Monday, September 29, 2008

Unkingly thinking

The boys are full of nonsense as usual and very boisterous. I have to speak very sternly in school to get them to keep quiet, sit still, sit with their legs in front of them, use their helper hands, write neatly, concentrate, keep quiet, sit down, keep working, and listen. But still, school is fun. Today we read about King Darius and King Xerxes his son, kings of Persia which was a great empire, who wanted to conquer Greece. The Greeks were fighting for their homelands and families though, so despite being outnumbered 10 to 1 in the first battle, they won. Ten years later Xerxes sent an even bigger army, numbering 2 million soldiers, across to Greece. Problem was, they couldn’t transport the soldiers by ship as the army was too vast, so they had to march overland. They got to a straight though, a long body of water, which had to be crossed. King Xerxes’ solution was to join together many of their ships and then build a bridge across it so the soldiers could march across. “Oh”, Caleb said, “that’s stupid – what if a storm came and the whole thing fell apart?” The very next paragraph detailed how the plan failed because a huge storm came up and smashed the entire thing to pieces. Pretty good thinking on Caleb’s part! They rebuilt it though, and it took seven days and seven nights of continuous walking, of two rows of men, to get the entire army across. Next comes the battle of Thermopylae which we will read about later in the week.

Knollcombes service on sun-day

Despite the freezing cold and blustery wind, Nick and I took an early morning walk – since we had a combined service, Nick had the morning off so we had a leisurely start to the day. Took quite a long walk, actually, out of Longwood towards Deadwood where there is a lot of farmland.

Couldn’t believe how cold it was, and discussed how providential it was that my mom sent us beanies before we had even moved to Longwood…they definitely make these morning walks bearable! Came across this dinky little “Sally Army Hall” complete with roosters and neat hedges.

I shan’t bore you with the rest of the morning’s details as they were rather boring even for us…after lunch we got ourselves ready, and accidentally ran slightly late in getting to church (despite having spent the entire morning at home with no other engagements to delay us…). The service was so wonderful. I would love for you all to be exposed to Nick’s preaching week after week – the Lord has blessed him with wisdom and insights and the ability to bring it across so clearly. We are still in the book of Acts, and today Nick took an indepth look at Paul’s early discipleship. It is beneficial to think more deeply upon these events, and consider the realities of how difficult it must have been for Paul to become a Christian and then struggle to integrate into the local church as they didn’t trust him.

In the late afternoon we saw the sun for the first time in a few days – we drove home via the docks where there were several cars appreciating the sea and sun! Back in Longwood we were delighted to find the sun shining too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Benefits to benefit us

The boys dove early into their schoolwork this morning, starting Maths directly after breakfast, as we had a meeting at Knollcombes to get to at 10 am. This was the first official meeting of the Fundraising Committee. Present were Nick and me, Steve and Maureen, Jean, Vincent, and Nick Williams. It was very cold in the chapel and I was shivering by the end, but that’s beside the point. We had a good meeting, and have come up with a few initiatives to raise money to repair the damaged buildings. It has become clear that the St Helena government definitely has no money to give us, and although the Governor is still trying to raise overseas support, he’s not optimistic. So, it therefore falls to us to raise the funds. I think I’ve mentioned that between people on Ascension and the Falklands, ₤1500 has been donated, and another private donation of ₤3000 was given. We are presently looking at an estimate of ₤300,000 for our buildings, but that’s still drawing on the government estimate. We haven’t yet heard back from the contractor who saw the buildings last week, so we really need to get a private quotation to know what we’re aiming at. Anyway, back to the meeting…the first thing on the calendar is a sponsored bible-reading day, where for 24 hours there will be scripture portions being read aloud. Nick and I will take some awkward early-morning (middle of the night) slot! That is scheduled to happen 2 weeks from now. Other ideas were a music evening, a quiz or cultural sort of evening at Plantation, sponsored walks, and setting up a blog to advertise the event of the rockfall, damage to the buildings, the way forward, and the church’s bank account details and charity number. We are officially registered as a charity now. It was obvious to us that we can’t raise the funds we need on the island, so we have to look elsewhere, and it’s difficult to hold fundraisers elsewhere in the world – we simply have to get out there with our hat in our hands! While we hate asking for donations, we’re just going to have to do it. I’ll post a link for the new blog when it’s up and running.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Am I Sam?

