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Derbyshire (March 2015)

We all arrived safely Yesterday. We had our Lunch in Lyme Park and although it was a little bit damp we all survived the rain and went into the adventure playground where there were some massive slides and  an enormous rope bridge.


Mr Belger did a great job pushing everyone on the swing despite his bad knee and we all went for a walk and a run around, tired but happy, see some of our photos in the gallery.


Back on the bus… We arrived at the Nightingale Centre in time to settle in and have our tea. A good look around the Centre and then a go on the new swings and play equipment (Mrs Nugent and Mrs Findlay loved them!!) and it was time for BINGO and supper.


A great day and a great way to start our Derbyshire week.

Tuesday 24th March 2015

Another full day here at Derbyshire.


Today we suffered and enjoyed all the Spring weather the British climate had to offer us all in one day. From bright sunshine to heavy black clouds; from light drizzle to great big snow flakes… we had it all!


After a massive breakfast we had to burn off all those calories with a play out in the play field and a game of football. Don came for us in the bus but he kindly waited while we finished our games and got ready for our day out.


Don took us the scenic way and we drove up a steep mountain to reach the Centre. As we arrived, the weather was beautiful but when we set off for our 2 mile walk around the otters and the owls the skies opened and it started to rain and snow. Some of the otter and owls were hiding from the cold but we wrapped up and carried on regardless.


The head keeper came out for us to feed the animals and we watched many animals having their lunch. The deer enjoyed carrots, onions and potatoes and Vicky (I think she was called Vicky!) gave them a special feed with bran and vitamins.


The owls and the otters ate dead little yellow baby male chickens that were not needed by egg farms. It didn’t look very nice to us but they loved them!!


Many hours later we came back to the Nightingale Centre for a quick play out (you can’t play out too much!!) and then a massive tea with pizza and fruit crumble. As we had got cold and wet we all went to our own rooms after tea and had a hot showers and then down to the common room to play Bingo and watch the photographs of the day on a big screen on the wall.


A quick talk about the day and off to bed.


Take a look at some of our photos in the gallery, some are a bit smudgy because of rain or snow on the camera lens, but all the photos were taken by the children, and Shane took some great ones on the i-pad but we haven’t put those onto the computer yet!).


See you tomorrow!

Wednesday 25th March 2015

Another great day yesterday, after another massive breakfast and another run around to burn off those calories Don came in his big bus to take us out for the day.


We visited Poole’s Cavern which is an enormous cave that is hundreds of thousands years old. The cavern had lots of interesting facts in the museum that told us how early settlers had used it to shelter from the snow and cold (and don’t we know how that feels!). Because it is underground, the temperature in the cavern is a always 7 degrees which although quite cold in summer is a good temperature to help early settlers survive during the cold winter months.


The Romans too used to use the cavern but the cavern itself got its name from a local highway man and robber called Poole who used the cavern as a hideout for his gang and is meant to have hidden his treasure in the cavern.


Before you ask we looked for the treasure but couldn’t find it so we are all still coming home on Friday!


The  cavern was full of wonderful shapes and rock formations. stalactites hanging from the ceiling and stalagmites growing from the floor. We were in the cavern for ages and while waiting in the classroom Anh gave us all a lesson on simple, complex and compound sentences.


After lunch (and of course the shop) we climbed up a big hill to a tower called ‘Solomon’s Tower’ which we could climb up and look at all the wonderful countryside around us. By then the weather was beautiful and sunny so we stayed up there for ages running around and playing before starting off down the hill to reach the bus and the drive back to the Nightingale Centre for tea.


After tea we played out til dark when we couldn’t see the football any more, then off to our rooms for a wash then back to the common room for Bingo and to look at our pictures for the day on the big screen.

Unfortunately during the day one of our young photographers managed to delete most of the photos we had taken from the camera, but never mind, the best pictures are in our heads and we still had some left to include in our gallery here.


P.S. We woke up this morning to a winter wonderland picture of snow everywhere so Mr Rigby (me!) took some photos at 6 o’clock this morning so you could all see.


Take care everyone… we will!

Thursday 26th March 2015

This was our last full day at Derbyshire and what a cracker it was!


Our usual (and thanks very much to all the staff at the Nightingale Centre for caring for us so well and feeding us up so much) massive breakfast. But this time, instead of just nipping out to play for a bit before Don came for us in his big bus, we had to go back to our rooms to change into some of the clothes we had already used!


That was because it had snowed overnight and we needed to go out into the snow for a snowball fight and to make snowmen and snowwomen.


It was great! …. very cold … but great!


Then back to our rooms to change again into warm new clothes and on to the bus to Blaze farm, or ‘The Ice Cream Farm’ as it says on the signs.


There we met ‘Farmer Flo’ who first took us on a Nature Trail around the farm. We looked at all the different fields and different habitats around the farm and met geese, chickens, ducks and a massive turkey called … (unfortunately I can’t remember his name, but the children will tell you).


We fed the ducks and then went back to the school room where we fed ourselves, after of course washing our hands very thoroughly.


Back out into the farmyard Farmer Flo showed us the milking parlour where she and her family milk their herd of cows twice each day, once at 6 in the morning and again at 4.30 nine the afternoon.


Then into the cattle shed where the cows stay all winter. It was very smelly in the shed but the cows had lots to eat and were very nosy and interested in our visit. It was good to get into the fresh air again though.


Then into the lambing shed where there were lots of sheep waiting to have their babies. I’m sure Farmer Flo won’t mind me mentioning her age but she will be 75 next birthday and each night during lambing she stays in the shed from 2 til 6 o’clock each morning to help the sheep birth their babies; WOW!


It wouldn’t have been right to leave Blaze Farm without trying their famous ice cream… so we did! I couldn’t begin to describe all the different flavours they had but between us all we tried a lot of them and they were gorgeous.


Then off in the bus to a little village called Bakewell where they make the famous ‘Bakewell Puddings'; we know them in the shops as ‘Bakewell Tarts’ but don’t let the people of Bakewell hear you calling them that as they would never forgive you!


A quick wander around and then fortunately we found a playground with slides and swings and climbing frames. again it would have been bad manners not to play in it… so we did!


A little while later… back on the bus for the journey back to the Nightingale Centre and we only just made it back in time for tea at 5.30, just enough time to take off our ‘wet legs’ and wash our hands thoroughly.


After a great tea, showers for everyone and then later back into our common room for our last game of Bingo. Everyone had their fingers crossed for Shane to win as he was the only one of us who hadn’t won a prize so far… and then guess what… he only went and won twice!


Off to bed; a little late, but it had  been a busy day… only one more sleep then we will be back home.


See you tomorrow everyone, tired but happy!