Category Archives: history

the big bang!

We went to the Big Bang science fair at the Excel building in London, and it was brilliant :) . we went down on the thurs and came back on sat and saw loads of friends whilst we were there as well as learnt a lot. the stands were excellent, a mixture of school science groups, industry and ‘others’ : some you asked questions to, some you made something at, and some had things demonstrated to you. SB asked lots of sensible questions, and really is getting quite confident at this, loved all the exercise to make energy places and did a fair bit of making, but mostly for her it was about finding stuff out. For bb it was mostly about the making, and the getting of goodies :) . the stands were well set out into different zones as well. I was impressed at how well thought out it was.

SO thurs saw an easy drive and park at the excel, just in time for a building evacuation, so was a bit wierd! however, soon back in and to the desks, who were being totally clueless about registration and we had to go back again to get something put right. not a long wait tho, and only needed to do it the once. we never needed the big number we had to print out tho – not entirely sure what that was all about? we had a short wander around some of the v many stands and then went to our first thing – amoeba to zebra. TBH, I loved it. it had a feel of edinburgh fringe about it, was pretty surreal and made me want to giggle, and prob wasn’t exactly what it had been sold as. [well i might not have gone! but i carefully tried to chose things with both bb and sb appeal]. perhaps i should have looked at their website before booking – but then we would have missed something we all enjoyed [bb ran out at chapter 8 of interest, and sb got to 11]. we had our packed lunch and then moved onto the stands some more, and enjoyed some more areas before going to our headline show of Bang Goes the Theory – which SB adores watching. It was really well done, and both girls enjoyed it a lot. we wandered around the purple zone with maths and found wallace a gromit looking empty, so went in earlier than our booking. our lady not v good, thick spanish accent, and couldn’t get the demonstration to work [now bb has made her kit, it is obv that the demonstrators kit joined up all wrong!] but still, got a pic with wallace and gromit and a really fab kit. i think other ppl had better demonstrators and a far better experience. After this we collapsed at the little coffee stand, tried texting the portico again, looked up and saw them! [obviously in the maths section - lol! ] chatted and SB and buttercup went off to do the wellcome institute olympic challenge – which they both loved – measuring leg length against ability to jump far… a well as a number of other stands. BB and i pottered about the maths and physics, she really liked the bernoulli wooden cups and also the v simple stand showing potential energy [it is a long time since we did that at latinetc] . finally we wandered back to the car with a nice breezy walk along the dock front and drove to docklands travelodge – v cheap and parking :) . got kids all in bed, and kirsty family back from the eye, so we got them up again :)

Next day kids were suffering from late to sleep early to up, but we got going and met v quickly deependers, rainedrops, biff and nattyem as the checked in, so arranged to sit altogether at the front for brainiacs. kids really loved it, and i think extra fun to be sitting with friends. lots of capers and explosions and use of fire extinguishers :) . we then went on to have a fab time round the stands. i went round with bb, and DH with sb. BBs highlights was blowing up a nuclear power station :) the lego stand [she was there ages!] making snot, doing the yeast experiment – tho she loved the penguins, and we looked at lots of other things too. SB loved asking ppl things mostly, i think. but also liked the cpr vest, energy challenges at various places, and was complimented on her knowledge. We went for a film workshop with the BBC, which, for one reason and another didn’t suit BB, so i took her out. We had thought it might be a gamble, depending what they did, but it was unfortunate really how it panned out. However, BB had a great time at even more stands – particularly the stick one and the windmill one but also the chocolate one- being told she was clever and adorable and having her photo taken lots :) . I managed to blag 2 solar kits [without instructions] for me, and 1 for thebabs from the dyson people, which was nice :) SB really loved the film workshop, which she did in a team with nattyem and co – also something she loved – and was proud of what they had done, and the things they had learnt. so in the end win win :) . When she came out i took SB round more stands [my poor feet! ]whilst DH had a coffee and BB fell asleep on the table – aww. we swapped for him to have a final look at the stands and had a comedic moment of thinking he and SB would have to roll under a closing hatch to get out as the exhibition came to an end.

It was really worthwhile doing. We had a fab time, and currently plan to attend the one in birmingham next year. Home to the travelodge with kirsty and co, a failure to get chips in, so more expensive pizza option but tucked into heartily and happy kids showing off their goodies. BB realised she had less pompom things, and A v kindly gave her one of hers. BB continued stropping [as v tired] but given short shrift by the rest of us!