Aaron read Dr Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” for me today. He would have read the whole book had I not stopped him as we needed to carry on with the rest of school. For lunch it seemed appropriate to try green eggs and ham, although perhaps they were a little too green! Caleb, like “Sam I Am”, did NOT like green eggs and ham, and declined my offer to try some. They tasted fine, but really didn’t look too enticing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Humble donkey

Don’t you just hate having to iron a duvet cover? The ironing board is never big enough to accommodate any one stretch of it at a time, so there are bits left trailing crumpled on the floor, which have to be redone a few times…anyway, it’s done now! The Speed Queen at the manse, along with the Jamestown wind, ensured that very little of my washing needed ironing. How things have changed!

This morning Nick and I took a walk, first cutting across the golf course to an access road behind it, which we walked along until it was about to take a steep downward hairpin bend. Walking in the other direction we came out behind Longwood House (Napoleon’s house). There is a donkey which we pass by in a field on the way home, so we stopped to pat its nose. It has a remarkably big head, although it’s not fully grown so its head probably looks proportionately bigger. In the afternoon all four of us took a walk to the Longwood store, for fun, and the donkey is definitely getting to know us – he runs along the length of the fence, keeping up with us as we walk, and then waiting to be patted. He’s terribly sweet and we’ve named him Puzzle (how unoriginal if you're a Narnia fan!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for a change

Welcome to the new look of my blog...a little fiddling about after two or more years of the same boring face was on the cards for today. If you regularly read the blog, would you mind joining as a follower? That sounds a little cultish when I word it that way, but you know what I mean...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In the garden

Over breakfast Nick found some songs of his that he’d recorded on to the computer – always good to hear his stuff that has been ‘buried’ for a long time!

Good News Club in the morning was well attended, and then we went to Pam and Jeff’s place for a cup of tea. We went briefly into town, just for some processed cheese slices and a few turkey slices with which to make snackwiches for lunch, which we did as soon as we got home. It was really windy in town, so we were glad to be back in the calmer, although colder, Longwood. Kay and Josh spent the afternoon with our boys, either here, or round and about the complex – it was sunny in the afternoon so I was really glad for the boys to be outside. The boys have taken ownership of the back bit of garden, and since the weather was good today we worked on it. Kay, Caleb and I cleared all the weeds, with Aaron and Josh sort of milling about, and then the three of us scouted around the complex for other things we could put in. We found quite a few little goodies, which we carefully uprooted and replanted. It does look very nice at the moment, but we’ll see what’s dead by tomorrow! Pam and Jeff gave us some solar garden lights which we planted in that garden too – four of them, neatly down the middle.

At 3 pm Nick left for Tammy, and I came in to sort out some beadwork…I queried my work permit yesterday, and was pleased to hear that it has been approved. It’s not official yet as I still need to pay the ₤30, but I will sort that out during the week. Kay was very keen to help with what I was doing, and Caleb chipped in too, poking holes into little bits of cardboard and then hanging earrings from them. Kay bought a pair, and then brought two friends from the complex to have a look at them too – one of them will be back tomorrow. I think I will be able to sell a lot of things by word of mouth! Kay and Josh had to leave at 5, and then I left the boys watching a DVD and took a quick walk to the shop. When I got back Nick arrived home, and then it was fishcakes for supper…

Friday, September 19, 2008

Out doing stuff

We had less than an hour of school before heading into town this morning – novel! I love the flexibility of homeschooling. Nick met with a private contractor at the manse to get quotes on the repairs, but the contractor said he would have to come back another time as the job is bigger than he had imagined. I gathered a few more things from the manse, and then did a bit of shopping in town while Nick had a meeting at the hospital with the HIV/AIDS training lady, who wants to interview him for the radio. Without cellphones it was a bit tricky to meet up again – Nick said he would find me in town, but by the time I had finished my shopping and even had coffee with Elza, whose car had broken down in town, he hadn’t appeared, so we drove up to the hospital and found him at the clinic. I followed my ears, actually, as he was playing bits of his CD for Abdia and Wendy. Then we went back into town for lunch at Sally’s, after which we visited Printech, St Helena’s only printing establishment, for Nick to initiate the printing of his CD sleeve and labels as well as a book about the beginnings of the Baptist church on the island, which he is also hoping to sell to raise funds for the building repairs. They will have to quote him.
Nick spotted this plaque a week or two ago on a buttress on the Ladder Hill Road, so while driving up there today we stopped briefly so I could see it too – dedicated to those who were killed in an 1890 rockfall which dumped 1500 tons of rock on the town.

