Monday, August 28, 2006

Back Problems

Nigel's back problem has returned so we had to cancel our holiday. Everyone was really disappointed but Nigel just couldn't cope with sitting in the car for any long periods. To try and cheer everyone up I suggested going for a picnic at Rievaulx Terrace and Temples followed by a trip to Nunnington Hall. It was lovely on the terrace and the views were stunning. The kids enjoyed doing a quiz and found all the answers to the clues except one. We later concluded the missing clue blew away in last night's down pour. We didn't managed to catch sight of the famous Rievaulx beetle, just a few ladybirds.
The views looking down towards Rievaulx Abbey were lovely. After spending two lovely hours wondering along the terrace we set off to Nunnington Hall to see "From Winnie the Pooh to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - A celebration of Illustrators. A major selling exhibition of original illustration Art, from Ernest Shepard (illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh stories) through to Quentin Blake. Lovely pictures but a bit out of our price range. I was quite tempted by a signed copy of Quentin Blake's autobiography, but hey I managed to resist the temptation. Just as well given the existing book storage problem in our house.
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Redcar becomes a tourist mecca

Some of the many hundred of visitors who came to view the set lured by the promise of being able to walk on the set before it was dismantled.
The reality - the diggers had moved in and the area was barricaded off. Who was responsible for the media story? Was it the Council Press Officer Spin Doctor at work?
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Bodies and Buildings

Some of the cast who didn't make it or were they the extras. Perhaps we had a lucky escape!
Thea and James look for souvenirs from the set in the sand. Don't think they will make much on eBay, but who knows.

The Regent Cinema didn't require much of a makeover. Posted by Picasa

Atonement Revisited

The best of the set that was left.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Crafty Creations

James is struggling to learn the days of the week so we spent this morning designing calendars to help him remember them. This was my effort a Testarossa with changeable number plates.

Thea improved on my design producing a more interactive calendar. On her design the Testarossa moves around a racing track stopping alongside the relevant week day. At each stop you can refuel from the petrol pump in the centre. Note the black flexible fuel line in the picture.

Here is a shot of one of the bug books I mentioned in yesterday's blog. Made from 100% recycled materials.

The rest of today has been spent getting ready to go away on holiday. We are planning to go to Scotland for a week in the caravan, not sure where yet. The kids and I fancy visiting the Buddhist Monastry and Tibetan Centre at Eskdalemuir, it looks really interesting and has been recommended. Thea is also keen to visit Edinburgh and see the extinct volcano. Bad news on the caravan front though - discovered we have a serious case of rot in the roof around the skylight. The problem will not curtail our holiday but I can see I will have a new project for the autumn and winter - caravan restoration!! Found a few good DIY caravan repair websites so I think we will give it a go at trying to fix it.

Thea has discovered the Brilliant Brits series by Richard Brassey and is busy reading both Nelson and Elizabeth 1. She thinks they're well cool, I think they're pretty good too. Well guess we can tick a few boxes on the history curriculum.

My mum has just informed me that the Atonement film set will be open to the public at the weekend, work commences on dismantling it next week. Watch this blog for a further Atonement preview. I've borrowed the book from the library for my holiday reading.

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Postcard from Michigan

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These are the images I wanted to post yesterday but Blogger was having none of it. After spending too many frustrating hours trying to upload images to my blog I have resorted to another method - Picasa. Seems to be working OK so far.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bugs and blogger

**** I am now rewriting this for the second time as blogger has just succeeded in losing it.

Our caterpillar project continues a pace and has now been expanded to include other minibeasts. Three more caterpillars have been added to the collection since Monday. On Tuesday the larger of the two Vapourer Moths started to spin a cocoon, the other shed its skin during the night. Today the tiniest caterpillar in the whole collection, and we thought it was just a newly hatched baby, began work on a cocoon. We were greatly fascinated watching it at work under Grandpa's microscope - nature is truly amazing. On Wednesday Thea found a rather interesting spider in Nanna's garden, it had a red and white striped abdomen. A quick search on the web (pun not intended) revealed it to be Enoplognatha ovata - where would we home edders by without the Internet! If you need to identify any eight legged friends try here - certainly not a site for the arachnophobic. Recording all these creepy crawlies has required me to get to grips with my digital camera and I have pleasantly surprised myself by producing some almost half decent pics. Not bad considering I never bothered to read the instructions. Tonight I printed off some images for the kids to stick in their bug books, lovely little creations made last summer from recycled materials but unused until now. I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the images, time I think to invest in some photographic paper.

