Saturday, November 25, 2006

Finally Finished!

Emily has at last finished her huge "seasons" canvas/acrylic painting. She did summer and winter months ago but finally yesterday she did spring and autumn.
You can't really see from the photo but spring was meant to be in a very loose, squiggly style with splattered rain drops on it. I really like the perspective and colours in autumn.

Today Emily's lost her voice thanks to a persistent little cold that we all can't get rid of. She and Jon went off to two Christmas Fayres this morning and came back with various goodies. Apparently lots of ladies from tai chi had stalls there and made a big fuss of Emily, bless 'em. We must get a stall at the next one.

Yesterday my Mum took the big cats to the vets for their booster vaccinations and to find out more about what on earth is happening to Merlin, who is now so thin that it's really awkward to pick him up without hurting him. He's going back first thing on Monday morning for a further round of blood tests and liver function tests. Yesterday evening the poor thing had diarrhea all over our sitting room floor. He's constantly eating but since they've ruled out thyroid and diabetes they now think it could be something with his liver that's stopping him absorbing food properly. Emily's PC up here has a photo screensaver on it and recently it's been showing a lot of photos of Merlin in the last lot of snow we had, so I guess that would be about 11 months ago. He was never a fat cat but the difference between how healthy he looked then and how poorly he looks now is shocking :-((

Work wise we're plodding on through an ever increasing work load. Our run of bad luck with our business bank continues, as they've decided to bounce yet another cheque to a supplier despite the fact that by the time the statement had updated to show the bounce (and the hefty fee) it was also showing the several thousand pounds in that would have covered the cheque if only it had been 12 hours earlier. Ridiculous. What with several corporate customers being so late in paying us and a hugely long run of payments arriving just 24 hours too late, it's been a traumatic couple of months, but we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now.

With only a few days to go until December I guess we'd better get up in the loft and find Emily's advent calendar box thingy. This year the advent fairy's going to bring her a colletion of Harry Potter collectable badges in the little drawers instead of choccies ;-) so we're looking forward to seeing her enjoying that. After much thought and soul searching, we've decided against having an 8th birthday party after all. With the cashflow situation as it is, we simply couldn't afford both that and the riding lessons we'd promised Emily, so we sat her down and explained things and asked her to choose. Very sensibly, imo, she chose the riding lessons, and fortunately didn't seem in the slightest bit bothered at not having a party after all. Which is a huge weight off our minds. I'd already got lots of HP themed decorations etc so we'll still decorate everything up and I think we'll do a Harry Potter type task/treasure hunt thingy for her so she's got some games to play before finding her pressies. And a fab birthday tea with all the family, obviously!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

In, Out, In & Out Again

One day soon, I'll get to stay at home all day. Perhaps.

The last few days in particular we've all been rushing about like madly rushing about things. Some of it has been for pleasant reasons and some of it less so - but a break would be good before I forget what the wallpaper looks like!

Monday started early with an opticians appointment for Grandad; back home in time to clear a path from the front door to the stairs in time for Emily's friend Kate and her Mum to arrive. Emily and Kate had a fabulous time, played together as if they've been friends for a lifetime not just a few weeks. Margaret and I had rather a nice time too :-)) Jon cooked us all a scrummy tea and the girls wore out Emily's dressing up collection.....

Tuesday morning was another early start for Grandad's blood test; back home to pick up Emily and scour the town for a new party dress as she's completely outgrown just about every dress she has. She wanted a long black ball gown type thing. Obviously she's in a minority there, since no such thing for girls her age/size was to be found. Found one short and incredibly small black thing in Tescos which she hated, so that was no go. Found more pink than you could shake a stick at, which was definitely no go. Eventually, Emily settled on a long, floaty maroon dress. Black it wasn't, but as she put it, at least it was long and NOT PINK.

Back from the shopping expedition in time to dash out again to yoga. Their teacher Rachel was 15 minutes late for the lesson which left me as the only adult in the building with 10 rather high spirited girls aged from 7-13. That was fun. All the other parents had just dropped the kids off outside the building so I was just contemplating what on earth to do with them for an hour before the parents returned when Rachel arrived, much to my relief!

