It's been a peaceful and rather pleasant week this week. Hermione hurt her neck clambering around in the garden and that caused a bit of upset for a day or two. She hates to be out of action. Other than that all has been well.
Hermione and Craig have had their first session at a local music academy. It's a 'not for profit organisation' which offers low cost tuition and the use of instruments (although many people, like Craig and Hermione, take their own). The tuition is in small groups rather than one to one. I was concerned about this as Hermione is at a very basic level - struggling to get a sound at all as the absence of her front teeth is making it tricky - but it had been fine. There are also music theory session and the chance to play in an ensemble each week.
Yesterday afternoon Hermione and myself went on a river cruise on the Wear, complete with a picnic. It was overcast but still very pleasant. The commentary was excellent. I learned lots.
Durham Cathedral took forty years to build.
The master keys for Durham Prison were once 'misplaced' resulting in all prison locks having to be renewed at a cost to the taxpayer of over one million pounds.
Fifteen years ago the council paid an artist for a large stone 'love making seat' which is now situated on the banks of the Wear, just a stones throw from the city centre. It's smooth on one side (the side you 'utilise') and has the faces of gargoyles carved into the other to frighten folks away (presumably while you are doing 'the do' on the other side). The guy doing the commentary went on to say that despite the council's best efforts to provide for the inhabitants of Durham, he can confirm from many night cruise spottings, that most folks still prefer the grass and bushes.
It's always good to hear what happens to public monies don't you think?
We looked at Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz this week. It's a FIAR text. It tells the tale of a young boy and his grandfather , waiting in the darkness for a storm to pass, the electricity having gone off.
We thought of sources of light - electricity, torches, flash lights, candles, stars, the moon, the sun and fire.
We looked at this picture and compared the position and movement of our eyes to that of a birds.
We trawled the Internet and found some great pictures of lightening. As you would expect there were lots more shots of fork lightening than sheet, but we still managed to find a selection of both.
We discussed how lightening is a form of electricity and carried out a static electricity experiment of our own. First we made spiral snakes cut out of tissue paper. We then rubbed a plastic ruler against a piece of nylon and 'lifted' the snakes off the table.
Finally we talked about our five senses. We made some cards together representing the five senses and played a game where we took turns to remove one of the cards and the other person then had to work out which one was missing.
Miles is settling to sleep quite well on an evening at the moment which is freeing up more time for me to read aloud to Hermione, something which we both love. We devoured The Iron Man by Ted Hughes in two sittings. It was excellent. I can't believe I hadn't read this book before. We read The Hundred Mile an Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong which was alright, but in my view doesn't deserve the hype it has had in some reviews. We have read a few stories from Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson. A little obscure in places but they do lend themselves well to read alounds. Finally we have also been dipping into the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. Hermione really likes these but I find them a bit 'wordy' for reading aloud at the end of the day when I'm bleary eyed and easily tongue tied.
Errrrmmm, who allowed the 23 month old to take charge of the hose pipe? Oh yes, it was me, the ever trusting one who thought he would water the veg as he suggested. Good job it was the end of the day as we were all soaked in the time it took someone to dash in and switch it off at the tap.