Wednesday, 28 February 2018


 As we came home from school early for us we had time to make biscuits. We used the recipe from this book:


Grandbunny’s Special Spiced Biscuits

170g golden syrup
67g brown sugar
60g butter
288g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
beaten egg, to glaze (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease oven trays. Combine golden syrup, brown sugar and butter in a pan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
2. Add flour and spice to a large bowl. Add cooled syrup mixture to bowl and stir well to combine.
3. Roll out half the dough to a 2mm thickness. Cut into shapes and place on prepared trays. Bake for 7 minutes or until golden.

Simple enough for P to do most of it on her own and they taste yummy!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Box Hill Walk

We went for a family walk around Box Hill which was quite a long way from Cambridge (almost a 2 hour drive!), but was worth it for some steapish climbs and wonderful views! It takes it’s name form the ancient Box Woodland that can be found on the steepest West-facing chalk face slope. Local historians says that witches once used to congregate in their Covens on Box Hill, because they believed the Box Trees enabled them to better interact with the spirit world.
The land is owned by the National Trust - so free car parking if you are members, although the car parks were busy and there is a cafe, shop and toilet facilities. The walk was muddy in places with steep steps up and down.

 The view from the Salomons memorial viewpoint on Box Hill:
 The final stage includes the famous stepping stones over the River Mole, although we decided to cross via the bridge so we didn't get wet feet!

There are a number of other routes you can walk and one has some natural play equipment for the kids which I am sure P might have liked!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

January to do list

On the January to do list we had:

  • Take part in the RSPB big bird survey
    We saw 2 robins, 3 blackbirds, a blue tit, a long tailed tit, 2 magpies, a woodpecker and a squirrel.  
  • Get the girls to cook a meal 
    This didn't happen - although E has done some baking
  • Get out running 
     I have been out running - getting out 2-3 times a week!
  • Celebrate 12th night 
    We had haggis and neeps and tatties 
  • Blog more! 
    umm - we haven't done too much so I am don't have much to blog about!
  • Try to encourage some reading and writing
    We haven't been good at this either other than normal homework - should try harder!!!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

RSPB Big Garden Watch

The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's biggest bird survey and regularly attracts nearly half a million participants. The records from people counting birds in their gardens provides a vital snapshot of the UK's birds each winter. The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 took place over this weekend (27th to 29th January 2018). To take part, you simply spend an hour watching the birds in your garden or local park over the weekend.   This is what we saw:

  And not a bird but enjoying the seeds all the same:

Monday, 22 January 2018

Bucket list 2018

Here is our bucket list for family days out 2018:

  • Walk up Snowdon
  • Walk up Box Hill
  • Holiday on Angelsey and see some puffins, visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and the copper mines
  • Go to Alton Towers
  • Visit Monkey World
  •  Have an underground train ride at the Postal Museum, London.
  • Rib ride on the Thames
  • Visit the historic Coffin Works, Birmingham.
  • Ride on the beach
  • Wild camp at Wicken Fen
  • Do a 'Big Camp Out' at a National Trust property
  • Re-visit the National Space Centre
  • Enjoy the science festival
  • Go star gazing on a Wednesday evening at the Astronomy department
  • Visit the Forbidden Corner

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Beamish museum

On our drive home we stopped at the Beamish museum.  Beamish is a world famous open air museum, telling the story of life in the North East of England  from a Georgian Manor House to Pit Village, and Edwardian town to a WW2 era Land Girls farm. They are undertaking building work at the moment as they expend to include a 1950s town. The whole venue is connected by transport from the era, with trams and buses all free to board, though it can be quicker to walk from place to place!

The girls and the husband enjoyed traditionally fried fish and chips cooked in beef dripping over coal fires.
We then enjoyed looking round the pit villiage, seeing the pit ponies and visitingthe coal seam itself - a short walk through tunnels where we had to bend down.

We also liked the Edwardian town where the girls enjoyed buying sweets and cakes. We also went on the (short) steam train ride and enjoyed seeing the animals at the farm! 

This really has a lot to offer the whole family - the smaller girls enjoyed buying sweets and seeing the animals and I loved the houses and the Co-op shop as well as being amazed at how dark the 1820s Pockerley manor house was!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New Year in the lakes

Over New Year we stayed in a beautiful house near Bassenthwaite - I got to live out my country fantasies with cooking in an aga, sleeping in a four poster bed and playing board games by a log fire.
We also did some great walks round the area. The first few days were snowy and icy and the last few days were wet and windy!