Been too busy for blogging. Briefest of brief catch-ups, though I may ramble here and there...
Dani was at work. The kids and I received some guests who are staying for a week – two dwarf hamsters and two mice. They are staying with us while their people are at a home ed camp. Then we went up to the big home ed drop-in. When I say big, I mean big. Pearlie did a count last time and found there were more than fifty kids.
Leo fell onto a low wall and got a long scrape round his ribs, so we left a bit early. Sadly, the bus must have been even earlier and so we had a half hour wait at the stop. Once home, I fell asleep in front of Jeeves and Wooster (oops!) while the kids amused themselves. Then we set to preparing for the Kids’ Club summer fair the following day. I baked and iced fifty seven fairy cakes. Dani cut out lots of badge templates. Pearlie made some lovely signs to tell people prices and so on. I can’t remember what Leo was doing but it may well have been playing on the computer. He’s been quite into that lately and I had to help him with a mission on Club Penguin last week. This is never a good idea as I am bad at, and easily irritated by, such things!
I went off to work. Dani and the kids had a fine time at the summer fair, I believe. Leo spent a large chunk of his money on a surprise fishing game and Pearl had a flower painted on her cheek and made a sticker for her bike Dani said the badge stall had been very busy. I made roast potatoes, quorn ham and assorted steamed veg while the others counted coins. The end result was very pleasing and Pearl was a total star and spent most of the evening bagging up the coins for banking.
I was rather looking forward to Sunday, as it was the first of the summer Sundays on which I don’t have to go to work. I don’t really mind working Sundays, but a change is nice and we get to spend some family time together. We met up with cousins S and D and their mum and headed off to the Springwatch event up at Stanmer. This was rather challenging, for lots of reasons! I had suspected that the pollen levels would overwhelm whatever we took – and so it proved to be. Dani, Leo and I all get hayfever. My main symptom is ferocious sneezing and runny nose, Dani’s is itchy/sore eyes and Leo’s is both!
Pearlie was irritated by a trail she tried to do through the woods. She read the instructions on the front of the card (which they’d re-printed from the previous year) and so was unclear where to go, as they contradicted what the people on the stall said. I descended into a runny heap and didn’t feel able to do anything except sit with the bags. So, she and I came home. I showered all the pollen out of my hair and sat in the cool basement watching a True Movie about a woman leaving a Mormon Sect. It was about all my brain could cope with. Leo and Dani stayed on for a few more hours but Leo paid the price for that in the evening. We showered him and so on, but his nose was so inflamed that he couldn’t get rid of the stuffy feeling. The more he blew it, the more it swelled and so he was very miserable. We guessed that the visiting mice in his room were making things worse, so we brought them downstairs and hoovered a bit. But he slept very badly that night – half in our bed and half in his.
I spent yesterday on a work trip to London. I went to a conference at the V&A. I heartily recommend a day at the V&A if it’s hot and pollen infested outside! I loved it. The conference was good but the best bit was being in the museum. The morning lectures were in the Lecture Theatre (beautiful roof) and the afternoon sessions in two gorgeous, quiet, book lined rooms. One of the rooms was in the National Art Library. It had carved wood, with little doors set in that opened. It had leather topped desks. It had a balcony around the room and a tiny, spiral staircase that ran up the corner of the room to a door set into the very top. I loved it. I wanted to get locked in. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to spend the night in an empty library (even though the recent Doctor Who should have put me off!) and I wanted to pop under the table and hope I wasn’t found!
I was standing there with my coffee and biscuit and name badge when a voice said,
“You look familiar. You’re one of Leo and Pearl’s mums, aren’t you?”
It was the library officer from our mobile library. The children’s beloved “Library Bus” has been a part of our lives for years. Indeed, the library officer said that she remembered Leo when he was inside “one of you”! Funny when worlds collide.
Pearlie had a busy day. She went to Kids’ Club, where they’re having a look at astronomy. She took along one of our books. Then she went to the art group where they’re doing collage. By the time I was home, she was out again – to a birthday get together.
Leo went over to the grandmothers’ house where he spent quite a lot of time indoors drawing. He was also given a tiny golden box containing a dead Rose Chafer beetle. One of the grandmothers was a science teacher and she is very good and noting and keeping interesting things for the kids to see. My mum’s eye continues to improve. She had a choice, when they did the surgery, between them correcting her distance vision or her close vision. As she has worn glasses since a little girl, she wasn’t that keen on losing them, so they have corrected her close vision. If all goes well, she should be able to get rid of any need for a bi-focal lens in her specs. She says that colour is much brighter, which must be lovely.
Dani went to return the replacement speakers we got from Comet. Don’t ask... I hate Comet and always regret getting things there. Our local branch has it all – the never staffed customer service desk, hordes of staff behind the till all talking to each other about the confusing computer system, empty shelves, no apologies ever forthcoming for anything. Oh no, been watching Victor Meldrew last night and it’s coming through!
Tonight we’re off the Little Green Pig reading night. Leo has written out his poem on a card, in big, black letters. I ended up telling the kids all about a public speaking competition I won when I was fourteen. Dani has rather more impressive tales of speech making in front of hundreds. Leo seems very cool about it!
The gig is this weekend and the kids are looking forward to it. It is possible, just maybe, that they may have their own song ready to play at the children’s cabaret at Hesfes!
Right, must get on with some jobs here. The kitchen table heap is threatening to lay claim to the whole space and force us to eat off our laps.