Saturday, November 29, 2008
Eventually the others caught up as they drove a lot of the path in their little 4x4 and then only walked the last bit, so we all summited together. The other family had three small children – two girls the age of our boys, and a younger son aged 4. The kids played wonderfully at the top, collecting big clumps of moss which were actually fudge or pasta, depending on which stage of the game they were in. The top of Flagstaff is a wood, shady and cool, with spectacular views.
We stayed up for about half an hour, and then our plan was to go swimming in the late afternoon so we didn’t want to dilly dally too long. The four older kids, Nick and I ran the whole way down to the cars (it was a considerable jog) while the other four adults and little Luka took a very slow drive down. We waited a long time for them to arrive!
So, we had to wait with the kids anyway, and then it was discovered that Craig had three kites in his boot, so when the others came down we all kited. They were light-weight trick kites which could be made to swoop and dive, so it was really awesome. The kids also had a go, but there was some concern that Libby might have been pulled off her feet by the strong winds taking the kite up – a legitimate concern, because I was staggering a bit trying to keep a hold on it. We left at about ten past five, too late to go swimming, so came home and had hamburgers for supper.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Nick, Steve and Tony Leo started busking at around 11, until a light drizzle came in at about 1.30, at which time they packed it up.
It was an awesome atmosphere, except for one thing – no people! The tourists, those who weren’t booked on tours, mainly walked straight by the stalls without stopping to look. A couple of them were friendly, and Jennifer was thrilled to chat to a South African couple who lived in PE in her neighbourhood! And the Saints, who we were all hoping also to attract with our wares (well, me and Jenny especially as ours are non-souvenir type things), either didn’t know about the marquee, or weren’t interested. So for all of us, it was disappointing. The musical trio did quite well with their busking, which goes straight to the Restoration Fund, so that was good. I allowed the boys to go to town on their own, twice, to buy things to occupy themselves. The first time they each bought a Kinder egg with the toy inside, which turned out to be a bit of a flop for Caleb especially, so later they went to the Emporium and bought a tub of plastic insects (Caleb) and playing cards (Aaron).
Above: the Captain laughing with the ship's doctor and security chief over his shaky legs after doing Jacob's Ladder. The Captain was very congenial - he bought a necklace, bless him!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Today’s school was fine again – I’ve been enjoying school again, and it’s going a lot better. I had to help Caleb with his Maths – just a temporary confusion over carrying into the tens’ and hundreds’ column. Aaron is picking up speed in his Maths and is only about four lessons behind Caleb. It’s a good arrangement now though – Aaron just does Maths as long as Caleb is busy with his allocated worksheet. When Caleb finishes, Aaron stops where he is (or sometimes goes until he’s finished a page, at his own bidding). We’ve been studying microbes and Louis Pasteur, and now we’re doing a book called “What makes you ill” which is quite interesting. We’ve also learned about food groups and general health and stuff…it’s funny to hear Caleb say, “let’s get some protein” before having a handful of peanuts! Caleb is getting quite into fitness, exercise and healthy eating; he voluntarily eats bananas now, and runs up and down Piccolo and then does push-ups, before showing me his bulging muscles. I asked him if he’s becoming more interested in his body and health since doing health etc in biology, but he said no, it’s because he’s heard that Dad and the Governor are two of the fittest people on the island, and he reckons he can also get fit. (His Dad isn’t one of the fittest people, by the way…Sally is probably the fittest, Buffalo a close second, and the governor after that. Nick is on par in fourth position!).
Supper tonight was gammon steaks, chips and pumpkin fritters…the fritters were more like an hors d’ouvre because they were ready before the supper, and are really more of a tea-time item anyway. The boys had been begging me to make them for ages – that’s another thing I can cross of my domestic list for now! Nick even had a couple – he said he couldn’t taste the pumpkin. Of course they only taste like pumpkin, but he doesn’t really know what that tastes like because he never has it. I added a lot of cinnamon…they were very good. Gareth, Nick’s guitar pupil, had two on his way out too!
Nick’s bible study this evening was cancelled…again…he is very disappointed. The Guides’ Hall where they usually meet is covered in paint, or full of paint, so can’t be used.
