Day 15 – London Canal Museum

IRYS

When I was walking down the towpath dad told me and Evan about horses pulling boats and what happened when they fell in the river.

The horses might fall in the river because they slip or get spooked.

There are slopes at the side of the canal for them to walk back on to the towpath and tow the boat again.

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They have to wear a full harness, one of the bits is called a head collar, it helps them pull the weight of the boat.  The head collar has to be the right fit because if it’s too tight it will make the horse choke and if it’s too loose it rubs on the horses neck and it gets really sore.

The  Romans used mules to tow boats on their waterways.  In the 1960’s people stopped using horses to tow work boats.

There are still used for towing passenger boats today.

Outside the London Canal Museum

Outside the London Canal Museum

GRACIE

We visited another Museum, ‘ The London Canal Museum’.  Here I learnt the life story of Carlo Gatti.

Carlo Gatti was born in the Italian -Swiss Alps, the only Italian speaking region of Switzerland.  He was a bad scholar so, at only thirteen years of age, he joined his two brothers in Paris.  They had a business selling chestnuts on the streets.  Carlo longed for something bigger, more fruitful.  He wanted to be rich and successful.

So he travelled to London, where he figured he would be better off, he hadn’t imagined the poverty and squalor.  He, like most other Italian emigrants, had to live in a poor  part of town called ‘Little Italy’.  Nowadays it’s ‘Little Venice’.   He began selling chestnuts again and even sold waffles at a coffee stall.  He was very unhappy, his dreams weren’t coming true.

His fortune changed the day he met Ballo, who would soon become his business partner and good friend.  They set up the Gatti and Ballo Café Ristorante. Carlo put a cocoa grinding machine in the window.  It was his pride and joy.  Soon he became famous all over London for his chocolate.

The thing Gatti was most famous for was his amazing ice cream.  He got ice from all over London, mostly on the Regent’s Canal.  It wasn’t a success, the ice was dirty, thin and some winters, not even there at all.  So he began to look further afield.  Soon he started to send ships over to Norway and America.

The process of ice collecting is relatively simple. First horses pulled a plough over the surface to clear debris.  Then they pulled a sort of blade that cut the ice into large cubes.  The blocks were then lifted out of the water by a pair of metal blades with wooden handles, these were called ‘Ice Dogs’.  The ice was then hauled up the steep fjords and sent down the other side on a chute. Then they were loaded onto ships bound for England.

The ice was then transported up the canals and taken to one of Gatti’s ice wells.  The museum had two of these deep, dark, damp wells beneath it.  The ice was lowered in by hand cranes and left. It didn’t melt because it was cold underground. Also the sides were packed with sawdust that helped keep the ice cool.

Soon ices became all the rage and Carlo Gatti became really rich.

A model of the ice well

A model of the ice well

EVAN

In the afternoon we went to the London Canal Museum.  Up till about 60 years ago it was a place where they stored ice for fish mongers, ice cream makers and lots of other things, it was called The Ice House.

The ice  wells could hold 2000 – 3000 tons of ice at a time, the ice came from Norway.

Looking down into the ice well

Looking down into the ice well

The first way to move boats along the canal was to get horses to pull the boats, they then used steam engines, now boats have diesel engines .

One of the most famous and common diesel engines was the Bolinder.

The Bolinder engine was 9horse power.  If you still have a Bolinder engine in your boat it is worth a lot.

MO

Hi Everybody

I just wanted to let you know that a few months ago my family bought a Morris Traveller.  It’s an old banger of a car, all rusty and smashed up, but Evan, who is my brother, and Dad are turning it into a campervan.  They’re currently building a wooden house on the back of it.  It’s kind of a campercar!

We all fondly refer to it as ‘MO’.

Allow me to introduce Mo, who will be a campercar in the future, courtesy of Evann and Dad.

Allow me to introduce Mo, who will be a campercar in the future, courtesy of Evann and Dad.

