Monday, 23 February 2009

Jorvik Viking Festival

We have been doing re-enactment with Regia Anglorum for a few years now. We are usually Anglo-Saxon, although our local group is mixed Viking and Anglo-Saxon. We all have names and personalities that we are supposed to act out, and we do shows where the public come to learn about history, while we are having fun playing dress up. :-)

The past week was the Jorvik Viking Festival at York, which is the major event for us for the year. We completely missed it last year. No time, no money, no motivation. :-( So made an effort this year. And it was nice to go, and to be reminded of why it is fun. It is shame that we just get out of the habit of doing things we like, and then forget about them!

This is one of the few family things that we do, although S doesn't anymore. Not since she pierced her nose and dyed her hair purple when she was about 13 or 14. R usually does it with us. She works on the embroidery stall, or looks after My Lady's children, or helps with feeding and watering the warriors. :-) She often fetches a good price at the slave market as well. But this past weekend, she was away with the Explorer Scouts, climbing Helm Crag and Saddle Seat in the Lake District. She was sad to miss Jorvik, but from the sound of it, she had fun as well. They were hiking and climbing and using ice hooks to get through the icy bits. So she does have quite a few bruises, and says her legs are so sore that she nearly didn't go to trampolining tonight! But she can't wait for the next one.

C and M were left to come to York with us. I had to spend most of last week making C a new kit because he has grown so much. Luckily, M gets her sister's hand-me-downs and they just all moved up a size in shoes. If we go back for Easter at York, Al will have to make R some new turn shoes, and she may need a new dress and wimple, and M will want a new dress and socks. She is getting C's old cloak, so C will need a new cloak, and so will R as she has outgrown her mantle. We have some lovely light turquoise linen to make Al a feasting tunic....and that is about it. So lots of sewing coming up.

In the mean time, we can talk about the fun we had at Jorvik 2009. The kids get so much from it. I spent most of the day with them in the Guild Hall doing the LHE (Living History Exhibit). By the way, our names are as follows;
Al is Algar, (Anglo Saxon)
C is Cynric ( Anglo Saxon and pronounced kunrik)
I am Yrsa (Viking, or Anglo Norse, and pronounced Ursa)
M is Magda (Viking)
R is Katla (Viking)
S used to be Gudrun.
We say that our family history is as follows. I was an Anglo Norse slave that was bought by Lord Aelfric and given to his loyal man Algar as a wife. That is how we explain the AS/Viking mixed family. Of course, inter marriage was very common as that is how new peoples have always been integrated into British History.

Some of the things we do.....

We work the quern stone, to make flour,

Magda and Cynric learned to do Combat Braiding. Here they are with new friend Wolfwyn.

We also do a lot of things like naalbinding or weaving (warp-weighted loom which you can see in the background in the photos above, or tablet) or finger-braiding.

There were also a couple of scenes re-enacted in the Guild Hall. There was a slave market, where Algar and Cynric were in charge of the slaves, one of which was Magda!
Here is Cynric with the slave merchant, a slave being sold, and a member of the public's back.

Here is Magda with her new owner, Hildegard the Leech (healer.)

and practising her new found skills,

And here is Cynric presenting a 'dowry' to the priests on behalf of a woman being presented for the nunnery. Yes, you needed more than mere vocation in those days.

Much of the day was spent fighting and battling too. Algar was a bit worn out at the end of the day.
And his throat was horse from all of the shouting.

VIVAT REX! VIVAT WILLIAM REX ANGLORUM! or DEATH TO THE FRANKEN. He killed as many Normans as he could, but they won in the end. Bloody Normans!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A day in Bristol

Last Wednesday, I took S down to Bristol University where she has a conditional offer. The Politics Department was having an open day for those with offers. I was really rather impressed with the department, and S seemed excited. She is usually so self-contained, so it was nice to see her get a little bit excited. She reckons she can see herself there. :-) So can I actually, and I can see myself visiting as well. :-)

The campus is lovely, lots of old buildings, and a few new ones for services like the library and the sports complex and the the sciences. It did have a rather lovely feel, very nice. Perhaps a little too nice for me, as I did feel a bit shabby, but a good environment for S - serious, liberal, and middle class!

