(TL;DR version: Lots of cheapish fun with the kids. Lots of library visits. Lots of books.)
Last week Roo was at Nanna's house so Pheebs and I took Mr Bear to Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway - a local steam train which used to service the paper mill in the area. He was so excited - he's obsessed with trains and diggers and trucks... anything vehicular. One of the carriages is open so you can lean out and see the steam puffing out at the front of the train. He absolutely loved it.
When you get to the other end of the journey there is a little museum set up, explaining their history. There's also a tiny little nature area where they are encouraging butterflies and insects etc - they've also set up a stag beetle hill but we didn't spot any on this occasion. Bear was more than happy to just explore though - he's such a nature boy.
Behind the compound is the Saxon Shore footway which in one direction would have taken us home (eventually) and in the other direction would have taken us towards Hastings and Rye. (Perhaps after a few days walk!) We walked a little way along - it was a shame the tide was out. We've decided, Pheeb and I, to try and do the walk home when the kids are at Nannas next time.
A couple of days later we went to Maidstone museum - another first. We were on the hunt for dinosaurs! Yep - he loves those too. And we found them. Bear decided he needed a tooth inspection and wondered where dinosaurs go when they have a sore tooth.
We finished up the day with a ride on the Octonaughts submarine in the shopping center. At £1 a go Pheebs decided we should get our moneys worth. Who do you think is having more fun here?
This next picture is just after Bear and I went to the library, we read some books, got some out and then headed to the local McDonalds. It's been recently refurbished so he felt duty bound to inspect the premises. They've put tablets on the tables so we spent a good while in there having lunch and playing Angry Birds together - he is way better at it than me!
When we got home he just zonked, after I took this he awoke long enough to sleep walk over to me for a cuddle and then went back to sleep. It was lovely.
And now we come to the book portion of my Rocking moments of which there are many and be thankful I haven't even included them all.
Firstly, I got this one from the library the other week. I was just wandering the shelves while the kids were lost in a wonder-filled haze in the childrens section. This one was facing out on display and - I confess - I do judge a book by the cover. I liked the look of it and I liked the Grimm comparison on the back. I've never read or even heard of the author before.
Well, I ended up staying awake till 2 am on two consecutive nights reading this one! Really enjoyed it! This is going to sound daft - but it took me back to the golden time of fantasy films - you know, Labyrinth, Princess Bride, too many to mention. It had that feel about it to me. I absolutely ate it up! I think if you enjoy fantasy and fairy tale and twists on old themes. (Damsels being sacrificed to the dragon to name one) and you like interesting forests that eat people... yeah, you'll like this one! (That's probably the main bit that takes me back to the films that I love so much!) It's been a long while since I've sat and had my attention held like that - my memory is not brilliant and I usually have to re-read stuff many times. Probably why I've been enjoying graphic novels more lately. But I'll be looking out for more by this author.
Next up - two more that I've got out, both graphic novels. I've wanted to read Mr Punch for ages - in case you hadn't realised, Dave McKean is one of my favourite artists and I will read absolutely anything that he collaborates with Neil Gaiman on. Suffragette was recommended to me by Amazon and so I did a search on the library system and it came up. Whacked a reserve order on it and it was at my local library within days. I'm making so much use of this facility at the moment. Did that with Mr Punch too.
Another thing I'm loving about them is that if you can't find the book in their system you can put in an order request where they actually (might) buy the book. So far I have put in 4 requests and they have bought all four. You are then first in the queue to borrow them. I'm awaiting two lino cut/print ones that are showing as bought - quite newish releases. I think it's a brilliant idea. When you don't have that many pennies and then the books are there for everyone else too. I suppose it gives them an idea what people want as well.
Then, a surprise visit from my friend with an even bigger surprise of a late birthday present. She gave me a £10 book token! Woohoo! So when we were in Maidstone we had a good long leisurely look around Waterstones. I'd forgotten how good it is to spend ages in a real bookshop - most of mine are bought online these days. I'm going to fix that! I came away with another I've wanted for ages. And because of the token it only cost me 99p! Yeah!
Finally at the end of that week - this letter came through the door. from Roo. Updating me on all her antics with Nanny. It did make me smile.
*pause to stretch*
Moving on to last week then.
We paid a long overdue visit to Shorne Woods Country Park - yet another first. We are definitely exploring our local area more this year. A staycation maybe? It's truly beautiful there with play areas for the children. Really well signposted trails... mutant mosquitoes but we wont dwell on them! We'll definitely be going back. There are various sculptures dotted around - this was my favourite by local artist Steve Portchmouth.It's called Spider Tickles Worm. Love it.We tackled the Heritage trail for our first go and it was a good hour and a half of walking. Lots of nature. I was pretty pleased with this shot of a new fern peeking through the woodland floor.
|Bear in a tree - Grr!|
|Bear posing in a tree - not so Grrr!|
Everyone loves a picnic - especially when there are chickens roaming around the tables...
OK, not everyone - that was a step to far for Roo. She wolfed her food and legged it to the park - there may have been screaming.
|She's not grimacing, she's doing the trout pout. *sigh*|
I have spoken to her. I am allowed to slap her if she does it again.
|Money well spent!|
Other things that have made me smile this week:
- The £1 garage I got from the boot fair - it was filthy, looked like it had been stored in someones garden. After a good scrub, three buckets of water later... it's a Fisher Price one and the kids love it. Been playing with it solidly since it came back in from being cleaned. Mum would have been proud.
- Got my certificates through from my course! My distinctions were for my final piece and work related stuff, my merits were for the writing, descriptive type of stuff (less waffle - more analytical!) I'm well chuffed!
- A couple of cooler nights have meant being able to snuggle under my duvet.
- Tilda coconut rice being on offer in Tesco. (I don't buy many brands but this rice is gorgeous!)
- Silver Crow sightings.
- Unexpected gifts in the post (Thank you Sue x)
- Butterflies that flock to our weeds in our tiny back yard. Good enough reason not to get out there and pull them up right?
And I think that will probably do - I'll try not to miss a week and do another mammoth post!
What about you - how has your week been?
Thanks for stopping by :)
I'm now going to link up with Virginia.