We finished off our time away with a great museum day at greenwhich with kirsty and family, and also the porticos joining us for the maritime museum and some general running about. It was great to spend more time with kirsty and family, our kids all got on really well this time [not a given with eldest and youngest!] the royal observatory was excellent, with really good info and displays and interaction. SB spent birthday money on a fab bag as well :) . Also enjoyed maritime museum, but by then could have done with more chairs, as feet were beginning to think i had changed profession :) . nice talking to adults, really enjoyed the science of the seas, not so sure of the kids interactive room, but they loved it :) and by the time we decided to have coffee, i was def in need of restorative :) . nice chatting with adults as kids raced around on lawns, and felt we came to natural end of day before BB completely lost it. I was wrong, of course, and after complete melt down she fell asleep on DLR – obviously what she completely needed :) and remained asleep, even when DH put her down by car to get everything in it. Am amazed she can sleep squatting really.

We popped home via manorborn for some v v nice fajitas [well, how could you turn down an invite like that!] said hello to their new french daughter, who played the piano beautifully for me. We chatted, the 3 older girls played a game, and BB was just not right as tired :( . got home after midnight to a bit of a crisis in part of my life. hmmmmm

so hooray for a lovely time away, with my lovely girls. children who are enthusiastic about learning, meeting and talking to new people and have lovely friends as well :)

rest of week so far

monday, hmm, think that must have been getting braces day for SB – bless her. these are removable, and top and bottom teeth, and she really isn’t that keen, but perservering. Did i say that BB now has glasses too? for long sightedness. I had a genetics counselling appt about risks of breast cancer etc etc. so when we all reconvened at home we were quorate for feeling self indulgent! Home ed stuff got done, fairly happily and i think BB might be about to ‘get’ reading :) once she does it is going to be v fast i think. ballet in the eve.

tues i was at work. various home ed bits in the morning, and then in the afternoon to the absolutely excellent home ed djembe drumming session. Nanna went along too, as it was an undersubscribed session, and they all loved it. swimming in the eve, and i was v late back from work as a long hard day [cue violins :) ]

P1130072

wed already blogged :)

thurs was mostly drama about whether f-i-l would be sprung from hospital [and in the end wasn't] and whether i could make it through work feeling so v v bad from migraine [i did] oh, and SB had a music theory exam :) she can really easily do grade 2 theory, but veers between concetrating and doing v well, and not using brain at all!! and then not doing so well. i think she is a happy dreamer :) but she says she checked 5 times and was happy with it, so we will see. grade 2 music theory doesn’t ‘matter’ , it is exam practice and confidence, and stretching herself a bit. Just happy that she is happy :) BB had a fab time with the deependers and really enjoyed herself. In fact, I think she has inveigled herself into a home ed trip with them tomorrow, whilst DH finally springs his dad from hospital :) :) thankyou k :)

and adding friday, the girls had a fab home ed trip with deependers today to the cathedral and learnt about middle ages and cromwell. SB said she knew all the middle ages things, but the cromwell was new and v interesting. they both loved the trip, so thankyou k :)

One ring to rule them…

… one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Some how our children have passed by the lord of the rings. We did try reading the hobbit a while back to sb, but she wasn’t keen, so dropped it. However, today was bright and sunny, and I am making the most of the time off, so after a morning with M-I-L [F-I-L's progress v v slow post op, he has been in for a week, and I estimate a further week to go] we were to go out after lunch. I say a morning with M-I-L, but sb was singularly unable to get up! this was unfortunate, as although we had made DH presents previously, we hadn’t done cards, and she was allegedly getting up early to do them!! BB mostly finished making all her lego, and did a short piano prac. When SB did get up, we both made cards for DH, and M-I-L most appreciative :) SB finished her theory book as well.

P1120695

A bit after after lunch [as it were!] we set off to west stow for their ring quest. It was only £8 for the whole family!! bargain :) there was a fab orc :) [the elf wore jeans!!!] the trail was fun and well thought out :) and we could flip between lord of the ring trail and anglo saxon easily as it was nearly empty, so we could make believe. [this is where the lord of the rings thing earlier was going too!] Had to do some telling the girls the back story, and after getting into giggles with DH, I took over :) [i may have read the book far more times :) ] SH enjoyed pretending to be aeolderman, sitting in the chair in the main hall :) BB was intermittantly wolfhound or warg – you decide which best fits her personality :) SB was in charge of runes and clues, and myself for daydreaming saxon or LOTR depending on what was called for :) We v much enjoyed it. Both the village – tho see might be better with re-enactors, it would also be busier – and the romping walk. Both girls did it at a fast trot, so obviously runes searching is better than geocaching for BB!! Def a good afternoon out.

