Monday, May 14, 2007

Finally finding some time to blog. I have worked both days of this weekend. This evening Dani made dinner and two hours later I made Leo a second dinner! He must be having a growth spurt. Today he has eaten:

  • A home made roll (Dani makes these with wholemeal and white flour, linseed, sesame seed, poppy seed, sunflower seed and oats – so they are pretty hearty!) spread with cream cheese.

  • A pear.

  • Baked beans on two slices of home made bread.

  • Half a home made roll with cheddar cheese.

  • Oven chips, peas, two Quorn sausages and big dollop of sauce made with courgettes, tomatoes, onions, and borlottti beans.

  • One bowl natural yogurt.

  • One bowl natural yogurt with tinned apricots.

  • Big bowl of pasta and pesto.

Does that seem like a lot of food for one willowy seven year old? It looks like it when it is disappearing!


On Friday I took the kids swimming at the pool in town. We stayed in for ages and I managed to swim around quite a lot. As Leo is only seven I have to be ‘supervising’ him at all times, so I daren’t go to the adult pool, but I think I got some real exercise avoiding the babies! Pearlie was perfecting a swimming style called ‘monster’, which involved diving low and circling our legs.

We saw a couple of ‘Streets of Brighton’ performances – a metal horse and a signed drag act. But it was raining and that is not really the weather to enjoy a leisurely mooch round the streets, so we came home. Pearlie went to yoga with cousins and Leo and I had a quiet hour at home.

In the evening Dani and I went out – my brother came to babysit. We had a fabulous evening watching Jackie Kay give a performance of two stories from her latest collection. The audience for the reading was very heavy on middle aged lesbian couples and one of the stories was about the break up of a long term lesbian relationship. It was so well-observed – full of little truths that elicited a sort of collective wince on each occasion. Then we went to the pub and had a couple of drinks. It was so enjoyable to get out for an evening and spend some time together.


I went to work and Dani and the kids tried again with the second day of ‘Streets of Brighton’. The weather was better but Leo wasn’t that keen on being there. They saw a striptease and balancing act with a tandem (?) and a band - but didn’t stay for that long.

They bought cakes to eat at home.

When I got home from work I made roast potatoes, pies and assorted veg for tea – and then it was a Eurovision fest. Dani dipped in and out (she can resist the charms of hours of musical dross) but the rest of us were dedicated. Pearlie rang in with all our votes. I voted for the little lesbian from Serbia who was backed by Charlie’s Angels – and she won! Dani voted for a bizarre drag act wrapped in tin foil – from Ukraine, I think. Pearlie voted for several people – drummers from Bulgaria, the Greek entry and the Irish one. Leo voted for a singer from Belarus who was apparently ‘wheeling’ ("I'm wheeling, yes I'm wheeling...) – which reduced Leo to hysterics.


Another day at work for me. Before I left, Dani, Pearlie and I listened to Fiona and Theo on the radio (on at about 10.30am) - taking on a very irritating man who seems to be on a one man crusade to badmouth home ed. They did well but it was Radio Five Live – perhaps enough said? D, P and I had a good conversation about people’s assumptions about home ed and the power of language. The irritating man (who I do not want to publicise further!) said that people were ‘pulling their children out of school’. P spotted that that was a very emotive word and implied unwilling children being wrenched away from somewhere. She pointed out that home ed is her choice – not something that ever really gets considered by home ed critics.

Leo is very interested in fruit bats at the moment. Before I went to work I printed him a page from Enchanted Learning. It mentioned that they pollinate fruit trees and I started to explain what that meant. Leo said:
“I know, like bees.”

The kids had a row, made it up, wrote diaries and then found a lot of beloved old cuddly creatures. This led to some sewing. Pearlie sewed a leg back on a little cloth creature we call Moon Baby and then made her a skirt. Leo made a mattress for his old musical bunny.

The cousins popped round a for a quick play.

This evening Leo was asking us about water – and where it came from. Big questions always seem to come crop up when we are very busy – I was cleaning out Bunny and Dani cooking the tea!

Another good conversation was with Pearlie, when we were looking at our map of the world and chatting about the Victoria Wood programme on empire. We talked about the way the UK is in the middle of the map and how there is no ‘right way up’ for the world – just convention in the way it is represented. Leo said he wants a world with one country and a law against war.

Dani’s knitting is coming on very well. She is making a Penrose tile blanket with gorgeous wool she got with gift vouchers on her last birthday.

Leo drew this picture of a forest in the night.


Elaine said...

I have just started reading your blog and am hooked , what a great family life you have.

Allie said...

Thanks, Elaine. What a lovely, cheering comment to start my day. I'm doing my best to chase a migraine away...

a said...

Wow - definitely a growth spurt for Leo I would say. Love that picture of him eating cake too.
I watched Eurovision too, dragged in by a mate online, I wanted Sweden to win, but wasn't too bothered.
Really nice that you got out together like grown-ups. We don't seem to have managed that for a long time.

HelenHaricot said...

rather fantastically, you can find all the eurovision lyrics here
made me laugh even more!
german entry my favourite.

HelenHaricot said...

oh and commiserations for migraines. I find chips and lots of water help - not sure why, but carbs have to be potato to do their business! and then imigran

Allie said...

Great website! Will show the kids tomorrow.

Managed to get the migraine with pink migraleve pills and toast - and not lowering my head at all for a couple of hours.

Di said...

Isn't Jackie Kay fab? We are lucky as she has a job at Newcastle Uni, so she reads here quite often. Her stories are amazing (have to admit I have not read them, only listened) and I also love her voice. I imagine the Brighton Festival audience is a bit different to the Newcastle Uni one!

Allie said...

Jackie Kay is certainly fab. I have seen her pretty much every time she has read here. I realise she teaches creative writing up in Newcastle - lucky bloody students. Mind you, I'd be all stage struck if I met her, I reckon!