On Saturday the girls had music school and then L gym, as usual, while the boys pottered and J and H packed for a week away and an immediate night of scaring on return. A, K and I went to a Re-enactors’ fair to help a friend choose wool for a future kirtle and to catch up with friends a little, then picked up L and took her with us to a family barn dance and dinner at our old church. It was fun, especially as we had the chance to meet up with old friends from Uni days, from church and also from Kentwell (over for the fair, then barn dancing on their way home).
At the same time, Bob was taking H and J down to London for a film festival as the start point of a youth camp promoting intercultural relations between Spain, Slovakia and England whilst looking at environmental issues. H stayed over afterwards for a bushcraft day on Sunday but J had to come back for a music day, then Bob drove him down to rejoin the other camp teens and young people for the rest of the week. They were staying in the South London Scout Centre so had proper beds (although apparently rather short?) with sleeping bags rather than having to actually camp, fortunately.
On Monday the day started for them with films and facts about the ocean and pollution, and some poetry writing, followed by a trip to the Horniman Museum. Tuesday was a watersports and activity day, including kayaking, swimming and orienteering round the Olympic Park. Wednesday should have been a press call at the Houses of Parliament, but since nobody turned up to answer or ask questions was a bit of a disappointment. They did still get the chance to take part in a gamelan session, though – less exciting for J than it might have been if he didn’t get to do it at Holiday Orchestra 😉 In the evening they filmed video diaries. Thursday was the last day the English young people were there so they had a celebratory meal at a Turkish restaurant then J and H caught the train to the station near Bob’s office, so that I could hand the girls over to Bob and go on with the boys to Scaresville for another night of scaring. It was a little bit of a surprise to see J crossing the bridge from the other platform with a white blond lad; H having decided to go along with the small crowd of boys who were bleaching their hair! How it survives the chlorine of his frequent swims remains to be seen, as does the school’s reaction when he goes back – I think he had forgotten that it is only a matter of weeks now, as he confidently told me it would be fine because it would grow out in three months!
Meanwhile, after a day of music on Sunday L, K and A had gym on Monday and then Guides for L. Tuesday was an introductory Bronze Arts Award session for L and K, where they began to decide what to do and got an outline sheet for how their work could be spread through the year, and then Brownies for A, but no fencing for L this week. On Wednesday they had a very gentle self-guided morning while I took an Usborne stall to a local toddler group (and booked a party – yay!) and then we headed off to choir. Thursday should have started early with History, but I couldn’t rouse any of the children so left them to sleep in peace while I had a quiet cup of tea 😉 They were all up and about in time for Multisport, then Bob and I juggled children so the boys and I could get to Scaresville. A shortage of scarers meant that J, K and I did the same scare as last time but H was needed elsewhere, so he got to dress as a clown (which had been one of his requests) and be a living painting. I think he enjoyed it less than he had expected, partly because it required a fair bit of sitting still and partly because he was utterly exhausted from staying up every night at camp to play cards – and then to play tricks on other campers in the wee small hours! He was asleep almost by the time we got to the end of the drive on the way home and still stayed in bed until noon the next day!
K, on the other hand, had to be up in time for cello on Friday, but at least had less of a backlog of sleep to make up! Choir was only for those going on tour, so A was excused and I left her with J and H while I took L to violin and K to the library, then dropped L at choir for Bob to pick up later. That meant I could take J to the station with his stuff for a NMYBB weekend – walking a mile with bags is not so bad, but with bags and trombone perhaps asking a little too much! Unfortunately he was clearly not quite himself as he discovered first that he had forgotten his sleeping bag and then that he was on a train in the wrong direction, both things he has never done before but fortunately both easily remedied with a little help from his NMYBB friends. On Saturday he went on to have a severe migraine, which may explain his unaccustomed discombobulation 🙁
L had her first ever fencing competition on Sunday, having been persuaded that it would be a good thing to start competing while she was still an under 11 (the age being based on the 1st of January of each year) and everything was informal and gentle. Then 2 weeks before the competition somebody decided that for this competition a different date would be used, which put her into the under 13s, with far more experienced opponents and less leeway for error! Under the circumstances, she did very well – she won one bout, lost six and came bottom of the board after the round robin, but only one point behind the next last. Then in the knockout round she faced the overall winner and took him to 10-8 😀 It was a good ending to the morning for her and gave her more confidence than the result might have done without that boost.
We dropped A at church for eucharist and K at his friend A’s house on the way, then stopped on our way back to pick them both up and somehow ended up staying for lunch and several hours of the afternoon – a lovely little oasis of friendship and chat and a chance for me to revisit both crochet and German as the girls wanted to learn and the book they had was a gift from Oma!
Meanwhile Bob and H went to our home church and then did a bit of helpful housework (it’s been sadly neglected of late) before H went swimming to try and catch another club session. J got home in the early evening and took himself pretty much straight to bed, to sleep off the remains of the migraine.
Today Bob was to have taken all five children to London for a workshop and tour of the Houses of Parliament, but given J’s poorliness over the weekend we decided to offer his place to the Beans’ Spanish daughter instead, so J and I have had a quiet day at home, punctuated only by a French lesosn this afternoon, while Bob does the HE and negotiates the Capital.