Pickle announced on the way home from school today,
'I'm going to cross my fingers and stick them together with sellotape. My handwriting won't be great but at least I'll have lots of luck.'
Bless his little cotton ones. In case you're wondering why he needs lots of luck, he made the genius decision to take his 'Pokewalker' to school today... and lost it. Naturally I am furious but it's hard to roar at a small boy who's crying his heart out one minute for his rotten luck then determinedly planning how he'll put up posters round the school to try to get everyone to look for it and discussing with his sister how much reward he should offer.
'I think 150 forints will be a good award for anyone who brings it back.' (That's roughly 50p in real money.)
I'll let you know how that one pans out. I am not looking forward to watching him tell Nobby.
So, it was our first day back at school today after the half term break. I went easy on my little ones, at least two of whom were distraught to find out that they had to come back, having thought that the previous nine weeks was all they were expected to do school-wise. Poor lambs. Several piles of playdough and a home-made cave later and they seemed a lot happier though; personally I'll be picking flecks of sticky stuff out from under my fingernails for weeks but whatever keeps them keen.
And thirteen children crammed into a sweaty tent to demonstrate the concept of needing light to see went down a storm. Not sure I should have set them searching for tiddlywinks in the dark to demonstrate how their other senses come into play when they can't see, it was a bit of a scramble. I'm kinda glad we were missing a few regulars.
Anyway, the half term break was nice. We were bitten by the travelling bug for some reason and decided to explore a little - I think Nobby secretly decided 'anything to keep her away from the computer' when he whisked us off to the lake on the first Sunday then booked us three nights in Bratislava. For the record it was a great decision to get away from it all, and I discovered that Pickle and I both have strange, magical powers.
We were looking for a lunch spot at Siofok (pronounced 'She-oh-ferk' - should I be worried that Poppet found the word 'extremely rude'??) an hour's drive away beside lake Balaton, having wandered along by the lake a little way, spotting crabs and snakes (yes, really) and trying to keep Tiggy away from the fishermen. The place was pretty quiet, having closed up most of its businesses for the Winter already. There were a couple of 'gyros' (kebab) and pizza stalls still pumping the alluring smell of hot oil into the atmosphere but Pickle had other ideas.
'I'd like sushi for lunch today please.'
Ha! we all thought, fat blummin' chance even in the summer round here. Somehow sushi just doesn't seem to fit with the Hungarian idea of acceptable cuisine, on account of its lack of stodge factor. Here's a for instance. The last Friday of school we decided to celebrate making it through the first two months of my return to work with (most of) our sanity still intact and we went to a Mongolian Barbecue. We've been to several in the UK, long, long ago of course in the Before-Children years and we thought the idea of creating their own dishes to be cooked on the griddle would really appeal.
However, we found the process has been somewhat localised to fit with the local fare and instead of picking your meat, veg, sauce and spices, they only barbecue your choice of meat - be it marinated veal, paprika chicken, or a spot of goat or horse for the more adventurous - then you can choose your veg from cauliflower cheese, dumplings, chips or pickled cabbage. Yum.
So the chances of finding a sushi bar in the prime holiday location during the off season were super-slim to positively anorexic. We drove along the shoreline with our eyes peeled for signs of life and lo and behold, there was a sushi bar, open and raring for business. Right on Pickle.
It was several days later on the way home from Bratislava, a cute, quaint and rather gorgeous city where we visited the zoo, a children's art gallery and the national museum, where there was a brilliant Maths exhibition that had me reaching for my notepad to scribble down teaching ideas, that I discovered some magical powers of my own. Prepare for another road-rant.
Oh. My. God. Those of us who grew up with 70mph speed limits on the motorways find driving in Europe a very naughty thrill where the limit is 130kmh, equivalent to 80mph. But there's always one who needs to go even faster isn't there. Or in the case of the M7 between Bratislava and Budapest there were dozens. One Mercedes was literally weaving all over the road behind me trying to persuade me to move into some non-existant space to let them past, I've honestly never seen anything like it. Then there was the Renault who came so close up my bumper I couldn't see his headlights but he could probably read the Horrid Henry book Pickle was perusing in the back seat.
I am not normally a malicious person but I really did wish these idiots... ill-will shall we say, for the sake of diplomacy. What I really wanted was an unmarked police car to shoot out of the bushes and chase the buggers down; I found myself trying to keep them in my sights in case my luck was in, right up until the shout went up from the back seat 'I need a wee!!' and I had to turn off.
After a brief pit-stop we were back on the road and you'll never guess what hove into view at a layby further on; one silver Mercedes, one ruby Renault and one lovely shiny police car. Did something mysterious happen to us at Halloween? We'll see - I'm setting Poppet on the job of finding this Pokewalker, maybe she'll levitate it out of its hiding place or something. After last week, anything's possible.
Mothers; Know your limits...
5 days ago