Sunday, November 26, 2006

Alex dances to X-factor

OK, so I'm trying out this whole You Tube thing - we'll see if it works...

This is Alex dancing around to someone on the X-factor singing. He's got his own unique way of dancing!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hey, hey, the gang's all here..

well, except for Hannah S, that is. But these are the fearsome foursome - all of Olivia's little clique of friends, many of whom live in our road - Nina lives near us, but not in the road - Hannah, the remaining member of the group, lives in the opposite direction from school, so doesn't get to hang out quite as much. Left to right, they are Nina, Olivia, Eliza and Gabriella. Trust me when I say, none are as angelic as they may look in the photo!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy birthday dear me

Well, another year older and strangely enough I feel exactly the same. :) No suprise there - it's not quite like when you are a child and so excited over turning whatever the next number is (for Sarah, the next one is 10 - not til the autumn, but still, the idea of double digits is exciting for her - and scary for the parents - where did THAT time go?)

Had a nice quiet birthday, as Sarah was away for the weekend at Brownie camp - this meant that we didn't have all the usual bickering all weekend long. It didn't start until the car trip home from Brownie camp... (I let her take the old camera with her and she had fun taking lots of silly pictures with her friends - here she is with two other Brownies, not sure who.)
Anyway, opened my presents when we got back from collecting Sarah, and I got some very nice things - a nice pair of "earwigs" as Olivia put it (luckily, they were really earrings, not insects), a couple of CDs, a magnetic pincushion and a kit for making a Jacobean Pomegranate Wallhanging. I won't start that for a week or so, as I have some stuff to finish up, but I'm looking forward to it - it's different from what I usually do, but I do adore the fabric.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Blog lag

Keep thinking I should write something, but I'm not inspired - and none of the kids have been doing anything particularly cute lately, so I don't really have amusing anecdotes to share... But I thought I should at least make a note that we are here, and more or less back to normal (or what passes for normal around here) after our trip-- it seems months ago in many ways. Sarah's away at Brownie Pack Holiday this weekend, so it's fairly quiet around the house, although Alex is whingeing for England, which is fairly boring. Hopefully it's a short-lived phase.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"It's nice to see you back"

- this was what Alex said to Daddy when we arrived back home. Never mind the fact that it's not very accurate - it's pretty cute when you're 3 (or 3 1/2 as we are constantly reminded).

Anyway, we are back safe, with no breakages and nothing lost in transit except possibly Sarah's book, which we can't find anywhere. We are pretty sure she had it in the airport, and I know I checked the seat pockets, so we're thinking maybe it got left in the airport. One kid's paperback - no big deal! As Sarah said, at least it's not a jacket (Geoff left his on the plane on the way over).

Getting back into the swing of things, a little slowly, but getting there nonetheless. It's nice to be back - I think three weeks is about the right length of time to be gone - any longer and you really start to get fidgety for home - or at least, I do.

A note on the website: I have re-uploaded my site (good thing I keep a local copy, as lycos seems to have just deleted it entirely) - the only thing is that I can't get the index page to upload called index.html, so I have just renamed it - the site can now be found at

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The joys of website maintenance

For some reason, Lycos seems to be playing silly buggers with my website, giving an "unauthorised" message when anyone (including me) tries to see it. Of course, there's very little technical support, as they are a free service, and being at my mom's house, it's a little harder to sort things out - no FTP, for instance and the Web FTP at Lycos isn't working at the moment. Presumably the stuff is still there, just not accessible, though I do have a copy on my desktop at home anyway. I guess it's time to finally move it somewhere else, which I've been thinking about doing for ages anyway. But it's still annoying... It also means some of the photos on my blog template show as broken, as they are located on lycos.

a bit later: had a browse through Lycos's help forum, and this seems to be a wide-spread problem with all accounts starting with T, U, V, X, Y and Z (but not "W" - wonder why not?). We're "t" (TheNorths) so I guess all I can do is wait until it's been sorted out. Which is not so good for my impatient self!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Far more treats than tricks...

Well, the kids have now experienced full-on American Hallowe'en... And it was really fun, actually. It's much bigger than I remember from when I was a kid, although this may be partly just that this neighbourhood is particularly good for it. Also, it was really warm yesterday - got up to 23 or 24 yesterday during the day, so that the evening, while not particularly warm, was fine for sitting outside with a jacket. (more Halloween photos here)

This neighbourhood is really good for Halloween - lots of houses with kids and lots of people sit out either on their own or with friends or their neighbours. Lots of decorations, and a number of very nice hand-carved jack-o-lanterns. My mother's neighbour, Patty, carves really spectacular ones. But there were also a number which had obviously been carved by or with children, which is always fun.

A few houses had gone all out and set up scenes - one with a spooky campsite with dry ice and a severed head in a tent with a guy who jumped out at you with a chainsaw; one with cobwebs over the whole yard and a skeleton coming out of the ground and one which had lots of gravestones, and a flying bat (this one spooked Alex out a bit, but that was at the end of the evening, and he was really tired).

The kids got absolutely masses of "candy" [Alex was very cute - he learned all about Halloween in about 1 day and could tell you just what happens: "You dress up in a Hayoween cosyume and go to eddybody's house and say trick or treat." "And then what happens?" "Then, they gives you CANDY!!" - this from a child who hadn't heard the word candy a month ago (we say sweets or chocolate).] which I guess will have to be packed in the suitcase to go home as there's no way they will get through it all before we leave, even if I let them eat more than I really want them to.

We carved our own pumpkins on Monday morning; we didn't want to do it too early as the weather was due to be very nice, so we didn't want to risk them going bad too quickly. It was actually fairly hot in the sunshine when we were working on them. Sarah did hers entirely by herself, and Olivia did hers mostly alone, with only a little guidance with drawing the features. Grandma Kathy carved most of Alex's and all of her own and I tried my hand at an artisan pumpkin (above) for the first time - I'm pleased with the effort, I have to say, and I may well try it again next year.

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous - Sarah and Grandma went out yesterday afternoon after we went up to the local elementary school to watch the Halloween parade to take photos of the autumn foliage. This tree is a photo taken by Sarah - and there are more here. It's really lovely, and very warm.