Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wonderful Weather

No, not an opinion on the day's meteorological conditions, although the wind and rain are much to my taste. Title refers to the weather project Emily's started and which she seems to be thoroughly enjoying.

The lovely Cambridge weather kit I mentioned a while ago is turning out to be brilliant. Emily spent Thursday assembling/making various weather recording instruments from it and she's recording the weather each afternoon around 3pm - we'll use the data after a while for some graphs and "stuff". We've got a rain gauge, an anemometer (didn't know what that was before we started - if you're similarly uninitiated it's a wind speed recorder!), thermometers, compasses, barometer, a light meter and a wind direction streamery thing Emily made, so each day she can record the rainfall, wind direction, wind speed, temperature, pressure, light etc. Emily had investigated the Beaufort Scale and is also assessing the wind contitions each day based on that, as the anemometer only gives a broad range. Here she is this afternoon with her wind compass:
We've got quite a few plans for this project and some fab resources so we're looking forward to loads of experiments, watching a wild weather DVD and generally getting stuck in.

In other work this week, Emily's been busy with more fractions and has done a lot of English, especially stopwatch timed five minute fictions on "An Item of Clothing", "The Wind" and "The Friend". We've tried working on spelling too, but I'm going to have to think of a new strategy for that. If we do a spelling "test" she can spell exceptionally well, but when she writes she tends to write really quickly and doesn't bother too much with the spelling. Constantly correcting the spelling would be hugely tedious for me and very demoralising for her, so I don't tend to do that, but there must be a middle way in which we can encourage her to take care over the spelling without intimidating or shutting down her love of just writing for fun.

We've also done lots of logic puzzles of the type where you're given a situation and lots of clues and you have to work out (using a grid, for instance) who lives where or who's favourite food is what, etc etc. On Wednesday morning Emily used fabric paints and stencils to decorate some material for a cushion cover, although we've yet to get round to the actual sewing bit. Emily's also spent a long time on Word and Publisher making and printing posters of various Harry Potter characters to put up over her bed and she's also begun a Potions Book, typing up potion ingredients and methods in Word and decorating them with clipart. This afternoon we've also installed Story Wizard software which looks very interesting. [Edit: I'm also going for the world record attempt at how many times one can include the word also into a sloppily written paragraph...]

On Wednesday afternoon Romy came with me and Emily to Normanby Hall for a run around a play - well, they did the running around and playing, I did the nice quiet sit down reading the first part of my journalist course. The day before Emily and I went on our own; hadn't been for yonks and yonks and yonks. We had a lovely close up view of the extremely cute baby peacocks they've finally managed to breed.

Harry Potter mania continues in all its myriad forms. We're up to chapter 19 of the Order of the Phoenix now. The other night I was unable to sleep for various reasons and spent most of the night up "working" (or playing on ebay, depending on your point of view) - it was then that I found these rather fantastic Snape drawings from a very talented artist. If anyone wants to put me on their Christmas list I wouldn't mind a complete set (and the wall space to display them on, natch) ;-))

Yesterday Jon took Emily and Romy to the last Friday football training. Emily will be going to the Monday evening ones during term time which she's really looking forward to. Karate begins tomorrow, so that's cause for excitement too.

Healthwise we're a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. I did manage to lose my stone in time for my birthday, so I'm now aiming to lose another by Halloween. Emily went to the docs on Wednesday morning and had to give a urine sample (which she found hilarious!); they're busy testing it to see what kind of infection she has, although it seems to have pretty much cleared up now. Jon on the other hand isn't doing so well. His foot has become agonising at times and he's been called back to the doctors to discuss the results of his latest white blood cell count as well as his foot xray. Hopefully we'll know a lot more about both conditions after Tuesday than we know now! His diabetes results are excellent, though. He's consistently getting readings below 4. We think it may be the cinammon supplements he's taking.

Merlin still seems to be going downhill :-((( Had a call from the vets on Friday to say the lab had managed to lose his blood sample so we've got to go back again on Monday so they can take some more blood. Wish they'd just hurry up and diagnose the problem properly so we can start some kind - any kind - of treatment. He seems very depressed and if he gets any thinner he'll fall over in the wind. Kit bits are due their annual vaccinations so I need to get them to the vets this week too. They're both suffering heavily with fleas at the moment :-(( I've tried two different treatments and neither has had the slightest effect, so I'll get something stronger from the vets. Mind you, at least one of the four cats has some good news to report - Cassie-cat is definitely losing weight and looking much more streamlined recently, her coat is in tip top condition and she generally seems very purry and content. You'd never think she was Merlin's sister :-//


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Emily's new project sounds good - we briefly touched on "weather" last year and the kids made a lovely Beaufort Scale poster - they still talk about what scale the wind would be classed as, even today (very blustery here).

Hope you get sorted with Merlin soon. Our vet was pretty much on the ball with dishing out blood test results and starting Jasper on his tablets (£50 for the tests and £50 per 3 months for the tablets - help, I'm gonna have to get a job I think!). Anyway, we all think he looks happier and is filling out already, so hopefully Merlin will soon be on the mend. With regard to fleas (I hate the very word), we've found the only real solution for our two is a daily comb, although Allie hates this, it's really effective if you keep it up. Elle.

Ruth said...

My lot did weather and made the things you mentioned last year. It was great fun. Hope Emily infection is sorted and Merlin is O.K