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On your bike!

It’s Cycling Day! Vincent and Micro are all ready to go, and comparing their machines.

Vincent and Microvaark, wearing helmets, are standing beside small bicycles

Ah, here’s Nano. He says he couldn’t get a helmet small enough, so he has to ride a tricycle.

Nano arrives on a tiny plastic tricycle

Right well, they’re all ready for the off, but is there a competitor missing?

vincent, micro and nano are lined up in numbered lanes

Oh, hello Esther, are you competing as well? Where’s your bike?

Esther arrives on the track

Ah. Esther says she must have mis-read the schedule. She thought it was re-cycling day!

Esther has a box with various bits of domestic recycling in it

Heavy going!

Today, I’m having a go at weightlifting! Vincent is on hand for safety and to help add the weights.

ratvaark is on a mat with vincent, with a set of weights

So, let me try this with just one weight on each end…

ratvaark tucks his snozzle under the bar, with one weight on each end

And…. Hup!

Ratvaark has lifted the weight

Ok, let’s try two weights at each end… Yes, that’s ok… A bit wobbly….

ratvaark has lifted the heavier bar, but not so high

How about three at each end? Er….. No. I can’t shift it at all!

Ratvaark has his snozzle pinned under the bar of weights

Hey Vincent, why don’t you have a go now?

Vincent puts his snozzle under a bar with two weights on

Well! I think you’re very strong Vincent, but I’m not sure about the bar!

vincent lifts the weights but the bar bends dramatically under the weight

 

Gym-tastic!

We’ve got a couple of gymnastic disciplines for you today. First, Dim will show us some work on the pommel horse!

Dim stands beside a vaark sized pommel horse

So, he mounts the horse, and shows us a few tricks!

Dim stands with his snozzle over the horse between the handles

Dim lies over the horse

dim stands on one end of the horse, balancing on his snozzle at the other end

Dim lies on his back along the length of the horse

And now for the dismount… Very neat!

dim sits on top of the horse

Dim has dismounted and stands on the mat

Next, the rings! Gino will show us how it’s done. First, jump up and catch hold of the rings.

gino and ernest stand next to a set of gymnastic rings hanging from ropes

gino is suspended with an arm through each ring

Now, he’s going to lift himself up, until he’s right upside down! And then, a perfect dismount.

gino is lifted up on the rings

gino is doing a handstand on the rings

Gino has dismounted, with arms in the air

Ernest wants a go, but he says he doesn’t need the rings, he can just do a snozzle dangle! See him pull himself up, and then an elegant dismount. Well done!

Ernest dangles from the cross bar

Ernest has pulled himself up a bit

Ernest dismounts with an elegantly curled snozzle

 

Don’t get thrown!

So, today we have some judo for you! Dim is refereeing, first bout is Winston against Vincent.

Winston and Vincent stand on a mat, wearing judo jackets with black belts. Dim stands watching them

There’s a lot of wrestling for position, hard to see who’s getting the upper… snozzle.

winston and vincent are wrestling

winston seems to be winning

(now Vincent seems to be winning

And it’s a win for Vincent! Well done. Remember to bow to each other.

vincent has winston pinned down on the floor

Winston and Vincent bow to each other

So, who’s next? Ernest? Um, that’s an interesting outfit? Ernest says he couldn’t get a judo jacket, so he’s borrowed Arnold’s flowery dressing gown.

Dim and Vincent look at Ernest, who is wearing a dressing gown with pink flowers and belt

Well, Dim and Vincent have a chat and reckon it’s ok, so, let’s have bout number 2!

Dim and Vincent talk to each otherErnest and Vincent face each other on the matOh, it looks like Ernest has an advantage with his long snozzle! He might win!

Ernest reaches around Vincent

Ernest tilts Vincent over

 

Ah! Vincent has used Ernest’s weight against him, and tipped him over! Very well done! Another win for Vincent!

vincent has flipped Ernest over

vincent pins Ernest to the mat

So, Vincent is our reigning Judo champion! Well done!

Vincent stands on the mat victorious as ernest and dim look on

Watery ballet!

Today Matilda and Ofelia are having a go at Synchronised Swimming! They are ready in the pool, with their nose clips to stop water going up their snozzles.

