Monday, 28 March 2016


The kids have very good taste in television. And therefore it was not a surprise to us that they have developed a love of the The Clangers, both old and new. We have a DVD of the original Oliver Postgate series and now the new Clangers is on CBBC, so there is much watching of Clangers.

It was very exciting when we heard that, as part of the Leeds Young Film Festival, there would be a Clangers animation workshop and talk. So we got up early on Monday and got the train (always exciting) to Leeds.

The workshop was fun - we made short animations using foam and pipe cleaners.

I'll upload the real version of both of their animations later on, but for the time being, here is Nathaniel's captured by my phone:

Then we popped over to the museum to make use of their cafe for lunch, and as it was raining in the way that only Leeds rain can rain, spent an enjoyable 45 minutes communing with the taxidermy exhibition. Nathaniel found an computer programme about animal classification and couldn't be torn away.

And the rain stopped so that we could go and play tig in a deserted Millenium Square.

In the afternoon we returned to the festival to hear a talk by John Ashton, one of the animators for the Clangers. We found out all about the different models and sets and how they make an episode of the Clangers. And most importantly, we got to see some of them!
The kids were most impressed by the music boat (N poddled round singing it's song under his breath).

Most exciting for me was the eggbot. You probably don't realise how excited it is possible for me about holding a real eggbot. You may need to watch this to see why I love them so.

And then Thea sang all the way home......

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


And so we count down the days to the Easter holidays, because everyone is tired and I have a cold.

But in the mean time, Thea and F are on a painting kick:

It was Ian's birthday, so we made him a cake. And jolly nice it was too.

Ian and I had a day off. So while the kids were at a friend's, making fires at their allotment, we took a trip onto the chilly moors and drove along my favourite sort of roads.

We stopped for random walks to places that might not be exciting to little people and marched in the snow (which is hard to take photos of).

And we had a pub lunch without having to fret about terrible table manners!

Then suddenly, spring arrived. And so it rapidly became time to massacre the hedge, because 14ft just isn't a sensible height!

Let's just hope that laurel grows back as well in York as it does in the Pyrenees!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Spring in York

There's not much you can say about that!!