Farewell to H and lots of Christmas

November 25th was the end of H’s adventure with us and the start of J’s time in Germany. Bob took the boys to the airport while the rest of us went to a small local school to run an Usborne book stall at their Christmas fair. In fact it was somewhat of an Usborne week, with a party on the Monday, a playgroup (thankfully passed on to a team member) on Tuesday, a Christmas fair on Wednesday, school book fairs on both Thursday and Friday and yet more Christmas fair stalls on both Friday and Saturday!

After all that, you’d have thought a quiet, restful Sunday would be in order, followed by a peaceful week, but instead we chose to spend Sunday helping at the Olde Melford Christmas event being organised by a Kentwell friend – dressed in Victorianesque with a smattering of Tudorish, we handed out fliers, told stories, sold fairy wands and generally added to the atmosphere of a very picturesque afternoon, complete with “snow” from numerous machines around the place, the Great Edmundo’s magic show and amazing fairy dresses with layers of tulle and fairy lights 🙂

From there we went on to Christmas camp, this year in Sheringham. Working on the basis that a change is as good as a rest, this was just what we all needed 😉 Five days chatting with friends,cooking together, playing board games both new and familiar, walking on the beach, enjoying the sea (including a paddle for some) and the sites – magic! The children and I managed to spend some time with my aunt and uncle too, and even a few minutes with one of my favourite cousins 🙂 Christmas day was lovely too, with a fair dinner, poor ovens and overzealous smoke alarms notwithstanding!

Somehow, while we were at Sheringham, we found ourselves arranging to adopt a puppy…

We got back from Sheringham just in time for choir and then yet another Usborne fair – and an early night for me because on Saturday I was to speak at a women’s breakfast meeting in full Tudor housewyfe mode 🙂 Besides that, the girls had music school, K and L had string orchestra and the afternoon held yet another Usborne stall at a fair – such a good chance to reduce my stock levels!

December 6th was a busy day too (thank goodness for that week away at camp to catch our breath somewhat!) as I was preaching in the morning and L had a fencing competition. K and the girls should also have been singing, but only two parents and three places to be meant something had to give, so they came with me instead. Since they then spent much of the afternoon and evening rehearsing and then singing in choir for the carol concert their day still held plenty of music 🙂


We have been trying to fit trips in and had thought Monday might work, but in the end it was a normals day, with added cello, as usual for a Monday. Lfish set off for Guides in the evening, only to find that this week was one which has been omitted in order to get a nice number of meetings into the term.


Saturday found us divided. Lfish, Kfish and Jfish all had holiday orchestra rehearsals for the Upper Presentation but Afish and L had already finished. This worked out well for sleepovers; Jbiff and SB came home with us after the Lower Presentation (two cars, since Bob had come from work) and back in on Saturday for rehearsals, leaving Afish and L with Bob for the day. The new trampoline net having arrived at the end of the week, their first task was to replace the broken one (darned when we got it, further darned over the months, weakened by three large French lads playing trampoline football over the summer and then finished off by poor L going through it on his first full day here!) with the brand spanking new one. All five children are very happy to have the trampoline back in action – and I’m very relieved to have a good strong net back on it 😀
Meanwhile I took the other children to their various rehearsals, parent-helpered for a bit and was then whisked off for hot chocolate and a chelsea bun with a friend. I’ve been thoroughly spoilt this holiday orchestra, in fact, going out for a cuppa with a friend on three out of the five days 🙂
Once rehearsals were over there was a gap of a couple of hours, which we filled very happily visiting choir friends and admiring their new garden buildings (shed, bike shed and Cube). Bob and children joined us, then we all made our way back for the finale of holiday orchestra, which was excellent 🙂 Chips on the way home and then the desserts episode of Bake Off made a nice ending to a busy but convivial day.

