Sunday, August 27, 2006
This is still the 'Hotel Bebbs'
Well last night there was definitely no room at the inn at the Bebbs household.
The ageing parents were here for their last night overlapping with my only sister and her two teenage kids - there were bodies everywhere!
Still the wrinklies (bless 'em) departed at 6.30am today (waking us up to say goodbye!!! grrrrrr!) and the house isn't quite up to full capacity again - phew!
My sister and her husband are going through a particularly vitriolic marital break-up at present. Unfortunately until their joint home is sold the whole family of four are under the same roof - Mum, Dad, DD aged almost 19 and DS aged 16. Dad is doing his level best to poison both children (well they still act like big kids!) against their mother at every opportunity. DD is convinced she is an adult and should be able to input into every conversation, discussion and argument. Doesn't make for a pleasant living environment for any of them.
My DH has already had to gently but firmly lay down some ground rules to my niece about continuing such communication down here while they stay until Wednesday.
He can be a very blunt person and I've probably said before he doesn't mince any words he might sparingly add to any conversation. However I'm so proud of him as all his previous experience with teenagers as a Venture Scout Leader came into play and he has poured copious quantities of oil on the troubled waters which should make the rest of their stay a deal more harmonious while still managing to get the message across. UN Blue Cap of the Week Award to Nigel :o)
As a result we had a very pleasant day today going for a walk on the top of the Quantock Hills near our home where we chanced upon a small group of Exmoor ponies (sorry didn't have the camera with me but they scored highly on the 'aaaagh factor' scale). This made my sister and my niece's day as they are both great horse lovers.
We followed this up with a delicious cream tea at a wildlife sanctuary even nearer to home - mmmmmmmmmmm - this will not help with the waistline reduction!
Someone commented on my last post about the start of the rugby season. I've put up a picture of DD1 tackling a member of the opposition at a 7's tournament she took part in before the summer break - let me tell you I wouldn't mess with her!
Her club training restarted back at the beginning of August but they have their first match, a friendly (is there such a thing?) against a neighbouring team next Sunday - she is so excited she can hardly contain herself - bless. Still at least we won't have to unearth the spectators' thermal underwear yet as the weather is still pretty mild here.
The two quilts are from our show - the 'Japanese' style sampler was made by our eldest member Cicely who I mentioned before and the twisted log cabin by the same lady who stitched the peacock - this one was one of the pieces for her City and Guilds which she passed (unsurprisingly) with flying colours.
Well after doing all that cooking this week - bolognaise sauce, chicken and vegetable casserole, chilli con carne, shepherds pie base and pork in honey and mustard sauce - my freezer looks considerably healthier for the up and coming term.
Someone else asked about English school terms. There are the odd geographical exception but as a rule our school year tends to run this way:
The children go back after the summer break at the very beginning of September. Usually the first session lasts up to the week that spans the end of October/beginning of November, around 7 or 8 weeks. The children then usually have between one and two weeks and go back to school for the pre-Christmas session finishing for Christmas sometime around the 21 - 23 December.
They then start back pretty soon after the New Year, say the 3rd or 4th of January and go up to a weeks holiday around the third week in February.
The fourth session goes up to a two week break around the Easter weekend.
After that the kids have a weeks holiday including our English 'Spring Bank' bank holiday which is always the last Monday in May.
The final session lasts from the very beginning of June up to around the 21-23rd July where the kids then break up for their 6 week (ish) summer holiday to start all over again in the next year up in September again.
As the actual dates are set by each Local Education Authority the dates are seldom exactly the same in every town and county - sometimes individual schools in one neighbourhood can vary slightly on dates as each school must also schedule 5 teacher training days per year where only the staff attend and these are totally at the discretion of the individual school. Hence you may have three children in three separate schools who could often have different training days - a nightmare for working parents!
Our kids also go to school Monday to Friday - not like when we were in France and they had Wednesdays off but had to attend three out of four Saturday mornings - no Saturday mornings in the UK unless you attend a private school. The English school day is usually from around 8.45/9.00 until around 3.15/3.30 but again this varies slightly per establishment
Children also start full time school the September after their 4th birthday and must attend full-time education until the summer term of the school year they are 16 (the youngest in the school year may leave when they are still just 15) - however they can go on 'til they are 18 for further qualifications (A levels)
Probably quite different from the US, Europe and Australia/NZ but it seems to work for us even if it's nowhere near perfect. As you can imagine with the kids off for those holidays getting a term time job for a mum is akin to striking gold as not having to find childcare in the holidays is a godsend.
The two youngest and I will return a week tomorrow, DD1 goes back on the Tuesday (teacher training day) and so that'll be it until the end of October!
Better get some serious stitching in on my Ostrich this week then :o)