September began like any normal September, the kids headed back to their normal classes not much unusual happened. Hazel continued with her baking, the sun shone on us and it was generally a good month. We had a few walks, Hazel performed at the Wallingford Bunkfest with her Irish dancing class which was a great display as always.
The new events this term where the starting of piano lessons and badminton for both children. We couldn’t believe we struck gold with our third musical teacher—a piano teacher that taught both children to their own levels and styles from day 1. It’s really interesting to see how he switches techniques in a matter of 2 minutes.
October started as normal, Kieran and the Mini Band had a performance at the Bucklebury Beer Festival. Michael taped their performance of ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica. After Michael uploaded it, Kieran’s guitar teacher copied it (without permission) onto his YouTube page—where the next thing we all know it goes viral. The kids are spotted all over the world—and that was how the band took over our lives for a year. The kids had so much fun. Kieran was on the Gabby Live show, had radio and Skype interviews with stations all over the world, and even Metallica themselves sent the kids a video message.
The funniest moment was when Kieran was spotted in a local shop. OK-it was only the lead singer’s cousins—but still a fun moment!
We managed to catch a couple of gigs of two bands we like-New Device and the Tin Soldiers. Musicians from both groups help out at the rock school Kieran goes to. We all think the Tin Soldiers are great-and Hazel loves singing along to all their songs.
The highlight of the autumn was the phone call I received on the 22nd of November. Kieran finally was given the all clear from his latest chest x-ray. The relief we felt at that moment was unbelievable. The kids and I did a massive happy dance around the house and I almost broke-down when we called Michael to give him the news.
December was our usual busy month with the kid’s birthday’s and musical performances. We decided as it was her 10th that Hazel could have a small party & that Kieran could take a friend on an outing. We stopped parties a few years back, but decided as she has such a nice little gaggle of nice friends it would be nice to bend the rules for this occasion. I think she had a great day-and she chose to go to the local paint-your-own-pottery-shop for the outing. Kieran brought his friend from rock school to Intech, they all like science so it seemed the appropriate outing for him.
My lovely treat in December was posted before, but I’ll copy that small post to here: “Hazel had been a member of the Junior Flute choir for a year and a half by now. The weeks leading up to the concert Hazel started playing ‘Danny Boy’ very often, a song that brings me to tears almost every time. At my dad’s funeral I have no idea how I held up when this song began, and it just always fills me with longing for him. I almost asked her to stop one day, but she played it so beautifully I didn’t have the heart to. Then at the concert when she stood up to go play this with the Senior Flute concert, I could have burst with pride and joy for her. She played it beautifully and with such poise, I just cried the whole time! I still can’t believe she & Kieran kept this secret from me!”
And to end the year, Hazel and Kieran decided to abandon the playroom and convert the rooms back to separate bedrooms. It was a bitter sweet moment for me. But as it was their decision, I knew it was te right move. Hazel chose the smaller l-shaped room and asked for lilac, and Kieran by default got the larger room & picked an even brighter blue than they had. We managed to get it all done in a week—I thought that was amazing decision processing for Michael & I!
Facebook Updates from Sept 2011-Dec 8th 2011 (I deleted tons off FB by this time.)
Hazel Fell is teaching herself ‘Be Our Guest’ on the flute–and doing a wonderful job! 3 September
Malory Towers has entered the house! I’ve been waiting for her to discover them–three books devoured today alone! 10 September
1st piano lessons have started! This teacher is going to be known as ‘Mr. Brilliant’–he’ll join ‘Mr. Awesome’ and ‘Mr. Fabulous’ in our repertoire of music teachers! 13 September
First piano lesson went better than I thought–I can’t believe I may have found another teacher perfect for the kids–he taught each one to their ability. Hazel was playing with both hands at the end of the lesson! 13 September
Love it–a guy on Question Time just said he was a ‘Recovering Catholic’!! That’s up there with my other favourite from Question Time: a man said he was a ‘Practising Atheist’! 15 September
OK, is it a failure or a success story that my children (8 & 9) had no idea what a Banana Split was until a few minutes ago? Had to show them pictures on the internet! 20 September
The Mini Band’s latest video has really been noticed on YouTube–well over 50,000 hits this week already!! The kids played ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica at the Bucklebury Beer Festival last Saturday
While shopping today-Kieran Fell was actually spotted in the shop by some Mini Band fans!! OK–it was Harrison Read’s aunt and cousins who had seen him before–but still, it was fun!! 9 October