The nice bit was actually getting to spend the day with her. We never seem to spend any time together, which has been true for years I guess. But we had a long drive down to Bristol, and lots of time to talk in the car, about the world, and her courses and exams, which was how I imagined our relationship would be. Usually, it is just, "Will you be here for tea?" and "See you Sunday" as she is often going to see friends. I am glad that she is growing up, and is so capable, and so independent. She hasn't, in fact, needed me for anything for 4-5 years now. She has just gotten on with her life. But there is also a little twinge of sadness as I sometimes wonder if I have let her down. She seems so capable, she could do with an equally capable mother, instead of a lazy ole hippy.

She is so different from the other 3 children, probably more like I was as a young adult. She doesn't give anything away, and I am never quite sure if what I am doing is right or wrong. The others will tell me, no holding back, when I have screwed up, but they also go to great lengths to make me feel better on a bad day. I get lots of hugs, whether I want them or not. :-) S just gets on with things, and seems to expect everybody else to do the same.

And now, she is getting ready to go out into the world on her own really. I know she can take care of herself, I know she will work hard, and eat properly, and study, as she is very good at managing her time, and money, and schedule. She is almost too responsible. I hope she has fun too. I hope she makes some lifelong friends, and finds the direction in her life that is right for her. And I hope she comes back once in a while to tell us all about it. Because I am really going to miss her.

Deary me, she hasn't even decided where she is going yet, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, and I am already getting overly sentimental.

Friday, 13 February 2009

a good day and a bad day

Today I have been in a foul mood. Tried really hard this morning to organize lots of stuff, and it all went pear shaped, so I ended up in a foul mood. R and C are out now at Scouts, so I am trying to remind myself that I am not always crap. grrrrrrr

Go look here to see a good day. Which was a year and a half ago....

click on the home school link

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Saturday morning....

and I am looking back over the week to see if we really have done anything. I am sitting here in my dressing gown, so I feel very lazy, but actually I think we have done a lot.

Monday, of course, was lovely and snowy, so I played in the snow for a bit with C and M, and then went to Bruntwood park to meet up with some other home edders to go sledging! What fun. Should get out to parks more often. I know we used to all the time with S and R, but have gotten out of the habit as they grew up.

Tuesday, I already wrote about, it was all about M, or so it seemed, and she wants to keep in that way. And there was a pub quiz night for me, Al, and S. :-) And squash for C and R.

Wednesday, quiet for me. I needed to recover a bit from all of the driving around I am doing. But the evening was all about driving around. R to RNCM on the bus, picking her up at 8 pm, dropping her off at Explorer Scouts in Didsbury, driving to Sale to see C's friend P-J whose birthday it was. C had crocheted him a bookmark as he reads a lot. I can't find the photo of it anywhere. :-( Then back to Didsbury to pick up R and home for 10 pm.

Thursday was busy too. We missed swimming, but made it to French in the afternoon. Then home to cook tea at 3 in the afternoon. R and I cooked together which was nice. We have been doing that a lot more recently and I hope we can keep it up. We have to eat by about 4.30 on a Thursday because we head out at 5. C and R and I go to Hulme, where C plays with his friend O, and R and I go to Knit by the Sea knitting group with O's mum. Then at about 6.15 we head off, drop C at his percussion group at RNCM, take R to choir practice at the Zion, and I go back to knit for another hour or so, go pick up C for 8 pm, head home, and get to stay there for 40 minutes or so before having to go out and pick up R for 9 pm. Then home for a drink. :-)

Friday, also busy, drama at the Lowry in the morning for C and M. Jill picks them up and takes them. Then I had to join them today, as after drama, the older group were doing their presentations for their bronze Arts Award. R did hers on Stephen Fry. Apparently he is her Arts Hero! I think she was a bit nervous, but afterwards she said it went quite well, and she had some positive feedback. Of course, the most important thing was her hair, newly dyed red, looked fabulous!

Evening is Scouts for C, where R is a young leader, so I take them together. Then back to fetch C when Scouts is finished. R stays for Guides. Last night I brought C and his friend other C back here for a play and some venison sausages, then out at 9.30 to drop C home, and pick up R and Rh, drop Rh home and then come home for a drink! (do you see a pattern developing here?)

