On the Wednesday I rushed around Sainsbury's so we could collect the children at 11 am. Lydia hadn't had a nap, but after lunch she showed signs of needing one, so Nathaniel played happily on his own, then later he asked for the paddling pool, and Lydia awoke,so we got them ready for a session.One of the rings round the paddling pool appeared to be leaking, so it ended up a funny shape.
I rang their Mum to ask her to collect them as I thought we wouldn't be able to get them ready
for home in time Nathaniel heard the clock strike 4, and said, 'Time for Thomas' and strode into the living room clad only in a t shirt and settled down waiting for Grandad to switch on the DVD player; he really is a pickle.
On the Thursday we decided to take them for a day out the children's farm a few miles away. Sadly Nathaniel refused to cooperate over something,and I warned that we would not go till he had cooperated. So we had stalemate for a long while, during which time his sister fell asleep on the carpet.
Eventually she woke up, Nat said he was hungry, and I said if he had been obedient we could have been having lunch at the farm. Shortly afterwards he did what had been asked of him, and I said 'Hooray', and we set off.
It's quite expensive at the farm, husband and I got a concession, and under 2s are free, but once inside everything is free, except food to feed the animals. We bought lunch, and as it was a hot day, sat in a barn type place, which unfortunately was occupied also by mothers more interested in chatting whilst their offspring hared around between the tables.
Lunch over, we set off to look at some of the animals. We went into another big barn where there were sheep, shire horses, goats, pigs, guinea pigs etc. Nathaniel was allowed to hold a guinea pig and sat really still, whilst whispering 'It's very tickly'. Lydia was allowed a quick stroke, but is too young to handle them yet. We washed our hands and went outside. There are washbasins everywhere, to prevent nasties being passed on from the animals. In the barn Nat was desperately scooping up bits of leftover food to try and feed the sheep, he was not tall enough for the shire horses.
We moved on to the birds of prey, and suddenly we heard an announcement for a falconry display, so made our way to the arena. We watched the birds doing their tricks,and were warned to keep seated. One of the falcons flew right over husband's head.
That over we queued for the runaway tractor and trailer, a new experience for husband, who said it would be better without the childish recorded commentary and singing. the seats in the trailer are hard, so we were quite glad when the ride was over. Then we moved on to the panning for gold. There are wooden troughs with sand in, and the sand contains tiny piece of 'gold'. There is water running into the troughs. Grandad helped Nathaniel, but I was more concerned that Lydia didn't fall in. It was difficult o dig into the sand as several pans had been abandoned in the sand. Nathaniel eventually had enough pieces to claim a medal. Hands washed again and we settled down with an ice cream each. Next, off to the bouncy slide and castles. Nat was so eager that he didn't notice the queue, and was too far up the stairs for the attendant to bring him back. Lydia tried to sneak on, but Grandad seized her just in time as she is officially too small. He took her to the baby bouncing haystack, busy waiting to photograph Nat on the slide, I suddenly realised he wasn't on the slide, but had moved to the bouncy haystack. they are like lightning those children.
Afterwards we wandered up to the small beach area, and they had fun playing in the sand for a while, then realising that it would soon be rush hour, we made our way to the exit, which of course is via the well stocked toy and gift shop. Once outside we saw a couple more shops,and found what appeared to be a much stronger paddling pool, half price, which made it still not much dearer than the one which was leaking, so we bought that. Then we walked back to the car, loaded up the children and my lightweight buggy, and drove to our Daughter's house arriving only a few minutes before she did.
On the Saturday we decided to go over to Berkhamsted,as we haven't been for a while. We walked through the garden centre, then went in the new M&S simply food and had lunch. Husband said how nice and quiet it was in there, and commented that there were no 'yummy mummies' with their out of control children'. That refers to the times when we have had lunch in the town's high class supermarket. After lunch we did our usual tour of the shops, but we needed brollys as every now and again the rain would come pelting down. I went onto all the usual shops, including the big craft shop, but didn't actually buy very much.
I was in the basement of the antiques/nicknack shop when husband phoned to say he was on his way back to the M&S, and would have a coffee. I nipped into a craft fair, but there wasn't much there. The outdoor market stall holders had mostly given up due to the rain, so I joined husband and had a soft drink, before we bought our stuff in the shop. Unfortunately they have stuff that our M&S doesn't have, so we ended up spending far too much again.
Sunday was a quiet day, just church, and resting,and phoning Mum in law in the evening. The weeks really seem to roll by.