Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bright Sunshiny Days

Summer seems to be finally here, and we've been packing in several outings a day to make the most of it while it lasts.

On Saturday we had a lovely family day at our beach hut in Hove. Pearlie and I cycled there and back and resolved (again) to do more bike rides. We spotted various nice Brighton moments on the way home – a lone samba drummer by the West Pier, a capoeira roda on Hove Lawns, and some people beating out a great rhythm on a wheelie bin, a water bottle and the legs of an office chair by the Palace Pier.

Leo was happy as Larry on the beach, running back and forth fetching water and seaweed and bringing them back for one of us to guard. Pearlie sat up on the promenade by the beach hut doing Sudoku puzzles, playing Othello and chatting. Later on she splashed about happily in the paddling pool at Hove Lagoon.

We arrived home in plenty of time to be scared out of our wits by Doctor Who.

The kids and I got up early-ish and joined the throng at the BBC Springwatch event at Stanmer Park on Sunday. It was good, with a nice variety of stalls and activities. We watched an interesting DVD filmed underwater in the sea around the Sussex coast, chatted with a knowledgeable woman about symbiotic relationships between hermit crabs and anemones, and saw some lovely bats. We also picked up some free seeds, some useful information about a community composting project and a bag to take up some space in the toilet cistern.

The bus out of the park was stuck in traffic so we eventually gave up and walked down to the main road to catch our ride to town, where we popped in at The Big Knit In. This was much more mellow. The kids had brought their knitting but spent most of the time playing hide and seek. We finally dragged our weary bones home and watched Doctor Who again!

Pearlie went to an energy workshop at Kids Club on Monday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was run by her capoeira teacher, who is very skilled at motivating kids and keeping a group focused and involved, while also being very funny. Allie and Leo dropped her off then went to MMs, where he plunged into his usual Doctor Who/Power Rangers game with a couple of the other kids, barely pausing for breath until it was time to leave. Other people made delicious cheese straws and did experiments with pepper.

Pearlie came to meet me from work and we turned up for the very end of MMs, relieving Allie to do some last minute holiday shopping before work. The rest of us popped in at the park for an hour with some MMs friends. It turned out to be an 'insect day', so lots of the local school children were in the park. P. found some friends from her school days and organised obstacle courses with them, Leo and seven year old friend J.

I dragged them away from the park so we could have a brief rest before Leo's first session at Woodcraft Folk. This was great – we had arranged for some people to come and do a short circus skills workshop with the kids, and by all accounts everyone participated and had a lovely time. P. and L. came away happily chatting about devil sticks and spinning plates. Once again, I was thankful that we live in Brighton, where there are so many talented and enthusiastic people willing to share their passions with our kids.

Tuesday was also busy as usual, with Squeezebox in the morning for both kids, followed by a day at the grandmothers' for Leo and a trip to the market followed by some geometry at home for Pearl and Allie. They all met up later for a play in the park with the local cousins and friends from the neighbourhood.

Allie and the kids had a morning at home today (Wednesday), bathing guinea pigs, doing puzzles, and making things out of cardboard. After lunch, Pearlie could stand it no longer and we fitted in a swift visit to the park before capoeira.

We're off on holiday for a week on Saturday. Will try to do a quick catch up before then.

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