Day 52 -Voyage 2 has come to an end

EVAN

Today, the 10th of October, is the end of Voyage 2.  We are heading home, I am looking forward to going back and seeing everyone but I also wished our trip carried on.  BUT, we are hoping to go away on the boat next year.

Packed & ready to head off

Packed & ready to head off

IRYS

Today it was the last day of our trip.  Me, Gracie, Evan, mum and dad walked up to a pub.  Dad got chatting to a man, he was feeding some carp with bread, they were about half a metre long.  You weren’t allowed to fish there because there were overhead cables.

We soon walked on about three miles and then walked back to meet our uncle and aunt.  We met them and had a drink then they took us back to their house.  We got pizza on the way back.  When we got back we watched Strictly.  My favourite was Georgina’s dance.  We went to bed at 10 o’clock.

The Loons Abandon Ship

The Loons Abandon Ship

 

Day 51 – Salvage Co

Rescuing Rocky!

Rescuing Rocky!

Gracie

Okay, moored up at Cowroast ( such an intriguing name!!!!) and keen to see what’s up ahead.

Mum and Dad stay at the boat and we jump off, armed with a walkie-talkie and the safety rope.  We have instructions not to go further than Birmingham and to make contact with Mama and Papa Loon every now and then.

Soon we’re skipping along the towpath, snacking on rosehips, blackberries, hawthorn berries and sloes. We stop to chat to a boater and pet his spaniel. His wife looks on from the boat, she smiles at us and we wave. We continue onwards, giving the dog a final pat.

About a mile up we see something unusual in the distance, a  narrow boat is adrift! It’s only attached by one mooring pin and it has drifted out and blocked the canal. We hurry towards it and I frantically try to contact Mum and Dad before another boat comes cruising round the bend and hits the blockage. It’s too late, one is heading our way!

"She's adrift!" we shout

“She’s adrift!” we shout

We wave and shout, we feel like the railway children. We keep hurrying towards the boat, but the other one gets there first. The boater gently pushes the boat towards the bank. It shifts slowly and the other boat squeezes through the gap, we breathe a sigh of relief.

But the narrow boat is still blocking the canal, it has drifted back to its previous position that it was in before the boater pushed it. We stay by the boat and try to see if any other people are coming.

Eventually I get hold of Mama and Papa Loon and a few minutes later they are hurrying up the towpath. Dad helps us to pull the heavy steel boat in and secure her mooring pins. I christen her Rocky, as she doesn’t appear to have a name. When Rocky is safely moored up we continue our exploration!

Telling the story in pictures

Rocky blocking the canal!

Rocky blocking the canal!

We can do this! Come on guys, what are you waiting for? We've got a rescue to get on with!

We can do this! Come on guys, what are you waiting for? We’ve got a rescue to get on with!

She's slowly coming towards us

She’s slowly coming towards us

Heaving!

Heaving!

Pulling

Pulling

Holding her in!

Holding her in!

Almost there!

Almost there!

Dad banging the mooring pin in so Rocky doesn't drift again

Dad banging the mooring pin in so Rocky doesn’t drift again

Rocky's owner had tied her rope to a tiny little tree, which isn't ideal. So I'm just about to tie her to something more safe.

Rocky’s owner had tied her rope to a tiny little tree, which isn’t ideal. So I’m just about to tie her to something more safe.

Safe and sound

Safe and sound, mission accomplished

 

Day 51 – Autumn Foraging

Sloes

Sloes

The towpath hedgerows are great places for foraging, especially in the autumn months. You can find a beautiful and colourful assortment of berries.

The towpath for me are like nature’s pick ‘n mix. You can just wander along, not a care in the world, sampling the hawthorn berries and absent-mindedly fingering the gleaming rosehips.

Rosehips

Rosehips

A lot of people walk along the towpaths everyday, hurrying on their way to work, they miss all of the beauty and splendor of this natural gift. When people see us picking and eating these wild foods, they look at us like we’re mad.  It’s quite amusing for us to see the bewildered looks on their faces, but also a little sad. It means people have little knowledge of how we used to live, foraging and hunting all of our food. Now I suppose modern technology is taking over, maybe it’s just that we’re going into a new age.

When people used to forage, they did it together, sharing what they had. Then they would go home and cook something lovely, sitting around a fire. They would laugh and talk and be as a family. I think it builds good relationships, not just foraging, but that whole way of life.

Does anyone have any ideas for recipes that include the ingredients that we foraged (shown in the photos)?  Either yummy or medicinal, any suggestions welcome!

