gave him for christmas.

If passed his spaniel, Nathaniel will hug it, sorry, him, and kiss him and then carry him around by whichever limb is most accessible. He also likes to treat him to his, that is, Nathaniel's, favourite activities. Rocking on the rocking chair is now a daily activity.

Nathaniel also spends a great deal of time pointing out the spaniel's features. The nose features prominently.

It's obviously a snuggly time in Nathaniel's development. As well as hugging soft toys, he is enjoying his fleecy blanket in his cot. In the past he just kicked off all covers, but now he holds onto his blanket when he goes to sleep and snuggles up against it. It might be time for a new fleecy blanket - the current one is smallish and rather yuck - it has a rather tacky bear appliqued onto it!

Building Things

Nathaniel takes a great interest in stacking things. He stacks his wooden food (a steak between two slices of bread equals a sandwich!), tin plates, jigsaw pieces, books and occasionally, bricks!

Today he stacked everything that was on his highchair tray.

We have here a jar of jam, a flora tub lid, a beaker, half a red onion and a plate.

The addition of the plate to the pile led to the inevitable:

I don't usually give Nathaniel half onions to play with. He liberated this one himself from the fridge and proceeded to play with it for the next ten minutes. This is when he thought he'd see what it tasted like:

Thursday, 26 November 2009

York mothers' flood evacuation terror

Actually it wasn't exciting at all, but I've just been past an Evening Press bill board and it's put sensational headlines in my head. Everything is always "tragic" or a "terror" according to the Evening Press.

All that happened is that Nathaniel and Rosie and Esme and I went to the deserted park on a bitterly cold day. We played on the swings until a man came over and told us that we had to leave because he had to close the park because the river was coming up too fast. He even left the gate nearest our house open for us to evacuate through!

Nathaniel is not happy to leave

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Nathaniel greatly enjoyed Alex and Juliet's visit!

He has always been mildly fascinated by both Alex and Nimmy. It must be some strange genetic thing where he immediately takes to the people to whom he looks the most similar.

He also enjoyed the new toys that Alex and Juliet brought him.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Jo's Wedding

We had a lovely time at Jo and Ade's wedding! Despite a really long journey full of exciting detours in order to avoid motorway queues, Nathaniel was pretty impressive in the car. We think that his forward-facing seat is making all the difference - now he can see out and watch what is happening as we drive down one-track lanes with grass down the middle!

After a short wobble during the first hymn, Nathaniel was relatively content during the service and played with trains and cars and horses and ate Martha's (Sophie's daughter) food. Here he is when we ventured out of our pew to get a better look at the worship band. Yes, it was that sort of wedding!

It was wonderful to catch up with friends from school and see Jo and her family again.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Nathaniel has now got to the stage where we can actually make things! He still prefers to eat crayons rather than colour with them, but he has begun to see the fun in covering surfaces (his favourite is the toilet seat), with pencil! Here is him creating his first masterpiece - a work on paper with pencil and crayon.

Every week at the Steiner Group we attend there is a craft activity. This week it was lattern making so that we could use the fruits of our labours for the Martinmass Lattern Walk. Here is Nathaniel's lattern.

He chose the leaves and pushed them down into the glue that I spread, stuck together the two sheets of tracing paper, and hid the stapler while everyone was trying to staple their latterns into shape!

One of the advantages of nursery is that they organise activities that I am too scared to do! Painting definitely falls under this category until we have a bigger kitchen! Here is Nathaniel's halloween bat mask, carefully painted black.

Either they were very careful in their post-painting cleaning (which seems unlikely as he comes home with food in his hair most days!), or he didn't paint his surroundings too liberally!

Monday, 9 November 2009


No-one can have too many forklift trucks

A month or so ago we borrowed a wooden forklift truck from the Toy Bus (our mobile toy library), and Nathaniel has loved it. It is normally the first toy that is got out and is greeted with "tra-ta, tra-ta, tra-ta" or "truk, truk, truk" depending, we think, on whether his attention is on the vehicle as a whole or just its wheels. He is extremely fond of the driver and carries him around the house a lot.

Its been renewed from the Toy Bus, but this kinda defeats the idea - we are supposed to be sharing toys with the other children, and as every child from the age of 1 to 31 who comes into our house plays with it with such enthusiasm, we figured that it would be a good investment. And investment it is - its not a cheap toy.

So we had a look on the internet and found it most cheaply on an ebay shop. When reading their deatails more closely we found that they were in York and had a shop in the middle of an industrial estate. So off we went!

Oh wow! It was amazing! A storage facility filled with wooden toys. I don't know who enjoyed themselves the most! Ian almost took out someone's eye with a cross bow arrow and Nathaniel wouldn't be parted with the wooden airport filled with cars and trucks and airplanes and cones and cranes and all the things you would hope to find in a wooden city.

So please let me introduce you to Plan City. It's wonderful!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Today we had lunch at the Farmer's Cart which is a local farm shop. The food was wonderful! I had a pork pie that was so rich that I actually had had enough when I got to the end of it. Ian had a quiche and Nathaniel demolished a child's portion of sausage rolls and salad. Then we browsed in their farm shop and Nathaniel played with the pumpkin patch. Each pumpkin was stroked and all of the little pumpkins were picked up and (sometimes) carefully replaced.

Then he peered round the corner of the building and started saying "tra-ta, tra-ta, tra-ta!" with great enthusiasm. Never has there been such an excited Nathaniel.

Despite our efforts to encourage him to enjoy all sorts of different toys, Nathaniel is simply obsessed with things with wheels. The bigger wheels the better. And all of the large wheeled vehicles (fire engines, forklift trucks, lorries) are called "tra-ta", which is pretty much (apart from "duck", "baa" and "woof") the only recognisable word he can say. In fact we suspect that it's actaully the wheels, not the vehicle that have this name, as the wheels in his colours book are also named as such.

So meeting a real life-sized tractor in the flesh was a pretty brilliant experience. There was lots of exploration of the wheels and fuel gauges and even some driving.

Then we went and looked at the animals. Nathaniel was perfectly pleased with the pony and the goats and the rabbits and the turkeys (whose noise is absolutely nothing like "gobble gobble"), but he was greatly impressed by the pig and the piglets.

He was so impressed that he got rather annoyed when we wouldn't let him feed his fingers to the pig!

I feel that we might be spending many more afternoons here!

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Even though we are not at Polzeath, the universe knows that that is where we are supposed to be this week. Nathaniel and I have the traditional Polzeath cold (hacking cough developing into copious amounts of snot) and the weather is absolutely spot on. This morning there was torrential rain coupled with seemingly gale force winds. The rain smacked against the windows and we were pleased to stay in the house. This afternoon the sun came out and the south westerly was pleasingly warm. Nathaniel and I went out to try and get our temperatures down!

We had intended to go over the bridge, but the wind was so strong that the buggy was impossible to push!

Trees bending in the wind

But it was well worth going to the park because it was so pretty!

We did some duck feeding, made complicated because the wind was too strong for Nathaniel to stand up! After falling over a good few times, he retreated to the buggy.

It was just as well, as we were then approached by two ginormous swans who wanted a bit of the bread. Even I had to back off when they started to flap their wings at us. Nathaniel was a typical baby and was totally unbothered by them and wanted to stroke them!

Then we headed into the woods that were full of good crunchy leaves.

The trees acted as a bit of a wind break so Nathaniel was stable enough to good some good leaf kicking.

This was exhausting work, so Nathaniel went to sleep and left me to take far too many photos of leaves!