Well, what a lovely long weekend we have had with Helen. She left this morning and things have been quite subdued here since.
There has been quite a lot going on over the past few days so I'm just going to list a few of the highlights.
Blissfully unaware of Helen's imminent arrival Hermione and Nana practiced their skipping out on the deck.
At about 12.30 there was a knock on the door. Nana went to answer it and got the shock of her life when Helen was standing on the doorstep. For a moment I feared she was going to have a heart attack as I think she thought something must be wrong. Thankfully she quickly realised all was well and I don't think I've seen her so happy in a long while.
On Friday afternoon Nana and Helen took Hermione to her modern dance class.
Craig and Hermione went to a horse event. I was uncertain as to what exactly it was before they left which is possibly just as well as I'm rather uneasy about sports involving animals. It turns out it was some sort of steeple chase, dressage, racing type event - sponsored by Countryside Alliance - supporters of fox hunting. I'm not going to have a political/animal rights rant here although I do feel sorely tempted. All that needs to be said has been said here. Hermione enjoyed it but I doubt it will be repeated.
On the evening Soo prepared a lovely raw meal. Nana had been telling Helen about raw 'cooking' and was keen for Helen to experience it. We had a tomato dish which consisted mainly of beef tomatoes stuffed with a pate made from sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, sun dried tomatoes and olives.
We topped that off with raw chocolate pudding and an infusion made from hawthorn blossoms from the garden.
Hermione showed Nana and Helen the way to Hardwick Country Park. They had had a pleasant wander around the park an then morning tea (and pineapple juice in Hermione's case) in Hardwick Hall itself.
In the afternoon we went out en masse for lunch. Unfortunately the table was long and thin which isn't really conducive to conversation but on the positive side it did mean that Miles food hurling was confined to just a couple of peeps as opposed to all.
Nana and Helen headed off to Newcastle for some serious shopping and we made a start on Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.
We played a memory game based on some of the characteristics listed about Katy. We will play this each day and see how many more we can remember each day.
We thought about what main services we would have if we were in charge of planning a city. We made a list which looked something like - a farm, supermarket, fire hydrants, hospital, nurses office, police station, paddling pool (yes, apparently all cities need one of these), vet, electricity company, computer shop, water department, bus station and tram station (possibly of even less use than a paddling pool but it was listed all the same.
We played the rocket additions game, did a few pages of Explode the Code workbooks and checked out some word flash cards.
Helen left about 9.00 this morning. It was a difficult time.
We played a new numbers game today called the ladybird game. Pictures and explanation of this one to follow as I think I'm all most at the end of my blogging for one day.
We read Katy and the Big Snow and drew a map like the one in the story with a numbered key to show which building is which. I helped write out the buildings in the key and Hermione plodded on with the map. The picture below is of it in progress - look out for Sainsburys!