Home's cool, so Home School!

Hi. This is Romy's Home Education blog. Read about her adventures here...

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

200th post!!

Gosh, this is my 200th post. I've been blogging now for almost a year now!

Yesterday we went over to Barton to the Water's Edge Country Park visitor's centre with my Mum and Robert. It's a really fab place that's only just opened on the south bank of the Humber. The whole building is made from re-cycled materials and there are loads of great educational things to do. As well as the blue tit webcam on a big screen there were others like a barn owl one. The chicks looked like little dinosaurs! We also fed the very hungry ducks and geese and their babies in the park itself. Here are a few photo's of the day.

Using the ink stampers to fill in a quiz sheet.
Playing a giant environmental board game with Nana.

Global issues.
Feeding the hungry ducks with Grandad.

After Dinner at my Mum's we came home and went for a long walk. Colin then took Roo out on her bike while I had a bath ;o)

Today Roo and Colin went out to the museum again to have another look around the Egyptian exhibition. Then they took themselves off to Normanby for a couple of hours. They flied a kite, met up with our friends, held tadpoles, played in the parks and stroked the horses. While they were enjoying all this I was stuck at home doing my last aromatherapy question. Boo hiss!! It's felt really weird this long weekend as Roo has been out with Colin quite a lot. Normally she's with me pretty much 24/7. It's been a nice change for all of us I think. Colin's back to work tomorrow though, so it'll be business as usual :o)

This afternoon:

Romy has really got into Where's Wally recently. The other night we decided to have a look online to see if there were any WW sites. We found one and clicked on it looking for Wally, and all of a sudden this scary face jumps out at us screaming!!!! I was absolutely furious as Roo was petrified (me too!!) If you're interested here's the site. It's probably not so scary when you know what's coming.

I saw this over at Lucy's blog. I've seen some of it before in the EO magazine I think, but put to music it's just wonderful and so true. What better argument for home ed can you get? Lovely.

Oh and just a funny photo of Roo at the supermarket with a cow on Monday ;o)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Weekend round-up.

Books read this weekend have included Fantastic Mr. Fox and Rani and the Mermaid Lagoon.

Yesterday morning Roo was at XMA. They were practicing for the first of the summer demonstrations which will be at the local Gala. Only two weeks to go - talk about cutting it fine! We also got dates for two other fete things.

After a quick change Colin took Roo off to the museum for the science club. This time it was a bug hunt :o) Much fun was had with nets, pooters, viewers and microscopes.

Romy also had a good look round the Egyptian exhibition that's on at the moment. She was fascinated by everything, but didn't much care for a mummy that moans when you walk past it! Oo-er :-O

While they were out enjoying themselves I had a couple of hours to myself. I messed around on the computer for a bit and then did a watercolour:

Today we've been out for a walk to Twigmoor woods. The rhododendrons were absolutely stunning as they are every May. There are hundreds of them in all different colours.

Colin and Romy cleared out the car when we got back. It was full of dog hairs :o( While they did that I finished all but the last question on my Aromatherapy exam. Just the biggy (70 marks) left now. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into that. Not.

Colin has gone out so it's Girl's Night In :o) Off I go...!

Ooh, a piccy of Roo and Tilly from Normanby the other day:

Sad to see that two of the six blue tits on the webcam from the previous post haven't made it :o(

Ooh, I've also been crocheting the past couple of evenings and have made myself two skinny scarves!

Friday, May 26, 2006

This week.

I've not updated since Monday, so here goes:

On Monday Theresa came round with some flowers and a present for my Birthday. Thomas (who's 1 1/2) was fascinated by the piggies. He kept trying to get in the cage with them, lol. Colin's Mum dropped a card over, and then we spent all flippin' evening at TKD :o( Lovely highlight when U and M brought in two bunches of flowers and a gorgeous hand-made card for me. Hugs all round too. Before bed Roo and I treated ourselves to an application of the vegan face mask and cream that Amanda got for me. While it was drying we read some of Princess Mirror-Belle :o)

On Tuesday we had friends round to play all day. Roo had fun in the garden and trashing her bedroom with Lewis and Katie. Then it was off to Brownies. While Roo was busy having a great time there Colin and I did a picture each. Here's Colin's fabulous watercolour of horses:

I did a very poor picture of a cat fairy for Roo using pastels which cannot be shown in public, so there.

