Emily and Phoebe

Friday, June 27, 2008


Well, it's been extremely hot (much hotter than this time last year, I reckon), which always leaves me lacking in energy. (Usually, of course, I am full of vim and get-up-and-go). I've also had work, which, you know, takes time.

But the main reason I've not been posting is that the girls are providing me with no material whatsoever. Obviously, they don't have school, so that's one source of inspiration gone. But there's been no drama or conflict at home, either. No arguments, no strops, nothing. They just sit playing together (one day making chalk drawings on black paper, another making up their own shadow theatre play - that sort of thing). Emily's been reading to Phoebe and teaching her more words to write, which is very sweet of course, but hardly interesting to write about. Oh, and most days they take a cool bath together and giggle a lot. There has certainly been giggling, that I do know. But giggling by itself is not exactly bloggable.

Oh well, I shall certainly post something if they do do anything of interest, but so far it is all very uneventful...

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's the first day of the holidays!

8.00 a.m. The girls wake up. "Daddy, daddy, we're on holiday! No more school! We can do whatever we want!"

10.00 a.m. "Dad-dy, we're bored."

Good grief, what is it with these kids? How can they be bored after just two hours of holiday? In my day we made our own entertainment by sitting in front of the television for eight hours at a time. But no, TV's not good enough for them. They want walks in the park, trips to the beach, games of Monopoly...

It's going to be a long, long summer...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eat your heart out, Beijing!

The Phoebolympics took place yesterday. There was running! There was cycling! There was the discus! There was the Olympic hymn! There was an Olympic flame!* There were medals! There were olive wreaths! There was the raising of the Greek flag! There was a clown! Jacques Rogges pronounced them "the best games ever"!

And there were, of course, photographs...

* Hastily doused after the wind picked up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dancing Queen

Emily's end-of-year celebration was on Thursday, and as usual at her school, we were at a bit of a distance from the action, so this picture is a bit blurred and fuzzy.

Anyway, we endured the whole affair, which was mostly ghastly (except for Emily, of course). As you can see, she was beautifully dressed (because we did have time in the end to find her some nice clothes) and (most importantly of all) was smiling during the whole thing and not looking a) worried, b) off into the distance, c) at her feet.

Another best bit was the reenactment of Lord Elgin nicking things from the Acropolis. This involved children dressed as gods and titans first of all posing in a tableau vivant of a frieze from the Parthenon. They were then picked up bodily and carried off across the playground by their classmates, who were playing British robbers under the command of Lord Elgin (portrayed something like a dandified villain from a Victorian melodrama, complete with floppy hat, cloak and cane). The whole thing ended with a stirring call for the return of the marbles to Greece. (And I made sure that my applause was long and loud at this point, in case anyone thought I was on the side of the British Museum and the beastly Elgin).

The worst bits were, well, just about everything else, really. Awful singing (bellowing, really), horrid amplified music and dodgy gender stereotyping (girls make cakes! boys use power tools!). Special mention, though, must go to whoever thought it would be a good idea to round off the evening with a 20-minute Ministry of Education PowerPoint lecture on the importance of nutrition. Zzzzzzzz...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Putting on a show

The year-end celebration takes place at Emily's school this evening, with each class performing a song, dance, sketch or other routine.

Yesterday they told us that they want all the girls to wear a white blouse and blue denim skirt tonight. It's a good thing they gave us so much advance warning. I wouldn't have wanted to find myself rushing around the shops at the last minute, having completely rearranged my schedule, cancelled work I'd arranged to do, and so on...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Number 3 in a series

of things-I-have-really-and-truly-found-myself-saying-presumably-in-a-subconscious-attempt-to-expose-the-girls-to-a-full-range-of-modern-idiomatic-English.

As the girls and I are having breakfast:

"Oh my goodness I've forgotten to make Mummy's coffee! She'll have my guts for garters!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Emily is preparing for the μπουγέλο, the water fight that traditionally breaks out in and around the schhol on the last day of summer term after report cards have been given.

I will try and take photos. (But my main priority will be not to get soaked myself...)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Spy

Phoebe and I have just dropped Emily off at school and are continuing our game of I Spy. It is Phoebe's turn. "I spy with my little eye something beginning with luh," she says. (We play using sounds rather than letters, as she doesn't know the alphabet yet.)

I look around. I can't see anything beginning with L. Usually it's ph for Phoebe, kuh for car, tuh for tree and occasionally puh for poo (depending on how active the local dogs have been).

"Ummm. I don't know, darling. What begins with luh?"

"Late!" she cries triumphantly.

"Late? What do you mean?"

"Emily's late! We didn't leaved the house on time this morning and now she's late!"

"Well, that's very clever," I chuckle, "but actually we only play I Spy with things we can see, like cars, trees, or, um, poo."

She looks at me, disappointed at my inability to grasp the completely obvious, and explains carefully: "Daddy, look at the playground. Emily is the only one there and she is running to her classroom. All the other children have goed inside. I can see she's late!"

To which, of course, I can only say, "Well done, my love. You're absolutely right."