Monday, April 07, 2008

Dead computer

Our computer died yesterday so things will be quiet from the Greenhouse for a while. We're trying not to think about all the unsaved treasure on it...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunshine and snow

We’re having bizarre weather here. It was really warm and sunny for most of the week, but today it is really snowing

Enough for P. to make a mini snowman
Leo to collect enough snow off parked cars in which to embed a plastic lion
and the two of them to get really wet and cold throwing snowballs at each other.

Anyway, what have we been doing?

On Tuesday, Allie and the kids went to the park, where it was sunny and there were a goodly assortment of home edders. P. had a drama in which her abandoned bag nearly got taken by a kindly stranger and handed in, but this was spotted by P’s friends and the bag retrieved. They went out to see cousin S. singing in her choir in the evening, while I went to my knitting group (blanket update over on Knitting Notes).

Allie and Pearlie carried on with their punctuation book on Wednesday morning, while Leo was at Kids Club. Later on, we did our usual swimming and library trip. Leo was upset because they were forbidden to play with aforementioned toy lion on the water slide, but pleased because the library had his reserved copy of Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse ready for collection. Pearlie also picked up another Ally’s World book.

I helped out at Kids Club on Thursday, the last one before a two week break. It was nice and mellow, occasional flashpoints were resolved amicably, and the session ended with some of the older boys offering training in a variety of survival and combat skills to the rest of the group, which both our kids found tremendously exciting.

The others spent some time at their favourite branch library on Friday, while I went to a meeting of a reference group of home educators, set up by the Head of EOTAS at our local authority, to help them formulate a new policy, and then on to work. My report of the meeting will appear in the next couple of days on the HEdline website. After an afternoon spent playing happily with water pistols, the kids rescued me from being trapped at work by bringing me the keys I had forgotten. The others had borrowed Boggle and a 500 piece jigsaw from the library, so we all had a go at both of those in the evening.

Both Allie and I are feeling run down at the moment, and although the kids are actually getting on quite well at the moment, their low level bickering sometimes gets under my skin, so I’ve not been handling things brilliantly this weekend. Thus our plan to go to the garden centre yesterday was foiled at the last minute by a row between me and Pearlie, but we did manage to get out to the unveiling of the community mosaics at the park where Kids Club is based.

Kids from the local school, Kids Club, the after school and youth project and the unemployed centre neighbouring the park worked on designs and created the mosaics, and all these contributions were coordinated very skilfully by local artists Touchwood Trees as some kind of replacement for the large graffiti pieces that have recently been obliterated by the council. The mosaics are lovely, but I do still miss the graffiti.

P. made a rain gauge in the afternoon, while L. created a book of pictures of monsters, researched and printed off from the internet. We reinstated our tradition of roast dinner to accompany Doctor Who in the evening. Weather made our signal frustratingly patchy, but we managed to get the gist, enjoy the adventure, rejoice with Donna’s granddad, and be suitably intrigued by mysterious appearance of Rose.

Leo is fully garbed as the Doctor now, collecting snow in the street. He decided not to go into our garden, as it was too beautiful in the snow and he didn’t want to spoil it. Allie’s gone to work and P. has been taken to the pictures by some friends.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday 1st April

I just tried a rubbish April Fool (involving presence of a squirrel in the basement window) and Leo looked at me.

“Is that meant to be an April Fool, or something?”

Ho hum.

I’m feeling a bit throaty and tired today. Weather is gloomy and I have to take kids to Squeezebox later, when what I really want to do is go back to bed. Never mind.

Yesterday was full of little bits and bobs – here’s some of them…

Leo’s toy remote control flying dino arrived. He bought it with an Amazon voucher he was sent for his birthday (thank you to K,N,S,G). I had to spend a lot of time launching it across his bedroom while he crashed it into the furniture - or crashing it into the furniture for him. We did a bit of Leo’s maths book but he was more in the mood for making me launch dinosaurs, unfortunately. P was at Kids' Club.

Then we popped in at the end of P’s Kids' Club session. I admired the beautiful sand village that several of the kids had collaborated on. I also bought a magazine that all the kids had made. We had a meeting and Dani arrived when she finished work. Leo spent most of the time sitting on a grassy bank, working on a new Field Guide.

In the afternoon, I took both the kids down to a local park while D had rest. She’s got this throaty thing too. As I watched them play on the climbing equipment, I was slightly shaken by the sheer enormity of our children. I know they’re actually very slight compared to most of their contemporaries but they just looked so grown up.

Pearlie came home to find her cousin S and Leo and I went on into town to hunt for a book that he wanted to buy with some birthday money. It took a lot of hunting but we found it. He's been reading it pretty much constantly since we got home.

I dropped L back with Dani and went off to the delights of B&Q. Time was when I didn’t go to B&Q for years on end. Now I seem to live there. I had to buy a new shower head for our bathroom as we’d managed to crack the old one (probably by repeatedly dropping it into the bath) and some bathroom sealant.

After tea (when P and L had a dispute over the only bit of broccoli) I did a little bit of crack filling in P’s shower. I think that the fact that the whole room is build in a plywood box means that it is a bit mobile so we’ll always have to keep an eye on it.

Once the kids were in bed, we did boring banking stuff. I am very lazy at this job and tend to let Dani do it. As she set up the spreadsheets, she can do it much quicker, but that is no excuse really, so I did it. We spent a rather scary amount of money being on holiday.

Everyone seems to be feeling rather floppy today. Time to get on…