Evan is very passionate about building and so is Dad.  Dad has a lot of experience, as he has been a carpenter for over 30 years. Mix this with Evan’s enthusiasm and you have an amazing project.  In fact, Evan loves Mo so much that he has started his own blog about the project.  He is doing so well with his blog and with Mo that I just wanted to support him and promote his blog to some of my readers.  Here is the link: https://mymorris.wordpress.com/

 

Evan and Mo

Evan and Mo

It would be really great if you could check it out, he would love it and I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Gracie

A few helpful tips and points from Andy

Today I was sitting in the manor house kitchen, sipping yannoh and chatting, when Andy came in.  “Hey Gracie,” he says, ” I’ve just read your blog.”  ” Is it all correct?” asks Mum, ” I mean all of the facts and figures?”  ” Well,” Andy answers ” I’ve made a few notes of things you could change, add or include.  Do you wanna come up to the office now?  We could discuss it, you can make some notes of your own”.  ” Sure.” I reply and I follow him up the creaky wooden staircase to what all of us call the ‘Top Office’.

The next hour or so was spent in a comfy chair, with a view out onto the wheat field, discussing extra information concerning wheat, illnesses, spelling mistakes, varieties, questions and so on.  I learned a lot in this short period of time, these are the main points that Andy talked about.

Now for Summer Harvest! Part 2.

 Why Do We Grow Heritage Wheat?

Heritage wheat is taller than modern wheat.  The reason why our ancestors grew tall wheat is because it grew higher than the weeds and so cast a shadow over them.  Obviously no plant can live without sunlight, so, simple as, the weeds died.

Now farmers want to put chemical fertilizer on, if they put it on the tall varieties of wheat they’d get super huge and topple over.  Therefore they have to create a small type of wheat so that when they put the fertilizer on the wheat grows to the right height.  But the weeds can grow easily in short wheat, so now what do we do?  Easy, we spray the field with weed killer!  Ah, but what if you’re an organic farm, like us?

Now you’ve covered your wheat field in weed killer,all the weeds are gone.  In most fields of modern wheat it’s all the same variety, unlike a lot of heritage wheat where it’s lots of different types.  Without the weeds the illness just passes from plant to plant to plant.  Whereas if there were weeds the disease would hit one and stop because that species isn’t affected by it.  Because all the plants are identical the illness spreads mega fast. So?  We can easily spray the plants with fungicides to stop diseases.  Oh no!  The organic problem has just popped up again. Eeeeeeeeeeek! Here come some pests, ahhhhhhhhhhhh, what can we do?  DON’T PANIC, we’ll just put some pesticides on. Grrrr, why does that same old prob keep ruining everything?!

So you see how many chemicals and horrible, disgusting, artificial substances are in the bread that you eat?  If we all just grew heritage wheat, all these things wouldn’t be needed.

Thanks Andy for your advice.

If you want to learn more about heritage wheat visit Andy’s wesite:

http://brockwell-bake.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Harvest!

Harvest weekend is here at last!

Harvest weekend is here at last!

Imagine this:  a field of beautifully  golden wheat, it’s perfectly ripe and sways gently in the warm, humid, summer breeze.  Harvest  weekend has finally arrived!

Where I live, on a farm in Sussex, the harvest is a big deal for everyone, men, women and children alike.  Everyone  has to muck in and pull their weight.

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Tiger enjoying herself.

Tiger enjoying herself.

Loading up the trailer

Loading up the trailer

Long ago scythes and sickles were the only means of harvesting, but recently they have been forgotten because of modern technology such as combine harvesters.  Not only do combine harvesters do the job in a very short amount of time, they also save a vast quantity of human sweat.

Working in the early evening sun

Working in the early evening sun

Everyone helps out.

Everyone helps out.

Andy, our chief baker here on the farm, is incredibly knowledgeable about all sorts of grains, baking and the whole process from grain to loaf.  People say that he is one of the most learned people about wheat.  He specialises in something called heritage wheat.