Apparently old cardboard boxes make fine beds.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Yesterday I had our lunch of beef stroganoff and fresh cauliflower ready and waiting in the oven when Nick got home. The cauli was delicious – just cooked the right amount, and it must have been a particularly nice one to start with, because really, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nick and the boys weren’t quite as enthusiastic but everyone managed to finish. The weather cleared wonderfully in the afternoon and it was pretty warm in the sun. There was a cricket event happening in the field next to Piccolo – a few cars parked in Piccolo, so the boys were curious and went to watch. They were quite fine to do this on their own. Nick preached an excellent message on “The Fatherhood of God”. I believe the morning services were well attended but sadly, the evening service was very empty. There is a flu bug going around which so far we have managed to avoid, but perhaps that was the reason for last night’s depletion. We’ve moved our evening services to the Salvation Army Hall now…last night was our second meeting there, although of course we’ve been having bible studies there since shortly after the rockfall.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We did that until about 3 pm, after which the boys and I finished school with the science experiment. We’re still doing a section on light and mirrors which has been very interesting. Friday’s was particularly good – we made a pinhole camera, which I’ve never seen working before. We painted the inside of a paper box lid black, then pricked a hole in the bottom and stuck a big piece of vellum (or tracing paper) over the top. Then we had to sit under a dark blanket so there was no light coming in, and look at the vellum side as though it were a TV screen. The result was truly amazing – I won't give it away in case any of you want to try it! I was so excited I wanted Nick and his two guitar pupils to come and see, but they asked if they *really* had to so I let them off. Anyway, the boys and I were exclaiming at how wonderful it was.
Yesterday was the usual Saturday stuff: Good News Club, a quick stop in town to drop off a DVD, then home by 11.15 where there was plenty of time for a mom-imposed-all-family-clean-up which yielded good results. After lunch the boys watched a video and Nick and I did some more work on the book. I spent a large chunk of the afternoon weeding the front garden. I have been meaning to do this, but never seem to get around to it at a time when it’s not raining and I have nothing else pressing needing attention – yesterday was the day! There was some drizzle, but it was fairly comfortable to be outside. I’m still trying to get the dirt out from under my nails. I threw away countless snails – fortunately the mud was so thickly crusted on my fingers that I didn’t really need to touch them as such. I even found snail babies. Apparently snails start off as little round, semi-opaque white blobs. I also uprooted a lot of worms which I did NOT enjoy seeing. The nasturtiums are doing really well and taking over a large section, but I’m happy with them as they tend to keep the other weeds under control.
By 4.15 I had removed most of the larger weeds and was really tired and sore, so came in and rested for a few minutes before supper, which was fried wahoo steaks, chips and corn and Brussels. The fish was really lovely, and when they had finished their supper the boys each had an extra piece of it from the frying pan. Nick did the chips – we went for a different look, leaving the skins on and slicing them into rounds. They were really great, kind of like brown-bread chips. Aaron wasn’t keen on the skin idea, so between those and the solitary brussel sprout I made each boy eat, he took a long time to finish!
No particular plans for today...we were hoping to do the Diana's Peak walk, but the weather is going to put an end to that plan!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I didn’t sleep well on Monday night – I tossed and turned, and eventually got up at 1.30 and scrapped for an hour (didn’t get much done). Back to bed at 2.30, lay awake for another hour, then was awake again early in the morning. So on Tuesday I was a bit tired, but no time for sleeping! I had to go back to town after lunch to hunt down another scanner. Lucy and I had done the museum scrapbook scanning at Legal and Lands, but when I phoned them to ask if I could scan Tammy’s stuff they said it was unavailable until Thursday afternoon but that was leaving it a bit late as Tammy is hoping to release the CD next week. So I had to walk around town looking for a scanner. I thought the IT department would have one, which they did, and they were happy to oblige, and it worked – what an enormous relief. That didn’t waste too much time. Home again, spent some time on the computer touching up the scanned images, and then I made a pot of soup for supper which involved cutting up a pumpkin which took ages. The soup was good even though it was quite strong in the pumpkin taste, but Nick said it was tolerable and the boys enjoyed it (so did I).
On Wednesday we got an early start on school (the boys did their maths and writing before 9) so that we could get to Patsy Flagg’s coffee morning. First though, another stop at Printech to deliver the digital images for Tammy’s CD which were duly examined and declared to be fine. They can now start work on that and hopefully get the printing finished by Monday so that we can assemble the sleeves and cases and stickers etc, to have the album ready for next Friday when the cruise ship comes in. Then off to Patsy. She’s a lovely lady. She and her late husband Arnold started these coffee mornings in 2002, and have tried to have them once a month to raise funds for whatever the need is. Yesterday’s morning was a great success. There were 40 people in attendance which included invited guests (like us), and altogether the donations amounted to ₤153 towards the Baptist Church Restoration Fund. It even made the news last night!
