Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stunning tulips and other things

Weather is so absolutely fantastic, so we've spent lots of time enjoying it. Please, please, please let it last. I know this time last year we were having brilliant weather too, and it all changed on Friday 9th - which was our moving day!

Last Friday (2nd) we had an HE session at the local Dominos Pizza. The fast-food owner was great with the children and must have been exhausted after the hour and a half non-stop talking and working! He started by chatting about the franchise, health and safety and then how the equipment is used and employees work etc. He then showed the children how to make a pizza and let each child in turn make their own from shaping and "slapping" the dough to covering it with tomato sauce, using the cheese distributor and then picking the topings. The children loved watching the pizza enter and exit (after 8 minutes) the extremely hot oven and of course they were able to take their creation home to munch for lunch.

After our pizza munching, sitting in the sun, we did a few chores around town and then headed home via three churches with flower displays for the "2008 Tulip Trails in South Holland". The first church, in Weston, was beautifully decorated, not just with flowers, but all their kneeling pads were hand-sewn and were a sea of colour. Our second was at Moulton, a village with the tallest windmill in the UK. Although open to the public, it seemed to be closed for our visit, but definitely a place to re-visit later in the year. The church at Moulton had some lovely plants for sale which was right up Katie's street. All their flower displays were of the theme of "Country Living". Our final church was in Fleet. A small baptist church with equally delightful flower arrangements (and more plants for sale). We would love to have travelled around to see more, but time was getting on and I was exhausted! Very sad news when we reached home - our neighbour had not pulled through his very recent cancer operation. Missing him dearly.

Saturday we headed to the Tulip Festival and Carnival at Spalding. We arrived early in order to get a parking space. The number of coaches was amazing! Packed a picnic and enjoyed sitting by the river before watching the floats and bands in the carnival. Most of the floats were decorated with tulip petals and two in particular were really well thought out - one of a variety of large model animals and the other of model horses pulling a stage coach with the "King" and "Queen" inside - all covered in petals. We also looked round the gardens to see the array of tulips and wander through the new childrens section and Zen garden, admire the tiny, tiny ducklings in the ponds and browse more plant stalls!
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Festival Tulip which Ben thought looked like "Eggbert", the character he loves.
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Bronze jumping fish at the Festival Gardens
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Love these tulips with the jagged edges - butterfly adds to the charm!
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New Zen garden.

Sunday, P, Katie and I rose from our slumbers at 4.30 to take part in International Dawn Chorus Day. It was a warmish dawn so we were able to sit out in our PJs and dressing gowns and enjoy hearing the birds gradually wake up. We could have done this in our beds of course, as from Monday onwards we've been having the bedroom window open and therefore have been woken by the noisy little feathered friends each morning! Not much else happened Sunday, as I recall, but we did have our first BBQ of the season - yum.
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Walking amongst the tulips

Monday we visited a local tulip field before heading off to P's parents for a BBQ to celebrate mine and b-i-l's birthdays. Got a pair of ever so comfy house shoes as one of my pressies. Been after a pair since Christmas. They are so pretty, comfortable and, just different. Made by Fly Flot from felt with rubber sole so they can be worn outside but I don't want to spoil them! Also got a nice Amazon voucher which I can't wait to spend and a large slab of orange chocolate from Liberty's!
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Tuesday we did some work. Katie and Ben have started their rock collections and checked out this game all about rocks and where they come from. They also started an experiment to see how much water certain rocks (like lava), or chalk, can hold. Last week Katie explained how the Earth's plates move with the help of (several) custard creams! We went out for a drive and stopped off at a nearby village to nose around the grave yard to witness signs of weathering on the stone work. Came across two delightful horses which kept us busy for a while! In maths, we are looking more closely at fractions as Katie clams up whenever fractions reared their heads and Ben is pretty new to it all anyway. Found BBC Skillswise quite helpful, although perhaps a little too basic for Katie, but it has some good worksheets.
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"Let me just explain again, with another one!"

Wednesday was my birthday. As pointed out by my sister, the last one in the 30s (not that it bothers me too much). We headed to London for the day which hot and sticky but we had a fun day with plenty of ice creams. Our main events were visiting the Royal Mews and the House Hold Cavalry museums, although disappointingly we only saw four horse rumps in total from these two places (although we saw whole horse in the parks - mounted police!). A Toy Solidier Centre was recommended to us so we stopped off to admire the many displays of toy battles - Nepoleon, World Wars I and II, American Revolution, Civil War to name a tiny few. All the detailed figures are for sale - they have a website which is very handy as Ben's decided he'd like to collect them all!
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Hug a tree in Green Park!
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Pelicans in St. James' Park

Today, Thursday, Katie was supposed to go for her first art group session but we had to take Allie to the vet. He seemed unhappy from the end of last week but we couldn't work out what was wrong. I initially thought his teeth needed sorting out (again), but during the weekend we realised he'd hurt one of his front legs and he kept lifting his paw. By Monday he was limping and it seemed to have got worse by the end of the day. Tuesday I rang the vet and they said they had no appointments or emergency space available. Wednesday we were out so I felt we couldn't wait any longer to get him seen to. This morning we could tell he was really in pain. The vet's given him some antipiotics and reckons he'd been in a fight. Although I couldn't feel anything, he said his leg, at the elbow, was hot and swollen and he had a high temperature. Allie, being Allie, has got quite used to me pandering to his every whim. He's been sleeping most of the day (which is quite usual), but hasn't been eating or going to the toilet, so I've had to lift him and take him to his food, or put him outside, to try and ease his discomfort of walking. You can probably tell I'm a bit softie when it comes to cats, and animals in general.

Ben's been into drawing plans for his home of the future. He's often talked about being a builder and building his own home. I need to find something along these lines to develop this I think.
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3 Comments:

At 7:45 am, Blogger Linda @ The Briar Patch said...

Happy Birthday to you! (A bit late but better late than never...)

Lovely photos, looks like a fantastic day out and very enjoyable.

Lxx

 
At 9:59 am, Blogger Elle said...

Thanks Linda for the birthday wishes. Elle

 
At 7:01 pm, Blogger Jenny said...

Wow youve all been very busy!Lovely pics, it looks like youve been having lots of fun!

 

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