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Heritage wheat is very old wheat.  Wheat that you might say is not used by any farmers anymore, except growers of this heritage grain.  It’s Andy’s passion to reintroduce these old varieties back into use.  You may wonder how he gets hold of the grains, well, that’s simple enough.  There are two different ways.  Number one is a seed bank, there are usually one each country.  For every type of grain that is ever cultivated, they save about 180g.  People can get it from the bank in tiny quantities. Number two is more romantic, but probably less used.  It’s  where you visit an old mill and with special permission, take up the floorboards and gather the ancient grains that have fallen through over hundreds of years.  The absolute maximum age that you can still grow wheat at is around 40 years old.

The main reason why types of wheat get wiped out, is because of illnesses.  Most types last 8-9 years before an illness that can take them over forms.

Once you have the grains, maybe fifty or so of them, you sow them.  Then when you harvest them, you find that each head has say fifteen grains in it.  Again you sow all of these seeds and the numbers keep multiplying.  Soon you have a whole field of heritage wheat.

Anyhow, because we were harvesting heritage wheat, it seemed only proper that we did it traditionally.  Plus we were all wanting to do it with scythes and sickles.

We must get it in before tommorrow, because it is due to rain.

We must get it in before tommorrow, because it is due to rain.

Before the harvest Andy worked extremely hard, sowing, reaping, sowing again, reaping once again, he’d been nurturing this wheat for 7 long years.  We just came to help with the cherry on the cake.

All weekend long us workers harvested, sometimes having breaks to sit in the shade and sip cool icy water or run down to the river and have a refreshing swim.  Our wide-brimmed straw hats bobbed among the long yellow stems, as we waded through, collecting the heads of the Orange Devon Blue Rough Chaff, which is dark and furry and leaving the tall, light, velvetty Old Ken Hoary.  Us kids would run up to the taps and fill jug after jug of cold water, then pour it into cups with a splash of ginger cordial for the other workers.  We’d cut sheaths of a certain type of wheat and tie it with tape, writing its name, whether Welsh Hen Gymro or Chidham Red.  We separated the weed from the wheat, all the while munching on crunchy grains.  Each tastes a little different, Old Kent Hoary is slightly spicy, ODBRC is more sweet.

Evan working hard

Evan working hard

Chewing grains of wheat

Chewing grains of wheat

where's Irys?

where’s Irys?

Ah! There she is!

Ah! There she is!

At noon we all walked down to the manor house for a delicious and totally traditional lunch of pickles, cheese and , of course, bread! We all talked pleasantly and discussed the afternoon’s work.  The puddings were all made by me, they included flapjacks and rhubarb & plum crumble. In the evening there was music, meat, a campfire and beer.

Yum!

Yum!

The grand finale of the harvest weekend was when we loaded all of the sheaths onto the tractor trailer and followed it up to the bakery were we unloaded and had a team photo taken on the trailer.  Then we all rode back to the field to do it again!

Such a wonderful photo, full of beauty

Such a wonderful photo, full of beauty

Daddy!

Daddy!

Tiger looks like a proper country girl here!

Tiger looks like a proper country girl here!

This is Andy proudly showing off his the product of his hard work

This is Andy proudly showing off his the product of his hard work

 

Lulu waiting to catch the sheaf that is about to be thrown down to her.

Lulu waiting to catch the sheaf that is about to be thrown down to her.

Well done!

Well done!

Overall I loved doing the harvest, getting a feel of how it used to be for people in the books I read, like Laura out of Little House on the Prairie, and learning so much.  This weekend has been part of my homeschool life education.

 AwesomeTeam photo!

AwesomeTeam photo!

ME!

ME!

Lulu, Evan, Tiger, Irys, Dad and Me

Lulu, Evan, Tiger, Irys, Dad and Me

Tiger and Ev on the trailer

Tiger and Ev on the trailer

 

A good view!

A good view!

Holiday Snaps!

The beach

The beach at Lyme Regis

 

Buried in sand!

Buried in sand!

 

Last week my family and I went on holiday to the lovely little seaside town of Lyme Regis. We had such an amazing time I thought I’d share a few photos and memories.

Most of our time was spent on the beach, building sandcastle, swimming in the sea and burying each other in the sand.

Dad, Evan and Irys spent ages making me such a beautiful mermaid tail!

Dad, Evan and Irys spent ages making me such a beautiful mermaid tail!

