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. 

Summer Reading Challenge

Moo started a Lightning McQueen jigsaw this morning but she started to get into difficulties so Beanster came along to give a helping hand. They were very pleased with themselves when it was completed.

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We all headed out to the Library after breakfast so Beanster could get new books to complete her Summer Reading Challenge. She chose to go wearing odd shoes.

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She has now read 5 of the 6 books needed. She can’t read independently yet, but listening to lengthy stories or short novels and discussing them counts towards the challenge when you can’t yet read. Today she earned some stickers and a wristband for getting to book number 5 when she handed her record over for checking.

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Moo took a seat out for herself and looked at some books.

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Afterwards Beanster and Mama listened to some music being played by the Reed Band whilst Moo and I went to the local bakers to buy us all some lunch.

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On the way back Moo admired some hanging decorations and had a go on the swings.

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A bit of food perked the girls up enough to do some urban gymnastics.

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Listening to the Reed Band and also to  Mama playing the piano inspired Beanster to play her own music in the afternoon.

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In the evening the girls were full of nonsense, running around everywhere and playing all of the games. Beanster took herself back to the 80’s and wanted filmed jogging to help people to get fit.

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Tomorrow we are heading out camping so the rest of the evening was spent tetris packing. It was pitch black by the time we have finished.

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Wonder what wonders await us on the campsite?

Swimming and Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Museum

Today Moo went swimming with Mama.

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She was feeling confident and went down lots of chutes and did jumping in. The wave machine made her laugh a lot, even when the waves went right over her head. She has started to learn how to kick her legs and is happy putting her head right under the water. Clever girl.

Beanster and I headed to Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Museum.

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We had fun changing the points and signals.

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We built and played with the train track and trains (and an earwig unfortunately lost it’s life in the process).

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We built our own digger train and train track.

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We enjoyed looking inside some of the old trains.

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Our favourite is always the night mail train. Beanster loves to sort the mail and we discussed what problems we thought the staff would find as they worked whilst the train was moving. We learned that if a piece of mail was filed into the wrong place it took a further 24 hours to reach the correct destination.

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We talked about the following tanks and goods trucks. Beanster did not want to be a worker on the train pulling the Nitric Acid tank.

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Beanster compared her height to the height of different wheels.

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And we enjoyed reading these signs. 

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Beanster had a go at pulling the point and signal levers.

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And just like her sister she enjoys a good old walk along a wall.

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Before we left we visited the model railway.

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And looked at one of the trains that was being fixed.

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After lunch both girls had a further go at their Roman Dig and unearthed a tablet and some coins.

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The rest of the day was full of pretend play, a shopping trip and tidying up. What will we be up to tomorrow?

Trip to the bookshop and Georgian baking

It was a VERY WET day today so we took a trip to our beloved independent book shop ‘Far From the Madding Crowd‘ to hear some stories and see BB the rabbit. BB joins in with the stories and loves a cuddle. We had a wee bag of kale for him as we have a dedicated BB patch on our allotment. 

A bit of the lovely reading nook where you can hear stories on a Saturday.

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Giving BB a cuddle.

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On our way back home we stopped to look at some classic cars. We compared this old Mini to it’s modern equivalent which we saw in the car park.

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Moo painted in the afternoon.

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Beanster asked to do some Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs.

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Later on Moo and I did some shopping and she loaded the conveyor belt for me.

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The girls enjoyed sticking Lightning Mc Queen stickers into their Cars collection book. Beanster is very good now at finding the correct box to stick her stickers on and has been practising reading and saying the numbers.

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We also baked, following the Georgian recipe for Indian Gingerbread which we saw at Callendar House. The girls particularly enjoyed using our metal weights and scales to measure out the ingredients. They packed quite a punch and both girls declared them yummy but a bit spicy too. ‘Less ginger next time mummy’ apparently.

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Back to the 80s 

Today, learning more History.

 We headed out to Summerlee Industrial Museum with some home ed friends.

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 This Museum is absolutely wonderful. It is full of old industrial equipment, machinery and other artefacts from days gone by. There are houses set up as they would be from different decades, an old tram to ride on and a mine you can take a tour down. We specifically went to see the ‘back to the 80s’ exhibition which was set up by our friend Mark Nixon. Not surprisingly the exhibition was great and took me right back to my childhood. Beanster enjoyed dressing up with her friends in 80s clothing and as TV characters. 

