Steptoe & Son

I’ve just got the children into bed after going out this evening to see Steptoe & Son at York Theatre Royal. Rose and I went on a tour round the theatre on Tuesday and liked the look of the set.

We all enjoyed the play, Rose didn’t get too tired out and everyone needed pittas and muffins when we got home. The set was great – a very crowded “totters” front room, which opened right out at the end to allow them to depart on their horse from the back.

The play was about the death of father Steptoe (can’t remember either of their names – was one of them Harold?) at the hands of his son after years of provocation. The son comes back to the house, which has been preserved by the National Trust, as an old man, and meets the ghost of his father. Most of the play is flash-backs through the two men’s lives.

Most of the rest of the day was spent stuffing envelopes for the latest Lammas Records mailshot. Lunch with Lance and Mary.

Training Day

John and Rose were off school yesterday, as it was a teacher training day.

Rose’s friend Anna had organised a day filming a play, so Rose was over there all day and had a super time.

John wanted to go to Eden Camp again (he went with school last year.) We left after dropping Rose at Anna’s and spent several hours looking around this very interesting museum. His history topic last year has left him very interested in World War II – he keeps getting books, Vera Lynn cds and other bits and pieces.

Toby had to go to school, of couse, but Fridays are a good day for him, so he wasn’t too put out. He’s got a training day in a couple of weeks anyway.

Toby Still Home

Toby slept from 7:30 yesterday evening till 8:30 this morning – I had to phone the paper shop to say he wouldn’t be in. He also had a bit more sleep from about 9:30 to 11 this morning, but then he got up and had something to eat. He ate his usual huge amount at tea today, so I think he’s getting back to normal. He had headaches, runny nose, sore throat and a cough; but mainly he was just tired out and run down.

John went to an athletics thing at Millthorpe after school this afternoon. He had a fantastic time, and the Scarcroft team came second.

Rose had Gemma to play after school. They got lots of embossing stuff out in Rose’s room, and then put it away. Shock, horror!

Theatre Trip & Toby Home

Toby’s been off school today – dreadful cold, headache and runny nose. He slept for over three hours in the middle of the day, so he must have been worn out as well. He still feels rather ill tonight, so I’m not certain he’ll go tomorrow.

I went with Rose’s class to York Theatre Royal this morning. It was great. A very interesting tour with talk of ghosts, sailors backstage and pantomimes. Both sets that are up looked good and I came home wanting to go to both plays! Rose enjoyed herself as well and has been much better today in general.

Home & Shakespeare

Rose has been at home today. Worn out and miserable this morning. We went to the supermarket together – as we had no food! After lunch Rose started tooting on the flute Sam has lent her. She’s going to start lessons this week, and John is going to start saxophone lessons once his instrument we’re getting through the council arrives.

Went into town with John and Rose to get John some outdoor shoes and buy music for sax and flute.

Rose managed to get to sleep quite early, and Toby, John and I watched Much Ado About Nothing, the first in the new BBC Shakespeare series. Really enjoyed it. Toby and John are both doing Shakespeare at school, so they knew all about him!

Off with Rose’s class in the morning to go back stage at the Theatre Royal. Should be interesting.

Bonfire Weekend

We went to two lovely bonfire parties this weekend.

On Friday we went to John and Katie’s. They had a huge bonfire on their allotment, with fireworks. Properly dark, away from all the houses and streetlights. Afterwards, we went back to their house for souper soup, cheese and bread. They must have bought most of the Good Food Shop’s bread, because there was lots of several types. And Mrs Bell’s Blue – my favourite. We’d already eaten, but seemed to have room for more.

Saturday was the day of the city fireworks. The council were remarkably cagey about where they were going to be, just saying they would be “Skyline Fireworks display (to be viewed from the city centre)“. This resulted in lots of rumours and people wandering aimlessly about. However, the fireworks were good – we were right next to a boat that set off about a million firecrackers – this alarmed Rose somewhat!

Then we went on to Sam and Steve’s to let off our own fireworks and eat homemade toffee!

Today I went to Meeting while everyone else lounged around all morning (actually not fair, Toby was working hard on typing up his essay). John, Rose and I went swimming in the afternoon, and later on we went round to the Holmans’ for tea and cake.

Toby’s Piano Lessons

Toby decided after the summer holiday that he wanted to have piano lessons again. He tinkled quite a lot over the summer and learnt some music from “Pop Hits.” I think he wants to do it partly because he’s doing Music GCSE, partly because he can use it towards his Duke of Edinburgh Award, and partly because he was enjoying playing again.

The first teacher we found didn’t turn out very well – he was a little odd and Toby just didn’t like his style of teaching or playing.

The new teacher Toby has got is a young man who is doing a Master’s degree in Improvised Music and Jazz at the University. He’s very keen and enthusiastic, has been teaching for several years already, and Toby is really enjoying it. Toby’s learning to improvise, learning some boogie woogie tunes and playing the piano frequently – which regardless of anything else has got to be good.