This week started with a busy round of sightseeing with our American relatives. There was a day at Warwick Castle which went down well with both the 5-year-old and the 7-year-old that we had with us. We did the ramparts and towers run at what seemed to be a hundred miles an hour on a wet morning. There was much fun to be had inside and out even in the rain and I expect that I’ll be asked to go back there. Sadly at the prices they charge for entry (and car parking), we won’t be regular visitors – I often think attractions lose out by making it too expensive to go often. Surely repeat visits bring in extra income via the refreshments, shops and other ‘spending opportunities’.
Another day, another trip out. This time on the Severn Valley Railway. We’re old hands at this excursion having done it many times before. H loves their Engine House Centre with its fab playground. Because there are quite a few stops on the line, you can vary the day out each time. This time we went to Bridgnorth too and tried out the cliff railway there for the first time. We also saw a coatimundi (a member of the racoon family) being walked along the street like a dog. Our American guests turned to me for explanation, I had none. There’s a great ice cream shop in Bridgnorth, near the top of cliff railway which is also worth a visit – H and I particularly recommend the orange double chocolate chip flavour.
Another trip out was to the Jewellery Quarter Museum in the Hockley area of Birmingham. We’ve been there before with my husband’s parents and had a very interesting time. The highlight of the visit is the guided tour around a jewellery firm that was abandoned in the early 1980s and left exactly as it was on the last day of work. Whilst they closed in the eighties, the working methods and machinery used were out of date even then so it is a real step back in time. I find it absolutely fascinating and would throughly recommend it. Children are welcome on the tour (in fact often involved in it) and it’s fairly brief, but may be best avoided if your’s have short attention spans.
An evening trip out to the torch relay was another highlight of the week. Our cousins had never seen the torch relay in their country – I guess with a vast area to cover it’s difficult for the torch to get close to everyone. We could have walked (just about) to our closest torch relay point. We got there a little early as there was a fun fair in a park bordering the route. I loved the party atmosphere and our American guests were surprised by the varied ethnic mix of people.
We couldn’t let our guests go without having a family meal out together. The table was booked for 18 of us and it was great to see everyone at the same time, although my sister and her family (in Australia) were greatly missed. Sadly, the service at our local Beefeater was less than sparkling and I’ll probably avoid going there with a big party again. That said, they were able to accommodate us at fairly short notice at the time we wanted.
After all that excitement we started getting back to normal at the end of the week. Here’s H enjoying a quiet moment with his Barefoot Books World Atlas – he’s getting ahead of his school work by reading up about Kenya which they are going to be studying next week at school. H had his first class assembly this week and this mummy was very proud to see him deliver his lines well; read out his prayer; act out his part (with more lines); and sing along with the rest.
I think all the excitement proved a bit much for H and he’s been a bit under the weather with a heavy cold. Here he is catching up on some sleep and as I write this he seems to be full of beans again.