This old dentist chair Beanster found fascinating.

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Back to the 80s

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The 1980’s house.

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The 1960’s house.

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The 1940’s house.

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The wash house.

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The old sweet shop.

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In the 1840s house one of the museum staff spoke to the kids about what life was like. They used some kitchen equipment and learned how people used to wash. Nobody liked the smell of the soap!

We all loved the tram, especially wee F, who was with us.

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Beanster had brought her Barbie doll along wearing a 1980s wedding dress which once belonged to my Sindy doll.

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The kids played for well over an hour in the gardens behind the houses. An intricate game of foxes was developed between Beanster, P, A and A and other museum visitors were astounded at the level of imagination they were demonstrating. It was just a typical level of imagination from our weans. Moo and F enjoyed watching the trams, climbing around the water fountain and having cuddles. 

Later on Moo had fun watching out the tram window and kept her eye on the driver.

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Then she finished off our trip driving a train.

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I had promised Beanster we would meet up with her other friend H at the allotment so after Summerlee that is where we went. We met Mama there who took a sleeping Moo home whilst Beanster played pretend camping and made potions with H and I did a bit of work. Veggies are starting to grow. Beanster and H practised their negotiating skills…..loudly!

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And of course a trip to the allotment is not complete without some wood chip climbing.

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Life is fun for Beanster and Moo.

Identifying wildflowers from a book and music

This morning we went for a walk around Beecraigs and used a book Granny had brought to help us identify some wildflowers.

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We identified Yellow Birds Foot Trefoil, Vetch, Rosebay Willowherb, Spear Thistle, Ragwort, Stinging Nettle, Common Hogweed, Foxglove and Buttercup amongst others.

We had a stop at the park for a play.

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We followed a woodland path which took us to some trees and a wall, ideal for practising drumming outdoors.

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The weather wasn’t so nice today as yesterday, but the weather never stops us.

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We had lunch at Granny and Grandpa’s before Grandpa headed out to watch a bowling match. 

Back at home more music was practised by Beanster. She chose to accompany Frank Turner on the harmonica as he sang ‘ I still believe’.

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We started to create a transfer picture of a Roman Gladiator battle scene.

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And the girls began a dig to find replica Roman artefacts.

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Another busy, fun, educational day.

A little bit of history….back to the Romans

Today Beanster announced that she wanted to go and see Littleland. This meant she wanted a trip to Callendar House in Falkirk to look at the miniature models of different parts of Falkirk, Grangemouth and other surrounding areas. Callendar House is full of little nuggets of local history, covering different eras, going back to the Romans as remains of part of the Antonine Wall can be found at the front of the house. The girls had a fabulous time dressing up as Roman soldiers, visiting the Georgian kitchen and looking in shop windows from days gone by.

Before heading out we played with some lego.

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Running wild and free in front of Callendar House.

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Running up the hill and sliding down on bums.

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Walking along walls.

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We enjoyed looking in the old fashioned shop windows and printers.  We talked about how newspapers used to be made, what records were and how sweets had changed over the years and which ones we could still buy.

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Beanster chatted about how these 3 boats differed to each other and explained to me how she thought they worked.

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We visited ‘Littleland’. Beanster was particularly interested in the model of the docks at Grangemouth and talked about it at great length. Moo talked about the railway that ran up to the docks.

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We visited the Roman exhibition and learned a little about the Antonine Wall that the Romans built. We also fired a model Ballista and Scorpion.

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And the girls dressed up as Roman soldiers and built a model of the Antonine Wall.

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We loved the Georgian kitchen. There was some yummy gingerbread and biscuits to  sample and we looked at all the old cooking equipment and utensils. Think we will make some of the gingerbread this week.

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Outside we climbed up onto the remains of part of the Antonine Wall and had a walk along. We did some music outside by using sticks to beat out rhythms on decaying tree trunks.

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Other goings on today included:

Admiring some war themed pottery.

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Jigsaw building.

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Looking at different types of flower and Moo pretending to feed nectar to her pet plastic bee.

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Sliding.

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Checking on the bird cafe and topping it up.

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Walking home barefoot.

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Tonight’s selection of bedtime stories.

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