Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life at Pearlie Pace

We’ve been having a busy time, in spite of being two down here.

Here’s what we’ve been doing:

Tennis – Pearlie has been on a two hours per day tennis course in a local park. This is one of the summer sports courses run by the council – and I’ve been quite impressed by it. They have about 30 kids, aged between 7 and 14 – of very varied abilities! But, most of them seem to be getting something out of it – getting tips and practice and improving.

I do despair a bit when I see the ones who really don’t want to be there. I saw a mum dropping off her son, who was actually crying and saying he didn’t want to go. It’s hard because you pay up front for these courses and maybe she couldn’t bear to see the money ‘wasted’. But I happened to stay and watch that day and her boy spent the whole time trying to avoid the experience. He wandered off, dropped balls that rolled out of the court and he wandered after them, just sat down, ‘fell over’ and lay on the ground for ages, and looked miserable. So, what was the point of making him be there?? Ah, well. Pearlie is giving it her best shot and enjoying it. She really does embrace learning opportunities when she can see that the people teaching know what they’re doing.

Swimming – I took Pearlie to her swimming club on Tuesday night, where her group was rather small (it was peeing with rain!) and she got a lot of advice on breaststroke. We’ve also been to the pool twice this week – just to general swim sessions. I don’t know how P finds the energy – two hours tennis on Wednesday, followed by two hours in the swimming pool. It’s good for me, though.

Finishing a book that I’ve been reading aloud to PMrs Frisby and Rats of NIMH. I don’t know why I never read it in my childhood! It was one of the books I got free from a stock weed at work – and yet another brilliant read. We loved it. I’m looking forward to reading it to Leo when he gets back.

Reading our own books. Pearlie has finished Haunted and also enjoyed Valley of the Cobras – a Herge she had never read before. I finally read a book that I have had on my shelf for twenty odd years – Village Affairs. I’d kept it because it belonged to my sister (she had all the Miss Read books) and she’d written her name inside. Somehow this one book had ended up in my possession and yet I’d never fancied these books at all. But I snaffled it up in a couple of days at the beginning of this week and (as I have no idea what happened to the rest of her collection) I had to go to the library to get more. You might think that stories of a village school mistress in the 1950s-70s are a strange choice for an urban home educator – I guess it’s escapism. Very relaxing.

Packing! I’m trying to make sure P has luggage she can carry alone to camp, as she is travelling by train and the adults won't be able to help everybody. She’s getting very excited.

Visiting grandmothers. We had a nice lunch and play in their sunny garden today. Pearlie amused herself with a set of red plastic animals that I played with as a child. She set up scenes in the undergrowth and made a watering hole. We picked lots of juicy dandelions and long grass for Bunny.

Buying ever more socks! Pearlie is having a bad time with socks at the moment. This is an irritation which comes and goes for her – but at the moment she is finding most socks unbearable. They tend to be less irritating when new, so we bought some more today. Does anyone have any sock recommendations for people who find seams etc horrible?

Talking on the phone. We’ve had lots of calls with Dani and Leo who are enjoying themselves, in spite of dodgy weather. Our tent seems to struggle whenever it rains. I suspect that it got damaged by the force of the wind at HESFES. I think we had to peg it so firmly that some seams got over-stretched. Dani is patching it up as it leaks! Leo seems to be having a good time, though he told me they ‘keep having baked beans’!

Playing games and relaxing. This evening I beat P at Monopoly and she beat me at chess. We also watched a TV programme looking at a conspiracy theory about the sinking of the Titanic. It was one of those silly programmes that give you all the evidence in favour of the conspiracy theory and then (in the last ten minutes) present you with water tight arguments that destroy the theory. Never mind, it was fun while it lasted.

Terrifying each other and getting giggly! Something about the quiet in the house is a bit spooky. Last night my phone vibrated itself off the desk upstairs and smashed onto the floor as we watched Poirot in the basement below. We crept up the stairs and then fell about laughing when we realised what had happened. Then, this evening I set off a musical hobby horse in Pearlie’s room at bedtime (I was just in a silly mood!) The thing in question whinnies loudly and then plays rousing music. Pearlie let out such a scream of terror I was filled with shame and rattled off a stream of apology that made her laugh hysterically!

