Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wednesday Ramblings

I did a load more weeding this morning. The stony patch at the far end of the garden is looking better, although I don't suppose it will ever look good. Tim did some of his NCSC home education coursework while I was weeding, for the first time in a few days. Dan actually did some a couple of weeks ago during the Greek Easter break, and completed three of the workbooks (or 'paces' as they're called) so he now has twelve left for the second level. Tim still hasn't quite completed the first level but they do seem to get on faster when I don't worry about it at all and they choose their own times for the work.

Tim also did a good hour's piano practice this morning, and then baked some American-style courgette muffins - or perhaps I should call them zucchini muffins since they're American style! Then he spent some time online at one of his forums. If I were making a note of what he does academically speaking in his home education, I suppose I would say that he did English, maths and chemistry (those were the courses he worked on) as well as music, home economics and ICT. Not bad for one morning. However as he's 16 now which is above compulsory education age in both England and Cyprus, I barely even think about such things these days.

Dan meanwhile was at a drama performance in Nicosia. He left at 7am, which meant I had to set my alarm for just after 6am... but I don't mind an early start to the day. He got back in time for lunch. We had a guest eating with us - someone who was spending the day with Richard at the office. This guy also came to supper.

Tim had a piano lesson this afternoon, and Dan was back at the theatre doing the sound for the children's production rehearsal. Now Tim's playing his guitar and Dan's at karate.

Richard went to the PO box today and amongst other things collected two books for Dan which we hadn't expected for at least a couple more weeks. They're American manuals about instrument repair, which is his current passion. There don't seem to be any useful books on this topic in the UK - or not at anyway - but a bit of searching revealed several possibilities in the USA, and the clarinet list which Daniel's on recommended two or three of them.

I found one of them, the Band Instrument Repairing Manual by Erick Brand via Abebooks UK at a shop in the UK called Stella and Rose's Books. It was only £10 sterling for a second-hand 'marked' version of a book which usually retails at over twice that amount in the USA. I ordered it about a week ago, but asked for it to be sent via surface mail since that was £3 cheaper than air mail. I was told it could take up to 60 days, so I was amazed that it had already arrived today! That's quite as fast as air-mail would have been anyway.

The other one was a book called 'Clarinetist's Notebook vol 1' by Robert Schmidt. That came from an American online shop, Hickey's Music Center (sic). It was sent via air mail, but from past experience air mail items from the USA can often take two or three weeks, or even more. So I was very pleased that this book also arrived so promptly.

However two books I had ordered from (in Jersey) last week haven't yet arrived although they were dispatched on May 6th. Strange, when a DVD we ordered from the same site, dispatched on May 5th, arrived on Tuesday. However books do sometimes take longer than DVDs, though I'm not sure why.

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