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Hello everyone!

We’re going to try to use this blog to post (mostly photos) about what Beanster (4 1/2) & Moo (2) get up to. They don’t go to nursery and won’t be going to school and we thought it would be nice to keep a diary of sorts of all the things they get up to. 

Most of the blogging will be done by us Helen (aka Mama) and Carolyn  (aka Mummy) but I suspect Beanster will want to get in on the act at some point. 

Day 3-Bakewell and an abandoned Treasure Trail

One of the things Mama and I like to do are Treasure Trails which you can  get for towns and cities up and down the country. You follow a trail around a town which has a crime or mystery as it’s theme, you solve clues along the way and eliminate suspects from a list until you are left with one. The name you then enter online to be in with a chance of winning a prize. They really help you get to know a place and enable you to find little interesting, hidden away nooks and crannies that you might have missed otherwise.

We had one for Bakewell, so we headed there all eager to get our detective hats on…Well…we were eager, the girls less so! After about clue 3 we abandoned the trail and headed to a fab park instead. The equipment had all manner of climbing challenges on it and the toddler climbing frame had different heights, surfaces and ways to get up and down which meant that Moo had to really think about how to get herself across. It had a great water section with jets of water that were timed to go off at different times and in different directions. The girls had a brilliant time chasing and running through the water and it certainly helped to shake off the grumps.

In the park we also spotted a stone in the grass which had written on it ‘Keep or hide, post online beverly rocks’. We picked it up and on the other side was painted a ladybird. It turns out that a woman had set up a project where she painted and hid rocks which she wanted people to find to cheer them up. You either re hide the stone after posting where you found it on the beverly rocks Facebook page or you make your own and hide it. We are going to keep this one and make our own to hide when we get home.

Bakewell is a lovely place, if a tad busy, with the beautiful River Wye running through it  We found bridges with padlocks locked onto them which people had dedicated to the ones they love. The river was full of Trout and we enjoyed spotting as many as we could.

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Back at the tent, the heavens opened so we did some craft, making monster and animal bookmarks.
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We also got out some magazines and read and Beanster followed instructions to make a Lego skateboarder and baking set.

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Chatsworth part 2

Heading to the gardens our first place to visit was the glasshouse where we looked for citrus fruit.

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We took a little walk up from the house and found the cascade. Each step is a different size and so made a different noise as you stepped up.

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Later we found a burned out tree which resembled a face.

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Moo investigated bits and pieces that she found beside a pond and she made a nest for her duck.

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We discovered a gorgeous rock garden .

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We went around the maze and eventually found the middle. It was a race. Mama and Moo versus Beanster and Mummy. Needless to say Mama and Moo won. Beanster and Mummy had very bad sense of direction!

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On our way back towards the house and the end of our visit we found a roofless concrete box with a little garden inside it. The box had holes in it for you to peep in.  There were mirrors inside so that the garden looked bigger than it was. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo of this, but the piece is available for sale!

A last look at the front of the house which was getting renovated before heading back to our tent. A great day was had by all.

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Day 2 Chatsworth Gardens, Farm and Adventure Playground

The weather was beautiful so we decided to have an outdoors day at the grounds around Chatsworth House.

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 We didn’t do the house itself as the grounds provided enough entertainment for a whole day. 
We headed for the Farm and Adventure Playground first as the girls needed to run and climb and they also wanted to look at the animals and learn about how the farm worked. We watched some little chicks, looked at different types of sheep feed, had a milk of a pretend cow and stroked a goat.

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The adventure playground was next to the farm. Gross motor skills were certainly developed here. There were all manner of opportunities for climbing, bouncing, jumping and sliding. Beanster loved the trampoline, especially when it was full of older children bouncing high and Moo did really well climbing up all the big kid’s equipment (she was determined to try it). There was also sand and water play area at the park. We do love a bit of water and sand.

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Before heading to the gardens the girls had to have a refreshing ice cream. ‘This is tasty’ declared Moo. 

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A sit on the tractor before heading to part 2 of our day, which will follow in another blog once we get more reception.

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Camping day 1

Heading to Derbyshire 

We stopped off at a services halfway down for some lunch.

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At the campsite Moo was a great help with tent pitching. Beanster had discovered a park at the site so had gone off to find someone to play with.

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Beanster conveniently came back after the tent was up and declared it to be teatime.

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There was a mobile woodfire pizza on site that day so we ordered a pizza and had a play whilst we waited for it.

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We ate our lovely pizzas in the tent.

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We then looked for shooting stars (Beanster saw one) before heading  to bed.

Best friend time

Beanster and Moo love spending time with one of their best friends, H. Today he and his mum came round for food and a play.

