We have been talking about making our own candles recently and finally we did it.
It’s not how the day started…. we got up to find the little bit of water on the kitchen floor (I’d bet Helena spilt some water and didn’t say) was a somewhat larger puddle (sorry Helena). Pull out the stove, as this was where it seemed to be coming from, na. Pull out the fridge, the condenser?? na. Plan B call a plumber. Dad and I do a stand off over who will crack first and call someone, which someone. And what an excellent guy the random plumber turned out to be, nice, socially articulate, confident, and confidence inspiring, generous with talking to Helena and us …. and it turns out plumbing is a spectator sport. I even told the poor bloke about “the dead thing” in the other corner of under the house. A repugnant smell of decomposition that lasted for a couple of weeks during summer that we decided not to investigate, there didn’t seem to be any missing cat posters so we figured it must be some thing small but big in smell.
Somewhat late we go to the beach to meet friends. Picking up a dead bird on the way as you do. At OUR beach there is some quality sitting around talking, me not H who was walking, running, splashing and talking. When that is finally finished and the time has arrived to be in one place for any length of time and she wants do an “activity” it is time for the friends to leave. Lots of learning here… as a friend said “you have to make the leaving easy for me to be able to bring you again”.
So we start candle making the tester. Helena makes a pit in the sand for the fire, layers of big sticks, then the tinyist bit of paper carefully ripped, with a small amount of grassy stuff on the top with 3 pine cones arranged around the edge to be “elements”. Skepty Mum is all in a something as it didn’t conform to my understanding of fire building. It goes beautifully. We make highly sophisticated holes using a stick, put the wick in (I did actually have to buy this) holding it in place by tying it onto sticks. We melt the wax (old candle stubs I’ve collected because throwing something so obviously useful away is a crime) in a enamel pot with a handle and a spout. It is so totally perfect. I’m thinking next time of lightening up and just pouring the wax in patterns on the sand…. maybe. We push sand into the pit “what fire?”.
We get home with our two new candles and a dead bird. Now the dead bird needs investigating – we get out the hard to use digital microscope and all the bird books. Check out its tongue, “teeth” make notes. Helena decides she needs to keep feathers and a foot!!!! The starling (can’t tell if it’s male or female as we can’t see it’s eyes and are not willing to investigate opening the lids – probably both remembering the seal with the maggots in its eyes) is then given a burial and a little headstone is made and flowers. She doesn’t put the candle on the grave.
Later we have to clean all the dishes that we moved off the fridge to move the fridge and now know are all greasy. Helena helps.
Finally we watch David Attenbourgh and the Plant Kingdom where Helena reiterates that she wants to be a leafologist.
I figure I have covered: Health, health and safety regulations, some exercise thing, art, science, technology, literacy, communication, respect… numeracy was yesterday. Maybe we can tick off this weeks virtue of Compassion.
I have a wine with dinner.