Thursday, 25 October 2007

Big Sister, little sister and big blue skies



I'm feeling almost normal today. Which is great news since I think I need all my energy to relive the experience that was the Big Sister's birthday party at the weekend. She wanted a Murder Mystery but all her friends had had them recently. Quite by chance we stumbled across the idea of a "Big Sister" party instead. It was to be along the lines of "Big Brother". So on Saturday we had a house full of teenage girls for 12 hours. They came for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and, the best bit, were evicted at 10pm so no sleepover! They were each assigned characters to play in the house and had to fill in questionnaires to return to Big Sister, via the big sister at school. We turned one room into the Diary Room, I was Big Sister and M was Big Bother (the camera crew), Little Sister ran around delivering tasks and summoning people to the Diary Room. Despite loosing a day planning it and me feeling very poorly it was a great success and dare I say it, lots of fun.
They key was to keep them busy. Over breakfast they had to compile an anthem in honour of Big Sister that they had to sing throughout the day whenever they heard the foghorn! (can't think what the neighbours thought). Friends said it would be good to turn this to our advantage and give them tasks like building the much needed new garden shed or redecorating the hall. The closest we got to that was telling them that one of their tasks was to prepare, eat and wash up lunch in an hour. The look of horror on their faces. 45 minutes to cook pasta!!!! Big Sister made them bring the washing in, blindfolded, through an obstacle course. They had to paint portraits expressing their inner selves (not their real inner selves, but their given characters). Pop videos were made and filmed, a 5 minute soap opera based on Romeo and Juliet was produced and lots of time was spent being called into the Diary Room to be teased and probed by M and me! I have never seen a group of girls so animated before (well, apart from the prospect of an afternoon's shopping at Topshop).



The day after Big Sister's party as reward to us, we decided to walk over from the beautiful village of Glynde (home of Glyndebourne Opera) to Lewes. It was such a warm, sunny day it felt like Spring.


The scenery was beautiful, even the girls admitted it and the oldest even turned off her Ipod to admit that it was the biggest sky she'd ever seen, praise indeed! Seconds later she walked into the biggest cowpat I've ever seen, teenagers are safer at home. If you ever get the chance do this walk, its lovely.



This week being halfterm we are once more snowed under by the weight of school projects needing to be done. My youngest has got one to do this time, The Tudors, a power point presentation on their clothes and fashion! Having done the Tower and Globe theatre we decided to go to Hampton Court Palace instead, I'm glad we did it was a good day out and my daughter just lapped it all up. Ghostly walks, tudor intrigue, children's workshops on how to succeed at Court, wandering around the Maze, it was a wonderful day. I remembered my dad taking me to Hampton Court when I was little and I can still remember the sense of awe when I first saw it, It is a fantastic building, absolutely steeped in history.

I also developped a strange fixation on the chimneys, I have never seen such beautiful chimneys before ....!! Couldn't take my eyes off them,
Sorry that this is such a long post, but this is what happens when I've been starved of energy and computer contact!
The other day I received this award from Carol , Carol has just started blogging, and, like me, will be experiencing her first blogging Christmas. Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to Christmas in blogland and get excited whenever I come across a mention of it on some of your blogs. I can't wait to see all of your decorations, gift ideas and share the preparations as Christmas approaches. So in the sense of Christmas let's share this award and if you can think of anyone to pass it on to please do.


A big thank you to Val for sending me this lovely parcel of goodies. I won a giveaway on her lovely blog the other week (have you visited her yet - go see) and was completely overwhelmed by what she sent me. Pin cushions, fabric, edible glitter, tissue holders (very apt) and chocolate. Look at all these pressies and I can say that the lavender chocolate was delicious. Thanks Val.
What a long, rambling post, I'm off to taste some more of that chocolate, I hear it's good for energy levels. i think you deserve some too after reading through all of this...

22 comments:

Amanda said...

Wow what a cool sounding party!! How cool are you?! And you have to make PP presentations at school now? I had to be taught how to do them at uni 'cos I'd never done one before lol... and I thought I was kinda with it when it came to computers *sigh*

I cannot wait until Christmas either, especially as I think this year is going to be special... but my weekends are so booked up I don't think I'll get chance to make as much stuff as I'd like... although a few sleepless nights might remedy that - can't miss Christmas crafting now, can I? lol

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

You had me laughing hysterically at your post about the party! What FUN! And the bit about the girls being evicted at 10PM really had me laughing! (I must admit, I've had fun browsing TopShop online before; one of these days I'll be hip enough to try something from there - perhaps Christmas time!)