Wednesday Emily and I actually got to do some work! For the first time in what feels like ages! Emily did lots of spelling and fraction work and also carried on with her Romans project, looking at reasons for the Roman invastion and finding out about Boudicca's revolt. It was Jon's turn to be on Grandad duty; dentist appointment this time.

This morning Jon and Emily went off to tai chi and I took Grandad back to the doctors again for another appointment; they'd asked to see him because the diabetes clinic had written to his GP about his blood pressure being high....GP said his BP was fine and that they weren't going to do anything about it after all. OK, so that was a worthwhile trip then. Mind you, the GP did ask Grandad some screening questions about depression, which is apparently extremely common in diabetes sufferers. Grandad promptly denied having any of the symptoms of depression whatsoever, ever, anyhow, anywhere, anytime. Cue my somewhat astonished intervention, trying to point out that he actually exhibits ALL the classic symptoms of depression nearly ALL the time. I could see from the GP's expression that he was rather more inclined to believe my version of events than Grandad's, but of course if Grandad denies there's a problem there's not much they can do. Honestly, I despair sometimes.

On a happier note, this afternoon we were off out again, this time to ballet/tap, where Emily had a fab time playing with Kate and was very chuffed to learn that she's now officially Grade 1 Ballet instead of primary.

Tomorrow, it's more in out in out; Jon has to take Grandad shopping at the crack of dawn, then we've got the big cats to take to the vets, then out again to pick up part of the prescription which wasn't ready today, and then out again to pick up Grandad's glasses.

Jon has been working his socks off. Emily has been a delightful angel. And I've got 10 commissions to write within the next 10 days. I daresay life will calm down soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lincolnshire County Council Getting It Right!

I've been reading a lot recently about the awful harrassment some HE families are receiving from their councils and LEAs. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that we opened a letter from Lincs County Council Children's Services this morning. They haven't been in touch with us since autumn 04 when Emily left school. At that point, we provided a written report, declined a home visit and stuck to our guns through a flurry of emails and letters before they got the message and went away.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the tone of the letter. Short of never getting in touch with us again, I guess this is as good as it gets:
"Dear _


I write regarding the education provision for your daughter Emily. I would like to ask if you remain happy with her home education arrangements, and to offer the assistance of an EHE Monitoring Advisor should you have any queries or concerns you wish to discuss.

Whilst I understand that you did not wish to receive a visit previously, I would like to make you aware that you are welcome to contact us, and to receive a visit, should you require any assistance in relation to Emily's continuing education.

If you are also able to provide me with details of Emily's current provision, I would be most interested to hear how she is progressing. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Education Out of School Co-ordinator"

I like that. Nicely worded. They've understood that they have absolutely no right to insist upon a visit or even to insist upon further written reports and that the ball is firmly in our court as to whether we get in touch or not. In other words, they've understood the law! I think we will write them a little progress report, to reciprocate the good will. Besides, it'll be nice to have a think back over the last two years and see how far we've come :-))

Sunday, November 19, 2006

In the captain's seat at the National Heritage Fishing Museum, just before trying out morse code. Posted by Picasa

Twins!! About to climb the ice encrusted stairs on the Grimsby trawler. Posted by Picasa

2p slot machines now....Vegas next! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Webkinz & Wonderful Day Out

This week's flown by, it can't be Saturday already!

Grandad came home from Canada on Wednesday and Uncle D & Aunty B enjoyed the four giant pizzas we made. Grandad brought Emily some fabulous pressies home with him, including a gorgeously huge kitten throw/snuggle and a Webkinz Pet which has really captured Emily's attention, lol.

I'd never heard of Webkinz, but it looks very good - a virtual pet world, a bit like neopets. Each of the cuddly toys comes with a secret code so you then get to adopt the pet online. Emily's is a black and white kitten she's named Sparkle. Last I looked, she was busy buying clothes and furniture for it ;-)

On Thursday Emily was busy all day with tai chi in the morning and ballet in the afternoon. Well, there wasn't much ballet in ballet, actually, since they're now concentrating on tap ready for the tap exam, but they did do some character dancing which Emily's rather thrilled about. She also had a lovely surprise on Thursday - her Polish friend Kate brought her some beautiful hair accessories as a gift. Kate and her mum were supposed to be coming to play last Monday but they lost our address and phone number, got hopelessly lost and couldn't let us know, so the little gift was to say sorry for not having been able to come. They're coming in a few days time instead and this morning Emily had fun looking up the polish for thank you to write in a card to Kate. It's quite weird listening to Kate's family talking in Polish, in the sense that I'm not used to hearing a language I can't make head nor tail of, lol. I speak Italian, French, German and Spanish with some Japanese and Arabic, so I can understand most romance and germanic based languages even if I don't speak them myself, but I've no grounding at all in any of the slavic languages so I'm completely stuck on Polish!

