Sunday, 24 January 2016

E's 8th Birthday Party

Today, finally, E had her gymnastics party at the Bury Spectrum gym.  It was brilliant - the girls got to try out lots of different equipment, like a trampoline, balancing bars, parallel bars etc all with the careful eye of 2 instructors. They took them over each piece of apparatus before the girls got to free play!  They had so much fun and all said it was the best party ever.

We provided food and E requsted a donut cake!  She envisioned lots of donuts but I made a savarin shaped cake (which was a pain to get out of the tin!)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Walk on the Malvern Hills

The Malvern Hills are a string of rounded summits stretching some 10km that are clearly visible from the M5 Motorway. Running in a line from north to south they form a ridge with the Worcestershire Beacon the highest summit (1394ft / 425m). 

We parked in a pay and display carpark in a disused quarry a few hundred metres down the hill towards the A449 in the village of Upper Wyche. We then walked up to the Worcestershire Beacon (not that the view was great - as you can see the clouds had come down and it had started to rain and then we walked around the northern end of the hills before heading home! 

I really enjoyed the walk, although the girls got cold and wet! I would love to come back and explore some more of these lovely hills!

Saturday, 2 January 2016


We visited Slimbridge which is s a wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. We stayed most of the day, including eating a lovely lunch in their cafe!  We didn't see everything and will definitely return for a second visit!  

 You can buy bird food, which we did and enjoyed feeding the swans. G and P even hand feed them (I am terrified of swans)
 We enjoyed a chance to meet some non-native amphibians. There were numerous talks  through out the day - we enjoyed this one and the otter talk very much! 
 Slimbridge has numerous nene (also known as Hawaiian geese), the rarest goose in the world.
 There are many (who knew there could be so quite so many varied) types of aquatic fowl!  I thought this black and white one was really pretty!  
We also saw enjoyed the  wild bird feed from the  comfort of the heated observatory, although sadly because it has been so mild we only saw a few Bewick’s swans!

Friday, 1 January 2016

2016 aims

This is my 2016 list:

(1) Read 50 books
(2) Visit some new National Trust properties
(3) Complete a walk every month
(4) Have more friends over for dinner
(5) Finish my MEd
(6) Finish a half-marathon
(7) Learn to use my camera
(8) Spend some time carrying out STEM activities with the girls
(9) Encourage the girls to enjoy nature activities
(10) Encourage more sibling harmony
(11) Cut down on facebook time

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Walk on Clent Hills

Today we went for lovely walk, in glorious sunshine, on the Clent Hills which are 10 miles out of Birmingham.

This is the view from the summit of Adam's Hill, at a height of 304 metres (997 feet). A 'toposcope', or carved stone platform showing the direction and distance of local (and distant) points of interest, sits at the top. From here it is possible to see the Black Country, the Birmingham skyline, and other features as far away as the South Shropshire Hills and the Welsh Borders.
We also enjoyed the viewpoint from the Four Stones Folly, a Victorian folly erected by a former owner of nearby Hagley Hall.
G prefered splashing in puddles :).

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

December 23rd - Make a Christingle

Today we made christingles.  Christingle means ‘Christ’s Light’ and it is a symbol of the Christian faith. Lots of churches hold Christingle services around Christmas time. The custom of giving out lighted candles in these services began in Germany in 1747 but it wasn't introduced to the Anglican Church in England until 1968.Christingles are made up of different parts, each one being there to remind us of something.
  • The orange represents the world.
  • The candle reminds Christians of Jesus who they believe to be the light of the world. (We used a small glo-stick)
  • The red ribbon goes all round the 'world' and being the colour of blood, reminds Christians that Jesus died. (Actually we used Strawberry laces!)
  • The four cocktail sticks could have either of two meanings; the four seasons or the four corners of the world.
  • The sweets (or sometimes dried fruit) remind Christians of God's gifts to the world including kindness and love.