Thursday, 25 September 2014

Playing and a boat watch

Code Blue: Mum
Code Green: Sarah

We've decided that one of the best parts of Home Ed is all the deserted parks and places we can go to. 
We decided to go to Baggeridge Park. We hadn't been for ages so I stuffed my pockets full of small change knowing how rapidly the car park charges increase there. However, it still wasn't enough. Now you have a choice. You can stay for 1 hour for £1.60 or all day for £2.60. We paid for 1 hour. You can get a 6 month pass for £22 or a 1 year pass for £38. We'll consider that. As we only had one hour, we stayed in the playground, ate our lunch and enjoyed the space and peace. 
Incidentally, if you're thinking that we do an awful lot of playing in parks and having fun, you'd be right. How much quality 1:1 time with the teacher does a child normally get in a class of 30, during the average day? We do our writing, maths and Spanish for around half an hour or so every morning, while Sarah has her teacher all to herself. During our car journeys, we have some lovely music lessons too, courtesy of Classic FM. 
I made a sandloopsy and I sprinkled sand on top.
We noticed a funny texture in the sand, and realised it was caused by the heavy rain a few minutes previously. 
It was Ellen's 10th birthday, so we celebrated with our first pizza meal of the week. The next one will be on Saturday. 
NB Legend
Back to Bratch locks again for lunch today, with a different viewpoint as the lock man was strimming our patch. Sarah chose the baguettes whilst shopping in Lidl, and we filled them with goodies for our regular picnic. 
Whilst there, Sarah asked if Dave and Ann-Marie (our friends who live on their boat) had been through Bratch locks. I said that they were there when we first tried to find their boat 2 1/2 years ago. But they must have heard we were coming..... We found them in Brewood. There's the lovely NB Legend in Bratch middle lock. 
Then we got talking about another kind of boat: the working boat. A boat came past us with lots of shiny brass engineering exposed. Daddy reckons that, as we saw only boats going UP the locks, that they were on their way home from the Stourport festival. I googled a picture of NB Alton, a boat which delivers coal and diesel to other boats. This belongs to a different Ann Marie, and Brian, who were the very first people I met when I joined the Citroen 2CV club 23 years ago. 
We walked down the canal to Bumblehole Lock. Very little compared with the grand Bratch. We noticed a bee hive next to it. Sarah asked where the first lock was built, so out came Google again. Well, the first major British canal was the Bridgewater which opened in 1761. Designed by James Brindley, it was used to transport coal to Manchester.
The first locks were on the Trent and Mersey canal, built in 
1776. These locks measured 22.1m long by 2.3m wide, which set the dimensions for the boats which could travel through them,
which then became known as narrowboats. (NB used as a prefix for the boat's name).

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