Random extracts from another busy week:
The adventure camp was a lot of fun for me and Pearlie. Contrary to all expectations, I ended up doing both climbing and kayaking, and enjoyed participating in the communal cooking and housekeeping of the group. Pearlie loved the activities and was just becoming happily integrated into the somewhat feral group of kids when we had to leave.
It was a lovely campsite, with beautiful beech woods just next to our field, and our tent held up well against the rain.
Our journey home was complicated but fun, involving five different modes of transport in total (car, steam train, bus, electric train, taxi).
Meanwhile, Allie and Leo picked blackberries in a beautiful local cemetery and turned them into a delicious crumble, with some windfall apples from the grandmothers' garden.
We’ve sorted out our weekly schedule for the coming term this week. Pearlie is going to go to Kids Club twice a week from next week, and she’ll be going to Pioneers (the next age group of Woodcraft Folk) on a different night from the Elfins group Leo is still a member of. Her second Kids Club session is on Monday, so she won’t be able to come to MMs, but we’re going to stay involved with that group, as Leo has some good friends there (as do we).
Leo has decided to pull out of Squeezebox for now, after an unfortunate upset at this week’s session. We think he’s been pushing himself quite hard to keep pace with the older kids in the group, so he and Allie are going to do a bit of music at home for a while instead. P. is hoping to take up a weekly yoga class, with her cousin S, and both kids will carry on with capoeira and trampolining. Overall, the new weekly routine has more separate groups for the two kids than we had before, which is probably a good thing for both of them.
Despite showery weather, we’ve managed to fit in a couple of park trips – our local park on Tuesday, with other home edders, and Allie’s childhood park on Thursday, just the four of us.
We’ve been doing quite a lot of pottering about at home too. I baked some good bread and some rubbish bread, and Pearlie made loads of delicious cheese pastry today. I did a lot of knitting today, Pearlie did a little bit of knitting and Leo created a spider-mouse from a scrap of fleece and some wool. The kids have been playing together in the house and street a lot, dangling things out of the window and off the banisters, taking the temperature, hiding from passers by, and so on. All good stuff.
There’s been a fair bit of reading, especially after a swimming and library trip with all the cousins on Friday, where the kids discovered that two of their cousins have completed their Reading Mission cards. Leo is still engrossed in the Edge Chronicles. Allie is reading him The Curse of the Gloamglozer, while he is ploughing through The Last of the Sky Pirates on his own. Pearlie has finally succumbed to her own curiosity and asked to borrow Beyond the Deepwoods from him. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading The Queens Spies to her at bedtime – quite exciting.
As I write, Allie is pressing on with the decorating, after a frustrating delay when a wall and ceiling had to be replastered while we were in the Isle of Wight. She is determined to get our long-neglected back basement room to a usable state, so that we can start using it as an extra living room, with comfy chairs and the tv that currently attracts children and their associated chaos into our bedroom.
Speaking of chaos, there’s been a bit of housework done, prompted in part by our new system of paying money for jobs. Anyone (including us) who does a job from the list on the wall can put a mark by their name, and get paid for all the jobs they’ve done at the end of the week. Each job has its own rate of pay, depending on how hard it is, ranging from 5p to 27p. So far (2 weeks) Allie and I have each earned about a fiver and the kids have earned something around £1 each. I don’t know how successful this will be at getting the work shared out more fairly in the long term, but at the least I think it makes some of the work we do more visible.