Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Fred, Betsy and I went to Pratt's Banana factory in Luton yesterday.  They supply bananas to all of the Tescos in the south, as well as Costco and some other shops.  They process millions and millions of bananas every year.

The bananas arrive after 20 days aboard a container ship from Costa Rica, Ecuador and other central and south American countries.  Pratt's put them into ripening rooms at a specific temperature depending on how quickly or slowly they need them ready for delivery.  Then they're packed (each conveyor line is expected to pack 100 boxes an hour) and stacked onto articulated lorries (each truck must be filled in 15 minutes).

We were lucky enough to see the process from beginning to end.  The staff were fantastic - so welcoming and friendly, even though the factory was extremely busy.

We weren't allowed to take our phones in, so I only got a couple of photos at the beginning of the workshop.

Everyone has to wear hi vis jackets and a cap.  There are lots of forklift trucks driving about the place, and the factory floor is marked out with roads and pavements.

Here's a video about the factory:

Meg was too young to come (ages 5 and over) so mum came to look after her.  Meg was very sad not to come, but actually had a brilliant time with mum!  They went to the playground, then walked into town.  Mum took her to Costa and bought her a brownie to eat *by herself* (I get them one to share!).  And then they went to Clarks and Meg came home with brand new bright pink light up shoes.  She was delighted.  

Mum had brought over a new game (Bus Stop by Orchard Toys), and they did some crafting.  

We made good use of the shoe box.  Meg decorated it to make a bed for the paper dolls.  She took ages over it, and really enjoyed the process.

Betsy and Meg did another paper doll show.  This time we were given numbered tickets, and numbered seats with cushions.

Fred continues to play happily on the ps3, chatting with his online friends.  The headset has made such a massive difference to his experience of online playing.  He's laughing *a lot*.

Today has been a home day.  Everyone has been happily occupied.  Betsy made a party - paper bunting, ribbons, a list of party things to do.  Teddy came over and they had the party.  It was very sweet!

We played a game of Bus Stop.  Sadly it ended in tears, as Meg said I didn't play it the way that Nanny had.  I'll have to phone mum and ask her how they did it yesterday.

I have done some sewing, including long-put-off repairs to some of my clothes.  Yay me!  And I made this cute little cat block.  I now want to make millions of them and have a cat quilt.

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