Last day of her tennis course tomorrow – and I bet there will be certificates…


Elaine said...

OOO the socks!!! I must admit I have given up with jenny she finds them so irritating, she has a favourite pair of shoes that stink due to her feet sweating in them . Does Pearl hate labels also? Jenny once found a label in the back of some liggings so annoying that she went in the loo whilst we were out and ripped it out, I nearly wet myself when I noticed her walking round with a great hole in the back of her pants!

peri said...

I love Miss Read - I have it in mind to re-read those in my meagre collection (I like the Thrush Green series).

Hoping Dani won't kill me - but what about handknit socks (no seams in them at all) and with washing they become so soft - I never wear shop boughts anymore. (I expect you knew I'd suggest this with my track record in sock making!) Plus you can get breathable healthy feet fibres now from Reggia via web of wool and soft cotten for summer - anyway just an idea.

Hope Pearl has a great time at camp


Allie said...

Peri, I think Dani would probably enjoy the challenge. I think it would certainly be worth a try.

Part of the problem is that P has such narrow feet, with sharply slanting toes, and there is often extra fabric that bunches up a bit.

Elaine, P doesn't normally mind labels (sometimes...) but is very much against all garments that feel 'buffy'. This seems to be things that are too padded, and/or which restrict her movement.

Yesterday she did her tennis in sports sandals, with no socks. That solution is ok but she is very slight and gets cold feet if the weather turns.

When she starts to get aggravated and anxious about things like socks or coats it is like watching a volcano erupting! I've learned to just say: "Do whatever you need to do." Sometimes that means going out in 'unsuitable' clothes but its her body!

Allie said...

BTW, Peri, I'm off to tennis with P now, taking a big fat Miss Read omnibus from the library!

Gill said...

*rolls eyes @ unsuitable clothing* LOL! We have a LOT of that going on here these days. Lyddie likes to go out in nighties and PJs - am just waiting for someone to report us to SS for it. If they do, I'll get them to define the crime please. Anti-social behaviour? ;-)

Anonymous said...

sports shops such as the one in north st. brighton, sell tube socks-these are designed for comfy wear when getting active.

Allie said...

Thanks, anonymous, but tube socks are no good for P as they are way too wide for her feet. Imagine putting the sleeve of a large coat on your foot - it's like that!

Gill, we've been there. Our kids used to enjoy going out in bizarre costume. Leo wore a full Batman costume (including mask) full-time for several months! I wouldn't worry about SS as I'm sure Lyddie could explain the situation. This was always my hope with our two!

Claire said...

Oh we are in the middle of a big sock huh hah here at the moment. We have just ordered some handlinked seamless ones from at £2.21 per pair, which isn't bad compared to others I have seen on line. Can't vouch for their quality though as they haven't arrived yet. Good luck! If you do find some good seamless socks please let us know where you bought them from. Perhaps Dani could set up in business making socks for children with very sensitive feet!

Elizabeth said...

I liked the silly end of the post--I'd have laughed hysterically at the phone bit as well, as it would have scared me senseless! I'm always tempted to play silly jokes like that with my two as well--but know all too well they would most definitly not handle it well--but the tempatation just won't go away!

Claire in Blackpool said...

Part of the problem is that P has such narrow feet, with sharply slanting toes, and there is often extra fabric that bunches up a bit.

The beauty of handknit socks is that you can customise perfectly to any size and shape of foot. It would be very straightforward to make the foot part narrower than the leg, and there are many ways to create all sorts of toes.

I'm a fairly inexperienced knitter, but I've turned out some lovely socks by following the free pattern you get when you buy a ball of sock yarn and adjusting it to my own requirements and those of my dh and dc. These days there's always someone in my house wearing a pair of handknit socks. There are also some great free patterns on the net - try for starters. Sock knitting is very addictive though especially as the yarn is just so beautiful!

Have fun, and photograph the results so we can all have a peek!