Friday, 30 April 2010

The garden... full of pretty things!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Battle of the Bands

Ian's band is not terribly good at organising gigs. This is probably because they are no longer students with nothing better to do! So they decided to enter the Battle of the Bands competition that our local venue, Fibbers, runs on the basis that they would get a gig or two and some people who weren't our friends would see them and hopefully like them!

They got through the pre-heats with ease and then the heats, and suddenly found themselves in the semi-final! So a bunch of us turned up to Fibbers to watch the semi-final and maybe even vote for them! (Don't get me started on the merits of asking punters to vote for the band that gets through. After 4 years of organising the university Battle of the Bands, I can definitely say that we have explored all options of "judging" bands, and having "who can get the most friends through the door on a tuesday night" as a measure of anything just doesn't work!)

But, friends and judges were on their side, and so Maybe She's a Clone have made it to the final! Not bad for a bunch who on the whole don't get round to booking gigs.

(apologies for the lack of photos - I decided that listening to the bands was more fun than coaxing the camera into taking decent photos in zero light)

Monday, 26 April 2010

A first weekend

So, having put a large number of boxes into our new house, what was our first thought? Lets have visitors! Actually they had been scheduled for some time, and it was just coincidence that they actually got to see the new house rather than being driven past it.

One of our visitors was an amazing house warming present from Mikey to Nathaniel:

Nathaniel was sensibly cautious at first, but soon decided that the crocodile was a friend!

If only we had photos of him hugging it, putting his arm between its teeth and then checking that it really was Mikey's arm that was coming out of its neck!

Nathaniel also enjoyed mf and ff and their interest in reading his current favourite book, The Tiger who Came to Tea.

After a fascinating trip to B&Q, first of very many in the near future, Nathaniel stretched out and went to sleep:

And left the rest of us to have a leisurely lunch in the sun. In our garden. Hooray!

After lunch we did some important repositioning of the fridge and its door and Nathaniel helped by sitting on my lap.

Then, on Sunday, it was the sailing club open day and we sat in the sun and chatted to people about how lovely it was to sail on the river, and even got to do some sailing ourselves.
All in all, it was a very pleasant weekend.

Friday, 23 April 2010

A garden!

We are far too busy mapping out the west wing of our new mansion to post, but here are a couple of moving day photos for you.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

We're in!

But have we no internet at present so no pictures and am writing this on my work smartphone so know idea how it will turn out! We should be back up & running early next week so you can all get to see it then. It's huge in comparison, so we can now just hoard all the stuff we intended to throw out before we moved but didn't get round to....!

Move was pretty much stress free and we were in and done by just after 3pm (professional movers are well worth the money!) and the Small Man seems to have coped fine so far. We'd explained to him that we were going to be moving to a new house ("nu ha") and picked him up relatively early from nursery so he had time to explore and acclimatise. He went to bed last night, asked to get into his cot and went straight to sleep and was fine until morning. When he woke up I think he wasn't sure where he was and so was a little disgruntled but was ok really. He is enjoying all the new things to explore (read "pull on or bang").

The garden is fantastic and bigger than we remembered although this means we're going to have to expend a lot more effort on it to keep it looking good (or even just tidy)! It also has some good hiding places for small people. And we have trees... with real birds and everything! The garage will also be great for sorting out the boat (another project for the summer) and we also have a shed with veranda. We think we'll turn it into a beach-hut style cocktail bar for the barbeques....

The price we pay for all this is some VERY 70s decoration, electrics that pre-date Edison and a rather weird boiler & hot water arrangements. Just you wait for the pictures - you'll think we've photoshopped them (or you'll say, "oh yes, a bit like our house was..."). We also have no shower and haven't quite worked out how to get any water that's above "luke warm" to come out of the taps. When you need to have a bath to wash, and the bath is an old style enamel(?) one that sucks all the heat out of the first 40 gallons of water you put in, this means your bath is effectively always cold. Our friend Colin is coming to look at installing an electric shower asap....!

It's all good though. We'll greatly miss living in South Bank (with corner shops, butcher, baker, fish & chip shop and plumbing store all within 90 seconds walk) but we will have a larger than average house, a large garden of our own, a street that's quiet enough for small people to fall off their bikes in and Hob Moor Stray just 90 seconds away. We also got to hire a van which is always fun to play with!

Expect many posts about some trivial aspect of the new garden which we are fascinated by....

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The view from my seat

Lets just say that we have a few boxes! Earlier in the day, our bedroom looked like this:

Obviously it is only the doorway, but we couldn't get any further in. Notice the important items that should always be retained; a lax stick, and old and rather rubbish hoover, two witches broomsticks and several carefully preserved posters of late 90s britpop bands.