The local newspaper came by yesterday to do a quick interview and get a photo of Kieran–the 1st thing they say is they’d like a photo of him in his school uniform! You should have seen the look on their faces when we said his combat trousers were his uniform! Then they wanted him to sit at a table and pretend to do some ‘school’ work!! We obviously said ‘Not on your life!’ Oh well–2 more people introduced to home education! 12 October
I’m up for world’s worst mom–I completely forgot Kieran needed a follow-up x-ray by yesterday for an appointment with the specialist tomorrow! But all’s well in the end–I called her and she’s fine with the x-ray being done tomorrow and she’ll call me to talk about it next week! Sometimes he makes it hard to remember his lung hasn’t fully healed yet! 20 October
And today’s treat: Ginger Snaps! 25 October at 12:01
Since moving to the UK I’ve gotten to love electric kettles. But my lovely Delonghi Red kettle died the other day–which meant I’ve had to resort to my old whistling kettle. It’s brought back lots of memories of some special people in my childhood who LOVED their whistling kettles: my dad, Uncle Joe & Auntie Kathleen. Three wonderful people who took such pleasure from their cups of tea!! (But I will be happy when my new DeLonghi kettle arrives!) 25 October
Kieran Fell and The Mini Band are going to be on Channel 5’s live with Gabby in about 15 minutes!! Looking forward to seeing them all on the couch for their 1st TV interview!! 28 October
The kids are driving me mental! Michael is 2 hours late getting home–and they have been going over and over and over again what we’ll do when he gets in to ‘surprise him’, they’ve looked out the window every 10 seconds, and now I have to sit in the dark! 2 November at 18:26
I want everyone to know–I know now what 6am looks like!! It’s quite dark at that time! But I made it up & got Kieran to the interview with BBC Radio Berkshire on time!! Now have to wait to hear it all on playback later! 4 November at 10:21
Wow! Just came in with the kids from a great night! Not only did BBC South come and film The Mini kids tonight, but they arranged for a video link with a special message for all The Mini kids from Metallica themselves! How cool is that! Then of course we had to stay to see the Tin Soldiers play! What a day! 5 November
Pequeno Demonio (Little Devil) of Argentina saw The Mini Band video and offered to send the kids some T-shirts and rucksacks that they have designed for ‘young rockers’–wasn’t that generous of them? The t-shirts arrived today and the rucksacks will be here soon! 15 November
Thanks to Maria Dowse, I’ve just finished a GREAT read! The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a wonderful story–I haven’t read through a book this quickly in years! 17 November
Huge day today for Miss Hazel–she actually carried one of the rabbits! It’s only taken her a year!! They have been too jumpy for her–but Sammy is know calm enough for her to carry him to the run! 21 November at 12:56
I could weep for joy right now! We’ve all just done a happy dance! Kieran Fell’s latest chest x-ray result has come in, and his lung is completely clear!!!!! Even the consultant was surprised and very happy! What a relief! 22 November at 09:52
Guess which band has been asked to do an audition with Britain’s Got Talent? Why yes–THE MINI BAND did!!! You all know what this means–I may just have to break down and possibly watch that show next year. Wish them luck for the 4th of December! 24 November at 15:31
Hazel has just shocked herself by estimating that she reads about 520 books a year. I’d say that was on the low side–but she’s mighty impressed with her estimation! 26 November at 20:13
Is feeling very proud of herself–I played a game of Frustration (Trouble) with Kieran, 4 rounds of Brain Master with him, and about 7 games of Sequence with Hazel. And I actually enjoyed it. This is only significant to those of you who know how much I dread board games! 30 November at 17:08
1st of December is tomorrow! The kids gifts are ready–so let all the fun begin! This sure beats using the same printed Advent calender every year like we did when we were kids! Treats are so much more fun!! 30 November at 22:49
Kieran has given himself a shiner on his right eye! Just in time for Sunday–where he’ll be in a video and going to Britain’s Got talent! Trying to make himself look like a hard-core rocker! 1 December
It’s been a Mini Band day–I took Kieran to his 1st video shoot this morning–outside in the cold, and then we all went to the Britain’s Got Talent audition. The kids did well, but we have to wait till the beginning of next year to see how well they did! 4 December at 22:51
The kids have just finished writing their Christmas cards–over 40 cards written, and about 20 treats for certain friends are ready to go! 6 December at 16:26
The kids are flying kites, known to most civilized people as plastic carrier bags, out the bedroom windows. At least it’s the back of the house! 7 December
The presents are wrapped and ready, the ‘special’ present is hidden, the balloons are up, the sauce is ready to assemble the requested lasagne for lunch, and the cake & special coloured flame candles are all ready to help us celebrate Kieran Fell’s 9th Birthday today!