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

A soggy slalom!

You join us today at the white water course, where Nano is going to do some canoe slalom! He’s all sorted with a canoe, paddle and lifejacket.

Arnold and Ratvaark and Nano stand beside a course of rough water with slalom poles hanging over it

Nano has a tiny canoe and paddle and wears an orange lifejacket

Off he goes! He has to paddle between the poles, and the water is quite rough!

Nano is paddling the canoe between the poles

Ooh, he’s had to turn quite hard to get through the next gate.

Nano is turned almost sideways in the water

Oh, it’s getting very rough down by this last gate….!

the canoe is pitched forward in the water

He’s capsized! Oh no!

the canoe is upside down, and Arnold’s ears fly up in shock

Arnold, I can’t see Nano! Where’s Nano!

Ratvaark and Arnold look into the water where the canoe is drifting away

PHEW! He’s there look, he’s bobbed up to the surface, thank goodness for his lifejacket!

Nano is floating in the water

There, Arnold has thrown the life ring in and pulled Nano out and he’s fine!

Arnold throws a lifebelt into the water

Nano is pulled out onto the bank

Right then, Arnold is off the bottom of the course to fish the canoe out!

Arnold sets off carrying a large fishing net

Over the jumps!

Over to the equestrian ring today, for the show jumping. Vincent will be going first – first, the bars…

an arena with show jumps set up. Vincent rides a knitted unicorn to the first jump

Safely over the first, it’s time for the hedge and bar…

Vincent rides towards a jump with a hedge and bar

And finally, the water jump, let’s see how he does!

Vincent rides towards a jump with a water pit

Oops! Bit of a stumble on landing and Vincent is unseated. Bad luck! Fortunately, he’s not hurt, just damp!

vincent has fallen off into the water jump

So, let’s see how Micro does – the bars, the hedge, now, the water…

Micro rides a toy unicorn to the first jump

Micro rides to the hedge

Micro approaches the water jump

He’s clear! Well done Micro!

the unicorn has landed safely with Micro still on board

Micro is very pleased, his mount can have a nice juicy apple as a reward! Oh, hello Nano, are you going to have a go?

Micro gives his unicorn a green apple

Micro talks to Nano

Oh no! Says Nano. This horse is as exciting as I want to be!

nano is sitting on a little wooden rocking horse

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

Time for Welsh Cakes!

Heddiw yw Dydd Dewi Sant – nawddsant o Cymru. Felly, Ofelia yn gwneud Welsh cakes!

Today is St David’s Day, patron saint of Wales. So, Ofelia is making Welsh cakes!

Ofelia has flour, butter, sugar, dried fruit and an egg.

Mae gynnon nhw llawer o enwiau yn Cymraeg, fel pice bach, neu teisennau maen. Maen nhw’n gwneud ar radell, neu mewn padell ffrio.

They have lots of names in Welsh like “little pie” or “bakestone cakes”. They are made on a griddle, or in a frying pan.

Yn cyntaf, rhowch flawd a menyn mewn powlen.

First, put flour and butter in a bowl.

Ofelia has a bowl with flour and butter in

Rhwbiwch nhw gyda’i gilydd i wneud ‘briwsion bara” Mae’n flêr, felly Ofelia yn ofyn Mrs Human i helpu.

Rub them together to make ‘breadcrumbs” It’s messy, so Ofelia asks Mrs Human to help.

Ofelia has a bowl of rubbed flour and butter

Wedyn, ychwanegu siwgr a ffrwythau sych. Weithiau, Mrs Human yn gwneud nhw efo sglodion siocled yn lle

Then add sugar and dried fruit. Sometimes, Mrs Human makes them with chocolate chips instead.

Fruit and sugar is added to the bowl

Nesa, ychwanegu wy, a cymysgu i wneud toes. Os ti’n angen, adio tipyn bach o llaeth.

Next, add an egg, and mix to make a dough. If necessary, add a small amount of milk.

Ofelia stirs an egg into the mixOfelia has a ball of dough

Rhowch y padell ffri, neu radell, ar y cwcer i boethi. Ychwanegu tipyn bach iawn olew.

Place the frying pan, or griddle, on the cooker to heat. Add a very small amount of oil.

The pan is on the hob

Gallet ti rholiwch y toes a defnyddio torrwr, neu gwneud peli bach a fflatiwch nhw â dy dwylo

You could roll the dough and use a cutter, or make small balls and flatten them with your hands

Ofelia is cutting the dough into little balls

The balls are flattened into cakes.

