Thursday, 23 February 2012

Re-enacting scenes

Yes, we are weak parents and Number One Son has seen Cars 2 now very many times, actually viewing it at this very moment. So many that he has started to recreate his favourite scene in the movie where Finn McMissile uses wires to move across the room and spy on the baddies in the air. The only difference is that his toy car is not sending its wires to four different directions and manoeuvring them three-dimensionally. No, he is using the handwash basin plug in the bathroom as a wire on which McMissile is made to balance. It is a cute sight – him standing on his little stool holding the plug on one hand and moving the toy car with the other.

His collection of cars also have long conversations with each other and socialize with Number One Son’s other toy cars. He is also re-enacting the tractor flipping from the original Cars movie. His blue tractor, his red tractor and his large green tractor often stand long periods of time on their rear wheels and pretend to be tractors tipping from the Cars.

Number One Son is also a big fan of the Toy Story trilogy. He does not have any characters from those movies but they probably could be seen placed in certain recognisable ways on the floor and recreating the train robbery scene from the Toy Story 3.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The law of half a banana

Toddlers can be fuzzy eaters and Number One Son is not without his quirks. At the moment he does not seem to eat potato in any form or shape. He probably would eat crips or crisp chips but the former give him tummy ache and the limp chips he got the other week did not appeal to him. He is also very particular on his choice of pasta. Give him a bog standard ravioli from a tin and it stays on the plate. Give him some of those bronze-died hard pastas, which have suddenly become fashionable and you have the same end result. What he likes is a plate of plain normal tube pasta with a homemade tomato sauce with a lash of cream or mozzarella.

Number One Son generally likes fruit but he does not like ripe bananas. He wants them greenish and firm. However, no matter what size the banana is, it seems that only a half will be eaten. The size does not seem to make any difference in this respect. It can be a normal-sized banana, a big banana, a fun-sized banana or one of those miniature fruits, there is always a half left on a table. I call this 'the law of half a banana'. 'Irrespective of the size of a banana, the other half will be rejected by a toddler"

In principle a parent probably should eat the half in order to enhance his/hers five a day. However, personally, I am not such a huge fan of bananas and also Archaeologist Husband just seems to move the half-eaten fruit to the fridge. Which is useless since NOBODY wants to eat half a banana that has been drying out and blackening in the fridge overnight.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Museum visit Japanese style

I decided to visit the Market Harborough museum on the day their Roman helmet from the Hallaton treasure returned onto display. I partly did this because they were going to have ‘Roman soldiers’ in the town centre. I assumed that Number One Son could like the sight of the soldiers with their helmets and breast pieces. Naturally, this was going to depend on the weather, which turned out to be splendid.

In my mind Market Harborough is much nearer than in reality. After all, it lies near the county boundary in the south-east so we were quite late considering that we had to be elsewhere at 2 pm. However, I could count on Number One Son to make it quick.

The sight of the ‘Romans’ did not set him alight. This may have been partly due to the fact that the soldier volunteers did not engage hugely with the people in their surroundings while they chatted happily with each other. Some of them only had short tunics without any cover for their legs so I can understand they were more interested in huddling together and keeping their spirits high than posing for any photos. The outfits and the horses made a wonderful show in the bright sunlight, though. Sadly, the horses scared Number One Son so we headed to the museum.

In the end I managed to take one photo of the helmet and the nice exhibition before Number One Son escaped the crowd to the side room. Wisely, the museum has a large box of toys in this room. A London bus and a fire engine seem to interest my son more than any archaeological finds in the premises. Of course, he is still too short to see the displays properly but he clearly comes to Archaeological Husband in his apparent dislike in larger crowds.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Everyday Archaeology by the Secret Playground, Part 2

Another Sunday, another family walk. This Sunday Number One Son wanted to walk to the Secret Playground and I had another look at the ‘mound’, which has been puzzling me. This time Number One Son insisted in trying to walk up the slide even if the lowest part of it was covered by a water puddle. Naturally, he fell into it but was not too wet so we could continue our walk in the drizzly, cold weather.

The climb over the mound showed that actually there is cement poking through the grass. However, it still could be a pillbox from the Second World War. I assume the anti-aircraft weaponry could also be a possibility. After all, Anstey’s factories – although making shoes during peace times rather than metalwork – were still in full glory then.

Sadly, the archsearch at the web site of the Archaeological Data Service (ADS) did not show any pillboxes in our village. The nearest is outside Loughborough. Disappointingly, this suggests that the remains belong to a pile of building rubble, perhaps created for the slide.