My goodness, I haven't posted in over a week! Hello? (hello... hello... hello...) is anyone out there?
I haven't been lying on a lounge chair with my book sipping cocktails, honest! No folks, I spent the last week or so busy as a bee. Studying for my UK Driving Theory test and the latest thing, the Hazard Perception test, which is fiendish. I did those bits on Monday and got 100% in the theory test (thank you, thank you...) and got 67 out of 75 in Hazard Perception which is pretty fabulous. (Yes, I AM pretty fabulous...) I'll do my Practice Test soon and then TRINI DRIVER ON THE LOOSE! I could drive with my (Trini) International Licence of course, but I want to do my UK licence because they have lots of LAWS here, like DO NOT PARK ON THE ZIGZAG LINE! Who knew? And dude, they fine you thousands of pounds if you do. Plus, technically you ARE supposed to get a local licence after a certain amount of time. Heads up, all you foreigners.
I have really been enjoying my driving lessons actually. I originally booked two, and the AA Instructor was so good and pointed out lots of bad habits I've picked up in 20 years of Trini driving, like whipping the steering wheel round and reversing one-handed. So I've got two or three more lessons booked. He's impressed that I can reverse into a space that's smaller than the car, using Trini Space-Warping Tactics. Oh, AND? English roundabouts have LANES, fyi.
I've also been asking important questions over at Derfwad Manor, and I would really appreciate it if you would head over there and tell me what you think. This week I'm writing a summary report, and being very professional. You didn't know I could be professional, didya?
Much research and thinking and reading is happening here, as well as Cousins visiting, and a RASH of birthday parties. We seem to have hordes of July and August-born friends and family. Plus, it's the holidays but there is still work for some, so babysitting duties have been duly shared out and ALL the kids are usually to be found together at one friend or another's house. We were thinking of counting the number of pizzas consumed over the holidays, but we've lost count already. Today, I am happy to report, we will be having baked salmon and such to counteract the pizza effect. And then we'll be heading to a birthday barbecue to counter-counteract it.
On Monday it was so hot, that after my fabulous tests and certain people's work we all lay on the trampoline half-dressed and the kids used sheets and bedspreads and branches to make a tent city, or as they called it, a Meditation Centre. Chas was the Guru who gave out Spiritual Enlightenment to all who wanted it, with free chocolate (he's definitely on to something) Max and Jimmy were the Managers and wrote out receipts. Sam set himself up as 'God', while Venus and Kate picked 'herbs' and brought throw cushions into the tents. My skin-and-blister Ailis called and I filled her in on events. She said "You, Lena and Charlotte tanning half-dressed in the back yard? It's indecent exposure!"
"Absolutely," we said.
"I'm calling the fire department to report hot stuff at the Sheppards."
"Ooooh, yes, please!"
She's just jealous cuz she has a big belleh and was stuck doing sensible things while we lounged about receiving spiritual guidance and chocolate. My sister's baby is due in October!!!!!!!!! Squeeeee!!!!!
We haven't been missing out at the cinema either. We watched 'Cars 2', and Harry Potter of course, and lots of DVDs at home with 12 people on the big sofa and popcorn everywhere.
We're reading stacks of books:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle By Barbara Kingsolver and Family. We have spent the last two years being very green. Apart from not having a car (we ARE getting one soon, but we live a short walk from the big bus and train station so really it hasn't been hard to do without) we have been getting our organic food delivered and using other environmentally friendly tactics. It's been a great part of our two-year family slowing-down scheme. Anyway, I wish I had read this sooner, it's great.
I will do a proper book list review later in the week, if I have a moment.
In other news, Chas has a new boa constrictor named Parima. She is a beauty, and there are 5,712 photos of her on my camera, I just realised. This is why there will be no photos to accompany this post, as I will have to download them all and find which ones are MINE. We have separate memory cards, but the system does not always work for us when we get excited.
SO! As you can see, (in conclusion...) it's been all work AND all play around here. How's the Summer been for you?