Rhowch y cacennau yn y padell, a coginio ar dau neu dri munud a bob ochr

Put the cakes in the pan, and cook for two or three minutes on each side

Some of the cakes are in the pan

The cakes are turned over in the pan, showing their cooked sides

Wedyn, rhowch y cacennau ar rac, a taenellwch siwgr. A bwyta, efo panad.

Next, place the cakes on a rack, and sprinkle with sugar. And eat, with a cuppa.

The cakes are on a cooling tray

Ofelia looks at a full tray of cakes

Oh, bore da, Nano! Beth wyt ti’n meddwl am fy cacennau?

Oh, good morning, Nano! What do you think of my cakes?

ofelia talks to nano

Nano yn dweud “Ardderchog! Blasus iawn!”

Nano says “Excellent! Very tasty!”

Nano looks at the cakes

Felly, mae Ofelia a Nano yn dweud “Dydd gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus! A mwynhewch eich Welsh Cakes!”

So Ofelia and Nano say “Happy Saint David’s Day! And enjoy your Welsh Cakes!”

Ofelia and Nano sit on a leek and face the camera

A haggis huntin’ we will go!

Well, it is the 25th January, which is Burns’ Night! So Nano and I have put our kilts on, and are going on an expedition to hunt a haggis. Only, we’re not quite sure what a haggis actually is…

Ratvaark and Nano are wearing kilts and have ratvaark’s rucksack

Ernest says, we will probably need a big net to catch it in!

Ernest brings them a fishing net made from a piece of net curtain

Winston says, he’s heard the haggis lives in the water, so we might need a fishing rod.

Winston brings a fishing rod

Matilda thinks if we are going anywhere near the water, we must take a lifebelt, and Nano’s yacht!

Matilda is wearing an orange lifebelt and Nano sits in his half-walnut boat

Hypno thinks we might need to look far away, so he’s brought us a telescope to pack.

Nano looks through a telescope Hypno has brought

Microvaark thinks the haggis might be very small, so we’ll need a magnifying glass.

Nano is magnified through a magnifying glass Micro has brought.

Bernard says he thinks there will be a lot of thick undergrowth to get through, so he’s lending us his shears.

Bernard brings a pair of garden shears

Vincent says, how will we know where we’re going without a map? Just be careful opening it in the wind….

Vincent brings a folded map

Vincent has unfolded the map which is as big as himself.

Gino says there are mountains to scale, so we’ll need a rope and grappling hook.


Esther thinks it’s bound to rain, so we better pack a brolly

Esther holds a black umbrella

Arnold, who is always safety conscious, wonders if the haggis breathes fire? So we better take an extinguisher.

Arnold gives them a fire extinguisher

Peggy thinks it’s bound to be dark by the time we get there, so we better have a torch.

Peggy shines a mini torch onto Nano

Dim wonders if the haggis can be tamed with soothing music. Better pack the gramophone. Really? OK…

Dim brings them a brass model gramophone

Fury thinks the haggis will be very fierce, so we should take a big sword to protect ourselves.

Fury brings them a long sword shaped letter opener

Ofelia says we must be polite, so we should take offer the haggis a snack and a cup of tea.

Ofelia brings a teacup and saucer, and a wrapped cafe biscuit.

Well! That’s quite a lot of stuff to pack! I can fit a fair bit in my rucksack, but the rest… well, we’ll have to take the wheelbarrow!

Ratvaark looks at the big pile of items

Ratvaark has packed a lot into his rucksack, but the bigger items remain.

All the rest of the items are packed in the wheelbarrow and Ratvaark is carrying the rucksack

Well, off we go! Through dark forests and over rocky mountains we quest.

Ratvaark and Nano push the barrow though a forest

They push the barrow in front of a rocky backdrop

Well! It looks like we’re on the right track Nano!

Nano sits on Ratvaark’s nose to read a sign that says “Haggis” with an arrow pointing onwards

Oh! Here is is. It’s not fierce, or tiny, or a fish, or firebreathing. It’s just a sort of meat pudding!

Ratvaark and Nano look at a wrapped haggis

“The good news is”, says Nano, “we don’t have to share our biscuit with it!”

Ratvaark and Nano share the biscuit they packed.

Everyone is very pleased to see our haggis when we get it back. There’ll be plenty to go round!

All the vaarks are admiring the haggis

But having carried the rucksack and pushed the barrow all that way, I just want a lie down!

Ratvaark lies flat on the floor, tired out.

Advaark 2020 Day 21: Silly string!

