Our day with no plan was soon filled up. Allie went to work and the rest of us decided on a library and music shop trip. Both kids borrowed books right up to the maximum number allowed, and were pleased to get their reading mission cards. While I chose a couple of knitting books, they settled down happily on a bend in the stairs to read, and carried on reading most of the way home. On the way to the bus stop we popped in at a music shop so that P. could buy an album by Outkast, with a track she enjoyed hearing on the radio recently.
Leo and I went to Frog Firle Farm for a 'Water Day' organised by a friend from our Woodcraft Folk group who works there. We did pond dipping, made water rockets, and picked up owl pellets in the barn. It was a beautiful place and a lovely day.
Meanwhile, Allie and Pearl made a good start on the decorating, and Pearl and her cousin set up their own blog!
We had three social engagements on Monday – luckily, all three were in our local park, so the kids put in a full 8 hour day there. MMs was a bit better attended than lately, and Leo really enjoyed the chance for a good long Doctor Who session with his two friends there. P. is a bit out on a limb at MMs at the moment, as she is the oldest by a good couple of years. She and Allie played with her flying disc and they also went over to spectate at her old school's sports day for a while, where she saw her cousin win a race and caught up with some other friends.
Our second gathering was to say goodbye to some friends who are moving to Amsterdam. Allie had to go to work but I chatted with people I haven't seen for a long time and the kids played with their cousins and other park friends.
Finally, we switched to the other side of the park for an end of term Woodcraft picnic and parachute games session.
Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th
After Squeezebox, Allie and Leo dropped Pearlie off at the station with my dad and she went to stay at my parents' house for a couple of days, with her cousin from Leicestershire (my sister's daughter, also 9). By all accounts they had a very productive and interesting time – swimming, spotting bats and moths, building a model trebuchet, playing chess and discussing geometry.
While the girls were busy there, my sister and her son (aged 7) came down to stay with us. Highlights of their visit included a couple of park trips, a surreal visit to the beach in the middle of a thunderstorm, and the sale of three home made comics (starring 'Poo Man' and 'Wee Man') to people walking past in the street. Altogether it was very pleasant and the boys were mostly very good (if exhausting) company for each other.
After they had left on Thursday and before P. arrived back with my parents in the evening, Leo and I had a lovely, restful, pottering about sort of day. We caught up with the laundry, made bread together, swept and hoovered, and did some painting and knitting.
More socialising today as we were looking after another cousin for a few hours. I wasn't here, but I gather there was some archaeology at a local park, and exploration of the new play equipment there.
Pearlie updated her blog in the evening and Leo swapped maths challenges with Allie. He managed all his with no problem, including dividing 20 by 5 and multiplying 52 by 2 in a flash.
Both kids lost it a bit this evening, mainly due to exhaustion. We think we will do our best to move towards a more rational approach to sleep management than their current practice of staying up till past 10 every night and setting alarms to wake up before 8 every morning.