Castle Campbell and Dollar Glen

On the Falkirk holiday Monday (7th September) we visited Castle Campbell, nestled at the top of the stunning Dollar Glen.

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It’s a pretty impressive 15th-century castle, small but perfectly formed and clearly a rich and ostentatious dwelling.

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The views from the top were remarkable – it was a bit hazy but we still had excellent views of the Forth Valley… from the opposite angle to what we usually experience.

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At the top was a colony of swallows – many resting on the ridgeline, many swooping hither and yon. We found one in the upper bedchamber, unable to find its way through the window – it was surprisingly easy for me (Keith) to carry it to an open window and set it free. I’ve never held a wild bird before. It was surprisingly warm. Megan also found a beautiful butterly resting on a warm stone, and a colony of bats in the rafters.

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The glen is also lovely – a network of paths on both sides of a Y-shaped burn, well developed but right in amongst the nature. Oak woods, moss, ferns – Aidan picked a bunch of blueberries as we walked which were delicious.
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Aidan practiced his Bear Grylls technique on a fallen log across the burn.

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Homeward bound at the end of the day – not just a castle ticked off, a fabulous walk, views across the valley, and a new destination for a return visit!

Eden project flowers!

On Friday 11th July we went to the Eden project and went into the outdoor biome, Mediterranean, the core and on Monday 7th (Aidan’s birthday!) we went into the rainforest biome. I took photos of flowers and I’ve got some information about them too. I didn’t have my camera on Monday though and so there’s no information or photos of them. Here are some photos of  flowers that I took on Friday.

Cornflower                                                                            Bougainvillea

DSCF1115                                                DSCF1052 You can use corn flowers as a border                              This is Grenada’s national flower.  for a flower a flower bed.

Hydrangea                                                                          Bird of paradise

DSCF1077                                      DSCF1055 Hydrangea’s are beautiful and if you                       Bird of paradise is a purple and orange  change the soil you  change the colour.                        plant that looks like a bird.

Lily                                                                           Water lily or lotus

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You can get lily’s  in lots of different colours.                  Water lily’s are basically lily’s that                                                                                  grow in water that is dark pink and white.

Thank you for reading about the flowers I took photo’s of.

Written by Megan

Harry and Harrieta’s Adventure

Harry and Harrieta’s adventure. Wednesday 8th July 2014

One day Harry was flying around searching for food for his sister and himself. Then he saw a beautiful marsh harrier was sitting in her nest with her own eggs. So he stopped scavenging and flew over to her.

“hi there I’m Harry what’s your name?“ “I’m Harrieta and these are my chicks Mandy and James but there now old enough too live by them self now“.“but I see them occasionally.“. Do you want to come see my nest and my sister’s eggs“.“yeah sure why not“ “ok just tell me when you want to come ok bye“.“ bye “…

Later on that day Harrieta went too tell Harry she was ready. But Harry said that their egg had disappeared and his sister died of food poisoning. So Harrieta decided she would help look for the chick that was only 4 months old. And so they began to go east (because there was a note from the chick that said it was stolen by gobblie goop, the evil albatrican [albatross/pelican – Ed.] with rocket boosters on his ears).

Once they got to the most unusual point they could find they began to look for clues! “Harrieta, watch out for those rocks they’re poisonous, but gobblie goop`s favourite rock that he loves poisoning birds with.“ “Plus it’s absolute perfect ingredient for his poisoning birds potion that tastes and looks exactly like Tropicana fish“.“I’ll make sure I stay away from it now that I now“. Anyway they finally a clue there was bombs everyone so they began gradually and carefully go down the cliff.

Once they got down they finally found a trail of gloop that lead them strait to where gobblie goop was. They also saw the chick in a cage (it’s a boy) “it looks so handsome“ “yes yes he does“. They carefully sneaked in and hid and sending a message to the chick to distract gobblie goop while they made a trap. So once gobblie goop was distracted they set to work digging the pit once they did it up they covered it with strange slate. Then they sent another message to the chick saying they where ready and to lead gobblie goop to their trap.

First he walked into the one were his wings would get cut off then he smelt some poisoning food (he didn’t now that though). And lead himself tho the smell of the food and feel into the pit and are the food and lay dead.“yeah he`s finally gone for good“ “I now right“. They finally set the chick free and took it home. And of course they called him Ted.

The end

Written by Megan Wansbrough

My dancing Display in Stirling

(From May 28, apologies for delay! Her dancing display has been and was a fabulous success… maybe she will write a follow-up post?)

My dancing display is coming up I always have great fun doing it! My costumes look beautiful, my jazz costume is flowery and I have  a crop top in pink, orange and yellow.

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My tap costume is a black/white music note dress (the skirt doesn’t go all the way round).

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My ballet costume is absolutely beautiful it’s a pale blue dress and on the top half there’s glitter.Also on the top half there’s a white fabric flower it looks just amazing.I’m so glad that we’ve finally got all my costumes!