We’re going to have a go at some string art today! We’ve got string, pins, and a template. We’re going to stick them into a piece of balsa, painted black. You could use corrugated card, or polystyrene.

Fury, Ratvaark and Nano have gathered all the stuff together.

First thing to do is to lay the template on the wood, and put pins, or nails, in round the edge. We’re putting one at each corner and a few inbetween. Fury’s got her big hammer to tap them in with.

The vaarks lay a paper star on the wood and put pins at the corners

Fury taps the pins in with her big hammer

Now, Nano is going to take the thread and go for a walk in and out of the pins! He goes all round the edge first, then back and forwards to fill in with a random pattern.

Nano has the gold thread round his middle and is taking it round the pinsThe thread has gone all round the edge of the star

Nano has filled in the shape with random threads.

Now Nano, you can pick it up. What? It’s too heavy? It can’t be, it’s only balsa!

Fury and Ratvaark look on as Nano tries to lift the piece.

Oh Fury! I think you’ve nailed it to the floor!

Ratvaark looks at Fury

Advaark 2020 Day 13: Fold and crease.

Vincent, Winston and Nano are going to have a go at some origami today. They’re starting with a square of green paper, I wonder what they’ll make?

Vincent and Winston have a green square of paper, and Nano sits on one corner

First of all they fold two corners into the middle and make nice creases.

Vincent and nano fold in one corner, and Winston creases the otherVincent and nano fold in one corner, and Winston creases the other

Now, turn over and fold the corners in again…

Vincent and Winston push the corners in, and Nano pulls them down

Now, tuck one end under and put a pleat in the whole thing…

Vincent and Winston tuck one end under

they stand the piece up with a pleat across the middle

Oh look, how clever, it’s a tree!

Vincent and Winston admire the finished origami tree

Um, Winston? Says Vincent, where’s Nano? Er… I dunno!

Winston looks at the tree as Vincent searches around on the ground

What’s that nibbling noise? Oh! It’s Nano, he got folded inside and had to nibble his way out!

Nano looks out of the top of the tree, and little shreds of paper lie on the floor under where he has nibbled

Winston and Vincent look at Nano poking through the top of the tree

Advaark 2020 Day 5: A leaf wreaf!

Arnold, Micro and Nano are going to make a Christmas wreath. They’re going for something a bit different this year. First we need a cardboard ring, so Arnold is drawing lines to cut round.

Arnold uses a set of compasses to draw circles on a piece of card, to form a ring.

We saved some leaves from the Sweet Chestnut tree in autumn, and we’re going to stick them to the ring with hot glue. Nano says he’s looking forward to maybe even getting some chestnuts from the tree eventually!

Arnold has a cardboard ring, and Micro brings a golden-brown leaf from a pile

Nano looks up at one of the crinkly leaves

So, Arnold sticks a leaf to the ring, and Micro and Nano bring the next one, and he works all the way round, overlapping the leaves.

Arnold puts hot glue on a leaf as Nano brings another on.

There! All overlapped so you can’t see the stalky bits.

Arnold, Micro and Nano admire the ring of leaves.

Leaves are all very nice, but it’s a bit plain, so they’re going to add some nuts to carry on the autumn theme. They plan where each one is going, then Arnold glues them down.

Arnold and Micro look at a bag of nuts in shells, with Nano sitting on top.

They start laying Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and brazil nuts on the wreath

All the nuts are glued down

And for a final Christmassy touch, Micro is dry brushing a little gold paint onto the nuts and the edges of the leaves. Not too much, just a hint. There! That’s very stylish.

Microvaark brushes a little gold paint on the nutsThe three vaarks admire their work

Nano asks Arnold to crack a walnut for him. Arnold says why, are you hungry?

Nano talks to Arnold, who has a walnut and a pair of nutcrackers

Oh no, says Nano, it’s just I’ve always wanted a yacht!

Nano sits in a half walnut shell, with a mast and sail to look like a yacht.

Advaark 2020 Day 2: Getting hooky!

Hello Esther, says Nano, what are you doing? Esther says, she’s crocheting a lap blanket for Santa. It must get chilly in that sleigh.

Esther is crocheting a red and white granny square

There, says Esther, that’s done. What do you think Nano?

Esther shows Nano the finished square in red and white with a white edging

Nano says he thinks it’s very cosy! In fact it makes rather a good ruff for him!

Esther looks at Nano who has poked hi head through the hold in the middle of the square

A close up of Nano peeping through the middle of the blanket

There, says Esther, I’ll leave it by the fireplace, and he can collect it when it suits him.

Esther puts the folded square by the fireplace