Sunday was most definitely a day of rest. L’s parents had asked if they could ring in the morning, so we waited in for their call, apart from Bob who had a meeting at church and Afish who was keen to go and see her Sunday School friends. In the afternoon Bob and the children went to collect a basket for me (from local FB selling page) which I hope will be suitable for Kentwell and played in the field for a bit. We also attacked the small row of trees which had self-seeded down the side of our drive, with lots of digging, scenes reminiscent of The Gigantic Turnip and finally a hacksaw. Lunch was sushi and dinner, inspired by GBBO, was a high tea which included Baked Alaska 🙂

A week of music

It’s been a busy week, with lots of to-ing and fro-ing, but I think it’s gone well and the presentations to parents at the end certainly reflected a great deal of hard work and commitment both from children and from tutors. Lfish really enjoyed the folk music sessions she did; the less formal style suited her well and she loves the challenge of playing and singing by ear in small groups. She managed Upper Strings without too many nerves this time and they sounded superb by the end 🙂 Both she and Kfish did Advanced Gamelan (we’re so lucky to have this as an option, I think) and found being in a smaller than usual group even better as they all worked together really well.
Despite my reservations about recorders and the wide range of abilities it was attempting to meld together (there used to be an option for advanced recorders; both Jfish and I very much wish there still was!) they sounded impressively good by the end, taking into account the aforementioned range of abilities 😉
The jazz group L was in was fantastic and he looked as though he was really enjoying the informal lunchtime concert they gave. Jfish’s Prime Brass workshop was similarly good. In fact it was a very good four/five days all round, with lots of learning and hopefully a lot of fun too. Each time the children do holiday orchestra I find it hard to believe how lucky we are to have such an excellent resource within easy reach and at such a reasonable cost 😀

Now We Are Seven (most of the time)

Kfish decided last year that he would like to do an exchange like Jfish’s with En Famille, as long as he didn’t have to go to school. I think his decision was brought on by loving our visit to 6’s family in Brittany, where he fell in love with countryside, lifestyle and people. Given the slim chances of finding a home educating family in France we talked about it a lot and he gradually worked up to the point where he thought a three month stay, with a short time in school, might work. Then we went to the En Famille meeting and he came out of that announcing that actually it all sounded fine and he’d like to do the full six months please – so here we are.
Unfortunately the lad Kfish has been paired with was unable to do the hosting first, which for many reasons (mostly to do with Kentwell or music) was our preferred order, so we will need to do some juggling around and some sweet talking of music course directors, but the match seems a very good one so we went ahead anyway. When we mentioned holiday orchestra at the end of August, Kfish’s new French brother L was very keen to come along and take part so we continued our game of musical beds, aided by Jfish being away on a NMYBB tour, and welcomed him and (briefly) his mum on 20th August. So, now we are seven – well, for a day or two we were eight, when L’s mum was here and again when Jfish returned before J left – and it’s a good number when you have a seven seater car to fill 😉
L arrived on a Wednesday (Jfish was in Devon and the rest of us in Wales with my sister so Bob did the airport run while we dashed across the country to cook dinner and restore order to the house) so we planned to keep him busy but not too much so for the first few days. On Thursday we had a slow start, played a few games (notably Akumulate) and then went to a workshop on Victorian papercutting – an activity we hoped would involve little enough English to be easy for him to follow. We finished the day off with a film. In fact, there have been rather a lot of films so far – the cinema’s kids club showings being a fun and not too costly trip out which we used on Friday and again on Monday too. On Saturday we went to Kentwell Hall for the day so that J could see what 6 got up to last year and L could see what we spend a fair chunk of our summer doing. We’re hoping that at least some of us will return and take part at Michaelmas, and it would be great if L were to come with us and learn some hands-on History in the most interactive way possible!
Sunday was church in the morning and then an afternoon of punting for Bob, J, L, Kfish, Lfish and Afish, while I drove across the country to collect Jfish who was apparently too badly broken by ten days (and very late nights) of trombone playing to manage trains 🙄
After the Monday morning cinema trip Jfish gave L a crash course in recorder for the holiday orchestra folk for fun session, where the teacher had decreed no saxophones – enough for L to make a decent noise but decide that he would rather do percussion or voice. In honour of J’s last night with us we had takeaway pizza and hot chocolate fudge brownie and then attempted an early night ready for a prompt start and holiday orchestra in the morning. Ha!
So now here I am, sitting in the foyer at holiday orchestra with jazz coming at me from one side, strings from another and the occasional snatch of voices from the choir at the far end. L and Lfish started the day with folk for fun, Jfish with recorders, Kfish with choir and Afish with training strings, then they moved on to intermediate band (L), advanced Gamelan (Kfish and Lfish), a Prime Brass workshop (Jfish) and folk for fun (Afish) while I was a parent helper in choir – and was told parent helpers have to sing too; it was fun 🙂 Afish is now in her last session for the day, choir, while Lfish and Kfish are in strings, Jfish in band and L in a jazz workshop. Soon Afish and I will be playing games while the others are in orchestra and folk group then we’ll head home and see how much energy everyone has left…

