Sunday, June 15, 2008

Beans, Beach & Birthday Barbecue

Oooh, look, only just over a week since my last post. I'm getting better.

It's been a busy week :-) We had our usual Friday on the 6th June, with Jacki and her girls here for the day, which encompassed lots of maths and word roots activities plus copious amounts of giggling. Last Saturday Emily had her first ever go at cooking an entire meal for the three of us - she made a fantastic bolognese sauce and pasta from scratch, it was superb! She was in her element chopping, slicing, browning, frying, boiling and the like; so much so that we decided that each Saturday from now onwards, she can be in charge of cooking our main meal, so long as she wants to (I'm sure the novelty will soon wear off!).

Sunday the 8th was Jon's birthday. Emily had made him a beautiful card plus some homemade incense sticks and cones, and my Mum and Dad organised a barbeque in the garden to celebrate, which was scrummy. Instead of a birthday cake, Emily and I made his favourite tiramisu and Emily created a chocolate fondue with fruit dips in secret for him too. Emily had a ball that afternoon on the trampoline, posing during staged falls for me to capture on camera, lol. Think she got that idea from one of the photoshoots on either America's or Britain's Next Top Model.

At some point around about then, forgotten which day exactly, she also had lots of fun being soaked by Nana and Gramps with the hosepipe in the garden. As you do.

On the Monday night we went to psychic circle as normal and Emily, Mei Lin, Jasmine and Alex spent a happy few hours drawing, chatting and being frighteningly grown up.

On Tuesday we went to Spurn Point for the day; it was an absolute stunner of a day, and the sands there on the north side are really silky and nice, albeit burning hot under bare feet. I was so busy putting suncream on Emily that I forgot to put any on myself and had the worst sunburn I've ever had, complete with blisters on my arms. Fortunately, it didn't start to hurt until that evening and has now (finally) died down, but it's rather put me off sunshine, I can tell you. Before the pain set in (!) we had a really lovely day, with lots of beachcombing and a picnic. Emily and I played at being castaways on the beach and in the sand dunes, since we were practically the only souls there; Emily and Daddy also did tai chi on the beach and had fun watching the ships. Ships were fascinating, actually - apparently Spurn Point has the only full time manned lifeboat station in the country because the waters around it and into the mouth of the Humber are so iffy; we watched the little white pilot boats going to and fro to escort huge cargo ships; because of the geography of the point, it looks as if the ships are going to crash straight into the beach. At the very end of the spit of land the beach just falls away suddenly into a very deep, turbulent channel and the ships go right past you, so close. Weird!

The other weird thing was that there were caterpillars *everywhere*; every piece of vegetation was covered with them, and they were even crawling on the beaches. It wasn't until we got home that we identified them as caterpillars of the Brown Tailed Moth....and found out that not only are their barbs poisonous, but that they've been in the news as having infested Spurn Point and are causing real problems there. Fortunately, we'd warned Emily not to touch them directly as we weren't sure what they were, otherwise she'd have been keen to pick them up. Anyway, we had a fabulous day and will certainly return there soon. It's very pretty even those it's so close to industry. Shame about the state of the water, but so long as you don't want to paddle, it's great. Emily and Daddy found fossils too.

In Emily's garden project she's been doing lots of work this last week. She's taken spider web prints, learned a lot about spiders and watched a spider documentary; the assorted beans and seeds she "planted" in glasses with blotting paper and cotton wool are doing really well; she's had a lot of fun dissecting an owl pellet and idenifying the bones therein; she has been labelling snails and tracking their movements, and she's been looking at lichen, moss and ferns under the microscope, finding out how their life cycles and writing about them.

Emily has also been making lots of progress with finally learning her times tables :-)) In English, we read Chapter Three of Half Blood Prince and Emily then completely re-wrote the scene where Dumbledore visits the Dursleys - she has an excellent sense of comic writing! Emily has also been doing tons of fashion designing, drawing and story writing in general. There's been lots of reading too, both on her own and Daddy at bedtime; they've just finished Warriors: Power of Three - Outcast, the latest in Emily's much beloved Warrior Cats series, and they're in the middle of Ghost Dogs, the second in the Susan Gates Animal Investigators series.

Day before yesterday we had our normal Friday, this time being our turn to descend on Jacki for the day. Since it was Friday the 13th, we made the most of it with the girls doing so me English work about superstitions, and some history about the witch hunts; they all made their own posters encouraging people to join the witch hunt, with some hilarious results.....there were also some pretty hefty, serious discussions in amongst the laughter while we debated the true horror of what had happened, compared and contrasted the devil-worship view of witches against the reality of pagans and wicca witches, herbalists, healers and so on (with Emily proudly pointing out that she wants to be a witch when she grows up, lol) and some interesting views on religion, God and Christianity.

Yesterday, Emily was a busy bee again; with it being Father's Day today, she's been crafting away and has made three gorgeous cards for Daddy, Grandad and Gramps. She also cooked our main meal yesterday; a fabby vegetable filled fish pie with trifle to follow :-)) which we all enjoyed while watching The Golden Compass DVD.

Being busy looks set to continue; we have Litha to celebrate next Friday, during which we'll be making fairy gardens and salt dough sun symbols with Jacki's girls, then it's Grandad's birthday the day after that, and on the Sunday Emily and Jon are doing a tai chi and qigong demonstration at a summer fair thingy. Then we have one more week of manically trying to meet deadlines before we go away to St Bees for.....oooh....several weeks at least. Says she hopefully :-))

1 comment:

Elle said...

Nice to catch up with your blog and loved the photos of Spurn Point. We've just been to Mablethorpe and the children were studying the map and asking to go to Spurn Point next time we venture out to a beach! Looks lovely. Elle