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

In the long run…

A long event today – the marathon! Winston has kindly sponsored this event. We’ve got 4 competitors, and Fury is all ready with the starting gun.

Micro, vincent, winston and ofelia line up under a banner that says “Start”, “Sponsored by Winstons Used cars” and “they mostly go 26 miles”

Fury has a big cannon, and is wearing ear defenders

Ready, Steady, BOOM! Oh dear, I think the starting gun surprised everybody a bit too much!

the cannon fires with a cloud of smoke and all the competitors fall over

Ok, let’s go again, with a simple Ready, Steady, Go! And they’re off alright this time.

the competitors line up again

they start running

So, off they go, across the craft room floor, and the bedroom floor, and the kitchen worktop…

they run on a wooden floor

they run on a carpeted floorthey run on a kitchen worktop

Ofelia has had an idea. It’s getting on a bit, perhaps they should stop for a snack? Absolutely!

Ofelia stops to talk to the others

They sit around a cloth with teacups and a sponge cake

On they go out into the garden. Micro wants to be sure they’re going in the right direction, so they stop to check the route.

they run along the edge of a raised bed

they stop to look at a map held by microvaark

At last the end is in sight! It look like Winston might win, but oh! Microvaark has put on a sprint finish!

they approach the finishing line

Microvaark goes out in front

He’s won!

Microvaark breaks the finishing tape

Microvaark wonders if Winston is cross about not winning? No, no, says Winston, I’m just glad it’s over!

Everyone gathers round Winston who is flopped on the floor

Super Bowl!

Winston just popped in to say it’s Super Bowl Day. What’s that? I asked. He says he doesn’t know, but maybe we should see if we can find our own Super Bowl? Well, why not, let’s have a look.

Ratvaark and Winston are talking

Hmm. It’s a bowl. It’s nice enough, but I don’t think it’s Super.

They look at a vaark scale sugar bowl

No, Winston, not that one.

They look up at a toilet bowl

No, this is just a cereal bowl.

They look at a small bowl with tubs of cereal in the background

Just bowls for mixing in.

they look at a stack of mixing bowls in a cupboard

Those are the bowls the Humans have their supper in. Supper bowls. Too many Ps.

They look at a stack of pasta dishes

What’s that Winston, you think you’ve found it?

Winston looks at a bowl, and we can see an S painted on the side

Ah. No. Nearly, but not quite.

The bowl is turned round to reveal the word Soup.

Well, I don’t know if we’re ever going to find one Winston.

Ratvaark and Winston talk to each other

Winston? What are you looking at behind me?

Winston is looking at something behind Ratvaark. We see the edge of a bowl

Well! That’s what I call a Superbowl! Hooray!

They look at a huge bowl, full of biscuits

Right, Winston, you go and fetch the clan. I’ll watch over the Superbowl.

Ratvaark tells Winston to go and fetch the others.

Nom nommmfffmfm nnffmmfmf.

Ratvaark is head down in the bowl of biscuits

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 19: Going to print

Winston, Esther and Gino are going to do some printing! They’ve got various things to make stamps from, and paint to print with.

Winston, Esther and Gino have gathered together paper, paint, a sponge, a potato, all on a sheet of newspaper.

Winston found a proper stamp and an inkpad, so he thought he’d see what it was. Oh! Well, that’s one way to get an S right!

Winston has a rubber stamp

Winston stamps the stamp on an inkpad

Winston prints on paper

The stamp is an ornate letter S

Right, lets start printing some designs. Winston has carved a tree shape onto this potato half. That looks lovely in green! 

Winston has a half potato with a tree shape cut into it

Winston has printed lots of green trees on paper

I wonder what Esther is printing in red? Ah, it’s a ribbon or banner. Lovely decoration.

Esther dips her half potato in red paint

Esther prints a waving banner shape on paper

Gino found a piece of foam packaging to cut his shape into, a lovely star.

Gino has a star cut into some foam

Gino prints golden stars

Hello, says Winston, what’s this pattern?

Winston looks at some pairs of oval blobs printed across a piece of paper

Gino! You’ve walked in the paint! You better go and wash your feet off!

The blobs lead to Gino, and are the same shape as his feet.

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 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

The Grand Opening!

It’s today! Everyone is wondering what we’re going to find out. Ah, here’s Winston.

The vaarks turn to listen to Winston.

Nano is enquiring whether there will be any snacks. Winston says it’s all in hand. And if we’d like to follow him, it’s just a short walk.

Nano asks Winston a question.All the vaarks follow Winston.

Can you see anything through the knot hole Hypno? No, it’s not big enough….

Hypno and Ernest are next to a wooden fence, with Hypno trying to look through a knot hole.

Well, this seems to be it! Winston’s all set up for the unveiling. Nano is hoping it’s a biscuit factory.

All the vaarks are gathered at a corrugated metal gate in the fence. A sign on top of the gate is covered with a cloth.

Nano talks to microvaark

So, with a flourish, Winson pulls the cloth off the sign.

Winston starts to pull the string to remove the cloth

The cloth starts to pull away revealing the letters W and Us on one side of the sign

The cloth pulls further to reveal Wins and Used

The cloth is almost off and we can read Winston and Used ca

Ta da! He’s bought a used car lot! He says it’s always been his dream business. So, let’s all go in and have a look!

With the cloth off, the sign reads Winston’s Used Cars

Winston opens the gates and they all go in.

And now he’s open, Vincent can put out the whirly-round Car Sales sign.

Well look at this! Lots of forecourt space, and a little sales cabin. All very convenient. And he’s got set up with some good stock by the look of it.

The vaarks spread out looking at the cars in the yard. A little cabin has a sign saying Sales Office

The vaarks look at the cars

Ofelia wonders if many latest models have starting cranks these days, but she’s not going to say anything.

Ernest and Ofelia look at a very old fashioned truck with a sign on it saying “Latest Model”

Peggy likes this one, as long as the mileage really is low!

Peggy looks at a blue car with a sign saying “Low Mileage”

Bernard thinks there’s something for every budget.

Bernard looks at a tiny yellow car priced at £135

Vincent is explaining that he is Valeting and Services Manager. In other words, he washes the car and sweeps the yard. And Fury looks after all the mechanicals and does any servicing or welding needed.

Ratvaark talks to Vincent who has a bucket and sponge.

Fury is doing some welding on a car

Bernard asks if he can see in the office, so Winston takes him to have a look.

Bernard and Winston go into the sales office

Well, it all looks very professional in here, says Bernard. I see you’ve got all the IT covered.

In the office is a desk with a laptop and desk organiser on it, a noticeboard and calendar on the wall, and a hat rack with Winston’s pork pie hat hanging on it.

Yeah! says Winston, just look at thi… Oh! That’s Vincent playing again!

Winston opens the laptop to find it showing a Solitaire screen

Anyway, I can use this to find new stock, and keep on top of all me paperwork.

Bernard and Winston look at the laptop which shows cars for sale on Ebay

There’s a noticeboard, where Winston can keep notes, and all the keys for the motors.

Bernard looks at the notice board, where bits of paper are pinned up and keys hang on hooks.

But Winston says, he’s most proud of his executive toy. It proves he’s made it!

Winston shows Bernard the Newton’s Cradle executive toy on the desk

Outside again, Nano says it’s all very impressive, but is there anything else he’d like to show us? Anything… edible?

Outside, Nano talks to Winston

Oh yes! Winston’s laid on a special Grand Opening biscuit feast! What a wonderful day this is. Winston is so proud of it all!

Winston has set up a table outside with piles of biscuits and a bottle of champagne