Jumping the hurdles….

Time for our final sporting event – the hurdles! We’ve got four athletes lined up, and Ofelia is acting as starter. On your marks…

Fury, Nano, Ernest and Winston are lined up on a track, with a hurdle in each lane. Nano’s hurdle is tiny compared with the others. Ofelia has a white flag

Get set…

the four vaarks are crouched forwards ready to go


Ofelia has dropped the flag and the vaarks set off running

Oh dear! Ernest’s tripped over his own snozzle!

Ernest lies on the track with his snozzle under him

They’re approaching the hurdle…

the vaarks are nearly at the hurdle

Whoops! Winston’s tripped on his hurdle!

Winston has run into his hurdle which has fallen over

Fury is over safely! Nano is racing along behind… Now he’s over safely too.

fury has cleared her hurdle, Nano is coming up to his

Nano has cleared his hurdle

Close to the line, it looks like Fury might win! Hang on! How did Nano move so fast!?

fury and nano approach the finish

Nano has shot forward over the line first

Oh Ernest! You’re not supposed to help him!

Nano is revealed to be sitting on the end of Ernest’s snozzle, stretched out to get him over the line

Well, that’s tricky. There’ll have to be a steward’s enquiry. But after a bit of a chat, everyone agrees Fury won, but Ernest was just being kind. Ofelia suggests that they all settle down to a snack or two.

All the runners and ofelia discuss the result

Ofelia produces a couple of plates of doughnuts to share

Up and over!

So we’re doing jumping sports today! First of all, Winston is having a go at the high jump.

winston stands looking at a high jump pole set up, with a crash mat

He’s running up….

winston is nearly at the jump

And HUP! What an excellent Fosbury Flop! Well done Winston!

Winston does a fosbury flop over the barWinston has landed on the crash mat

Oh, hello, Micro is going to have a go! Winston’s really not sure how he’s going to do it…

Micro stands looking at the jump

Micro starts to run up

Oh Micro! I think that’s cheating!

micro climbs a small step ladder to reach the bar

Well, says Micro, I am at a bit of a disadvantage!

Micro looks down on Winston from the top of the bar

Hello Ernest, what’s that pole for? Ah, of course, the pole vault!

ernest has a long pole

ernest looks at at high pole vault jump

Here he goes, running up and planting the pole….

ernest starts towards the jump

ernest plants the pole in the pit just ahead of the crash mat

And up he goes! Goodness that’s high!

Ernest is at the top of the curve, about to pass over the bar

And he’s over safely! Well done Ernest!

ernest lands on the crashmat

ernest takes a 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 22: Let’s get weaving!

Today, Hypno and Ernest are going to do a bit of weaving today, in some nice Christmassy colours. They are starting with a piece of card that’s got notches cut in each end.

Hypno and Ernest have a piece of car with a zig zag cut into each end.

Hypno is stringing the loom, up and down, around the points. This is called the Warp! Don’t pull too hard Hypno, or you’ll warp the card!

Hypno and Ernest have a piece of car with a zig zag cut into each end.

Hypno threads the loom with white yarn

Now, Ernest is going to weave the colours in and out. This is called the Weft (you can remember because it goes from Weft to Right!). He’s threaded the yarn into a big bodkin to make it easier.

Ernest has a needle threaded with red yarn

Ernest is pushing the blunt end through first, so as not to split the warp threads.

Ernest starts to weave the red yarn in and out

Oh dear! Ernest got a bit carried away there. Better extract your snozzle before you do any more.

Ernest pushes the needle through and starts to get his snozzle caught in the threads.

Ernest’s snozzle is completely woven into the warp threads

Well, now, that’s coming on nicely. When Ernest thinks he done enough, it’s time to unhook the warp and tie the threads together in pairs.

Ernest has woven coloured stripes in red white and green

Ernest shows the finished piece to Hypno.

Now all Ernest needs to do is glue a piece of felt on the back, to hide all the loose ends and look! He’s made a lovely festive coaster!

Ernest applies glue to a piece of felt.

Ernest shows off the weaving as a coaster, with a cup and saucer on it.

Advaark 2020 Day 17: Play with clay!

Today, we’re going to be doing some pottery! We’re using plasticine, but you could use air drying clay, or even salt-dough. Of course, if you have real clay and a kiln, even better!

Ofelia sits at a table with a ball of clay, a rolling pin and a craft knife

Ofelia is starting off making some hanging decorations. She’s rolling the clay out, and cutting a shape. Then put a hole in for a string before it bakes, and there you have it!

Ofelia is rolling out the ball of clay

Ofelia cuts a star shape with the craft knife

Ofelia has a clay star with a hole in one point.

Peggy is having a go at a “thumb pot”. Just poke your thumb (or in her case, your hand!) into the ball of clay and shape it up as much as you need!

Peggy has a ball of clay on the table

Peggy pushes her hand into the ball

Peggy has a shaped pot on the table.

Ernest’s turn now. He’s going to make a coil pot. Roll your clay back and forth to make a sausage, and then roll it more and more to make a long snake. Then start to coil the snake round to make a base and up the sides.

Ernest rolls a sausage of clay

Ernest has made a long snake of clay

Ernest starts to coil the snake

Ernest builds up the sides

Careful you don’t coil your snozzle in there Ernest! Ah, well done, a handy pot to keep things in!