Blackberries

Blackberries Someone recently told us that you shouldn’t pick these after the 21 september as they are thought to be possessed by witches!

Rosehips

Rosehips

Dewberries

Dewberries

Day 50 – The Lego Pulpit

St. Peter's Church, Berkhamsted

St. Peter’s Church, Berkhamsted

Today we went to St. Peter’s Church.  I did not want to go but dad said that there is a lego pulpit. I still did not want to go, but we did.

When we got there I was racing to see it…..  It was actually made of oak, it had angels carved in to it with gold leaf wings.  That was cool.  The angels were very detailed.

"It's not Lego"!

“It’s not Lego”!

There was also a knight and his wife from the castle in a tomb.

Day 50 – Berkhamsted Castle

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Gracie

Berkhamsted Castle is a place of great historical importance. When William the conqueror beat Harold in the Battle Of Hastings in 1066, he marched through Britain. He was met by the court in   Berkhamsted  and they offered him the English crown. He accepted and was crowned King William I on Christmas Day 1066.

The Castle was important because it was on the route that invaders would take to get to London. The soldiers there were defending the Capital City.

At one point King Louis of France attacked the castle. He was invited to do so by the barons of England because they opposed the new king. He fired rocks at them and eventually they had to surrender.

In 1155 the castle was given to Thomas Beckett. He was the king’s chancellor and right hand man. He rebuilt the castle and was responsible for the huge stone curtain wall.

In 1162 Beckett was made the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1164 he had an argument with the king and was accused of stealing money. The castle was taken from him.

He was murdered in 1170.

We really enjoyed our visit, walking around the crumbling flint walls, climbing up to the summit of the keep, playing battle games and learning lots of cool facts. We actually had a competition for who could find the most interesting  and unusual piece of information. Irys won because she thought out of the box and was creative. She counted the 65 steps to the top of the keep.

The castle really was in ruins, but it was still impressive. It had this feel of tranquility to it.

The castle really was in ruins, but it was still impressive. It had this feel of tranquility to it.

On the steps going up the keep. Gosh, it must have been hard for the invaders to get up there. They did n't have steps and they would have had the added pleasure of crossbows being shot at them.

On the steps going up the keep. Gosh, it must have been hard for the invaders to get up there. They didn’t have steps and they would have had the added pleasure of crossbows being shot at them.

The view from the top!

The view from the top!

Evan attacking the keep, I'm on guard.

Evan attacking the keep, I’m on guard.

Information boards. If you zoom in then you should be able to read them.

Information boards. If you zoom in then you should be able to read them.

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An aerial view of the castle now.

An aerial view of the castle now.

What the castle would have looked like when it was built.

What the castle would have looked like in 1190.

Evan

Evan

Battle photo. We're all red in the face from running and Ev is celebrating his victory on capturing the castle in our game.

Battle photo. We’re all red in the face from running and Ev is celebrating his victory on capturing the castle in our game.

Running is certainly not one of my strengths, but sneaking and hiding is. I crept up on Evan whilst he was hiding in a bush, I snuck up on him.

Running is certainly not one of my strengths, but sneaking and hiding is. I crept up on Evan whilst he was hiding in a bush and ambushed him, but he’s faster than me.

Where are those boys hiding?

Where are those boys hiding?

Dad's enjoying himself!

Dad’s enjoying himself!

Get him!!!!!!!!

Get him!!!!!!!!

Go Ev! Go!

Go Ev! Go!

I'll wrestle him to the ground!

I’ll wrestle him to the ground!

Fun, fun, fun

Fun, fun, fun

 

Day 49 – Toads On Board

IRYS

Today I was getting ready for school and mum was getting ready to pedal.  Mum was just doing her shoe laces and she said, “Oh look guys, there’s two little toads on the boat!”

I went to see them but Gracie and Evan butted in and so I could not see them.  Evan moved his bait box and scared them, one of them jumped behind the cool box.

After  about five minutes I got to see them.

Holding a toad

Holding a toad

I knew they were toads because toads have bumps on their backs and frogs don’t.

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Dad helped me release them.  The first one was really eager to go but the second one I got to stroke.  I had to nearly put my hand on the ground for it to jump off.

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Released

Released

It was really cool to have two toads on our boat.

Day 46 – Extreme Frisbee – Chick Style

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EVAN

This evening we played Extreme Frisbee.

Playing over the park

Playing in the park

Dad’s a pro at it but when it comes to me I’m like a captain who has lost his bearings and sent his ship to England when it was meant to go to America!

Where's it going on end up?

