Monday round-up: 2nd November

Wow, we are into November! Can’t quite believe it but here we are. And just about to face another month in some sort of lockdown. Sigh. After a week off in a media/work vacuum somewhat surprising to come back to all this news. Where did that lockdown come from??

Very quiet Tower of London

Anyway, last week was half term and we spent it at home, which despite some of my reservations was actually mainly lovely. Think we had a pretty good balance of easy, chilled days at home and big trips, as well as a bit of socialising which was just as well as we won’t be able to do much of that for the next few weeks.

I liked this detail on this canon – feel like this about lockdown again!

On Monday we went to the Tower of London. It was so quiet. I had to stop myself saying that all day. Although sad in some respects and we had some sobering conversations with the staff who were so glad to see visitors, thanked us for coming and also talked of up and coming redundancies – the next lockdown is not going to improve this – it was also lovely to be able to really see the Tower and talk to the staff, who had the time to tell us stories and answer endless questions. Usually you get one chance to see the Crown Jewels, but we must have gone around them at least 5 times. To be honest I feel incredibly torn about the jewels. Listening to reports about how many children in the UK will not be able to get fed during half term and then looking at a crown that has over 6,000 diamonds in it is a rather stark contrast. I am not sure what the answer is and it is complex, but we did have some good discussions with the kids about history, learning from history, the monarchy and so on. And ultimately I am glad that we took the time to go. Also the ravens are amazing! I had not realised how clever and strong they are!

A sun and a tree, or a sunflower

Another highlight of the week was doing autumnal art in the pouring rain in the forest with our local artist, Sharon Drew. Although we could only persuade 2/4 kids to go, it was great to just forage around in the forest with leaves and acorns. I had not realised how many leaves were black and gold. So beautiful. And then a good excuse to spend the rest of the day inside!

Giraffes

We managed to get to the Zoo on Friday which is always an old favourite. Antonia and I had had a plan to go once a month this year but then … Covid. There had been quite a few changes since we went before including some new animals and a very confusing one way system which had us running around like mad things at the end trying to get into the gorillas before they closed. It was SO busy in contrast to everywhere else I have been over the past few months, guess because it is outside.

Halloween anarchy

Then finally the week ended with Halloween. Much muttering here as the children felt cheated by the lack of trick or treating opportunities due to Covid but we actually managed to have a great time – and to be honest I enjoyed it a lot more (control freakery over the sweet intake hurrah). We carved pumpkins, did some random crafts for the windows and then went into the forest with my new firepit and had marshmallows whilst the kids ran around the clearing waving burning sticks which fulfilled the need for Halloween anarchy. We even bumped into some friends out enjoying the full moon. Much better than trick or treating! And as we weren’t getting interrupted by the doorbell every 5 seconds everyone managed to eat some “worms with blood and eyeball sauce” (aka spaghetti and tomato sauce) before we did trick or treating in the house where Mike and I dressed up in different outfits and hide in different rooms. Was totally bonkers but good fun.

Full moon on Halloween

And then it was November! A new month with some new intentions. I’m trying to sort some online Lego Serious Play sessions, get going on podcasting, finally progress the chair and generally do a few other projects before Christmas. Oh and I’m trying to write every day – sort of NaNoWri but we’ll see how it goes. So far, no words on day 1 and just over 2,000 today so…….

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