Sunday 19 November 2017

"Dad! don't you think it would be cool if batman had an AT-AT? He could call it the BAT-AT!"

"Dad! don't you think it would be cool if batman had an AT-AT? He could call it the BAT-AT!" was pretty much all the motivation I needed for a couple of nights building while the boys were in bed. I don't like Star Wars at all... but I do like Batman and if I can have some fun giving those boring Star Wars kits a DC twist to put a smile on the boys faces I'm all over it.

Turns out that having a quick flick through the instructions, I had pretty much every part in our LEGO collection, it was just a case of rummaging and finding every single piece (in black of course).

In great Opeie style, Not being completely satisfied that I made his crazy BAT-AT comment a reality, his usual critical self explained that it was far too black and needed a little something extra. I was informed that there needed to be a disco in the back with Batman DJing (that kid always needs a bit of glam). So being the LEGO lovin' Dad that I am, always aiming to please, I added a disco in the back and a mixing desk into to the front (My dad points have gone through the roof).

I'm not sure that Snuffy likes his new friend though!

Sunday 12 November 2017

"Yeah, thats a song for another time"

Music is such an important part of human development, I can't image what life would be like without the music I adore. It has been such an important part of my life since as far back as I can remember. Going to gigs and watching the musicians I loved was how I spent a lot of my evenings gas a teenager and I've been lucky enough to see some amazing bands over the years. With Opeie being so into music too, it was only a matter of time before we moved from listening to music at home and in the car, to being in the stalls seeing the amazing bands live.

Last night marked that awesome milestone of Opeie's first gig and WOW! what a great gig. Thanks to the wonders of Spotify I'd had noticed that one of Opeie's favourite country bands were playing 4 dates in the UK so we quickly booked tickets. It seemed like such a long wait but well worth it. 

As Old Dominion took to the stage last night Opeie's little face beamed, this was clearly where he needed to be more often. He was in his element, dancing and singing along to all the words. He must have been the youngest person there (we did have to lie and say he was 8 after all! shhhhh.....). What was truly amazing to see was that he had a lot of me in him, lost in the music and going for it like no one was watching... and people were watching. I could see groups of people looking at Opeie singing along to every song, telling their friends and smiling. I was so proud of him.

All the excitement was clearly exhausting and when the headliner, Thomas Rhett came on (another of Opeie's favourites), he was clearly shattered so we didn't stay till the end. He did manage to muster up some energy for a little dance off at the end though which really made our night. The excitement in his voice as we walked back to the car was awesome to listen to. I knew being a dad was going to be amazing but this little guy blows my mind, I'm so smitten!

Of course, Old Dominion had to be Immortalised in LEGO too!

“It was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort”

I often day dream about selling everything we own and just adventuring for the rest of our lives. It's always been one of those life choices that I think would really suit me and I know Mrs M feels the same. I've found myself becoming less and less attached to my possessions as the years go by and I just want to be out there visiting new places and exchanging all that stuff for experiences. It is this way of thinking that has been the driving force for the last 2 years of home schooling, learning outdoors is so much more fun and learning though a series of experiences is what life is all about. 

Camping has always been one of Opeie's and my favourite homeschooling things to do as it means we can travel to various places we've not been before, research the area before hand and then spend time adventuring for a couple of days. After a camping trip a few weeks back though it was clear that, due to the cold wet weather it was time to hang up our guide rope hooks for the season until next year, sad times.

Mrs M had been saying for quite sometime that we should book hotels in random places so that we can continue the fun, but being in a hotel really doesn't have the same appeal to a couple of hardcore adventurers like us. Last week though Mrs M sent me a link to a hobbit house on Airbnb which really peaked my attention. A small, simple little hut, built into a hill in Brecon, absolutely perfect for us. Mrs M booked us a night there as she was working abroad and a couple of days back we packed a few things and hit the road.

I didn't tell Opeie anything about where we were going and as we climbed the stairs up the hill to where the Hobbit hole was located he said 'I don't think its up here dad'. As we got to the top and he saw where we were staying for the night, his eyes lit up. With a fold out Sofa bed, small fridge and wood burner/oven, we had everything we needed for a night of adventure. The weather was awful, so our plans for spending a late afternoon stomping through the hills went right out the window so we got out our sketchbooks for a spot of drawing. I had my reservations about whether we were going to last the night there, as it was so cold, but once the doors were closed, curtains were pulled and wood burner was lit the hobbit house became very cosy. 

Our evening was spent playing games and watching movies, tucked up with the fire burning, it was a really lovely way to spend an evening. The Hobbit hole was so toasty in the night that Opeie woke up and said it was too hot. Waking up with no fire burning though was definitely a shock to the system and we quickly got up and got dressed. The cold crisp air was beautiful though and the frost across the hillside really added to the adventure. Opeie wrapped himself in a blanket and we sat with the doors open and watched the sun come up, it was a magical end to a fun evening in the hobbit house.