Posts Tagged ‘harry potter’

Test match

Gabe

Gabe’s interest in cricket has grown this year: playing for club and school; going to the nets with friends; an obsession with kit; learning to score (and being paid to do so for the senior teams); helping me with some statistics; and now he’s been to his first match.

We saw the fourth day of the third test at Old Trafford. He was very nervous about getting there. He changed seats a couple of times to get a clear view. He made a few enquiries about what I might buy for him, but otherwise was content to watch and exchange comments on the game. The Barmy Army set about their chanting in the afternoon, which bothered us both. But once that died down, other him having a nagging concern about getting on the tram home, we both could have sat there until the evening. The weather closed in, though, and we left in the rain shortly after tea. Gabe put down a marker, he would like to go back and go to Lord’s.

Eliza and Robin

L took Eliza and Robin to the Manchester Climbing Centre, which is sited in an old church. Both scaled 20m high walls, before pushing off and floating back to the ground.

At home, Eliza scripted a play based around a female Harry Potter type character – Harriet. Robin played Dudley, with a football up his shirt and a midget Hagrid. When I saw the performance, Robin carried his script with him, Eliza memorised her words, directed the show and was chief stagehand.

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School by car

Gabe walks to school, but often begs a lift. I usually dismiss the request. But the day after he came home with three PE bags I acceded. The extra luggage came from kit borrowed from friends when he found out he had a football match that day.

So Eliza, Robin and I accelerated our morning preparations and left 20 minutes earlier than normal. Gabe chatted in the front seat until I turned onto the road of his school, when he entered his bubble of focus and family denial. I parked the car and he let himself out, loaded up with bags, offering maybe a murmur of farewell, but eyes fixed ahead, intent on a clean separation from us.

On we drove, early for Eliza and Robin’s school. The car was dirty from the flock of waxwings that ate berries in the tree over the drive. So we became the car-wash’s first customers of the day. First the manual pressure hose that elicited shrieks when it rose to the windows. Then we entered the wash tunnel with its whirling brushes. Eliza and Robin squealed and chuckled in the backseat. “Again”, they implored as we came out into the light.

Still early for school, we parked and Eliza began reading a Harry Potter novel. Robin clambered into the front seat and lay on the dashboard. We had time for a few rounds of a word definition game, with Eliza pointing out words in the book for one of us to define for the other to guess, then out of the car and into school. Routine restored.

Dream sequence

Eliza

A discussion of dreams while walking to school, led to an experiment. Eliza had been told that if two people are dreaming of the same place, they’ll see each other in their dream. A little like the familiar-looking spectators in the background to a Wii game we wondered. Eliza nominated McDonald’s as the location and we went to bed with that destination in mind. But the theory remains unproven as the next morning only Robin, more suggestible or less reliable, reported getting to the chosen place in his dreams.

Gabe

Gabe is in a high run of form on the football field. He has started to complement his silky midfield passing with a more physical presence – harrying and tackling opponents. He came to the fore in a cup semi-final, which his team won in nerve-wracking fashion.

Robin

Robin has followed brother and sister down the Harry Potter route. He has finished the first book in the series and is reluctant to read his school book club assignment as it diverts him from school wizardry.

Fisical club

Robin

Robin has created a club, which has four members: him, Eliza, L and me. The Fisical Club run marathons and dance. The club also has a chant – about running marathons and dancing. Robin and I did the first marathon, which involved running around the perimeter of every room in the house in turn.

Eliza

Eliza has fallen under the spell of the Harry Potter books. She’s reading her way through Gabe’s copies, which are so well-thumbed turning the pages can defeat my fumbling fingers. Eliza is reading them avidly, completing the books at the rate of one volume per week.

Gabe

If television and play-station are out of reach in the evening, Gabe is showing a preference for a Countdown game he was given for Christmas, which has the TV show’s ticking clock. So far, I’ve staved off defeat, although he’s closing the gap on the letters game and was already strong at numbers. Neither of us has worked out a conundrum.

The Great Unwrapping

The family, including aunt, uncle and little cousin F, assembled in the living room on Christmas morning, considered the pile of presents spreading out from under the tree and went to work.

Robin

Robin put on his roller-blades straightaway and cruised along the hall and around the kitchen for much of the morning. After a trip to the park on the blades, the Nerf gun took over. He spent the afternoon in combat shooting the grown-ups at point-blank range and then from sniper positions. Cousin F assisted, retrieving the foam bullets.

Eliza

Eliza also got new wheels, a scooter, that she rode to the park alongside Robin and ahead of Cousin F whose bike had been painstakingly assembled by the men. A watch and stripy, romper suit pyjamas were other early favourites.

Gabe

Christmas was an opportunity to equip Gabe for his return to cricket. Gloves, pads, box and helmet – the last, unfathomably, too small and requiring replacement. He tried them all on eagerly but I wasn’t able to arrange for him to use them in action, which disappointed him.

He also took charge of the family DVD present: the last Harry Potter film and the early series of Outnumbered, which he has alighted on as his favourite programme. The appeal perhaps the sight of children besting their parents and some gentle swearing.

Elected representative

Robin

Robin is his class’s representative on school council, having won the most votes cast by the boys in his class. He gets to wear a metal badge on his school jumper, although he finds it a challenge to remember where the badge is each morning. His reports of school council meetings are sketchy, but he has mentioned a manifesto to do with football in the playground.

Eliza

Gabe described how a girl in his class has a talent for twisting her arm. Eliza followed the instructions: place hand palm down on a table; rotate hand 180 degrees so it is palm up; rotate again in the same direction so it is palm down again. It turns out she has the same talent. That far it is a curious sight, which becomes freaky when she lifts her hand off the table and her arm twists back into place.

Gabe

The enthusiasm for Harry Potter endures. Gabe has completed a full second re-reading of the series of books. He moves around the house reading and has found that the bathroom sink’s taps will hold the larger novels open so he can continue reading while he brushes his teeth.

Trampolining

Eliza

For the second year running, Eliza’s birthday party was shaped around trampolining. The most changed aspect of the party was Eliza herself. Visibly more self-confident, Eliza sat happily and at ease amongst her friends at tea. Where before she was overshadowed by some of her louder, more insistent friends, now she handles them and engages with a wider group of girls. The party was a success.

On her birthday, Eliza took part in her school’s musical performance afternoon (soiree). She played a piano piece well, but L said she had looked as though she was shaking when getting ready to play.

Gabe

Gabe missed Eliza’s party as he spent that afternoon, as well as the evening and night with a friend as a birthday event. Gabe was nervous about the sleep-over because of his snoring. He sought reassurance: yes, I said, it is loud, but it doesn’t go on for very long. His friends either didn’t hear him or were discrete as there was no mention, or teasing of him for snoring.

Robin

Robin can whistle. His repertoire is limited, consisting almost exclusively of the Harry Potter theme tune, which for much of the weekend can be used to locate him around the house.