Category Archives: SB-PE

A Gaggle of Groups

Thursday was Tots and Nots.  Bit late getting going in the morning, but SB managed to get a piano pratice in before we left just a little late. Once we got there SB was straight into Philosophy Club – apparently this week it was about the difference beteen hearing and listening. Me and BB sat and made a cardboard cutout digger  that Gina had provided the materials for. Sat and read with BB, played with Megablocks and playdough, had snacks, some playing etc., SB did a poem activity with Katy and some of the other kids. Recorders all round with Gina. Had intended to leave early enough to get home for a bit for SB to do a bit more preperation for her presentation for the next days HE group. But she wanted to do French as well so we ende up staying on for that.

Went straight onto gym via Pets a Home for cat food and Monster nibbles. Had the traditional ‘whats the best deal on catfood this time ‘  activity since they always seem to have a couple of  brands or another on a BOGOF or somesuch. This time, one of ou preferred brands was on a BOGOF that menat that buying multiple small packets was cheaper than buying a big sack. So me and SB pondered those for a bit.

Then we looked at fish, ahhh-ed over hamsters and other small furry things, found suitable treats/nibbles for Monster, put BB off from trying to buy uneccessary rabbit tat. Off to drop SB at gym and then me and SB headed off into town for a little bit of shopping (went into Millets for boot laces, BB came out with a fluffy fleece jacket….)  Sainsburys and then to the playground.

They are extending the gym, and the upstairs viewing balcony is mostly closed off. So me and BB have stopped staying at gym and watching SB as there isn’t much space. But it will soon be too dark to be going to the park and things so not sure what we will do if they haven’t reopened it soon.

Home for a boring dinner of pasta (not organised enough in the mornign to have anything else) and me and SB sat and sorted out final things for her presentation – some photos for a slideshow and questions for a quiz she wanted to do.

Viking and Saxon History

Another HE group, in another town. They have been doing monthly history session, where any kids that want to present something on the theme of the session. They started earlier in the year, but last month was the first one we got to and this was the first one that we have presented at. SB was inspired by a Making Viking Bread’ article in the latest issue of the Young Archgeologists Club magazine, so we used that as the focus. Though we couldn’t find the magazine last weeend and had to look up a recipe on the web.

H made the bread and butter with the girls last weekend. So we took that.  We took photos which SB wanted to display whilst she talked about how she made the bread.


She did very well at explaining what she did I thought, thought had to be reminded to speak up enough so people could hear. After that her and BB did a True or False quiz with soem questions relating to the food viking ate. BB was being the ‘glamorous assistant’ and showing the answers.


Though it was a bit of a comedy moment really as they hadn’t practised this. SB had coloured coded the True and False cards for BB green and purple, but BB didn’t quite have the hang of it :-)

We handed round the bread and butter which all went down well :-)

Other presentations included a Story and soup,  models of viking longhouses, about the battle of Hastings, the tale of Beowulf.

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After the presentations was lunch and playing outside/chatting before hometime.

Home for a bit of playing and pottering about. They both got into a good Bob the Builder lego game so I left to quietly too it.

Then it was off out to BB’s football skills session and home to get dinner ready,  followed by a bit of flopping in the sitting room. Me and SB did a bit of her Meccano remote controled car before bedtime.

Tune in next month for the next thrilling instalment of ‘Daddybean does Blogging’

lets try and do a decent blog!!

chris and the girls had a busy end of week whilst i was away on a lovely course at Madingley Hall in cambridge. v fab!! I got to start an new book there, which i am REALLY enjoying.

on thurs they went into town and had a bit of a shop. SB is on the lanky side, so has great difficulty in finding trousers that stay up without having to bunch lots of material up either with with elastic or belts. so they popped in to next, and a small fortune later she is really happy! BB had boot heaven at clarke’s, but SB not so fortunate, as with an E fitting there seems to be no shoes for her. the specialist shop in town seems to have closed down, so a bit more of a search is in order :roll: i remember this from my childhood! They then went onto a home ed friend for a playdate before rushing back for gym.

friday. ah yes, a home ed visit to a local orchard. a yearly event where the rather long suffering owner drives round the home ed rabble on a wagon hitched to the tractor!! i have been before, and it is excellent. he is v informative, the children get to try different apples, including new varieties and old trusted, and also see the sorting bit. he makes juices as well. SB came back with armfuls. BB had her footie lesson later on and then both happy to see me :smile: we have found the yoga dvd, and both girls rather cutely did it. SB and i both had a giggle reading the bagthorpe saga – our bedtime story. SB has decided she is rather good at doing trances – i v much agree, having seen her trance for over 30 mins doing one maths sum!!

