Saturday, April 26, 2014

Week Ending 27 April 2014

The schools here are on a two week break and we've decided to join them. I needed a break even if the kids didn't. Sadly, the first week is over and I don't feel like we've had all the free time I was anticipating. Probably because the week has been muddled with public holidays. Easter Monday is a holiday here and the university was also shut on the Tuesday so Miss 19 and Dh were both at home . It's great to have everyone at home together (doesn't happen a lot any more) but it does alter the dynamic. Friday was yet another public holiday - Anzac Day this time, which commemorates returned service men and women as well as those who lost their lives in war. Dh and the kids enjoy the local Dawn Service and Mr 16 attended another service later in the morning as well. This one included a parade and he marched as part of a combined  Scout group. After the early start everyone was tired, so there was not much energy left for anything else that day.

Despite the break, fun and learning are still happening, just not anything too school- like. I think it is safe to say Miss 13's maths book won't be coming off the shelf!

There has been  a lot of game playing and reading.

Game playing goes in jags around here and right now Dominion is the game of choice, We've played several games most days.

For a relatively sensitive child Miss 13's taste for crime novels has come as a bit of a surprise. Thankfully her taste runs to Agatha Christie rather than more graphic and explicit novels. We've both enjoyed Son, the fourth of Lois Lowry's The Giver quartet.

There has also been French language practice - Duolingo is "addictive" apparently - cooking and trampoline training.

Music appreciation made an appearance. Initially it was brief and light-hearted but, as often happens, one thing led to another. We listened to Dvorak the Czechoslovak from Beethoven's Wig 2, and followed it up with Dvorak's Humoresque #7 on which it is based. Then we did some online research to discover exactly what a humoresque is, and to learn a little about the background behind Dvorak's series. We'll definitely remember #7 since it has been used as the basis for a so-called folk song beginning "Passengers will please refrain, from flushing toilets while the train, is standing in the station". Of course this led us down the small rabbit hole of passenger train toilets - amazing where music appreciation can lead you! We also listened to Dvorak's complete cycle of Humoresques. I'm grateful our public library has a subscription to the Naxos Music Library which we can access online from home for free. Makes music appreciation much easier.

Mr 16 has had a busy break so far. He's spent time most days at the local Scout hall where he is busy reorganising all their gear (they've just merged with another troop so there is a lot of extra gear to fit into the same amount of space) and compiling an inventory for his Queen's Scout project (Queen's Scout is the highest Scout award here - the equivalent of Eagle Scout I think). Today he left for a three day tramp. It is meant to rain most days with snow down to 1000 metres so I'm sure he'll be cold, tired and wet on his return.

Miss 13 and I have also managed some birding. Not as much as I might have expected but the weather and other commitments have conspired against us. A friend gave us a tip off that the Cattle Egrets were back in the area. They are Australian birds, but some migrate here for the winter. Food availability must be the reason because they surely don't come for the weather! Anyway we tracked them down one day. Sadly they were too far away to get decent photos. We'll try again later. The the following day we checked out several spots on a local lake. Dh came along too which was great. Duck shooting season starts next weekend and I'm not keen on walking around the lake when it is crowded with  hunters. Besides I'm sure the gunshot will drive many of the birds away - even the ones not being hunted. So we'll keep our birding to other areas for the next few weeks.
Miss 13 was delighted to discover these Muscovy Ducklings. Muscovy's are not common here and as yet aren't officially recognised in the bird books. One reason is that wild ones are believed to be just farm escapees and  there is not enough evidence that they can form a self-sustaining population in the wild. Signs of successful breeding like these two mean the Muscovy may well be added to the next edition of the official field guide.

Linking with Mary's Collage Friday
and Kris's Weekly Wrap-Up

1 comment:

  1. We use Duolingo here, too!

    Thanks for linking with Collage Friday!