Matilda and Ofelia are in a ‘pool’ of blue cloth, wearing clothes pegs on their noses

See how they turn in perfect unison, all the while treading water.

they both turn to the left

Reach those snozzles high now!

they both point their noses upward

And now… Upside down they go! This is very skillful indeed!

just the bottoms of the two vaarks are visible above the surface

Well, that was very good. It’s nice to get out and dry off, and take those clips off, they are a bit tight!

Matilda and Ofelia are out of the pool wrapped in towels and have taken the pegs off their noses

En garde!

Our first Olympic sport today is Fencing! Bernard is all ready, in his special jacket, just waiting for his opponent to arrive.

bernard wears a white jacket, connected to a box with a light on it, and has a mask and fencing sword

Hello, here’s Fury. Um, Fury, what’s with all the wood and tools?

fury has a pile of planks, a hammer and a saw

No, Fury, you’ve got it wrong, explains Bernard, it’s the sport, not making a fence!

Bernard talks to Fury

Right, now that misunderstanding is cleared up, Fury can get into her gear. Ok? Masks on, both of you!

Fury now wears a jacket like Bernard’s

Fury and bernard both have their masks on

And the match starts! Lots of thrusts and parries, back and forth.

Fury makes a thrust at Bernard with her sword

Bernard thrusts back and Fury parries with her sword

Fury thrusts again and Bernard leans back to avoid the sword tip

A hit! Well done Bernard!

Bernard’s sword makes contact with Fury’s jacket, and her light lights up

And so, they finish with a bow, and Bernard is the winner. Congratulations!

Bernard and Fury remove their masks and bow

Bernard stand in his jacket, mask by his side

Welcome to the Vaark-lympics!

Hello everyone! We are celebrating the opening of the Olympic games with our own ceremony. We’ve got a cauldron all ready for the Olympic flame.

all the vaarks are gathered in front of a cauldron on top of a tall plinth, with Olympic flags

Ah, here’s Fury with the Olympic torch!

fury carries a shiny silver torch with flames coming from the top

And so, Fury approaches the cauldron for the solemn lighting moment.

Fury goes towards the plinth

Ah. Bit of a problem. We’ve made the plinth so tall, Fury can’t reach! Esther, you’re tall, can you do it? No?

Fury is too short to reach the cauldron.

Esther takes the torch, but can’t reach either

Gino, you’re tall, you have a go. No? Gosh, even Ernest can’t reach!

Gino tries to reach up to the cauldron

Ernest’s long snozzle is extended fully, but still too short

Well, now, we’re going to have to have a think about this… I know! Teamwork!

the vaarks all discuss what to do

Right, Hypno, Matilda and Esther, you’re good and sturdy, you form the base….

Hypno, Matilda and Esther stand together at the base of the plinth

Fury and Bernard, you’re well matched for size…

Fury and Bernard stand on the shoulders of the three below

Ofelia and Vincent, you next. Hold tight!

Ofelia and Vincent balance on top of Fury and Bernard

Up you go Micro and Nano! It’s a Vaark pyramid! Now, Ernest, hand the torch up!

Nano sits on Micro’s head and Ernest passes the torch up

Ready Nano? Light the flame!

a close up of nano with the torch

Whoooooomfph!

the cauldron bursts into flames

Whoops!

The vaark pyramid collapses in a heap

Everyone alright? Yes? Luckily it was a soft landing!

Ratvaark checks everyone is ok

Nano says, it’s a good thing he didn’t have an eyebrows before, because he wouldn’t have any now!

Nano talks to Micro

Well, we got there in the end. While the Olympics are on, we’re going to have a go at a few sports, so join us tomorrow for the first one!

All the vaarks are gathered in front of the flaming cauldron.

All the fun of the fair!

So here we are at the fair! We’ve got all the rides and attractions!

The vaarks gather on a table top with fairground attractions

The ladle-go-round is a favourite. Winston loves it, but he has to remember to take his hat off, or it flies away!

Three ladles hang from an old umbrella frame, swinging outwards as they spin. Ernest is turning a handle and a vaark sits in each ladle

A close up of Winston sitting in a ladle flying round

Dim and Matilda always make a bee-line for the swingboat. It’s very romantic and they are perfectly balanced.