Where’s it going on end up?

Dad in action

Dad in action

Mum’s good at frisbee and so are the others. I’m good at catching and diving to catch it.

What a move...

What a move…

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Good catch….

The rules are: you throw the frisbee at anyone, they can only hold it for two seconds then they have to throw it to someone else.

We played frisbee for about an hour and then we had a game of rough and tumble.

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Day 45 – The truth about gobstoppers

Gob stopper madness!

Gob stopper madness!

Life is all about balance, things in moderation. That is how we, the Chick Family, try to live our lives. Lots of healthy things and lots of  treats. It applies to everything.

That includes food. Organic, wholesome meals and lots of homemade goodies. But nothing that will do you harm.

Recently I’ve been kicking out against the way we do things, I’ve been attracted to all this brightly coloured chemically food. That looks so nice and appealing. I’ve argued with Mum and Dad that I’ve never eaten this sort of stuff before and a few sweets won’t do me any harm, but they tell me this:

” Our bodies are like the river we are travelling along. It can bear some chemicals, the ones we consume without even realising, but why purposefully eat something that  you know is jam packed with something that will eventually kill you? It’s like pouring a can of oil in the river”

I understand this. It is wise and I need to trust my parents because they only want the best illnessesThe river can only take so many chemicals before it becomes seriously polluted and the life that depends on it slowly dies out. It’s the same with our bodies, the chemicals don’t just pass through us, they build up inside us and plague our bodies with illness.

I also realise that when Mum and Dad do let me try things, like these gob stoppers, they’re actually not that nice. They affect your body almost immediately, check out my swollen lips and bleeding tongue! Sorry! It’s a bit gross!

This photo says it all!

I’m a bit stuck with a question about this issue, I would really value anyone’s opinion.

” What is so attractive about sweets and other artificial foods?”

This is another question I ask myself: ” why do I want to go against my parent’s wise words of experience and eat things I know are unhealthy?

This I do not really know the answer to, I think it’s because I’m curious and I always expect the food to taste really good, but it never does. I think I’m being deprived of something wonderful when I’m not.

I’ve learnt my lesson now and  I’ll stick with lots of lovely wholesome food and the odd treat.

Dear Everyone Who Eats Healthily And Is Feeling A Bit Rebellious

Trust me, stick with the good food. It tastes way better.  This is what my parents told me and I wasn’t convinced, so I totally understand if you want to see for yourself. But I can  guarantee you’ll agree with me once you’ve tried it.

Well, I hope I’ve shown you the truth about gob stoppers, not from the angle of a health expert, but from a girl every bit as enthusiastic and expectant  as you.

Gracie

Before.......

Before…….

After! A very concerned Irys looking at her swollen mouth in our tiny hand mirror.

After! A very concerned Irys looking at her swollen mouth in our tiny hand mirror.

Look at my brother! Honestly, even a gram of sugar makes him hyper!

Look at my brother! Honestly, even a gram of sugar makes him hyper!

Finally here's Dad sitting there enjoying an organic tart with lots of sticky sweet filling!

Finally here’s Dad sitting there enjoying an organic tart with lots of sticky sweet filling!

Day 44 – Blackflips & Butterfly

IRYS

Today me, Gracie and Evan went swimming on our own.  I can do that now I’m 8.

It was so exciting, it was my first time without mum and dad.  I was like a balloon bursting with excitement.

I did front crawl, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke.  I also did two backflips and one dive.  I was told not to dive because it was against the rules.

I tried to do a handstand and I also tried to do a forward roll.  Gracie gave me three launches.

Me and Gracie did a Strictly Come Dancing dance in the water, I was really good.

I felt proud of myself for doing two backflips and butterfly.

Day 43 – Yum Yum and more Yum

IRYS

Today me and Gracie made some raw cakes.

Dates, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, coco, honey, oats & peanut butter

Dates, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, cocoa, honey, oats & peanut butter

This is how we made them:

We chopped one cup of dates and put them in a pan.  Then we put it on the stove with a little bit of water in it and some honey.

We stirred the mixture to make the water soften the dates.

I then chopped coconut whilst Gracie  stirred the mixture.

We added some cocoa powder, peanut butter and then some cashews.  Then we stirred them in.

I helped mum sieve through some seeds.  We put oats in too then added the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Me and Gracie spooned the mixture into two pans and then packed it down so that when its ready it doesn’t crumble too much.

Packed down

Packed down

We put it in the cool box to set.

It was REALLY yummy.

Enjoying the fruits of our labour

Enjoying the fruits of our labour

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