Project 365 2018 Week 7 Day 42 – 48 – half term adventures await!
Sunday 11th February – Day 42
We had one of those days that didn’t quite go as planned but was meant to be.
I’d been looking at local places to visit for snowdrops a few weeks ago and made a note of Hanwell Castle, somewhere I hadn’t been for years. They were meant to be open this weekend with visits to their observatory possible too. Perfect. We set off from home and when we got there, no signs, no one else parked on the verges, not open. I googled and they’d cancelled the event. Bother.
The good thing about have National Trust membership is being able to just pop into places you’ve been before. We were fairly close to Upon House, so diverted there for a bit of outdoors fun. My son loves the freedom of running around there, and soon had a stick at hand.
As we were wandering around their woodland walk, it suddenly dawned on me. I was looking out on the spot where almost exactly to the hour, a dear friend had been killed 18 years previously. I was meant to be on that spot today, clearly.
Monday 12th February – Day 43
We’d arranged to meet up with a couple of our NCT group for some adventures at Blenheim Palace. The sun shone, and the weather was so much better than we’d expected. The kids had so much fun running through the maze, playing on the climbing frame and making elaborate sand castles in the sand pit. A favourite spot for us is the Butterfly House and my son happily explained to everyone that the butterflies were emerging from their chrysalis in the cabinet. There were lots of butterflies to spot fluttering around. A perfect day.
Tuesday 13th February – Day 44
What a difference a day makes, pouring with rain today. We decided to have a home day and I thought a dinosaur themed play day might be fun. I’d got my son a dinosaur excavation set ages ago and the bones of the Triceratops were soon being uncovered and put together. Then it was on to making the rest of a plaster dinosaur set we’d had, again for ages. When the moulds had set my son spent ages carefully painting them. I love watching him concentrating so hard.
Such hard work was rewarded with pancakes for lunch. Yum.
Wednesday 14th February – Day 45
Valentines Day – not something I celebrate. 37 years since I’ve been able to wish my Papa Happy Birthday today, far more important to me to remember him today.
Another rainy, cold day, but we were both in need of some fresh air, so we donned our waterproofs and my son decided he wanted to go to Stowe. He walked miles and we covered pretty much all of the routes around the grounds. He didn’t moan once. He was on a mission and he was happy. He certainly earned his hot chocolate and shortbread treat at the end of the walk.
As we left, he wanted to pop into the rooms at the entrance, the old kitchen and washing rooms. Fate again took a hand. I’ve been following one of the volunteers at Stowe on Instagram for ages, he takes beautiful photographs. We walked into one of the rooms and this man took one look at my son and said that he recognised him, his coat and me. It was my Instagram friend, who I’d never actually met. It was lovely to finally meet him in real life.
Thursday 15th February – Day 46
The duvet thief has been back again a few times this week, but that smile first thing in the morning makes up for the disturbed sleep.
We had a quiet morning at home, playing games and having fun before heading off to catch up with my friend L and her son C. We’d booked panto tickets for the local amateur dramatics group production of Aladdin. Everyone raves about their productions and we all really enjoyed the show. It was a bit longer than I’d expected but a great show and I actually preferred it to the professional production we’d seen over Christmas.
We were all hungry and headed into town for dinner at Prezzo, the service was good as was the food. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
Friday 16th February – Day 47
The weather forecast was looking good so we headed off for adventures at Whipsnade Zoo. It’s a favourite of ours and we go every year, but this was probably the earliest in the year we’ve visited. It was so busy when we arrived that I was worried it might not be as enjoyable as normal. But I needn’t have worried, we soon headed away from the crowds at the entrance and made a beeline for the giraffe house. My son is working towards his Animal Carer badge with Cubs and he needs to visit a zoo and learn about a few of the animals as part of the work. Easy for him. He snapped away on his camera as we walked around the grounds.
We did hear that one of the elderly giraffes hadn’t made it through the winter and that the female Amur tiger had also gone. Sad to hear when we’ve enjoyed seeing them so much over the last eight years. But that’s life isn’t it. The male tiger often hides behind 2 layers of fencing and is often really hard to photograph. Today he was in a perfect spot as he snoozed.
We walked, took our obligatory steam train ride and admired the animals. We got to see the flamingoes indoors and some of the zebras too, which was a first. The cheetahs appeared to have gone on holiday, but the highlight was seeing all three European Lynx out and about. We’ve only ever seen one of them before.
Saturday 17th February – Day 48
We’re both tired today after a disturbed night. My son decided he wanted to stay at home and relive his adventures from yesterday. Cue enclosure building and zoo creation. I love his imagination.