Monday, May 28, 2007

A day in the rain

Bodiam Castle

& some very big fish

Sarah on the top of the tower

Merlin with a big umbrella & his dad - Alex and Geoff bringing up the rear.

Spent the day yesterday with friends - Miranda and her two kids, Joseph (who lives in the US) and Hannah (Australia) and their respective families. As you might imagine, it's rare they all get together at once, especially when we can get there, too. Also our friends Nigel and Ann came along. Although we spent a good chunk of time at the cottage they are all staying in, in Kent, we did make a brief foray out to Bodiam Castle, just down the road, so the kids (big Sarah, age 14; Duncan, 12; our Sarah, 9; Olivia, 7, Alex, 4; Merlin, 3) could have a run around. Despite the rain, they all seemed to have fun - or who knows, maybe because of it. Once we got back to the cottage, the grownups all went inside for tea and other refreshments, while a good contigent of the kiddies continued to play out in the rain, exploring and whatnot. .. More photos of the day here... Most of them fairly out of focus - I think I was trying to snap them too quickly because of the rain. But you get the idea.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Forts Day"

...or for those of you more readily able to pronounce "sp" - "sports day". Here's Alex catching a ball in one of his little activities. No photos of the girls, as those are all video - I'll probably YouTube some later, so there may be some to come, but not right now. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day - sunny, not too hot, really nice. They got lucky. And everyone seemed to have fun. None of my kids fell over in their races, which is good - Sarah came third in her running race (this is not surprising, she ran against the two fastest girls in her class - those two came first and second last year as well); Olivia did a sack race and an egg & spoon race and came second in both - she nearly won the sack race but tripped at the last minute. Luckily, although they do competitive races for the older kids, they are fairly casual about it, and the emphasis is on completing your race and supporting your teams. The littles aren't marked for places at all - everyone gets a well done sticker in every race.

[The school is divided into four teams or houses, with kids in different years in each team; through the year they are awarded team points for lots of things - good behaviour, homework, sports, good artwork and so on - so all the children have a chance to help their team earn points. The idea is to encourage interaction and cooperation across the entire school, rather than just within your own class or year. The younger students are assigned to teams, but don't really earn much in the way of team points. Each house is called after a big cat (lions, tigers, leopards, panthers) and has a colour (yellow, red, green, blue). Siblings are always in the same team/house. We're panthers.]

Anyway, an enjoyable day, and I've come back with rather browner shoulders than I started the day with. Luckily, I did put some sunscreen on just after lunch, so I'm not burnt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bunch of flowers

I'm a fairly busy person. Some would say very busy. So why is it that I never feel I have anything to blog about here? There's plenty to blog on my quilting blog, because you don't have to think of anything interesting, you just talk about the sewing you did that day, but when I try to apply that principle to this blog, it always seems kind of boring!

So. Here's a bunch of tulips, which I received yesterday from our lunch guest, Katya, who is sort of a colleague of Geoff's (she works in Boston - edits Neuron - but she's in London for a month or so). She brought me these lovely flowers, which have opened up really nicely, and a bottle of wine (which opened nicely, too!). We often (well, maybe often isn't quite right - regularly, let's say) have colleagues of Geoff's around when they are visiting from the US (or wherever) - this time, it was nice to have another American, especially a female East-Coaster who is my age and was born in Germany (yes, I know, sounds like me!). Anyway, we had a nice day, good lunch if I do say so myself (rack of lamb, pommes dauphinnoise, stuffed courgettes; forest fruit ice-cream to finish) and good enough weather for a nice walk afterwards (the girls on their bikes) - but of course, having a guest for lunch pretty much takes up the whole day. Which is fine, but often leaves me feeling I haven't accomplished much.

I guess we compensated for that today - Geoff mowed the grass, we cleaned out the gutter on the front of the house, Geoff took a trip to the tip, I did three loads of wash, and so on. See how exciting my life is? No wonder I don't blog it all the time!

On a funnier note (sort of) - the girls have been playing elaborate games today involving pretending to have broken a limb. So it was a bit like a triage area in the hallway and kitchen... This unfortunately was prompted by Olivia's friend Eliza having broken her elbow, poor thing. She did it falling over at the school disco, but is either very stoical, or just managed to do it in an unusually painless way - even the doctor at the hospital when her mum took her to have an x-ray just to be on the safe side, didn't think it was broken because Eliza wasn't in enough pain. Which is good, of course, but lucky that they went to have the x-ray "just in case". At the moment, she's not in plaster because apparently they prefer not to do plaster for elbows, but I think when she goes back later in the week, she'll come out with a cast - just too hard for a six-year old not to move her elbow. Or have it moved accidentally.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Alex driving on the carousel

Went to the May Fair at Morden Hall Park today - here's Alex on the carousel. I didn't take many photos, as I kept getting distracted, and although I did take two short videos, I took them sideways, and don't know if there's a way to flip them or not - must work on that, as I keep forgetting I can't take video that way...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The cutest boy

A photographer came into WrapAround (where Alex goes after nursery two days a week) recently to take photos of the kids - I happened to be there (I came to collect him, but the photographer was late, so I was there when the photos were taken, unlike most of the parents). Anyway, at one point when he was taking the photos, Alex wanted me to be in some too, so I agreed - we don't have many photos of me, as I tend to take most of them, or else they are taken by the kids (or my mother) and have part of my head chopped off (equally likely, whether taken by the kids or my mother, I'm afraid!). Anyway. There were more proofs, but I think these are the best four - we'll be ordering some, but I just wanted to share the proofs with everyone!