It’s Archery today. Um, Dim, I don’t think that’s the right sort of bow? Oh, I see you’re just providing some background music, that’s unusual.

Dim has a violin and bow, standing by an archery targetdim plays the violin

So, Fury favours the traditional longbow. Let’s see how she does.

fury has a long bow and three arrowsfury aims at the target

Oh, that’s pretty good Fury, just the edge of a bullseye there!

Fury has one arrow on the outer ring, and a couple on the edge of the bullseye

Now it’s Vincent’s turn. He has one of the modern fancy bows with counterweights and stuff.

Vincent has a bow with lots of add ons and three arrowsvincent aims at the target

Oh, I say! Three bulls! Well done!

vincent has three arrows in the bulls eye

Now Matilda wants a go, but she says the normal target colours are too bright and give her a headache, so she’s brought her own in pastel colours.

Matilda has changed the target to one in on light colours

Fury wonders what sort of bow Matilda is going to use? Oh. Um, I don’t think Matilda has ever done archery before…

Fury talks to Matilda

Matilda has produced a large shiny parcel bow


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


Advaark 2020 Day 20: Colouring the light.

Today, we’re going to make some ‘stained glass’ decorations! We need some squares of paper, a craft knife and some double-sided sticky tape. Oh, and some coloured cellophane wrappers from chocolates. We had to eat the chocolates. The things we do for Art!

Winston, Matilda and Dim have all the things they need , including a stack of cellophane sweet wrappers.

First of all, we’re drawing shapes on our paper to cut out. We’re choosing designs that will suit the colours of cellophane we’ve got.

The vaarks draw shapes on the paper, including a bell, a star and a Christmas tree.

Now we need to make the back of the paper sticky, with the double-sided tape. Before we peel the back off, we’re going to cut out the shapes we’ve drawn.

The vaarks stick double sided tape on the back of the paper

Winston uses the craft knife to cut out the shapes through the paper and tape

Then we peel the backing off the tape. What a fiddly job it is! Er, Matilda, are you stuck there?

The vaarks peel away the backing paper

Matilda has one of the pieces of paper stuck to her snozzle button

Now, we put the cellophane on the sticky side, and press it down. And then trim the extra from round the edge.

The vaarks stick the cellophane down to the paper

Dim trims the edges of the cellophane with scissors.

So here we are! These look nice hung up in a window, where the sun can shine through them. And if you like, you can draw extra details on, like Matilda did with her Father Christmas. Ho ho ho!

The vaarks pose with their decorations, a Santa, a star, a bell, a sweetie and a tree

Matilda shows off her Santa shape, which she’s drawn a face on to.

Advaark 2020 Day 18: That’s a wrap!

Matilda has decided to do some fancy present wrapping today. She’s started with plain silvery paper, because you need an understated base. Then she adds a single piece of fancy fabric ribbon.

Matilda has a box wrapped in plain paper, scissors, and tape

Matilda has wrapped a single piece of wide gold and coloured ribbon lengthways around the box.

Now, Maybe some gold cord to create the classic parcel look.

Matilda ties gold cord in a cross round the box with a bow on top.

And a parcel isn’t a parcel without a fancy bow on it!

Matilda adds a gold rosette style bow

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas parcel without some curly ribbon!

Matilda curls silver ribbon over the edge of the scissors blade

Matilda looks at her parcel, covered in ribbons and bows

Hmm. Still needs something else. Time to get the hot glue gun out, and tack on some chocolate coins!

Matilda looks at a giant glue gun

Matilda sticks a large coin onto the box

And there’s always room for a snowflake!

Matilda adds a paper snowflake tucked into the ribbon

Blimey Matilda!, says Dim. Yes, says Matilda, I’m not sure it’s quite festive enough yet! Dim says he’s sure it is, and ooh, are those chocolate coins?

Matilda shows the parcel to Dim

Dim sniffs at the chocolate coins

Advaark 2020 Day 14: Shine a light!

More papercraft today, what are Dim and Matilda up to? Ah! Paper lanterns!

Dim and Matilda have a rectangle of paper, scissors and tape

First of all, fold the paper in half, then make cuts in it on the folded edge, leaving a strip on the other side not cut through.

matilda and dim fold the paper in half

Dim holds the paper and Matilda cuts into it

Now, unfold it. Next, it need to be rolled up. Matilda says it would help if they had something to roll it around.

The paper is unfolded and Matilda talks to Dim

Well, that is very helpful Dim! You’re just the right size too! Just need to tape the edge.

Dim lies on the paper to be rolled up

Matilda tapes the edge of the paper to keep it rolled up

Well Dim, you look very… well, daft, to be honest. But look, if we take it off you, and find a little battery powered tealight, it sits over it very nicely!

Dim stands up, wearing the paper lantern

Dim and matilda have a battery powered tealight

the lantern sits over the tealight

Oh Arnold! No, it’s alright, it’s not a real flame. Look how pretty it is. And you can make these lanterns any size!

arnold appears with his fire extinguisherthey all look at a bigger lanternArnold looks at a tiny lantern that just fits over the fake flame


Advaark 2020 Day 10: Getting knotted!

Dim, Vincent and Ofelia are going to have a go at some Macrame today!

Vincent has a coil of cord, Dim has a cinnamon stick and bernard and ofelia are looking one


Bernard wonders if that’s a good idea, given the mess they always get in with the Maypole!

Bernard talks to the other three

In a picture from may day, Ernest is tied to the maypole with the ribbons

But they are sure it’ll be fine. First they tie the strings to the cinnamon stick and lay them out neatly. Ofelia loves cinnamon, she can’t stop sniffing it!

