A Drizzly Day Out at Cliff Castle!

A Drizzly Day Out at Cliffe Castle!

This is going to be a quick blog full of photos because my poor ikkle fingers are too tired for typing and my brain is giving up on me.   ‘Flibble.’  There’s the proof.

Today the kids and I went for a day out to Cliffe Castle in Keighley.  I have to say it was an ‘interesting’ day out.  If I look at it from one angle, it was lovely.  Quality time with the kids, running around in the castle grounds with flowers everywhere, looking at cute bunnies and guineapigs in their enclosure, ice-creams and laughs.

A field full of wild flowers!

Humungous Bunnies and Squeaky Guinea-pigs!

Looking at the trip from another angle – we spent rather a lot of time in the loos dealing with awful, sometimes very smelly, accidents – why, oh why will my son not be toilet trained!  Sausage refused to put his coat on and when I tried to make him put it on, he hit me several times with the stick he was carrying (which was nice).  It rained intermittently and I had the headache from hell for a while.  I have resolved to A) Toilet train Sausage NOW, B) Ban all sticks, C) Carry paracetamol at all times and D) Adhere to points AB & C or risk admittance to the funny farm by the end of the summer hols.

I have no idea about the names of these plants, but they carpeted some of the flower beds and looked so pretty!

But at least we were out!  I don’t want to get to the end of the summer hols and feel like we’ve wasted the time.  Even if it was pretty stressful every now and then, we were out of the house and doing something interesting and different.  I think Darlek learnt a bit about bees (they have a bee-hive there you can see into), and about history.  Sausage learnt that if he hits the rabbit enclosure railings too much mummy yells at him.  I learnt that I need to take more pairs of pants for Sausage out with me or suffer the consequences.

The see through bee hive! I thought the reflections looked amazing with the bee backdrop.

A lion hide preserved at the museum. Looked like it would still bite given half a chance.

Darlek was an absolute angel in comparison.  If I didn’t have her to back me up sometimes I think I’d go mad.  Often I’ll end up in stupid yelling matches with Sausage – yes I know that’s not an ideal parenting method -and she’ll just calmly go up to him and persuade him to give up his daft, ‘I will not move’ or ‘I’m just going to stand here and wet myself’ campaign by cuddling him or making him laugh.  My daughter has a knack that I do not have I think.  I should learn from her example I think.  Six years old and she’s already got so much sussed about life. I have a lump in my throat now.

A velcro nature scene, the kids could stick the bees and other animals on the scene wherever they liked. Brilliantly tactile!

Anyway! They had an an ‘Ancient Wisdom’ (2nd July to the 5th September) activity thing set up in the main hall which was perfect for kids.  Lots of interactive displays describing about how the Egyptians developed the use of keys and locks, about how the screw principle can be used for drainage, how aquaducts are made and many more topics were covered too.  Sausage and Darlek loved it and threw themselves into the activities.   I suspect Sausage was a bit puzzled though, at one point he looked up at me and said ‘What is this place, I don’t know what it is?’.  I think he expected a castle with ramparts and stone staircases etc.  To be honest, I’ve never really understood this either, it’s called a ‘Castle’ but is most definitely a museum. (entrance is free by the way if anyone is thinking of going)  and if you’d like info on the place, please click HERE.  (this is not a sponsored post by the way)

An example of two of the stuffed birds they have in their display cabinets. Just imagine the skill that went into preserving them and presenting them in such a life-like manner!

This was only one part of a huge embroidered vista of life from the beginning to the current day. Really amazingly detailed!

Here’s a few pictures of the day’s activities.  It’s funny how much nicer and calmer it all looks in retrospective!  It was actually fun when I think about it.  I think I’m just too tired to think about it too much.  In fact I may fall asleep before I finish posting this.  Maybe I’ll just curl up in this chair and…..

So, a drowsy conclusion.  I don’t think I’m cut out for this parenting marlarkey sometimes, but I’m/we’re in it for the long haul.  I reckon the summer hols are a challenge for most mums so I’m not on my own I hope in feeling a bit over-wrought with it all.   I tried my best, there’s not much more I can do.  I hope my little trouble bubbles enjoyed the day out, despite the occassional bit of bickering.

A sunny Sunflower in the gardens!

I bought Darlek a ring at the gift shop, a beautiful little silver coloured ring shaped like a flower with what I think is called a Moodstone (probably a completely different official name) in the centre of it.  She said she will keep it forever and ever because she loves it so much.  We agreed that it would always remind her of her day out at Cliffe Castle and I said that I hoped that every time she looked at it, she’d remember that I bought it for her because I love her so much.  Is that a silly sentimental thing to say?  Probably, ah well.


3 responses to “A Drizzly Day Out at Cliff Castle!

  1. the flowers look like mesembryanthemums (?sp).
    Your headache was probably also due to not drinking enough – we always tend to look after the childrens’ needs and forget our own.
    Sausage will get there in time, you can never ever take enough pants/trousers with you even if you take every pair you have in the house!!!
    I prefer the sunny angle to the day, where you all had a lovely time. It is that the children will remember, not the yelling.

  2. I’m trying to work out where you live now. My husband’s family are from Bradford so I know Keighley well and we recently went to a wedding where the photos were taken at Cliffe Castle. The bunnies kept the kids occupied while the photos were being taken, and we think we spotted some baby guinea pigs. Despite having lived just down the road from the castle for nearly 2 years I had no idea there was a museum inside – we’ve only ever been round the grounds! Well, somethign else to do next time we visit the inlaws!!

  3. Take heart he will get there in the end… and in a few years you’ll only remember the sunny moments of your day out.

    The flowers look like Livingstone Daisy’s (also called ice plants?) which is a type of Mesembryanthemum. I loved these as a child, always cheerful with thier dark “eyes”. My grandfather told me they come from Africa, hence the name but I don’t know how true this is. They flower for ages but may not survive a frost. I always had some in my UK gardens further south and now have another mesemb. related plant in my pots here which seems to survive the heat even if not watered for several weeks!

    I loved your photos too – what a wonderful record of your day out.

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