There was much excitement at the beginning of this week when our first postcard exchange arrived from Michigan, USA. The card depicting wild animals of Michigan only took 3 days to get here, I think we had better send our postcards air mail in future. Thea was quite taken by the postage stamp - a picture of Yosemite National Park. In fact she was so taken she has decided she wants to start stamp collecting or to use the posh term philately. Grandpa reckons its a great way to learn geography, he says he learnt more about countries from stamp collecting than from any school text book - no surprises there then!! To get us started he has supplied us with several hundred stamps - guess we will have those sorted and mounted in a day or so!!.
Spent some of today researching Michigan on the web.

Ten Interesting Facts About Michigan
  1. The state of Michigan is the 11th largest US state in size - 96,810 square miles.
  2. It is the only state to be separated by water.
  3. It is noted as the birthplace of the automobile. 80% of Michigan's economy revolves around the industryusty.
  4. Michigan is 50% forest, which makes it useful to the timber industry.
  5. The state borders 4 of the Great Lakes, which are some of the largest reservoirs of fresh water in the world.
  6. Boating is very popular in the warmer months. There are more private boats registered in Michigan than in any other state.
  7. The capital city of Michigan is Lansing.
  8. The largest city in Michigan is Detroit.
  9. Michigan's population is 9,938,444.
  10. The origin of the name Michigan is from an Algonquian Chippewa Indian word "meicigama" that means "big sea water".

    Michigan is nearly 4,000 square miles bigger than the UK but its population is some 50,000,000 smaller.

    James has been pestering me to go fishing so yesterday we dug out the fishing tackle. DISASTER - James succeeded in jamming his telescopic rod, I then snapped it trying to free it ****. My purse is now £8.50 lighter following a visit to Hook, Line and Sinker to purchase a replacement. Our fishing trip this p.m. achieved it usual success rate - zero catch. Hardly surprising when none of us know anything about fishing whatsoever. To try and remedy this situation we have borrowed two fishing books from the library - a little bedtime reading for me I guess.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Lepidopterist Required

    Dropped Thea and James off at Nanna's house whilst I attended Self Assessment for the Self Employed - fascinating! Actually it was quite interesting. Nanna informs me they made bread, watched Lilo and Stitch (free Reading Mission DVD selected by James), and visited the play park. Quite a busy day then. We planned in the afternoon to revisit the Atonement film set but got side tracked by a moth we discovered on the back garden gate post. We identified it as a Silver Y thanks to the help of The Butterfly Conservation Society website. I then noticed a green caterpillar wandering across my shirt - still as yet unidentified despite scrolling through the many photos on What's this Caterpillar. Any budding lepidopterist out there who recognises the species? Let us know if you do, please.

    James, intrigued by the moth and caterpillar, went in search of further species. The dogwood seems to be a popular food plant, on it we found a rather impressive Vapourer Moth caterpillar and some green caterpillars that hid in tents constructed out of folded leaves held together by silk. Not sure what species they belong to. We now have a number of caterpillars in jam jars with fine net over the tops. James and Thea are hoping to rear these. I have just found a useful instruction sheet on the very subject - here.

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    The vultures have landed

    Was that a knock at the door or am I dreaming? No that was definitely the bell this time. Oh no - I forgot today we were taking delivery of 100 vultures. Fortunately not the feathered variety. These beauties are wooden self assembly pencil holders, which kids can make and take away for £1.50. We are selling them at local events to raise funds for the RSPB Kids The Vanishing Vultures appeal. If any of you out there are interested in buying one, and believe me its a worthy cause, let us know and we will investigate the logistics of sending them through the post.
    I am indebted to my good friend Colin for coming up with the vulture design. He has been churning out animal pencil holders for years in his garage and selling them to raise funds for Tree Aid. What a great guy. We have a whole collection of his past designs and I have spent many hours at shows helping kids put them together. Although assembly involves the use of a small hammer I can't recall any bruised or broken fingers, including my own. That said my reflexes have become pretty swift.

