Monday, 27 March 2017

March 3

Despite a sudden downpour, we had a great afternoon of branch drums and sardines at Moorlands. We avoided the Sunday bimblers on the paths and headed deep into the rhododendrons to make percussion instruments out of the bare branches.

Ian returned from Paris and so we celebrated his birthday.

The hockey obsession continued as we invested in four sticks and balls. Every evening is now hockey evening and I've had to learn all the different moves and lots of different techniques!

And the practice seems to have paid off as Nathaniel was awarded the trophy for great wonderfulness at hockey at the club on Friday. He was soooooo pleased with himself.

Grandpa Beard came to stay and we destroyed things. Thea now tells me that this is her favourite sort of gardening - she tells me that cutting and chopping things is better than planting bulbs.

The first summer-den building of the season:

And he brought the best presents - new dragon suits! Thank you Granny Janni, they love them (and Thea didn't change all weekend!)

Monday, 20 March 2017

March 2

It's all been so busy! This week has been dominated by zooming around York to go to fun stuff. Firstly, as part of National Science Week (do you remember the days when this meant that I was at work until 9pm escorting thousands of kids around the university?), we headed up to the AstroCampus for a workshop on shooting stars. Some really good students told us loads about meteors and meteoroids and meteorites (ask Thea - she'll explain), and then we played with fun stuff. The kids enjoyed the ball-bearings-into-flour-and-cocoa experiment (and we got some good crater-ray formations).
And they both had great fun with the pressurised air rockets, having made their own rockets from paper.

But the highlight for me was getting to play with the big telescopes (they've got more since we were there), and the clouds clearing so that we could get a good look at the Orion nenula. We also discovered that Nathaniel isn't quiet or shy when it comes to talking to students about space - he was happily chatting away to them about star nurseries and Betelgeuse and star mapping software. Nathaniel the extrovert - who'd have thunk it?!
For Thea, it was a fun week as she became Thea-Three-Cellos-Graham. She's starting to grow out of her 1/16 size, so we headed to Koplins to look for a 1/10. But in their wisdom, they also sent us away with a 1/8 to try as well. So this week she has been playing them all!

And surprisingly, the 1/8 is the winner. It looks pretty massive, but she is playing in tune and making a decent tone, so it'll do us.

This Friday was history day at school. They've spent the week on all sorts of fun activities with each class having a different historical period to focus on. Thea has been studying the Romans and went to the Yorkshire Museum and the Holgate windmill. Nathaniel has been studying WW2 and went on a scary trip to Eden Camp and .... the Holgate windmill. For the finale, they were all invited to come to school dessed appropriately, as a Roman soldier and an evacuee. There was limited interest in preparing costumes until Thursday evening at which point the three of us knocked up two rather fine outfits including a tunic from a pillowcase and a gas mask case.
This is Thea's fierce soldier face.
There were some amazing costumes, especially Mr Thompson's Henry VIII. Here is the photo of them all (yep - that's the whole school).

And no week would be complete without a picture of my view while I read my book while Nathaniel was at his choir rehearsal.

Monday, 13 March 2017


Ahh, yes, the blog. I remember that. I'm not entirely sure what has been happening since September which has prevented us from updating it, but I'm sure that it was all encompassing and rewarding (not rewatching the whole of the Gilmore Girls from beginning to end). I'll try to recap a bit, but let's face it, I'm unlikely to manage it!

So I'll start simply - with last week. Wasn't exciting, but when was this blog ever exciting?!

There was much business over the weekend where we managed to fit in a choir rehearsal, a group recorder lesson and spring cleaning the school playground. N managed a good hour of pressure washing the desking in the nature area before I took him off to choir with a rather mud - splattered face!

Afterwards, he was desperate to come back and take over from D whose group cello lesson had been cancelled, so she had had a whole morning of pressure washing! N and Ian proceeded to grafitti the playground under the watchful eye of the headmaster!

I made trips to the tip with a car full of tree prunings and was back in time to take N to recorder after which the kids sprung around the Dean's Garden in a most photogenic manner.

Next day the kids were taken off to the beach by some insane kind friends, so we were left with a day to ourselves! We used it well. First to the sailing club for more spring cleaning....

...and then to hang out in a very 2005 style with J and V and R. We ate food, drank tea, read the newspaper and had great fun making increasingly strong coffee with Jim's fancy coffee creation device.

Very rock'n'roll.

On Wednesday, the Barbarellas sung for a storytelling event as part of International Women's Day. I was very proud of my rendition of a American civil war housewife who dies dramatically half way through a song. And I only forgot the words once!

Then, for complicated reasons, we ended up opening up West Bank Park in the sun at 7am on Thursday morning. It was heavenly! Almost sufficiently so to make me want to be an early bird (rather than some sort of comatose pigeon). We had a quick romp with friends around the pond to look at the frog spawn and throw sticks around before breakfast.

On Friday, D was awarded the weekly trophy at hockey. Might well have been something to do with the fact that she spent the whole session running at top speed with a grin as wide as her face! She definitely deserves an award for enthusiasm!

And the next weekend was full up with my playing in a string group all saturday morning - we had great fun playing the Albinoni Adagio for strings and organ with an organ sound on a poncy keyboard which sounded like Count Duckula! And more choir for N and parties to attend for D (this week it was ten-pin bowling. My idea of hell!). And it was all rounded off by a one-man play about an orphan (Tommy Foggo) and his adventures in the deep with his cello. Yes. Really. And it was presented in one end of a bike shop.

It could only happen in York.