On Weds Roo did quite a lot of 'school' work. She started working through a Janet and John workbook for 7 year-olds which was, quite frankly a little on the easy side. There was some comprehension passages/questions, finishing off poems with rhyming words, etc. We did some work on 'same sound but different letter pattern' stuff (or, ore, oor as on torch, more, door.) I wrote out "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" sentence and Roo copied it out as neatly as she could a few times for handwriting practice. We had a great time on this site. It looks like Roo has remembered everything we learnt about money a few months ago. She had no problem making up £9.56, £6.84, etc. It's a really good free resource that. I think we'll concentrate on giving change from now on.

We had a go on this site too. It looked quite promising, with fabulous 3D graphics. Roo was very excited about exploring the town on a hoverboard, but - alas! We couldn't make head nor tail of the damn site, so gave up after half an hour. Shame really as it could have been really great if it was a bit clearer.

Throughout the day we kept our eye on this blue tit nest webcam. It's based at the Water's Edge Country Park at Barton on Humber. My Mum rang and told me about it. Romy learnt a lot about the laws of nature sometimes being cruel as we watched the same couple of big babies being fed each time while the little ones were overlooked :o(

On Weds night we read a Where's Wally book, some more Princess Mirror-Belle, and went to TKD.

Thursday morning was spent doing more work on the money website, more handwriting, and finishing the Mirror-Belle book. Romy has absolutely LOVED those. Such a refreshing change :o) In the afternoon she went off to play at Emily's for the afternoon. Apparently she had a fab time. Here's a pic courtesy of Nikki.

While Roo was out I took Toby to the vet for his teeth to be clipped again. Then had an hour to myself which I thouroughly wasted surfing the 'net ;o) Roo came back full of cuddles and talk of what she'd been up to. We decided to spend the evening at Normanby Park, so off we went for a couple or three hours. We had a walk through the woods before bumping into a couple with a daughter and a dog, who seemed to adopt us. Eep, we couldn't get away! Tilly had a whale of a time playing with their dog, Romy made friends instantly with their 12 year-old daughter (who had learning difficulties so functioned as a seven-year-old.) And we were left talking to the Mum and Dad. They weren't bad, but a bit 'full on' iyswim. Kids and dogs played for ages while we talked about dogs, schools, home ed, etc, etc, etc!!

Today Roo and I got up reeeeeeeally late for some reason. We had a picnic lunch on the floor and then Roo did six pages of work to finish off the Janet and John book. She also managed to fit in some arty crafty stuff. We're off to her swimming lesson in a while, then it'll be bath and tidy up before a relaxing evening.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthday Blues ;o)

Mine that is! No, not really. I think 30 was the worst as it seemed so "Aaargh, I'm a grown-up!" 31 was quite bad too as it only proved that I was now in my 30's and couldn't go backwards :0) 32 doesn't seem so bad, or maybe I'm just resigned to the inevitable, lol. Mind you, looking ten times better than I did at 30 helps too I suppose ;o) I can't believe I'm going to do this, but here's me at 30:

And me now:
Hey, that makes me feel alot better. Roll on 34 eh? (Still have mucho weight to lose.)

So what have we been up to this weekend? Well, I felt all scrinkly and pre-menstrual on Saturday, so I was a bit moany. We went to XMA in the morning and then I made a start on my Aromatherapy final exam. I was so disappointed to come home from the lakes and find no certificate. I had no idea there was a final sodding exam :o( All the assignments have been out of 30 or 40 but this is out of 150!! The last question is worth 70 marks on its own. Gah!!

Colin played Playmobil with Roo while I had a nice bath. Then I went out to the cinema with my friend Theresa. We wanted to see Confetti but when we got there the projector was broken or something, so we had to see Prime instead. It wasn't too bad. It was just nice being selfish for once and going out on my own. Having a couple of hours to myself with a good friend was bliss. We had a right laugh too, which was a good antidote to the earlier pre-mestrual skrinklyness ;o)

While I was out Colin and Roo did a lovely watercolour picture each. Here's a scan of them:

Yesterday Romy went to her friend's party at a local play area thingy "Cheeky Chimps." She had a great time and was very pleased to get her chips and beans first, while everyone else had to serve themselves from a platter of chips, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets, lol. Instead of ice-cream she got a fruit bag, yum. She didn't eat much though, she was too eager to go back and play :o) Abigail was also invited, so her and Roo had a good play and Theresa and I had a goss.