Saturday. we started with the quest seekers presentation at the library. a bit weirdly it started by a speech about how hard reading was and why most children don’t choose to do it – this may be true, but seemed an odd start to the thing. and anyway, mine love reading, and i imagine a fair number of the other questseekers do too!! BB won the questseeker raffle and got a little ball game thingy, and in the book sale i bought SB 3 of the Spiderwick Chronicles for 30p each – a bargain! also persuaded someone else to buy Azincourt, which i really enjoyed. we posted some postcrossing postcards on the way home and put up our world map with the received ones.

SB has done a fair bit of piano practice over the last 2 weeks, so we had a ‘lesson’ together, and she is really moving forward. i am hoping that the speed of progress when she practices might persuade some more practice!! we did some recorder duetting as well, which we both like. whilst sb did some other home ed stuff – maths and music theory – bb and i played with her farm animals. i think i might neeed to practice at this, as i am less and less fond of playing with things! SB got out a tescos elecetric fan kit, which she put together quite happily – bit like this one Ein-o’s Box Kit Electric Motor Electric Science. we then had a lovely time making cards for chloes birthday party.

Merry having rung, we realised to take an alternate road work free route!! and arrived second at the pool venue, in time to give a very pregnant Jax a hug! and for Big and SB to exuberantly greet each other, before all those staying at the manor arrived too. i loved the pool, a great depth baby pool for bb to manically swim in. as an aside, her swimming is really coming on – although it is still more drowning with style, the backstroke is particularly good! scarily, she actually dived in twice – eek! luckilly bellyflopping rather than smashing head on the ground. i got to chat to the babs a bit! the bigger girls were being crazy in the bigger pool, though SB, big and E were mostly playing with the floats rather than the long floaty obstacle course.

lovely time, i love swimming!! [though i actually didn't get to do much, mostly kept an eye on crazy bb!!] party tea at the venue and lots of the blogring were in attendence! said hello again to michelle’s friend B, who i have met before and like v much! [she should blog you know!!] the cake cutting was a crazy moment!! back to the manor and wine and chat and relaxing until suddenly it was midnight, and we drove home to the sound of kids snoring!

sunday [btw having to blog with left hand only bb asleep on me and sb snuggled up also, watching jungle book - hard!!] anyway, i had planned to go to west stow for a reenactment weekend, but i had an unsettled night with lots of v unsettling themed dreams so had a lie in to recover – as did SB from having a late night. bb was up early tho. so i was a bit put out to have ‘ruined’ the day, but recovered! i discussed with the girls what fun things they wanted to do, and SB wanted to make the viking flatbread that was in the young archaeologists magazine. could i find it anywhere??? nope!! luckilly google to the rescue. the recipe galled for buttermilk tho… so we have made our own butter and topped up the amount of buttermillk with the first ‘washing’. we did do some of the butter in a jamjar for authenticity!! but the rest we did in the food processor, and is now in the freezer! SB then made the dough for the viking shardbread. we made one batch with honey, and the other with herbs, tried some each, but froze the rest to take to history group next friday and hopefully rewarmed there!! tasted delicious!! BB did some painting and stamping happily whilst we did this.

SB and i played bohnanza and landlock, she played castle keep with chris. i played an extremely long game of farm animals with BB. SB and i got the solar panels that we won on ebay to power a knex motor tried out, and thought what we might try and build – but didn’t! instead BB did some fimo-ing – piggies – and SB hama-ed some witches hats and we are all out of black. :roll: i seem to be constantly ordering from bead merrily!! think i might save up the order though!! i used some left out and hardening hama to make eyballs, teeth and worms beads for a scary halloween necklace! [having grumped at bb for starting something months ago and then doing no more so the fimo was dodgy!! Although our present to chloe had sparked some interest from SB, we didn’t actually get round to doing watercolour painting. nor the piano, maths and ballet practice we had planned. oh well!!

hoping for an early bedtime for the girls, but have, unfortunately, woken bb up, so not sure when she might fall asleep again! but an early out tomorrow.

finsbury parktastic

it was an RI day today, meaning up bright and early to catch the train. today it all seemed to go smoothly, there was parking, there was time, and we remembered the croissants! and we shared a carriage with the puddles! so all v delightful. got wathc SB and maddy practice their french conversation on the tube – how home ed cute! as we got off the tube, there were the manor borns, as we walked along the pavement, there were the portico, and finally, already there were monster, teeny and parents! if we had tried to arrange to meet up so effortlessly it would have been doomed to failure!

