Sunday, 22 February 2015

Half term

Never let it be said that I don't over project manage my kids.

Here is Nathaniel's response to the first verse of the Jabberwocky:

You may not be able to see hiding amongst the wabe, the two poisonous snakes, Gyre and Gimble. But they are there, with their "piercing eyes".

In fact, drawing has been a bit of a theme this week:

And some good old-fashioned wax-resist painting:

We've also indulged in a good lot of craft. Mainly of the kit variety:

What do you mean, you don't know what it is?!

We've hung out with friends and taken them cycling on the moor (clearly), and done more craft. This time, sewing on plates:

Of course, there has been much recreation of the BMX bandits, under 7 style!

And when they weren't on bikes, they were making fires(!):

There have been a multitude of woods. We played extensive hide and seek by the pond:

And then gathered a gang of conveniently met friends who suggested fish and chips!

We tried to go geocaching at Skipwith Common

Which would have been more successful if I hadn't left the list of caches on the kitchen table. But we had fun anyway disturbing frog spawn, climbing trees and investigating old bunkers.

We took a sunny bike ride to the shops and found ourselves an unexpected apple tree which led to some gardening:

And poor Ian has missed it all! All he has done is eat tasty pinxos in San Sebastian and go skiing. It's a hard life! Fortunately the kids have been great in his absence and seem to have finally learnt that I am not a morning person. They cheerfully get up and serve themselves breakfast while they wait for me to surface! This morning they decided to have a picnic!

Yes, it's been a good half term!

Modelling their most beloved badges: "I love maths and it's applications". (FF: bet you could get a prize from the IMA for that picture!)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


When Thea is not sleeping or eating, at present, she is usually cycling:

It is very seldom that a trip to the moor to cycle is terminated by her. Normally the adult or accompanying child is cold or tired or hungry or bored, or its become pitch black, or some other sensible reason to stop. So we don't know how far she'd cycle if given a free reign.

But today it was 3.6 miles before I insisted we went home from lunch. She wasn't even almost ready to go!

She's on to tricks now. Yesterday she was perfecting cycling while standing up. She could free wheel standing up, but wanted to sort out pedalling as well. So now she can do that.

Her interest bikes extends to here drawing - here is her rendition of her cycling:

Yep, I don't think that this interest will disappear soon!

Friday, 13 February 2015


There are sometimes when it becomes clear that I am entirely superfluous to Thea's needs!

Monday, 9 February 2015

How they are now

Thea at 3 years and 2 months.

Nathaniel at 6 years and 4 months.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The week of the recorder

Warning: this post has insufficient photos!

A few weeks ago we had the week of the recorder.

First, Nathaniel (along with any other child who could play an instrument), was invited to play to his class. I was pleased to see that he was excited about this prospect and had no hint of stage fright. He played A Tiny Forest Bird and enjoyed the experience greatly.

As a result of his playing (I understand that he was the only kid who actually managed to exhibit both the organisation to remember to bring an instrument and the skill to play it), he was named Star of the Week, and we were invited to attend assembly to watch him talk to Mr Knowles about it and receive his certificate. But, to my amazement, he was also persuaded into playing to the school! So off he went again, and played A Tiny Forest Bird to the lot of them!

Amusingly, he did this with no hint of nerves. Trust him to be the kid who torments me during practice by stuttering over notes, over blowing irregularly and generally making a bit of a racket, and then given an audience plays fluently, musically, technically flawlessly and with gorgeous tone! What a useful skill!

Meanwhile, in his recorder lesson, Nathaniel managed to play with such aplomb, that his teacher awarded him the Carrot Award (a giant cuddly toy), for excellent practice.

So definitely, the week of the recorder.

Then this last weekend was the termly recorder concert. Nathaniel played a solo of One Bird and at the last minute took over One Egg from a child who chickened out. Easy notes, but I was really proud of him for playing on his own considering that in previous concerts he has either declined the opportunity to play or only played with me accompanying him. Not bad at all!

The rehearsal (just after N's solo):

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Brass Day

The idea of trying out some brass instruments really excited the kids, and they asked about the Brass Day regularly after I mentioned that it was going to happen, so a plan was hatched.

In the morning we headed out to the Early Music Centre to join York RI Golden Rail Band members who had an array of instruments for us to try:

We all enjoyed the euphonium, though Nathaniel tells us that his favourite was the trumpet. Thea won over this gentleman with a tuba by making quite a passable noise. He was rather surprised!

Then we made our way down the road to Melton's Too for far too much tasty lunch (and pudding) with friends and played with the toys provided for the kids:

And then we took ourselves back to the NCEM for a concert from the Band and the Development band. Thea looked as if she was going to fall asleep during most of it (see previous comment about amount of food consumed!), but it was very much enjoyed by all. Nathaniel was most taken by the idea that you can join the development band, and for a small amount of subs, be given an instrument and tuition and play every week in the band. Fortunately he can't learn until he's got adult front teeth, so that gives me a bit longer to drum into him that there can be no more instruments until he can promise to practise all of them!

Watch this space......