Saturday, 16 August 2014

Down on the farm

Well I guess I'm pretty much behind on this blog again. The next week on the Monday it started to thunder and we had some rain. The next day I rang my friend C, but her husband said she was sleeping again, and had an appointment in the afternoon. I'm convinced that a lot of her problems are down to he number of tablets she takes, but busy Doctors seem to dish out more pills to counteract the side effects of those already prescribed. So I walked down into town and met someone I hadn't seen in a while. sadly that night I couldn't sleep well, having really weird dreams.
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.

We told her all about our day,and then came home for dinner. The next day we had a slow start,and recovered from our day out. I did a bit of cutting back of old raspberry canes, between us we have rather filled the green wheelie bin.
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.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The heatwave goes on.

The next day we walked into town to do a bit of shopping, we had lunch in town, and as usual got the bus back up. Then on the Wednesday, I managed to fit in my visit to Sainsbury's. I have had to stop going to Weight watchers, as I just can't fit it in. There are few morning meetings, and I wouldn't want to go to an evening one, as I'm always heavier in the evening.
We went to collect the children, but had to wait for Lydia to finish her nap, then we brought them to our home and gave them lunch. They played quite happily, every now and again bringing one of us a book so that we could read to them. All too soon it was time to return them home, our Daughter does 11.30 am till 3.30 pm on a Wednesday.
On the Thursday, we collected them, Lydia went up quite happily for a nap, I went to Sainsbury's and Nat came with me, He was very good and walked sensibly holding my hand. I was planning a afternoon visit to a park which has a splash pool, but Lydia didn't wake very early, I did lunch, and then was thinking what we needed to take for an expedition to the park, buggy, change bag, spare clothing for the after splash pool, etc. In the end I decided it would be quicker and easier to fill the cheap paddling pool I had bought in Sainsbury's. After a few false starts we managed to get it inflated, and filled with water. I dressed Lydia in a pair of pants and a t shirt, liberally applied sun cream, and she got into the pool. Nat didn't seem to want to get in at first, he was more intent on wetting his sister. I told him to remove his shorts and just get in in his pants as I had spare dry pants he could change into, T shirts would dry easily as it was so hot.

As soon as his pants became wet, he removed them, and it took us a considerable time to coax him back into them. How lovely to be 3 and have no inhibitions! I also gave them an ice lolly each, but then noticed that  despite the heat. Lydia's arms were becoming mottled, and she was actually beginning to shiver. She was very grateful to be wrapped in a large fluffy towel. I changed her into dry clothes. Nat's were hardly wet at all, and they both settled down to watch the same old Thomas the tank DVDs.
Friday I needed to go into town again,and Saturday morning I got the shopping out of the way early. it was a very hot day,and we wanted to go to the local steam and country fair in a village near here. Daughter and family arrived before us, and had lunch there. I'd had salad at home but husband wanted fish and chips. We met a family we knew from primary and secondary school, so we had a catching up session. In addition to the steam tractors there were steam rollers,  vintage cars, vintage tractors and fire engines, a children's fair, various stalls and refreshments, There were shire horse,and even birds of prey. It could well have been the hottest day of the summer so far.

Steam engine being used for splitting wood
Some visitors
Steam rollers
The fun of the fair

I managed to lose both my new sunglasses and driving glasses, but thankfully as we made our way to the exit, someone had handed them in and they were sitting on a table just waiting to be claimed. Phew! When I had reported them missing I had been told that a few wallets full of money had been handed in. Glad to hear there are still honest people around.