Hampton Court Palace!!!! I've been there! I recognized your photos straight away! The day we went the weather was splendid also. We ate at a little restaurant there in the cellar; sat at long wooden tables near an old fireplace/cooking pit if I remember correctly. I bought a jar of Lovage in a decorated spice jar at a gift shop there. (They sold spices which would have been used back in the days of Henry VIII.) Oh you've brought back fond memories! Thank you for the lovely photos, Kim!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Oh Kim! Haha! Some things never change I guess... the food we had there wasn't very good either! We had very bland soup and rather tasteless sandwiches. Hubby and I joked that maybe the food tasted the same as it did back in Henry's day! I suppose that's why I left there with a jar of spice. =)

Ali said...

What a fab party. And I've never been to Hampton Court...

Thimbleanna said...

What a great Mum you are! The party sounded wonderful -- well, except you didn't mention any mashed potatoes in their dinner! Really -- methinks Big Brother would have dictated mashed potatoes??? LOL. The pictures you posted are beautiful -- oh to be there and walk with you. Walking through the countryside was the one thing I SO wanted to do when we were there -- I even mapped out a few possibilities, but there just didn't ever seem to be enough time. Love the sheep at the end!

dottycookie said...

Oh my goodness, can I hire you to organise our next party? It all sounds wonderful!

I used to like looking at the Hampton Court chimneys too - they are indeed quite amazing.

I really like the look of that walk - I shall file it away in my "things to do" memory bank!

Tracy said...

you officially throw the best parties!
beautiful pictures as always - love the sheep bottoms!
i was also lucky enough to be the winner of some lavender choc - i would never have thought of buying it but it is really yummy x
tracy x

Katherines Dream said...

What a great idea !
I will make a note of it...
You have reminded me....I must visit Hampton Court, I should have gone there on a school trip but I was ill and could not go.
Christmas.....after 26 years of doing it for everyone, I am being invited out for Christmas as my little girl Katie is cooking her first Christams Dinner....yumm.
I am looking forward to seeing fellow bloggers decorations too.
X

Louise said...

Wow what a great idea for a party - my girls would love that! Love all your photos - you do such nice family stuff!

She'sSewPretty said...

Your Big Sister party sounded like so much fun. I'll bet that party won't be soon forgotten. Thanks as usual for your sweet comments on my blog. I love it when you come to visit!

Nonnie said...

The party sounds like great fun. You are brave! I'm sure it was very much appreciated by all the girls. That walk looks lovely. I've been to Lewes often with my friend who lives in Hove and I always think the surrounding area looks lovely. Must do the walk sometime. As well as going to Hampton Court. It's just down the road from me and I've never been!

Heidi said...

I always say you are the best mum! You really seem to make your kids' birthdays so special. I was thinking dinner china and obstacle course was not a pretty picture together.

Love the last photo with the sheep!

~~ Heidi ~~

Elzie said...

These pictures were great!! I just love that blue sky and the green grass. Not to mention the sheeps. It looks just like England to me (that lives in Sweden LOL!!).
Hope you have a great weekend.
Love Elzie

Tracy said...

What a fun party! Your walk look like a dream in time...Hampton Court is on our list for next time we're in England! Such lovely gifts you received--little treasures. Happy weekend to you & yours ((HUGS))

violetlady said...

What an interesting post. I have never heard of the Big Sister party. I don'know if it is something done here in the U.S. or whether I am just out of the loop. I noted that you went to Lewes. I live outside of Lewes, Delaware. One year there was a cultural exchange of some sort with Lewes, England.

Country Cottage Chic said...

Sounds like a great idea for a party & you deserve an award for hosting a 12 hour party!!

So, congrats on your Christmas award!

Heidijayhawk said...

what an awesome idea for a party! and no sleepover! great pics too.

French Knots said...

What a wonderful party, can you organise ours?! Bet they remember that for years to come.

Lovely photos, looks like a really peaceful place, empty skies and sunshine.

meggie said...

What a lovely post. They can never be too long!

Rowan said...

Glad you are finally feeling better, the party sounded a lot of fun and the walk the day after and the visit ti Hampton Court sound even more fun. It's many many years since I visited Hampton Court, I must go again sometime as I've almost forgotten it.

Cathy said...

That sounds like an amazing party - well done for organising so much despite being ill. Your walk sounds lovely too. I have only been to Hampton Court once, but it has really stayed with me as being one of the most impressive places I've been. I was a teenager at the time, so it must have been good!
Cathy XX

Shropshire Girl said...

What a fabby mum you must be! Such a lot of thought to put into a party, and you not feeling your best.

I am looking forward to Christmas sooooo much this year, with daughter being at home - yay! I can't wait to see all the inspiration on the blogs too!

Sandra.x.