Musical Beds

Some time ago we signed the boys up for a youth orchestra which takes players from France, Germany and England because this year’s meeting was in England. We knew that this involved hosting, preferably one foreign player for each English player and felt this was manageable. Some time later 6’s mum asked if we knew of a family who could host 6’s big sister for a few weeks over the summer while she improved her English ready for an internship in the UK later in the year. Of course we offered to host her ourselves – they are a lovely family and we were very happy to be able to help. This tied up our spare room (and second bathroom) but we had worked out how we could still host two extra musicians. Then the hosting list arrived and we had three. Hmmm.
The girls ended up giving up their room to three French lads, since it was the only room we could fit all three into, and sleeping on mattresses on the floor in the annexe for ten days. It started as an adventure but ended as a nuisance; I need to think of some kind of compensatory treat for them!
It felt a little like the book A Squash and a Squeeze – “take in your cow…” but we weren’t done yet. Just before the French lads arrived we had the very sad news that my aunt had died very unexpectedly. The funeral was to take place before the end of the orchestra visit, leaving us hosting my dad and my sister so that they could get to the funeral. What is more, my sister had no dog-sitter available so we needed dog spaces as well, which is when we discovered that two of the three French lads were scared of dogs. Fortunately 6’s sister J isn’t, so we ended up with my dad on the sofa-bed in the front room, my sister and her dogs in a tent in the garden and J dog-sitting while we were at the funeral.
The juggling is still going on a little, as we now have L staying with us for 6 months so he has taken over Jfish’s bed in the same room as Kfish, while Jfish has been waiting for J to leave so he can take over the annexe spare room. Tonight will see us doing a speedy room changeover before the social worker visits tomorrow to check that all is well and we’re a suitable host family for a French foster son. Phew!

Ypres part two (awaiting checking, revision and completion)

After the success (for want of a better word) of the first poison gas attack using chlorine, the Germans went on to develop the use of phosgene later in 1915 and eventually also mustard gas in 1917. Once the Germans had begun to use poison gas (against all the “rules of war”) others followed, first the French and then the British. The reality of trench warfare meant that once an army had dug in they were very hard to shift and poison gas offered a means of incapacitating or killing soldiers in their trenches so that an attack could happen. Things did not always go to plan: gas was generally released when the prevailing wind was blowing towards enemy lines, but if the wind changed then the gas could be blown straight back again. Many soldiers on both sides were killed or injured by what might be called friendly gassing.
The very first poison gas attack was unexpectedly successful, partly because the Allies saw the haze of greenish gas being blown towards their lines and, thinking it was a smoke screen to camouflage an enemy attack, ran towards the cloud. In fact, the success took the Germans as much by surprise as the Allies; had they been anticipating so many dead or incapacitated they would have been more ready to make the most of it and attack, but as an experiment it was certainly successful and opened the way to further use of chlorine and other poisons. Eventually a system developed of throwing bottles or pipes of gas into enemy trenches, where they would explode and the heavy gas then spread along inside the trenches, killing and incapacitating as it went. A favourable wind was still important, though, or the gas would drift in the wrong direction.

