Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas and Holidays.

The December holidays always seem like 6 long weeks stretching out in front of you when you are waving goodbye to school on the last day of the year. However I have found that the first couple of weeks are taken up with Christmas preparation and rushing about for that, then we have this lull between Christmas and New Year when nothing much seems to happen and then I suddenly realise that it is the 3rd of January and school starts in2 weeks time!

In the week before Christmas we visited the water slides at Muizenberg. Abigail had been to a birthday party there in January and Niave had been begging the whole year to go. In the end she didn't really like the slide but had fun in the pool. Abigail and Kelsey enjoyed the big slide and I was glad to have Niave's friend's dad there to help chaperone the sliding as it was blowing a gale and freezing!

We also spent a morning down at the beach. We discovered a gem at Dalebrooke which has a wonderful tidal pool and hardly a grain of sand! Well, enough sand for some small children to dig in but not enough for me to come home feeling like I brought half the beach with me! Lovely rock pools at low tide too.
Christmas morning was an early start. I told Abigail not to wake me before 6 but at 5:55 a little voice was heard. We manged to delay her till 6:30 and then eventually woke Niave at 7 as she is not as early a riser as her sister who still has to learn the art of the lie-in!

There was much excitement as they discovered new clothes, much needed swimming costumes, DVDs, books and in Abigail's case a much coveted J-board! Niave received a scooter which she was over the moon about.

After church we had lunch with Ouma and Oupa which was delicious and very relaxed. After stuffing ourselves with all sorts of Christmassy roasts, treats and puddings we settled down to watch Annie - the Disney version which was lovely. I much prefer it to the original as the "baddies" don't come across quite so bad and Miss Hannigan not quite so drunk! (We have woken many mornings since then to renditions of It's a hard knock life or Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow...)

Grant is on leave this week so we've been trying to think of some wheelchair friendly outings to do as a family. On Tuesday we went to the Planetarium and Museum, it is really such an economical outing, it cost R32.00 for all 4 of us for the show at the Planetarium and a museum pass. Afterwards we had a small picnic and fed the birds. We couldn't find any squirrels!

Today Grant went cycling so we took a drive to Simons Town to visit the Scratch Patch with my mom. It was another VERY windy day here in Cape Town but fortunately quite sheltered once inside the Scratch Patch area.

Abigail trying to get the balance right on her new board.

Niave doing swimming of one kind and another.

And so we head to the end of 2010 - it's been quite a year, what will 2011 bring?...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pedal Power - for your hands!

Grant recently acquired a bicycle, actually it's a tricycle and it's a hand cycle - obviously!
It's been here for a good few weeks but needed some tuning up and adapting and while it is still a work in progress he has taken it out a few times.

He has been for a couple of rides around Plumstead and he went on one longish ride to the gym and back (about 12km) and copes pretty well with the hills and bridges along the way.

Today he decided to cycle to his friend Alan's house in Tokai, (if you live in or know Cape Town you will have an idea of the distance) not too far but the furthest he's been so far.
However, he planned to spend the day there so he needed to have his wheelchair as he couldn't stay in the bike all day and he can't get around without his chair - SO, he hatched a plan to attach his wheelchair behind his bike and tow it along! Sound crazy? Yes, it is crazy. But he was determined and it worked!!It was quite a sight - in fact he said that he didn't have anybody getting upset or impatient with him on the road but he did have a few people clapping for him as he went past!!
Because of the length and design of the bike it has a 6 metre turning circle - without the wheelchair in tow so there is no U-turning, if you take the wrong road you just have to keep going forward!!!

When he left, at lunchtime he went the long way round to avoid the 2-days-before-Christmas traffic but came back along the Main rd which was easier and shorter.

Argus Cycle Tour here we come!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The great bird rescue.

A couple of weeks ago my Dad found a bird in their garden. It was just sitting there on the grass, with a dog standing next to it, not moving! He picked it up quite easily and brought it inside. We quickly established that it could not fly. Flap - yes, fly - no.
The girls, particularly Abigail were very excited and had turns to hold it.
The bird didn't seem to mind too much at all. It was immediately named Amelia!

The next day we took it to the vet so that he could "fix" it and set it free, I don't think there was too much fixing but as far as they know Amelia is now free as, well as a bird!! And flying happily somewhere!

This is SO much like my sister, Abigail definitely gets her love for animals from her - especially of the bird variety. Beverley used bring in all sorts of stray or sick animals and nurture them back to life - Abigail is exactly the same.
She wants to be a vet one day but we'll have to wait and see if that ends up being the career path she chooses.
For now I guess we'll have to be happy to foster any injured or homeless creatures we find along the way.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

End of year madness!

The end of the school year is always a very busy time, now with 2 schools as well as my own, it is even more so.

I am happy and relieved to say that school is over for 2010 and hopefully things can quieten down a bit (ha ha!) but here's some of what we've been up to in the last 2 weeks:

Abigail's Christmas "concert" was a lovely informal family picnic. We were serenaded by a wonderful band called Off the record and the foundation phase girls sang a few carols. It was a lovely evening even though it drizzled a bit - some of us came prepared! They all had a wonderful time, it was a lot less stressful now that Niave can run a play happily without getting into too much trouble!
A couple of days later it was Niaves nativity concert.
She was an angel and she was not happy about her halo! It was fluffy and tickly and even though it wasn't going to touch her head she was not happy. Her teacher managed to get her to wear it but it came off straight afterwards - no chance for photo's!

Here are some of the others, they were very sweet.

During the week there were lots of fun activities - cake and treat sale (Niave), an outing to the circus (Abigail), a water slide day and a fun gala for the foundation phase to name but a few, I don't have pictures except for the end of the gala. There was a parent/child race but even though I took a along my togs I was forbidden to swim!

She had fun though!!

Abigail goes to grade 3 next year and after being with Mrs. Bergstedt for 2 years they have got to know each other very well:

On Friday afternoon we went out with the Carters for milkshakes to celebrate the start of the holidays:
On Friday night we had the Noddy Party. For the last couple of years we've been going to Uncle Willie's Christmas party but we didn't get our invite this year so we decided to try the Noddy Party which is almost identical but you can book and pay online. I think I prefer Uncle Willies but the kids had fun and they got to receive their gift from Father Christmas. We'll try to get back to Uncle Willies next year.

Hay fights.

Watching the magician.

Noddy and Big Ears brought ice-creams.

Father Christmas brought presents! A little doll (+ accessories) for Niave and a new game, Secret Code for Abigail. We have been playing it a LOT!

On Saturday night Grant and I went to the Cape Town Gospel Choir's Christmas concert. It was brilliant and even though our seats weren't great we enjoyed it very much. On Sunday night we had the Carol Service at church followed by a Christmas Night Market. It was also very enjoyable.

And so we begin the long summer holidays...