    Big Saturday

    Met some friends for a picnic on the beach. We haven't seen them for a while so it was good to catch up and have a chat. Both are teachers so the subject of teaching inevitably cropped up in the conversation. I really feel for them, the current government's policies leave teachers with very little freedom to use their own initiative and there is limited scope to be creative or imaginative. I am so glad we made our decision to home educate.

    The surf was up and the beach was quite crowded with surfers. Other beachgoers were noticeable by their absence, maybe the rain had something to do with it!. Those of us who had ventured out spent much of our time sheltered under the pier. Although the day was quite warm and humid the same could not be said for the sea temperature. Thea and I braved it twice to the ride the waves, James put his toe in the water and opted for the warmer activity of sand excavation. Probably a wise move. Returned back to base and spent the remainder of the day thawing out in front of the log burner.

    Out and About

    My blog writing timetable has gone astray with having guests so here is an update on this week's antics.

    A change of plan
    Plans to visit Shoes - The Agony and Ecstasy, at the Shipley Art Gallery, were cancelled on Wednesday instead we opted to visit Danby Show, one of the many local country shows occurring in the Esk Valley over the summer. Although the show gave some insight into rural life, we couldn't help but feel that the livestock, arts and crafts displays were overshadowed by tacky fairground rides and bouncy castles. A sentiment shared by a few other friends I met whilst wandering around the showground. Despite this we did thoroughly enjoy rolling our own bees wax candles, combing a highland cow, watching a very entertaining falconry display and stroking the sheep. We also entertained some of the local farmers with our discussions about sheep fleeces and their relative potential for producing good spinning yarns.
    On yer bikes
    My friend wanted to try out her newly acquired mountain bike, thus Thursday afternoon was spent peddling around Guisborough Forest. Thea was keen to visit Blue Lake, so called because alum salts washed into the lake gave the water a blue tinge. The lake was built in 1880 to supply water for hydraulic power at a nearby farm and has recently been restored. The kids had great fun making boats out of twigs and leaves to float down the newly constructed bypass spillway. Amazingly no one got wet, must be a first. Note the design of the spillway in the picture below we reckon it would make a pretty good toboggan/skeleton bobsleigh run in winter if it freezes. Just wide enough for a tea tray. I perhaps should stress here that we are not suggesting anyone actually attempts this and accept no responsibility or liability for anyone who injuries themselves trying. (You can stop worrying now Grandpa we have added a disclaimer!)
    Our postcard to Brazil has been sent. After much deliberation as to which postcard we should choose for our first Homeschool Postcard Club exchange we decided on a fairly traditional shot of the village. I hope they like it.

    Another change
    A severe weather warning brought yet another change to our week's itinerary. Our trip to Whitby on Friday was cancelled in favour of an excursion closer to home. The dry option was an afternoon at the bowling alley with friends. The kids thought bowling was great fun particularly when mum was well and truly thrashed.

    Managed to fit in a visit to the library before closing time to pick up some requested books, Boy - Tales of Childhood for Thea and a number of Leapfrog books for James. He seems to rather like these at the moment and wants to read them to me, excellent!

    Said goodbye to my friend and her daughter, I think they enjoyed their stay. We have been invited to visit them in Birmingham later in the year.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Panic Attack

    We had to move up a gear today when a friend rang to say she and her daughter were coming to visit and would be arriving this afternoon. Arghhhh - the house!! I'm not saying our house was in complete chaos, that would be a slight over exaggeration, but the kids did have a number of projects underway and these were somewhat spread about the house. Then there were the books! We have a major weakness in this household where books are concerned. I am trying my utmost at present not to buy anymore but I keep coming across interesting titles that are not available through the library service. Books currently exceed available shelf space so consequently there are always piles of books by beds, under beds, on tables, etc. Looking at our book collection sets me thinking about something my Gran would say, it went along the lines - you can tell a lot about a person by looking at the books in their house. I am not quite sure what it says about us. We also have a tendency to hoard things, which may at some future point prove useful. Whilst the intention is good the usual scenario is we are unable to locate the required item when needed from the growing mounds of accumulated stuff. Very frustrating!! Following a team effort we did eventually manage to spruce up the house for our guests' arrival. Don't expect it will stay that way for long but I live in hope.

