Monday, 27 September 2010

Bub's first Beaver Church Service

As part of the world Jamboree Bub's had to take part in the church service at Beavers. The group are trying to raise £2000 to send one of the scouts to Switzerland for the Jamboree. The scout from the group was picked out of 68 children that applied to go and is the first from our group to be involved. The beavers had to sing -:If I were a butterfly, I'd thank you Lord for giving me wings....

This was the mask that he had made to represent Papua New Guinea (whose chosen scout will also benefit from the money donated and be able to go to Switzerland for the Jamboree)

Very proud of him for singing so well in front of a packed church! :-))

Masson Mills

This is a photo of the children stood with a statue of Sir Richard Arkwright, the owner of the two Mills. We had a walk around the floors of the mill first, where i bought some lovely coloured string and some buttons (couldn't resist!) and then we paid to go and look around the textile museum.

This is Bailey using the original clocking in machine that the workers would have to use. Although, quarter to two would have been quite late to start work in a factory!

 It was very loud in the factory and you were warned to only stay no longer than 15 minutes due to possible ear damage. There were so many machines whirring and clunking but it was interesting to imagine how it would have been with so many workers around to work the machines. Lots of posters about death by electrocution which were a little off putting! It would have been nice to have a guide to show us around but the machines just run themselves now.

Getting weighed together on the old fashioned weighing scales!

 Watching the big looms with fascination as they made pieces of coloured cotton material.
 Mummy's favourite room-The Bobbin Room! It was covered and I really mean covered in bobbins there were over 640,000 bobbins in the room.
Outside the mill, with the huge chimney!
 Walking over the bridge, this is where the water turbines are and when the electricity that is created is not being used in the day for the factory it is sent to the national grid. The water is very deep here.

This was the boiler room, the younger two found this room quite scary as the boilers were so huge and quite intimidating. Bub's even found a tiny mouse hole but I didn't get chance to take a picture as they were already running to the end of the tour!

 Finally finished our tour of the museum and this is the grand entrance of the front of the mill.

Visiting the Mills at Matlock Bath

As part of our project on the Industrial Revolution we had a visit to Cromford Mill, which was the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill and built in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright.
 This bridge pre-dates the mill and was used for traffic across the River Derwent. It is really quite narrow when you are stood on it and we were all quite amazed at how anything as big as a lorry would have gotten across it. The children are stood in front of the first mill which was five stories high.
 This was the Gothic Warehouse next to Cromford Canal.
 The girls wanted to stand on the same spot as a member of the royal family once did. This was where an original water wheel was, it is now being restored but you could see the grooves where it once fitted.
 This was quite a steep walk up to the Scarthin Rock viewpoint. Below you can see the mill from the Rock.
 And back down we go......
They had some lovely little shops in the mill, my favourite was the quilting shop, it had rows of gorgeous fabric and idea's for quilts. The kids favourite was the charity shop where they bought some books and magazines!
 Sharing our lunch with the ducks on Cromford Canal. They were so timid, they took the bread right out of the children's hands!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mummy's birthday on Shell Island

How exciting to spend your birthday on the beach for another BBQ and a big slice of cake! We found some fabulous shells on Shell Island as well as a whole host of sealife! The kids had a mini rock pool in their buckets filled with crabs, starfish (how tiny???), shrimp and mussels. We were blessed again with the sunshine and sandy dunes to roll down and bury our feet in! I think this is going on our camping list, as to get up in a morning and be this close to the sea is just perfect. The kids are so happy on the beach there is so much for them to do and explore, they just never get bored and i can totally see us ending up here in Wales sooner or later because this place (not just Shell Island but the whole of Wales) is so good for the soul. Its so tranquil and free from all the trappings of city life, if its possible to fall in love with a place then I am head over heels. This visit just reminded me exactly what I want out of life and exactly the kind of childhood I want for the kids to grow up in. And we are in the unique position to be able to really do it, so watch this space..........

Porthmadog Beach-the best in the world???

