Blue Skies

Span the world with friendship

Monday, 31 March 2014

Elfin Hostel 2014

This was my third Hostel, you can see last year and the year before.

This year we, Iffley Fields Elfins, joined North Oxford (Wolvercote) Elfins and Woodstock Elfins for our Elfin Hostel at Court Hill Hostel.

We were the biggest group with 29 adults and Elfins, we were 59 in total.

We arrived around 7.00pm on Friday, settled in and held our first Circle.

We changed into pyjamas and had hot chocolate

and held another circle to sing songs before bed.

We had an early, but not disastrously early, start on Saturday. After breakfast we held a circle to discuss the upcoming walk and plan for the rest of the day.

We walked to Segsbury Camp, an Iron Age fortified hilltop.

On the way we passed through a time warp and were greeted on the other side by a Roman Centurion

who ate lunch with us.

We played tails and flew a kite in the lovely sunshine.

When we got back to the hostel we divided into activities: peg loom weaving, bread making, making and playing with bows and arrows from willow, making juggling balls, plaster of paris hand molds, walking on a slack line, making friendship bracelets, and blindfolded walks in the woods.

Tegan and Rolly popped in to see us.

For supper we had a splendid tomato and mushroom sauce on pasta, with iron age bread!

In the evening we held a Merrymoot with Pip and Rafiq's Sleeping Sticks standing out!

On Sunday we tidied up and carried on playing until parents arrived for pickup.

We held our Closing Circle in which everyone said what had been their favourite bit.

Thanks to all the elfins and adults who made it a great Hostel.

All my photos of Elfin Hostel 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

End of Term Party (2014-03-24)

We played a game of Octopus as people arrived, and then a game of Dead Ants.

We held our Circle News: Joe had a friend come over; Dylan had Karate grading on Sunday and now has a Blue Belt; Ivo now has a Red Belt which means he has to practice a new Kata; John went to a birthday party yesterday; Olly went to a party last week; Magnus had his girlfriend and her brothers over; Millie Maye sang Troubled Water at the class talent show; Xanthe brought in the things she had found on a scavenger hunt with Scouts on Saturday; Nia has gymnastics on Saturday and her uniform has arrived, the hair band of which she was wearing; it is Molly's birthday tomorrow; Isis was too shy; Rafiq held a millipede at the Science Fair and has a new monster on Happy Monsters; Pip held a queeen bee at the Science Fair; Rayan went to a friends birthday party yesterday; Debbie has been planning her hostel activity; Millie wants a kitten; Connie is going to a friends house on Thursday; Flora went to see Chris Riddell at the Literary Festival, he is going to write another Goth Girl book and another Coraline book, he signed her copy of Goth Girl; a friend of Iona's mother came round with her puppy named Tembu; Tessa told us about a neighbour's cat, Pepper, who came into the kitchen and started to eat her rabbit's food but Loki chased it off twice and then guarded his food; Lena's grandpa and step grandma have been on holiday and brought her back a burgundy shirt, but she had thought it was called a burger shirt; Matilda has got to the end of her reward card and so is getting roller blades; Izzy also went to the same birthday party as Rayan on Sunday; Jude went to the park and hurt his finger on some wood; Tim has a stray cat in his shed which keep spraying on things.

We played a game of Snakes in the Pit whilst the food was laid out.

We sang Puff the Magic Dragon, Stewball, Blue Lake and Rocky Shore, A mighty Song of Peace and finally Charlie was a Pigeon.

We held our Closing Circle.

Leaders: Tim, Debbie, Ranna
Helpers: Ellen, Lisbeth, Al
Elfins: 19
Woodchips: 2

Monday, 17 March 2014

Merrymoot and Rolly (2014-03-17)

We played a game of Octopus whilst people arrived (after a late start, sorry).

We held out News Circle: Connie has a cough; Natty missed out on face painting; Imogen's father brought her two dresses back from China, one of which she was wearing; Jude's Dad went to Ned's house; Rayan went for a sleep over;

Then Tegan arrived with Rolly. Everyone was very excited. Tegan's news was that Rolly is one monh and two days old. Rolly was too new for News.

Rana went for a picnic in the sunshine on Sunday; Nia found a special, dagger shaped, stick at school; Johnny went to the park; Debbie planted vegetables and manured her garden; Joe played tennis; Ivo is now on his eight times tables; Magnus went to a house near the Ridgeway and went on a bear hunt, had a competition to see who could keep their feet in a cold river the longest and then went on a walk on the Ridgeway; Iona celebrated her granny's birthday with her family; Tessa told us that a while ago, when in France, her Dad had cut himself; Dylan has been making Egyptian Pinch Pots at school; Pip has read fifty five (we counted them) of the eighty two Beast Quest novels; Rafiq showed us his Ultimate Cannonball; Jay watched Ben Ten; Millie-Maye might be going to the Unicorn school where Iona's sister Izzy goes and has a crutch because her toe hurts; Xanthe's family had friends over and they made her an account on the game that the mother had designed; Matti has four school weeks left before SATs; Izzy performed in Time at the Pegasus; Matilda played a game with a friend but now has eleven grazes; Molly watched The Voice instead of a story last night; Flora performed in the matinee and evening performances of Time at the Pegasus; Connie also danced in both performances and told us how they had seamlessly covered up for a slight mistake by one of the dancers.

