Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A Saturday in Pictures

I really should either start using a real camera or get a better smart phone, because the quality of my photographs is atrocious. But if the objective of the blog is for you to see what I'm up to and how Elizabeth is doing, then I guess blurred pictures are the most accurate, since she hardly ever stands still anyway.

So. Last Saturday we had a great family day. We started out slowly, and had some family reading time with our coffees/milk. Matthew: Vanity Fair. Me: Game of Thrones (I think it's book 5, maybe 6?). Elizabeth: Where Is Baby's Mommy?
Next, we headed into town to get me wellies for the Paul Simon concert. I think it's safe to say I found the most garish and hilarious pair of rubber boots available. Thank you Primark!!

Then we went into a great bookshop, Heffer's, for their storytime. They have local authors in on the weekends for readings. This was Matthew's first time at a storytime thing - the library ones are during working hours - so he enjoyed it almost as much as Elizabeth. He also introduced her to Tintin cartoons, and she is hooked. I think she loves having tons of tiny pictures on the same page instead of one big picture. It's like a million stories on one page!!! Gasp.

Storytime can make you hungry: cookie break.
(Yes, that poster behind Elizabeth is for Macbeth, and the actress is holding a baby-doll upside down by the leg. Duh.)
We then headed to the Sedgwick Museum. It was pretty grey outside, so we were keen for an inside-activity that was (a) free, (2) fun, and (d) would last as long/as short as we needed until Elizabeth got hungry for lunch. Free museums are perfect, because you have zero guilt leaving after 25 minutes. FYI, 25 minutes is a realllllllly long time to do any activity with any people under the age of about 5. Or 30.

The museum is named for Adam Sedgwick:
It totally looks like he's holding a gun in his right hand, but I think it's probably just a tiny little shovel-y thing. Bo-ring!!
 I would tell you more about him, but I didn't read at all about him while we visited the museum. We were too busy running after Elizabeth who was running around among the dinosaur, moose & hippo skeletons. There are a ton of display cases full of different fossils & whatnot from around England,but if you ask Elizabeth, they are all snails. Every single one of them. We heard a lot of, "Oooh, a snail! Don't get me!! Don't get me!!" In my opinion, any museum that has dinosaurs is pretty kid-friendly, so we didn't have to worry about the volume of her excited yells.
So much running.

There are lots of interactive things at this museum, including a couple of wooden puzzles. Note Elizabeth & Matthew have the same concentration face, and the same "Check Out What I Did On My Own" face.

Elizabeth's favourite part and my favourite part were the same, but for different reasons. My book club once read this novel Remarkable Creatures about a woman in Lyme Regis, England, named Mary Anning, who finds a fossil of an ichthyosaurus. Anyways, turns out, good old Adam Sedgwick got her collection of bones from her, and it's on display at the museum. I feel kinda proud of Mary for making some money off hers - Thomas Hawkins coulda made fifty quid! Donation-Schmomation.

Apparently, scientists in the 19th century thought these creatures were cannibals, because they found lots of ichthyosaurus skeletons with complete ichthyosaurus skeletons inside them. Yeah, turns out those dudes were wrong, they were just pregnant ichthyosauruses. Come on, scientists!! Think with your heads!! When one animal eats another, it doesn't stay whole inside their stomachs! And those bad boy ichthyosauruses had huge teeth - meant for biting and tearing and chewing!  Doi-oi-oi!! (Matthew did point out that they thought they were reptiles, and laid eggs, but come on.) You can see that I gave this a fair bit of thought; that's because the display was on a raised area, so you could walk the perimeter of it and see various examples of the fossils. It also had a staircase on two sides of the display. Basically, Elizabeth ran laps of this display for roughly 25 minutes. And that's what you get when you give a 2 year old a cookie as a snack.
 And this photo was taken about 35 seconds after she slipped on one of the stairs and had immediate staticus meltdownicus.
A 15 minute tantrum is also what you get when you give a 2 year old a cookie for a snack. But bizarrely luckily for us, after we wrestled her into her rain coat and onto the bicycle, all she wanted was her blankie and her bed. So we went home, and she threw down a 2 and a half hour nap! Boom!

After she woke up, we gave her dinner at 4 pm, since she didn't have lunch, and went to the playground. And then Matthew reminded me why I married him: He pointed out that if we were just going to hang out at the playground for awhile, we might as well go to the local pub that has a playpark and have a pint while we do it!! I'm serious you guys, the local pub has an outdoor climbing frame with a slide, and a bridge, and a climbing-wall-with-a-rope-thing. It's like the playparks at McDonald's, but you can have a beer. No brainer. We went there for an hour, and it was like we were in a movie, because the sun came out for the first time that day. While M played with Eliz, I had a chance to catch up with my brother online, which was great. It was like he was there with us, having a beer in the sun. Except not really the same at all.
To top off this fantastic day, we spent the evening at our Chilean friends' house - Javiera & Nico got back from Chile a couple months ago, and we are so glad to hang out together again. This shot is of the children & Dads watching the original Transformer movie after dinner. It is really hard to say who is enjoying it more...
This was a very long post to say: This weekend made me feel really lucky to be in Cambridge. We only have 21 weekends left in the UK - that sounds like a lot, but really, weeks are flying by like minutes over here. I can't believe we're in the home stretch. Good thing we are making the most out of it over here while we can!

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