Food and Farming day at Sacrewell farm

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A bit of a different emphasis to the ‘hand made’ theme of last year, which we had enjoyed so much. Shire horses were a major feature today and very interesting to watch them ploughing. The mill was in action grinding flour. We talked to the blacksmith, but didn’t see him working. The (Old London) Routemaster buses were there again and we took a trip on one to the River Nene Organic farm in the next village, which was mostly a quick guided tramp around two of their fields. But interesting to see. They had birds of prey and owls, including a barn owl, which is the same as the owl in one of Mip’s favourite stories (Plop – The Owl who was afraid of the dark).

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They had a farmers market there too, but Matt was very disappointed as there were no pork pies to be found. I think there was less to see than last years event, but it was still a lovely day.

Note the boys’ matching hoodies – a bargain I found in Boots yesterday at £2 each!

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Centre for Alternative Technology

Having so enjoyed our visit two years ago, we went again, this time taking another three families with us and getting a good discount for being an ‘educational’ group. The weather was beautiful as is the setting in the Snowdonia National Park. Lots for the boys to do. We treated ourselves to a meal as their food is so good. It was all very idyllic.

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The day Bee didn’t start school

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We started the day with a celebration breakfast of pains au chocolat, which made lots of mess, but was very yummy. We finished breakfast at about 10, feeling relieved not to have been at the school gates by 9 with packed lunch made. I’m not good at early starts! Matt wandered up to the centre and then came back to tell us a group was climbing a nearby ‘mountain’ – certainly a very high hill. I pointed out that the boys only had sandals (I had packed shoes and wellies, but failed to take into account that their feet would have grown since they last wore them at Easter) and that I only had a skirt to wear, the washing not having dried yet. Also the people were leaving only ten minutes later, so we would have to get going very quickly. Undeterred by these practicalities, Matt got us together with JJ in a back sling. It was a group of about 30 people and about a 3/4 hour trek up to the top. Bee and Mip were very enthusiastic and usually in front of everyone else. In fact Mip reached the top and kept on going ahead of everyone else. We waited until he went quite a way, then decided to retrieve him as he would have happily continued up the next mountain. It was an amazing view from the top. The photo doesn’t at all do justice to the height we were at.

Bee on mountain Bee on mountain with Elaine

Matt had found a David Macaulay book about building a Cathedral on the second hand book stall and Bee & Mip were completely absorbed in reading this for a couple of hours with Matt. The photo looks very posed, but it wasn’t.

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Much of the afternoon was spent at the play area and then after tea we went to watch the rockets being launched. This event happens every year at Cefn Lea. A Dad brings along some small (about 1′ to 18″ long) rockets, launches them from a central location and then the children on the camp site watch roughly where they fall and then run en masse to be the first to find it. Lots of fun. Especially as this year Bee and Mip were old enough to join in. When this had finished we borrowed a scooter for Bee and Mip to try out (JJ had to have a go too, of course). The camp site is on a slope (part of the aforementioned big hill/mountain) so most of the children bring scooters and hurtle down the paths at very alarming speeds. Bee and Mip were more cautious, but enjoyed it. Then finally off to bed very late.

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