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My jazz dance theme is the 60s my ballet theme is Rapunzel and the music is know I see the light. I don’t now what the theme is for it which is a shame.

Sea adventures

Friday 4th July 2014

There once lived a mermaid called Lily and her best friend Spark. One day there was a huge storm at sea. Lots of sea creatures got washed away into the deepest parts of the sea. Lily and spark were getting extremely worried about their pet fish Tropical and their pet dog Maya. Because they disappeared on the day of the storm. So they went out to lookout for clues, everything was wrecked apart from a deep cave called TEC, the endless cave. So after debating if they should go down into it or not they finally they decided they would get prepared and set out…

Later on that day they set out with their notebook, collecting bag and some dinner with all their under water tent and supplies. Once they entered the cave they started to explore. Suddenly “lookout spark , whew that was close you almost fell down with those rocks. “Are you ok though,“ “Yeah I’m fine, did you find anything?“ “No.” “Me neither“. “Come on lets keep looking“. Later on they found a note that said…

‘TEC The cave has an owner, his owner is Flamefly who can end the world unless someone finds my weapons vault 5000. Which there’s a button right behind, this note that leads you straight there…’

“oh no, the rest has been torn off, what are we going to do!?!?“.“ Wait, don’t bother, there’s a weird symbol on the back of it.““Remember we saw one that looks exactly the same…“ “Oh yeah, remember it was just down there, but l wonder what the button does.””Then how about you press it then spark,“ “I guess I should, why not, here goes…““`Whoa!!“.“That’s awesome!!!“…

They kept searching and searching to find the right weapons in the vault. Finally they found the right weapons since they went to the place they saw the symbol. 5 minutes later they were there and found the rest of the clue, it said…

Finally you shall find the symbol then you shall see the danger zone, thou shall fight for your life with your weapons…

So they did as they were told and began to fight. They finally managed to take on the major leader flamefly. Then they saw him attack, so they began to attack. 20 minutes later flamefly was dead and every one was saved. Now everyone had their pets back not injured and the sea was filed with life again. They were so happy they threw a great surprise party for Lily and Spark.

The end.

Written by Megan Wansbrough

We’re all going to the zoo today!

This weekend Aidan was away on his first Scout camp, so as a treat for Megan we went to the Zoo. It was very cold, but we had a really good day with excellent views of nearly all the animals.

A highlight was bumping into Kato the giant hornbill’s training session – we got our own private show and a fascinating insight into how to outwit a very smart bird!

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The pandas performed for us too, despite being warned they were asleep. Turns out between them they eat 70kg of bamboo a day, grown by a furniture company in Holland.

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The pygmy hippos had a baby – a pygmy pygmy!

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I loved the Visayan warty pigs – their pen was heaven for pigs, and the dozen or so gold-striped piglets were very cute. I watched one get a big fright when the twig it was playing with flicked up – it shot across the field at top speed back to mummy!

Not to forget penguins, tigers, rhinos, science in the monkey research facility, near relatives in the chimp house, crested pigeons, zebras, sunbears, wallabies, koalas, meerkats, and more and more!

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Helix Park, Falkirk

A couple of weeks ago the whole of Falkirk was very excited by the launch (at last!) of the new Helix Park. We finally managed to visit today, and it was splendid! It’s very popular. You’re supposed to walk or cycle via the Helix paths, a network of paths covering the whole of Falkirk, but it was a bit far for us today so we drove. Aidan and Megan did cycle once we got there though!

The canal end isn’t finished yet so we couldn’t get close to the Kelpies, but they were impressive enough from a distance. Two things that are finished are the Great Lawn (looking forward to concerts here – the stage and amphitheatre-style wall are very promising indeed) and the Lagoon – complete with kiosk on one side and beach on the other:

By the kiosk is a fountain of a type which attracts children of all ages – Megan soaked herself, Aidan and Daddy went through the middle without getting (very) wet, and Mummy stayed at the side and drank tea!

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We loved this spiral path in one corner.

We’ll definitely be back – possibly with roller skates!

Megan’s concert

This is me in my concert.I was a narrator in it.It was wonderful to be perfoming on stage.

This is me talking on stage with penguins behind me. And below is a picture of both two classes. I really enjoyed it.I wonder when you will do one.

The polar bears were amazing! You should have seen the penguins they were amazing too.

Almondell

The kids had the Monday off school, so I took a holiday too and for a change we headed east, to Almondell & Calderwood Country Park. We followed the Almondell walk (but from the Mid Calder carpark clockwise, rather than the South carpark anticlockwise). It was a fantastically sunny and still day, perfect to discover yet another hidden gem of the Central Belt! We’ll definitely be back again once the foliage has appeared on the trees.

There’s a good formed path along the riverbank, multiple historic bridges, interesting industry and waterworks, loads of beautiful woodland, and a visitors’ centre that was open and sold icecreams! The visitors’ centre also has a great-looking playground, but we didn’t have time to stop. The walk around took us 1h40m.

This bridge was fascinating – it carried a small channel of water from one side of the river to the other!