Thursday, August 09, 2007

Of Playschemes and Picnics

OK, I'm sorry. I've been rubbish at updating my blog recently, for anyone who reads it, although I do have some excuses (my internet stopped working for four days and then my electricity was cut for another day, and I've been very busy!).

So, the playscheme. I spent two weeks on the Saltern's Playscheme, which organises fun activities for children with learning difficulties, like going to the aquarium, going swimming and stuff like that. Each of the children needed a carer to look after them, which is where I came in!

On the first week, I was looking after a child with Down Syndrome, who was absolutely fantastic, although a little stubborn and unaware of his own stength! So I had as much fun as the children that week, although my glasses were bent within a few hours of the first day after getting struck by a basketball in the face. I was hit by various objects to various parts of the anatomy over the fortnight. I got to go to the aquarium, go swimming, watch Shrek the Third, go to Finkly Down Farm and eat lots of ice cream! All in the name of making sure the children had a good time, of course!

The second week I mainly looked after a child with Kay, who decided to join in (the first week she was camping in the exotic location of... Brockenhurst). This child, although really cool in his own way, was anxious about quite a lot of things; he didn't like crowds, loud noises and water. That meant we spent most of the time staying on the bus while the rest of the children went and did things. That wasn't too bad - we must have sung A Spoonfull of sugar about a dozen times! It was only annoying because the first week the weather wasn't so great, but last week on Wednesday, it was scorching, and I spent the day on a hot bus.

However, the Tuesday we were to go swimming. The child I was with didn't like swimming (as he didn't like crowds, noise or water, which is what swimming is all about), so he swapped with a child from another group who really liked swimming while he went to Longdown Dairy Farm, where aparently he saw a lion. This third child had Angelman's Syndrome, which a fascination with water is a characteristic, hence the love of swimming.

So all in all, the Saltern's Playscheme was a fantastic experience, and I'd love to do it next year if I'm around. The children were all fantastic - well, at least the ones I looked after, there were others which were more ... challenging, to put it diplomatically.

Last Wednesday, there was a church youth group barbeque at Denise's, which was jolly fun, and Thomas decided to make a cheesecake.

This weekend just gone, the weather was fantastic, and I tried to make the most of it. Saturday, Thomas, Jess, Ali (two friends who worked at Morrison's with me) and I went on a picnic at Longdown, which was a great day. Thomas made these lovely chicken and pesto baguettes and a batch of scones. We also had strawberries, watermelon and cake. And Longdown, even though it was in the New Forest on a sunny Saturday, was practically empty, save the horses, (one of which stole a scone, an apple and trampled in our butter) which Thomas so galantly chased away - shouting and waving his arms like a maniac. After the picnic, we were thinking of going for ice cream at Lyndhurst, but the traffic was an absolute abomination! We know where all the grockels went instead of Longdown. So we went back home, and walked up to the post office to buy some ice lollies. Such a perfect day...

Sunday, I went to church, had lunch at our grandparents and then had Jo, Katy and Ben come round in the evening where we served more chicken and pesto (Jo's addicted to the stuff...) and played games, including a hilarious, yet slightly vulgar game of consequences, cranium, and pig, the card game. Another great evening. (I have such a cool social life, non?)

This week's been slightly more laid back, but not as much as I hoped for as I've got three manic weeks coming up. Next week is Soul Survivor, then Thomas and I are off to Paris!

A bientot, mes amis

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