    Monday, August 14, 2006


    Managed to visit the Atonement film set and take some photos when it wasn't raining. Yes it has finally stopped raining. The kids and I got excited when we heard the film crew were still looking for extras to play French refugees. No such luck unfortunately but if you're male aged between 18 and 40, not too tall, you maybe lucky. The film crew are still looking for men to play French and British soldiers.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Esplanade and espionage

    The wet weather continues. I'm glad we decided to give the camping a miss, I think tempers would have started to fray after two days of heavy rain.

    Today we opted to go and see Stormbreaker at the Regent Cinema in Redcar. It was our last opportunity, the cinema closes for two weeks as from tomorrow for the filming of Ian McEwan's best selling novel Atonement. Apparently Redcar was chosen because it was the only town that could still pass for Dunkirk in the 1940s owing to its undeveloped beach and esplanade. We have been watching the development of the Atonement film set during the past month with much interest. The set is looking impressive, I cursed myself today for not taking my camera. However, on reflection the weather was not conducive for good photography. If it improves tomorrow I plan to return with the kids, I can't imagine we will have another opportunity to stand alongside a blockbuster film set.

    The movie Stormbreaker was excellent, action packed, very funny and entertaining for both kids and adults. I can't comment on how true the movie is to the book as I haven't read it. I suspect Point Blanc the next book in the Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz will shortly be added to our bedtime reading list.
    Tonight finds me childless as both kids are having a sleep over with Nanna. I hope they are behaving themselves.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Traps and raps

    Ventured out in the miserable weather in pursuit of a venus fly trap. Visited the garden centre that yesterday confirmed it had some in stock only to find some rather sick looking specimens, probably suffering from an overdose of tap water. We decided these were not going to be a good buy, insectivorous plants are notoriously hard to keep so it makes good sense to start with healthy stock. On to the next garden centre... we seem to have no shortage of them or perhaps to be more accurate - garden lifestyle centres. It would appear plants are now only of minor importance pushed aside by patio heaters, paving, decking, garden furniture and designer garden clothing. Personally I don't know what's wrong with wellies and old clothes but then I do actually like gardening, getting my hands dirty, and feeling at one with nature, rather than sitting on my deck listening to my ipod surrounded by a minimalist low maintenance garden.
    A major downside of this garden centre evolution is the difficulty you have in finding someone who actually knows much about plants. Anyway we did eventually hit lucky and a very helpful chap showed us a great selection of healthy insectivorous plants and gave us a quick lesson on the different types and how to look after them. James and Thea had great fun teasing the venus fly traps, tickling the trigger hairs to make them close. The great sales pitch worked a treat and we left with not only a venus fly trap but a pitcher plant too. Both are now happily installed in the garden, which we were informed was the best place for them until winter comes.

    Back home Paper Town is expanding courtesy of the Canon 3D papercraft website. Since yesterday two houses have been built, an allotment site developed (Thea's own design and handy work), and a harbour is under construction.

    I have been giving some thought to Professor Winston's theory that you are either a lark (an early riser that works best in the mornings) or an owl (a late riser that works best in the afternoons and evenings). I am definitely the latter as anyone who reads my blog will know. I believe my kids have inherited the owl gene, despite all efforts we have never succeeded in getting them to sleep before nine. In fact they often seem to be at their most creative and active between mid afternoon and late evening (9.30pm). Thea tonight, for example, produced the following rap at around 9.30pm, inspired by a visit to the local RSPCA centre earlier in the day:

    Animal Rescue Rap

    The RSPCA are on the way
    Cats, kittens, dogs and all
    They will rescue one and all

    Rats, mice in the cupboard
    Oh dear here comes Mother Hubbard
    When she looks through that door
    She'll pass out and hit the floor

    In a flash through the hall
    Here come the one and all
    Here they are to save the day

    Guinea pigs and rabbits too
    I found them sitting on the loo
    No need to worry its OK
    The RSPCA are on their way

    Gerbils, hamsters the biting crew
    I found them nibbling at my shoe
    Hedgehogs, reptiles and a tortoise too
    What's that noise its a moo

    The cow is stuck in the shed
    This is going to my head
    Help, help, please come quick
    The RSPCA is the trick

    Puppies, puppies in the pen
    Please come and help me again
    My dog's gone mental the cats got flu
    The kittens have a virus too

    I need your help - TODAY

    Who needs school, its rigidly imposed timetable, and one size fits all approach - who indeed.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Another quiet day

    James and I made up this morning and I apologised for losing my rag. A member of our local HE group sent me a lovely message last night telling me not to worry about James' reading. I really appreciated the words of wisdom, thank you Helen.

