Sunday, 30 October 2011

And the winner is...


Yesterday Helen and I received a letter from Jack's school summoning us to an assembly today, Jack was being presented with an award.

Our curiosity was peaked and we both made sure that we were available to attend. Neither of us said anything to Jack because we weren't sure whether or not he knew anything about it, I don't think he did.

So this morning we sat ourselves down in the gym and watched as the youngest four classes filed in. Jack was happy to he us and eagerly waved. The headmaster talked for a bit and then proceeded to dish out the awards. One by one he handed out awards for " settling in" and " trying your best" I'm all for encouraging good behavior and the like but I was dreading having to get excited about Jack receiving an award for "always being helpful". You hear people talking about societies endless production of 'new ways to celebrate mediocrity' but you don't really appreciate that perspective until you've sat through a couple of these things.

Much to my surprise and delight Jack's award, and all the other awards from his class, were quite a bit less generic. Jack's name was called and he was presented for a reward for "making super models in the construction area". Helen and I were delighted. They even brought the model, a robot, in to show everyone which Jack wasn't happy about because he'd apparently been looking for it all morning.

Jack fixing the robot and telling off the headmaster who broke it.
He received a certificate and a gold star pin. We're very proud if him.

Jack wants to make robots when he grows up, so this is a really good start as far as I'm concerned.

Well done.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

An Evening With Ghosts.


Helen and I spent the evening in a haunted hotel last night on a real authentic ghost hunt.

The evening started with a three course meal. Afterward the mediums gave readings, then we moved onto the haunted rooms and dreaded cellar, where the staff and even the experienced ghost hunters, dare not tread alone. We did vigils and everything it was cool.

One of the mediums gave me a reading. There was more than enough information for me to work out who the spirit was very early on, he's quite a strong personality whom we've lost very recently and suddenly, if any spirit had anything to say to me, it's him. Some of the stuff the medium said didn't make any sense, unless I tenuously link it to things myself, which is partly the point. The messages are personal and for you alone, so whatever link you settle on is the right link. That being the case, the spirit that came through spent a fair amount of time making fun of my hobbies and accent. On the other hand he was impressed by my guitar playing and cheered me on through university and a project that I'm having particular trouble with.
I'm glad to have received the message from him, not so glad with the business of having to pass the message on to his surviving family.

Personally I'm on the fence when it comes to psychics. I've seen enough of them to be politely skeptical. Only because most of what they generally is vague enough that it will eventually find some sort of valid link to anyone, on the other hand however, they are sometimes frighteningly accurate.
For instance there was mention of pigeons on one of the readings, the spirit that was coming through kept pigeons during his life. I put it all down to more of an empathic connection as opposed to a connection to the spirit world but that's just as nuts to most people and for others it's pretty much the same thing. I like psychics and see no problem with, or reason they should stop doing, what they're doing.

We held vigils in two of the haunted guest rooms where we used a glass on the table to speak to a couple of children. They were friendly and playful spirits that were very interested in Helen and that fact that we've got a young boy. About halfway through the vigil the television inexplicably switched on and scared the life out of the poor mentalist that was guiding.

Jack's reaction to the contact was wonderful. He knew all about the event and had given us specific instructions to catch a ghost and bring it back in a net so that he could see it. If there was a little boy ghost then Jack wanted us to find out if they could play together some time.

We spoke to a little boy ghost.
You saw a real ghost?!
We didn't see him but we spoke to him. He said to tell you hello and that he loves Ben10. Not kidding that's really one of the answers the vigil gave. Shortly after the TV switched on the questions veered in that direction. Even ghost children love cartoons it seems.
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone. For those of you who know Jack, making him speechless has never been thought possible.
Jack are you still there?
Mommy I just can't believe you saw a real ghost. I'm going to pass you back to Nanny now before I faint. 

We wandered down into the cellar shortly after midnight. The stories about the cellar are horrible. There's a ghost down there called Nasty George who was quite a villain by the sounds of it. In fact during one of the vigils the poor girl that he murdered came through, understandably she wasn't hugely talkative.

I personally can see why the cellar is so scarey. It's a strange combination of huge and cramped. It's dark and damp and maze-like, psychologically even I found myself getting a little apprehensive whenever I strayed very far from the group. I don't put it down to Nasty George, for one thing I knew that he was supposed to be following around some guy in the other group, it was just a very oppressive space.

The vigils down there were much more interesting because not only had the children from the rooms followed us, specifically Helen, but they brought with them Helen's grandfather and great grandmother. It turns out that her grandfather is the 'little man' that Jack has reported seeing in our house. For those of you that don't know when Jack was younger he often mentioned the 'little man' who would stand in the hallway and watch him. Once he came into Jack's room and said to him, "I want a nice warm sandwich." Now here's a little interesting fact. We mentioned this to Helen's mother this afternoon and she said that he adored a corn beef sandwich...
There are also two cat spirits in our house, which we've suspected for quite a while. Occasionally, but not for quite a while, we've heard the bells they used to wear. Helen's grandfather said that the cats keep him company but he generally hates them. He wasn't a cat lover in life.
Helen's grandmother is also in our house and apparently she's the culprit that has been known to steal things, such as a ball and one of Helen's slipper.

At the end of the cellar vigils one of the other tables had a contact that certainly brought me back to reality. I won't go into any detail about what was going on but will say that it was confirmation to me that there is most definitely a conscious, or subconscious, non-ethereal element to a vigil.

So, at the end of the night I was no less of a skeptic that I was at the beginning. It was an awesome experience and I'm taking quite a few messages away from it that I'm marking down as genuine. I would highly recommend a ghost hunt for anyone that's even a little bit interested in that sort of thing. I will certainly go on another.

Thank you Helen.

The company that we went with was

Sunday, 16 October 2011

No idea.

I have no idea what he is doing or why, 
but he carried on chanting this for almost two hours.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

School visit


Jack has been going to reception for two weeks now and today we were invited to come in for a little while so he could show us around.

To be honest the whole thing looks like a loosely organized free-for-all. The classrooms are organized into little activity stations and the kids spend their day running from one to another.
I'm sure that's not how it is all the time. Jack come home every day having learned something new and talks about stories they've read or people that have visited so I'm not concerned.

Jack was very excited to show us all the things he gets up to during the day. He shows us the sand pit the water tub the books the pictures and most importantly the building block, rod things. He built Optimus Prime because he knew we were coming. I was very impressed, the colors were right and semi-symmetrical and everything. He also showed us a picture that he'd drawn of himself, he drew himself as a ghost because he's into dead things at the moment. I couldn't help but notice the ghost's big blue eyes.

He enjoys school, he's got a lot of friends there and he seems to like learning new things. He's learned about ten letters now and has been practicing some words. He even sounded one word out to me this afternoon.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Connoisseur

Some nice warm chocolate is a favorite staple of Jack's. Ever since he could speak it's been among the top three most requested drinks. Usually after any time spent outside when the sun hasn't been blazing down. It's 'warm' chocolate because of Jack's concern that hot chocolate will burn his mouth. So he just has it warm.

Today we walked home from school in the rain and naturally Jack suggested some nice warm chocolate when we got in. Nice warm chocolate and a movie. When we got home I set to making the drink while he settled down in front of a movie. I brought him in his drink and handed it to him. He took a sip, smacked his lips a few times, and pondered for a moment. Then he looked at me at said.

It's ok... Could be warmer.

He can make it himself next time.