Skip to main content

Autumnal celebrations

October and November have been busy around here!  A lot of events fall in and around the half term holiday, so here's what we've been up to.

Toby's birthday

Toby celebrated his 8th birthday in Super Mario style.  He invited a bunch of friends over for the afternoon, and they all divided their time between video games, trampoline and pizza.  Graham and I pushed our ear plugs in as tightly as possible and supervised from a safe distance!

Graham's brilliant home made game

The cake request this year was a Super Mario pinball game, so I did my best to deliver:



And next on the agenda was a trip to town to spend his birthday money.  It's all about Smiggle right now, which is a trendy (read: overpriced) brand of stationery.  Fortunately they do have sales, so Toby managed to acquire a lockable notebook and a selection of pens for a not-too-eyewatering sum.  He's using the notebook to plan his own business, either in car design or selling bicycle bottle holders, so if he's a millionaire before his 18th birthday I'm sure it will have all been worth it!


Halloween

Our local summer fruit PYO, Scaddows Farm, branched out into pumpkins this year, so we went to choose a couple on a gorgeous autumn Monday just before Halloween.  The boys were desperate to carve them as soon as we got home ("Put the knives down!").  We soon had pumpkin seeds all over the kitchen, two jack o'lanterns, and no severed digits, thankfully.  After the pumpkins had been used for their initial purpose, I chopped them up and roasted them, and they've been reincarnated as soup and cake.

 

The village gets pretty busy for trick or treat, with a nice family atmosphere.  Our two went out as a skeleton and Spiderman this year, and collected a ridiculous amount of sweets!


Bonfire Night

Just a couple of days later we were into firework season.  We're never quite sure whether going to a display will result in screams of fear or cries of delight.  This year we managed both.

On Saturday we went to a local display which was pleasantly uncrowded, but the fireworks were let off barely 30m from the crowd.  Theo did not like it at all.  However, we won the prize draw to light the bonfire, so the evening was redeemed by the opportunity to turn a pile of rubbish into a blazing inferno.

On Sunday we joined several other families from school at the Mercia Marina fireworks.  Toby was up on the fence with his friends, cheering and whooping, and even Theo was persuaded to have a little look.  We marked bonfire night itself by toasting marshmallows over a fire with some friends, which was much more Theo's idea of fun!

Photo: Phil Watts

Remembrance Sunday

And finally, Toby joined Cubs just in time to participate in the Remembrance Sunday parade service.  He was very proud of his new green uniform as he marched down the aisle with the other Scouts and Guides.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride: Spiritual Formation Book 13

"Love is a sweet and pleasurable food because it gives rest to the tired, strength to the weak, and joy to the sorrowful. Love makes the yoke of truth easy to bear and its burden light." Bernard of Clairvaux was born in 1090. At the age of 22 he became a Cistercian monk, and persuaded about thirty of his relatives and friends to join him on this path. He became the abbot of Clairvaux when he was 25 years old. During his lifetime he founded many other monastic communities. This edition includes two of St Bernard's books: The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride and On Loving God . They are short books, with very short chapters, often only a page or so long. The first was written for his fellow monks; the second for "the illustrious Lord Aimeric, Cardinal-Deacon and Chancellor of the Roman Church", who had apparently been asking Bernard questions about the faith. What is the book about? Twelve Steps spends its first half describing what the goal of humility is, b

San Antonio

San Antonio is towards the south of Texas and feels very much more Mexican than American. The balmy evenings, the colourful Mexican market, the architecture of the buildings, and the number of people speaking Spanish around us all added to the impression. The city, in fact, grew out of a Spanish mission and presidio (fort), built in 1718 as part of Spain's attempt to colonize and secure what was then the northern frontier of the colony of Mexico. Texas was then a buffer zone between Mexico and the French-held Louisiana, and Spain was keen to cement her hold on the area by introducing settlers and converting the natives to Catholicism and loyalty to the Spanish government. The missions in general had no great effect, but the San Antonio area was the exception to the rule, growing into an important city with five missions strung out along the San Antonio river. The first of these, San Antonio de Valero, later became well-known as the Alamo, where 182 Texans died in 1836

Melbourne Art Festival: A Surprisingly Good Afternoon Out

Maybe it was the warm autumn weather.  Maybe it was the fun of peeking into other people's back gardens.  Maybe it was the novelty of standing with other people, listening to real live musicians.  Or maybe it was just the giant pink ice creams. Whatever it was, Melbourne Festival had turned into a surprisingly satisfying afternoon.  I'd seen the posters for it and thought it might be a nice change from yet another walk on a Sunday afternoon, but that was about as high as my expectations had been. When we arrived, the male three-quarters of the family were immediately pleased to see the signs for classic cars at Melbourne Hall.  Shortly afterwards, I was pleased to discover that there were only about half a dozen of them, so that we could rapidly move on to less mechanical works of art. The festival was spread out around the village of Melbourne, in churches, halls, and private gardens.  Melbourne is one of those fascinating places anyway, with archways and alleyways and houses