P1120698 P1120793 P1120725 P1120802

this evening DH chose takeaway pizza for tea and we had yummy birthday cake made by SB of sweetspice victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream and home made jam – yummy :) . the girls happily watched the first dvd of LOTR extended version set. Not frightened was the verdict. we will see as we go along then :) .M-I-L says F-I-L a bit perkier, which is good, but no nearer walking – not so! planning another eventful day tomorrow as last of my annual leave. Think i have done the best with it :)

yeah yeah, sure sure, yip yip

as SB says all the time :) . today was a day spent at home with girls, doing presents, home ed, chatting, playing cuddling etc etc. I was feeling a bit blue today. miss my sis, needed really to have a more going somewhere holiday to focus my gaze externally etc, etc. But threw myself into doing stuff with girls. We did some fab home ed in my lovely conservatory :) and BB successfully read ‘the’ a few more times :) – we are classing this as a MAJOR achievement :) .

SB getting happier at doing her junior galore park [on book 2] which also bodes well [yes, i know for her school year she should be book 3, but orig she hated writing, so have been gently gently introducing :) ] she did some music theory also, but her fav bit of home ed today was her choice of fact book.

which she got for xmas but only just explored [she has been reading back to back canadian girl stories i think!] and surprised me with just how much she knows about this already. we do lots of talking, lots of reading but negligible testing, so it is always a relief when you see how knowledgeable she is. BB peering over her shoulder at one point selected a spiral galaxy to be the milky way because it was the ‘right shape’. SHe also did some of her dk project book, which she still loves, currently minerals, cleaned the rabbit hutch and did a great piano prac with me. Also finished [more or less as we need the printer to work proplerly to actually finish] P amd M’s birthday presents and also M-I-L’s.

P1120578

BB started with piano prac, having heard me do some [yes, we must tune piano] and i must make sure to encourage this regularly as she remembered all what we had done and was ready to move onto a new note. She had the great reading breakthrough as above :) and we read why do spiders… She also did a lot of drawing with her watercolour pencils in her sketch book, and played a complicated weighing game with cuisinaire rods and a balance as well as making a birthday presnet for M-I-L.

P1120603 file0.jpg.png

DH excavated the room of doom, M-I-L the hallway, and as well as home edding and reading to girls [oh, we did 2 chapters of story of the world after swimming lessons] I sowed some more seeds, as blogged, caught a v disgruntled snowy rabbit [lol] and ‘found’ things :) . F-I-L seems to be better pain wise but a long way off mobilisation, predicting at least a week more in hospital.

tomorrow hoping for a going out day :)

some other books semi factual semi historical that SB enjoying that others of similar might

Daddy Blogging

there is a half finished draft post on victorian day back here in the workings bit of petits haricots. 52 drafts altogether, nearly all with daddybean as the author. I am hoping he will get his blogging mojo back :) at least for some of the fun trips and groups he goes to with the girls.

Yesterday they went to multisport, i worked a v v long day, and f-i-l had surgery. today they went to the arts award group for the first time. it is 10+ but bb got to stay with DH helping. they were doing botanic drawing, so quite a challenge, particularly for BB. in the end DH drew the chilli i think, and she did the shading in. SB did a plum and strawberry, and I am partic impressed by the shading of the plum. they both enjoyed it and plan to return. I believe BB did have a melt moment, cos on paper not what in head, so hoping wasn’t disruptive to the group.

P1120370 P1120369

in the afternoon they dropped m-i-l into hosp. F-i-l has been in quite a bit of pain today, as the leg muscles all spasming :( i hope they can get it under control, perhaps with an epidural?? Looking forward to him moving to the rehab bit of recovery rather than the initial pain bit.

The girls had opticians appts. It turns out BB is long sighted, and needs glasses to read! SO we are getting a pair of Mr Men glasses for her. sb went to 2 diff opticians, but couldn’t find what she wanted, and is unkeen on the bendy ones again. I am v keen on the bendy ones, as they are the first pair not to be trashed and require recurrent visits back for fixing!

got home from work and we had cuddles, tickles and watched cartoons altogether. also a couple more canada books arrived. SB read one of the dear canada diaries last night and loved it, so was glad for another to arrive [they are 'preloved'] and BB is reading her prev ones again. I am loving going to canada in the summer, it is like a ray of sunshine in the dreary winter, giving us fun in planning, and learning and thinking :)

working from home

i don’t often work from home, but had a vast amount of paperworky/journally/knowledge stuff to do, and as long as i am avail to go back in, it is a possibility to do [v occasionally!] today was one of those occasions, partly cos have had severe heartburn all day, and easier at home where can drink milk and gaviscon :), and partly cos had bb whilst sb taken to orthodontist. i was v v productive. far more, actually, than would have been at work as i would have been distracted into doing other stuff.