Steve and Maureen arrived at 6 pm for dinner as arranged, and everything was ready except the peas, so once those were cooked we could eat. I had made garlic bread and rice to go with the Javanese Chicken I prepared yesterday, and it was all very good and tasty. For pudding I made a self-saucing jaffa cake – basically an orange flavoured vanilla cake with chocolate chips, over which you sprinkle castor sugar and cocoa powder and then pour boiling water before baking…it was delicious and successful but would have been better with ice-cream! We played dominoes after coffee for at least an hour – apparently dominoes are making a come-back amongst the young and fashionable (Alan and Kate play with their friends, and so do our own Harry and Jenny…we thought we’d give it a go!). Who would have thought that such an old and simple game could be such fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday, In Which Lynn Discovers Yams

A chap came around to the house earlier wanting to know if we wanted to buy yams. I didn’t really know what to say since I don’t actually know what yams are, other than that they fall into the vegetable category, but on relaying to him my complete ignorance as to what to do with them he assured me that it was already cooked. Oh well, I thought, that takes the guesswork out – a bit more questioning from my side set the price at ₤1.50 for a chunk. The chunk was quite a sizeable piece of freshly cooked yam still in its dark purple skin, wrapped in clingfilm, still hot. Ah, that’s what a yam is then. I set about examining this curious purchase. My first surprise was that yams are a delicate mauve colour on the inside. My second surprise was that there was a layer of gooey slime on the skin which could have been put to excellent use in a low-budget sci-fi movie. I cut off the tiniest bit and nibbled on it before deciding that I do not like yams. Mama Cat was sitting outside the kitchen door, so gleefully I sliced off a layer and cut it into bite-size chunks to offer to the unfortunate feline. Mama Cat looked at it, sniffed it, looked at me, licked it, and then very decisively refused to eat it. So I have a large chunk of yam sitting in the fridge now. Perhaps if I leave it there long enough it will go mouldy and I can throw it away without feeling too guilty?

Nick discovered a new shop in Longwood yesterday, not more than 100m away from our regular store. This little one is a branch of Rose & Crown, it seems, as they stock DVDs bearing R&C’s name. Very handy to have a shop right here with DVDs – saves us going all the way to town to take one out and return it! The shop also sells a mode-podge of items, from potatoes and bacon to WD40, with biscuits and tinned goods and even clothing items between. Seems a bit more expensive than the regular places though so I probably won’t do my monthly grocery shopping there!

School today was pretty good, after a few difficult days with Caleb. Aaron is very poorly though with a cold – runny nose and cough, but he got through the work anyway. It’s not often that Aaron is sicker than Caleb! Caleb seems to be quite well again. We did a fair amount of tomorrow’s work as well, so that we will be able to go with Nick to town in the morning. Speaking of school, I’ve ordered the next curriculum now. For some reason I couldn’t order it through their website again, same problem as last year, so I was phoned earlier in the evening by Sonlight in the States to get my credit card details, so they can process the order from their side. I’m very excited to have it done. Pam came by this evening to play guitar – this will be a regular Thursday thing. It’s fun, and Maddison comes along and entertains the boys.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Half a million to fix

We’ve just finished a horrible day of school, and I am hiding away in Nick’s office for a while to get away from the boys, I guess! Caleb had his bad-school-day hat firmly on, so I sent him to his room during maths. He was more than happy to skip it and reappeared very cheerfully when it came to the read-alouds. Well, I am not cheerful about that!! We’re enjoying the read-alouds though. For history we’re doing an easy book on the Great Wall of China, and we’ve added George Müller’s biography to our history as well. Aaron sailed through his work this morning. Yesterday’s school was quite fine.