Yesterday Emily went out for the day with my Mum and Dad. They visited the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby and had lunch there, then went on to Cleethorpes for a very wet walk on the beach and lots of 2p amusements, then on to the big garden centre in Brigg to mooch around their winter wonderland and have tea. Gramps took some fab photos which I'll add later. Nana & Gramps treated Emily to some gorgeous souvenir ornaments - that girl needs another ornament/special things shelf - the six she already has don't appear to be enough!!

Today it was more tap this morning and this afternoon Emily and Jon have gone out to watch football. Tomorrow is karate again, after Emily had to miss the last two lessons due to ballet rehearsals.

We've got a busy run up to Christmas - found out this morning that there are more extra ballet/tap lessons scheduled and we've got lots and lots of health appointments for Grandad on the way apart from all of Emily's normal weekly activities. Plus during the next four weeks we need to fit in a visit to York before Christmas, Emily's going to the Christmas Flamingoland opening with Nana & Gramps, and with friends to the Sundown Adventureland Christmas spectacular, going iceskating, cinema visit, having friends round for Christmas crafts and general playtimes, possibly starting Girl's Brigade, there's a Magna Science Centre visit planned, yoga display, two Christmas parties, the ususal pre-Xmas mad business rush and assorted other things to remember. Just looked at the calendar wondering when we get space to breathe let alone educate! Last year we had quite a sedate December in comparison. Or maybe I'm just getting older!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sighs of Relief & Attack of the Tooth Fairy (Part 2)

I was looking back at our blog from a year ago and by some weird coincidence it was almost exactly a year ago (10th November 2005) that I posted about Emily losing a tooth and all the associated trauma. Bless her, yesterday was that time again.

The gum around an extremely loose tooth was bleeding on and off for several hours yesterday evening, but would the little bugger actually fall out? Nope. Emily was extremely distressed and practically hysterical in parts, but didn't want it taken out. Me, I just wanted to get it over with, but Daddy's wisdom prevailed and Emily eventually went to bed with tooth still intact....and this morning she woke up and promptly spat out a tooth with absolutely no further blood or fuss :-)) Poor love finds the whole thing so frightening. Hopefully though since this episode was calm in the end (no thanks to me, slaps wrist) it won't be so bad next time.

Fortunately, Emily's tooth/gum didn't start bleeding until half an hour AFTER **fanfare** The Ballet Exam yesterday afternoon, which seems to have gone remarkably well. She was feeling physically sick with nerves all day and was near tears in the car on the way there, but as soon as she stepped into the waiting room she was transformed - at that point I think I was more nervous than she was! Once she was there and able to start getting ready and having the colour identifying ribbons pinned in her hair and on her leotard, she was completely self-contained and composed and even smiley!

Emily's little group of three girls and one boy were all ready and lined up in plenty of time, waiting for some of the "big girls" to finish their interfoundation exam before they could go in. Mind you, once the examiner rang his bell and their teacher ushered the four of them in through the door and shut it behind them, I had to bite back tears. I would have felt better if the teacher had been allowed to go in with them, but she wasn't. Silly, I know, but it's a really big deal for them at this age, with so much to remember and so much build up to it.

So, me, the teacher and three other anxious parents sat on the other side of the closed door and listened to the pianist playing the music we've all come to know and love (rolls eyes) so well. And before we knew it, it was over - exit four young children with beams on their faces :-)) We won't know the results until probably the second week in January, but we're so proud of Emily for the way she's coped with it all. She's had tests before in things like yoga and karate but they've always been just with the normal teacher during a normal lesson - this is the first time she's had a stranger as an examiner under exam conditions with no teacher present and so on. And she was sooooooo nervous beforehand, I was stunned to see how suddenly calm she became! Bodes well for the future, anyway :-))

Back from ballet we had half an hour to spare before dashing out to yoga again (with bleeding tooth). For little momentoes of The Big Ballet Day, Jon and I gave Emily a "proud of you" card I'd made and a lovely miniature ballet shoe ornament, and Nana and Gramps came back later with a beautiful china doll to add to her collection too.