The girls also pretty productive with their HE. BB doing some maths about shapes – easy peasy! and then explode the code 1 – not quite so easy, but getting easier. SB did some music theory, recorder and galore park english 2 [the latter def not at all so easy!] . we did a secret craft [ :) ] in that it is going to be partly a present for daddy, and partly a present for her friends. SHe and BB both did it, and are v happy with their results :) That took a while, and we had to keep daddy occupied elsewhere, so sent him out for rabbit supplies, but he forgot the food!!

I went back to working, BB watched some sinbad and SB finished her english with one of those acrostic poems, which she quite liked. SB went to ballet, BB played in the garden, and then came in a mooched. SHe was bored, she needed me to think of something – piano, music theory, fimo, hama beads, wet felting, dry felting, sewing a felt heart, beaded bracelet, painting, bean experiments, electronics set, card game. nope all boring, and i was grumpy at this point that thought of LOTS of things to no avail. however, found a golden crown from the castle party years ago, so BB v happily decorated with stick on jewels!!

When SB returned from ballet we tidied up, and then looked at real science for kids chemistry chapter 5 with both girls, and then story of the world 1 with the Medes and Persians. We had a jolly good chat about how Cyrus’ grandad would have been better keeping him at home, and raising him with love! had an early chippery tea watching ray mears in the northern territories of canada in the path of Dr Rae, v interesting that!!

SB and the orthodontist – well, she needs removeable braces now, and will prob need fixed then. She has a grade 5 [worst] problem so def on the nhs. I think we are going to find braces traumatic!!! BB has her filling tomorrow, think that will be traumatic too.

Poor BB has had a gulpy sobby bedtime, as the little silvered resin piggybank i bought on sat is already desilvering, and she loves him v much, but is v unhappy the silver going. cuddles, songs and chatting haven’t entirely resolved this, but we have agreed you can carry on loving something even if not as silvery as it was – bless.

oh, and we caught 1 mouse in the trap, and released quite a long long way away :)

Historyetc , libraries, gardens and labyrinths

lol – next time I am going to be able to say that it is all greek to me!! ANyway, this time was about arshibanapal and the library at Ninevah, The hanging gardens of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar and the Minoans. It was a full house and some really interesting and different crafts/activities.

As usual, our chapters and crafts are based around story of the world, I am taking an archaeological activity from the kids book, and we are also reading some relevant myths

P1110298-1

My girls and Big both agreed that their fv today was the plaster frescoes that Lecielrouge came with but that there was a great selection of different crafts to do. Merry brought fimo, and all the kids did some v careful ‘hanging baskets of babylon’ :lol: I did a slightly crazy hanging gardens of babylon, where we cut up those black plastic modules and then used a hot glue gun to glue them back together in a more ‘interesting’ configuration. we then put in compost and seeds, so a garden they will be :) . for the older kids we had some wordsearches and crosswords and a ‘maths-in archaeology’ scenario. Lots of the children drew labyrinths and mazes. The younger ones had a paint a minotaur mask as well and they all made minotaur peg dolls and books for the library at nineveh. All v successful :) .

P1110305-1

P1110299-1 P1110306-1 P1110261-1 P1110262-1

unfortunately it was a bit too rainy, so no trampolining and then no clear skys to starwatch :( Also within 5 mins SB had had an accidental collision with one of the toddlers, and her broken but fixed tooth is now broken again. :( . It was pretty hurty, and hurt periodically thro the day, enough to keep dosing with nurofen :( so visit to dentist in the morning.aarghh and hope no damage done. now children playing before bedtime, Jax and i have imbibed a bit of wine in a phew, another successful session, now relax kind of way! Will add a few pics when flickred

P1110272-1

need to stabilise the emergency medical hologram!

cos she keeps phasing in and out – rofl. went in today to sort out various personnel nightmares. one done, the other spiralling further and further… but managed to do what i needed to do and return home at lunchtime [and do more in eve as 'working from home' ] and then for daddybean and i to go and ‘choose a carpet’ . The carpet in the home ed room has progressed from manky to unhygienically awful. SO a replacement required. aarghh it is a big room to carpet, and doesn’t precisely have a carpet budget… we have, after 90 mins, come home with 2 diff samples to ponder until wed. think we should go with the more hardwearing but less aesthetically pleasing option [both are suitable for heavy domestic use]

i forgot to say that all this gadding to carpet shops [the excitement] was only possible due to my dad having driven up this morning to do some painting in said home ed room – coving and gloss, daddybean in charge of ceiling. the girls have been v good whilst this going on. SB doing lots and lots of the easier home ed options both in morning and then in aft whilst we were at carpet emporium. [11 ticks today!] she was somewhat disgruntled that i yelled c# up the stairs to where she was practicing recorder as my hello, rather than something a bit more, well, motherly! BB did some more of her lego house, and started the chicken mosaic and played with her new doll. A very happy girl there :)

