Steam Day

Saturday was a great day-you could feel the beginning of spring in the air. The daffodils and crocuses are all popping through, and the primroses are doing very well. All these splashes of yellow are making me feel brighter already. To celebrate we did plenty of gardening and the kids managed to be outside most of the day and spent some time with the girl at the back of our house. We also bought some goodies for the garden-some new pots, wood for Michaels’ projects and some new seeds.

Michael managed to block up a gap in the back hedge, clean the greenhouse floor and prepare it to be smoothed down and lots of other DIY projects in the garden.

I managed to go over all the garden beds. I weeded them and turned them all over, and covered them all to warm them up a bit before it’s planting time. They stay fairly warm as it is-they are mostly in built up brick beds, so they retain the heat quite well. I finally cut back the raspberry canes-should have done it ages ago. I’m sure they’ll be fine-I did it in April the one year at the allotment and we had plenty of raspberries. I also managed to weed all the flower pots and hanging baskets. We’ve managed to have pansy’s flowering in hanging baskets for the whole winter-though we did put them in the greenhouse during the snowy weeks.

We had had a roasted gammon for lunch-which was very nice. The day was pleasantly longer-as the sun didn’t set to later. We were rather surprised to find it had come up to 6 pm and we were just cleaning up to come in for the night. I had thought it was about 5 pm. Then of course we hadn’t enough time to make what we planned for dinner-so after lighting the fire and making us a cup of tea, Michael suggested he run to the chip shop. When Coast was over we had a late dinner of chips and eggs-it’s been forever since we’d done that. The kids managed then watched some of a Comic Relief Dance show-which they thought was very entertaining. I was too busy reading the next book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

We were up fairly early today as we wanted to finish some outdoor projects and to get to Didcot for the ‘Steam Day’. They had two of the old steam trains running today-and the kids really enjoyed it. It has never been overly busy on these days-which is such a shame, as it really is lots of fun for the little ones. There are probably more adults than children-it’s great to see all the men who are 50+ taking pictures and videos of the trains.

Kieran was really excited every time the trains came. On the one train he went and talked to the conductor for the ride. He and Michael went to sit in a 1st class carriage for the one train ride while Hazel chose 3rd class for us girls. Michael sad Kieran was so thrilled in 1st class-because the chairs had arm rests. He’s just too easy to please sometimes.

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I have to include this picture of ‘GWR’. Kieran has been reading all the little booklets we have on Didcot, and he just loves that he knows that ‘GWR’ is the symbol for Great Western Railway. When he saw the symbol on the side of one of the benches on the platform, he just had to take this photo.

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Hazel had ‘Thinking Day’ today with the Brownies later in the afternoon. I’m still not too sure what it was all about-but she went off happily and had lots of fun. It was a very surreal experience picking her up at a ‘school gate’. They’ve never had an activity in a school before. There were well over 100 girls there-and the division of groups amongst the parents in the school yard were as bad as everyone says they are! I was quite amused by it all, and am so thankful I’ll never have to do it on a regular basis.

While she was there the guys and I went to Waitrose to find something for dinner. Michael and I are becoming quite dull-we both wanted another roast pork! Oh well-we’ll have to get something different at the market next week.

When we got home, Michael went to finish a couple of jobs and Kieran played outside. Kieran decided to be a bird for the afternoon. He went round and found lots of twigs and made a nest on the upper patio. Then he got out some baby birds in eggs they have, and he set up the ‘nest’ with his babies. That was Kieran sorted for a few hours! After we picked Hazel up we all came home and they played outside for an hour or so before dinner was ready. I love springtime!

The rest of Sunday went as the last few have-we all watched the next instalment of Natures Great Events. It was an episode about the Pacific salmon and Grizzly bears-I enjoyed it-had no idea that all the Pacific salmon died after they spawned. I read while Michael gave the kids their baths-and then I watched Lark Rise. I do hope they make a new series for next winter!

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