The strings are looped round the cinnamon stick

Ofelia is sniffing the cinnamon stick

Now they just have to knot the strings in the right order, to make a V shape.

The vaarks start knotting the strings together

a v shape starts to form as the strings are knotted

There! It’s a little decoration to hang up! Just needs the strings trimming.

Ofelia looks at the nearly finished decorationBernard is quite impressed that no one got tangled up!

We found a tutorial online, so have a look round and see what you could do!

Dim and Matilda’s Big Move!

Hello, Matilda and Dim look smart. I wonder if they have a Valentine’s date planned? Matilda is fussing over Dim’s tie being straight, so it must be quite important.

I wonder why she’s taking all that paperwork in her handbag.

Matilda has papers in her bag, with Statement written at the top

Oh! They’ve come to see Bernard at the bank. Matilda’s a bit surprised he’s not in a suit, but he says it’s Dress Down Friday.

So, he’s looking carefully at all the bank statements and things she’s brought.

Bernard looks at the statements

What’s this, a big form to fill in? Oh my goodness, they’re applying for a mortgage!

It takes ages to fill the form in, and then Bernard has to go over the figures carefully.

He’s delighted to say they are approved! They thank him very much, and now they have to go off to another appointment…

A viewing! The place looks alright from the outside as they wait for the estate agent. Ah, here he is…

It’s Compact and Bijou, according to the agent. They make sure they have a good look around. It’s a bit grubby in places, but they can work on that.

So they whisper between themselves for a bit… and they’ll take it!

So while the agent adjusts the sign, Matilda takes the key. And Dim says he has a perfect keyring for it.

The key is now attached to a heart shaped keyring, as Dim and Matilda hug each other.

Stags and Hens!

Well, Matilda and the girls went out today for her ‘hen do’. They all went to a country house for a spa day. Matilda made sure they all had sashes, and they got her a veil and an L plate to wear!

First of all, they had a relaxing Yoga session. Well, Esther said she’d pass on that because once she lies down, her shell makes it awkward to get up again. Mary said she didn’t want to take her hat off and Fury said she couldn’t say Om without giggling.

Peggy, Ofelia and Matilda lie on mats on the floor in various positions.

After the Yoga, Peggy wanted to try the Special Botanicals Face Masque. Matilda said it put her in mind of wanting a sandwich.

Matilda looks at Peggy who is lying on a couch with a slice of cucumber over her face.

Then it was time for the sashes to come off for a soak in the Hot Tub! Mary and Esther stayed dry – both claimed to be too ticklish for the bubbles.

Peggy, Fury, Ofelia and Matilda sit in a bubbling hot tub

All out of the tub and wrapped up in fluffy towels, it was time to open the champers!

All wrapped in towels, the girls look at the large bottle of champagne

Meanwhile, Winston had arranged a stag outing for the lads. We wondered why he’d brought us to a hilly field.

All the lads are gathered in a field looking at Winston

Oh! It’s an off-road driving experience! There’s a quad bike to hire! In fact, there’s all sorts of vehicles to drive about in.

Winston appears riding a quadbike

Vincent liked the tractor, and Ernest enjoyed giving Micro and Nano a lift! I liked the quadbike myself.

There was even a motorbike just right for Micro, and Nano had a whale of a time in the digger!

Back at the Spa, Fury said she was sure she could hear a lot of noise, and wanted to check it out.

Fury peers out of the door at the spa

Oh! We’ve all been at the same place and didn’t know it! Well, Fury’s not going to pass up a go on a quadbike!

Now that we’re all here together, we might as well get together for a little buffet party, eh?

All the vaarks gather inside around a buffet table laden with treats.

Dim’s Big Question

This year, for Valentine’s Day, Dim and Matilda have decided to go for a romantic country walk. Matilda wanted to wear her nice new winter coat. They enjoyed strolling through the woods.

“Oh look!” said Matilda, “Snowdrops! How Pretty!” So they decided that was a good spot to stop for their picnic lunch. Dim had come prepared with a nice hot flask of tea.

After lunch, Matilda asked if she could help pack everything up, but Dim said, no, it was alright, he’d do it.

Dim packs the thermos away in his rucksack

“Where next?” asked Matilda. Dim said he had a surprise planned, they just had to walk a little further.

Matilda talks to Dim

Oh, what’s this? A posh Country Club? Dim explained that he’d booked them in for afternoon tea, how lovely!

The head waiter greeted them and offered to take their bags and coats. While Matilda was distracted, Dim whispered something to the waiter.

It’s a lovely cosy room – wood panelling, a roaring log fire, pretty china on the table. They looked at the menus, and opted for the full afternoon tea for two.

Well, look at that! A whole trolley full of tea, and sandwiches and eclairs and scones and cakes! How lovely! Matilda said it was the nicest tea she’d ever had.

They soon polished off the sandwiches and most of the cakes, but Dim seemed a little distracted. Oh, it’s the waiter again, and his trolley seems quite heavy this time!

What’s THAT!

The trolley has a black jewellery box on top

Oh! Oh! A ring! Dim asked Matilda, “Will you marry me?”

The box opens to reveal a silver and jewelled ring. Dim moves to be next to Matilda

Dim looked at Matilda, and Matilda looked at Dim…

Matilda looks down at Dim

She said yes! How lovely! We’re going to have a wedding!

Dim and Matilda embrace, and she wears the ring on her snozzle.