    I'm wondering if summer has finished and autumn has arrived prematurely, what a cold, wet dreary day. We should have been camping tonight and tomorrow night but I'm afraid we've whimped out, the prospect of four of us cramped in a small tent with a wet dog is less than appealing.

    This morning Thea and James chilled out watching the Wallace and Grommet DVD. Thea then decided to set up a Pokemon club and James and I became the first members. We were each given the task of researching a specific Pokemon character. Thea has been busy writing up all the facts in a notebook. Can't say I'm a big Pokemon fan but hey if it inspires my daughter to write and develop some basic research skills I'm not complaining.

    James surprised me by reading some of the questions that appear on Runescape. If anything is going to encourage him to read it will be computer games. He also showed me a new game he had found on Mini Clip - Feed Me. The game features a insect eating plant, this got us onto a discussion about venus fly traps and other insectivorous plants. The kids have requested we buy a venus fly trap so tomorrow we are off to our local garden centre to purchase one, judging by the number of flies stuck to the fly paper hanging in the kitchen it won't go hungry. Thea has placed a jam jar on the back doorstep to collect some rainwater for watering the new acquisition, she recalls her Dad telling her how he killed his venus fly trap by watering it with tap water. Apparently they are sensitive to the chlorine in tap water. If the weather improves over the weekend we may go and look for sundew and butterwort on the moors, examples of our native insect eating plants.

    Late afternoon we checked out the Canon 3D Papercraft website and printed off a paper model of the Eiffel Tower, which Thea and I stuck together. As the glue dried the model developed an interesting twist near the apex, hence Thea has renamed our tower The Twisted Tower of Paris. The Eiffel Tower website provided us with some interesting background facts to accompany our model. Viewing the website reminded me of a visit to the tower many years ago, the view from the top is without a doubt stunning but I'm not sure I wish to repeat the experience. I was just a bit unnerved (slight understatement here!) by the swaying of the tower or was that the vertigo. Thea is quite taken with the Papercraft website and has now progressed to building a model village.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    A quieter day

    Took a trip to the library to exchange our books and get our latest Reading Mission stickers. This afternoon Thea spent time with a friend and James and I commenced work on our second meccano model - a shipyard crane. Early evening took us to athletics, a fairly new venture for both children but one they seem to be really enjoying. I am impressed with the style of coaching, they have special junior javelin and discus so the children can train for both track and field. James developed a stitch whilst running his 600m, I jogged with him for the last 400m to keep him going and was pleasantly surprised not to be out of breath, even managed a semi sprint at the end, not bad for forty something. When James turns 8 I may even be persuaded to join the beginners group of the ladies running club, and then again...

    Well tonight I lost it somewhat with James over his reading and now I'm feeling guilty and cross with myself for being so stupid. I know I should take a more relaxed attitude, everything you read about homeschooling and children learning to read tells you that you shouldn't worry because they will get there in their own time, but sometimes its easier said than done. I could really kick myself for being a complete and utter prat.
    Found a strange parcel on the back lawn this evening. Closer examination revealed it to be a present for Thea from her Brownie Leader. I don't think they call her Brown Owl anymore. The present was a pen with a butterfly pencil top, fortunately in blue Thea doesn't do pink, and a cute little teddy bear wearing a brownie tee shirt. The pen was a thank you for all the hard work the brownies had put in over the term towards various events, the bear was an extra as it was decided that Thea was the most well behaved Brownie on Pack holiday and also she volunteered to help clean up after every activity. Well done Thea I'm really proud of you and can we have this domestic goddess at home, please!!

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    The Wind in the Willows

    Received notification that our application to join the Homeschool Postcard Club has been approved. We are looking forward to sending and receiving our first cards. James was keen to visit the library again today to choose a new book - brilliant. Unfortunately the library is only open in the afternoon on Wednesday so we had to postpone it as we were going out.