Today, we're expecting Uncle David and Aunty Barbara to arrive from Canada at any moment, bringing Grandad back from his holiday over there. Emily's made a fruit flan for them and we've also made tons of pizza dough ready to cook homemade pizzas for dinner tonight. Hope they're all hungry!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Time's Ticking Away

Six weeks until Christmas, seven weeks until Emily's 8th birthday. Can't believe how quickly this year is moving. I've been bouncing around ideas for Emily's Harry Potter party this week and it feels like only a few weeks ago I was dreaming up plans for a Snow Queen 7th birthday....then I was desperately searching for snowflake-y stuff, this time round I'm wondering where I can find 30 unbreakable potions bottles from, lol. Ebay here I come.

It's been a busy week, predominantly ballet dominated. Not long to go now on that front - exam is on Tuesday afternoon next week and hopefully they'll allow the kids a bit of fun dancing in December before they want them all to knuckle down for the tap exam in the New Year. Emily's done umpteen rehearsals with her music at home and went to yet another practice at the studio last night, with more to come on Saturday and Sunday.

The new term for yoga started on Tuesday night; they're busy preparing for a demonstration and parents' event before Christmas. They're getting very into pair work at the moment which prompted fits of giggles audible right the way down the corridor, lol. Emily and Jon have also been to tai chi this week where they were taught a past life regression meditation as well as the normal tai chi work. Emily was fascinated with that and has been asking lots of questions about past lives, reincarnation and related matters. She didn't quite "get" anything when she tried the meditation first time round, but she's keen to try again when life is calmer.

On Wednesday Emily and Jon went off to Hemswell Antiques centre for the day. They came back laden with stuff including a Harry Potter rug, a Harry Potter jigsaw and, best of all, the BBC cover to cover edition cassettes for Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire parts 1 & 2 - all of which were brand new and sealed and far, far cheaper than I've ever seen them anywhere else.

Education wise we've been, um, well, ballet-ing. Does that count?? Oh, no, wait a minute, there's been some maths. Quite a bit of work on angles, drawing them, measuring them, recognising them etc. And today we managed quite a lot of history. Continuing with the Romans project, we've been looking at the origins of Rome and the extent of the Roman empire. Emily told me the myth of Romulus and Remus - I was going to read it to her, but she stunned me by recounting it to me before I could even start. She just soaks up information....from a sponge. She looked at maps of the Roman empire at its height and filled in her own map with the latin names of countries and important cities. She also answered loads of questions based on a roman timeline such as how long did so and so rule, how old was this person when they died and so on, so I guess that counts as maths in disguise.

We've also started work on something I've been wanting to do ever since we took Emily out of school - The Big History Timeline as a visual aid to see easily where periods like the iron age, the Vikings and so on fit in chronologically and how and where they overlap. With the aid of big pieces of card, little craft clips, various drawings and illustrations, a piece of string and the bookcases along the length of the dining room wall, we now have a colourful timeline up covering Egyptians, iron age, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Tudors - these being the major periods we've studied so far, albeit some in much greater depth than others. Each card has illustrations on it as well as the approximate dates in question. Think we might add a vertical dimension to it by making drop down timelines for each period in detail, to hang from each card. Eventually. We were going to add to the long line as and when we study other periods/civilisations, but Emily's really, really, really keen to add to it NOW so we may take a temporary diversion to add cards for things like the stone age, the Aztecs, the middle ages, Stuarts, Victorians, the two world wars and so on. It won't be hugely practical to keep it where it is though. Years ago I saw on someone's blog that they had made a timeline going up/down their stairs so they could walk up and down through history - loved that idea, so might pinch it. Thank you, whoever you are!

