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…….

Party time

It was packing up time today and time to head home via cousin H’s birthday party.

First of all there was time for some drumming.

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And dishes needed washed so they could be packed away.

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At cousin H’s house there were plenty tapirs (her favourite animal).

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Plus a fabulous cake, well done Mummy J.

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Lots to eat and drink.

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And the girls played and played.

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We hardly saw Beanster as she was away playing dens and making pretend ice cream in the shop she set up with some other children. Moo enjoyed being their customer although she did need it explained to her that she wasn’t getting real ice cream!

Back at home the girls made their own birthday party for Beanster’s doll Isobel. She even made her own gift tag for the presents, but did manage to write her own name backwards on it. Isobel was very clever though and worked out who the present was from.

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A bath before bed was much needed as the weekend meant the girls were clarty! They are now in bed and sleeping in preparation for another fun filled day.

Day 3 Dundee Science CentreĀ 

A slightly less wet day was predicted but as we were heading to Dundee Science Centre it didn’t really matter what the weather was going to be like. 

First of all though domestic duties needed to be done. Beanster fetched more water so we could have cups of coffee.

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Then she made the lunch.

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At the science centre the main theme was Space. We watched a show about rockets where we learned that rockets are heavier up at the top than the bottom and that this combined with thrust pushing the rocket up and the pulling down of gravity is what helps the rocket get into space. Beanster then recreated this in a little rocket experiment with the help of her glamorous assistants Katherine and Lyall.

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Meanwhile Moo was learning about skeletons, cogs and practising weighing.

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One of Beanster’s favourite things to do is to go along the same journey a bogey takes as it is formed from the back of the mouth, up into the back of the nose and out through the nostrils. There is a large model children can climb into to do this.

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Soon both girls headed to the recreated moon landscape and did some investigating.

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I got into role of the chief astronaut on our mission. I was reluctant to give up my uniform.

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Moo really enjoyed constructing pulleys.

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One of the best interactive exhibits was the sandbox which you could construct different landscapes on. We spent a long time at this making contoured landscapes, volcanic landscapes and seabeds. Apologies if some videos are the wrong way round.

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Moo said, ‘ I have made a volcano with an ice cream’ 

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Back at camp we ate our last supper as we are heading back home tomorrow.

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After tea Beanster headed out to the woods with Katherine and Lyall and got up to nonsense.

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Moo and I played games, had a ride in our wagon, went to look for fallen apples and grasshoppers whilst Mama made a fire.

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When we got back the fire was looking grand.

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Beanster helped to keep the fire going when she returned from her walk.

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Moo and I headed for bed and left the others chatting by the fire.

Tomorrow we head home via cousin H’s birthday party. I guess we had better have a shower before we leave eh! šŸ˜‰

Day 2 St Andrews

Beanster had me up at 6.50 this morning and before anyone else awoke she did some colouring…

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…and we played a game of farmer lotto….

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….and she played with her story cubes.

When Moo awoke she helped to make her own breakfast.

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Beanster let Lyall do her hair then she settled down for her breakfast.

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Before we headed out for the day we used some charcoal that last night’s fire had made to do some drawings.

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We were off to St Andrews for a walk along the beach and a trip to the butterfly house in the Botanic Garden. 

We did the obligatory selfie before our stroll.

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Then we paddled in the water.
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We drew in the sand, looked at dead crabs and investigated the flowering plants that were growing in the sand.

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We even found some interesting caterpillars.

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Beanster managed to convince Lyall to give her a lift back to the car so we could head off to our next destination.

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The Botanic gardens at St Andrews is free the first Friday of the month which by happy coincidence was today. You pay a small fee to go into the special summer exhibition, the butterfly house but it was worth it to see the huge variety of butterflies flying around. 

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We didn’t spend too long in the rest of the garden as  the heavens opened and the rain was torrential, but it will definitely be a place to come back to soon. We decided to hang out in the education house and glasshouses until the rain slowed down and we could head back to the tent.

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Before leaving St Andrews though we just had to have some ice cream in the rain (typical Scottish summer delight). 

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Back at the tent, Mama did a good job of entertaining the girls whilst I braved the rain and  cooked our tea outside. We then needed to eat our tea inside the tent. A slightly damp and soggy affair.

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After tea Moo played with the travel connect 4, building a castle with the bits and Mama taught Beanster how to play Uno.

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I then played shops with the girls. They used everything inside the tent which they sold at their pillow counters and imaginary till.

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Beanster then built a model of our home town before we headed to bed.

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Today the rain taught the girls how to be resilient, adaptable and creative. I think they did well. Don’t you?

Camping with friends

We started our morning with a game of monster dominoes. Moo was excellent at this game winning both games.

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Granny and Grandpa then took the girls for a couple of hours so I could do the final shopping and packing for our camping trip with Stacey, Lyall and Kateherine to Pillars Of Hercules, Fife. 

We arrived at the site and it was warm with some sunshine. This was a big improvement to the torrential rain we had earlier.

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The girls helped to pitch the tent.

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We enjoyed our first tea, veggie chilli, made by Stacey. Yum!

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We were visited by wildlife.

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And investigated the tunnels left by others. Here we are looking at mole tunnels.

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Beanster had a dip in the burn.

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We had a run about and looked at all the flowering plants around the site.

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Beanster, Moo and I went to find fallen apples. We may make these into something tomorrow. We didn’t take any from the trees.

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Our site has solar panels on it. Good for the girls to see up close.

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Later on we sat around the campfire. Tortilla chips make excellent firestarters

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The moon is now up so we are heading to bed. See you tomorrow folks.

Lightning McQueen!

After a morning game of Lotto we decided to surprise the girls and took them to the cinema to see Cars 3. This was Moo’s first trip to the cinema so we made sure she had some ice cream and popcorn to help her sit through a whole film.

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Both girls chose to dress up for the occasion, Beanster in her Anna dress and Moo in her rainbow dress. Within about 10 minutes both dresses were covered in chocolate ice cream!  Moo sat very well for most of the film. She only needed about 7 trips to the toilet! Beanster was her usual fidgety self but managed to pay close attention despite this. At the end of the film the girls danced around whilst the credits rolled.

Back at home Beanster asked to do some more Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs. Her initial sound knowledge, ability to count and to recognise number words are all coming on a treat and she enjoyed shouting out rhyming words at various points in the day. 

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Mama played a modified toddler friendly version of ‘Guess Who’ with Moo and she absolutely loved this. It allowed her to practise looking for and matching pictures and she is extremely good at this. 

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The girls and I headed out to the shops to buy what we needed for tea, but of course a trip to the shops always involves more than mere shopping. Our girls manage to investigate nature in the car park, improve their gross motor skills in the trolley area and Moo looked like she was reinacting a scene from ‘Titanic’….’On top of the world’

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As I made tea, Mama got out the scales and compare bears for the girls to investigate. It is always interesting to leave the girls with objects like these to see what they do with them. They started off weighing them, finding the lightest and heaviest. This didn’t last too long however as Moo wanted all the bears so an arguement developed. Beanster decided to give up and went back to her computer and Moo started putting the bears to bed then she did some jigsaws. We will get the bears and scales out again tomorrow to see if any further investigation takes place.

I wonder if any discoveries will he made.