Struggling to get out!

Struggling to get out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week while we were there so there were loads of awesome activities on. We took part in a few of them.

Morris Dancing and we got to join in! It was really fun swirling hankies and skipping.

Morris Dancing and we got to join in! It was really fun swirling hankies and skipping.

 

 

 

 

Irys and Evan joined in a treasure hunt on the sandy beach. Here's irys digging for her life.

Irys and Evan joined in a treasure hunt on the sandy beach. Here’s irys digging for her life.

There was a pavement art competition. This was my entry. I didn't win.

There was a pavement art competition. This was my entry. I didn’t win.

 

 

 

 

 

Because it was lifeboat week the RNLI (royal national  lifeboat institution) put on lots of displays.  At one point we actually got to board the boat and have a look inside!

 

Ev trying on a crew member's helmet.

Ev trying on a crew member’s helmet.

This photo says it all. My bro is in absolute paradise, he LOVES the RNLI.

This photo says it all. My bro is in absolute paradise, he LOVES the RNLI.

Us with the small lifeboat, named 'The Spirit Of Loch Fyne'

Us with the small lifeboat, named ‘ The Spirit of Loch Fyne’

 

A rescue reanactment

A rescue reenactment

Me sitting in the lifeboat navigator's seat.

Me sitting in the lifeboat navigator’s seat.

 

We did a few walks on our holiday. Some long, some short. On one short walk we saw a stunning viaduct, so impressive. Another time we walked about 9 miles to Seaton, got the bus back to Lyme and then had to walk 2 or 3 miles back to the campsite. I must admit, my feet nearly dropped off!

Mum and us kids in front of the viaduct

Mum and us kids in front of the viaduct

Map reading

Map reading

Walking.....

Walking…..

This was taken just over half way through the walk.

This was taken just over half way through the walk.

Clambouring precariously along a fallen down tree which was resting against another tree. It was about 20 foot above the ground.

Clambouring precariously along a fallen down tree which was resting against another tree. It was about 20 foot above the ground.

 

This photo is of a water mill that was on our daily walk into Lyme.

This photo is of a water mill that was on our daily walk into Lyme.

 

We took some really cool selfies while on our hols. I tried to be creative and do something a little different when I took the one of me laying on the stones.

Me and Evan.

Me and Evan.

My Mum and Dad with Lyme Regis in the background.

My Mum and Dad with Lyme Regis in the background.

 

I love this pic.

I love this pic.

 

I love fireworks, they’re magical. I love to come up with names for all the different types, gold sparkles, fairy dust and lily flower. Watching them shoot up from the end of The Cob and explode above the sea, lighting it up in a thousand different colours, beautiful, just beautiful.

WOW!

WOW!

Fire Shower is my name for this one.

Fire Shower is my name for this one.

Squiggle and Swirl!

Squiggle and Swirl!

 

The Cob is a long wall in Lyme Regis that encircles the harbour. It is fun to walk along, you can feel the fresh sea breeze and it whips your hair around. My Mum and Uncle used to spend all of their holidays in Lyme, doing all the stuff we’ve done.

Looking down into the sea.

Looking down into the sea.

Irys (with a lovely smile)

Irys (with a lovely smile)

Weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Evan about to walk along a rickety pontoon and then board the lifeboat. It's a dream come true for him.

Evan about to walk along a rickety pontoon and then board the lifeboat. It’s a dream come true for him.

I had to include this lovely photo of my sister.

This is Irys at our campsite, Hook Farm Camping.

This is Irys at our campsite, Hook Farm Camping.

Our camp, rather relaxed.

Our camp, rather relaxed.

 

Our great great grandparents used to be part of the bowling team on Lyme green. They have a bench here in their memory.

Our great great grandparents used to be part of the bowling team on Lyme green. They have a bench here in their memory.

After our lovely holiday in Lyme Regis we finally had to leave, but the fun was not over. We had a few places to stop on the way home, including the Cerne Giant, a village fete and Durdle Door, a place of wonder and tranquility, although it is invaded by hundreds of tourists every summer.

Coconut shy! Dad got two, but I got none.

