Friday, September 22, 2006
A bakers shop has been opened in the kitchen. The kids spent part of the morning modeling cakes, bread, pastries out of salt dough. The produce looked very realistic. So much so that the dog (Nell), when no one was looking, decided to help herself to some of it. Judging by the number of discarded cakes and pies I think she was somewhat confused by these tempting cakes which looked great but obviously tasted disgusting. She must have tried one, thought yuck, tried another, thought yuck again, and so on and so on. She obviously was unable to comprehend that all the food would taste the same.
All fifteen bags of compost (I counted them) have now been spread on the allotment. We are now ready to plant some seeds and onion sets.
Thea has achieved her silver in swimming and is now working towards her gold. Quite a tough challenge as it involves swimming 32 lengths. well beyond my capabilities. James and I enjoyed our athletics session. My running is improving but I must try and get out during the week for some extra training.
Watched the first in the BBC series of Ancient Rome - The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Not at all suitable for children, well that was my view. I found the violence of some of the scenes disturbing. I know Rome was a cruel and bloody place but I would have thought it was possible to tell the Ancient Rome story without such graphical displays of violence. Not sure whether I will watch next week's episode.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Shakespeare Stories - 8 books for ages 8 to 2 years.
Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Tempest, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Hamlet.
Birdhouses - templates and instructions to create 20 attractive and entertaining homes and feeders for your local bird families. Designed to be made in a weekend. Thought this would be good for DT projects along with the Usborne book on Card Making.
- The Titanic had 2,227 passengers
- 705 survived
- The ship was designed to hold 30 life boats but only 20 were on board
- The Titanic is 12,500 feet down
- Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the Titanic tradgedy, died 6th May 2006 at the age of 99.
- The Titanic boasted electric elevators, a swimming pool, a squash court, a Turkish bath and a gymnasium with a mechanical horse and mechanical camel.
During the afternoon Thea, James and I spent a fun couple of hours constructing a legobeach complete with pier, cliff lift, lighthouse, speed boats, submarine, sand castles, beach centre and surfers.
Thea and I are reading Roald Dahl's - Boy: Tales of Childhood, a great read. It is fascinating to see where some of the ideas came from for his stories and characters. Tonight we were shocked to read how he virtually lost his nose in a car accident. I have been closely examining the photos of him to see if you can see the stitch line!
Friday, September 15, 2006
Managed to run a mile in 10 minutes and 49 seconds without collapsing. Really need to get some extra training in during the week, its just finding the time!
Wednesday 13th September
I had to spend most of the day at work so Thea and James visited Nanna. James enjoyed watching a programme on zoos and constructing crossbows out of Kinex. Thea was in writer mode for part of the day and wrote a short story about three friends being evacuated to the country. Spent the afternoon cleaning caravans, I think I will wash the carpets tomorrow if the weather remains good.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
On Sunday Thea, James and I took Nanna to Redcar and Cleveland's first puppet festival. It was a brilliant day and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We had tickets for two performances - "The Worm that Squirmed" and "Each Peach Pear Plum". Both performance were just great. As well as the performances there were puppet shows for one, craft sessions, storytelling and the Yorkshire Olympics - very funny!
Thea was so inspired by the puppet shows she produced her own little show when we returned to Nanna's house. The show - The Naughty Chicken - was hilarious and had a great story line. It was amazing seeing just how much she had learnt from watching the puppeteers at work. We are all hoping the festival is repeated next year.
The worm that squirmed
One of the many beautiful puppets from The Worm that Squirmed.
Three minute theatre for one. Thea mesmerized by Dan's Baby (Dan the World's First pregnant Man). It all looks a bit strange I know but honestly it was quite harmless.
James takes his first deep sea dive!
Friday, September 08, 2006
We are debating over whether to buy another caravan. We have seen two on E-bay that take our fancy. This morning Thea, James and I went to look at one near Easingwold. Thea did a brilliant job of navigating and we found the site no problem. Tomorrow we are off to Chester-le-Street to view another potential purchase.
Last night Thea's piano teacher rang to say could Thea start lessons again this Friday. Arghhh... Thea and I both panicked. This summer has seen little in the way of key contact. In fact I can't quite recall when Thea's fingers last came into contact with ebony or ivory. We had planned to have some intensive practice sessions over the next couple of weeks to catch up or should I say cover up our lack of activity. Well things didn't go too badly, much of the lesson was spent on working through new Grade II material leaving little time to go over the summer pieces, phew. With no lesson next week we have a week's grace - time for some serious catching up.
Fresh supplies of Hama beads were acquired today. I had thought of buying some from Bead Merrily after looking at some of the great design on Hama and Perler Bead Patterns (the designs are great, the site is well worth exploring if your into Hama). However, when I added the cost of postage to our order it was cheaper to buy them from the local toy shop. Armed with new supplies plotting of the constellations is now underway again. Tonight Draco was mapped out in Hama.
Whilst in the toy shop I had a browse over some of the educational toys and decided to purchase Times Tables Soundtracks, as I haven't opened it yet I am unable to give my opinions. I hear the Government's latest education idee recue is to make all children learn their tables by the age of 8. Can't quite work out government thinking on education, one minute they're saying formal learning particularly for boys shouldn't start until 7 and the next they're talking about upping the pressure still further. What next - a test at 8 to see who has met the tables target - will they ever learn!!
I have decided to purchase Leappad Read Plus Writing for James to try and encourage him with his reading and writing. I have toyed with the idea for sometime but finally made my mind to go ahead after chatting to a friend who rated it highly. Hope it doesn't prove to be one of those impulsive buys - only time will tell.
Great excitement tonight, our Vapourer Moth has emerged from its chrysalis. We released it into the garden to find a wingless mate. Apparently female Vapourer moths cannot fly and when they emerge from their chrysalis stay close to it. Once mated they lay their eggs inside the empty chrysalis. Good job ours was a male then, transferring female and chrysalis from jar to garden would be a tricky operation. Hope our other Vapourer is a male!
Have finally finished reading Atonement although I have to admit I was a touch frustrated with the ending - did Cecilia and Robbie survive the war or not? Its all a bit vague for me.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
How to cure arachnophobia
Spider, spider in your hair,
Spider, spider in the air,
Spider, spider in the loo.
Small spider, medium spider, large spider,
big spider, massive spider as big as your head.
Spider, spider touch me please,
I might be a wolf spider
and bite you on the knee.
Spider, spider getting closer,
Spider, spider, spider, spider.
Bigger, and bigger, and bigger,
I'm the biggest spider you've ever seen.
On our last day we were awake early and watched the swallows gathering along the fence line of the caravan park. Well I guess summer is over. Visited Threave Castle, which has the added excitement that you have to access it by boat. Completed the quiz and James purchased a pencil sharpener catapult. He later spent many hours firing bits of paper across the caravan and conducting experiments as to which size paper ball made the best ammunition.
I have nearly finished reading Atomement, a good read. Looking forward to seeing the film next year.
Jedburgh Abbey - the spiral staircases were great.
James fits the last block to his arch - will it hold?
Thea builds an abbey of her own.