We played a game of Four Corners to get the blood circulating and for those who wanted to rehearse.


We started with Magnus leading the now traditional Who can shout Quanong the loudest?

Molly gave a fabulous puppet show The Case of the Missing Sweets using a theatre and puppets she had made for the show.

Rafiq and Jay put on a show of the Cannonball and Cat.

Pip, assisted by Dylan, did a Mime of being locked in a box which morphed into a dance routine.

Imogen showed use a Dance.

Tessa played Fur Elise on piano.

Xanthe played both parts of a Duet for flute.

Matilda and Izzy sang the Square Song.

Matti played piano.

Nia played Koombya on piano.

Natty and Imogen performed a Ball Game

We held our Closing Circle

and then had more time with Rolly.

Leaders: Debbie, Tim, Rana
Parents: Jeff, Patience, Zoe, Lisbeth
Visitors: Tegan, Rolly
Elfins: 21
Woodchips: 1
Pioneers: 1

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bronze Age Burial (2014-03-10)

Some played a self-organised game of Octopus whilst people arrived.

We held our News Circle: Millie brought in a pet caterpillar; Connie had a Japanese meal with sushi, chicken and sticky rice cooked by her brother; Magnus caught lots of newts which are endangered; Natty has a Hulk Blaster which sounds like a duck; Nia has finished the first Harry Potter book; Iona's best friend from London came to stay; Tessa went to a three and a half hour performance of a musical Once; Millie-Maye can make a variety of animal and other noises including chicks, she has also grown her nails as she has stopped chewing them; Xanthe made a chocolate cake with Flora on Friday and has the guinea pigs that she shares back at her house; Rafiq performed at his Bee's Knees concert and has more Skylander figures; Pip showed us his dance move; Jay's friend has a wobbly tooth which hurts; Ivo is now learning his seven times tables; Dylan told us that last night another cat, not his, came into the house and ate his cat's food; Joe was tongue tied; Lena's sister will be two years old in four days time; Matilda's mum's friend Miranda came to stay and they went out for a meal where she had loads of Pizza; Jeff played basket ball; Molly was wearing a Californian sweat shirt as she is half Californian; Debbie showed us some of the jute baskets she is crocheting for the Green Fair; Imogen went to her grandmother's house for lunch and painted her nails and toenails and Natty's; Tim pruned the willow dome at Hertford Street so we have willow for hostel and pruned his apple tree and pear tree; Flora is still waiting to hear the results of the art competition she has entered.

We decided to play a game to get the blood flowing again after sitting so long and that we should play a couple of rounds of Dead Ants before the main activity led by Jeff, Matilda's father.

Jeff told us about bronze being made from copper and tin and asked lots of questions about grave goods. He mentioned the most important bronze age find on Dartmoor has just been announced. We talked about the sort of thing that was buried with people and which ones lasted and so could be found by archaeologists.

We split into groups and drew around a person on paper to have a life sized skeleton.

We drew grave goods around each person.

Jeff brought pictures of Bronze Age grave goods which have been found.

We lined all our graves up in a cemetry.

We had just enough time for Magnus to show us his enormous flint which he found at hostel last year, near the bronze age fort on the Ridgeway.

We held our Closing Circle.

Activity leader: Jeff
Leaders: Debbie, Tim
Helpers: Lisbeth, Patience
Elfins: 20

Monday, 3 March 2014

Games and Songs (2014-03-03)

I had mistakenly announced that this session would be on The Iron Age, but that is next week, so apologies to Magnus who brought a fantastic flint to show.

Both Millie and Rayan were sick, so neither Debbie nor Rana could come, but happily Ellen and Lizbeth were able to stay and help.

The session started with wild play in the dark, when we had all arrived we held our News Circle: Imogen was very tired; Natty has a new series of Beast Quest; Xanthe went swimming with a four year old familiy friend Zeezee; Millie-Maye found a pair of magnetic best friends necklaces for her and Xanthe; Iona went to Woburn at half term; Tessa went to Edinburgh by train and climbed the old volcano known as Arthur's Seat with her dad; Magnus went ice skating and fell over; Nia is going to dress up as Hermione Grainger for World Book Day; Dylan's team came 10th in athletics; Joe's sister is hogging the new 3D TV; Ivo and Isis are going to start doing karate twice a week; Rafiq has performed a song called Naughty at Bee's Knees; Connie rode her new bike on Sunday; Flora is waiting for the results of an art competition she has entered on Friday; Lena went ice skating on Sunday; Izzy is going as Little Red Riding Hood for world Book Day; Matilda went to Oliver's house and played with his big sister and had Oreo ice cream; Jay is going to World Book Day as T. Rex; Tim told everyone Tegan's news: she has a baby boy called Roland Joseph Bennett Lewis.

We decided to play Parachute Games: Shark Attack and Washing Machine.

We played Four Corners, with Xanthe blind folded and Joe was the survivor.

We played a session of Dead Ants.

We had a game with the Bat Detector where the bat ran around shaking keys and people used the detector to find where the bat was.

We sang songs: Back of the Bus, Axes, Tim sang Joe Hill, everyone was very nice about it, then we sang Red River Valley to recover, and though we were over time we sang Charlie was a Pigeon before our Closing Circle Song.

Leader: Tim
Helpers: Ellen, Lizbeth
Elfins: 18
Woodchip: 1