Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Half Term Hiatus

During Half Term I admit it is difficult to write my blog despite having more to say with it being a busy break from the usual housework chores and more child friendly activities planned.  My sister was visiting from Kent and we visited new places with the weather being pleasant most days.  Malvern had a food festival on the Bank Holiday Monday and we visited Croft Castle on Tuesday.  I went to a few car boots and charity shops and managed to pick up some pieces which I hope to share over the next few posts.  For now I will simply include a few pictures from the last week.

The Food stalls were in the grounds of the priory which is a beautiful setting and the sun shone making for a very relaxed atmosphere with the smells of delicious food mixing and wafting through the air.

I really love seeing the vibrant colours displayed together and most were small businesses using local produce.  This fellow wanted us to believe he was French but alas, could not respond to any of the French my sister spoke!

This is the entrance to Croft Castle.  I think the children could have stayed here all afternoon enacting every fairy tale they know where there is a fair maiden or princess in distress.

Did I mention we were ree-decorating?  Here is our new living room.

Okay, well perhaps not but these are some pictures of the rooms in the castle which cannot do justice to their elegance.  I love wood panelling and particularly like dark furniture despite it not being very trendy.  The huge windows let in so much light that the darker shades don't feel imposing but instead are warm and welcoming.

There was so much attention to detail everywhere that I cannot include pictures of everything, but i did love these menu holders and the thistles on every chair throughout the house.

Outside in the castle grounds, there was a play area with this castle construction in the centre.  We had 4 very happy little girls and one sleepy knight who each happened to be aged, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

As we were leaving, we visited thee Castle shop where I bought these books.  We've been taking the children for walks and drawing attention to nature including birds, flowers and butterflies but I didn't know the names of them all.  These were £7 for 5 and are the perfect level to get them started in appreciating what is all around  us.

I realise my interest in these things has been recently awakened and reminds me of being aged 10 in school where our teacher, Mr Dutton ended our school year with a residential trip to Whitby.  Throughout our last year, the curriculum was based all around Whitby itself; the history of being a whaling town, it's religious significance including the history of the Abbey, the role of the lifeboats, it's proximity to Robin Hood's Bay, Fossils and the life within rock pools.  We read books based in or around Whitby and learned of it's famous 199 steps and the equally famous 39 steps.  Much of our research year also included the wildlife within Whitby and I remember drawing pictures of the plants we saw on our nature walks there.  These were the days before a national curriculum but I know that nearly every classmate and other alumni remember their last school year and culminating trip with much fondness.  It was possibly the best educational year I experienced and I am keen to pass this experience onto my children too.  And so it begins with their introduction to flowers, butterflies, trees, birds  and insects.

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