Saturday, 6 August 2016

7th August

So a moment to ourselves!!! Its Sunday morning and Luke’s turn to have the foot balls – as we used to say when the boys were young….. He’s out at one the Lilliput Kids Café’s and Mel and I are chilling at home. It is still incredibly hot out – temperatures of 36 degrees so one certainly does not want to be out doors. It seems to be harder on Seren, as she really enjoys being outside, so we tend to take her out for a stroll in her pram for ten minutes or so and stick to the shade. Fortunately the slides and swings in the complex are in the shade most of the day so she can also have spells there.

Seren starts school again tomorrow. So she'll enjoy being back in her routine. The bus drops her off at about 3 pm. Morgan and I still have a week before she starts school again. It’s been a long summer break for her. She has really missed being with her friends and whenever we go out to children’s places I can see her trying to strike up friendships with the other children – usually with success and then she happiest when she has a mate to interact with. She usually chooses boys or older girls. Thankfully her best friend Georgie and her older sister Megan are back from their holiday in Cyprus so on Thursday Morgan went over to play with Georgie for a couple of hours in the afternoon – they made cupcakes which she iced when she got home. Then on Friday, we were all home for the morning – I started cleaning Morgan’s old bed and Seren’s cot which are going to be sold and suddenly this became the activity of the morning. All hands on deck with Morgan spraying the cleaning agent on the sides and Burlita and I cleaning and Seren pottering around on the periphery – sometimes getting intensely involved in cleaning. She is so sweet – very focussed and concentrated as she bends forward to have a good inspection of what she is going to do and then gets to work!!  

Burlita and Morgan also made a gingerbread mixture while Seren had her nap. In the afternoon Georgie’s mom, Katie dropped Georgie off after Morgan and Georgie (and Pru!) had had their naps. They then iced the gingerbread men which in fact were everything but gingerbread men as we don’t have cookie shapes for them – so a collection of dogs, bunnies, elephants and flat balls. Burlita then did nail painting, and sticking on jewels to make arm bands and earrings!! She also popped outside to get a couple of leaves which she did leaf rubbings with. I then showed her the leaf puzzle so she could show them the pats of the leaf! I had labelled the backs of all the parts when I was here last time so I pointed this out to her so she could tell them the names of the parts of the leaf.   

I plan to show Burlita everything in the playroom – teach her the three period lesson and hopefully how to use the Montessori maths and language materials although as Mel says Morgan will have been at school all day until 4 pm so she shouldn’t then be bombarded with more except of course if she expresses an interest.

So last night Luke and I went out for a really excellent steak. So easy – we walked down to the bus stop and hopped on a bus to the bottom of the hill. Then we walked through a shortcut alley to a lift that takes one up to the walkway over the main road. Then into the lift on the other side and back down to ground level and through another short cut to another road where there was an empty air conditioned bus waiting – we sat about five minutes as a few others got in, then finally the bus driver. We have travel cards which one swipes as one boards the bus and then again as one disembarks. The fare is then deducted from the card. So the bus took us up the hill to the restaurant – a small place called Knives, which serves only steak with roast vegetables and pasta. It has two high round tables which seat two people each and space at the bar for another eight people. We were told there was a 20 minute wait – so the guy took Luke’s phone number and said he would call us when he was ready. We then went off for a beer at a place nearby. All very civilised and oh so organised. We both ordered steak – me 200 grams and Luke 300 grams – it costs about W 11000 (approx. R110) for 100 grams so not that exorbitant. It was one of the best steaks I have ever had so definitely worth it. They serve beer, liquor and any cocktails you can dream up, but no white wine so we took a bottle of Chardonnay for me. What a really great evening – just sorry Mel was not with us. On the way home we passed a silver corvette which I posed next to - for John!! Luke reckons the owner came out looking very worried!!

Yesterday Mel and I took the girls to the Seoul Science Museum – oh my, what a trip!!! It had everything – all these different halls with very interactive activities for the children to have fun on and obviously learn from.  From Einstein to Newton to electricity and water power and dinosaurs and evolution – Seren loved watching the apes as they were shown doing things very similar to human. She always acts out the sounds and movements of the animals she knows when she sees them so we got a lot of monkeys scratching and chattering, elephants trumpeting, lions roaring, tigers growling etc!!! She is absolutely captivating – and as I said last year – her startling blue eyes and now her fair curls evoke much interest and delight. She happily stares right back at people who stare at her and is very friendly when they want to touch her and shake her hand and say hi or bye!!!
Mel and Morgan went off a lot together – quite something as there is so much to interest and stimulate the children – there’s no way I could manage both of them on my own!!!

We have tended to go on an outing in the morning, to get back by about 12 in time for lunch and then naps. Seren is a really good eater and in fact will eat anything thats not tied down!! If you are eating she invariably wants to climb up onto your lap or next to you to eat what you are eating. Morgan is far more picky and it’s a case of getting her buy in first before you prepare something! She loves plain spaghetti on its own but it’s not something that is good to have too often!

So all in all, we, and I are settling into an easier time – particularly helped by the godsend of Burlita who pitched up ten days ago. The other two nannies we trialled were a disaster – quite a relief in fact that Emma, the Kenyan, wasn’t suitable as we had really thought she would be the one and were concerned about how to let Burlita know that she wouldn’t be needed but in fact it’s all worked out just fine and Emma has told Mel that if Mel ever needs extra help to get in touch with her. So Burlita will come in this week from 1 – 6 pm which will be great. Burlita leaves on the 14th for the Philipines where she will see her family and apply for her work visa. Once Morgan starts school we will look into having someone come in for a few hours a couple of days a week.

I am feeling fine again – the antibiotics did the trick although I woke up this morning with that frog in my throat again – weird so I have gargled –something I forgot to do last time and it feels better already. Luke has got me a quieter fan for my room as it doesn’t have AC which I am pleased about. So I have slept in my bed for the whole night for the last two nights, without having to trail through te Morgans bed under the AC.  He will continue to use the large noisier fan in his cycling room. Mel and Luke have found a desk for Mel to put in the cycling room – it’s a good size and will fit into the nook in the bay window. It is an awkward height though so Mel has spent a long time on line trying to find a suitable chair for it. Hopefully she has finally found something. It will make such a difference for her to have somewhere she can disappear to when she works from home – especially when she needs to take calls!!

Am off now as Luke is about to walk through the door with at least one sleeping child whom we will hopefully manage to get down. Looks like they’re home and both awake ….. Picked up a few minutes later - Seren actually climbed into her bed and happily took the bottle Mel had ready there. She is now thankfully fast asleep!

So finally some pictures!!
Morgan exerting pedal power to get the balls to rise up the conveyor belt at the Children's Museum
Seren sitting with me in the apartment on the carver covered with the Uk flag.

At the pools with Burlita - Seren's first time in the water 

Seren in the new bunk bed
 The rest of the pictures are at the Children's Museum
Burlita making kimbap for the children - seaweed and rice!

The family lounge where everyone eats their picnic lunches 
 These pictures are taken in Lilliputs Kids Cafe
The fruit and vegetable section

Close up of same

And again - the children can hold up fake x-rays of animals on the screen to see the bone structure 

Mels's Earl Grey tea served in the Alice in Wonderland type tea pot, plus my exotic fruit shake!

Morgan slurping down a fruit juice before disappearing 

Morgan having her nails painted!

My French toast!!!

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