A bit of playing in the basement, and some interminable queuing as they set up – noticing that the manorborns snuck the back way past all of this! and then in to fantastic pole position seats. i think the experimenters were a trifle concerned to see BB so close, but she was fab! we really enjoyed it. lots of things to think about – with plenty of bangs! we were advised not to try at home, though i loved the luminescent bits… yep, we loved it! Afterwards, bb and sb spent a while poring over the periodic tables outside before we picnicked in green park with friends.

we decided to walk to buckingham palace and wander about a bit, but after we had got there, bb was flagging, and TBH, she has been tired more quickly recently, so we wandered slowly back through green park and came home, meeting the puddles at finsbury park! bb fell asleep on train, and SB and Maddy read some usborne pocket science books, played treehouse and did some colouring – all v beautiful to watch! back in time for SB brownies and judo, and BB and i played hiss and watched shrek. on SB’s returned she watched a what the ancients… on early britons whilst i snoozed!

next week rI is magnets, with latinetc deferred – i think?

baby wearing

today i have had another sofa day. am feeling better, but has we should have gone on hols this eve and pushed it back to thurs, didn’t want to push my luck!!

the girls have mostly played with baby dolls today. bb devastated cos she can’t find her baby sling, so rustled up one with a fleece scarf. sb adapted my hugababy. would like to say this was accomplished with out wails,tears and gnashing of teeth… but compromises made, peace restored and game continued on and off for most of day. at some point the girls might realise we never interfere or interupt a good game…

in between this lovely sibling play were peppered some HE moments. BB did some real and unreal maths, SB did some galore park english and science [bitesize] and piano practice.

Both girls at swimming lesson now.

edited to add – found babysling in airing cupboard, so today v happy

pah, a weekly blogger!

OK, so a new term is coming, and with that fresh leaf HE feel sweeping around parts of the blogring, not only will we try and do some HE and blog it [and chris, this means you too!] but also be positive and invigorating!

We have actually done some stuff this last week! SB has been on a level 2 sailing course. This wasn;t an unqualified success, as she had some major wobbles with swapping from side to side brought on by a head dunking on falling in. She has had a dreadful barking cough, and this made it worse. Anyway, the brave lass did carry on with the course, going back out onto the water to try some more, but on the last day just did fun sailing, so didn’t get her level 2. she knew she wouldn’t, but was still disappointed.

Meanwhile BB has been on a 2week learning to swim course [well, she is still on it] and is really enjoying it. they have even been in the deep end! This was obviously with a number of flotation aids! She is very proud

other excitements were visiting merry – always lovely, but this time with the added bonus of picking up a rabbit called monster. we will be calling it monsterrabs or mr to differentiate from friends’ child’s blog name! it has settled into life here, and is rather fetching!! as bb puts it, ‘i am rather keen on rabbits!’

We have done some arts and crafts – mostly with a space theme for the upcoming party, and some baking. Unfortunately, with SB under the weather, we have done far too much vegging in front of the tv watching dr who, narnia and assorted rubbish!! My general feeling of only just holding things together, and then not always quite is not really helping. Not quite sure how to improve this as surviving on willpower only really. hmm.

more splashing

today we did a lot of splashing in and out of the pool. even i went in. it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, but by the time i had hoed the veg patch, i really needed to cool down! oh, and SB cooked poached eggs for breakfast – fantastic.

last weekend apparently cousin m told sb that when he does really well, he gets a mars bar. she wanted to know what the home-ed equivalent was. hmm, we said, what do you think? so she has got the timetable idea out again, and if she does 2/3 of what is on there, she gets her mars bar. some of the splashing today has therefore been the tears when we pointed out we could see she had ticked off things she hadn’t done. claims that someone else had done that were discarded. also tears of ‘completing’ her english [section 3.1 of galore park] when i opened to find it wasn’t. it took an hour to complete it. we aren;t autonomous, but we are child led and normally we don’t have battles over what to do, and especially with wailing thrown in. but fibbing about it to me changes the goal posts. once she was done, she was all happiness and light, so it obviously wasn’t so traumatic after all.

things that sb did happily were: singapore maths – giggle at it suddenly becoming newsworthy!; music theory – having finally found again the My First Theory Book! listening to me read The Story Of the World – the Middle Ages V 2 (Story of the World: History for the Classical Child (Paperback)): Middle Ages v. 2 about the taking of constantinople and some french words about animals.