And some good news; just heard that the press agency job I quoted and sampled for last week is going to go ahead as they really liked what I'd done :-))

Monday, November 06, 2006

Emily and our friendly chimney sweep having assembled all the "bits" and covered the area. Posted by Picasa

Getting ready to push, with a little help from a friend.... Posted by Picasa

And there it is! Pushed all the way up by apprentice Emily. Posted by Picasa

Chimney Sweep Hands Posted by Picasa

Fireworks & Chimney Sweeps

Emily's had an exciting few days to round off the week, and a busy one too with ballet both on Saturday and Sunday. They were practising the main solo dance for the exam (only just over a week to go!) and were doing it one at a time just as they will have to do for real. This particular dance is telling a story and has a lot of mime and different facial expressions etc. One of the little girls said she was too shy and wouldn't do it properly, missing out all the facial expressions and mimes and bits and bobs. The teacher got Emily to do hers alone, and explained to the one who was feeling shy that here was another little girl who she knew was very shy in real life, but who had mastered the art of acting when necessary, despite her nerves. I'm really proud that they've noticed how far Emily's come along recently. It is tough for her and she IS very nervous about the exam, but she's worked so hard on braving it out and it's nice for her when someone comments on her progress so positively.

Sunday, of course, wouldn't have been complete without fireworks. We had a load from the Tesco offer, including some really big rockets :-)) Gramps set them all up for us so we all wrapped up warm and ventured out in the dark for an hour full of bangs, pops, fizzles and tons of "oooooooh" :-)) Took some video of it too. Must be well over a year since our last video of Emily - lots of photos, but we never seem to get round to the video bit.

We've had fun rounding the four cats up early this last week to get them indoors before dark. They haven't seemed remotely bothered by the fireworks, though. Think they're glad to get back to playing in the dark tonight though. We've bought Merlin some tablets which are glucosamine mixed with summat else the name of which escapes me. It's meant to help with joints as I think he's feeling some discomfort there. He loves them! Fingers crossed that might do some good.

Today Emily's had a ball. The chimney sweep came round to, well, chimney sweep as it hadn't been done for a while. He asked Emily to help him ;-)) She had a fantastic time fitting all the bits together, right from the start when he put the shield up, and pushing the brush up the chimney, chattering away about the history and traditions. Think he quite took a shine to her, lol. She was absolutely filthy by the end of it but bouncing around like an extremely excited excited thing! Blogger's faffing about with photos again, so I'll add them above this post.

Emily's also worked on a bit of RE today from a great new book we've found which compares the six "major" religions (no mention of paganism, surprise, surprise). From the first chapter of that, she wrote about whether or not she believes anyone can truly "experience" God, and wrote some very thoughtful responses to a question asking her to list five "BIG" questions she would want a religion to address - namely a) Is there life after death? b) Why does God allow bad things to happen? c) Are ghosts and spirits real? d) Is there such a thing as reincarnation? and e) how are people who do really bad things treated by God?

Oooh, and lots of maths on a very old copy of I Love Maths software, which she deemed far too easy, having finally decided she can do maths after all ;-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Used To Fit Into This!

Just a couple of pictures of a rather thrilled to bits Emily in an old, sparkly cocktail dress of mine. It's a size 12.....rofl....those were the days! Had this when I was 20 and duty manager of a huge Heathrow hotel; it came in useful at all the various glitzy functions I managed to get bored stiff at in an official capacity. Except I wore it minus the old Disney Princess badge that's holding it up on Emily's shoulders. Discovered it at the back of the wardrobe and it's made someone a very happy little bunny - apparently it's the perfect Yule Ball Gown and she's always wanted one with floaty chiffon wrap pieces instead of sleeves ;-))

Went swimming this afternoon and Emily was a true star. She can swim half a width on her own now but only if she's coming to me, she won't swim away from me or to the wall. Have taken her off the various swimming lesson waiting lists anyway as she's absolutely adamant she doesn't want swimming lessons. She got quite distressed at the thought of lessons the other day and it dawned on me that really the main reason I wanted her to have lessons was because everyone else seems to be having them....which isn't really much of a reason. We'll just carry on having fun and to hell with whether we're "getting anywhere" or not. Swimming is a useful life skill indeed and if we lived near the sea or had a boat or whatever then obviously it would be more of an issue, but quite frankly it's incredibly unlikely she's going to get herself into a life or death swimming situation since she knows her limitations. We won't be pushing her into something that quite plainly she doesn't want to do. Guess it will look odd to some if she gets much older and still can't swim but hey, I'm done with the whole keeping up with the Jones' lark. I was a lot older than Emily is now when I finally learnt to swim and I consider myself a very good swimmer now, so there's hope for her yet, bless her. Jon can't swim and he's promised her that if she ever gets old enough that it bothers her not to be able to do it yet, he'll learn with her.

