Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en

One group ready to go out - Olivia (the vampire) with her friend Nina (the devil) and the friend's younger sister. They were accompanied by Cousin David, who did escort duty in a mask (and came home with a pocket of sweets to show for it!)

And here are two dead schoolgirls - Sarah and her friend Katharine.

I somehow missed photographing Alex and Keir, who went around with Keir's mum a little earlier than the others - but trust me, they looked suitably Hallowe'eny... Or is it Hallowe'enish? Hallowe'enesque?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


It's so hard to get photos of lit pumpkins! Anyway, these are Olivia's (the spider) and Alex's (his own design)...

...and these two are David's on the left (his first even pumpkin carving - not bad!) and Sarah's on the right. Next year we might have to buy a new pattern book, as the ones we have are getting kind of depleted of the best designs. Or I'm sure there are patterns on the web.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today's trip out (the last one of the half-term) was to Birdworld, down near Farnham. As you might suspect from the name, it's a place with lots of birds - like a zoo, but mostly birds. I took Alex - we had a voucher that wanted using before the end of October - and he and I had a nice day out with just the two of us.

Despite his addiction to video games and Horrid Henry and other typical boy stuff, Alex is also very fond of animals - both real ones and stuffed toys - so this is just the kind of thing he enjoys. I fear it may not last much longer, though it does look like I'll be lucky enough not to have an obsession with football take over from this sort of interest.

Anyway. The birds. Here's a rather fancy duck of some sort:

Here's a penguin:

Here's an owl. The owls were mostly asleep, as it was daytime. But they are still cool.

There were loads more birds, of course - I did NOT take a photo of all of them. In fact, mostly I took photos of Autumnal foliage, etc, but Alex insisted we have at least a few photos of birds. Fair enough, I suppose.

They also had a train ride, a Hallowe'en grotto, and a special Hallowe'en themed animal show, with a talking parrot and a variety of other beasties. It was a nice day - and mild enough to be able to eat our little picnic outside without freezing to death, which is always a good thing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Land of a thousand steps

Between the half-term holiday and the nephew-visiting-from-Australia, there has been lots of tourist activity recently. Today's item was St Paul's Cathedral - David & I went with the girls (Alex off to play at a friend's house for the day). No photos from inside the cathedral, as you aren't allowed, but here's some views from up above. Not the very top part you can get to, but the middle level (first outside level). We climbed a LOT of steps - something like 500 total. A bit more, but I can't remember precisely. The view is fairly spectacular, though...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A trip to Brooklands Transport Museum today, always a successful way to entertain boys during half term.

Alex and I went with my nephew David, who is visiting at the moment, and also took along Keir, a friend who lives near us. Here are Keir and Alex sitting on Concorde.

And Alex posing as a racing driver...

...and Alex driving a plane (Keir was in the other seat - there appeared to be lots of crash landing going on).

And we even had a ride in an old car. A nice day out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My seasonal windowsill (only occasionally - mostly, it's just got some candles and stuff on it).

We went looking for pumpkins - and no, I've no idea what the black bags are for - at our local Pick-your-own place. Which also has a farm shop, with lots of lovely cheese, including this amusing one:

We didn't buy any of this one, but we were amused nonetheless.

We also stopped by a supermarket to pick up a few other things, including a quick visit to a certain coffee concession.

And rounded off the day with a little seasonal crafting. We haven't carved the pumpkins yet - didn't have the energy to face that, also wanted them to be quite fresh for the Big Day...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Birthday day out

For her birthday, Olivia wanted to spend the day with me doing stuff like bowling, eat & shopping, so we headed to Kingston. First to do some bowling (neither of us did well, but I did manage to beat her - so I don't have to suffer the stigma of being beating by an 11YO)...

We then walked over to some shops to do some shopping - passing this mosaic (it continues all the way through the motions of the forward flip, until the figure is standing again - it keeps changing colour as well) on the way.

Another one of my favourite sites in Kingston is the tipped over phone boxes - these have been here as long as I can remember (though I think they moved them slightly at one point) - which is about 20 years.

We had a break in the shopping to have some sushi for lunch...

And even found time to watch a few street performers. A good day out!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kingston Music & Arts open day

We went along to the open day today - you can try out a lot of instruments to see which one you might like to play. Alex tried pretty much everything going (though I didn't take any photos of the brass, even though he really liked them)...

Olivia had a go at a few things as well, even though she of course already has chosen her instrument - at least for the time being!

I nixed the drums, as fun as they were - we have neither the space nor the deafness required for a drummer.

His favourites at the moment are bassoon, violin and French horn (I think - though it might have been trombone or trumpet).