We went to my Mum's for dinner later. She'd made me a fabulous birthday cake as a surprise. There are two bits left, so Roo and I are going to have them in a mo'! Need to tidy a bit too while Roo gets on with her 'school' work.

Got some lovely stuff for bday: Roo and Colin bought me some Derwent watercolour/pastel pencils/paper, etc. Tee hee, my hints at the pencil museum paid off then! They went out on Saturday to get them. I got money from my Mum, a Reiki CD from Nikki and some vegan face cream and a mirror that says "Out of my way. I'm fabulous!" from My friend Amanda. The postman has just brought a card from my Grandma with £5 in and a scratchcard. Didn't win though ;o)

Ooh, Roo has just told me she's got a wobbly tooth. That'll be her ninth one lost (and her first canine!) Cool :o)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Holidays :o)

Go fetch a cuppa'. This is a biggie!

We had a fantastically relaxing few days in the Lake District. Well, it was slightly less relaxing for Colin who ended up driving 574 miles over the four days! We dropped the little guinea pigs off at my Mum's on the Monday so that she could brush Mac every day. She was also looking after Tilly and my brother came in to feed the other piggies.

We stopped off at Scotch Corner to stretch our legs as it was about half way. By then it was peeing it down and we were afraid it would carry on all week. Luckily we were wrong :o) When we got up to the lakes we drove through Penrith, trying to find a health food shop I'd spied on the internet (I was armed with a list!) We couldn't find anywhere to park though so we carried on to Pooley Bridge near Lake Ullswater. It continued to rain like a good 'un so we just had a wander around the three or four shops there are, lol. Here we are looking like drowned rats ;o)

We then stopped off at Keswick to try and find a vegetarian wholefood cafe I'd heard of. Boo, hiss, it was shut! So we had to make do with chips and mushy peas :o( We carried on up to Carlisle where we were staying in a £10 Travelodge (we had a different one booked for each of the three nights. Now that's what I call a bargain holiday!) When we got there we decided to go to the local swimming pool which was really cheap but the water was freezing! Romy didn't seem to mind as she showed off the tumble-turns she's been doing for her swimming lessons. It was a 33m pool and was really deep but Roo swam like a fish. I must admit I was glad to get out and get to the Travelodge though. We all had showers/baths and washed our hair. Absolute bliss after being so wet and cold :o) Once dry we read books, looked at leaflets to plan the next day and watched some episodes of Heidi on the mini DVD player (well, that was me and Roo when Colin was asleep!)

In the morning we went to Gretna Green. Colin and I were married there over eight years ago so it was nice to go back(although it all looked different to me as I have a terrible visual-spacial memory!) Unfortunately our camera stopped working but luckily we could take some using our 'phones. The quality's not very good though but here are a couple of Romy at Gretna:

There were quite a few tourists milling around, including American and Japanese. I felt like going up to them and saying "We were married here!" Rofl. Romy had lots of fun looking round all the gift shops. We bought a box of shortbread for my Mum and Robert, and the World's Most Expensive Chocolates for Roo and I to share! They were some vegan violet and Rose creams. A wallet-straining £5.50 for a ballotin of 12. Jeepers! Ne'er mind, it's not every day we treat ourselves. Romy bought me a lovely stuffed highland cow with her money (bless, she knows I love cows.) She also bought Colin a "Best Dad in the World" keyring ;o)

Next it was back into Keswick to find that vegetarian cafe again. This time it was open. Yippee! The Lakeland Pedlar was a sight for sore vegan eyes. To actually have a CHOICE on a menu was an almost unheard of treat for us. We would definitely reccommend this place to anyone (of any eating persuasion!) I couldn't resist taking some daft piccies ;o) Here's Roo with her leek and potato soup and hummus sandwiches with crisps and salad (yes, that was on the kids menu!)