Bought some great fireworks from Tesco's Buy One Get One Free thingy too. Haven't heard many so far - they usually go potty round here for at least ten days beforehand so that's unusual.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tickets & Tumblestones

Forgot a few things in the last post - mind like a seive at the moment. Well, more like a seasonal cauldron, really, since I'm seethingly angry about something just now.


Yesterday my Mum and Dad got back from the caravan and brought with them 2kg of rough, untumbled gemstones they'd bought on the way. Emily was thrilled to bits and she and Gramps spent a happy hour examining them last night with magnifying glasses, identifying them, streak testing them and sorting them out ready to tumble. There are some really unusual ones in there, including some we've never had before such as red hematite, limonite and kunzite as well as a huge piece of malachite, lots of aventurine, blue lace agate, rose quartz, clear quartz, amethyst, jade, aventurine, carnelian, sodalite etc etc and my personal current favourite, a beautiful piece of rutilated quartz.

Tickets arrived today for two treats I've booked for us in the New Year - a trip to see Shakespeare for Kids perform Midsummer Night's Dream (Emily LOVED their Romeo and Juliet last year) and later in March a trip to see Swan Lake ballet. Both ages away but very exciting!

More ballet today; there are extra rehearsals for the next two Sundays before the exam which unfortunately means Emily will have to miss karate for the next two Sundays, which she's not very pleased about. On the plus side, we've been told they're doing a tap exam in March which she is VERY pleased about, so win some, lose some in that respect! Tomorrow we're off swimming and out to buy some fireworks. We were going to invite some people round but we've decided we'd rather have a quiet (Ha! Or not so quiet!) family fireworks evening in the garden instead :-))

Really Roman

So, it's November :-))

Yesterday, after all the excitement (and disruption!) of Halloween, Emily settled back down to "work" really well. In the morning she worked (without complaint!!) on plenty of maths, especially area and perimeter calculations and she asked to do more fractions.....yes, I thought I'd misheard that one, lol. She also did some English work on latin roots; she enjoyed trying to work out what new words meant from her existing knowledge of some of the roots. Just for fun, we did a reading age test too, which marked Emily as 13.6 years, so she was very chuffed with that.

Yesterday afternoon we gathered up all of our Roman resources for about the fifth time in recent history, but this time we did actually, finally, at long last *begin* the Roman project. Emily wanted to know about the Colosseum and other ampitheatres first so she read a lot about that and then drew a picture and wrote notes about what she'd learnt about gladiator fights, chariot races etc.

We have tons of resources but without planning it's hard to know where to start. Think I'll take them all with me to ballet this afternoon and map some stuff out while I'm waiting for Emily. Speaking of ballet, we're really struggling with ballet shoes at the mo. Emily's wearing a size 2 ballet shoe at the moment and barely fits them any more. For the exam she has to have new satin ones (she's in leather ones at the moment as we got so sick of the satin ones wearing out after half a term). That's all very well except that I've now ordered about four pairs from various sources in various sizes and we still can't find a pair that fits! 2.5 seems to be *exactly* the same size as 3 and both of them are masses too big. Size 2 in satin is too small. None of this is helped by the fact that in some "normal" shoes Emily takes a 2 but in others a 1 is too big....Think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and take Emily into the ballet shop in Ashby to actually try some on. Yes, I probably should have done that originally instead of ordering on line but I *hate* "real" shopping :-/

This morning Emily and Jon have gone off to tai chi as usual. I'm trying to do a frantic catch up with ebay, hampered somewhat by the site's incredibly slow response times. At the moment we have 102 items with bids on plus hundreds of others listed; trying to keep up with the second chance offers and the bidders who are bidding on several items at once and want to wait for them all to end first is a bit of a nightmare, but we're really moving items now which is a huge help. Better get on with it, then!