Thursday, 27 August 2015

Rockpool Safari/Coastering and crabbing

Today the big girls went off to walk, scramble, climb, swim and cliff jump around the Blue Lagoon, whilst P, E and me went on  a Rockpool Safari to Nine Wells, led by TYF, where we enjoyed scrambling round rocks finding various jelly fish, sea weed and shell fish followed by hot chocolate cooked in a cave! 

After a quick picnic near the Cathedral in St. Davids we walked to Port Clais. When we reached the harbour we joined a National Trust organised crabbing where we caught loads of shore crabs with bacon as bait. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Southwood Estate Coast to Coast walk

Today we spent the morning flying kites, playing beach cricket and swimming at the beach before a brief but heavy rain shower meant we beat a wet but hasty retreat back to our cottage.

Later on my parents, me and P went on a walk round a  a 2.5 mile circular route between Maidenhall car park and Pinch Hill, Newgale. We started from Maidenhall car park (Ordnance Survey Landranger 157 map, SM 857 202), crossed over the road and turned left through the field gate, following the edge of the field where crops where growing.
Then we ccontinued through the metal inset gate and along the edge of the next field, following the way markers. We found a wooden hand gate at the bottom of the field which we passed and followed the edge of the lower field round to the left.
Then we went through a wooden hand gate in the fence descending down the bank of bracken to reach a perfect pooh-stick bridge across the stream at the bottom.  
We followed the way markers up a field and then down before entering the woodland and crossing a stream.  Beside the stream crossing was a magnificent ash tree, coated with moss, ferns and lichens.  
 We continued to follow the waymarkers across the field beyond the woodland, we crossed a third stream  before climbing to a marshy area to reach a metal inset gate in the field boundary. The path then became a fenced corridor where we saw a mouse.
Then we came to a small quarry site and followed the path north, to the right, descending the coastal slope to walk up the beach (and play in the surf!).
We then walked along the road home (although you could follow the coastal path).

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Today the girls enjoyed a ride from Nolton stables. They rode through the woodland (although they all said they would have preferred the beach ride! Never mind!).  It was well organised with the ride divided into three groups (walkers, trotters and canterers) and even E got a trot.  As soon as they dismounted they all asked when they could go again!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Whale and Dolphin spotting

Today we had an amazing boat ride - althugh we didn't see any whales we certainly saw lots of other amazing wildlife.  It started well with purposes swimming under the boat; we then visited the RSPB island of Grassholm, home to over 39,000 pairs of breeding gannets, the 3rd largest Atlantic gannet colony in the UK and watched them flying over us.  Then we went out into the rich waters of the Celtic Deep where we enjoyed seeing a puffin and 2 different dolphin pods (including a 6 week old calf).

 Then we looked round St Davids where we enjoyed looking round the cathedral, a pub lunch and an amazing ice-cream.  
 Later this afternoon we went to Newgale beach which is  2 miles of sand backed by a huge pebble bank formed after a BIG storm in 1859. The girls enjoyed paddling, body boarding, kite flying and sand castle making. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Today we spent the morning inside hiding from the rain before the sun came out and we enjoyed a lovely walk along the Pembrokeshire coastal path to Druids head.  Considering the forecast was rain all day it couldn't have been lovelier this afternoon. The girls enjoyed the beach best where they could scramble over rocks and look in rock pools. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Towers and Rockets

This morning we went to a engineering workshop to design, build and test towers and rockets from paper tubes at the Cambridge Museum ofTechnology.

The girls had a great time and asked me to look out for the next one!

Then we had a quick look round the museum itself which was Cambridge's old sewage pumping station. It is very informal, so you can wander about touching things. There is a lot of stuff just lying around, its is not massive and there is not a lot for children to do (although they did enjoy just the pottering about and the dressing up).

Monday, 17 August 2015


Today the girls started their week of gym and rowing courses in the afternoons and because they need to take a snack they did some baking.

G made Mary Berry's millionaires' shortbread:
(For the shortbread: 
  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175g butter, softened
  • For the caramel:
  • 100g butter or margarine
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 2 x 397g cans condensed milk
  • For the topping:
  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180'C/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 13 x 9inch (33x23cm) Swiss roll tin.
    2. To make the shortbread, mix the flour and caster sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Knead the mixture together until it forms a dough, then press into the base of the prepared tin. Prick the shortbread lightly with a fork and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and very lightly browned. Cool in the tin.
    3. To make the caramel, measure the butter, sugar and condensed milk into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Pour over the shortbread and leave to cool.
    4. For the topping, melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Pour over the cold caramel and leave to set. Cut into squares or bars.) 
    E made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 10 minute cookies but with white chocolate and smarties instead of the suggested dark chocolate:
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 75g soft light brown sugar
    • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 150g plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • A pinch of sea salt
    • 100g dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks (or use milk chocolate, if you prefer)
    1. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put both sugars into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and beat well with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and stir them in, then add the chocolate. You should have a pretty sloppy sort of mixture. 
    2. Place heaped dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to 2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment, leaving a good 4cm in between each one as they really spread out. Place in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the cookies are turning pale golden brown.
    3. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes to firm up. Then carefully lift the baking parchment on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    And P, as not to be left out, decorated melted chocolate blobs with sprinkles, smarties and white chocolate.
    These will not get eaten as gym snack as the girls polished them off for tea :). 


The Milton Maize Maze

Today we went to the The Milton Maize Maze where the girls enjoyed the Field of Fun; we went on Go karts, enjoyed duck Racking, gold panning, a Tractor and Trailer ride which takes you around the farm, bouncing, bouncing and more bouncing and even the husband and I enjoyed a quick game of ping pong!

This years maze is a 7 acre Tyrannosaurus Rex! The maze is planted with a different pattern every year, and is a fleeting temporary thing - in a few weeks it will be harvested and turned into animal feed. There are things to find and do in the maze (This year we managed to find all the stations and finish the game).

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Today we hired a punt and went to Grantchester and back where the river is river is deeper and wilder and tends to have less people punting (compared to the backs).  The 3 big girls had a go at punting and I enjoyed the amazing banks.