After much nonsense in the house and an indoors picnic we headed to the park (even though it was raining). We also replenished the bird cafe and found a sunflower growing under one of the bird feeders. Obviously one of our seeds had been dropped by a bird and was sprouting. We took our scooters so Moo got a little bit of practise on hers.

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Later on we tetris packed the car for our next camping trip.

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Trip to Falkland Palace…..twice.

We decided on Wed to take Granny a wee trip to Falkland Palace in Fife. It is such a beautiful palace set in the most wonderful grounds. We spent a happy 4 hours or so there investigating and learning. We didn’t realise at the time we would end up there twice in one week. During our first visit we lost Beanster’s favourite hoodie and despite kindly searching for it the staff couldn’t find it. We headed back the next day to look for it ourselves since we knew roughly the journey we had taken around the grounds and thankfully we found it. Beanster was relieved. Here are some photos of our 2 days. Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside the palace but the grounds are beautiful so there are plenty of outdoor photo opportunities.

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Day 1

Sisterly love. After looking inside the palace and seeing how people used to live when it was once occupied by kings and Queens we ventured out into the grounds to explore. 

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Getting exercise running. Our girls love running and today they did it hand in hand.

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Inside the glasshouse. Granny taught the girls the names of some plants. We also looked at the mechanism for opening the glasshouse roof.

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Watching the waterfall. Moo was fascinated with it.

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We played some games from the past and some newer games in the Orchard. Beanster used her technology skills to build an aeroplane model with the construction bits. We also discovered a small dog graveyard which Beanster and I talked about.

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We read some animal track information signs and then discovered a wasp nest.

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We found a wee bothy (where the hoodie was later recovered from) and the girls made a pretend meal for Granny and I. They included pretend spinach, kale, noodles and  rice in their offerings. We also found evidence that rodents had eaten in the bothy.

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We had a look for animals and plants we could identify in the wee ponds. Moo and I also had a chat about Pondskaters which there were in abundance.

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We had a look at the real tennis court, the only one in use in Scotland….

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…and we watched a mother swallow/swift feed her young. We couldn’t see the tail properly to identify the bird. You need to wait to the end of the video to see the mum come in.

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Day 2

After finding the hoodie and having another quick play with the outdoor toys we found a traditional ice cream cart….

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….and had some ice cream

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I then spoke to the girls about the types of houses found in Falkland, why the doors are smaller than nowadays and why there are letters and numbers over the door.

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We had a quick walk around Falkland before heading home. Granny and Beanster had a look in one of the antique shops.

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It is a lovely wee town and we will definitely be back again. Next time we will explore the town more and look at all the different houses and their features. Watch this space. 

A show, a birthday and some vegetables

This morning we were heading to the Edinburgh Festival with the girls to see one of our favourite singers, Nick Cope. He writes fabulous songs for children and he is funny too. If you have never heard of him you should do a quick google/youtube search. Our ultimate favourite song is ‘The baby’s done a poo’.

Here we are waiting at the front of the queue to get in.

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In our seats right at the front.

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The man himself.

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Beanster was a bit afraid that she was going to have to get up on stage.

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Moo was a bit sleepy.

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Audience participation (Beanster didn’t get up on the stage)

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He was absolutely brilliant and we bought one of his CDs at the end to add to our collection.

We then went and got a bit of lunch and had it sitting on giant pillows in a park.

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Beanster wanted her photo taken on top of a wall.

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And then we had a play before heading back to the car.

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It was granny’s birthday so we headed to her house to give her presents…

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and cake….

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Moo chose the cake and candles and was very happy when she got her slice.

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Later on the girls played in the garden.

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Back at home they opened up their own cafe and ice cream parlour and Beanster wrote the menu.

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Beanster and Mama headed out to the Library after tea to log Beanster’s last book for her Summer Reading Challenge. She will miss the award ceremony as we are away on holiday but when she gets back she has to go to the Library to receive her medal and certificate. Whilst Beanster was away Moo played in our Fairy Garden and made tea for an imaginary Auntie Alice.

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For an hour or so before bed Moo and I headed to the allotment to attend to some of our veg and Beanster and Mama went to check out a possible venue for her birthday party in a few weeks. Moo was very excited to see that we have got some corn cobs growing. This is the furthest we have ever got when growing corn on the cob. Scotland is usually too wet for us to have any success, maybe this is our year to taste one!

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We also have spaghetti squash, pumpkins, butternut squash, courgettes (on the verge of becoming marrows), cabbage, onions, beetroot, cauliflowers, kale and potatoes growing nicely too. There are other things in too but they haven’t come on much yet.

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Oh, Beanster gave the local venue a thumbs up so now party planning begins…….