Cogges Manor Farm

When we woke up on Friday, Michael said he’d be home about 1:30 for lunch and then we’d go get my new camera. I was wondering if he was going to take the whole day off, but I’d have to settle for a ½ day! Ok-I know it wasn’t my actual birthday yet, but I thought it was a good enough excuse for a 4-day weekend!

About an hour after he left I got the phone call from the camera shop that I was dreading-the camera they had was only the display model. Now, the camera has been out since 2007-and that’s probably the one they’ve used the whole time-no thanks! I was slightly upset again. Especially as the newest model was going to be £100 more expensive!

Michael got home and then we made sandwiches for lunch. Michael has been baking lots of bread for us lately-he’s finally read a few of the labels and has renewed his commitment to more hand baked breads! We finished up our ham and had tomatoes from the garden on his bread.

I needed a couple of things from the shops, including a pair of trousers for Kieran so we decided to go to the shopping retail park. My-everyone in town was there! We managed to find trousers, but not a shirt, and Hazel isn’t happy with the dress she has-she wants one in silk. Couldn’t find one of those either. I went to look for something for myself, while they went to the bookshop. I believe they were successful, as I saw them running past the entrance to my shop to get to the car with a bag! They aren’t good at secrets! I wasn’t successful in my shopping attempt, and so I joined them in the bookshop after I saw them run back to the shop!

We then stopped off at the supermarket on the way home to get something for a quick dinner. While the dinner was cooking, Michael found the camera I wanted and ordered it overnight delivery. It ended up being cheaper than what it would have cost in the shop! Yeah! We then had dinner and watched a show on the changes in the beef market here in the UK over the past 60 years. While we were watching it Michael went to the car to get some hidden treasure-to realize he shouldn’t have left the chocolates in the car. They’d started to melt! So instead of waiting for the morning, we let them cool and had one before the kids went to bed.

While I was going to do the dishes the kids were supposed to be taking a bath. Now, I knew they were wrapping presents-when a half hour later Hazel came downstairs. I asked why they hadn’t taken their baths yet-and she just froze, and scooted back upstairs! I think they really don’t think I know what they were doing!! Like I missed the secret trips upstairs with scissors, tape and lots of giggles? I do love their enthusiasm for my birthday!

In the morning was my birthday. I woke to find a plate of the pre-melted chocolates on my bed, and heard the giggles of two excited children. They each came in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ with presents. I got a lovely silver necklace and earrings set, a new red filoFAX to replace my old one, two new books, and a Hama bead design by Hazel. And of course the cards they made. Then Hazel got the table ready for breakfast for everyone. We had to have cereal as I hadn’t taught her how to make toast yet! The hints she keeps dropping!

So you would think I could have breakfast in bed on my birthday! Hazel thinks that since it’s my birthday I have to eat with them. I couldn’t possibly want to do it on my own! Yes, I know-it won’t kill me one day a year to not have breakfast in bed-but I like it! She did give me a choice-she would bring everything up for everyone, or I could go down. So there I was, at 7:45 am, having breakfast downstairs. I was then told I could go back to bed and Michael would bring me my tea. A little bit after I was upstairs I heard the mixer, so figured they were making a cake. They were-a sponge cake. (Self timer photos by the kids):

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Just after we had our tea-the camera arrived. Probably not that much fun knowing what your present is-but I have dithered over this for a couple of years, and it is something you have to pick out for yourself.

We decided to take the kids to Cogges Manor Farm as my birthday outing. We usually go someplace a bit more to my taste-but I’ve been meaning to bring them there for ages, and I read during the week that they were going to close down for awhile. After Michael made us some poached eggs for an early lunch, we set off.

On the car ride Michael & I started talking about politics for a bit and the kids as usual added their two-cents. Somewhere in the discussion Hazel asks if we are ‘patriots’, which lead to us discussing what that is and what it could possibly mean. Just as I was wondering where she heard about that-she starts to talk about the American Girl Felicity books-as one girl is a patriot and another a loyalist. See-they learn all the time!

We got to the farm at about 2pm and had a lovely wander round. It is very nice, if you don’t mind a few whiffs of animals every now and again. (I do!) The staff were all very friendly and didn’t mind stopping for chats. The man in charge of the animals was great. The kids petted a Continental Giant rabbit, some sheep, brushed and feed the donkeys and enjoyed watching the chickens running about. The woman in the kitchens was lovely-and very willing to pose for photos. It’s not often you actually see one of the old ovens being used. The kids decorated fairy cakes and enjoyed that. We wandered round the house and the huge kitchen garden. I had a chat with the Gardner-and I still think he should have cut down the blighted potato stems! I know he was trying to teach people about the famine, but the longer you leave it round-the more chances it has of spreading to other peoples gardens. And why ruin the potatoes!!

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We decided on tea in the café-which of course meant having a cake. Michael bought two Eccles cakes and I wanted a slice of marble cake. The cake was so large-we all had a slice, and half each of the Eccles cakes.

The one plus side to the farm closing down for a bit-they were trying to sell everything off! We bought a zillion postcards, three tea-towels to do a craft project with, a cd for the kids, 3 large candles, a book for each child, a pencil each for the kids, and a few things for the geocaching boxes. Sometimes it feels wrong buying so much from a sinking venue!

On the way home we stopped off at our farm shop and bought a meat pie for dinner and some meat for the weekend. And two more quarts of their lovely plums! When we got home I went out to pick green beans to have with the meat pie-while they all eagerly got busy with the ‘surprise’. Kieran blocked my way when I was done and made me sit on a chair outside. They are cute-and really don’t think I had a clue as to what they were doing!

They set the table and then very triumphantly brought out the cake they made. They used Hazel’s jam, and they let Michael do the cream as he could be quicker. They were so proud! And so was I! What a better way to celebrate than with three people who always make you feel wonderful?

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The evening was fairly quite after dinner. They went out to play for a bit and we had tea and chatted. I then decided I needed to download the photos from the camera as I need the memory card for the new camera. I of course ended up doing quite a few of the previous blogs-but it’s nice to know I’ve finally caught up! Michael got busy organizing and labelling all the videos we’ve taken over the years of the kids.

While I was blogging my mom called and I got to speak to my sister’s three eldest. They are 17-21, and had decided to go spend a week with their grandparents before heading back to school-isn’t that sweet! Gosh-I do miss those three! I used to take them everywhere-I even drove them down to North Carolina to visit my brother when they were younger. Can’t say they were a complete joy in the car for 10 hours-but they were probably better in the car than my dad!! I did miss them the most when I moved here (and their younger brothers of course!), but I did get to spend so much more time with those three and loved watching them grow-up.

OK-it is now mid-afternoon on Sunday-and this is all I’ve done today! Time to get moving! Michael has done the hedges, cut the grass, made lunch-and has dough rising for some bread rolls. The rest of the day will be spent getting on jobs done, so we can relax tomorrow-as it’s the end of summer bank holiday. (Honestly though-I’m just going to play with the new camera!!)

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6 Responses to Cogges Manor Farm

  1. tammy says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

  2. Kelly says:

    Happy belated birthday

  3. Jax says:

    happy belated birthday. I wish you much joy of your new camera 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Happy Birthday from me too!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks everyone!

  6. Miss Meep says:

    Happy birthday – you’re the day before me! I look forward to seeing lots of pics from your new camera.

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