Now, about the church buildings which were damaged in the rockfall, we have had an estimate from the government engineer that the total cost for repairing all nine buildings which were damaged is estimated at ₤414,000. We have four of those buildings, so you can see that it is going to be somewhat expensive. However, we have not had an actual breakdown yet of specific figures for each building, and it seems that to get a private contractor to come in and quote would be more efficient and cheaper. Therefore, Nick is contacting a few independent contractors (builders), to arrange for them to go to the manse and church on Friday and see about quoting. So far he has one meeting arranged. Sadly, none of our buildings were insured against rockfalls. There is a specific rockfall insurance which can be bought, but I think it’s a fairly new type of cover, and it never occurred to anyone to take it out? Also, it would cost ₤800 per annum to insure against fire, water, rocks etc, and the church only makes about ₤1200 per annum! But whatever the reason, we aren’t covered. The governor has been trying to get some funding from the UK, but since no one was killed in the rockfall it doesn’t classify as a major disaster for them and so it doesn’t seem that there will be any help forthcoming. So, where does that leave us? You can see that it will be quite impossible for us to raise the kind of money necessary, even though there have already been some attempts at fundraising (so far some people on the Falklands have raised ₤800, and people on Ascension have raised ₤700, and Nick’s CD should bring in another ₤1000). We are therefore praying that God will do the impossible and provide the funds – because it seems so helpless from a natural perspective, it would be a real testimony to His power and provision.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Golfing goats

The boys wanted to join us for an early morning walk (even though it was really cold outside). Nick went off for a run and I joined the boys on the golf course. Aaron complained of a cold nose and was got tired of running around, so plunked down in the middle of the course.

The tree above is actually growing like this - sideways...typical of Longwood trees which have to contend with the wind. This particular tree has been propped up in places to help it.

I found a golf ball on the course and thought the photo was an apt comment on St Helena…where else in the world do goats maintain the greens?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It’s late afternoon on Sunday, and Nick and I have been having a lovely peaceful time together. How is this possible, you may ask, as we have children? The boys have been at Kay and Josh’s house for the last three hours! It feels weird to have the house empty and quiet. I had a rest, read a bit, typed some songs for church, did some scrapping, played guitar, went for a walk with Nick, did the blog, read someone else’s blog, and now I’m having tea. It seems that I’ve lost the ability to concentrate on one thing at a time since I’m so used to being constantly interrupted! It’s been a fairly clear day for the most part, although still very chilly – surprisingly cold in fact for a tropical island – but a big cloud came in just after lunch and we could see the mist blowing across our neighbour’s lawn like smoke before the cloud covered us too.

Baker's Boy

Nick decided this morning that Caleb wouldn’t be able to go to Good News Club because of his coughing – he would run around too much and it would probably make it worse. I happily volunteered to stay home with him, although Nick was just as eager to take on the job! We managed to fit in a haircut for Nick this morning before he and Aaron left here. I did a bit of housework and hung up the washing with Caleb looking out the window – still not allowed outside because it was cold and damp. I didn’t really think the washing had much chance of drying, but I’m happy to report that the weather cleared and we had a lovely sunny afternoon. Still a very chilly wind in the air though.

Caleb decided that we should bake something, which actually suited me well as I had an outdated tin of Caramel Treat in the cupboard which I wanted to use. I first opened it to see if it was any good before diving into baking a cake! Caleb enjoyed the process of creaming the butter and vanilla essence, adding the eggs, then alternating the milk and flour combinations. We made quite a mess between the two of us, but it was fairly contained so not too bad to clean up.

I was just putting the cakes into the oven when Nick and Aaron arrived home. Apparently GNC was well attended which I am very pleased about. After lunch the boys invited Kay and Josh over to watch a DVD and then they stayed on and played all afternoon, mostly inside as I didn’t want Caleb outside too much, even in the sun. Aaron and Josh dug for worms in the front patch for a while.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bits and pieces

Yesterday afternoon Nick and I finalized the CD cover and sleeve etc, and printed it out on high resolution on plain cardboard. The result is very pleasing to us both and we think it looks very professional! Nick has to now approach Printech and see what they can do about printing 100 of them. Pam came by at about 6, after Nick had left for bible study, to play guitar which was good. Maddison was with her so she entertained the boys. They left at about 7.30 to go home for dinner – they hadn’t been home yet after school and guides so were both pretty tired and hungry. Today’s school was quite fine. We started slightly earlier than normal and had finished our language, reading and Maths by 10 which is when we left to go to town. Nick needed something from the Manse and I also grabbed some more goodies, and then we had some shopping to do in town. Lunch was at home today since we had Sally’s already this week. In the early afternoon the boys and I properly organized their room and found a place for everything to go, especially since we had brought some more toys from home and their room was becoming an eyesore. Once this was done we could finish school which didn’t take long, and then the boys watched a DVD. Nick went off to Prince Andrew High for a drug talk. At about 4 pm, Josh and Kay came over, so the boys played in their room and then all over the house with hide and seek. Supper was pizza, which was one of the better ones – very tasty!

