Wednesday, March 4

Service interuption

Normal service might be resumed at some point. Sorry.

At least you can tell when I'm busy though can't you?

Tuesday, March 3

Beach babies

Long story, but on Saturday, Olive and Luke went to the beach with our favourite friends Simon and Louise and their lot. They had an amazing time as you can see from these great pics. We are incredibly lucky to live so near the seaside. Think if I had my way we'd live nearer.

Thursday, December 11

The Angel Gabriel

So today it was Olivia's turn for the old nativity play thing (here she is with Eva, who did a grand job as a narrator) when she starred in 'Are We Nearly There Yet' as The Angel Gabriel. And she was brilliant. I know I'm supposed to say that, but really, she was great. Not only did she take centrestage for the best song, but she delivered her lines beautifully. We were so proud. We knew she was nervous about it, but she fronted it out and pulled off. I think she actually quite enjoyed being the centre of attention for her five minutes.

My theory about shepherds - that it's pretty handy shepherds turned up at the birth of the Baby Cheeses, because it means teachers can cast loads of kids as shepherds and sheep - was tested to destruction today. I counted 13 shepherds, 13! I wonder what the shepherd to sheep ratio was in that part of the world around 2,000 years ago. There must have been a lot of sheep to look after.

Oh, the Olivia story. She's recently become interested in 'swear words'. Peggy's dad uses them, and so does mummy when she's in the car, apparently. Not daddy though. Nope. When she started rehearsing the play, she came home one day and in a shocked sort of whisper she said, 'Daddy, they say a swear word in the school play'. Do they? What is it? 'I can't say, it's a swear word,' she replied. It's okay to tell me. 'Well,' she whispered, 'they say Jesus Christ.' Class.

Tuesday, December 9

Jesus Christ! Superstar

It's Xmas play time once again and this year we've got two. First up was Lukey today who was a narrator in Hosanna Rock. Sounds like a rock opera, but sadly isn't Jesus Christ Superstar cast with five-year-olds. Luke, however, was a superstar being pretty much alone in saying his lines clearly enough for everyone to hear. We were so proud.

The whole thing was as ace as usual, it's quite a feat to get that many small people to play ball in such spectacular fashion. I have nothing but admiration for teachers, they must feel such a sense of achievement.

special mention goes to the a nose-picking wise man who would have pretty much killed the baby Jesus had he offered his gift with such gusto 2,000 years ago. Excellent stuff.

I often think that the story of the nativity must be very confusing when you're five. The shepherds seem really important somehow - I guess they are great news for teachers because you can cast around 10 five-year-olds as shepherds and another 10 as sheep. The born in a barn bit is a similar gift, affording the opportunity to cast 10 more children as assorted farm animals that aren't sheep. I think a couple today were dressed as hamsters.

And talking of Jesus, I've got a great Olivia story, but I'll save that for Thursday, after we've seen her as the Angel Gabriel in Are We Nearly There Yet. It's an acting part. She's very nervous, but is playing it too cool for school. Should be interesting.

Thursday, December 4

When it snowed

Completely forgot I had pics of the huge amount of snow that we were treated to the other weekend. It was proper snow, like I remember it from my childhood. Tons of it, really fluffy and very, very cold.

Here's a couple of snaps of my little snowmen people girl boy thingy. Caryn was too chicken to come out with us. So we took her car and, as Luke helpfully explained upon our return, "Daddy crashed your car". It was more of a too fast round that corner and car not moving according to steering wheel anymore until we met the curb at 10mph.

This is a great shot. Looks like I'm trying to be arty, but really wasn't. My hands were about to get frostbite and I just wanted to get the camera back in my pocket. We went to a park near the school - big field, with some suitable sledging slopes and had the entire place to ourselves. In the olden days, it would have been full of kids and parents and noise. Where was everyone? Too busy playing skiing games on the PS3 probably.

Monday, November 17

November... so far, so good

Sorry, we are useless. We're back again though. Big month November, starting with a birthday for this absolute beauty. You can almost see what she's going to look like as an adult in this picture. She had a lovely day, got all dressed up along with two of her pals and headed out to Pizza Express for a grown-up meal on a table of their own, with us keeping a beady eye from a safe distance (the next table, four feet or so).

Also, for the first time, she really loved all her presents, which was so lovely. Usually, it's rip open the gifts and toss them aside. This year she loved everything and was genuinely grateful. We got her, among other things, a couple of CDs - Girls Aloud and Sugababes. Her response to Girls Aloud is astonishing. Never underestimate the power of good pop music eh?

So while the girls were getting read for the pizza night out I took Luke to Carrow Road for the first time - like my dad took me and my brother, like his dad took him. I go to the football with my dad, it's a great thing to do, my brother is always quite envious that I get to spend this sort of quality time with the old man. So we had three generations with their heads in their hands after Norwich snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. It was a beautiful moment. City are rubbish, but what can you do once it's in your blood? Ask Luke when he's my age. Sorry son.

And finally, eight litres (that's two gallons isn't it?) of Ebenezer Terrace Cider is now resting in the shed. It tasted like cider when I was bottling it, I popped a couple of extra spoons of sugar in so we get a secondary fermentation when the weather gets warmer in the spring. Guess we'll crack them at the first braai of the summer... long wait eh Louise?

Sunday, October 19

Ebenezer Terrace Brewing Company

Properly christened the apple press this weekend... finally, and the cider making is kind of underway. Took me a while to get a gallon (4.5 litres) of juice and I used about half a wheelbarrow full of apples, with the other half waiting for a spare half-day this week.

Hopefully, I will soon have three gallons of apple juice turning - like magic - into cider. Then again it has only taken me a year to get this far. Fret not Louise, I still have your books. You can have them back soon!