We all enjoyed Joth’s birthday today even if a lot of it was rather busy. He opened presents first thing. The boys had spent a week or so trying to think what to buy and had dismissed lots of things I thought he would like and rushed off to the shop 10mins before closing time last night to buy lots of chocolate. Even Anton had been persuaded not to eat the bag of Maltesers he/we had bought and wrap it up instead. He wanted to unwrap it himself this morning though. Oscar had wrapped up his chocolate not to look like chocolate so there was some initial excitment about what it was, but no – more chocolate!! Bless them. They really did enjoy getting ready for it though.
We had also prepared these handprints on canvas. This was the third attempt at handprints and I can honestly say it was a labour of blood, sweat and paint. We tried them on airdry clay (not “giving” enough to get a good print with the little ones), salt dough (it didn’t dry properly and cracked) and finally canvas. Dante has now eaten yellow acrylic paint. Hmmm.
Then Lucas went to Acorns by himself because Oscar had his Grade 5 violin exam this afternoon. I was supervising Oscar’s practise this morning while trying to finish Joth’s cake. Neither was turning out quite as I would like and they were definitely not complimentary activities. Anton didn’t help by cutting in to the cake when I was helping with G#minor. It was supposed to be a computer cake but there were a few keys missing by the time he’d finished. Still, it was not one of my better attempts anyway. I do think I should have just left it as a plain old chocolate cake and cut out all the added stress. I’m not very good at knowing my/our limits.
Oscar did his exam in the afternoon along with S (my other pupil doing Grade 5 too – they’ve been working together on it all and having joint sessions. He’s 12 and is a lovely lad so it’s worked out really well). They both performed really well with real style and musicality, all from memory. Both are not such great sightreaders and it sounds like O’s scales didn’t go too well (he even managed to attempt the wrong scale – one we’d never done before, so I don’t know why alarm bells didn’t ring, with “lots of octaves!” or so he said. Arrrggh!) He also started before she’d asked him to in the sightreading (he’s supposed to get extra time for his dyslexia) as he “didn’t want to keep her waiting!” Still, I feel he has worked so well for this exam and come on leaps and bounds so I hope she’s the sort of marker that agrees with me! They have their strange little ways sometimes.
So it was with a sense of relief that we all headed off to Blackpool Sands once Lucas was back from Acorns at 4pm on one of the hottest days of the year. We managed to just catch the cafe (the website that says it’s open til 9 is rather misleading it seems) so had a lovely meal of organic burgers and chips (decent fast food which pleases all) and then went to play on the beach. Spirits were high and we had a wonderful time. It is a shingle beach, so it is good for skimming stones, with quite a sharp incline so the waves are quite exhilarating. Oscar and Lucas went in and I was trying to keep Anton on the edge as the waves were pretty powerful. He took all his clothes off anyway and rolled about in the waves, loving it. And then we found we had forgotten the towels. Still, nothing could dent our mood, particularly as Joth and I weren’t the ones who were wet. We set off to get birthday cake at home before hypothermia set in.