BB has also been busy HE wise. although i was tempted to ‘give them stuff to do’ and the read a book, i felt i owed it to us all to actually interact, so grabbed a science kit for BB, and she LOVED it. it is now her kit, as too simple for sb. it is a first electric kit, and she followed the pictures rather than the written instructions, with a bit of help, and made a circuit with a light, and then a motor, which whizzed cards on it and blended the colours – more excitement. but what was so fab was her total thrill and enjoyment that she COULD do it!

both girls made very glittery cards for my sisters birthday at the end of the week. am a bit stalled over what to do as a present. what do you get? hmmm. flip camera? digital photo frame? john lewis vouchers [snort!] just dunno. the cards, however, will give a lasting impression – certainly to the carpets! sb in particularly spent ages getting it just how she wanted.

we did lots of messing in the pool though. bb is being v adventurous in that not quite swimming way. sb learnt to swim by drowning under water and then standing to breathe, and i think this is bb’s technique too. she jets under water and then stands up, breathes, and does some more. she is booked into a 2 week intensive swimming course this summer [my word!] and might be able to swim after that! i love the fact that she went on that they would have to have her somewhere shallow as she had v short legs – :lol: so she does. SB is quite the water wild child, and having great fun twisting, rolling and cavorting in the water. i also got lots of cuddles. good!!

hot hot hot

For those that stumble on my blog [not many do!] the protected ones are that, as they are there for a record for me, and do not ask for the password. that which i want friends, family and strangers to read is all there, laid bare. that which i don’t is protected, and i feel bad at refusal. I could private it – and yes there are a fair number of private posts dotted through this blog that only i see – but a sprinkling ppl have my passwords, for the benefit of their love and advice. these passworded blogs really aren’t that interesting.

so, having done the safety messages, what have we been doing. well, we have been being very hot!! chris has got some scaffolding up at the window, and done some putty work – hoorah! and the girls have mostly been in our paddling pool. indeed thurs i was so hot that i was in it too!!

sb has done a bit more maths and piano practice, and also teaching bb to read. we had a new arrival yesterday – a metronome, which they had fun investigating, a star kit, and a geography book – both looked through the astronomy – bb recognising saturn which she has seen, and sb some of the geography – it does look good.

SB has had gym and yesterday they went to nana’s and grandads [so no doubt watched alot of cable tv!!]

difficult me

i had a compassionate leave day again today. work are being rather excellent and i am head in sanding about how much chaos this will cause. i will only have taken 4 days in the end for 2 deaths, so i guess i am not being too bad. but i am finding it hard not to grump and growl quickly. i have no tolerance, and am being crap unpredictable mum. aargh. i could at least use this time to be good mum.

anyhoo, i had a lie in/peace to reflect whilst chris and girls went to the library. bb did the craft thing making suns, and loads of new books. on return i was ready to interact. so we cuddled, bb watched her new vid, sb and i did some french and piano practice. after lunch they both got out their brainbox kits. sb ecstatic to make a mw radio and listen to tennis. also made a microphone. out to bb’s footie. her coach is v gentle with her. however after about 1/3 of lesson she was too hot and bothered and came out. sb did some nvr and read about alexander graham bell -one of her favs. the she taught bb to play duck duck goose, involving her shrieking ‘goose me bb, goose me’!!! giggle :lol: . another soon to be ex-homeducator was there. she home-edded for a temp purpose and it clearly was ace for her daughter, so congrats in order. she did point out there seemed to be huge amounts of fluff and waffle in the taster days! sb swimming – she is v good at backstroke. back home to icecream, ken hom and bed!

A Funny Old Week

Well, I guess with Helen away most of the week in Italy ata conference it was never going to be a normal week, but still. I had vagur idea that I would try to keep the week fairly empty, have a relaxed time, get some housey jobs done etc. But was not to be.


