Sunday, September 24, 2006

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do...


I can’t tell you much of interest from Thursday, as I was cleaning for our neighbour in the morning and then off to work in the afternoon. Dani rushed about taking P to Kid’s Club, then dropping L at the grandmothers’ house, and picking up cousin D from a half day at school. Not sure what P did at Kid’s Club but she came home with a lovely picture – ink blown with a straw, I think. Leo enjoyed his time at the grandmothers’ and then yet more opportunity to play with cousin D.

In the evening P went to Woodcraft, where she had a really good time playing games. Leo and Dani had to stick around as there was a parents’ meeting.


Friday was a good day – very productive all round. First thing in the morning, Pearlie discovered that her sock was too holey to work, so she whipped out her sewing kit and spent a happy hour or so turning it into a puppet.

We went out to see if we could track down the latest Dr Who Adventures for Leo, and it started to rain – hard! We did find the magazine but only after a long walk. We bought some fruit (including a watermelon!) and then I decided we’d better get the bus home. At this point I realised that I’d forgotten all our bus cards. This meant that the journey back up the hill would cost £3 for all of us, as opposed to 85p. I just couldn’t bear to hand over the extra money for nothing so we traipsed back up the hill, lugging purchases and getting wetter and wetter. But, as is so often the case, the kids didn’t mind at all and just enjoyed the rain, puddles etc. Pearlie took the whole thing as a challenge and insisted on walking as fast as she could, carrying the watermelon. The hill in question is (and this is really saying something!) one of the steepest in Brighton.

There was just time to dump our purchases and then we had to go up to the school to get cousin D, who is still doing half days. I had a brief ‘hot and cold’ moment when the head teacher appeared and recognised Pearlie. Luckily it was raining so hard that she didn’t stop to chat - needless to say, we were all standing out in the playground in the pouring rain , not invited to wait indoors!

In the afternoon Pearlie made a fantastic train track layout. Like many toys, I think that we bought this when P was too young to use it effectively and now, some seven years later, she really enjoys it.

D and Leo played for a bit, but Leo felt the need for a bit of space, and retreated into writing his next ‘Corner Chronicles’ book. Leo seems thrilled to be actually producing books that are all his own work – most of them are five or six pages – A6 size. By bed time he had finished three and declared the sequence complete. The following morning he started a new sequence! The books are full of drama, death, disaster, joyful reunions, and beasts – just like the Edge Chronicles.
During the later afternoon and early evening Pearlie played Zoombinis Maths journey on the pc. She loved this when we first got it (Christmas 04) but hasn’t played it for ages. She picked up a game she started ages ago, where the challenge is now at its hardest level, and immediately remembered everything.

We hit the credit card in the evening, doing some online winter clothes shopping. P never gets any wider but her legs and feet just grow and grow! We ordered her new walking boots and thought we’d got a great coat for Leo until the shop called the next morning to say that they don’t have it in stock.


Saturday was a working day for me. The kids and Dani went off to the pool for a birthday party – cousin S this time, now aged nine. Pearlie had packed the swimming bag and, when unpacked, it appeared that she had failed to put in a swimming costume for Dani. So poor Dani missed out on being in a pool full of wildly excited children armed with water pistols – I think she managed to contain her disappointment…

After the games, rampaging and delicious party tea, Dani, Pearl and Leo went down to town to see some of the Car Free Day events. They watched some people demonstrating parkour (or free running) outside the library, which Pearlie really liked. She has always taken a similar approach to moving around the house so we weren’t surprised she enjoyed it! They popped in to the library and were pleased to see their completed reading mission thingys on the wall.

By the time I got home from work the kids were rampaging about firing their water pistols out of the windows. Cousin S came for a sleep over but had a wobble at going to sleep time and needed to go home.

In the evening Dani and I worked on putting all the furniture back in the room we have decorated. We are planning to move the tv etc from our room into the newly decorated one. On plugging things in, however, we both felt that the DVD player was a bit ‘buzzy’ and then I got a painful shock from the back of the video. So, we unplugged the lot and are now waiting for the electrician to come and check the wall socket etc. Honestly, this decorating job reminds me of the rather wonderful Flanders and Swann ‘Gasman’ song, which my mum used to listen to when I was a kid.


Today we got up a bit gloomy about the endless basement saga and set about trying to tidy up some of the other rooms. Dani tackled the hallway, while I cleaned the bathroom. The kids played with their water pistols in the garden and then the next door neighbour knocked on the door to offer them two huge ‘super soaker’ type things. So Leo (still clad in his pyjamas) got soaked to the skin and pretty muddy – and then we realised that it was almost time to leave for the Green Party Conference where we’d offered to help out on the Education Otherwise stall.

We met Anne at the EO stall and spent some time there. It was very quiet but a few people came to chat. Leo was very disappointed with the event – I think he’d thought that it would be something like a museum. Anyway, something put him in mind of the Natural History Museum and he started crying and tearfully demanding that we go there – immediately! Ho hum – I walked him down to the beach, where he calmed down. Dani and Pearlie helped Anne pack up the stall and then came down to find us.

We fancied a bit of a treat, as this was the last Sunday we’ll get to spend as a family until Christmas, as I’ll be at work all term. Unfortunately Pearlie didn’t fancy ice-cream parlour, pizza, or cinema - or even all three! She chose to come home via the takeaway and we ate chips while watching the Antiques Roadshow. That girl is a rare one!

I read loads of Edge Chronicles to various people this evening, while they had baths and went to bed. Dani is ‘frogging’ old jumpers at the moment (unravelling them) and wet wool is dangled about the place, with tins of sweetcorn suspended from it. That, combined with Leo’s new dangling city hanging over the banisters (random objects and lots of string) is making the house look a bit like some kind of weird installation. In this town we could probably just open up the chaos during the festival as an ‘art house’, if we threw in some ‘mud treatments’ applied by our ‘indigo children’ then maybe we could even make money!

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