January 2014

January 2014 turned out to be the wettest for over 100 years so most of the activities we chose to do involved being indoors or just popping out between the showers. With Megan's Mum staying with us for the month - and still getting used to being on British Time - she was up early enough to catch a few nice sunrises, although there was more than a hint of Red Sky in the Morning, Shepherd's Warning.

We fancied a day out in London so in view of the weather we headed to the British Museum - not somewhere that any of us had been before. Chris has always gravitated towards the science museum and Megan to the Natural History Museum but we thought it was time we soaked up some ancient history.
There was plenty to keep the kids and grown-ups interested and a really nice feature was letting people handle a few of the ancient items for themselves - things like old coins, pottery and - Cassandra's highlight - a necklace made from dolphin teeth that was once used as currency.

They also had a life-size recreation of the famous Rosetta Stone with a refreshing sign on it saying Please touch me! which was good.

We got so absorbed in the displays that we didn't realise how hungry we'd all got. Rather than eat the overpriced sandwiches in the museum cafe, and forgoing the exceptionally overpriced A La Carte service in the museum restaurant, we found a small diner nearby. The kids were adamant that they would manage a full adult portion as they were so hungry. To be fair, they gave it a pretty good go but the generous portions did prove a little too much in the end.

Back inside the museum, there were just a couple of other things on our 'must see' list including one of the Easter Island Moai which, rather sadly, the kids recognise from a computer game rather than from any historical research.

By the time we made to leave, many of the other visitors had the same idea so queues for the loos became a bit of a problem - particularly for the girls. This gave Matthew and Chris a chance to explore the main atrium and for Matthew to continue to perfect his catalogue poses.

Apropos of nothing, here - for posterity - is Megan's first attempt at Yorkshire Puddings from the new kitchen. A success.

When she wasn't off visiting relatives or sightseeing in London, Megan's Mum enjoyed some pleasant walks through the nature reserve at the back of the new house - she even bought a pair of wellies specially. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that anyone took a photo of her - it was mostly her taking the pictures ... like this one of the kids and their favourite puddle. Yes, really - a favourite puddle.

Just one more picture before we get to Matthew's Birthday Party. This is Cassandra in her outfit for Greek Day at school - part of a term-long project in which they've been learning about politics, war and philosophy amongst other things.

In view of the continued bad weather, we couldn't risk a house party for Matthew's Birthday this year so he opted for a sport party at the local leisure centre where he and a group of friends got to enjoy cricket, basketball and football for an hour or so...

... before enjoying a traditional party lunch.

Megan had made a fine effort with the cake again - this time creating individual monster cakes which meant no knife needed for cutting and maximum icing for each portion.

Matthew 9th Birthday

Yes, we know technically the party took place in February but its all part of the long birthday weekend - and we've got half term holidays coming up next month...