Monday was my Uncle Robert’s funeral, and we were all going.  My Dad has stopped driving now, as it is just too painful for his arm to steer the car. A tad annoying really when you onky functioning arm stops functioning properly. So I hired an MPV to take us all , plus my neice Liana down to the funeral.

I relalised on the Sunday, that I didn’t really have anything to wear, at least in the legwear stakes. So headed to Tesco first thing on the way to get car to find something. Ended up with a suit, which was fine, except that in the shop it just looked black/grey next to all the others. In the daylight when I  it was a more browny colour, nice enough, but not quite what I had intended. Ah well.

Funeral was, in the context of funerals, good. Some affecionate and moving speeches from a Son-in-law and a couple of other people who knew him well. Some proper hymns to have a good sing to (if you are going to go to church I really think you need to have some proper hymns to sing) and a few hugs and tears. SB managed fine. BB mostly sat on the floor of the pew and coloured, but she was tired, and started to complain of being hot etc. in the church. But didn’t want to go outside with Helen, but fell a sleep after a bit.

The coffin was wrapped in a big picture of a steam train, and the organist played the theme tune to Thomas the Tank Engine at the commital at the crematorium – get the theme here :-)

He was a good man, with a strong faith. It does seem sad that after waiting years for a grandchild they probably had given up on getting, he only got to spend a couple of years with her. If you are somewhere else now Uncle Robert, I hope it is as good as you would have hoped it was.

After refreshments I had to take Stringbean over to Birchanger Services where I handed her over to Michelle. She was going to stay with them for 2 nights whilst she did a Sailing training course. I then headed back to my Aunts house for a bit. Took Helen to the tain station so she could go and stay in some posh hotel room at Heathrow. Eventally the remnants of the party headed back to our house, where we all went to bed pretty much straight away.


More driving about.

Took hire car back, did a bit of shopping, had hair cut, sat in cafe and drunk coffee, read The Gruaniad without any children - bliss :-) Home to find Butterbean has been spending Grandads money. Take parents and liana back to their house. stay there until time to take BB to her football class. True to form she did manage to somehow knock her head within the first 10 minutes – so ws of woith an injury having a cuddle.
But did convince her to go back and do some more . She almost finished the rest, but stopped part way through the short game they have at the end. She doesn’t like this bit as she can hardly ever get the ball, and if she does it gets tackled away fro her in no time. So basically runs around a bit and then gets bored :-)

Had dinner at the cafe there, a bit of TV and then bed for her. SB rang up from the Old Manor, upset becuase she had bashed her toe (a classic SB-ism) and wanted to come home. This wasn’t really that practical as they are an hours drive away and there was just me, and anyway I expected her to get over it and she did it sounds like. I guess this is something you need to learn to deal with really.


Out again. via the Park and Ride, where we met the Patch of Puddle gang on the bus, and then were reunited with SB in town. We were going to The Cloth Place, a project by Big wide Talk, the took over 2 floors of a lovely old building, that was a shop. Filled it with all sorts of cloth things – animals, vegtables, food, various props, and the kids get to use it how ever they want as long as they don’t hurt each other and repsect the stuff. I forgot the camera but borowed Michelle’s. She has been more organised than me and posted some piccies.

It was great fun :-) Afterwards we had a picnic in the park, including a good strop by BB as she chose a drink, and then wanted to change it after it had all been paid for and I said no. We then went to the Archaeology museum, which I’ve not been to before. And had an interesting hour there.

Then back on the bus to head home, SB to brownies and general flopping abolut until dinner and bedtime.


Yup out again. Kids all tired, and not wanting to get up.  Off to Tots and Nots, only really went becuase it was the 3rd and last of three sessions that SB has done on philosophy. They were finishing early as they were off to the Coth Place again. Then into the car, and the hour or so’s drive to my parents to leave them with BB. A short time there, then off again to take Sb to gym. They have started building work there and there isn’t much space on the balcony anymore so rather than be hot and squashed I popped into town, a little bit of shopping and another peaceful coffee :-)

Home dinner, played a game with SB, a bit of TV and bed.


Not out :-)

SB has commented that she gets given stuff to do while we do something else (!).  With all the other boring stuff of life that get in the way and never seem finished (housework, washing etc. etc.) I find myself ending up putting stuff off with them, so decided not to spend today tidying the house (sorry H) and spent mucho time with SB whlst BB was awayPottered about in the morning, a modicum of housework, reading and playing a game with SB, plenty of music practice. SB cooked lunch, where she learnt how to cook scrambled egg on toast. Then we spent all afternoon working on a project she has been wnting to do for the last few weeks. I won’t say what as it might give the game away for someone, but involved much sawing and nailing and gluing.