Travelling on from Essex Farm we passed a small cemetery with a monument to the 20,000 or so Breton soldiers, most of them seasoned and experienced fighters, killed by gas in 1915. The monument shows a Breton landscape with dolmen (dolmans?) and a crucifix and commemorates the patron saint of Brittany, St Ives (sp?). Behind it flies an Irish flag in memory of an Irish poet (name??) from Slaine who was killed on the first day of the third battle of the Ypres salient. This term describes the half-bow shaped area of land around Ypres. Noel said that in 1915 the Kaiser had thoughts of invading Britain and the Ypres salient formed the last fortification line of defence.
Britain’s involvement in the war was, he said, mostly to help Belgium, a small country which had held itself neutral but was now caught between Germany and France. Belgium’s neutrality dissolved under invasion by Germany, en route to France, and Britain stepped in to help.
From 1915 much of the Ypres salient was in German hands. In particular the higher level ground (at least in comparison to the surrounding area, much of which had been reclaimed from the North Sea and was relatively low-lying) remained German until 1917. Some 250,000 British soldiers died at the top of the ridge attempting to free this land from German control, and with them perished about the same number of Germans. We passed a monument to Harry Patch, the only survivor of his regiment in 1917 and the only soldier to have a monument dedicated to him in his own lifetime. He stayed in the area and lived to the age of 102, making him (I think) the oldest survivor.
Passing through the village of the same name we came eventually to Langemark (previously Langemarck), the German equivalent of Ypres for the British and Verdun for the French. Langemark began as the Studentenschlag or students’ cemetery but is now the Soldatencemeterie (sp?). 3,000 students are buried here, their names recorded on oaken panels just inside the entrance. Forty years ago it was decided, not least for reasons of cost and practicality once Germany had been divided, to reduce the number of German cemeteries. Accordingly the original multiple cemeteries were closed and the bodies consolidated into four large cemeteries, one of them at Langemark. The students were joined by 44,061 soldiers, 25,000 of them in one mass grave and the others in collective graves spread throughout the grounds. All of these bodies were from the period between 1914 and 1918 and their names are engraved on oak plaques inside the entrance building, on stone blocks around the central mass grave or on flat plaques of volcanic stone laid in serried ranks on the grass – each engraved with a name or names and then a number of “unbekannte”. The whole place has a heavy and sombre atmosphere, with dark stone, huge oak trees and high hedges all about. According to our guide when I came here with the boys, part of this was imposed on the Germans, who were given permission to have a cemetery there only if it could not be seen from the road (hence the hedges and flat plaques rather than headstones) and was as low-key as possible. There are no flowers, apart from a few shrubs and the odd tribute left by visitors, and the inscription over the entrance reads, somewhat chillingly, “Deutschland muss leben, und wenn wir sterben mussen.”
As you walk through the dark doorway, with rooms on either side (to the right a room full of oak panels inscribed with name after name after name, all in evenly spaced letters which give a feeling of anonymity; to the left panels engraved with maps showing where the German forces fought and fell) the rectangle of light ahead shows the bleakness of the mass grave while on the horizon is silhouetted one of the most striking images I have ever seen: a grouping of bronze statues by Emile Krieger. Inspired by an old photograph of soldiers weeping over the death of an old friend and standing guard over his burial, four soldiers stand forever frozen, watching over their fallen comrades.
The negative atmosphere is exacerbated, I feel, by the new path around from the car park, which takes you through a dark tunnel with screens showing footage of scenes from the First World War and related newsreels. The sounds and sights are grim and depressing and set the scene before you even reach the cemetery itself. Amongst the graves, over to one side, are pill boxes (??) and walls which, Noel pointed out to us, echo the shape of the Ypres salient itself. The sense of loss and pain there is still palpable. Noel showed us a newspaper clipping showing Hitler’s visit there early in the Second World War – a return visit in fact, having been wounded there as a young private, a runner, in 1914. It’s easy to imagine the effect the place might have had in galvanising him into a new determination; it is so very much a place about loss and defeat – and yet still with a sense of the importance of patriotism and the (denial?) unimportance of self.
Even here though, there are signs of the comradeship between soldiers of whichever side: inscribed alongside the thousands of German names are the names of two British soldiers also buried there. Noel told us that there are often soldiers of other nationalities buried in cemeteries alongside those they were fighting – in part a legacy of the policy of burying them where they fell – and that at Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire, there is a war cemetery which is completely mixed.

From the huge cemetery at Langemark we went on to the largest British war cemetery at Tyne Cot. On the way we passed the Brooding Soldier, a monument to the Canadian fallen. There are no Canadian cemeteries in the Ypres salient, because they were never buried separately; their graves are to be found amongst their comrades in the British cemeteries. At Essex Farm we had been behind the front line, but now we were moving into the battle areas. The land around still bears the scars of warfare and the road is uneven where old trenches cause subsidence. Every so often a farmer, ploughing his land, will turn up old ammunition – a dangerous business: four bomb disposal experts have been killed in the last ten years – or even a body, preserved by the heavy clay soil. Mud and poor drainage mean there is little oxidation in the soil and bodies stay intact, but identification is not always straightforward because often the body will have no dog-tag; a comrade would frequently remove it to take home it the fallen soldier’s family and all too often then be killed himself before he could make it home to make his report. Today we use double dog-tags to avoid this – one part can be removed and the other left for identification later. Presumably DNA testing has also made identification easier.
The water levels in this area, much of the land having been reclaimed from the sea, were so high that pumping stations were needed, and many of the workers used to build and maintain these came from different parts of the British Empire. It is estimated that more than fifty sub-nationalities of the Empire were involved in the war, not least Chinese coolies and Pakistanis. Many of them died there too.
We passed by Paschendale Ridge, also known as Tyne Cot Ridge, the furthest point of British advances before Armistice Day.

