Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boxing Day

We were all in town again this afternoon…I had a haircut and Nick was back at the manse for more cleaning up. Steve was able to come to help again today, and together they removed all the rest of the pews from the diningroom. Once the floor had reappeared, Nick swept it thoroughly then washed it on his hands and knees (having forgotten to bring the mop). We were home again by about 3.30, had coffee, then decided rather spur of the moment to start packing a few boxes – the official start of our proper packing in hopeful and prayerful anticipation of leaving the island at the end of the year. Supper was Granny’s Stew but the boys were Not Impressed that I added cabbage.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The reappearance of the diningroom

We are now into our second last week of school for this term, and the day went fine except for the first half hour or so where the boys were in Monday mode – they always take a little while to settle back into school after the weekend! Caleb had a lot of maths work to do but he diligently worked his way through it all, even when I said he could take a short break and finish the rest a bit later – he kept on until it was all done. I commended him on his perseverance! Directly after lunch we all went to town. I had envisaged going alone to do the grocery shopping, but Nick wanted to start clearing out the diningroom, in which had been stored a lot of church furniture after the rockfall. He phoned Steve before we left so that they could work on it together, as one person can’t lift pews alone! Together they moved all the kitchenette stuff which is waiting to be installed in the schoolroom, into the church, and then started on the pews, moving four or five out. It’s pretty exciting to be seeing things coming back together in the manse after such a long period of mess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reading and visiting

It’s been cold again today, a bit of drizzle in Longwood, grey skies…brrr! We relaxed for a little while after lunch; Caleb and Aaron both wanted to read to Dad from their Enid Blyton books which they are enjoying very much. At 3 pm we had our second visit to the CCC where we played songs and then chatted with the elderly residents before they had their tea. I visited with Caroline, the lady I used to visit at the Haven when we were living in town. She says she misses her little doves which were her regular visitors – she used to scatter rice on the floor of her room and they would come right in. She was extremely pleased to see my two handsome boys again!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

World Tourism Day

This weekend celebrates World Tourism Day. In honour of the event there were several stalls, demonstrations, walks and open days organized in town and around the island which will continue tomorrow. I had my jewellery going again, still with a half price sale, and the morning’s takings made it well worthwhile. Nick wandered down to the distillery which hosted its first ever open day – this is where they make Tungi, a product of the humble prickly pear. We brought Maddison home with us again in the afternoon, and Pam and Geoff came by to collect her later, stopping in for fresh homemade bread sandwiches topped with tuna, cheese and mayonnaise.

50% off

This morning I was in my old spot outside the Cannister, selling jewellery – last Friday of the month (leaving Nick to finish off the last remains of this week’s school with the boys). I’ve marked my wares down now to half price since they weren’t selling well, and I was happy to have sold quite a number of items! In the afternoon we did another church visit, this time to Mervyn and Daphne in Sandy Bay. As always we enjoyed our time with them. I was touched that Daphne used her special-occasion tea set in honour of our visit!

(Loved how the mist was spilling over the ridges but Lot was just catching the sun).

Friday, September 25, 2009

More trampolining, fried eggs and Lego

I will decline from recording the details of our laborious afternoon for fear of utterly boring you, blog readers. Pretty much of a repeat of yesterday afternoon’s doings for Nick and me! Umm, the boys continue to enjoy the trampoline which is especially useful during their school break, where they can jump out a few fidgets. I prefer not to watch what happens when Nick gets on there with them – seeing small boys bouncing very high and close to the edge are not a mother’s favourite activity. In the evening the boys both went to Beavers/Cubs, where they had an egg fried for them. They came home in high spirits announcing that they would not need to eat anything as they had been served bread and beans as well. Then they made an alien lego force…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reams of paper

So, this was us this afternoon…filling in forms. Although not necessary at this point, and may never actually become necessary, it seems expedient to get things done in the event that they do become needed, in which case we will be pressed for time…the mystery deepens...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Big Cleanup begins

After school (and we have only 38 days left of official curriculum school for the year, but we’ll also have an extra week or two of short sessions of completing the spelling and maths courses) I told Nick that I was planning on doing some work at the manse – clean-up, sort out, throw away, pack, etc, in an effort to officially move out as well as start cleaning it to make it habitable for our successors. He said if I waited a little while that he would come too – a way better option for me! I made supper preparations while I waited, and then by 1 o'clock we were ready to go. The boys played in their old room for a while and tried to be helpful in other ways – Caleb did a bit of vacuuming. Nick cleaned the downstairs bookshelves which were thickly coated in dust, then cleaned the books and reshelved them, clearing a bit of lounge space. That was a big job. He also packed some books from his office. I packed books from the lounge wall units, and then started in the diningroom with sorting and tossing. I pulled most of the school things off the walls (and a few bits of paint, oops). Once that was mostly done I went up to the boys room which I had been dreading, but I found it was actually quite easy once I lost my fear of simply throwing toys away. Things that are still good or in full sets I am keeping to redistribute, but all the little bits and pieces I have tossed. It was great! When I had exhausted what I could do in there, and pried off the three or four dead centipedes which had sunk their claws into the carpet, I started on the fearsome three cupboards in the passage which are absolutely loaded with old stuff, mostly unusable. I finished the first one and got halfway with the second, but by then it was 4 pm and time to go. We had let the boys walk down to the swimming pool just before 3 pm – since they are both able swimmers we figured it would be okay for them to be at the pool without adult supervision (although of course the lifeguards are always about). They had loved their swim – the town weather is warming up now to make it a great afternoon activity again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bluest blue

