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 P – Mrs 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…