Friday, September 05, 2014

Out of habit's gravity

Yellow bike to mark the start of the Tour de France in York.

This explains the blog title:
It's been a year since I posted. You get more news about us if you're on Facebook, but not everyone is, so I thought it worth a post.

Last week we were on holiday in York. We stayed in a townhouse just outside the city wall which was very handy for the city and also for a nearby park. The house had WiFi, but we restricted its use so that there was a little bit of difference compared to being at home. We visited the Jorvik Centre, which is not a museum. One of the boys requested that we didn't go to any museums, so when people would say "Oh York, they've got a really good railway museum", we would explain this limitation.

We also visited the church Paul used to go to when he was at University there, but he didn't see anyone he knew from student days, though a couple of faces were possibly familiar. Joel sprained his ankle while skateboarding so we got a chance to visit York Hospital, which wasn't the hospital Paul used to work at when he took a year out from his degree - but was near it. He's still using crutches over a week later, so it's taking a while to heal.

The previous post on this blog, from this time last year, was Lads Days Out. This year we haven't had a day out yet, either all together, or each one taking a turn with Dad. However we do have something in mind for all of us.

News of the boys:

Ben has switched schools and is now going to a Grammar School for sixth form, showing that if you "fail" the eleven plus you can still end up at a Grammar School. He's doing Music, Music Technology, Maths and Philosophy & Ethics (two words, one subject).

Callum is entering his final year of GCSEs and thinking about options for sixth form.

Joel is going to need to choose his GCSE subjects in the next few months.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lads days out

For the past few years I (Paul) and the boys have had a "lad's day out". We've been to Silverstone and the Gadget Show at the NEC (twice). This year there was nothing they could all agree on, so it looked like it wouldn't happen. Then Callum entered a competition to win tickets to see Imagine Dragons. I was working at home, so it went like this:
"Dad, I've won tickets to see Imagine Dragons."
"That's not going to happen."

Outing Number one - Imagine Dragons

In fact it did. It was a long evening driving there and back, but it was a good concert. Here's a photo that proves that SLRs can still easily beat camera phones in some circumstances.
The support act was called The Good Natured and were vaguely goth like. Imagine Dragons were pretty engergetic and the lead singer broke the big drum (like the big bass drum in a marching band) that he played from time to time. The guitars and synths were a bit drowned out by the vocals and the drummer, so the music came over a bit less melodic than on the album.

Outing number two - ice skating

So having established a precedent there were going to be two more lads days out. For Joel's we went ice-skating and had a subway. Unfortunately there are no pictures, but we had a good time. By the time we'd been skating for over an hour we were quite ready for that Subway.

Outing number three - Doctor Who prom

Ben's choice was to go and see the Doctor Who prom at the Albert Hall. It was a sweltering day and we were high up in the upper circle with a restricted view of the stage.

The concert was great. It was broadcast on TV a few weeks ago so you may have seen it. As well as the music, which is mostly the stuff from Murray Gold written for the current serieses, you get characters appearing in the aisles and Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman for a time. We also got an appearance from Peter Davison and the first Companion who is probably Susan Foreman. I don't know if they had to because it was the proms, they also played some classical pieces which had been used in the old Doctor Who series, but without anything appearing on the screens or any characters, so it felt like this music was a second class citizen at the event.

Next year, I don't know what the lads will end up doing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer 2013

Our latest prayer letter is out, so contact us if you want a copy of it.

It's the start of the summer holidays now. For some of the family that means involvement in Lighthouse. We're looking forward to a family holiday and a couple of the boys are also going to Soul Survivor.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Summer 2012 part 2 - Lighthouse and Olympics

The first week of the school holidays we were all involved in Lighthouse.  Paul only helps with the setup on the Saturday, and taking down at the end. The rest do all that, plus help during the week. There are no new photos on the website unfortunately. Susannah was deputy site manager again. Joel was there for the last time as a child. Ben and Callum were helpers (called Lamplighters) with the 7 year olds. Joel was old enough though to join his brothers at “Fresh Cafe” – an evening event for teenagers run at one of the other Lighthouse sites. They have large inflatables, a tuck shop, sports and lots of other activities for teenagers.

After recovering from Lighthouse we then had an early start on the following Monday so we could see the Olympic rowing at Eton Dorney.

Team GB Women's Double sculls

We didn't see any medal races but we did see the women's pair set an Olympic record on this run of 6:44.33.

On the Wednesday the four males of the household, together with our church’s gap year worker, went to Wembley to see Korea play Gabon . The score was 0-0. It wasn't the most riveting match, but it was the first time we'd been to Wembley at the atmosphere was good. When it got boring we did Mexican waves.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer 2012 part 1 - end of term

In July Joel had his last term at his primary school. The now traditional Year 6 production was Bugsy Malone and Joel had a couple of parts.

It was followed by the prizegiving. Joel won the Citizenship Award. The head teacher said, "he has such a positive attitude, and has the ability to get along with absolutely everyone".

Ben and Callum moved up a year at the previous half term. Ben has already started GCSE work.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Making a sledge

Some kind friends recently offered us a sofa they were getting rid of. Our old one had torn covers and an exposed frame so we gladly accepted. The old one was a sofa bed so I took out the mechanism to make it easier to take to the dump. The thin mattress that folded up with it went on top of curved wooden slats. Joel and I took a look at them and both said, "skis!".

However after a bit more thought skis weren't that practical but we did make a sledge out of them and an old chair. We made a sledge a couple of years ago out of fence post, but it was useless. We're hoping that this varnished, curved wood will go well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holiday pictures 2011

To see more photos follow the links at the top left.