Archive for June, 2014

Guinea pigs and going out

Eliza and Robin

Their campaign has succeeded. Two guinea pigs – Dandelion and Mr Skittles (who is blind in one eye) – have come to live with us. ‘Rescued’ from a local family whose daughters had lost interest, they are healthy two year old creatures, removing some of the risk of premature demise. The pets sit contentedly on the kids’ laps, more serene than the skittish guinea pigs I have known. And each morning (although just six, so far) Eliza and Robin have let themselves out of the back door before breakfast to feed, stroke and check on their new pets. One morning Robin reported that they were fighting. This is the behaviour their previous owner warned us about and that has led L to name their home, ‘Brokeback Hutch’.

Gabe

The last two Sundays, Gabe has gone out with his friend J and two girls, whose names came up for the first time earlier in the month, when they held a joint birthday party. Gabe and J have caught a lift or a tram to meet the girls, go to the cinema, their homes and a cafĂ©, spending the afternoon and early evening together. A Facebook post from J announced that Gabe was “officially going out” with one of the girls. Just a joke, Gabe explained. But he is officially going out like a teenager and when he’s not he’s officially on snapchat and Facebook like a teenager.

Packed schedule

Eliza

Eliza has had an exhausting week of music, sport and school commitments. Monday: cricket practice. Tuesday: early morning orchestra, gymnastics. Wednesday: open evening visit to potential future secondary school, gymnastics grade exam. Thursday: early morning orchestra, school concert (1st violin and recorder group). Friday: piano lesson. All week, she has also been doing end of year tests in school. She comes out of the week with a pass on her gymnastics exam and a successful concert.

Robin

Robin has been accruing cricket achievements. Two wickets in two balls and three in an over. Four run outs in an innings. Dearest to me was the simple fact of appearing in a match with Eliza and opening the batting together.

Gabe

Gabe has been viewing the World Cup intermittently. The TV has been on and he’s in the room. But his attention has been divided across devices (I do the same, too). His new tablet is in front of his face, on snapchat or a game. It is pulled away to take in action replays or live action when the commentator’s voice, crowd noise or something else draws his attention.

Holland away

Gabe

Gabe returned safely from the trip to Utrecht. He picked up a man-of-the-match award in the first game, although he said he had trouble keeping his eyes open. The first night in the hostel had been uproarious. One group of boys was climbing out of a window onto a roof; another group (in Gabe’s room) joking and guffawing into the early hours. Flights home for the transgressors were booked until a change of heart and things calmed down thereafter. The trips to theme park, water-park and Utrecht stadium appeared as memorable as the games. It seems to have been a successful venture.

Robin

BOOM [said loudly and in a slightly strangulated voice]

This is Robin’s new word of exclamation. It’s ubiquitous. We don’t seem to be able to beat it, so we’re joining it.

Eliza

Eliza busies herself making bracelets out of small rubber bands, which are then given or swapped with friends. It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of her interests: dexterous finger-work, artistic combination of colours and jewelry.