And vegan ice-cream for dessert:

And THIS!!!!! My vegan chocolate cake that seemed to have been made by angels ;o)

Despite probably thinking we were weirdos of the highest order for gushing about their cake and photographing our food, they gave us a menu to take home for Roo's home ed scrapbook. I think She would rather have taken their deaf Border Collie home with us though (to go with our half blind one!!) After looking around some shops in Keswick in the glorious sunshine (!) Roo bought herself a couple of jokes (fake cat poo and vanishing ink) and some of those twisted paper things that bang when you throw them on the floor. At least that's what they used to do when I was a kid, now it seems you have to find an elephant to jump on them after six unsuccessful attempts at throwing them on the floor.

Still in Keswick, we spent a staggering 2 1/2 hours at The Pencil Museum LOL!! It was actually more interesting than it sounds. Well it'd have to be really wouldn't it? Romy enjoyed seeing the longest pencil in the world and entering a competition to win a set of posh crayons.

Real giant pencils! Why? ;o)

The shop at the end of the museum was pure torture :o( Everything was sooooo lovely and sooooo expensive. I would have loved to have bought a nice tin of watercolour pencils but had to make do with a couple of reject ones for 25p each ;o) The full priced ones were £1.25 each!! Never mind. One day eh? I further tortured myself by taking a catalogue of the full Derwent range. It was like pencil porn! (I love art stuff and stationery ;o))

Then off we went to a fabulous place called Rheged. I'm not quite sure what it was but it was filled with cool shops, a play area and loads of other stuff and it was all built into a hillside.

Rock climbing near the entrance.

Sitting near a fountain (after repeatedly swishing her hand in it!) There was a lovely shop there where you could fill a box with different coloured paper and card for a certain amount, but alas! I had to tear myself away from the stationery empty handed yet again, lol.

We arrived later at Southwaite Travelodge, dropped off our stuff and went for something to eat at the services next door. There was also some play equipment for Roo, so she had a balll on that. Again that night we read stories and watched more Heidi.

In the morning it was off to Penrith. Found the health food shop. It was rubbish :o( So we had a wander and decided to go to Ambleside instead. Gorgeous place. Loads of lovely shops. We all made a wish in a well with a bell:

Romy bought herself some organic strawberries:

We visited a lovely shop that sold every conceivable type and size of gemstone. Needed dragging out of there kicking and screaming I tell you ;o) Here's Roo next to a giant geode.

And we saw this amazing little house thing built on a tiny bridge! It was about 6ft by 6ft.

The poor car was in the pay & display recovering from a trip down The Kirkstone Pass. You could really smell the brakes and burnt rubber when we stopped! It was both beautiful and scary. My ears popped like mad goind down though.

In the afternoon we went to Brockhole Visitor's Centre. We bought tickets to go on a boat on Lake Windermere from their launch. They were much cheaper from there than the big boats further up. While we waited at the jetty Roo couldn't help putting her feet near (yeah, right) the water:

Oops, her socks and trainers got all wet. How did that happen??? Better take them off and go the whole hog then ;o)

Thankfully when we got off the boat at Waterhead there was a shop where we bought Roo some of those neoprene beach shoes. The lucky thing! We fed the ducks there and it started to rain. Heavily!!

Off we went back on the boat (sitting inside this time instead of on deck.) Roo was disappointed not to be able to play in the adventure playground back at Brockhole, but it really was belting it down now :o( She must have been exhausted though, bless her as she slept all the way to Scotch Corner where we stayed at the Skeeby Travelodge for the night. We had something to eat, read Princess Mirror-belle, drew pictures and watched yet more Heidi in bed :o)

On Thursday we went to visit Mother shipton's Cave. I've always wanted to go there, and all I can say is...WOW!! The cave and petrifying well are almost overshadowed by the breathtaking scenery of the setting. Knaresborough is gorgeous! And the people are fantastic too - we went into an ordinary cafe (McQueen's) where they bent over backwards to cater for our vegan-ness :o) We also found a wholefood shop (Mungo's Deli) owned by a lovely vegan bloke who we chatted to for a while. He was most impressed at Romy being a Life Vegan :o)

We were disappointed not to find any petrified teddies for sale in the gift shop at MSC (apart from a big one for £80) but otherwise we had a fantastic time there. It was fascinating to learn all about MS's life and times. Roo learnt a lot (so did we!) She did a quiz as we went around. We made wishes in the well: there is a strict set of rules you must adhere to when making a wish, lol. The best bit of course was the well itself with all the objects hanging up. There were loads of bears, a firefighter's helmet, shoes, teapot, etc. The museum also had some amazing petrified objects donated by celebrities. Even a shoe from Queen Mary! The two lumps you can see protruding from the well wall are a gentleman's top hat and a Lady's bonnet. They were hung there about 150 years ago. Fascinating.

