Story Blog

Codine's off for the moment, but if you haven't read 'Turning Stones' it's still up there - free read!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

20th November 2010 (Saturday)

It think this is what they might call a day of several halves in football terms (it's got an overflowing personality).

Having been consistently stumped by getting the Non to do decent maths in the morning, today I opted for a different approach. Had been doing the flashcards to try to get back to basics (addition and subtraction up to 20), but it just wasn't holding her concentration. So tried exactly the same stuff, on a randomly generated sheet of questions. Taraaa!! With a pencil in her hand, and with some pushing and shoving, she was now able to concentrate for more than half a second at a time. Progress! The thing is, I made the flashcards precisely because she used NOT to be able to focus if she had to write things down. I guess this was quite a while back and her brain's modus operandi has now shifted. Just goes to show, change tactics all the time. It's forever a shifting target.

The rest of the work wasn't an issue. Oh, talking of morning things, have I mentioned how her recent craze is 'spooky toast'. This is something that we were going to do for her Halloween party but didn't get round to because we had too much food – originally, 'ghost toast'. You cut out the shape of a ghost (preferably with eyes and open mouth) in foil, butter a piece of bread, and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. Grill. Result, one sugary, happy child. She's been having these ever since Halloween. First it was Ghost toast, then Cat Toast, then Pumpkin Toast, and just this morning it's been Bat Toast. Since it's become such a regular feature I've gone into mass-production – folding the foil over when cutting so that you get ten bats for the price of one, as it were. I've also got a special little tub of cinnamon sugar. Marvellous.

We all traipsed off to the library – New Lambton so that she could borrow another toy from the toy library as well. I had ordered the elusive CD of 'The Worst Witch' – we've seen series 3,4, and 5 but not 1 and 2 so she's now got all of that to look forward to.

By the time we got back it was noon, and went straight off to see another house. Today it was in Hatfield Street. for those interested. This was a very nice house, really. Everything done very carefully, four bedrooms of liveable proportions, even the garden was terraced as much as possible (Hatfield Street gardens are always vertiginous) and tidied up beautifully. The Mr really liked it. However, they're asking 622K, and the kitchen is catastrophically small. It'd be OK to re-do the front room and the kitchen as a semi-open plan dining room and kitchen, which would then be decent. By the time you've done that you spent well over 650K, which is really quite a lot. Still, it was interesting. Talking of which, I wonder when our Visa will come through? Should be sometime soon now, surely.

After the fastest lunch possible, the Non and I went out to Arnold's swim centre. It's only open until 3pm, so had to get a wiggle on. They devote most of their time to swimming lessons, it seems – there's barely any free swim time available. Fair enough, I guess. Well, today I have to say she did pretty well. Fearfully excited by everything, plunging in and swimming madly. She did stop several times for a second, but she 'swam' her 25 meters several times over, all by herself (I was trying to stand at the side and not go in but it didn't quite work out like that). Alternated 'kick' practice with the board and the 'reward' of lifting her up to the side to plunge into the pool and try reaching the bottom. 'Kick' has been quite an issue, uncoordinated, half-arsed, intermittent, and sinking. Today she kept her knees relatively straight, kicked fairly fast, and shock of shocks even managed to practice breathing by alternately putting head in the water and blowing out and breathing in with head up. On occasion she even managed to remember to kick at the same time. (You should have seen her at swimming lessons last week. They practised kick for a while first, then introduced the crawl movement one arm at a time while holding the board. The kicks went completely to pot the moment she lifted her arms out of the water, seems it was the 'rub your stomach and pat your head' syndrome as her arms and legs immediately wanted to do the same thing, so it was utter flailing with the legs, I nearly wet myself at the sight.) NOT ONLY did she do good kick, but in just a few attempts managed to suss out the trick of diving down under water. Now, this is pretty tricky, I know a lot of people have problems with it. Well, I was impressed, anyway.

I brought her home and pretty much handed her over to the Mr for the rest of the day. They played the Star-wars game for a good couple of hours (she's really into that at the moment) on the computer, then I think the farm toy she brought back from the library. Meanwhile I absented myself upstairs to hammer out the 'Winter Ghost Story' with a deadline of the 21st. You can imagine how atmospheric it is over here for THAT title. It's been a bit of a slog and frankly I don't think it's very creepy despite my best efforts at planning it out but there we are, its done. Now I've just got tomorrow's effort, the 'best little bookshop' – 1.5k words on a story with a bookshop in it. Also by the 21st.

That's pretty much it. Yawn – seems to have been a long and boring post. Lots of love to all.

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