And that brings us to today. Today, the older girls are both working. S at the deli, from 10 to 7 because idiot boss sacked somebody without thinking. She also is picking up a shift tomorrow for same reason. Oh well, at least she gets paid. And R is volunteering for Oxfam. She doesn't get paid, but she does enjoy it, and comes home happy. :-)

Sorry that this is a bit like a long list, but I do need to remind myself that we actually do do stuff. I have been down over the winter, and now with a bit of snow and sunshine, I seem to be coming out of it. But I need to remind myself of all of the fun stuff we do, and how the kids are growing, and learning, and that I do things other than knit and crochet.

Speaking of which, R is knitting a bag for felting at the moment. There are no babies around to crochet for, so she is making something for herself. :-)

And that is all, as we have to go pack to go to Leicester for the weekend.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A Busy day for M

Today is a good day to start a blog about what the kids are doing because yesterday was a particularly busy day for M. She was sleeping in our room, so when Al and I woke up she did as well. It is nice when that happens sometimes as we usually lay in bed and listen to Big Toe Books on Radio 7. That is on from 7 am to 8 am on weekdays, and there are loads of stories being told in bits. A nice way to break in the day, if you have to break it in that early.

We lay there listening, and doing hidden picture puzzles, and Sudoku with C who decided to join us. Now, I often get up before the kids, and have an hour or so to myself before really beginning the day. But if we start off the day together, M thinks the whole day is going to be all about doing things with her. Which would be nice if I were not getting older and more tired by the day. :-)

We did however, manage rather a lot. After breakfast we were going through some things crafty and decided to dye some of the yarn that Martine got us for Christmas. M choose her colours, red, purple and pink, and we used all of the dye doing two hanks.

I don't think it turned out the way she wanted, as she still expected it to look like it did as she put the dye on, but after it was rinsed, she got excited again.

It is currently hanging around drying. But I have a few other projects on the go, so I don't know when we are going to get around to making anything with it.

Later on we did some Roman stuff. M and C were watching a schools program about the Romans and Celts, and M was quite taken with it. She decided to do a project on the Romans. This has been going on for about 3 weeks so far. She has a few books from the library as well as several that I had on the shelves just waiting for somebody to take an interest. :-)

She is writing her project using Microsoft Publisher, so she is learning some IT as well. Most of what she is writing is just being copied from the books, but as she talks about it later, I know she is retaining a lot of info.

Anyway, she had been telling them about it at Brownies, so she wanted to share it with them at Brownies last night. To prepare for this, she had made a little Roman man. I don't know where the idea came from, but she made this little man using scrunched up newspaper, and tin foil, and painted him. He is a rather delicate man. ;-)

So yesterday we made him a tunic, cloak and sandals. M did quite a bit of sewing.

And C added some crochet as he made belt for his tunic using real wool.

And the I crocheted him some sandals, as I wasn't quite prepared to get out the leather working stuff for a tin foil man whose pink skin was already flaking off. :-)

Then M got dressed up as well. She just used one of C's old Anglo Saxon tunics, and an old bit of wool I have been saving to make her a Viking cloak. Plus she is wearing the Roman bulla, or good luck charm, that she made out of baked clay stuff. And here they are.

Apparently she enjoyed Brownies, but there wasn't enough time for everybody to colour in the mosaic pictures she took for them. So that is something to look forward to. :-)

We also managed to fit in a trip to the osteopath for M. She isn't having any problems, just getting her checked out because of all of her bumps and tumbles. There was also a trip to the doctor's for me, as my ear has been bothering me for ages. Apparently I have glue ear, and at the age of 41, may need grommets! No comment.

Not another blog

Well, I have been struggling to think of interesting things to write on my other blog, so obviously the thing to do is to start another one! Actually, I find that I want to write more about the family and what the kids are doing, and our home educating journey, but I don't want that to be open to the public. So I am starting this as a way to keep in touch with far away friends.

But first things first. I am going to go play with the settings and try to make it all pretty. :-)