Archive for July, 2009

Some great folk

I know I should write about the fantastic timeĀ  the girls and I had at Folk by the Oak on Sunday, which was held in the grounds of Hatfield House. But is it alright if I just say it was my first festival, and it was fab. Will that be enough? And some photos?

Warning – these are not especially good photos. I was too shy to go right down the front, passing in front of other people, to position myself better, so I relied on my zoom to catch something. No tripod either. What am I like?

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Almost all of The Shee are in this picture (and someone’s extra-ordinary hair too).

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Ah, there she is, the other Shee I left out of the last shot. I really enjoyed their set and have ordered their CD.

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I was dragged away to the pottery tent by Jenny, so didn’t “see” much of Chris Wood, but could hear him from where I was sitting. He has a lovely voice. His songs are pften political but humorous too.

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This shot was taken closer and shows Karine Polwart and her brother, who surely has a name but I can’t recall it. I would have happily heard more of her too.

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Ah, the reason I ended up at Folk by the Oak. A long Internet trail some months back led to finding out that this young man on the leccy guitar, Jim Moray, was playing there, and I wanted to see him live. I’m glad I did.

A great day. Rosie spent lots of time in the craft tent with friend, Z, and has been doing hand-knitting ever since.

Jenny, who’s been a bit under the weather, did some of this:

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And some of this:

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The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit

It seemed a simple and brilliant idea. A day at the park, cycling with the girls and a buddy each. The wind in my hair as I cruise along, leading two smaller girlies happily pedalling away, whilst the bigger girls go off on their own, checking in every now and again.

Jenny’s Small Buddy had only recently learned to ride without stabilisers. “That’s fine,” I said blithely to Small Buddy’s Mum, “at the park we can hire three-wheelers as well as two-wheelers, so no problem if she’s not that confident on two wheels.”

Small Buddy wanted to ride a two-wheeler. Great, except it wasn’t like her bike and the pedals didn’t do that thing where you free-wheel them backwards until they are in the right position for you to push off (I hope you know what I mean). Apparently it’s a very British thing for bikes to do that, and doesn’t happen anywhere else. The adult bikes did it, but not the kids’ ones. Anyhow, she tried but it just wasn’t right. At the cycle hire place they are quite happy for you to swap if all is not right. We tried another two-wheeler – no good, the same deal.

There were tears (not from me for a change). “How about a three-wheeler?”, I coaxed. She was not keen, but I got the bike swapped and tried to build some confidence.

“Let’s go on the grass.”

“I can’t steer.”

She was doing OK, but clearly her confidence had been knocked by the unfamiliar. I made a mental note to debrief to her Mum later, so that she would know the damage I’d done to her child’s development.

An idea. “Let’s just go over to the swings.” We crept over to the centre of the park, and I was quite relieved to leave our bikes in the racks outside. Swings, slides and climbing frames. Nice, solid, familiar.

On the way back to return the bikes to the hire shop, Small Buddy had actually gained confidence with the bike, and it was lovely to hear her calling “Look at me”, as she stood up on the pedals and cycled, and to see the delight as she overtook me.

After lunch, they found something that all felt confident with.

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You lookin’ at me?

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The penultimate day of the school term and Year 1 were going on a school trip to Godstone Farm. For once I was able to volunteer to help – to herd the children on and off the coach, to ferry them backwards and forwards to the toilet and to frequently offer the phrase “No, it’s not lunchtime yet”, starting shortly after we boarded the coach for the trip. This phrase was changed shortly after lunch to “I know you’re hungry, but we’ve had lunch”.

It was a great success. The kids got to pet lots of farm animals, like the sheep, rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, a cockerel (rooster) and a hen. The children were incredibly well-behaved, and even when the coach failed to start at the end of the day and we had to wait an hour for the replacement transport to arrive, they remained good humoured and still a pleasure to be seen with.

(I know this photo isn’t very sharp, but it makes me laugh).

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Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you

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Spinning in the rain

Despite the showers today, we went ahead with a planned picnic in a local park. We dodged the rain, and managed to keep our sarnies dry.

Afterwards, the girls burnt off excess energy in a game of spinning round and round.

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Put on your Sunday clothes

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It was the week that we were completing the sale of Mum’s house and I was racing against time to clear all the belongings I wanted to keep. It was also “Robot Week” at school, where many robot-related activities were going on to stir the children’s interest in science. I had known for several weeks that one day that week was going to be “dress-up-as-a-robot” day.

I dread these dressing-up days, grumpy old woman that I am. I feel creativity, resourcefulness, inspiration all flee me when it comes to these projects and I put doing anything about it off until the last minute. However, my moment of inspiration did come. Jenny was very pleased with her costume.

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Ouch!

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Well, it was an eventful weekend*. To cut a long story short, Mr Angelfeet sustained a rather nasty injury whilst playing baseball.

Eye. Ball. Ouch.

* – actually it was a stressful and worrying Saturday night, but all’s well now and I’m just glad that we’re all home again.

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