Thursday, 14 June 2012

Royalty and Pottery

Today was a busy activity day, with not much time spent at home.  This morning we went to Hitchin for the Queen's visit.  We got there in plenty of time to get a parking space, but the crowds around the market square (the Queen's destination) were far too packed for us to get through - so we made do with joining the people by the side of the road where HRH's car was due to drive.  I was so proud of the boys - they waited in one spot for fifty minutes (no mean feat for three bundles of energy!)  Admittedly, I had provided them with sweets (handed one to DS3 every few minutes in the hope that they would last), and we bought three long stripy furry things on sticks (red, white and blue of course) which were much more appealing to the boys than flags, and they thoroughly enjoyed waving those at the vast mjority of cars that drove past while we were waiting.  Other highlights were the friendly PCSO who jokingly told DS2 not to poke that stick-thing up his nose, and the town cryer who DS3 thought was Santa Claus as he was dressed in red, was rather large and had a beard (I'm not sure why DS3 thought he was blowing a horn & ringing a bell, but he was happy to see him anyway).  Unfortunately, by the time the Queen's car passed by us, there was such a swell of people from behind that I had a job to keep the boys from being pushed into the road - and the people who did step into the road blocked our view, so we saw very little - it was quite stressful.  We decided there was no point trying to follow the royal car, so we went back to our own car to go home.  On the journey back we realised there were more people lining the main road, but more spread out, so we found a place to stop and got out again where it was far less crowded.  This time we had a much better view of the car and the Queen inside - and the boys got to wave their stick things again :)  It seemed like a lot of fuss for something so little - but I hope the boys will remember it as a good experience.
We just had time for lunch when we got home, and then it was straight out again to paint pottery with some local HE friends.  DS1 chose a snake, and painted it really carefully until he got fed up and wanted to play, DS2 chose a dolphin which he was even more careful with - he reassured me he did enough layers, but I wasn't able to help him much as I had to supervise DS3 whose choice of a turtle was secondary to the fun he was having squirting the paint onto his tile.  He did make a good effort to paint carefully, but it looked pretty splodgy by the end as he got carried away with all the paint (he's only three - I'm not expecting high art).  We won't get them back for a week or so as they need to be glazed and fired, but I'm looking forward to some interesting results.  The nice thing about pottery painting is that glazing process always makes things look so much better - so even DS's 'creative' splodgy painting on his turtle should look good.  And after the painting there was a chance for a good natter with some other HE mums while the children played, which was lovely too.
All in all, that was our day filled, with just a bit of spare time for some trampoline bouncing at the end... DS3 is desperate to do a somersault now that DS2 has done one, and DS1 is pretending he doesn't want to - I suspect he'll practice when no-one's looking, until he's got it perfected ;)  So anyway, that was a good day - a bit stressful and busy, but definitely worth it!

Updated on 27th June - photos of the finished articles...

Snake painted by Eldest

Dolphin painted by Middle

 Turtle painted by Youngest

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