Once we had finished what we could, we needed to get a couple of bits, so off to the DIY shop. Then we decided to find somewhere to ahve dinner for a treat. Realised that we don’t go out in the evening much and din’t really know what was around that would have things SB might like. But found a pleasant Italian place, and a dinner with just the two of us, which was also rather pleaant.

Home, to SB’s bed time and me trying to blog a bit of the week, which I’ve managed just about  – shock!!

Shortly we are off to get BB, then this afternoon it is the carnival procession. SB is on the Brownies float and I think she might be doing a ballet display. Helen should be back homw sometime this afternoon as well :-)

riding along on my pushbike

well, that was then plan, well, plan B. plan A had been to go camping in derbyshire this weekend and play about on bike rides there. With the death of Uncle Robert, we didn’t really feel right to go on holiday. Mind you, having planned to go camping, i didn’t look at anything else, and now realised we have missed strawberry fair – again! oh well!!

we got up, got ready, got in the car, drove out of the drive, drove back into the drive and then attached the indicator/reg plate thingy. :roll: but we did get going, and went to thetford. TBH, i feel nervous about cycling after all this time. this prob is silly [after all, i survived cycling in london for 7 years!], but i wanted to wibble and wobble off road, where we could stop in the shade, and find something interesting to comment on and do, and no sense that we had to get from a to b or go round something. and where if my unfitness was too dreadful, that i didn’t need to feel mortified!

so, anyway, we got there, nearly died when it seemed that parking was nearly 10 pounds!! shrugged, and got on with it. we had a picnic lunch, twiddled and fiddled with the bikes, and set off on the 6 mile family route. it says this is a really easy family route for beginners etc, but , as you will read, it isn’t exactly.

we identified a problem early on. bb is incapable of going a steady speed, watching where she is going, or even going in a vaguely straight trajctory for any length of time. both sb and i did emergency stops early on. chris didn’t, and was the first cycling accident, obtaining a war wound, which we all decided to ignore. and then we got to the path :lol: it was very sandy, and very sandy means very easy to skid and slip. and so they did! alot! so we did about 50m at a time. no worries that i might look foolish or out of breath there was there! by the time i had got on bike, i was off, hugging a wailing child. SB had got new pedals with clippy bits, and she didn’t like them. BB at least didn’t mind falling into the sand. luckilly chris brought tools with him, as SB managed to turn her wheel right round and wedge it with one fall, and bb managed to push her wheel and handlebar out of alignment with another :roll: finally we had bb on the trailgator – and another stop to sort out the alignment of that and we were really off. i think at this point we had done 15 mins cycle and 40 mins pause! the next stop was a mercy mission as i stopped a dad going past whose trailgator was on so badly that the child was almost sideways. chris fixed that too. lots of kids, and even some adults were skidding/falling in the sandyness. so yes, it was mostly flat, and an easy trail to follow, but not an easy trail to ride.

We had a single hilly bit and stopped at the top for chocolate and refreshment, having actually managed a cycle. sb was being grumpy, so we decided her blood sugar was too low, so fed her and made her drink! it did the job. we saw a couple of despondant families turn back, as this was only a third way round. we looked on the map, found a ‘shortcut’ down a firebreak and forest road, and had the best bit of cycling! not sandy, a bit flinty at times [another sb fall] and even bb came off the trailgator and cycled happily all the rest of the way – about another 2 miles – and we did this bit happily and quickly. so next time would try and avoid the sandy bit!

I got brave enough to adjust the height of the saddle to the correct position, rather than worrying i needed to put feet on the floor. and i also really enjoyed it, and i was right about being crap going uphill – so def more no pressure rides for me first!

we had icecreams back at base. SB was really jealous of those on go ape, and so they played in the adventure park for an hour or so until we left. a chippy pick up since it was late and we were hoping kids might be tired enough to extract from car to bed [nope, slept all the way, woke up at home and now really irritating me!] and had it a carpark which is free, and you can join the cycle trail from after the sandy bit [i guess that will be where we are parking again - though actually we did get the parking free at high lodge anyway due to being so late out and jools holland concert goers arriving.]

so that was our first cycle outing, and we all enjoyed it.