Friday, May 12, 2006

Fabby fun and frenzy!

A frantically busy week here and lots of good fun had by all. This post would be endless if I tried a proper catch-up, so here's the severely edited highlights!

Sunday 7th
I went to work and Dani and the kids went to a craft fayre thing that was happening as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe. It was fun, I think, though Dani said that felt was rather too much in evidence for her tastes! Leo bought himself a new dot-to-dot book. Then they went on to Hove Park, where there is a reasonable play area, and had a play on the small flying fox thing.

Monday 8th
Dani went to work in the morning and I took the kids to our weekly HE group. I think we'd better start calling it something to distinguish it from other groups, so from now on it is MMs (an abbreviation of the name.) MMs didn't have a theme this week so there were lots of toys and books to share, and rampaging games happened in the sports hall. Pearl had a good game of chess with one of the adults. P has taken to chess very quickly and loves it. Leo spent quite a lot of time reading and then produced a short guide book to making a dalek – with lots of drawings showing the component parts. It was a quiet session in terms of numbers and felt a little subdued because of that.

Because we had arrived early for MMs we popped in to the branch library next door to the venue. Leo borrowed a 'Hiccup Horrendous Haddock' book – one in the 'How to train your dragon' series. He seems to be reading several of those at the same time at the moment. Pearlie borrowed a book by Johnnie Ball 'Think of a number'. D and I both remembered how much we had enjoyed the tv show of that name in the 70s and the book seems to be fabulous. Pearlie has had it in her room most of the time since we borrowed it!

In the later afternoon Dani was on the rota to run the Woodcraft session, so she and P went out for a couple of hours. I think the session went pretty well – bug hunting, leaf identification and games.

Tuesday 9th
Dani went to work all day. The kids and I had to be up and out to get them to their 'squeezebox' session by 10am. They are really enjoying this so far and are part of an embryonic band of five HE kids. Leo came away with instructions to learn the names of the white notes on the keyboard (so far we've got CD and E clear!) and P with details of the drumsticks she needs to buy.

P and I dropped Leo off at the grandmothers' house for the afternoon, where he did pond dipping. Then we went off on the bus to drop Pearlie at a friend's house for a play. This friend lives on a houseboat – so that was very exciting. I thought it was a wonderful place and started having fantasies about living somewhere similar.

I rushed back across town to collect Leo and found that he was on his way to the park with various cousins – so we went along for an hour or two. He had rather too much in the sweets and lolly departments and had a bit of meltdown on the way home. I made a big beany risotto when we got in, which made him human again.

Dani went to collect P and as soon as they got home I went out to visit a friend for the evening – a manic day!

Wednesday 10th
Dani went to work in the morning and the kids and I went to collect a parcel from the main dept place, in town. It was Pearlie's new Teva sandals – so she was super happy. Before we had left Leo had done a bit of mental maths, working out how many packets of stickers he could afford.

After collecting our parcel we wandered through a bit of town which is called the North Laine, but which I was brought up to call 'the back doubles'. There are lots of weird and funky shops there and we window shopped a bit. Then we went in to the Oxfam bookshop and the kids had a fine time reading and browsing. I bought a pugwash book for L and P chose a Tintin colouring book.

In the afternoon I went to work and Dani took the kids to capoeira. After their classes they went off to Stanmer to look at the bluebells in the woods. They had homemade rolls with them for tea, and stayed out until 8pm, when they came to meet me from work.

Thursday 11th

Pearlie went off to kids club in the morning, where she had fun playing games and doing other stuff. Apparently their new theme is energy, which may lead anywhere I guess!

After that she went to the grandmothers' for the rest of the day. She told me she helped with watering plants, played a 'map of europe' game, and did a bit of French conversation.

Leo and I spent a jolly hour in the doctor's waiting room. He read silently for about 45 mins and then hid in his cardie to avoid the attentions of friendly old ladies. I had forgotten to take anything to read and so was forced to read old 'women's magazines'… The doctor gave Leo a prescription for two big bottles of anti-histamine. I was all keyed up waiting for the HE question but the doctor was so busy, and running so late, that we virtually ran in and out again! We are on the hunt for anti-histamine that will work for L as last year the Piriton we gave him for his hayfever didn't touch his symptoms, which became pretty overwhelming by mid June.

In the afternoon I went to work and Dani and Leo spent a glorious sunny hour or two at our beach hut in Hove. L spent the whole time playing very happily with stones, sand and water – all based around a dragon's egg theme!

We (finally!) all met up again at 8.30pm when I got home from work.

Friday 12th

Today has been another beautiful sunny day here. Dani has been at work all day. The kids and I set off early to go to a music shop in town to pick up drum sticks for P. Then we had an hour or two to spare so went to St Ann's Well Gardens – a lovely park with lots of play equipment for older kids. The kids loved it and we have decided to go again soon.

Then we got back on the bus and went to the Pavilion Gardens to meet up with A and F from 'Where the Days Go.' It was Streets of Brighton day – lots of performance art everywhere. A got accosted by some very odd men with a wardrobe on wheels, who provided her with trendy sandals with laminate flooring attached! I thought I had a great picture of her feet, but then Leo had the camera and some of my best shots mysteriously disappeared.

We all went in to a wonderful maze, a surreal experience where walking teapots, a silent gardener, a 1950s family and a minotaur were lurking. It was great to see A and F and experience this bizarre maze with them. I suspect the whole thing will seem like a dream tomorrow!

After A and F had gone off in search of their bus home the kids and I followed a marching band of ants. The kids liked them so much we followed them for their whole route and were rewarded by seeing their purple faces when they finally removed their costumes.

Then we watched a band for a while and I had a real surge of Brighton love watching people dancing and smiling. I don't think there is anywhere else in the world I would rather be bringing up our children than here. Last week we walked home from the children's parade behind a grown man dressed as a swiss roll. There is such vibrancy in this town, so many people full of enthusiasm and creativity.

Anyway, Pearlie has just delivered me a message in greek letters – I'd better go and de-code it.


Deb said...

Wah! I want to move to Brighton!

a said...

I'm very glad Brighton is just an easy bus ride away.
It was great to meet up with you and I'm not too horrified that the picture of me in my laminated flooring sandals has vanished! That maze was so surreal, fantastic. F seems to have decided it was something to do with Wallace and Gromit for some reason.
I never knew North Laine was called the 'back doubles'.
You really were out and about all over the place on Tuesday, it made me feel tired just reading about it.
Can't believe you found sand at Hove, when I went all the way to Littlehampton for some on the same day. Still, it was fun to go somewhere new.

Allie said...

Ah well, it's all a question of tides with sand on Brighton and Hove beaches. Have you ever done the rather grotty beaches by the pier at very low tide? Great expanses of sludgy, but fun, sand appear.

I know why F thought it was to do with W and G - doesn't Totty have a garden with topiary??

Will email you a lovely picture of F that Leo took!

Elder Faery said...

As always...and you really are consistently is a pleasure to read your blog. The bluebells are breathtaking (we don't get them here).

a said...

Oh I must e-mail some pics over too.
I do remember 'a patch' of sand we used to find!