Friday, 11 May 2007

Random remembrances

Once again life has over taken my ability to blog so this post will consist of more random remembrances which hopefully will reflect some of what we have done over the past couple of days.

Wednesday was a busy day. On the morning Nana, Soo, Hermione and Lily headed off to Natures World for the TVHE meeting. Linz had arranged for a box of Victorian kitchen artefact's to be there for the children to handle and experience. Apparently Hermione spent all most the whole of the time playing with a wash board and a bar of carbolic soap. Thankfully she had done so in an appropriate way. It will take a long while to erase the embarrassment I felt when during her brief dalliance with an official playgroup Hermione attracted much attention by ironing all of the toy food with the toy iron, and when asked why by the leaders was insistent that the iron was a pizza slice. Mmmmm, what kind of role model am I?

Wednesday afternoon was Rainbows. Once again Nana did the chauffeuring honours. I really don't know where I would be without her. She has facilitated so much for Hermione since I had Miles. Apparently Hermione is really settling in well and was even involved in group hugs and things when she arrived. I'm so pleased as a while ago I was really beginning to worry about her social life but now she's settled at Rainbows, Badgers and dancing lessons I feel much more relaxed about it. She came home with a very colourful salt doe model.

On Thursday we did 'normals'. More placing numbers in order, word board etc.

We went on to read A Pair of Red Clogs. Afterwards we looked in detail at the illustrations. We talked about the kimono, how it is worn by Japanese ladies on special occasions, how difficult it can be to put on, the obi belt, wooden clogs etc. We also talked about geisha's. I was uncertain as to whether I should discuss geisha's with them but I felt it important that they didn't see the stereotypical image of a Japanese woman (very geisha like in my view) and believe that half of Japan was of that appearance. I found a nice video clip on the National Geographic site about the ancient art of being a geisha . It did talk briefly at one point about 'getting into bed with the geisha' but otherwise it concentrated on them as entertainers skilled in dancing, playing instruments, flower arranging and conversation. We watched the clip and I turned down the volume and talked over the clip for the few seconds when the jumping into bed business arose.

After a lunch of Japanese sushi we went to the Oriental Museum in Durham. They have a dressing up box full of oriental clothing and shoes. It was good for the girls to be able to try authentic clogs and kimonos after just discussing them earlier.

Today the girls decided they wanted to listen to a cd by Marneta Viegas's 'Relax Kids' series. Well, I'm not sure what to say on this one other than they appeared to be far from relaxed afterwards - or at least not relaxed in the clam, quiet and chilled way. Lots of mess, shouting and frayed tempers. Hmmm. I hung out at the veg patch with Miles till the mayhem passed.

Wen Miles napped we played the rocket game which we made earlier in the week. Hermione's mental arithmetic is really improving as is her reading. She really does do quite well if these things are presented in a lighthearted game fashion, she just seems to be really put off if confronted by a book to read or a page of sums. Times like this I realise I am doing the right thing in home educating her as if I tried to force her down that 'one size fits all' route I think she would be very very stressed.

This afternoon Nana, Soo, Hermione and Lily headed off to Lynn's House to a book launch party for friends. Her book 'Too Ghoul for School' has just been published. They all had a great time. Lynn had read a passage from her book and there had been an opportunity to ask questions. Hermione had enjoyed the reading but I think she was also a little bit scared. I asked if she would like us to buy the book but she felt it was for children older than her as it is 'full of eyeballs' ??? I feel inclined to buy it and read it myself now :-)

After visiting Lynn Hermione headed off to her modern dancing class. She is very keen to start tap and apparently a tap class will be starting within the next couple of months.

Work is ongoing with the garden decking. It just seems to take so long. I'm not one to be blessed with huge amounts of patience. I'm sick of being surrounded by tools and half done stuff. Will this ever end? I can't believe we have been here since November and there is still so much to do.

Nana is still doing sterling work in the garden. We now have a little herb border at the op of the garden. We were going to put herbs at the bottom of the veg patch but feeling inspired by Whitworth Hall I feel that we should have a herb border instead. There are some fantastic fragrant herb borders in the walled garden there. Good strawberry borders too.

After a week of trying I managed to speak to David Battensby Area Traffic Engineer about the problems I am having with people parking across my drive. He has conceded that the circumstances are exceptional and has agreed to have a keep clear white line painted across the road where our drive is. I will be so relieved when this is done as being barricaded into the drive by inconsiderate drivers is an irritation in life I can do without.

Tomorrow Nana and Hermione are going to see 'Watercolours' at Darlington Theatre. It is a story about a boy who moves house, discovers a lady living in tho loft who is going blind and finds that change and new experiences can be positive. Quite apt for a little girl who has recently moved house. In the meantime I'll be stuck at home trying to entertain Miles and control him while workmen cut and fit the granite worktops in the kitchen. I hope they do their cutting and stuff outside. I'm sick of living in a dust bowl.

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