My Sunday Photo: Horsing Around!

 

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It may not be immediately obvious from this photo, but this is from Jake & Ellie’s first horse-riding session!

We have been taking them to dance (ballet & tap), gym & music classes. They went over the age limit for Monkey Music, they seemed a bit bored with the gym classes as they didn’t seem challenging enough, & although Ellie enjoyed the dancing Jake seemed less keen.

So when they turned 5 we decided that they were old enough to decide what they wanted to do, rather than what we thought they should do.

Jake chose Tae-Kwon-Do! I’m not sure how we found out about it, but there’s a great session at our local YMCA, & they’re both loving it. (There’s a funny story about that: ask me later…)

Ellie was mad to do horse-riding. So we did.

It was great! Sadly my ‘phone’s battery ran out just before they got on their horses, so I couldn’t get any more photos.

It took a long time to get going, which is OK as you’re dealing with animals & you have to get the health & safety right. Then they all lined up in the field on their magnificent ponies, our 2 first-timers especially looking very pleased with themselves.

We thought they’d just plod around the field, but they took to the streets! They all rode around country lanes for nearly an hour, & even broke into a trot!

Jake & Ellie both loved it; they were so happy when they came back!

We’re definitely planning to it again; the main problem of course is that it’s not cheap. Great fun though 🙂

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The Gallery: Animals

We’ve had a lot of sun here lately. In fact over the last few days it’s been a bit too hot! I had trouble sleeping last night & had to keep the fan on, & I almost dread getting in the car for fear of being turned into a roast dinner!

And in case there are ever any doubts about my Britishness – I was after all born in New Zealand – here we are in the middle of a blazing sunny heat-wave, & I’m complaining about the weather!

(I love it, really…)

This being Wales though rain is never far away & this summer we’ve had our fair share.

Going outside in the wet stuff seems to bother me, & most adults, a lot more than it does my children!

During a recent shower Ellie insisted on going outside into the garden. And I insisted that she put on her raincoat.

Another creature who’s very fond of wetness is that little slimy thing beloved of all gardeners everywhere: the snail. We found millions of them! Mostly on the flowers, busily munching away of course.

We decided then that we would find as many of them as we could & put them in their new home.

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We ended up having a lovely time! Ellie was giving each of  her new pets their own names: first Daddy Snail, Mummy Snail, Jake Snail,  then her friends, teachers,  grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles – anyone we could think of. It was a great little game!

She seemed really pleased with her little snail-house, full of her new pets!

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I was also pleased that they were there & not eating up all the garden plants…

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Mmmm: Crunchy!

Conversations here seem to be getting more surreal by the day.

Jake & Ellie have figured out that we can be more relaxed on what they or we  eat when unwell: depending on what the malady is, of course. Not being so insistent on their eating if they don’t want to, extra treats where appropriate: that sort of thing.

“We can eat anything when we’re poorly can’t we?”

Continue reading “Mmmm: Crunchy!”

Blackberries

DSCF3876For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.

You don’t remember it. I do.

I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.

034I remember it all so well. You don’t.
Continue reading “Blackberries”

A Very Christmassy Adventure

We had a great day out on Saturday, & a rare family foray outside! This autumn we’ve all been taking turns catching one lurgi or another; there’s hardly been a time when at least 1 of the twins hasn’t been sick with something or other so we’ve mostly stayed inside where it’s warm & dry!

Saturday however was special – & luckily for us we were all relatively well – because we’d booked to go to our local country park to see Father Christmas feeding his reindeer!
Continue reading “A Very Christmassy Adventure”

Dinosaurs! And Magic

We enjoyed our recent visit to the Dinosaur Park.

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As well as the obvious Jake & Ellie really enjoyed playing with a baby dinosaur newly emerged from its egg. Ellie in particular: she had to be dragged away protesting as we left! There were also great tube-slides down dinosaurs’ necks which they spent a long time on.

I was quite interested in the sets of standing stones there & their history, but that will probably have to wait until our next visit.

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There were certainly plenty of dinosaurs!

This one is Mammasaurus’ Mum, apparently

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There was a hidden lake! I was very impressed when Jake identified this as “a crocodile, or an alligator”. A big one!

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Watching over Wales?

