Monday, 6 November 2017

October 3

Dorothea has been learning the ocarina at school which has resulted in lots of ocarina playing at home and me wishing that I'd bought a slightly better quality one! It's a little tuneless!

Hockey is still going strong and Thea has won the trophy for general greatness for 4 out of the 6 sessions they have attended! She's pretty pleased with herself, and she has every right to be - she is like a little ginger whirlwind on the pitch.

Nathaniel has been promoted to the under 10s which he is enjoying as the hockey is a bit more challenging and much faster. They are closer to his height! This term he does triple hockey on a Friday - he has school PE during the day where they are playing hockey, followed by after-school hockey club, followed by City of York hockey club in the evening! It's crazy but he is enjoying it.

By request of the children, we returned to the Nidd Gorge in much chillier conditions for a longer walk with friends.

There was lots of scampering and enjoying of the increased water levels and interesting mushrooms to be found.

Then we had a well-deserved half term. We scampered down south and I indulged my love of Time Team on the box and at Wittenham Clumps. I don't ever get bored of here! There's something very satisfying about trudging around ancient hill forts that have been occupied since the glaciers retreated, even if they aren't quite as deserted as I'd like them to be.

We ventured off to London to enjoy the new Chiltern Trains line via Bicester Village (we didn't bother to get off the train!)

The kids constructed complex routes through the tube to get us to South Kensington and we had a go at the Science Museum.

To be honest, it didn't impress us as much as it had done last time. The space exhibition was a bit in-your-face and hard to concentrate on. The maths exhibit had no maths in it! But the kids enjoyed playing on one of the computers in the materials zone.

We decamped to the Natural History Museum to see the whale and then to check out the earth history zone. Despite it being too busy to move, both kids loved this and poured over displays about volcanoes. We went in the earthquake simulator three times (and pondered the contents of the Japanese grocery cartons) and spent ages completing detailed quizzes on what to do during an earthquake. We are simply going to have to return during term time.

In the end, it was simply being in London that excited everyone, so we went on a tube tour of interesting architecture (buildings and plants). We viewed the Shard from several places and then found ourselves coffee and cake to warm up.

Then we did the same with Oxford, but back to front. We gallantly had a go at admiring the new Westgate Centre and showing it to Barnaby Bear (the class 1 mascot who was was along for the ride)...

...but in the end we had more fun doing the mouse trail in the Pitt Rivers Museum and searching out interesting rocks in the Oxford Natural History Museum.

We returned to the north for some good old-fashioned holiday slouching including building dens and setting fire to stuff in the garden.

We celebrated Guy Fawkes sailing-club-style with a bonfire of clippings so massive that it took a great deal of hard to work to get it all burnt evenly.

The challenge was very much enjoyed by all!

Then we had a great day celebrating a friend's birthday at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We couldn't have had a more beautiful day.

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