On return from the carpet not-quite-decision-making trip, SB and i whisked off to ballet for the end of show open lesson, which i really enjoy. SHe is definitely improving at ballet, just needs to have stiffer arms i think, but the rhythm and concentration is there. We then did a good piano practice before she settled down to do some colouring whilst i read story of the world and BB having found all her old bricks made various buildings. BB also doing manic inline skating [with SB's old inline skates - there will be an accident there!!] and I tried to sort out the photoshop database a bit more – daddybean stayed up until 3am last night doing something or other to fix most of it.

unfortunately, we haven’t been able to locate skittles in our garden – it has lots of hiding places, but also a 6 foot wall enclosing it. So he isn’t safely in his hutch. grr, it is usually snowy we have to chase more, but skittles being black and now snuggled somewhere for the night is impossible to find. worried…

Out of Phase Tuesday

Having worked Monday [and then nagged daddybean to blog about his day at home :) ] i had a phased day off today. feels nice! part time work if and when financial woes to public servants decreases a bit and therefore makes it safer is def something i would much like to do :) 3 day week would be perfect :) .

And so to today, the girls started off the day with making more christmas cards, they are really beautiful, if not necessarily christmas themed ;) SB has done a fab tree and present one that she spent some time on. BB spent a long time on one with a lizard on the outside, and you open up to a laptop inside. daddybean and i are hoping this isn’t another version of the capri sun ds trick :) . Lots of humming, singing and chatting as these got done in a very ‘isn’t this lovely’ kind of way.

P1090068 P1090064 P1090069

We did some story of the world 1 - middle egypt this time, and nubia. We do try and do the questions and narrations as per the activity book, but BB often gets carried away by her story telling… BB looked at the realscience for kids chemistry chapter 1, we did the pre-K and then I read the level one but simplified it a bit for her. SB and I just had time for a really good piano practice before she went out to her last bikeability session. A lovely sunny afternoon for it anyway :)

BB and I read a book and fed and played with rabbits and then watched some starwars prequel 3 before going off to swimming, where i took charge of SB and watched both their lessons before getting home. Here SB looked at her level 2 chemistry whislt sitting snuggled up close to me, and we did the questions at the end together. I think we have got moles and atomic weight and numbers sorted, tho at 9, doesn’t really matter if not. I do like the text book bit of it tho, as nice and straightforward, and being for a ‘classical’ education, has 3 levels of ability to choose from. The ‘lab’ experiment for this first chapter is a bit dull-as-ditchwater, so think can be done at home with own families, and instead we are going to do an element treasure hunt [i think] and make an element window ‘decal’ [concentrating on the first 20] which unfortunately has left me cutting out loads of blobs this eve, and therefore late to blog! I do wish the most common isotope of them had the same number of neutrons as protons, would make life much easier! Have made a list to make the decals easier to do.

we finished with watching a sarah jane on iplayer with the girls and roman mystery for SB. And all evening spent prepping for tomorrow!

quickly blogging

my parents here, which is always lovely :) they arrived last night after being eagerly awaited by the girls – who then took ages to settle down! the girls had spent yesterday morning playing with Jax’s children whilst i was at work, and then in the aft and eve when to their serial gym lessons, except that SB forgot her leotard, so after all she didn’t :( . Piano prac and then some home ed galore park english and we watched the edwardian shops on BBC as my parents arrived :) . BB still insisted on trying puerto rico, but it is too hard for her.

Today we were all a bit late up. SB the latest again, she def has got into not liking getting up :lol: but she did her piano prac really well, and then played for mum, also did some DK project book on minerals [me looking at it for the blog below reminded her!] some of a rather too easy murderous maths workbook and then a bit of revision of the french done last time at latinetc. Mum and i did some of the dialogue with her, so that was fun :) . BB did some explode the code, and listened to SB reading Story of the World 1. we all played ticket to ride [sb won] and then BB, mum dad and I played blokus. BB and i drew. we did a fair bit of dsing alltogether – must remember to charge mine – and general chatting and bb being rather wild. finished off this eve playing ticket to ride again with dad. he won! chris and i did dreadfully :blush: lovely day :)