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The watering-hole:

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There was also a recreation of a stone-age village there, including a preserved ‘real’ spring held to be sacred by the Druids. People had thrown coins into it & Jake was fascinated by it. I attempted to explain by saying that people believed that when they threw coins into the spring that something magic might happen. So of course I had to produce a coin for him to throw in! He was very excited.

At home that evening I was playing music from my iPod wirelessly from my little bluetooth speakers. Jake wanted to know how the music was coming out of the little box.

After toying with the idea of trying to explain bluetooth technology to a 3-year-old I resorted to the Daddy Pig solution: “It’s magic!”.

I can’t tell you how excited he was! Jumping around the room like a mad thing, he decided that he had made magic: that this was from his throwing the coin into the magic water!

He went to bed a very happy little boy 🙂

Saturday is Caption Day! The Jurassic Edition

You go for a quiet stroll in the woods when…

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What’s going on ‘ere then? Captions please!

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Trike-Racing at a Dinosaur Park (yes, really)

It was the end of the day after our visit to the Dinosaur Park on Sunday. We’d given in to double-nagging & had stopped off at the play area.

It was a trike racing track for 3- to 6-year-olds, a bit like MotoGP viewed through one of those extreme slow-motion cameras.

It was actually quite funny, in a cute sort of way.

Children were getting their vehicles stuck on the scenery, & on each other, & were having a lot of trouble trying to work out how to free themselves.

Then of course there’s the inevitable child who, for no apparent reason, is determined to go around the wrong way, causing chaos as they go.

Ours being at the lower end of the age-scale I had to intervene several times!

Ellie in particular really took to it & was zooming around (slowly) like a pro. Jake didn’t really get the hang of it: which is odd, as it’s the other way around with their trikes at home.

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Look at her go!

Jake ended up manning the petrol pumps, although he was a bit remiss at taking payment from his customers!

A  family with 2 children came in after us, with 1 child older than the other. Only the younger one went in as the older child was over the age limit.

He complained.

The Mummy explained.

“So what am I supposed to do? Just stand here?!” was the response.

“Yes. Welcome to my world.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself!

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Slug at first sight

So we were playing in the garden this afternoon, in the sunshine. We were throwing a ball, picking flowers & (I think) pretending to be characters from Lazy Town. As you do. I think I was the Mayor.

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This would be such a great photo if it wasn’t for those boxer shorts…

Ellie sees something moving on the concrete, & rushes over to it.

“Ooh look! What’s that Daddy?!”

I look. “I think it’s a slug. A baby slug.”

Now she’s really excited. “A BABY SLUG!! OOOH, IT’S GORGEOUS!!”

Ellie likes babies, & is refreshingly free from prejudice as to which particular species thay may belong to. Or how slimy they are.

She rushes inside: “Look Mummy: A BABY SLUG!! IT’S GORGEOUS!!”

The Mummy doesn’t share Ellie’s enthusiasm for slugs, even baby ones.

In fact I think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t like slugs at all.

Undaunted, Ellie returns to her new love. “What is it doing, Daddy?”

“I think it’s probably trying to find food.”

“Yes! It’s trying to find food for its Mummy & its Daddy & its cousins” (Ellie likes having cousins) “and its babies!”

1-DSC00712She & Jake then decide that it should eat their ‘wiggles’: worm-like fruity sweets that they don’t like at all & that they had already scattered for the birds. They were then duly distributed around Baby Slug for him to eat.

It occurred to me that it was probably trying to get out of the sun. And – of course – having listened to me as I explained that slugs ate leaves & the like they then set about picking leaves & covering Baby Slug with them.

Then it of course needed water. So a jug of said stuff was fetched, & poured for Baby Slug. They were very good, just pouring it around, & not on top of, their new friend. There was rather a lot of it though…

Satisfied that they had thoroughly provided for Gorgeous Baby Slug, they ran off to put more flowers on the trampoline. Which I think had became the Mayor of Lazy Town’s airplane, but I’m not entirely sure.

And what of our friend?

Have you heard the phrase “Killing with kindness?”

He appeared to be…sleeping.

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Although when I later went out to retrieve my boxer shorts he had gone, so maybe my lovely little carers really had looked after him well!

Wot So Funee?

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