Saturday, 27 November 2010

More impressive

Today, the snow is much more convincing.

Unfortunately, I am in no position to enjoy it, as I am tucked up in bed with a temperature and a most painful throat. I am feeling miserable, as I am going to miss tonight's Micklegate concert, in which I was supposed to be singing a solo. Grump.

But Ian and Nathaniel have been enjoying themselves. They went on a cold walk to the butcher across the frozen wastes.

Most importantly, they managed to secure, that very precious of comodities, a sledge. Last year there were none to had after day one of the snow, not even for ready money, and we really intended to buy one the second that Pexton's had managed to get a delivery, but of course, we forgot. Fortunately, we were in time, and are the proud possessors of a funky round sledge (chosen by Nathaniel).

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, 25 November 2010


It's not proper snow, but it was very pretty when it was falling. After breakfast, Nathaniel and I went to play in it in the garden. For once, Nathaniel agreed that he probably ought to wear his dungarees and coat. Recently every walk has been accompanied by the mantra "Not need coat. Not need hat".

Our snow playing wasn't a roaring sucess. At first Nathaniel wouldn't walk on it at all and played a complicated sort of hopscotch up the muddy bits on the garden path. At last I persuaded him that it was okay to walk on it, and we held hands and listened to the "crunch crunch noise snow make" when we stood on it. The he spent a giggly few minutes stamping a small patch to smitherines and discovering that it wasn't terribly good snow and so melted at the slightest touch.

Then he decided that it was time to "go back new house, do hoo-vring". And that was that.

But I enjoyed it!

Monday, 15 November 2010


Nathaniel is presently very interested by cutting. Having learnt how to use scissors a couple of weeks ago, he now appears to be harrassing the nursery staff to allow him to do cutting on a daily basis. Fortunately they seem pretty chilled out about allowing a rather "enthusiastic" (their words!) 2 year old to have control of sharp blades!

At home we have made many lions (making the mane involves lots of cutting), and now our favourite is tree pictures. You get to use three whole crafts! First you cut the trees with pinking scissors, then glue them on with prit stick, and then draw on the tree trunks. Nathaniel enjoyed carefully lining up the pen to draw the trunk, but at least once in every picture, he gets carried away, and before you know it, the picture also sports "big wheel and little wheel"!

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Recently we bought Nathaniel a tall stool to stand on which has opened up a whole range of activites (climbing up to the stereo and putting on CDs is one of the less entertaining ones).

One of the things that he likes best is cooking, and so we have done lots. We graduated from raisin buns and jam tarts to apple sauce, cheese crackers and stew!

Apple sauce was pretty good. Nathaniel waved a peeler around while I peeled and chopped apples and then he stirred them (what, you'd forgotten that important step in the recipe?!), and added the cinnamon. I've already mentioned Nathaniel's love of strong flavours. Lets just say that that batch of apple sauce was particularly spicy!

Stew was his favourite activity. We went on a very cold and wet cycle ride to the butcher's to buy the ingredients and then Nathaniel helped peel and chop the onions and then layered the meat and onions in the stew pot. He was so proud when Ian came home and could be presented with "Daddy's stew"!

So basically, making supper has become a million times easier (ie he doesn't hang round my ankles whining "Mummy come too and play"), and simultaneously a million times harder (you have to find a Nathaniel friendly recipe). I anticipate lots more stew and roasted veg!!

Peeling onions!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I've spent quite a lot of time over the years in various science centres, but it was only when a friend reminded me that I recalled that we live in easy distance of Eureka - the children's museum. And now we have a bona fide reason for going. (Ian, Phil and I once spent a happy afternoon in the Launch Pad at the Science Museum getting wierd looks from kids as we were the only adults trying to play with all the exhibits).

So, with a gaggle of friends (and four two year olds), we went off to Halifax.

Yes, Eureka is wonderful! Nathaniel enjoyed it. The other toddlers enjoyed it. And I loved it!

Probably the best bit was the town square. There is a shop, a bank, a post office and a garage (and some other bits we didn't see), all at child size. The kids spent ages and ages filling their trolleys with food and taking it through the checkout.

They only left because we were bored, but were very happy with the garage. They drove cars and trucks and filled the cars up with petrol (from a proper, though child-size, petrol pump).

Then we went into "the house" and cooked in the kitchen, dressed up in the bedroom, flushed the toilet and turned on the shower in the bathroom, and romped up and down the stairs.

Nathaniel was absolutely taken by the exhibit on renewable energy. Ever since we allowed him to watch an episode of Camberwick Green on the television, he has been fascinated by windmills. He does a very convincing impression of the noise that Windy Miller's windmill makes and idenitfies windmills in all sorts of strange places. His interest in the modern windmills on the way to and from Polzeath almost lead to a full on tantrum until he realised that a)Daddy did not have the power to make them turn, and b)we were not going to be able to conjure "more modern windmills again" out of thin air.

So when he and Aunt Nimmy (now known as Auny Minnie!) found not just a modern windmill, but also a light bulb, Nathaniel was a very happy boy. Eventually, when I realised that I hadn't seen either of them for about 15 mins, I retraced my steps to find them carefully observing said windmill. Nathaniel pointed out that when the sails turned fast the light bulb came on, and when they slowed and stopped, it went off. That's not a bad learning point for a 2 year old!

I won't describe all of the wonderful different areas and exhibits that we enjoyed (though I am very tempted) - it would very quickly descend into an over academic exploration of different aspects of interactive exhibits. I will content myself with saying that we all had a great time!

Most of our photos are blurry (not very much light), or have other children in them, but here are some highlights:

Nathaniel controlling the backdrop in a studio. He pressed one set of button to chose an image (town (with bus), beach or countryside (with tractor)), and then used another set of buttons to chose appropriate sound effects. Mixing the image of the bus with the sound of a cow mooing resulted in much giggling!

My favourite exhibit. Place different sound blocks on the wall to make music composed of samples of each sound. They lit up as they were played.

Nathaniel's favourite exhibit: paint a butterfly using a touch screen. Then press "fly away" and the butterfly flutters off and onto a big screen on the wall where it joins a few of the recently painted butterflies.

Dressing up as a bumble bee. (Both me and Nimmy independently carefully observed the seams and shape of pattern pieces for future use!)

Friday, 5 November 2010


What can I say? We have always loved Polzeath and we will always love Polzeath. We had a lovely week there, doing not much. A lot of digging on the beach. A good bit of walking on cliffs. A smattering of surfing (and getting way to cold). A fine set of Rick Stein's fish and chips. Lots of cake for afternoon tea. Many books.

New additions were many tractors made out of Duplo and much playing with three plastic stools, but apart from that it was the same relaxing, chilled out week. The weather was warm and sunny and the waves were rather slow and small (not great for surfing). At night the rain appeared and lashed the skylights of our attic room.

We had lots of fun.
Polzeath 2010

Catching up

Sorry - we've been a bit rubbish at the whole blogging thing recently. So, prompted by the October folder in our photos, this is what we've been up to:

Finding our autumn clothes and going for walks:

Becoming obsessed with the book "The Elephant and the Bad Baby". Unfortunately, this occured after I had taken the said book back to the library. Ian stepped up to the challenge and created our own version!

Exploring the Otley Chevin and climbing up ever so steep hills ("Han-yul climbed to top!!"):

Raking leaves:


Moving furniture around the house and riding on the sofa boat: