Tuesday, 23 November 2010

And finally the lights!

 I love this picture of James and Cordy! She was the proud owner of some poundland reindeer antlers!
 The lights on the Town Hall
 This was a nightmare picture to take because it was so busy everyone kept walking through the middle of it! The tree was too big to fit in too!

 I love the multi-coloured tree lights outside of John Lewis

 Family hug!
On the way back to the car park the moon just looked so spectacular I had to try and capture it. Very spooky indeed! It was a lovely day and we all felt very christmassy on the way home. So much so our tree might even be going up this weekend!!

Winter Gardens

The winter gardens in Sheffield are one of our favourite places in town. They boast more than 2,100 square metres of glass and 80 tonnes of steel (what Sheffield is famous for!) and it is also home to more than 2000 plants from around the world. There are 150 species of plant but I think my four would agree that they love the cactus' the best. Ruben is always trying to touch them! This was a fairy display they had with a beautiful steel flower display in the middle of the fountain.

 The kids managed to catch the end of a puppet show!
 Not sure what it was about as we came in a little late but it looked very effective.
 The view above
 Its pretty impressive inside. The children love to walk around the Millennium Galleries which are attached to the Winter Gardens. There are many exhibits and the most recent is 'Restless Times' Art in Britain 1914-1945. Sadly no camera's allowed! But it was worth a visit and the silver bead art was in particular quite astounding, very disappointed I couldn't take a picture! The kids always make a beeline for this (below) its a metal structure which moves when you push a button.

This was the Christmas market in the town centre. It was very bustling and busy and this year Sheffield even has its own outdoor ice rink. It reminded me a little of Edinburgh when we went last year but not quite as grand, still its nice to see Sheffield attracting more visitors and tr

Wild Planet Exhibition Sheffield

On Sunday we had a very much needed trip into town. Last week the kids were really poorly with a bad sickness bug so we spent most of the week huddled on the sofa with quilts,pj's and dvd's. It was not a fun week at all. So come Sunday we were all climbing the walls. Or at least I was!

There were lots of activities going off in town this weekend because it was the annual switching on of lights. First we went for a walk around and came across the Wild Planet exhibition at the bottom of the moor. If anyone hasn't seen it it is definitely worth a visit. The photo's are truly spectacular. The exhibit is from the Natural History Museum in London, which is one of our favourite museum's.

 We loved this one, all the different fish eating algae off the sea turtle!

 Bubs loved the panda photo.
 Piper quietly looked at all of them and read all the details of the photo's. Sometimes the photographer has waited for days to get such a shot, some great patience involved.

There were so many photographs it was difficult to pick a favourite. I had a few myself and wish I had taken more photo's but my camera really can't do them any justice.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Baby steps to Christmas.....

Myself, Ruben and the girls decided to make our own Christmas Tree decorations this year so we got out our air drying clay and used our Christmas cookie cutters to cut out some shapes. I love, love, love gingerbread men and so I think I am going to have to make a lot more of them and maybe they will be hanging around in to next year!
 We had to let them dry for 24 hours before painting them with acrylic paints. My mum has pinched a gingerbread man already that I made, as she says all the decorations I made for her when I was little have either been lost or broken. Here are a few that we have painted, just need to put some ribbon on them now and go and buy a REAL tree to hang them on, can't wait!!!! I will update with more photo's when we have finished them. Have lots more ideas for decorations yet......

Monday, 15 November 2010

Lincoln Museum in the afternoon

After some hot chocolate and sandwiches to warm us back up from walking around the castle we walked into the very pretty town to the museum. It has recently been renovated and is very new inside. They had some great items on exhibit though especially the vikings.
 This was an iron age boat found buried under mud in Lincolnshire.
 Above, this was a magical fountain that Cordelia and Ruben just loved.
 Cordelia making mosaics
 Ruben listening to some Latin and Saxon. I am hoping to start some Latin with the children soon.
Cordelia's finished mosaic on the left and Piper's on the right. I think they are just lovely :-)
 Bailey creating a stained glass window pattern.
 Piper lifting the tools that a Roman foot solider would have had to carry for around 20 miles a day! It was ok to lift it for a minute or so but there is no way they could have lifted it for longer.
 In full armour, which was very, very heavy by the way. Its a wonder Cordelia can even hold her head up as the helmet was so heavy
 Piper dressing up in some Greek costumes
 Combs made from Bones!
Walking back up 'Steep Hill' with a sugar mouse to help them up :-))

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lincoln Castle

We tagged along with dad on Wednesday to have a day out to Lincoln. We had such a good day. First we visited the castle which dates back to 1068 and was built by William the Conqueror. The castle has been used as a court and prison for over 900 years. The crown court is still used today and we were lucky enough to see some real barristers coming and going through the court. There were also public executions taking place here too up until 1859. The final execution taking place in 1877.

 The steps into the medieval tower which was built in the 13th century were very steep, so we had to come down slowly one at a time. This was the Cobb Hall.
 You can just see the top of Lincoln Cathedral from this hall, which is a truly spectacular building.

 This was the climb up to Lucy Tower, very steep, so Piper really took her time as she hates heights. It was the original motte of the castle and also used to bury prisoners who had been executed in the 19th century. One of the gravestones had the intials P.B which was a little creepy but we later found out that it was from a lady called Priscilla Biggadike who was the first woman hung by private execution at Lincoln prison.
 This was avery detailed model of the castle and prison.
 Inside a real prison cell.
 The prison chapel is the only remaining example of an original separate system chapel in the world. All the prisoners were taken in wearing masks and were unable to communicate with each other. They were then each put in a separate cubical with a very uncomfortable sloping seat. Sometimes the Sunday sermon went on for 2-3 hours with the prisoners being inside these very tiny cells. As this was the only time the prisoners could use their voice they apparently sang very, very loudly.
 Bailey, Cordelia and Ruben wanted to pretend they were in the cells whilst Piper stood at the altar.

This was the cell that condemmed woman Priscilla Biggadike was held in on the night before her execution. She was charged with murdering her husband by poisoning him with arsenic. On his deathbed the tenant that was living with them at the time of the murder confessed to killing him. So poor Priscilla was innocent.
One of the main attractions at the castle is the Magna Carta. One of the four remaining copies of the 1215 Magna Carta is on display here as well as the Charter of the Forest. The other copies being in both the British Museum and Sailsbury Cathedral. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures in this part as it is kept in quite a dark room. The exhibition allowed the children time to learn about the justice system and why we have laws. Some of the laws in the 1215 Magna Carta are still followed today.

Rag dolls and Paper dolls

The girls decided to have a dolls kind of day. Cordelia decided to finish off her rag doll that she started a while ago. It was made from one of daddy's old t-shirts and is lovely and soft. She has done 2 faces one on each side, an awake face and a sleepy face. It's very sweet and she has done it all by herself.

 Piper meanwhile decided that she wanted to design a whole box of paper dresses and accessories for her paper dolls. This is actually Cordelia's book of dolls but Piper has really enjoyed designing different clothes for them. I think I might have a fashion designer on my hands one day! No wonder I can never find my Grazia anywhere!