Caleb is coughing quite badly again. We nebulized him earlier which seems to have helped, but it’s disheartening to start all over again with the coughing, and suspected late nights!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something fishy

The fish van came by this morning. They phoned yesterday to see what we wanted, and Nick gave them an order. When they came today they had my fish neatly packaged and labelled with my name on it, so now it’s official – I get fresh fish delivered to my front door! The order turned out to be two long fillets of tuna and a lovely chunk of wahoo. I used one of the tunas for supper, and since I haven’t made fishcakes once this year, I thought I’d give them a go again. They were really delicious. I only fried up half the batch, and have frozen the rest of the mash-potato-raw-tuna-and-onion mixture.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tooth fairy surprised

We’re two for two now…two loads of washing dried in the last two days! Yesterday and today have been glorious, although cold and foggy in the morning, and last night was freezing – but the days are lovely.

Yesterday I took Caleb to the dentist as he had been complaining of a sore tooth,. I had a good look in his mouth before we went, and he pointed to the back of his mouth to show me where it hurt, where I saw a new molar coming out – doh! I guessed that was the problem, but thought it would be good for him to have a check-up anyway. We finished most of school before leaving at 11 (Nick and Aaron came along as Nick needed to go to town). Nick left us at the dentist and went to the manse for some books. We didn’t have to wait long before the dentist was ready for us, and he checked all Caleb’s teeth including the odd arrangement of canines, confirming that Caleb will probably need orthodontics one day. Anyway, he found where the real pain was – one of the baby molars had a huge cavity. It was too big to even fill so the only option was to extract it. I couldn’t believe it!! Caleb was very open to the suggestion and didn’t have any complaints, but when it came to administering the anaesthetic he was none too happy! Very brave though despite the horrible tasting injection and the pricks. We were sent back to the waiting room for the anaesthetic to kick in, during which time Nick arrived, so I was exceedingly glad for him to accompany Caleb for the actual extraction part. It wasn’t more than ten minutes before they reappeared, Caleb with a smile and a tissue in his hand containing the tooth. Apparently it was a very easy one. I was amazed that he handled it so well – having recently undergone the experience I know it’s not very pleasant. The tooth fairy duly visited last night.

Because it’s been so nice outside, I’ve been able to get far with the weeding of the front garden. I thought I cleared most of it yesterday, but there was still lots to do today. I’ve collected four rubbish bags of weeds now. All that is left now are a few patches around the tomato plants. I wanted to get some things planted though, so I looked around to see what could go in there – picked four sizeable geranium branches and stuck those in as well as a bit of a daisy bush. I don’t know if those will take, but at least they’ll look nice for a day or two before wilting! I also transplanted a small Blackwood tree from the porch garden. It will eventually become too big for that little space; it’s in a better location now. I don’t really know that there’s all that much point in doing what we’re doing since we most likely won’t be here long enough to really see the results of what we’re doing!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The dragon flies again

Nick and I started the day by walking on the world’s most remote golf course – it’s just across the road from our complex! The course is only nine holes, each of which get played twice, but it’s neatly kept and seems to keep the avid golfers happy. I didn’t time it, but I would guess that it took about 25 minutes to walk around the perimeter. Freezing cold so early in the morning – we were glad of three layers of jackets and sweaters and a beanie!

Good News Club was slightly better attended this week. Nick did a non-scriptural talk on Pinocchio which was relevant nonetheless – how we are first dead in sin, then as a Christian we are ‘alive’ but still on strings – still bound to the sinful human nature. One day in heaven we will be a ‘real boy’!
We went down town after the club and were home again in time for lunch. We brought the kite back with us as Longwood is an excellent place to fly it, so after lunch and a DVD, Nick took the boys, and Kay and Josh who had been with us for the DVD as well, outside where they had many successful flights, each taking turns to hold the string or launch it. It had turned really cold in the afternoon, so Milo for all was appropriate.

