Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Too busy to blog... again...

It’s been very busy round here lately. Here’s some stuff that’s been going on…

On Saturday, Pearlie went on a bouldering trip with Adventure Unlimited, to Harrison’s Rocks. This would have been higher climbing but it was too wet. She went with a friend from Woodcraft (the only two girls, apparently) but happened upon several boys she knows from other places. She had a great time.

While Pearlie was there, Leo went to a friend’s house to play. They watched some old Doctor Who together, as well as the start of Jurassic Park. (Luckily, Leo and Dani happened upon a copy in a charity shop yesterday, so he’s seen it all now.) They also went under covers and told each other very scary stories by torchlight.

I was at work and so Dani had a couple of hours alone in town. She bought a beautiful wool coat, ‘vintage’ velvet jacket and black/black baseball boots. This was all in honour of the evening…

Once the kids had finished climbing and playing with friend, we dropped them round at their cousins’ house for a sleepover. We ate a quick meal and went out to an International Women’s Day disco. Sadly, this was not the exciting event we’d hoped it would be. I have amazing memories of an 8th March cabaret event in Leeds where this tiny, stocky, leather dyke put on a big wig and belted out Shirley Bassey numbers. This didn’t really come close… So, we had a quick drink there, cut our losses and went to the pub. Pubs are much better now they’re not full of smoke, aren’t they? Then we came home and watched some series three L Word episodes. It was lovely to have some time to ourselves. We talked about how lucky we are and thought about other women who aren't. (There is a petition online but I'm not sure how current it is.)

Sunday was pretty quiet. I went to work exhausted. I can’t imagine how I used to go to work on so little sleep when I was younger. D and the kids relaxed at home.

Yesterday, Pearlie went to Kids’ Club in the morning and to the grandmothers’ in the afternoon. At Kids’ Club she did some work on a magazine they’re making. At the grandmothers’ house she played a French game they’ve been making together – as well as cards and with the trusty, red animals. The red animals arrived in the family in my childhood. They came from Terry, who was a sort of adopted family member, having been on my mum’s caseload when she was a social worker in the 1950s. He had a succession of factory jobs and the red animals were meant to go singly into cereal packets, I believe. He arrived with a big bag full. That was always the way with Terry. When he worked as a meat packer he used to turn up with huge joints. He was such a skinny bloke, I guess there was plenty of room under his jacket! Anyway, those red animals have provided hours and hours of play for children in the family, for the last thirty five years.

Leo and I had a lovely morning at home. We did some maths together and I was amazed at the increase in his speed and skill in things like subtracting two digit numbers in his head. Then he did some more excavating for plastic dinosaur bones, while I read him some of the book we’re sharing. I wasn’t too sure of these books at first (they’re full of American childhood cultural references, so a bit hard to grasp at points) but they are actually very clever. I like the way the author has taken realities of modern children’s lives (like absent parents and diagnoses of ADHD etc) and held this ancient mythological glass in front of them. Leo is picking up loads about mythological monsters and likes to check on the free Guardian wallchart we got recently, to see if there’s a picture of each one that gets mentioned.

In the afternoon, I hurriedly sploshed a bit more yellow paint on our bedroom walls (yes, we’re still decorating that room!) and then went to work. Dani and Leo did some more experiments from his Christmas chemistry set. So, the kitchen is now full of crystals growing and stuff in test tubes.

Pearlie’s forays into the world of veganism are proving a bit of a mixed bag. She’s happy with vegan marg on her bread and toast, which is good. She had some soya yogurty stuff which she said was ok. We all tried some Cheezly vegan cheese and found it revolting! Dani made some of her lovely bread on Sunday, which is super-nutritious.

P is off tidying her room at the mo, as a friend is coming to play on Thursday. The living room is covered in piles of stuff as we are mid-pack for our holiday at the end of the week. There are a hundred things I should be doing, but I think I’ll have a cup of tea. Oh, fab, Leo has washed up all the breakfast things.


Em said...

ugh I don't know how anyone eats cheezely. It is horrible. All the varieties are, don't be fooled into trying another type of it, they are all horrid. Far better to give up cheese I reckon, than try to imitate it. (Although other (crap) vegans disagree I know ;) (not that I'm a crap vegan, or even a vegan at all!)) And lovely night together sans-children. I was going to go to the IWD march in London on Saturday, but had no one to go with, and felt a bit daft going on my own.

Minnie said...

Yes, Cheesly tastes like bile!! lol Vegan cheeses don't melt the same way as dairy ones. We struggle with giving up cheese and so I'm still on a mission to find a decent one. I found someone who supplies Scheese, so might try that. They're available in all sorts of "flavours" apparently.

I tried Realeat (vegan mince) the other day and think it has a smell akin to cardboard while it's cooking:O) It was ok once I'd added a bolognaise sauce, though. Sorry to be the bringer of such joy:O)

Enjoy your hol. x

a said...

*starts Cheezly wars*
Well I stand by the Mozzarella version.
And I hate Scheese!

Night to yourselves sounds good.

alison said...

I had soy milk for the first time the other day and was surprised how nice it was. I don't know what I expected, but that wasn't it! My kids think Lidl chocolate soy milk is the best chocolate milk you can get. (We're not vegan, just have dairy-free friends and family!)

Allie said...

Oooh, cheese wars in the comments box! I reckon P will probably tend towards the giving up of cheese, though we do have some Sheese in the fridge for her to try. I just love cheese, which is one reason I'd be a miserable vegan. I find it amazing that so many different, delicious things are all called cheese. White stilton with apricots is a favourite, ooh, and blue brie... lapses into cheese reverie....

We've got some Oatley in the fridge which is much nicer than soya milk IMO. I'm going to offer it as hot drink to people tonight.

Em said...

mmmmmm white stilton and apricots or cranberries....one of my favourite cheeses.

We use rice milk here (again not vegan, but have a cows milk intolerant daughter) but if you try rice, then provamel is horrible, and rice dream is better. I don't like either, but I think thats because I expect it to taste like milk. Rice milk tastes like watery rice pudding.

Gill said...

I like rice milk. Can't stand soya milk, but then I'm still hooked on dairy which I do intend to remedy at some point. Hats off to P.

LOL @ your [mum's] friend Terry! I know someone whose whole house was carpeted by that kind of friend. I'm still not sure how they managed that, in practical terms!

I didn't know your mum was a social worker. Good for me to know that though - I'm collecting positive SW 'models' IYSWIM.

I wonder which will be finished first - your bedroom or our bathroom!