Some more pics of our day there:
More adventure playgrounds! (Two there.)
A beautiful huge viaduct over the river Nidd.
Will my hand turn to stone?

Just as we were thinking about leaving it began to rain again. So we took the hint and off we went home. It only took us an hour, so it was a good idea to stay at Scotch Corner that night and then go to Knaresborough. Seemed like we were home in no time. Colin even had the energy to go to Taekwondo when we got back! After that we went to pick up the pets (Thanks Mum!) We decided to give them all a bath before we sat down to relax. It took all the nerve I had to bath Scrappy I tell you! Ferral pig that he is ;o)

Today (well, Friday. It's sodding Saturday morning now. I've been doing this for ages.) we mainly unpacked, tidied up, went food shopping and had a swimming lesson.

Phew! I'm off to bed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Off on our travels.

Tomorrow we're off to the Lake District for a few days. We got three nights at £10 again on the Travelodge website. Tilly has gone off to my Mum's and I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet :o)

Yesterday Roo had her XMA class in the morning. Then we nipped into town for a scoot round before dropping Roo off at her friend Abigail's house for the afternoon. It's her birthday on Tuesday but we'll be away, so she went over for an indoor picnic (because of pooey weather.) She had a fab time and ate tons of strawberries apparently!

Today we've been out to Pizza Hut with my Mum and Robert. Not v impressed with the surly waitress it has to be said. They're usually so friendly in there. Anyway, I'd better go and pack!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Relaxing week.

Last week was so hectic with all the party preparations, so it's been lovely to have a relaxing week of not-doing-much :o) Here are the bits and pieces we've done that I can remember since Monday:
-Romy has written lots of thank-you notes (but has loads more to do.)
-Sat out in the sun reading Pet Fairies books and Princess Mirror-Belle (from Emily for Roo's birthday. We absolutely loved Mirror-Belle!)
-Roo has been scootering everywhere, including every time we've been for a walk, in the garden and even in the house!
-Roo started a new guinea pig blog, which can be seen by clicking on my profile. She has done a couple of posts already, including weighing all the pigs and recording the info.
-I finished my Indian Head Massage course and got my certificate.
-I finished my last Aromatherapy assignment. (Forgot to send it off today. Doh!)
-Roo's done lots of maths; re-arranging groups of three digits to make the largest and smallest possible numbers. Counting in threes and sharing groups of three bananas between monkeys, lol. Completed the next two numbers in lots of number patterns.
-We lost one of the new guinea pigs - Mac, this morning. Searched absolutely everywhere and eventually found him in the biggies cage *rolls eyes.*
-Roo made up lots of poems as we went for an evening walk. (Mainly about the pollution from the steelworks!)
-We made lots of rhinestone craft using a set Roo got for her birthday.
-Did some more maths; units, tens, hundreds, etc. Talked about numbers right up to billions and trillions. Even Googleplex, lol. (One with a million noughts!)
-One of the piggies chewed through the modem cable!! (The new piggies are chief suspects.)
-We went to Normanby park with our friends. Roo had a play with R and R while we oldies had a chinwag.
-Went into town this afternoon in a thunderstorm. Romy opened her own account at a building society. Now she's seven she could open it in her own name and only needs her signature to make a withdrawal. Ooh, how grown-up! :o)
-Spent some time at the library. Got the sequel to Princess Mirror-Belle and some Worst Witch books. I ended up getting a few too. Don't know when I'll have time to read them though!
-Did some science on the bus talking about lightning. Explained to Roo all about electricity conductors, earthing, etc.
-Been to Taekwondo and swimming lessons.
-Enjoyed being in the garden. The Twisted Hazel (my namesake, lol) is looking fab this year. It'll soon be full of ants and aphids though :o(

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Welcome to our new triplets ;o)

And what a motley bunch they are! Here's the gorgeous Mac, named after our favourite character from Green Wing; Dr 'Mac' McCartney who has exactly the same hair:

Here's the almost as gorgeous and absolutely eeny weeny Frosty:

And not forgetting Zippy. So named because he zips around trying to evade capture :o)
You can just see Tilly's nose trying to have a sniff there, lol.