Dim and Matilda sit in a yellow swingboat with roses painted on it hanging from a red triangular frame.

Ernest wants a go at the Try Your Strength machine, but his snozzle is so tired from turning the ladle-go-round, he can’t even pick the hammer up!

Ernest struggles to pick up the big mallet for a try your strength machine

Everyone giggles at Hypno’s Hall of Mirrors.

Fury, Ofelia and Nano look at their reflections in a set of concave, convex and wavy mirrors.

And as ever, there’s a queue for the Ferris Wheel!

8 vaarks ride in the baskets of a mini ferris wheel meant to hold cupcakes.

Hello, what’s this? Fury and Winston have an announcement to make… Oh! They say there’s a NEW RIDE. They’ve been working on it in secret.

The vaarks gather to listen to Fury and Winston’s announcement

A HELTER SKELTER! Here’s the booth where you pay your money and get your sacking to ride down on. But where…

Everyone looks at a booth with helter skelter signwritten on it, and a pile of hessian sacks piled up by the door.

OH!

Ratvaark gazes up at a tall traffic cone, with a helter skelter track made of card attached to it.

Well, in no time we’re all queued up to get our sacks from Fury. Except Arnold, who says he has safety concerns. What happens when we shoot off the bottom of the chute?

The vaarks queue up to collect their sacks to slide down in

Arnold talks to Winston

That’s easy, says Winston. You just stand here wiv your fishing net.

Winston hands Arnold his fishing net, which is made from fancy net curtain

So, after climbing up all the stairs inside… Wheeeee eeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeee….

Ratvaark is at the top of the slope

Ratvaark is half way down

Ratvaark is sliding nose first towards the bottom

Well caught Arnold!

Arnold has caught ratvaark in the net, so only his bottom shows

Ernest loves to feel the wind in his snozzle!

Ernest is sliding down with his long snozzle blowing back over his shoulder.

Hang on Vincent, says Bernard, You’re coming down backwards!

Bernard is sliding forwards, talking to Vincent who is facing backwards

Vincent slides backwards towards the bottom

Yeah! Says Vincent, that was fun!

Vincent has been caught bottom first in the net and pokes his nose out to talk to Winston

Nano says it was great fun, but he was sorry he couldn’t see over the edge to watch the world whizz by.

Nano, on a tiny mat, talks to Winston at the bottom of the slide

No problem, says Ernest. I’ll give you a lift on my next turn!

Ernest is sliding down, holding Nano above the parapet so he can see

A close up of Ernest holding Nano

Well, when we’re all giddy from the Helter Skelter, Ofelia says she has something to reveal. Is it something to do with our Fortunes, Ofelia?

All the vaarks listen to Ofelia talking.

Millionaires Shortbread! THAT’S why she told everyone she could see the word Millionaire!

Ofelia has a plate piled high with bitesize Millionaire’s Shortbread pieces.

Nano says, he thinks this is the best fortune anyone could have. That and having a grand day out with all his friends. We hope you’ve all enjoyed it!

Nano sits on top of the pile of shortbread and talks to Ofelia.

May Day Fun!

Well, it’s May Bank Holiday tomorrow, and you know what that means? Yes! We’re having our May Day fete and fair! Here we are ready to enjoy it all.

The vaarks are gathered on a green field looking at stalls.

Here’s Matilda with her popcorn machine. Micro and Nano are being a bit cautious, they remember how it overflowed before! But Matilda says she’s got the hang of it now.

Micro and Nano talk to Matilda in front of a popcorn machine

So they decide to share a bucket of popcorn. That’ll keep them going for a while.

Nano and Micro have a little pot with some popcorn in it.

Gino is running the ice cream stand again. Dim says can he have a strawberry cone with a flake please?

Dim orders ice cream from the ice cream stall, which is made out of an old ice cream tub.

Oh, how nice! The ice cream is for Matilda, it’s her favourite flavour and she’s too busy to go and get one.

Dim gives a pink icecream cone to Matilda

Gosh, Matilda IS busy, she’s running the candy floss stand too!

