Archive for June, 2010

Got talent

Eliza

Eliza entered her school’s talent contest with two friends. They performed their dance in the preliminary round and qualified for the final held in front of the school. One of her friends bottled the performance but the show went on with Eliza and her other friend, although details are sketchy.

Gabe

Gabe chose to spend indoors the most part of a hot, sunny afternoon spent at a party at a friend’s house. The draw was a wii.

Robin

Robin continued his charm offensive on our close family and friends – revelling in Nan and Grandad’s visit. He walked hand-in-hand with them and chattered away without inhibition.

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Behemoth and Churchill

Robin

Prominent among the stopovers from L and my wedding anniversary party was the Behemoth and his partner S. Robin wallowed in their attention and found great joy riding back from the park on the Behemoth’s shoulders. He fell asleep in the car on the way to the station and cried when back at home: “I want Churchill”, mispronouncing S’s Italian name.

Eliza

Amidst the mid-evening chaos of the anniversary party, Eliza was overwhelmed. Children were dashing around with water-guns, adults talking loudly. Eliza didn’t know what to do. L took her to bed and read stories, but she came back down and quietly took part into the late evening.

Gabe

Gabe’s level of interest in the World Cup deserves a better tournament. As well as watching the games, live where possible, or in repeats, he predicted the result of every game (Spain to beat Brazil in the final), recording the actual scores, collecting cards. Maybe the knockout stages will provide a return or maybe football everywhere is reward enough.

English children abroad

Robin

Robin at four remains solidly and attractively an infant. There’s no precociousness, but much charm. He walks, swinging both arms forward and backwards together. He runs, then skips and reverts to running. He waves with his forearm extended away from his body and a fast, little rotation of his open hand. Waiting for a train to take us into Rome, he asks, “How do trains know where we want to go?”

Gabe

A great enthusiast for the very few foods he eats, Rome gave Gabe the chance to eat pizza at least once a day for a week. He did just that, having adult portions, and showing no signs of sating his passion for pizza.

Eliza

Eliza’s holiday pleasure was encapsulated in the Rome snow-storm paperweight she chose as her souvenir. She guarded it closely, fearing other clumsy fingers. But dropping her bag at the airport on the way home, she smashed it and pleasure was transformed, for 20 minutes, into sobbing and despair.

At the pool

Gabe

At the camp-site pool in Italy, Gabe gave indications of how he’ll appear as an adolescent, or even a man. Wearing long red swimming shorts and a tight red surfer’s top, he has the shape, if not the scale, of a sleek Italian Giovanni.

Acqua Piper

The visit to Italy’s largest water park on a baking hot day was a holiday triumph. For 6 hours the kids played together. First, down mini-slides and around a mid-riff deep pool, with Robin tending to lead the way in new challenges. Then, racing around animal statues in the shallows of an ocean pool. Last, playing ball in the ocean pool, with the boys essaying elaborate dives. Eventually, Eliza, so pale, tired and retreated from the sun to the shadows. Throughout, they had thrown themselves into the water, the games and the sunny day. They were pleasingly distinct from the Italians, who were generally older and younger. Ours showed no bronzed torsos, remaining clothed in red (Gabe), pink (Eliza) and pale green (Robin).

Lagoon pool

With two days of the holiday to go, the camp opened its lagoon pool. We were first on its spongy floor, its island with fountains, through its tunnel and down its slides. The kids had sliding competitions, played lifeguards and dived for goggles. They shrieked, laughed and made it into a family pool, although it was out of normal school holidays.