I hung up a load of washing before we went out this morning, and when we got home it was dry. It’s a miracle.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A bit of fixing

Before school Nick and I worked a bit on the sleeve, and it’s nearly done – looking quite good. He’s happy with it so I’m happy. School was okay other than Maths; the boys aren’t remembering any of their addition and subtraction facts. We’re ordering a thing called “Flashmaster” from Sonlight which is an electronic toy which throws up addition, subtraction, times tables etc. I hope it will be a fun way for them to memorize the necessary. But apart from that it was all good – we played bingo in the first session as we had a bit of extra time, and did our science after maths which was an experiment, to do with magnets. We made some magnetic puppets. Caleb helped Aaron with his reading today, as I was preparing the puppets and photocopying a little certificate for Aaron, as he has now finished his third read-aloud.

After lunch the boys walked by themselves to the Longwood shop. This is the first time we’ve let them go alone, and as it’s a longer walk than anything else they’ve done alone I was a bit nervous, but they were absolutely fine. Then we were off to town, as I had a hair appointment and Nick wanted to show Vincent, Steve and Maureen the church buildings, which they had not yet seen. I had phoned Pam before we left to ask if we could have a cup of tea with them, so after my hair I did a bit of shopping and handed in my work permit application form, then walked up to the Salvation Army hall. Nick arrived there at the same time as me, and the boys had about a fifteen-minute head start to get there.

Since the Baptist properties were so badly hit in the rockfall, the government needs to do a more detailed assessment regarding costs and action plans so that we have an estimate of what funding we actually need and what needs to happen. Where the funding will come from is still not known – it seems that the government might not be able to help after all. In the meantime, Public Works and Services is patching up the roof of the chapel to prevent further water damage. We saw them working on the roof today, with scaffolding set up in the open air schoolroom. We thought they would just be putting tarpaulins over, but they are actually using our spare roofing to patch up the holes. It’s hardly a scratch on what needs to be done, but at least there will be no further damage from the elements. The photo of Caleb and the rocks was taken by Nick – Caleb is standing on the boulder which hit the schoolyard wall and bounced back in, leaving the wall lying in the street.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Unique picnic spot

School kicked off yesterday with an early start at 8.40, and by tenzees we had already done all the language, writing, boys’ reading and maths. After a short break we did the science, history and read-alouds…the boys thought yesterday’s chapter of Mrs Piggle Wiggle was hilarious and so all three of us were nearly crying on the couch. School was finished at 11.02, and then we headed into town. Nick specifically wanted to leave early because we needed to collect some things from the manse, then have lunch, and then get to Tammy for Nick to have a music practice. We did the town stuff (which included picking up an application form for a work permit for me) first then bought lunch from Sally’s, but as it was drizzling in town we couldn’t eat at Castle Gardens as we usually would; we thought of a creative picnic spot instead – our lounge!! All the diningroom furniture has been moved into the lounge to make space for the church furniture in the diningroom, so we sat at the diningroom table in the lounge with our delicious baguettes or salad (yes, I confess I had a sweet chilli chicken salad…simply because it seemed like a more interesting option than chicken on a roll, and it was!). After lunch and loading up the car (just a few more clothes for us and some more toys for the boys), we went to Tammy. The boys played with Harley and Katie who seem to all get on quite well, and Nick and Tammy went over some songs while I worked on the laptop in the studio. The songs are sounding great – Nick does some lovely harmonies with Tammy, and I got to hear the new stuff! I was working on the sleeve insert goodie for Nick’s CD, which he is preparing for release on the island, to raise funds for the rebuilding of the church’s properties. Harry gave him a CD writer last Friday – it is a wonderful piece of equipment, and Nick has now made about 70 copies of the CD. Now we need to design the sleeve (ie the booklet which has the lyrics and production credits and all that stuff), get it printed, and make labels. Pam has been a great help in ordering the jewel cases and labels from somewhere, so once we have those we can assemble everything and start selling it. Pretty exciting, hey! Anyway, we left Tammy at about 3.30ish, and then Nick had a guitar lesson in the late afternoon.