It was a flipping long walk to get to this beach especially when you are laden down with buckets, spades, fishing gear and enough BBQ food to feed a small army but we eventually made it and boy it was so worthwhile! It was the quietest beach I've ever experienced and I don't just mean with people, the sea was out so there was no waves crashing against the beach and as its on the estuary you don't hear it when the water comes in. Very easy to get caught out on this beach and get stranded! The backdrop was spectacular though and the RAF planes kept flying over really low so we all kept stopping what we were doing to watch them. Their were little caves for the kids (and dog!)to explore and bubs even managed to find some rather big shrimp. I think all of us could have stayed on this beach for a week solid and not got bored. The kids had a go at sea fishing with Dad (and even i did too, it was very relaxing) and Bailey learnt how to BBQ!


This was the first time we have camped and been allowed to have open fires. It really makes all the difference when you are sat outside at night, the kids only sat around it a couple of times as they liked to climb in their sleeping bags and read or play on their ds'. We made hot chocolate with cream and they sat out and watched the fire and the beautiful night sky. Its so clear in Wales that you can really make out so many constellations, we saw the big dipper and Orion's belt and so many more. I tried to take a photograph because they looked so clear but they didn't come out :-( I did see my first shooting star though, pity the kids were fast asleep and missed it.

Pippi does some beach art

Pips always likes to find something quieter to do by herself and began collecting huge pebbles in different colours to make a picture of a flower. The pebbles look all the same colours until you get close up to them and then you see what beautiful pastel shades they are. There were lots of lilac, peach and blue colours and our friend found Pip's this bright terracotta coloured pebble which made a perfect centre for her flower. I think they would make lovely photo cards :-)

Jellyfishes and Starfish in Llandudno!

This has got to be the best time to visit a beach, September weekday, it wasn't warm but it wasn't cold either and there was hardly anyone around so it was absolute bliss for the kids (and us) Daddy got to do some sea fishing but unfortunately didn't catch anything. The kids meanwhile caught all sorts in the rock pool's. The tiniest starfish which we had to put on a rock for them to show up on the camera they were so small. Bub's dug as if his life depended on it and collected lots of 'eggs' or tiny white pebbles to you and me. Always happy when he is collecting sticks/rocks or bugs! There were lots of washed up jellyfish and they were very unusual, sort of red and disc shaped, completely different to the jellyfish we saw on a later beach which were more boxy and with clear tentacles.


When we visited in April we didn't get chance to take the kids inside Britain's smallest house and Pips has never let us forget about it so we took them back and had a look in. I'd say a look around but really it is ridiculously small. How two adults (one of them 6ft!)could live in it I have no idea, but our tent certainly felt roomy when we got back! You have to take it in turns to look at the bedroom as there is only a very narrow ladder which you climb to look in, there wasn't much there besides a bed and a table. Apparently the man of the house travelled around Britain with a tape measure to prove his was the smallest house (no arguments from us!). Last time we walked all the way around the town walls but we were desperate to get to the beach at Llandudno whilst it wasn't raining so we gave it a miss this time! We did manage to go into the Knight's shop and I took this picture of the girls outside with their Knight in Shining Armour!


Betws-y-Coed is one of the most picturesque and friendly villages in North Wales, it has the most amazing gift shops and the kids would argue the best ice cream in the world! Bubs and Cordy really enjoyed this little lever train that ran alongside the village's train station and the old train cafe. I think by far though the best bit was sat having our lunch (a huge pain au chocolat fresh from the bakery!)whilst watching the waterfall. It starts much further up and is named Swallow Falls, seeing how the waterfall has gorged its way out through the rocks is mesmerising. We saw a heron and a cormorant too both sat on huge rocks looking for fish. Getting across the rocks to sit under the bridge was quite tricky but it was me who fell not the kids! This tree was in the churchyard and was gigantic! I took a picture whilst everyone tried to see if they could fit around it holding hands, it was a lovely moment! If you look on the tourist info for the village this is what it says "If you are tired by life, come to the Betws-y-Coed, you will be breathless just standing still" and it is totally true.