Don't expect to hear from us for a few days. The phone and internet will be cut off tomorrow, and will not be reinstated until Friday and Monday respectively. And we'll have a new number, though I don't know what it is yet. Will keep you all posted.....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


....have been exchanged. Moving is imminent.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


Bored of photos of a small man yet? I may have gone overboard today.

Anyway, for those of you that are still interested, here is Nathaniel playing his Sleeping in the Cot game.

Pig-faced, Ugly.....

Spring, spring, spring

Its been a proper day today. The sort where it was sunny right from the word go and it was nice enough to play in the yard immediately after breakfast. Ian and I took turns in going for runs in the cool morning sun and the other person got to watch Nathaniel doing important things.

Here's one I made earlier

I decided to continue in my "have egg boxes, will create" theme, by making some picture frames for Nathaniel. The idea was that these would be displayed at Nathaniel height in his bedroom and he can pick them up and carry them round and do important shuffling. Each week we will have a new theme.

So I spent a happy nap-time (hooray for 2 hour naps), playing with pritt stick and PVA and cereal boxes and coloured paper and remembered all the things that you know when you are 6 but forget in the subsequent years. Things like if you pritt stick something, you inevitably get some on your working surface, and that residue sticks to the front of your item leaving a wierd translucent smear that you'll never get off. And that if you get even the tiniest bit of PVA on your fingers, you leave traces of it everywhere and your fingers get covered in minute particles of carpet hair (if you are silly enough to do your making on the floor).

Anyway, the prototype was a success, and I managed to create two more in approximately one fifth of the time in order for Nathaniel to enjoy this week's theme, trains.
From General 2010

We have a photo of a stream train, a photo of a modern train (from the company that runs a good proportion of the trains that stop at York station), and a print of a Monet painting featuring a train. All very nice. And for future weeks I have prepared pictures on the themes of owls and tractors. (NB Its hard to find interesting representations of tractors. Its pretty much photos of tractors in green english pastures or dusty american fields or nothing).

And as expected, Nathaniel was delighted and did lots of stacking and sorting and carrying and explaining to us that what he had in his hands were "tray, awuvva tray, AWUVVA TRAY!".

He was so attached to his new pictures that he was both confused and slightly upset when I removed the prototype because my sticking was not really up to scratch!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Big fish

Now that we are a suburbia-dwelling, child-having family, current culture dictates that we must spend our bank holidays sitting in traffic jams, driving to an overpriced leisure facility to be over-stimulated.

We attempted this by a trip to The Deep in Hull with two other families. Fortunately, it being Yorkshire in April and hence 2 degrees centigrade, there were no traffic jams and so we had fun driving in convoy along smallish Yorkshire roads and sending each other silly text messages about the view.

And The Deep was wonderful. I shan't bother describing it - you can go to their website and get the gist. But we greatly enjoyed it!

Nathaniel decided that although looking at the fish was fun, what he really wanted to do is to get in too!

He was less convinced by the magic pond, a computer generated, projected image of water on the floor, complete with fish that swam around. The clever bit was that it was all projected onto a touch mat and the swimming fish "reacted" to your presence. If you chased them, they would scatter! I had fun "creeping up" on them, but Nathaniel showed some of his trade-mark cautiousness. He'll happily stroke a giant dog, but he is freaked out by computer generated, A.I. fish. Not all that silly really.

"I'm not sure about this"

We had fun taking arty photos of other people's children. Maisie wasn't this angelic all day!

And like any good day out, Nathaniel enjoyed the simple as well as the fantastic. Lunch was had (by some careful table bagging), surrounded by three walls of glass overlooking the Humber. And there were tables to climb on. Repeatedly.

Oh, and we saw some fish....

Friday, 2 April 2010

Complicated games

Nathaniel has invented his first complex toddler-game, ie one that has several stages, doesn't directly involve toys, and has to be repeated ad infinitum.

Step one: Ask to be lifted up onto the bedroom window sill and draw the curtains (without falling off)!

Step two: Ask to be carried to the cot. "In co(t), in co(t)"

Step three: Lie down in the cot holding on to the nimmy-blanket and go to sleep "slee(p)"

Step four: sit up, stand up and ask for the curtains to be opened; "ope ca, ope ca"

Step five: Ask to be lifted out of the cot; "daaaawn, daaawn" (while pointing at the ground).

Then repeat!
And again.

And again.

Its lots of fun. Really.

Doesn't make great photos though, so here are some other things we've been getting up to.

Doing busy things with two watering cans at once:

Building towers: