Thursday 24 September 2009

Next year's Black is....................a girl!


So, this is our big news! The next baby Black, due at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb is female! So I'm now researching New Testament Saints names. How do we feel about Olympia? Or possibly Chloe? I'm open to suggestions!

This was something else that made me laugh this week!

I can't help wishing that I got recognition for the stuff I'm 'trying' to do, regardless of whether I actually succeed or not!

Things are certainly getting harder for me physically. I have noticed that
- changing the sheets on the top bunk
- bending over to put the laundry in the machine
- cycling up-hill when we're late for school
- chasing an unruly two year old
are all much, much harder one you're past 20 weeks pregnant!
(Well that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!)

Sunday 13 September 2009

Our journey to school!

This is how Daddy gets to work in the morning. A 5 minute ride to the train station. A 50 minute train to London. And a 25 minute cycle through London's parks (mainly) to the office.
Guy helps with the folding bike - note the footwear!

And this is how we get to school

We cycle across the field;

Through the woodAnd we get to school in about 10 minutes. So even when it's raining, it's not too bad! Of course, I need to remind myself of this in the winter when it's cold and dark in the morning and the car is looking warm and dry!

My big schoolgirl! (At the end of the day - so she's looking scruffier than usual!)

After school; back over the bridge and into the wood,
Back through the wood,
Stopping only to feed left-over carrot sticks and apple chunks from lunch boxes to the horses.

The best bit about this is that we live 15 minutes walk from the centre of Oxford.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

All the fun of the fair!

Yesterday we went to St Giles Fair. A strange Oxford tradition which is equally attractive and repellant!Since the nineteenth century, St Giles' Fair has been held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles' Day (1 September).This year the Fair is being held on 7 & 8 September.
It's a strange phenomenon. I don't know how many other fairs start with a service of blessing!

I think the person who best described it, is the wonderful Jan Morris.

It is the most boisterous of Oxford traditions, the profits of which go partly to the city and partly to the college of St John's, the local landowner; and it brings together in an atmosphere of unnatural intensity every type and kind of Oxford citizen. The academics go with their burbling children, eating iced lollipops and arguing the toss with indulgent showmen in piping cultured accents. The factory families go, trailing balloons and sweet papers, and hugging flowery vases they have won at shooting galleries. The farmers go, stumping stoically through the hubbub with kind wives in blue hats. The aldermen go — in 1950 Alderman Smewin officially complained to the City Council that there had been only one set of Galloping Horses to ride on. The parish clergy go, from a sense of boyish duty, and the weedy louts go, to stand around in bow-legged moronic cliques, licking candy floss, and the shop-girls go, to let their skirts fly on the Big Dipper. Every degree is represented there, from the exquisite patrician to the grubbiest slut in carpet slippers: and flushed from their normal habitats like this, thrown together between the Bingo stalls and the Man-Eating Rat, they always seem to me larger, finer or more awful than life. George's Café feels genially blended: but St Giles's Fair is like a city with its masks torn off, seen with a flushed clarity, and it makes you wonder how such contrasts can ever be reconciled. It is sure to end, you feel, like all the worst dreams, in a scream, a cold sweat or a blackout.

Oxford, however, is old, and experienced at the game. By Wednesday morning all those stalls and roundabouts have miraculously disappeared, and the scholars, the charge-hands, the oafs and the parsons are restored to their blurred and unalarming selves.

Of course, with the general tackiness of the rides and the extortionate prices, it seems appropriate that St Giles is the patron Saint of beggars and thieves!

Friday 4 September 2009

The Many (painted) faces of Phoebe!

It's the end of the summer, and there are final opportunities for face painting, before the autumn starts.

Phoebe likes having her face painted!