Long weekend

No music school, thanks to bank holiday weekend, so lots of sewing for me, music for children (6 finished trying all the potential instruments and decided on violin, which didn’t surprise me as she had been transfixed by L’s lesson) and general pottering. K and L had a gamelan rehearsal in the afternoon, which everyone else declined attending so we went in to join them afterwards, intending to swap parents so I could go and babysit at a ceilidh. Instead we decided at the last minute to all go along to the ceilidh, especially as it included an interval with the Gog Magog Molly, which we thought fitted very well with the Mayday theme we’d been following this week. Not sure what 6 made of the Molly, but she certainly seemed to enjoy dancing. Meanwhile I tramped the streets with a small boy until discovering that the Corpus clock has apparently magical soporific qualities for babies 😉

A late night on Saturday meant a very slow start to Sunday and we only just made it to church. It was packed because of a dedication – lots and lots of children so Sunday School was very busy! Then Anna had gym and the girls’ choir Evensong to fill the rest of the day. We hadn’t been sure whether 6 should be singing or just in the congregation, but Sam told her to join the choir and gave her a cassock – sadly the only ones left are enormous so she’s a bit swamped but it does make her an official probationer 🙂

Bank holiday Monday and I thought we should get 6 to Kentwell so she could see it before being in it – there is a special magic to that first visit and it’s not quite the same once you know the behind the scenes bits. Unfortunately the morning’s quick activities dragged out and eventually J announced that he had too much prep to do so I sent Bob and the four who were keen and stayed home with J and lots of black wool. Hopefully Bob will blog their trip, but I may need to nudge him…


Only a few weeks to catch up 😳

October 18th – 24th included school films week, which we tried to take advantage of as much as possible, given other constraints. Monday was BF course, so no time for a film, but Tuesday strings group was early enough to let us go on to Kirikou et la Sorciere afterwards, which turned out, rather disappointingly, to be in English rather than the promised French but was nevertheless very enjoyable (utterly mad, but enjoyable!) and Wednesday’s Historyetc included a trip to see Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which was excellent. Thursday Tots precluded a cinema trip, but we made it to art in the afternoon. All Friday’s films were fully booked, so we had part of the day at home to catch up a bit and then headed up to the Rainedrops for B’s birthday party 😀 Absolutely ace time with friends, doing lots of experiments and fun science as well as learning to levitate Maltesers and then staying up far too late.

Mon 25th and Tues 26th the boys had Bikeability, which they loved – great for K to gain some confidence in cycling and for J to build on what he did in France 🙂 Wednesday was Latinetc (cheating – sorry!) and since half-term and no cello we went off with HH and Zoe afterwards to see if we could find a geocache which had been troubling them for some time. Success spurred us on to look for another… Good fun – really should do this more often, and we talked of doing a Latinetc cache, which could be very cross-curricular 😉 Dashed back just in time to wolf down tea and go to an astronomy open evening (gave in to K’s pleading!) which was okay but tbh probably not worth the effort it cost us that evening. Ho hum.

The problem with blogging so long after the event is that I can’t remember what we did, unless it’s in the calendar – at least that makes it brief, I guess, but also frustrating as I’m sure there was more…

Mon 1st Nov we went to a Hallowe’en party with friends, including a treasure hunt, a candy hunt, pumpkin carving and large amounts of pizza, including one we ended up taking with us to eat in the car on the way to BF course 🙂 Standard Monday after that (which at this point meant BF course, then drop L at gym before going on to teach with children in tow, back just in time to teach again while children given tea by Bob, who had picked L up on way back from work, gulp down enough tea to keep going and off out to babysit in return for promise of future ceilidh band favours, while Bob took children to judo – phew!) including late nights all round, then early morning Tuesday for strings group… yawn – late night followed by early morning, not a good idea really! Tues morning at Gina’s then off to Djembe for our first session, to see if we liked it. The teacher is excellent, very encouraging and able to get everybody going but also to keep order without anybody feeling told off. A found it a bit loud so only lasted half the session, but that was fine as there’s a separate room for reading/playing/escaping 😉 Had to leave early to get L and A to violin though, which meant dragging the others away in the middle of a song. Back home for Rainbows for L, then gym for boys.