After what has seemed weeks of bleak skies and rain (although it’s only been about a week), the skies cleared and the sun shone. And boy, did the skies clear…it was the first comment on everyone’s lips in passing conversation. We couldn’t possibly forego the photographic opportunity by sitting around at home doing mundane things so we opted for an afternoon walk. After some short debate about location, we picked Diana’s Peak – we couldn’t have asked for better weather to make the most of the spectacular 360° views. It was a bit hot going up which was surprising given its height and the usual chilly air around there, so we were sweating buckets by the end of the whole excursion. It was a great two-hour walk through the flaxy, grassy paths. While I was puffing and panting my way up to the peaks, the boys were running ahead with apparently very little trouble. Coming back as well, Caleb ran ahead of us and had probably at least a half hour’s wait for Nick and me – Aaron also pipped us by a long shot. In our defence, we did take a lot of photos!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Piccolo Party

I must say that we are truly blessed to be living in Piccolo right now. There is a fabulous community of ex-pats here presently; throw in a few others from outlying areas (and bring the Ws back from the States) and you have the makings of an excellent social occasion – today’s was Charlotte’s informal birthday party (I understand the proper girly party will follow in a week or two, combined with Sappho). The kids, most of whom already live here, had complete liberty to ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, and otherwise amuse themselves with Barry’s games and sporting goods (including a unicycle which only Barry could ride – apparently it is more difficult than it looks, since by the time one can ride it without toppling over one has mastered it and it therefore looks effortless). The adults congregated in the general central area or on Barry and Allison’s patio, chatting amicably on a number of topics. All in all, a great afternoon. Thankfully the boys didn’t complain when we dragged them away for a bath and church! Our service last night was not well attended, but it was so good – Nick is still in Acts, and preached on the “Justification/Faith/Works” matter – showing the biblical view of justification being by faith alone, but with works as evidence.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pizza Hut, anyone?

We brought Maddy back with us after Good News Club as there is such fun stuff to do in Piccolo now. By the time we got home the bread which had made itself in the breadmaker was ready to come out, still hot. Maddy, who is a rather useful and helpful sort of girl, cut it up for me. At 2.10 we went back to town so Nickthefish could go swimming again, with Geoff and Maddy. Pam and I took our cameras and meandered down to Castle Gardens and then back up, leaving the boys watching a DVD at Pam’s place. Pam had invited us earlier to stay for tea, saying that we could order pizzas and have them delivered. One of the things we’ve really missed on the island is the take-aways, especially real pizza, and we all like to joke about it and pretend that we’re going to get KFC, pizza, etc. When it turned out that Pam actually wasn’t joking, and that the pizza place in Half Tree Hollow actually has a proper menu and does deliveries to town for 50p, I was gobsmacked; all the more because we had had a pizza from them about two years ago and it was unimpressive – who has tuna and sweetcorn as a pizza topping? But these were the real deal…mozzarella cheese, ultra-thin crust with real mushrooms and heaps of topping. Wow!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bluehill, blue car, red bird

After an easy school morning we went to town - our usual Sally's lunch at Castle Gardens, where Aaron saw on a flower a bee doing some extraordinary bee-deed - collecting pollen or something. Note the amazed look on his face!
This sad car sits in Half Tree hollow rather like a garden gnome. We took a fairly slow drive to Bluehill......where we visited Keith and Shirley, members of our church. Shirley put up quite a feast for us! The boys spotted a red cardinal on our car - he was fluttering at the side mirror, apparently trying to ward off the identical male bird from his territory.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Beauty of Your Love

Nick released his second CD today at Saint FM - he has called it "The Beauty of Your Love", the title track being the song he wrote for our wedding. I'm honoured to have had half the songs on this album written for me! One of the comments Nick made during the live radio interview with Tammy was regarding the nature of the Christian love songs, that they are in sharp contrast to the lust-driven, women-cheapening songs generally played over the air, and he hopes that they can reflect some of the Christian worldview regarding marriage and relationships.Pictured below is Nick's Thursday night bible study group at Bluehill - missing are Vincent and Vilma on holiday, and Enid who is injured and unable to make the long walk to the meeting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grandpa's Soup

After a good morning of school, and an exciting chapter in “The Little Princess”, we were finished by 11.30 and the boys went straight out to jump on the trampoline (Antje - yours looks the same as this one!). I made a big batch of tomato soup using my Dad’s recipe – he is not a whiz in the kitchen but has perfected his own soup recipe and makes it quite often (I should mention here, because I know he’ll be reading this, that he is also an excellent fudge-maker. Hi Dad). I dubbed the soup ‘Grandpa’s Soup’ when we ate, so Aaron asked with big eyes if Grandpa actually made it. Fortunately he realized the improbability of this before we had to seriously answer his question!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mev. Bloem

In the afternoon we went first to town, where the boys each bought an Enid Blyton compilation of short stories at Warrens. They are thick books with reasonably large print. I’m delighted that the boys are so happy to actually spend their own money on books, and then willingly read them!We popped on at Elza while out in that direction and had a good visit with her – Nick can now talk cameras with another victim as she came back from holiday with a DSLR.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dragged around

Last Monday I started Aaron with cursive – his manuscript is still far from perfect but we ran out of lessons and so I am moving him on…also in the hopes that his handwriting will improve with the new challenge. We’re a week into it now and he seems to be doing okay. I’m splitting each ‘lesson’ over two days so that the amount of work for him is not quite so daunting. After school and lunch we all went to town where we had a few errands to run – including another mystery errand: The boys were not so pleased to have to schlep around town with us, but life is oh so tough when you’re a kid and have little say in your day’s activities.