Friday, September 22, 2006

The life story of a penny

Inspired by Roald Dahl's Boy - Tales from Childhood Thea suggested we have a Prep session and spend our Prep time writing about the life story of a penny. Thea and I spent probably an hour on this activity. We first produced a concept map of possible ideas for our stories and then spent 30 minutes writing. Neither of our stories are yet finished but I expect we will revisit them soon. We both enjoyed the activity and I felt we got a lot out of it. There were none of the strict rules and harsh punishments that Dahl had to endure. I have been quite appalled at some of the practices that went on in schools when he was a boy. The canning seemed especially barbaric and like Dahl I was amazed that one headmaster who caned boys in a particularly cruel way should then later be promoted to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. The existence of fags and boazers (prefects) also seemed very bizarre and a great opportunity for bullies to pick on kids without their activities being questioned. Fags must have had a terrible time. Dahl tells the story of how he spent one winter being a "bog seat warmer" for one of the boazers. No explanations needed as to what this activity involved, I am sure. Lets hope public schools have improved somewhat since Dahl's day. I am especially glad caning has been banned whilst I always thought it was an unacceptable practice I didn't realise the injuries inflicted were quite so severe.

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.

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