Ernest’s long snozzle is entwined in the clay snake

Ernest has a finished coil pot

Good lord! Winston has a potter’s wheel! We never knew. See how he shapes the clay up as it spins. He makes it look easy, but it’s quite a skill to master.

Winston sits at a potters wheel with a lump of clay in the middle

Winston starts to shape the clay up into a cylinder

Winston shapes the cylinder and it starts to form curves.

Good lord! Winston, you’ve made an urn! Oh yes, he says, I’ve made loads of them over the years…

Winston has made a greek urn, suspiciously like the ancient one he sold for millions.

Advaark 2020 Day 11: Let’s BAKE!

Today, we’re on location in the kitchen. Ernest and Esther are going to make gingerbread biscuits! It’s a messy business, hence the aprons.

Esther and Ernest stand on a worktop, with all the ingredients for biscuits

Arnold has come to monitor Health and Safety. He hasn’t got an apron, so he’s put his cagoule on.

Arnold is wearing a see through plastic raincoat.

First of all, they are sieving the flour and spices, and bicarb. Then they measure out the fat, sugar and syrup. Arnold is on hand in case of any sticky situations.

ernest and esther put the dry ingredients in a bowl

the vaarks measure out golden syrup

While Esther and Arnold supervise melting the fat and syrup. Ernest puts an egg in a jug. I think, Ernest, you have to take it out of the shell. That’s the way!

Ernest and Esther watch a pan heating on the stove.

Ernest has put a whole egg in a measuring jug

Ernest whips the egg in the jug

Once all the fat and syrup are melted, they get poured into the dry ingredients, with the egg and mixed to make a dough. The dough needs to chill, so it goes in the fridge.

Esther stirs the bowl of ingredients

Ernest and Esther look at the dough in the bowl

Arnold puts the bowl in the fridge

While it chills, Arnold heats the oven. There, now it’s ready to roll out. This is even messier! Don’t get floury bottoms you two!

Arnold turns the oven on

Ernest and Esther roll out the dough on a floured surface

Arnold is cutting crinkly biscuits and Ernest is cutting round ones. But Esther is doing something a bit more complicated!

Arnold cuts out a crinkled biscuit with a cutter

Ernest cuts out a round biscuit

Esther cuts out a vaark shape with a knife

Now, into the oven the biscuits go, and we have to wait for 15 mins, while they start to smell nice! And here they are! Got to let them cool.

Arnold puts the biscuits in the oven

All three vaarks watch the oven

The biscuits are all out on a cooling rack

Once they are cool, you can add some icing if you like! There’s even one for Nano. But what about Esther’s biscuit?

The vaarks are squeezing tubes of icing onto the biscuits

Arnold and Ernest show off their biscuits

Ernest looks at a tiny iced biscuit

Wow! What a colourful gingerbread vaark! That’s amazing Esther!

Esther shows off a very colourfully decorated vaark shaped biscuit.

Advaark 2020 Day 9: Knit one, purl one.

Today Arnold and Ernest are doing some knitting! They are going to make a nice scarf – always a welcome present for someone. Arnold holds the needles, and Ernest twiddles the yarn.

Arnold and Ernest are holding knitting needles with a little scarf cast on

When Ernest gets tired, they swap!

Ernest and Arnold have swapped places

There! That looks very cosy, and Ernest is very pleased with it. He wants to rush off and show the others.

Ernest is wearing the scarf as Arnold admires it

Ernest turns to go, and the end of the yarn catches on the table

Oh no! Arnold spots something. Ernest, your scarf! Stop!

Arnold notices the end of the scarf is caught and unravelling and his ears fly up in shock


Arnold chases after Ernest, who is heading out, his scarf still unravelling

Advaark 2020 Day 3: Cutting and sticking!

Ernest and Bernard are going to do a bit of decoupage, to make a fancy box. They’ve decided on a food theme, so they can use some supermarket catalogues!

Ernest and Bernard look at a stack of catalogues, a pot of glue, a brush and a plain cardboard box.

First of all, they look through for pictures they like. Ernest really likes mince pies, and Bernard is always keen on a bit of cheese.

Ernest looks at a page of mince pies

Bernard looks at a picture of a cheese board

They’ve decided on the best pictures, so Bernard is cutting them out. He doesn’t have to be too exact, as the bits will all overlap anyway.

Bernard cuts out a picture of a pavlova

Ernest is going to do the gluing, and it might get messy, so he’s put an apron on. We don’t want anyone needing a bath at this time of year!

Ernest holds the brush, and wears an apron

It’s dead simple. Ernest puts glue on the box, and Bernard sticks a picture on. Then Ernest puts more glue over the top to seal it.

Ernest spreads glue on one side of the box

Bernard sticks a picture of a pavlova onto the glued side

Now they just add more and more pictures, overlapping them so you can’t see any edges or any of the box. It’s looking very jolly!

Ernest and Bernard have stuck lots of images on the box

Bernard is just going to trim off any bits that stick out over the edge, and there! A lovely festive gift box!

Bernard uses scissors to trim the excess on the edges

Ernest and Bernard admire their box

There’s only one problem, says Ernest, with all those pictures, I’m feeling very hungry! Well, says Bernard, I think we’ve earned a little snack!

Ernest talks to Bernard

Ernest and Bernard share a chocolate coin