Saturday, 11 October 2014

A few days in Powys

The kids and I have had a lovely few days in mid Wales.  We stayed in a holiday cottage with Laura, Moss and Fable, a few minutes away from where they now live.

All the kids were so excited about the house!  They ran in and checked out the bedrooms before Laura and I got through the front door.  Fred and Betsy ended up in the biggest bedroom, complete with TV and four poster bed!

The house was up in the hills behind Newtown, on the edge of farm fields.  The views were beautiful, and the neighbours were a gorgeous herd of young bullocks and their mothers.

It was a great house for hide and seek, with lots of bedrooms and wardrobes and nooks to hide in.  Fred and Moss were delighted to spend lots of time together.  There was a huge solid fuel burner and we had a fire every evening.  We played lots of games of Guess Who. The kids all loved the tank of tropical fish in the kitchen.

Tuesday was spent travelling and settling into the swing of being together.  On Wednesday we planned to drive to the south coast.  On the way it rained and rained, so we stopped at Machynlleth and went to a delicious cafe and talked over our options.  Fred wasn't feeling that well, so we decided to ditch the coast, and go to the nearby Centre for Alternative Technology instead.

It was still raining, but the kids enjoyed it anyway!

In the funicular railway carriage, powered by water and gravity.

The view from the top of the railway.

Looking down the track from the top.

One of the trees had some clay faces and creatures, like the ones the kids made last week .

A decorated web.

Looking at tomatoes in a greenhouse.

Saying 'tomatoes' rather than 'cheese'!

Beautiful grapevines.

In the mole hill.  Kinda scary!

Electric motorbike.

House made from straw bales.

Playground fun.

Have they spotted the zombie?

A decomposing bird (probably not a deliberate part of the CAT, but interesting nonetheless).

Running to power light.


Powering a 20 watt light bulb.

I have no idea what this is!

Thankfully the next day was dry.  We went to Montgomery Castle.  It's high up on a hill (a *very* steep climb with a 4 year old on your shoulders).  It was built in the 13th century by Henry III, and demolished by order of Parliament after the English Civil War.

The kids loved climbing the walls, sliding down the steep moat, and climbing back up again. The views were beautiful.

We spent the afternoon making paper aeroplanes and origami animals and watching films. Lovely.  It was such a good few days.

A week in brief

A few days passed without any photos (very rare!).  I took the kids to Legoland but it was closed. Oh no!  We ended up at Chessington World of Adventures instead.  I wouldn't have planned that, as I felt Chessington would be more difficult without Rob.  But we had a brilliant day.  

The last time we went (exactly one month before) the queues were huge - 30, 40, 50 minutes.  All the queues were 5 minutes this time.  Fred, Betsy and I went on two big rides while Meg waited for us with the ride operator.  We did loads of rides together - the scorpion mine train (A Lot), the big pirate ship, the small ships, some others I can't remember now. They went into the indoor play area, and the shooting ball bit.  We had such wonderful fun. 

The following day was a quiet one at home, though we did pop out to Aldi to get Halloween cotumes.  That evening Fred's top lip  started to swell up, and by 10pm it was enormous.  

I took him to A and E.  They suspected it was an allergic reaction to something and gave him some Piriton and steroids.  Then we just sat and waited to see if it went down.  Luckily we were in a room with a bed and a TV, so I channel surfed until I found something that Fred liked - so we had River Monsters, and lots of real life police programmes.

Finally at 2am they let us go home.

We had Camp Mohawk the next day.  Fred and I were tired but both wanted to go.  We went, it had a great time as usual.

At the weekend we all (including Rob) went to Ikea.  On the way back we popped into the allotment.  Fred cut some courgettes to bring home, and I was delighted to see lots of miniature Jack-be-little pumpkins.  They are very cute!

On Monday Meg stayed with a friend while I took Fred and Betsy to see Ten Pieces at the cinema, a classical music film by the BBC.  Fred sat in a row with some of his friends, and Betsy sat with me.  Fred liked one piece of music (In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Greig).  Afterwards he said that classical music isn't his thing.  Betsy didn't enjoy it the film to begin with, but about halfway through she said she liked it.

When we got home, Fred was playing a battle game on his ipad.   He said that the music in the game was really good, as it went with the fighting.  For me that was wonderful - he noticed the music, and what it was trying to convey.  

In the afternoon I packed for our trip to Wales, which is the subject of my next post.