Wed 31st should have been a trip to Burghley House but we had been told we couldn’t go with under 5’s so a day off instead, apart from ‘cello which was uncancelled. Annoyingly it turned out to have been an excellent trip and we could almost certainly have taken younger children and just mooched around with them while older ones on trip 🙁 Ah well, will just have to organise an outing there ourselves when all old enough to go 😉

I was preaching on Sunday, so spent a fair bit of time getting that ready, which meant benign neglect for children (as well as Tots, Music School, trombone, ballet…) and then we were into another hectic week, this time with added Bikeability on Tuesday (Chris giving the boys a lift most of the way back for me so L could still get to violin) and a trip to the Royal Albert Hall on Wed 10th for the preview of the Celebrating Remembrance exhibition. Bob came along as well, which was lovely as we so often end up doing trips like that without him, and we met up with my uncle and aunt there too 😀 It was exciting to see our piece up in a frame and with beautiful lighting to bring out the colours (having been stuck back together in places by RAH staff – and they went out and collected some more conkers to go with it too 🙂 ) as well as looking at all the other artwork. There was an excellent piece about HE too, and why the RAH support it. We watched a presentation by a WWI re-enactor, about life in the trenches, met some Chelsea pensioners and listened to them talking about their experiences in war, then had a tour of the Albert Hall, including the Queen’s private entrance and box, which was great but unfortunately meant that we missed the re-enactor doing his Home Front presentation. I think I need to ask for his contact details, as he was truly excellent and would be well worth booking for HE group if at all possible. Once the preview was over we walked through Hyde Park admiring Anish Kapoor‘s World Turned Upside Down and had lunch in front of C-curve on our way to the Diana Memorial Playground. This was our first visit there and we were very favourably impressed, although it was bitterly cold. The children desperately want to go back in summer so that they can play in the fountains.

Thursday was Tots and then a dash across the country to art, which was great as ever, but meant that by Friday we were ready for a day of R and R! Saturday music school, trombone and ballet, Sunday Remembrance parade, this year for three of our four, and then lots of finishing off work ready for the BF course final hand-in on Monday 15th. Usual Monday, Bikeability Tuesday, Latinetc Wednesday (should have been History but was swapped with last week, when we were at RAH) – thank goodness for friends who are better bloggers than I 😉 😆 Thursday was Tots and Friday we stayed in for a Suma delivery which didn’t come – annoying as we had other things we would have liked to have been doing! Big Alice came to visit though, which made up for a lot 🙂

Saturday 20th was a big day for J, with assessments at a school he would rather like to go to, if not HE. We won’t know until March whether or not they have a place for him and tbh even if they do it’s going to be incredibly hard to get him there each day and very disruptive to everything else so… we’ll see… Meanwhile K and L had music school, and then L and A ballet, then I spent a peaceful evening babysitting.

Sunday found us welcoming F, my sister-daughter from Kentwell, come to stay for a few days of peace, work and playing with children. I think we managed the playing with children at least 😉

Bob has been spending lots of time working in London, which meant longer days than usual and some reshuffling of evenings/activities at times, but otoh had the bonus of getting him out of longer trips further afield. Tiring though, and made me very glad he normally works so near to home and with flexibility to bring stuff home rather than having to stay late often.

BF course now finished and one tuition session cancelled so a standard Monday but a little easier, especially with F around to do odd bits of childcare/ferrying when Bob not around 🙂 Standard Tuesday too but minus strings because we all overslept and with added ‘cello to free up Wed afternoon, then a shortened Latinetc on Wed to allow for a trip to the Botanic gardens, with organised activities for children over 7 and a wander round the gardens for the rest of us, before decamping to the cafe to warm up and chat 🙂 I should have been at a LP meeting in the evening, but forgot 😳 – frustrating as I found out later I missed some important discussions 🙁 Plus I’m leading the next one so really should have been at this one!

Thursday was a busy day for K, as after Tots and CHEF sport he went home with his alter ego K for a sleepover and was brought back to us after having been to an art session the next day. Our car was at the garage having suspension sorted so we had a day at home baking for HE camp. Usual music and dance-filled Saturday and then on Sunday we set off for Okehampton, leaving Bob behind, with yet more trips to London in the offing.

Pause for a cup of tea… Will try to come back to this later, but don’t hold your breath! (Sorry Michelle!)