Friday 17th March 2017

Nicholai went to bed tonight significantly less hairy than he was when he got out of it this morning – it was the World’s Greatest Shave today so he got Troy to shave his head. Troy did it with the clippers with no comb on them, so it’s pretty short. Then, just to go along with the theme, Nicholai shaved his moustache and beard (what there was of them, anyway). He always hates it when I say this, but he is just getting so grown up!

I went on the primary school excursion to CERES today. The place is amazing, and the sessions they ran were excellent. I did the batik workshop first with Jericho’s class. I was hoping I’d have a chance to redeem myself after my terrible batiking result in Indonesia, but sadly we were not using canting, instead we were just using paintbrushes dipped in wax. The Indonesian teacher said that they didn’t use cantings because they run the workshops in an outdoor classroom and with Melbourne cold the wax solidifies in the little spouts too quickly. The children really enjoyed it, although I think quite a few of them were frustrated that their efforts weren’t producing the results that they would hope for – I definitely empathised after my failures! Now I really want to run my own batik class with the children where they can use the cantings. I think they would have fun, and would have a greater appreciation of the process after trying the two difference methods. I’ve found a couple of sites where I can buy a wax melting pot and some beeswax, so I shall have to do some price comparisons.

I stayed with Jericho’s class for their next session, which was about energy. Primarily fossil fuel energy, and I have to congratulate the teacher because she explained about energy transference in such a clear and logical way that I actually feel like I understand it now! They also did some experiments using renewable energy, and attempted to boil a kettle by riding a bike – after everyone in the class had had a turn and they’d only increased the water temperature by 2 degrees, they conceded that perhaps bicycle powered electricity was a little problematic. I didn’t stay with them for the final session, but Jericho said it was about renewable energy and they did things with solar panels and wind turbines I think.

Soren’s first session had been making paper, then he’d done the batik class second. He asked me to go with him for the third session so I did, and we all trotted off down to Merrri creek to see what we could net in the water. The kids had a lovely time (and managed to stay surprisingly dry) and they all found lots of little water bugs of various types. It was really good, the lady who was leading the group was so knowledgeable about everything and was able to identify all the organisms the children collected.

The worst thing about the day was the bus trip home – it took forever and all the kids were overtired and hysterically loud, and then we were late. I sat next to Jericho though, since his friend was sick today, and we collected some pokestops when we were driving slow enough so that cheered him up.

It was Troy’s last day of work today. He’s using some of his leave and is going to take the next four weeks off, which will be good for him. Although he did say something about making a list this weekend of jobs that he ought to complete, so he seems to be planning on productivity.

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