Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Will and I go on some trips

Over the Easter break I still looked after Will on a Tuesday, but our little playgroup that we normally go to in the morning was closed so I had to think of other things to do.  My first ideas are always to go to Stanwick Lakes as the Adventure Playground is such fun and they have some wonderful water features for the children to play in. 
He insisted on coming down on his tummy

Yesterday, though sunny, had a bitterly cold North wind, but we went to Castle Ashby.  I had heard that it had a menagerie and a children's playground so off we went and arrived at about the same time as a coachload of schoolchildren!  Anyway we walked though the gardens -
Cricket pavilion and ground in front of ....
the house

Will on the stone seat
The Orangery
The Mulberry Tree

We walked towards the Menagerie singing "Round and round the Mulberry bush" though I couldn't remember any of the words and this bush is about 200 years old!!

We arrived at the animals at the same time as the coachload of children so were a little pushed about as they all wanted to 'stroke' the large 19 year old tortoise.  We enjoyed the meerkats -

the Kunekune pigs
There were three

the marmosets, pygmy goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and assorted birds.  Oh, and a chicken which was causing the children some worry as it had got into the pig enclosure and looked as if it might get squashed by them playing and racing round and round!! 

Time for lunch and after that the playground.  Will loved this caterpillar and spent a long time playing on it -

probably because the schoolchildren had finished their picnic lunch and had taken over the playground and the caterpillar was too babyish.  A fun day out near to home.

Recently I went over to Cambridge to work on the kitchen garden.  I haven't done much since last summer because my son has redesigned this area and though very much a 'Work In Progress' it is coming on.

There will be three raised beds with plenty of room to walk between them.  The first has the root crops - potatoes, carrots and beetroot, the second nearly finished will be courgettes (Zucchini)  and giant pumpkins grown especially for Halloween.  The third is still to be worked on and should be Runner and French beans with sweetcorn.  I am growing all these items in my greenhouse and I hope the beds will be ready before they are!!  We could still have a frost at night if this bitterly cold weather is anything to go by.

I have still been doing various volunteering projects at Chester Farm, including leading guided tours, finds marking and land clearance.  However I did go to a very useful update meeting and learnt about the single skeleton found during a recent excavation around the farm buildings.  The volunteers found two pots

and in the late afternoon another piece of pot that they decided to leave until the next day.  Next day it was discovered that it was a skull, and immediately under the terms of their contract, the contractors closed the site and called the police as they thought it might be a murder!!  However once the police were advised that this was Roman they lost interest and work carried on on this teenage Roman girl.  She was buried with  broken bracelet (please excuse the quality of the photos as these items were in boxes and I didn't want to touch them)
Broken bracelet from a teenage female skeleton

The following items were also shown to us
Roman buckle (I think!)


Roman glass (what a lovely sheen)

Roman needle

Samian ware with a maker's mark


  1. A lovely post & what wonderful finds. I'd so enjoy volunteering in UK, & I've other blogpals who do for the National Trust & write interesting posts. Your day out with Will looked fun & we both posted "meerkats". Like the look of the raised veg beds, which is something I need these days, but do have a little something to write about in a coming post about the garden, probably after the Scavenger Photo Hunt which is tomorrow. Take care.

  2. Good old Stanwick Lakes ! Its been years since I went to Castle Ashby - will put it on my list again.
    Those are smart raised beds - but will they keep the deer at bay?

    1. Little Miss O would love the animals and probably some of the playground at Castle Ashby. Under 5s get in free!