Coconut shy! Dad got two, but I got none.

A lovely photo in front of the Cerne Giant.

A lovely family photo in front of the Cerne Giant.

The village fete we went to was in some one's garden and they had an outdoor swimming pool. Irys and I had a swim.

The village fete we went to was in some one’s garden and they had an outdoor swimming pool. Irys and I had a swim.

 

I took so many pics of Durdle Door, because I think it’s stunning. Here are the best ones:

My Siblings playing at dusk.

My Siblings playing at dusk.

The cove

The cove

Gazing out to sea......

Gazing out to sea……

The view of the beach, cove and arch from the cliff top.

The view of the beach, cove and arch from the cliff top.

Irys and the famous arch.

Irys and the famous arch.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

 

This is a perfect picture. If I stare at it hard enough a poem starts to form in my mind.

This is a perfect picture. If I stare at it hard enough a poem starts to form in my mind.

 

I’ll finish with a few family shots and a big thank you to my Mum and Dad for such an awesome holiday.

Sitting on the step of our campervan.

Sitting on the step of our camper van.

Walking in the sea's shallows.

Walking in the sea’s shallows.

Dad and I

Dad and I

Rollercoaster Conquerer

I’ve only ever been on proper rides twice in my eleven and a half years and both with my Uncle and Auntie.  One was in the July of 2014 and the other was yesterday, the 29 June.

My first experience of theme park life was at South End. The whole atmosphere didn’t really suit me like it did my brother.  I’m not a very loud, adrenalin seeking, crazy kinda person, but I was enjoying it anyway until the moment we turned a corner and saw Rage.  The biggest baddest rollercoaster ever.  Even watching made me feel nervous.  It all just got worst when Evan shouted out, “Uncle Martin, Uncle Martin! I want to go on that one. Come on it with me, come on.” “Oh no,” was my initial  thought, but slowly a mix of curiosity and not wanting to be the one who didn’t do it came upon me and I joined the queue along with Evan and Uncle Martin. After about 30 minutes of queuing it was almost our turn, Ev was absolutely hyper by then and Uncle Martin and I were wondering if this really was a good idea. Too late now, we climbed into our carriage and away we went. There’s not really much I can say about the actual ride, but what I do remember is the agonizingly slow climb up a vertical track, backwards, then the not knowing when your going to flip forwards and plummet at an incredible speed downwards. The rest was a blur of falling, rising, flipping upside down and finally staggering off to the sound of Ev’s super hyper whoops and shouts. There, in South End Amusement Park, was where my fear of rollercoasters began.

 

The biggest baddest rollercoaster you ever did see.

The biggest baddest rollercoaster you ever did see.

I'm in that carriage somewhere!

I’m in that carriage somewhere!

We talk about it often enough, Ev laughs at how scared I was. I couldn’t help it. One day recently, Dad talked to me about it. “You should go on them, Gracie,” he said ” Think of it as a challenge, a fear to overcome. What does Bear Grylls say? When you have nothing left to give and you are scared, don’t give up. Dig deep into your soul and bring out some adventurous spirit and strength. Once you’ve done it, you won’t be afraid anymore, you’ll have overcome it. So take my advice and next time, which will probably be when you go to LegoLand with Uncle Martin and Auntie Carol, try.”

Well, it was hard, extremely hard, but I felt inspired by Dad and Bear Grylls, so when I found myself at LegoLand I decided to give the big ones a go.

Irys and my cousin, Olivia , were off with my other grown up cousin, Kurt.  While Evan and Uncle Martin were waiting to go on something, Auntie Carol and I wandered off to see what we could find.  We came to a big track so high off of the ground it towered above every other ride or building in the LegoLand Resort.

Wow!

Wow!

