Busy, busy, busy.
Friday morning was sunny but cold for our outing to the Biodome with Curtana and Arthur. The fun began before we got there, because we took the Metro. The boy has no memory of being on the subway, which isn’t surprising because he was very tiny and in a stroller the last time we rode it with him. He was very excited, because hey, it’s a train! Naturally there was a unexplained slowdown, turning a half-hour trip into a forty-five minute trip. He entertained himself by identifying the letters in the graffiti on the windows. The Biodome was a very exciting destination because there is a rainforest pavilion, and the boy’s Nana has recently come back from Costa Rica where she visited the rainforest herself. Also, the boy was hoping there would be jaguars, even though I told him there were none. Hope springs eternal when you are a very earnest almost-four.
We met Curtana and Arthur at the station at the other end and there was a joyful shout from the boy and a running forward from Arthur, and it looked all the world like a slow-motion reunion on a film screen, missing only a swelling of music to cap it all off. And the running didn’t really stop: they were so excited about the Biodome that they ran through it once, then ran through it again. We saw crocodiles (caimans, actually), lots of tropical birds, very big fish, tiny monkeys, bats, otters, beavers, ducks and waterfowl of all kinds, puffins, and penguins. I don’t know what they enjoyed most, but the kid slide next to the otter slide was certainly up there, as was the big screen before the penguin exhibit upon which was projected Arctic footage. They were particularly tickled by the fact that the penguins on the screen were as tall as they were, and cavorted around with them.
We had a snack, and visited the boutique (where we bought some tiny toy turtles, to go with the larger turtles the boy plays with in his bath, and a lovely bone china mug with barn owls on it for me), and spent some time in the hands-on educational room before we all took the Metro back to our respective stops. And we made a date for Arthur to come play on Sunday morning. Lunch and nap were very late after so much excitement but he did finally take an hour and a bit of sleep.
Saturday was our all-day spiritual workshop retreat day, missing some people but still fabulous! It was a really great day with wonderful food, interesting workshops and discussions, fun activities and insightful ritual. I’m so glad we’ve decided to do this twice a year. It gets us together and talking about great topics, doing more ritual, and having fun. Carving out time here and there for these things is difficult; setting one whole day to focus on this kind of thing is easier and very rewarding. (Not that we don’t do it at other times, too! The two workshop days don’t replace the regular ongoing work, but supplement it.)
Sunday morning Arthur and his dad Forthright came over for a couple of hours of train and Lego play. I made some quite nice scones (adding extra brown sugar and underbaking them just a tad to produce a very sweet and moist result, nom nom nom) which both boys wolfed down (Liam was actually keeping track of how many he ate and proudly held up five fingers when I asked him what number he was on near the end of the playdate). There were tears at the end when the boys had to part, but reassurances that lunch was coming for one and that they’d see one another again for the other seemed to soothe them. After a lunch of pancakes and a nap, we were off to Ceri and Scott’s house for a movie and dinner, a treat rescheduled from last week when the boy had been very, very ill in the car. I got another three rows knitted on the damn ribbing of the mitts I’m working on thanks to Ceri’s presence, and the boys played downstairs. And I got a belated Yuletide gift from Ceri, a lovely set of fingerless gloves crocheted in the Phoenix Gloves pattern by Julia Vaconsin in a beautiful Lorna’s Laces colourway with soft greens and reds and pinks (Gold Hill, perhaps?). They’re exquisite and I adore them. I wanted to wear them for the rest of the day but I couldn’t handle the DPNs I was knitting with properly, as they kept catching in the gloves, and I didn’t want them to get spattered with tomato sauce from dinner, so off they came when they finally had to.
And to my surprise there was decent sleep each night as well. Wonders will never cease.
Now it’s headfirst into the anthology. Today and the rest of this week will see me tidying up last-minute loose ends or edits from the final contributors, scanning the original material for final comments and errors, and then playing with the order of the essays. It all takes a lot of brain power, more than it seems that it ought to.