And here's a photo of the new three becoming acquainted with the old three:

Clockwise from my hand at the top: Toby, little Frosty, Zippy, giant Willow, Mac, and Scrappy.

Seems as though Roo's birthday money was burning a hole in her money box today. We remembered about the guinea pig show that we'd seen advertised and were going to enter Willow into (but never got around to doing.) So we went for a look around (yeah, right.) We never thought there'd be any piggies for sale but there were. We saw Zippy first for £5. Bargain compared to the £19 we paid for Scrappy from Pets at Home! Then we walked round a corner and saw Frosty for sale. Again only £5!! Around the next corner was a sign that said "Satin Sheltie" £15. All I could see was a bunch of hay, so I opened the cage, moved the hay aside and saw the most gorgeous boy. We just had to have him, so we paid quick!! He looks about 3 or 4 months old (a bit older than the other two) but his hair is already about 3 inches long. It's going to be much longer than Willow's. And as his name suggests it's really satiny/silky to the touch. He's been well taken care of - obviously been brushed every day and his bum hair has been trimmed, lol. Will have to keep it up! We had to drive the poor things home without a box (on my knee.) We got home, put them in a pet carrier and went off to show my Mum. On the way we stopped off to buy a home for the new piggies. That's most of Roo's money spent now. She's going to take the rest to the Lake District next week.

Better go. I'm supposed to be watching Return to Oz with Romy while Colin is out.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


9.30am: Well I got lots done last night and then left a list for Colin to start on in the morning ;o) I finally went to bed at 3am! Got up at 8.30 so that Roo could open her cards and pressies before going to XMA. She got 13 cards just in the post! My friend Amanda made her a lovely Wizard of Oz one and we got her a Clarice Bean one when we went to Nottingham. "Hey, how did you get this without me seeing?" Lol. My aunty sent Roo a wonderful box-set of Wordsworth classics and some craft materials. More stuff to read ;o) She got money in a few of the cards too. We could only afford to get her a couple of DVD's because we've spent a fortune on the party and the food :o( We got her Narnia and a couple of cheapies off eBay; Heidi and Return to Oz.

Colin has taken Roo off to XMA so I'll save this as a draft and add to it later. I'm off to tidy up and start on the food. Eep! Wish me luck.

11am: Ooh I'm really proud of myself. I'm getting loads done but I'm not rushing around. I'm trying to remember that it's my 'birth' day as well as Romy's and it's not all about this two-hour party. I'm taking time to relax in-between jobs. I've just painted my nails green (I'm the Wicked Witch of the West, lol.) I have Morrissey, The Goo Goo Dolls, Keane and Alison Moyet on whilst I'm working too, which helps :o) Roo will be back in a mo', the Linda McCartney sausage rolls are on and I'm chillin' ;o) Ask me again in a couple of hours, tee hee. Better go.

8.30pm: Well I'm too shattered to write much, but I wanted to put some pics up of the big event. Without further ado I present the cake... (note the Wicked Witch of the East's legs sticking out complete with Barbie shoes!)
And here's another with Roo hardly able to resist it anymore ;o)))
Colin in his usual apparel, er, sorry dressed as the scarecrow. The chocolate fountain proved a real hit.
Just one more chocolate strawberry!
The Wicked Witch of the West and Dorothy call a truce.
A cutesy baby lion.
And still they come for more chocolate!
Roo covered in confetti from the party poppers.

Roo is still in her Dorothy dress! Do they do Dorothy pyjamas???

When we got home Romy had a great time opening all her cards and pressies. She got 35 cards altogether! There were some lovely gifts too, including lots more books and a big bag of surprises from Emily :o)

I'm going to put my feet up now. I ache all over. It took me an hour to put these photo's on 'cos Blogger is playing up :o( Then I published the post and half of it disappeared!!!!! Grrrrr... It's now 10.15pm and I'm off!