Both Miss 14 and Mr 17 have ended the year on a high in their respective sports. Mr 17 had his best ever bowling spell in cricket with figures of 5 for 12 and 2 for 18. For the uninitiated this means that in the first half of the game he got five batsman out (you have to get 10 of the opposition out) while they scored just 12 runs from him. In the second half he got two batsmen out while they scored eighteen runs. Both sets of statistics are apparently pretty good but he is obviously especially pleased with the first. Miss 14 earned two second places at the last trampoline competition of the year and ended up winning the three-series interclub competition in both trampoline and double-mini which was pleasant surprise and a nice reward for her consistency.
|Miss 14 was also surprised to win this at her club prize giving.|
Mr 17 has been busy planning a major tramp for just before Christmas. He's just been elected Quartermaster at his old Scout group (the one our family has been involved with for more than ten years but they no longer have a Venturer section so he had to move groups when he was 14, but he's continued to volunteer at his old group) meaning he is in charge of maintaining and purchasing all of their equipment. This past weekend he assisted at a Cub camp and got to demonstrate his expertise with camp fires!
|The campfire was originally set up by an adult leader before they passed it over to Mr 17!|
Miss 14 and I managed a couple of birding expeditions including helping out on the annual summer wader count at a local lake. Three hours of walking along the lake edge recording all the wading birds (plus a few others) that we saw. The lake was fairly dry which meant we didn't see as many waders as we'd have like but it did make walking a lot easier. The mud on the edge and bottom of the lake is notoriously sticky and wading through it when it is damp is tiring, slippery work. A rare Arctic migrant was spotted in one of the other sections so we may go back and try and see it ourselves this week. For us the birding highlight was finally spotting a ring-necked pheasant this year. They are not especially rare but, despite numerous targeted trips, they had eluded us until now. Then we saw two in less than ten minutes!
|A California Quail which we saw on one of our bird walks. Miss 14 had never managed to capture one on film before so was pleased to get this shot - even if it was at a distance.|
Miss 14 and I finished up two MOOCs. A Brief History of Humankind ended with a thought-provoking lecture on the possible future of human-kind, while the Laura Ingalls Wilder class looked at On the Banks of Plum Creek. A second course starts in April and focuses on the remaining books on the series. Not sure if we'll sign up for that or not. Our Shakespeare class continued with sessions on Othello (which we enjoyed) and Antony and Cleopatra (we aren't enjoying this play as much and haven't yet finished it - that's this week's task).
|Combining an interest in crafting with a love of birds!|
At the beginning of the month Miss 14 decided to tackle a paper piecing project I'd pinned a long time ago, thinking it might interest her. We got off to a slow start due to an uncooperative sewing machine, but finally got back to it this week. I have no sewing background and the project assumed a level of prior knowledge. However, after a few false starts, a bit of trial and error , and finally finding a Youtube video which made sense to us, she managed to produce a pretty good final product. I doubt sewing will become a keen hobby for either of us but it was good to challenge ourselves and pick up a few skills along the way.