I looked at it in absolute awe. “Wow, isn’t that huge, Gracie! You want to go on that one?”  “Actually, yes” I said, remembering Dad’s words of wisdom. ” On your own?” gasped Auntie Carol, ” Are you sure?”  “Yes.” I answered decisively, as I joined the long snaking queue. As I got nearer the front, I started worrying and getting really anxious. I kept swallowing and shaking.  I felt sick.  Suddenly I was called onto the ride. Terrified as I was, I stepped onto the round platform and sat down on a plastic horse. ” There will be a slight delay of the procedure of this ride”, came a booming voice. ” Oh great”, I thought.  I wondered whether to pull out, give up, call the lady and say I wanted to get off.  I decided to stay on, then I gagged and puked over the side.  That was pure fear.  I almost burst into tears, but the ride started spinning and I soon forgot all about it and was having the time of my life.  I went on it again with Uncle Martin and Ev, even he screamed, ha ha.

I'm on the right, on a black horse.

I’m on the right, on a black horse.

I left something behind that day, now I’m free from the fear that may have held me back all my life, had it not been for the wise words of Dad and Bear.

 

Taking Clairie To London

Yesterday we took Clairie, a young girl from Germany who is doing a bit of work experience at the campsite/farm where we live, into London to see all the sights.  It is her first time in the UK, so we made sure that she saw all the things that are unique to our capital city. We explained to her about British history, from Queen Boadicea of the Iceni tribe to Guy Fawkes and from KIng Henry 8th’s many wives to the legend about the ravens at the Tower.

“Sorry, can’t smile”

The marching band

The marching band

Changing Of The Guard

Changing Of The Guard

First stop was Buckingham Palace to see the Changing Of The Guard.  This is a major tradition so Clairie had to see it.  The Busbies looked so smart in their uniform, it must be really hard to stay still and not smile all day while people are staring at you and snapping away with their cameras.

Wigeon ducks in the park

Wigeon ducks in the park

After Buckingham Palace we walked through St. James park.  Clairie and I took loads of photos of all the different breeds of birds, including wigeon ducks, black swans, mallards and even white pelicans.

Me, Evan and Irys with a member of the Household Cavalry.

Me, Evan and Irys with a member of the Household Cavalry.

We visited the Household Cavalry and had our picture taken with one of the horsemen.  Just like the Busbies, he couldn’t smile!!!

Big Ben

Big Ben

Clairie is taking photos

Clairie taking photos

We visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament too.  Clairie is really into photography, so she took lots of amazing shots.  Big Ben is stunning, I love all the gold leaf and the sheer height of it is incredible. The Houses of Parliament are also lovely, they’re rather posh and very beautiful.

We walked along the Embankment on river Thames. We saw the London Eye.

We walked along the Embankment on river Thames. We saw the London Eye.

Clairie and I had our pictures taken in one of London’s classic, red telephone boxes.

“Say cheese”

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My turn!!!

Next up is a little trip on the underground, it was a little busy so we had to stand. A London experience just isn’t complete without an underground journey.

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” Tower bridge and The Tower Of London, here we come!!!”

Such a cool photo of The Shard behind a bush. It looks like it's just exploded!!! BOOOM, BAAAM and BOOOOSH.

Such a cool photo of The Shard behind a bush. It looks like it’s just exploded!!! BOOOM, BAAAM and BOOOOSH!!!!!

The Shard is now the tallest building in London.

The Shard is now the tallest building in London.

The thing Clairie really wanted to see in London was Tower Bridge and as The Tower Of London is right next door we decided to visit both.  The Tower was really good, we saw Traitors Gate, but Tower Bridge was amazing. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a horn sounded and the bridge opened to let a wedding boat through. It was so cool, we hadn’t expected it to open at all!!!!

WOW!!!!

WOW!!!!

We saw the wall that the Romans built around London while they occupied it. They purpose of the wall was to protect the city from invaders. Eventually London outgrew it’s wall. Beside the ruins of it stood a statue of the emperor Tiberius.

My brother, Evan, is history mad. He enjoyed this part of the trip.

My brother, Evan, is history mad. He enjoyed this part of the trip.

Evan by the wall. I bet no enemies could get over that!!

Evan by the wall. I bet no enemies could get over that!!

Irys and I posing as royal emperor's assistants.

Irys and I posing as royal emperor’s assistants.