Matilda stands behind a stand selling pink candyfloss, talking to Hypno

Hypno does like candyfloss! Even if he does end up a bit sticky.

Hypno has a stick of candyfloss

Fury can never decide what to have from the Burger Box. Vincent’s looking after it, and suggests she has one of everything?

Fury looks at the menu on Winston’s Burger Box kiosk

Arnold of course is always thinking of safety, so he’s checking that Peggy’s tea stall has had the kettle PAT tested.

Arnold talks to Peggy in front of a table of teacups and cake.

Hello Winston, says Bernard. No priceless Greek Urns on your bric-a-brac stall today eh? Nah, says Winston, I’ve run out. I mean, no, I’ve not found another one.

Bernard talks to Winston at his stall

Ah, now, games! Ernest is having a go at the Hoop-La. 3 rings please Esther!

Ernest is holding a ring, at a hoop-la stall, with Esther looking over the top.

Hup! Oh, sorry Esther!

Ernest’s first hoop has landed over Esther’s snozzle.

Hup! Oh, sorry Nano! Although you make a good prize!

Ernest’s second hoop has landed completely over Nano.

Right, last hoop, better make this count. Oi! Ernest, that’s cheating!

Ernest holds his last hoop

Ernest reaches out with his super long snozzle and hooks the hoop over the high scoring peg.

Right Ernest, let’s have a go at the Tombola. Five tickets please! Oh. I never win!

Ratvaark talks to Ernest who has a tombola tumbler and a Penguin biscuit with a numbered ticket on it.

Ratvaark looks at his tickets and none of the numbers match.

Winston says business is slow on the the pistachio shy. Arnold says it’s because everyone knows the nuts are glued to the poles!

Arnold talks to Winston at the Pistachio shy, where nuts sit on poles.

Well, now, this is new. Madame Fortuna? I wonder what it means? Oh, Ofelia, it’s you! What’s that, you’ve started Fortune Telling? Goodness!

Ratvaark looks at the flowerpot house that is usually Ofelia’s falafel stall

Ratvaark talks to Ofelia, who is wearing a purple and gold robe, and a veil with gold dots on it.

Well! Once word got round, everyone wants their fortune told. There’s such a queue, Arnold is on duty marshalling!

A queue of vaarks stand outside the flower pot stall

Well, it’s very dark in here. And Madame Fortuna’s crystal ball is glowing very strangely! She told me something, but said I wasn’t to tell anyone else!

Ratvaark is in a dark red space with Ofelia.

Winston is very pleased. Madame Fortuna told him she can see the word Millionaire! Which is odd, because that’s what.. oh. No. I mustn’t say.

Winston is in the tent with Ofelia

Whatever she told Arnold, he’s shocked!

Arnold is in the tent and his ears have flown up in surprise

Nano wouldn’t say what she told him, but he said the crystal ball was quite mesmerising and he’ll buy one when he’s a millionaire. Hmmmm.

Nano sits on the table looking at the glowing ball.

Now that we all know our fortunes, it’s time for the Maypole Dance!

Everyone watches as 6 vaarks gather round a maypole, each holding a ribbon

Round and Round they go! Until… Well, they can’t go any further! Better let go!

The vaarks dance around the pole

All the vaarks are jammed up against the pole as the ribbons are tightly wound.

Next we settle down to watch Peggy’s Puppet Show. We love this. We always cheer the goodies and boo the baddies!

The vaarks are all gathered round a puppet booth with a Mr Punch and a Crocodile puppet showing. Peggy’s legs stick out at the bottom of the booth.

Finally for the Fete, it’s our Morris dancing troupe! Look how they bash those staves, and jingle their bells as they dance!

4 vaarks are dressed as Morris Dancers, with bells on their snozzles, boater hats and carrying sticks

The vaarks clash their sticks

They dance round in a circle as Hypno plays the accordion

Dim always enjoys this, playing the fool and bopping everyone with his balloon on a stick. He makes sure to be very gentle with Nano!

Dim wears a black tunic, and carries a little balloon on a stick

Well, we have enjoyed our fete! But the fun isn’t over yet. We’ve got the a fair to go to later!