We left Patsy shortly before 1, and decided that we didn’t really need lunch as we had had quite a lot of eats at Patsy. We hovered at the manse for a short while – Nick needed a few more books (actually it turned out to be only one more book), and I did some more school with the boys. I had brought our read-alouds along in case we had a spot in the day to finish school. At 2 pm Nick and I had a meeting in town which we couldn’t really take the boys to, so we took them up to Elza for half an hour. Then we went back to collect them, spent a long time chatting to Elza again, before finally leaving some time after 3. Home for about an hour, during which time Nick made supper of sausages on toast while I had a cup of coffee to soothe my headache, then at 4.45 we headed off again, this time to Bluehill where Nick had lay preachers’ training. The boys and I had to tag along because we needed to practice an item for the Ladies’ Orchestra on the 5th of December with Vincent and Vilma, and this seemed like the best time to do it. Actually I was glad to have sat in on the training as we watched a John Piper DVD and it was excellent. The boys played outside as it was still light. The training finished at 7, Teddy and Nick W left, then we pulled out the instruments and practiced “I’ll Fly Away” until our fingers hurt and our voices were sore. We left at 8; the boys were exhausted and quite ready for their late bedtime. Incidentally, today marks a year since we boarded the ship for our first off-island holiday!
School today (Thursday) ran its normal course with only minor interruptions. After a delicious cheese, tomato and onion snackwich for lunch, I went to town. I had very little to do there other than posting a parcel, and couldn’t even check our own post from Ascension as they hadn’t finished sorting it yet. I inquired as to whether there were any parcels for us though, still hoping for our Maths curriculum which I didn’t order from Sonlight, and which hasn’t arrived yet. Then home again, where I almost finished a scrapbook page I’ve been working on for a few days. I ran out of time though as I needed to still do a bit of preparation for the Girl Guides’ scrapping thing. That was at 4.30; at 4.15 Nick wasn’t home from his busking practice with Steve, but just as the boys and I were preparing to walk up the road to the place, he got home. Didn’t really help us as far as transport went though as he was dying for the loo, he said! It wasn’t a long walk so I really didn’t mind. I got there in good time, and after about 10 minutes all six girls were there. Pam first did a quick demo on digital scrapping, and then I took over with the paper side of it, and they got started on their very simple pages. I had already done a (very simple) page layout (using a photo of my niece Zoë), so they just had to follow my design exactly. It went very well. They only got about half way with their pages, which is good because we still have next Thursday to work on them. Pam brought me back home at 5.30, and then stayed for the usual Thursday evening get-together. I daren’t call it a guitar practice anymore because we hardly ever pick up the guitars! Tonight, since we hadn’t yet had supper, we all had a bowl of soup followed by biscuits and chocolates which Maddison and the boys had bought (with Pam’s money); they walked home from the shops while I heated the soup.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Steve and Maureen have given us a computer! It’s fairly old, an upright tower with screen, printer, mouse, keyboard etc, with Windows 98. We are allocating it to the boys so they can learn computer skills – it’s such a blessing! Nick collected it yesterday afternoon, and they have also given us a stand/desk, so the whole thing is free-standing and not in the way. The boys are very excited about it too, so computer lessons will be integrated into our school day.
Today was a great day – I bought tomatoes and onions!! Nick had an early morning as I dropped him at Steve’s place shortly before 8, where he was going to spend the morning clearing more rubble. The boys and I came back here and started school, finishing around 11.20, then we drove to town. I needed a few bready items, so we went to the Star for those lest they should sell out quickly, before going up to the church for Nick. He was working with Steve, Teddy and Trevor to clear out the schoolroom, and they made good progress on the church as well. Nick was nearly ready for lunch, so we waited in the windy church a short while, and then went to Sally’s. After lunch I did the rest of my list things – collected post, where I collected a parcel (wooohooo!!) and also a wedding invitation to a wedding that happened on the same day (I knew about it – was just really touched that they actually sent us an invitation, and amazed at its timing!), waited in a throng of people crowding around the Grower’s Co-op in the market to buy onions, bought fish in the market too, etc. I got a lot of things I hadn’t been able to buy in some time so was very happy about that. In the afternoon I scrapped, and then it was the usual pizza for supper but the pineapple I had in a container in the fridge had gone mouldy and the pizza just wasn’t the same without it!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
School was fine, no problems, except that Aaron is still slow with his writing, gets distracted, forgets how to hold his pencil, doesn’t sit properly, and isn’t writing neatly anymore. But the readings were all great. After lunch I took Aaron with me to town. I needed a couple of things from the manse and Aaron needed new shoes as the ones I bought in Cape Town had big holes in them – Caleb’s developed holes some months ago already!
This is how Caleb has been occupied in some of his free time for the past five or six days. He has already finished one whole book, which is really fantastic. He was giving me impromptu book reports along the way too, so I know he’s comprehending his reading.
While Caleb reads, Aaron sometimes browses through the more picture-intense books, often asking me what something spells. Today he was looking at continents and countries.