The next stop was my favourite part of the trip: Somerset House’s Fountain Courtyard!! Mum was explaining to Clairie that in the Winter there is a huge ice rink in the yard and in all the other parts of the year there are big fountains you can run and play in. As it was a really hot day, I asked if I may go in the fountains, I’m so glad that the answer was yes. Me, Dad, Evan and Irys skipped and jumped in the beautiful, sunny fountains. It was much to the amusement of lots of people enjoying the pretty sights and grand house. Loads of folks with snazzy cameras took pics of us , but I didn’t care, I was having the time of my life!!

Fun, fun , fun

Fun, fun , fun

Barefoot, with our trousers rolled up, in London? Mad!!!

Barefoot, with our trousers rolled up, in London? Mad!!!

Irys, lovin' it!!

Irys, lovin’ it!!

Time to move on again, this time to Covent Garden, Clairie’s favourite spot. We walked along all the shops, watched some street acts (including an opera singer and a man who performed magic tricks), Clairie bought a coconut full of coconut water and we saw the living statues. We also visited the Tintin Shop and bought a mask.

Clairie, me, Irys and Evan.

Clairie, me, Irys and Evan.

The living statue

The living statue

Trafalgar Square next!!! We saw Nelson’s Column and the Canadian and Ugandan Embassies.

Such a brave and proud man. He died for his country and so he deserves his place looking down over London.

Such a brave and proud man. He died for his country and so he deserves his place looking down over London.

Back down The Mall, all of our legs are aching now and our feet are sore.

The Mall, SW1, The City Of Westminster, London, UK.

The Mall, The City Of Westminster, London, UK.

The Union Jack

The Union Jack

One last Selfie at Buckingham Palace

One last Selfie at Buckingham Palace

The train home was a bit of a squeeze. Oh well, you haven’t experienced London properly if you haven’t been shoved in a crowded train carriage fighting for personal space and gasping for air.

Blackbird Rescue

On Saturday Mum, Irys and I were sitting inside, when we heard shouting outside and saw Dad’s hand by the window, in it was a male blackbird.  I rushed outside, so did Irys. “Is it dead? Dad, is it OK?” I asked. Dad and Evan explained how they’d found the poor bird hanging upside down by a thread tangled round it’s claw. It had been hanging there on a bramble.

Blackbird Rescue

Blackbird Rescue

I went in and got a pair of scissors, gently I tried to cut the thread off. He squirmed and fidgeted, but Dad stroked and soothed him. By this time Mum had emerged and she began the delicate operation of freeing the bird from the string. Eventually it fell off and we picked up our little blackbird and put him in a small sheltered  building. As we put him down, we noticed that his leg fell from under him. I thought it might have been broken. He sat down and rested with his eyes closed. We got him a worm and a dish of water.

Bad day for blackbird

Bad day for blackbird

A Delicate Operation

A Delicate Operation

When we went out, we freed him and he hopped off. Hopefully he’ll soon be back to normal and singing his sweet song again.

"Thank you for rescuing me, but I'm glad I'm free now"

“Thank you for rescuing me, but I’m glad I’m free now”

My Dad

This blog is for my Dad on his birthday.

I just wanted to tell him how special he is and that he’s the best Dad in the world.  I hope he enjoyed his birthday and all his treats around it.

Me & My Dad

Me & My Dad

My Dad is everything to me, he’s my inspiration, my advisor, my teacher, my leader, he’s everything a  Dad should be.

Dad helps me to understand the world we live in and encourages me to try and make a difference.   Some of our talks are a little heavy and hard for me to understand, but Dad tries to make it clear for me.  Dad helps me to be honest, make the right decisions and grow up.

He always does what’s best for his family and not himself.  He works hard to ensure that we’re all getting the life we need.

In our education we all have strong points and weaknesses.  Dad helps us with things we find hard and encourages our individuality.

Dad can be fun and funny though. He’s got a great sense of humour and is always joking and playing with us.  He’s a great supporter of adventure, so we all go off on adventures together.  We’ve been climbing mountains, living on a boat, living in a van and lots of other awesome things.  He challenges us to get out of our comfort zone.  It’s all part of growing up, apparently!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!