    Went with Nanna to see Illyria's performance of The Wind in the Willows, it was truly excellent. Thanks Nanna for treating us to such a great day out and preparing a lovely picnic. Thea managed to get the entire cast (five in total) to sign our programme giving us a treasured memento of our day out. The Wind in the Willows is one of my all time favourite books and I never tire of reading it. The children have fallen in love with the book too and have been re-enacting the story all evening in the style of Illyria, I can see we will be putting on a performance of our own.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Slip and slide

    James was up bright and early this morning and spent the first hour building Geomag structures. He showed me how you could propel a linked line of Geomag magnets using another magnet. We talked about how magnets have poles and that unlike poles attract and like poles repel.
    Mid morning, The Reading Mission called agents Thea and James to the library to exchange their books. James has chosen Oggie and the Dinosaur. I am keeping my fingers crossed he may want to read this as the pages are not too wordy.
    Once again we have been on child minding duty today. The afternoon started with potato printing followed by an excursion into the countryside. Grandpa accompanied us, he thinks home education is good for grandparents as well as kids. It means a great deal to have his support. In the early days I thought we were going to become estranged over the issue but all credit to him he has researched the field and now thinks home education has much to offer. For our excursion we decided to visit a favourite grassy bank that the kids love to roll down. Someone, I can't remember who, suggested we take plastic bags to slide on. A debate then ensued as to which bags might work best. In the end we went armed with a selection of bin bags and supermarket carriers; Morrisons' proved to be the most durable.
    Much fun was had by all careering down the slope, one passing family thought it looked such good fun they decided to have a go themselves. Who needs theme parks when you have this on your doorstep for free. On our homeward journey we were puzzled by what appeared to be netting covering a manure heap. Closer inspection revealed it was a cobweb like structure. I think it must have been spiders as I can't imagine what caterpillars would find to eat on a dung heap.
    Success - James read his book this evening with just a little help. He was really pleased with himself, and so he should be. School made him feel he was a failure where reading was concerned and I fear it will take some time before he can truly put that feeling behind him.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Two plus three

    A request to make banana ice lollies (as made by Nev on CBBC) necessitated a trip to the local Co-op. Literacy this morning comprised of writing a shopping list of the required ingredients plus a few other items. The resulting list produced by Thea was considerably better than my usual scrawl. When I write a list I frequently forget to take it or struggle to read what I have written, not a good example to follow. At lunchtime I had agreed I would collect my friend's three children from school holiday club and mind them for the afternoon. At regular intervals throughout the morning Thea informed me exactly how many hours and minutes it was until collection time. I didn't know she was that good at calculating time, we always seemed to struggle with those questions on the school homework sheets. The banana lollies proved to be a great success, evident by the many chocolate smeared faces.
    This evening finds me recovering from a near knockout blow by our border collie Nell. Whilst playing bat and ball with James Nell got carried away and succeeded in nutting me under the chin. The result was a sprained jaw and bleeding tongue, that's me not the dog. Nell appears unscathed by the whole incident.
    Tried to encourage James to read a bit with me at bedtime but I faced the usual reluctance. I am now having one of my - will he ever learn to read panic episodes.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    From shoe factory to construction site

    This weekend has been a hive of activity. Saturday saw Thea working on a number of projects - including shoe making, skateboard sports, rocket building and smart art. She also started her own blog - Arty Kid. James spent the day with a friend cycling in the woods and pond dipping. He informs me he caught 10 pond snails and lots of fish.
    Sunday morning saw the completion of our first meccano model, a garage crane. I have to admit I found the construction instructions a bit challenging and the whole operation was reminiscent of building flat pack furniture - are the leftover pieces surplus to requirements or vitally important components overlooked somewhere during construction! Who knows, only time will tell.

    Early evening took us rock climbing and abseiling, a first on real rock for Thea and James. However, rain stopped play earlier than planned and we had to beat a hasty retreat, particularly when Nigel remembered we had left the car windows ajar.

    Found a good game today - The Change Game - excellent for practicing money skills. Thea preferred the one without the timer, less pressure, I am with her on that one.