Pearlie went off to Kids' Club – where the energy theme continues, I believe. She and a friend barbecued bananas in their solar powered cooker. They didn't cook as much as they had hoped. After Kids' Club she went to the grandmothers' house (and garden) for the afternoon. She informed me with great excitement that she had had mating damsel flies on her arm.
I had a fun morning at the dentist getting an old filling drilled out and replaced and paying silly money for it. Dentistry seems to have become some kind of bizarre wheeler-dealing occupation these days. I have a dentist who is apparently an NHS dentist but who doesn't want to do any of the work I need on the NHS because he won't make enough money. I'd change dentist but finding an NHS dentist who is taking new patients is like finding the proverbial snowflake in June.
Dani spent the morning tackling the long list of jobs that crop up just before you go away on holiday. Leo worked on a beautiful set of 'Dragon Cards', inspired by his Animal Families cards.
Bumble Bee Dragon
Monster Dragon - a two part card
A spooky Goblin Dragon
In the afternoon Dani and Leo went to the park with the paddling pool – but he said it wasn't much fun without Pearlie.
I heard the kids get up together at some ungodly hour today. Dani went off to work. The kids and I went to one of the branch libraries, where the kids spent a lovely 45 mins reading. Pearlie found a library copy of the 'Gorgeous Georgians', which she has been reading, and finished it off so that she wouldn't have to carry it on holiday. Leo found a pile of stuff (including the next two Edge Chronicles books) and a Geronimo Stilton.
There were four boys in the library (aged between maybe seven and eleven) who were using one of the computers. The bigger ones wouldn't let the little one have a go and so he rolled about on seats, got bored and eventually started climbing about on the picture books boxes. It seemed sad to me that it didn't occur to him to alleviate his boredom by opening a book.
Leo and Pearl took some leaflets (as they usually do) and read them at the bus stop. Leo is a bit obsessed with one called 'How to beat the bogus caller', which he is trying hard to interpret. He said today:
"They just assume that you have a door chain – whatever that is!"
We went straight down to the park with the paddling pool and had chips from the café for lunch – a little treat because we've run out of food at home! The kids had a great time – jumping in and splashing around. The water is a bit suspect at the paddling pool. Today I saw a toddler plucked from the water with a poo dangling between her cheeks, and another little boy standing peeing straight in to the pool. I told the kids to try to keep their mouths shut!
We went off to the shops to get a few last minute bits and for Pearlie to get more photos for her passport – the passport office having rejected the first lot. This was where the day got tedious as Leo got stuck in an acquisitive frame of mind. That, and hayfever making his eyes itch badly, meant that he became less and less reasonable and built up to a major strop. This went on for so long that I decided we couldn't risk the bus home, so we all plodded miserably up the hill in the heat. He apologised later but never really re-gained his calm today.
Pearlie re-played all the chess moves in her current match (which is being played by email) as some confusion has arisen over what's where! I hope it is all sorted now.
I keep meaning to mention that P has written to Blue Peter, telling them how she knows all the flags of the world - and that BP is her favourite programme. I hope she gets some sort of acknowledgement of her letter. Does anyone know how likely this is?
This evening we went to the Squeezebox rocks event. This is a brilliant gig where the kids' bands from Squeezebox get to play. Pearlie was pretty impressed, though terrified by the sight of the stage and the thought that she might play on it next year. Leo demanded a carry so that he could see and promptly fell asleep! This was no mean feat as the music was dominated by pretty loud Clash, Jam, etc. numbers belted out by kids - with LOTS of drums. I was so impressed by the whole thing and think that the guy who runs Squeezebox has really identified something that kids want and enables them to do it, without being at all patronising.
One last quick mention is that the seagulls nesting on the roof opposite appear to have three babies this year. The chicks are fluffy little things with bandy legs that stagger about on the roof in spite of the fact that there is clearly no way they can fly yet. Pearl and Leo love watching them. It's great - like our own Springwatch programme but, sadly, no Bill Oddie yet!
Both kids were ragged by the time we got home and are now zonked in bed. Tomorrow we are off on our hols for a week. See you when we get back.
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