This morning we were back to the usual school timetable, although we still finished at about 11.40. I think the boys are just managing to get their first session work done quicker – whereas in the beginning it would take Aaron 20 minutes to do his copywork, he now gets it done in 5, and his reading takes half the time it used to as well. Although the workload hasn’t decreased, we’re just speeding up. I guess this will be handy for next year when the workload should increase slightly! We had left over tuna and mayonnaise on sandwiches for lunch. Last night I prepared the tuna as steaks, and I’m fairly sure it’s the best tuna we’ve had on the island. We normally have Yellowfin or mixed species, but this was Bigeye, and although the meat was slightly darker, it was also much more tender. After lunch I had a short time to carry on bead-sorting before Elza came to visit, as arranged. She wanted to see where we are living and was very pleased to see that it looks ‘homely’. We had an excellent visit. We had some sun today which was really wonderful – I pointed out to the boys that the sea had reappeared. The washing still didn’t really get dry though, so it’s in the geyser cupboard. A day in there and it’s dry and warm!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Home alone

It’s quarter to ten on Tuesday night, and I’m home alone (with the boys). It turned out that it would be very awkward for me to get to bible study, but more than that, I didn’t want the boys to have another late night. They are both still not quite well, with sniffs and coughs, so I thought it would be prudent to have them in bed. I think in the future, Nick will have to come back here after Charles and Maisie to fetch us, and then I’m not sure exactly what we’ll do with the boys. I don’t want to miss the study and fellowship for months on end!

We’ve had a very ‘at home’ day. I think it’s the first day in about a month that I haven’t been out in the car or receiving guests. School was very much better this morning for all three of us, and we finished at about 11.40. I had a load of washing on the line but it was drizzling most of the day so what I couldn’t hang on the line in the storeroom, I tumble dried. It was really just our bedding that needed doing. Did I mention that the bungalow is equipped with a washer/dryer combo? Really handy for days like this when the washing just refuses to get dry.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ugh, back to school

Happy spring day to all of you in the southern hemisphere. I hope you all wore floral clothing. Our spring hasn’t started yet, of course, but it doesn’t really start at any point – there’s just a slow waft into the next season. We woke up late this morning after the busy weekend, and I only just had time to vacuum the lounge where I had left little beads scattered about, before starting school. It was tedious to be back at school – all three of us really struggled. The boys just couldn’t sit still and I really didn’t feel like doing school. But we got through all of today’s work including a new read aloud called “Mrs Piggle Wiggle” which is highly entertaining. Directly after lunch we left for town with a list of things to fetch, buy, drop off or do. First port of call was Steve and Maureen’s place though, to pick up their car and put a vase of fresh flowers (picked by Caleb) on the table. Then we stopped off at the manse for a few things before going into town for some stuff. At 2 pm we were waiting at the docks to welcome Steve and Maureen back. Elza was also waiting at the docks so we chatted for a while. S&M took about 45 minutes to appear, and it was wonderful to see them again. We caught up briefly at the docks and then parted ways – they to go home and have a quick cup of tea before returning to collect their luggage, and us to go home. Unfortunately though we were parked in, so wandered up the road to buy a cooldrink and then to sit at Castle Gardens and wait. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long, but it was an unnecessary delay anyway. We were home by about 4 pm, which gave me time to sew curtain tape on the bathroom curtains and hang them, as well as hanging two net curtains in the diningroom area, before starting supper of tuna casserole.

During tenzees this morning I needed to hang up washing but it was starting to drizzle. I had a good look in the tiny storeroom to see if there was any potential for stringing up a washline as it’s dry inside. Nick and I thought it would work, but also had a look in the garage for the first time. I had to call Nick to open the garage door as I wasn’t sure how to lift it – turns out it was just a regular swivel door like we used to have at 6 Protea Road. The garage was quite clean and empty except for one packing box, so I swept it out and it’s actually usable now for the car. I don’t know why we didn’t open it straight away! The boys discovered that they can easily climb onto the garage roof by first climbing up the wall in the courtyard which has nice open spaces for footholds. The kittens like to sit in the spaces and look out at the world, very cute. While we were outside examining the garage etc, the fish van came by, so we bought a big chunk of tuna. Isn’t it great that fresh (frozen) fish gets delivered practically to our front door?