Saturday, November 15, 2014


PicMonkey Collage
I have found this past week really tough going – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Our normal routine feels like it has been shredded and I now know that I do need a routine – something which has really surprised me.
After our lovely (mud filled) day on Tuesday, we had another day out on Wednesday.  This time it was an early trek to Exeter.  We dropped Chelsea off at the hospital for an intravenous medication session which was booked in to start at 9am.   It’s usually a 40 minute drive from our home to the hospital, but we had to factor in peak time work and school traffic so wanted to leave plenty of time for that.  The goats, chickens, ducks and geese had to be released, checked, fed and watered, and the dog and cats’ needs dealt with.  There was a one year old little girl that didn’t really want to go out anywhere today thank you mama, a four year old that just wanted to do ‘one’ (dozen) more thing before getting ready mama, and plenty of those that really didn’t want to get out of their snug beds yet thanks mama.
Crazy rush but we got there just in time.
I’m not really sure how.
It was a relaxing relief to look at the clock as Chelsea got out of the care and to think we did it.  I then took a steady drive to the car park where we would be parking for the next 5 or so hours as we waiting for Chelsea’s return.
We walked around Exeter, went for hot chocolates (with cream and marshmallows – obviously) and did more walking.  At around 11am we met up with parents and walked around some more.  At just before 1pm I had had enough, and it was clear that Taisia an Amara had too.  We said our goodbyes and headed off to the park (at that point in the rain) so the little people could let off some steam, it was a much needed release for us all and we were fortunate in that it was home-ed group day so I there was lots of chatter to be had.
Thursday was a stay at home day, except for the usual college run.  I woke up with migraine symptoms, including sickness starting in the early morning hours.  We just pottered around, with me trying to keep things as quiet as possible whilst nursing a poorly head – not easy with a very energetic need to be outside or stimulated four year old.   We played with playdough, read books, looked at maps, watched a documentary on dinosaurs, and talked about poppies and their meaning at this time of year.
Friday was another trek to Exeter with Chelsea needing another hospital procedure.  I dropped her off for 10am and headed into the city with the others.   We went to the museum and had a really lovely couple of hours looking at the exhibits and chatting.
Amara had her first real walk around the museum and was able to play with the children’s baskets…
museum baskets
She wasn’t sure about a couple of the displays, including this decorative Samurai Warriors armour, dating sometime after 1500…
warrior suit
and this Ndungu Spirit Costume…
The ndungu was a spirit that was said to be able to identify and punish people who had broken the rules in Kongo society.  The two masks are thought to represent the spirit’s ability to see both the land of the dead and the land of the living.
Amara wasn’t sure about this mourning costume collected from Tahiti either…
mourning costume
She did like the figure of Ganesh though…
Joseph was fascinated by a cabinet displaying a private collection of World War 1 memorabilia…
war memorab
Which led to a couple of ‘what life would have been like’ style conversations.
Callum was interested in the HMS Endeavour model…
which led to discussions regarding Captain Cook and his Pacific travels.
This display…
led us on to a discussion regarding our usage of animals over the years – clothing for need and fashion, hunting, status, and cruelty.
Whilst these…
ensured we talked about slavery and the history of.
We were fascinated to find out that this was a map…
An Inuktut map, dating from before 1902.  It’s carved from Caribou antler, and was ‘read’ by feeling the shaped edges when it was too dark to see.  It is a tactile version of the coastline which helped the Inuit to steer the kayak home after a day’s hunting.
Taisia was intrigued by these skulls of a tiger and a false killer-whale…
And this display never fails to impress the younger ones…
It shows a fossilised Ichthyosaurus skull and a Guitar-fish jaw.
As always, the butterfly collection was a hit…
Callum liked this ‘Corinthian’ Greek helmet which dates from around 2,500 years ago…
greek helmet
It sparked a conversation about bronze, and Greek foot soldiers.
We also thought this statue was fascinating…
egyptian statue
It is thought to be around 3,290 – 3,330 years old and is part of a large monumental structure of a pharaoh., either Tutankhamen or Horemheb.
The coffin of Shep en-Mut always sparks an interest in Egyptology and the children want to go and see one of the ‘mummies’ in museums elsewhere.  For now though, we admire the painted resting place of Shep e-Mut who died around 3,000 years ago at an approximate age of 50.
The paintwork on the coffin suggests that she was married, and her mummified remains showed that she suffered from arthritis.
It was a really good day, with lots of ‘learning’ going on – really, you would have to walk around the museum with eyes shut and ears covered not to learn a thing.  I was still suffering with migraine symptoms so was happy that an ‘easy’ day of education was pretty much laid out for me.
We had a spot of lunch in one of the cafes, did a bit of shopping, then headed back towards the car hoping that Chelsea would be ringing soon to be collected – it had been another long day.
Saturday was spending time with my parents day before they head back to their home in Spain.  We stayed at home and my parents were treated to lots of Frozen song renditions and dancing, along with lots of laughter inducing conversations.  It was a good.  It has been really lovely spending time with both my mum and dad, and to see the younger ones interact so readily with them despite the distance between our every day lives has been encouraging.
Tomorrow is major animal housing cleaning day – I hope it’s dry!  Next week there are no hospital visits to attend, or parents to entertain.  I’m looking forward to the return of our usual routine.

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