Saturday, May 07, 2005

All the world's a stage

Today was the annual children's parade, to launch the Brighton Festival. All the local schools take part and create spectacular tableaux on a broad theme – this year's was "All the World's a Stage". This resulted in quite a lot of Pirates of Penzance,

Jungle Books,

and Cats,

plus quite a few things that didn't really seem to fit the theme, like Where the Wild Things Are,

Alice in Wonderland

and Finding Nemo.

We didn't get it together to do a home educators' entry this year, so the kids and I went down to Pavilion Gardens to watch. It's actually very hard work being in the parade, so I was quite happy with this. Leo turned out to be allergic to the tree we were standing under, so he issued a lot of spectacular sneezes, and we had to give up in the end and go to the toyshop instead.

P. and L. handed over their pocket money in exchange for a Sylvanian foal and baby rabbit, and a Crimson Ninja Storm Power Ranger. They were both very happy with these purchases, and we walked home via the library where we swapped a Tintin video for a Tintin book.

They spent the afternoon watching Mona the Vampire, then various programmes on Discovery Kids, including one all about farts and Mystery Hunters, on ice mummies and cryogenics. Leo was inspired to grow some bacteria in a petri dish, so I had to dash out to buy cotton buds when Allie got home from work. By the time I got back, we were into the evening's telly watching (Doctor Who, then Power Rangers), so we've got the bacteria on the list for tomorrow.

Other things we are growing at the moment are triops – our third attempt, and no sign so far of it being any more successful than the first two. More successfully, we found some butterfly eggs on Leo's t-shirt the other day and they all hatched out yesterday into tiny caterpillars. We think they are large white caterpillars, but unfortunately there is nothing resembling cabbage growing in our garden, so they had to survive by eating their egg cases until I returned from this evening's shopping mission. They are now happily munching cabbage leaves.

Yesterday we had a lovely visit from some friends we hadn't seen for about four years. They live in Newcastle, in a family with two mummies, two daddies and two delightful little girls. We only managed to catch up with one of the mums and one of the dads – they're all very busy – but it was great to see them and their kids. We went to the park, had ice creams, climbed a tree, then went back to our house for tea. Leo did very well to cope with unfamiliar children in his house, and we were all instructed to arrange another meeting soon.

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