Sunday, May 29, 2005

A half term Saturday

Yesterday started badly. The kids were argumentative and competitive (okay, so what's new?), and there was a wet patch on the kitchen floor where a leaky pipe from the bathroom was dripping through the kitchen ceiling. So... I left my husband to deal with the drips and took the kids on the bus to Caldicot Castle where The Vicus , a british (celtic) and roman re-enactment group were doing their stuff. That started off a bit disappointingly too; the people were too busy eating and talking amongst themselves to pay attention to the folks wandering around. So I took the kids to run off some of their energy up one of the windy spiral staircases to the top of a tower and then, panacea for all ills, went to the tea shop for a nice pot of tea (and Kit Kats for the kids). And a big slice of chocolate cake.

Things improved after that. The kids enjoyed the combat display between Romans and british (surprise, surprise!) and the rest of their exploration of the castle - mostly involving lots of steps and dizzy heights. Then we went round the stalls again and had a few interesting conversations. There was a lady painting with the pigments that they would have used in Roman times, mostly from rocks found in the area. Someone spinning and someone painstakingly slicing swede with what looked like a rather blunt knife. Another lady showed the kids how the Romans used to write and make ink.

Then the obligatory visit to the gift shop where the kids bought wooden shields and swords (mercifully short and blunt!) and I found a little book about medieval tiles which looks as if it could provide some interesting patterns. Then we went back on the bus, to find that Edmund had managed to find a plumber in the meantime who had actually been and fixed the leak...

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