We barely left the house that week, but amused ourselves at home. There was lots and lots of playing with toys, much more than I've seen for ages. The three of them come up with some great games.
We had a very welcome visit from Zoe and Billy, so we weren't entirely isolated!
Rob took the kids to his parents at the weekend, as everyone had been looking forward to seeing each other. They had a lovely time. Betsy made a thank you card for her great aunt and uncle while she was there.
The following week I was feeling confident about sticking to our plans (visit to Kew Gardens, Jarvis having a sleepover here, day at Mead Open Farm). Betsy was sick on Monday morning. Nooooooooo!
So, week 4 of illness. I was grumpy! I cancelled plans for Monday and Tuesday (very sad we didn't get Jarvis here). She was ill for most of Monday, but woke up feeling fine the next day. We stayed home again, and had the chimney swept, that was interesting. The chimney sweep was very friendly, and happy to chat with the kids.
The next day everyone was finally well enough to go out, so we went to the Halloween event at Mead Open Farm. They spook up several barns - The Shed of Dread etc! Live actors wait around the corners to give you a fright. The first one we went into was described as medium scary. Oh my word. They lied! Clowns, weird lighting, mazes. Terrifying! I thought Betsy was going to freak out, I nearly had a panic attack in this bit where you're completely squashed in by huge air pillows (I haven't felt that panicky claustrophobia in years and years). We made it through, and Fred said he'd had enough and didin't want to go in any of the others.
Unfortunately, the other two spooky places were much milder, and more funny. If we'd gone into one of those first, I think he would have enjoyed them.
The whole place was absolutely rammed, the busiest I've ever seen it. But the kids had really wanted to see the Halloween stuff, so it was worth fighting the crowds.
After such a long spell of quiet time mostly spent at home, suddenly we were very busy. On Thursday we went to a woodland meet up, with a fire, miniature broomsticks, and musical funghi.
On Friday I took a trip down memory lane, and met up with an old school friend and her children at my childhood local park. It was a beautiful day, clear and cold. The park is so much better now (though I loved it when I was a child). Play equipment is so great now!
We had fish and chips from the best fish and chip shop (then and now) and ate in the park. So good.
On Saturday we met up with another old friend and his family, this time a friend from university. We went to a bird of prey centre and had a brilliant time. We saw two flying shows, a critters show (with a skunk, a macaw and a parakeet). We held owls, stroked ponies, and marvelled at the odd looks of turkeys.
On Sunday Tom babysat while Rob and I went to Brixton Academy to see PJ Harvey. She is amazing.
This week has been business as usual. TVAP on Monday with a Halloween theme. Plus sparkly tattoos. It was a beautiful day, so warm in the sunshine.
Halloween trick or treating was the best one we've ever had. So many people dressed up, including the accompanying adults! It was fab, and the kids loved it.
Tuesday was a very much needed day at home, where I did 5 loads of laundry. Back to swimming and parkour on Wednesday. The kids were all a little apprehensive after being away for 3 or 4 weeks, but they hadn't forgotten how to swim/dive/do cool stuff at the gym, so phew!
On Thursday we took the car for the MOT, and popped into the newly opened Dunelm Mill. All three were impressed, and I bought them all a new duvet cover. Dinosaurs for big and small, butterflies for middle.
We took inspiration from one of the TVAP activities earlier in the week, and did a vinegar/bicarb reaction in two of the Halloween pumpkins. I got out the volcano we made a few years ago, and they spent ages with it.
Friday was a bit of disaster. It was Mohawk (yay) but it was poring with rain (boo). Zoe was running a brilliant dry ice session outside, which was great except the grass was getting muddier and slippier by the second. In the end the inevitable happened, and Fred slipped and landed on his back. He was sore, and wet and muddy, and upset, so we came home. He felt much better after a bath and a sit by the fire. Meg toasted some marshmallows, we left Mohawk just as they lit the fire and she was sad to miss it. Marshmallows at home remedied the situation.
Yesterday was the 5th November, and we went to see the fireworks. Lots of fun.