Dani was at work all day. The kids and I were a bit whacked after our day at Kew so we got up slowly and wandered up to our beach hut for the afternoon. We met my brother, his partner and my nephew B (5) along with my mum who was looking after my nephew D (3) and niece S (7). All the kids had a lovely afternoon. The boys played together on the beach, playing imaginary games in the sand and pebbles, based around soup making (B), nests (Leo) and the finding of golden tickets! Golden tickets are something of an obsession in the family at the moment.
Meanwhile S and Pearl were playing up at the beach hut, where S keeps her bike, and where Pearl was struggling to ride her cousin B's bicycle, without bashing her knees on the handlebars!
The kids and I had a quiet time at home in the morning – just pottering. Pearl played her new Zoombinis game, pretty much non-stop. She worked out the games very systematically and was very happily absorbed. Leo played a game that was all about nests (surprise!) In the afternoon the gas man came (yes, again!) to look at another leak in the boiler.
When he had gone all four of us went up to local park. The kids played happily in the late afternoon sun and Dani and I attempted to read the papers we had taken with us. But in the first half hour after we chose our spot we were passed by four different sets of people we knew – a work colleague of D's, some of the local cousins, a lesbian mum and her kids whom we used to see a lot of when the kids were younger, and another local lesbian mum (without her kids!) who is also a researcher at the university where I work! Everyone just crosses paths around here all the time.
We lazily bought the kids tea from the park café – marmite sandwiches for P and a veggie hot dog for L. That café proprietor really knows her market! We finally wandered home with a big bag of dandelions and grass we had picked from the wildlife area in the park, so the GPs had a good tea too.
The gas company paid us another visit in the morning and two guys spent an hour re-fitting more parts in the boiler. Dani and I decided that Pearl really needed to get her new bike, or the summer would be over before it happened. So they went to the bike shop an spent an obscene amount of money on a lovely bike for Pearl. They went straight to a fairly flat park to try it out and after a few struggles Pearl got the hang of it and rode around happily.
I took Leo to town to get him a little treat to make up for the big flashy bike coming home with his sister. He chose a sticker book of C and the Choc factory, which cost the grand total of £4. He was thrilled with it and did quite a lot of it as soon as we got home.
Living with some kind of sponge/tap device
This is a brief aside about Leo's current verbosity! He is talking, asking, presenting theories, abut 98% of his waking time. On Thursday morning the topics of conversation ranged widely from life and death to space, to the water cycle. He knows an immense amount about so many things these days and he has many theories about the things he knows. When we were talking about life and death he told me he felt that if someone who lived in another time said the same things, and did the same things, as a person alive today then in some way they were the same person. This took us into a conversation about reincarnation! Whenever he gets a chance (i.e. when P is not around!) he talks non-stop about such deep and complex things.
Dani was at work all day again. I took the kids to the library and the kids got given medals and certificates for finishing the Reading Voyage. They were very pleased. We didn't borrow much because we are off to London tomorrow for a long weekend break.
In the afternoon cousin B and his mum came round so we could explain the basics of caring for guinea pigs over the two days we are away. This is mainly to feed them lots and lots! I don't know if it's because they spent most of their lives in a neglectful home but they seem permanently hungry, and remarkably un-fussy.
Pearl gave her cousin B a beautiful golden ticket she had made for him – with the correct text on it, as given in the book.Pearl played more Zoombinis for an hour or two and then Leo played on Education city – who have been offering us another free five day trial for a while. I find Education City a bit silly. Most of the games are just computerised versions of worksheets. Leo played the same game (Kuko Nest – a year one English game) five times, scored 100% five times, and printed out five certificates! They were all in his new Education City pseudonym 'Egg', so they will be fun to show the LEA inspector.