Last night marked a definite change in “sleepover” style. This house certainly is more suited for absorbing extra people, but Alison and i have really noticed a change; aside from Josie, there just isn’t the stream of people who need servicing anymore. They occupy themselves, read and talk in rooms, play games, get themselves food and drink. It is really different to when we first started staying at one anothers houses over 3 years ago. It is very definitely a lot easier, partly because of their ages and probably mostly because they know each other so well and adapt in one anothers company so fabulously. There is rarely a visit which keeps the same sets of friends within the 8 of them (except Amelie and Buttercup of course) and this time it is different again. But pleasant, very pleasant and i think i could get used to it!
We startled them all slightly by making them all sit at the table and do Maths and English; either they really liked sitting down as a group of 8 and working together or they were just struck dumb and partially paralysed with surprise! Either way, with the additional LSA-stylee support of Auntie Kate, we kept them all at it for more than an hour and everyone got on really well. 8 children of different, but not really vastly different and all intelligent and able, capabilities felt like a challenge with 8 adults in the room though. Nobody ever let me become a teacher!
Quick lunch over, we headed over to That Painting Place for another hugely successful afternoon. The kids had a complete ball and were pretty much utterly absorbed by a variety of plates, mugs and models; my big three did a plate each, Fran with Kylie the Carnival Fairy on it which she worked so hard on, Maddy with a Pooh Bear design and Amelie with a sunflower. She just doesn’t move the whole time she is there, i’m really impressed. Josie did a piece of modern art on a tile and i got to do a fish. I think i was the only person who ended up on the floor kicking my feet and drumming my fists when the teacher wouldn’t help me with the outlining 😆 It all came to £67 for 9 pieces of pottery (including paint and glazing) and 10 drinks, which i really didn’t think was too bad at all.
The owner has said that if i want to go regularly with the kids and anyone else who wants to join us, she do us a series of lessons and help the kids progress with their painting. If anyone fancies joining us, i think i might start doing that once a month. Couldn’t believe i came out of 2 1/2 hours with 8 children in a room full of paint, breakable items and a staff member in need of calories feeling cheerful and greatly relaxed!
After that we took them for a runaround at Ferry Meadows, where i got bitten to a pulp by some weird insect i never saw or felt but left huge white welts on my face, neck and arm. Very bizarre. Whatever it was didn’t like the taste of anyone else at all. While we were there Fran put up her hair and looked so like the painting La Toilette that when we got home Violet, Gwenny and i made her pose it all over again!
And after bathing 8 children and leaving them to the politically and “literarily” (eek) incorrect Nanny MacPhee, they’ve finally just about collapsed. (Hmmm… no, they kept going for a good while actually!)