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[Image provided courtesy of Center Parcs.]
St. George’s Day celebrations at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire is the biggest in the country. And I knew I HAD to go! I was so pleased when my Dad came and picked us up to go on Saturday I was bouncing with excitement. I’ve always had a strong passion for our country’s history and anywhere that has historical actors, cooking displays, battle reenactments and horses is my kinda place. That morning our electricity had gone off at 5am and still wasn’t on by half 10, when we were set to leave! I am quite proud to say that I managed to get myself, a 6 week old baby and my partner out of the house, without even a drop of coffee in my system. A-maze-ing.
We arrived at Wrest Park about 12ish and to my surprise it was not as busy there as I thought. (Maybe due to the entry price???) I had mentally prepared (and panicked) for mass crowds, muddy fields and no tea tent. But was presently surprised to find that I was wrong about all this. There weren’t as many people there that I had imagined, the grass was adequately moisturized, and there was a massive tea room (that even sold beer for the dads!) We had a fantastic time in the medieval section learning all about the manufacture of medieval weapons, how they cooked, made clothes and even about medieval reading glasses. We even watched some very hands-on demonstrations about all of these. We went with my dad, his friend, her friend, her daughter and her friend! The children had a fantastic day and throughly enjoyed watching all the displays and learning loads. My dad enjoyed the falconry as he himself has worked as a falconer. Jay loved the cross-bow shooting and rune stall and I loved the jousting! My dads friend Tina and myself really enjoyed all the pretty jewelry and clothing stalls. Some sold the most beautiful flowery head bands and tailored corsets. Secretly I also loved the stunt horse-rider participating in the jousting. I thought I was keeping it a secret until I was in the front row, preparing to throw my bra at him and screaming like and wild, savage Elvis fan!
At 3pm it was time to watch St. George slay the mighty dragon. This was a fantastic and quite funny show performed with the medieval re-enactors playing the villagers of ‘Little Piddlin On-The-Green’ , beautiful horses and a man in what looked like a rather sweaty dragon costume. It was extremely well done and the crowd loved it. I watched the kids faces in the audience and I truly believe a few children honestly thought it was the best thing they had ever seen in their little lives ever!
The rain held off right until the end of the day and it only started once we sat down in the tea rooms. But oh, not rain. It was hail. And a lot of it! On a spur-of-the-moment decision, I grabbed Tina’s daughters wrist, and ran…. ran right outside into the hail storm and around the building. Just for fun.
The whole day was fun. I seriously can’t wait now until English Heritage’s next big historical day out in Northampton in July. And that time…. we’re camping!
OK, we have had a Sunday before as a family. 3 in total in fact. But Sunday 1st April was our first, as a family, on a day out. Apologies that its taken me a week to publish this, but British Telecom have not been our friends these past 7days.
Now I if was to say we took Grandad out, to have his photo taken and to go to a nice outdoor event, you would imagine a little grey haired old man, in his Sunday best enjoying his first day out as a Grandad. The photo would be for a nice reminder of the day, and the outdoor event may be a sweet little church fête, or maybe a good old fashioned car boot. How much further from the truth could I be…
Now my dad, isn’t a little grey haired old man, that’s into church fêtes or car boots, but he is a 47yr old biker who’s idea of an outdoor event is sitting in a beer garden all day! My dad picked us up at 10 last Sunday morning, grinning like a little school boy. Now I knew straight away that there was more buzzing through his mind than the excitement of getting his photograph taken. And he was about to reveal it “C’mon hurry up! I got a bike show to go to!”. The big reveal. There was a biker show on at the local school. It was free family event, which was to host a Wall of Death show, a Stunt-bike show and most importantly (in my eyes) a burger van. I too was now excited, I must admit. But there were more important tasks at hand to be completed before we scooted (no pun intended) off to the biker show.
We drove into the next town to find the photographers studio. The photographer was holding a world record attempt for most amount of portraits taken in a 12 hour period. And we wanted to be a part of it! Jay had his picture taken first, then my dad, followed by Willow then myself. Then finally a lovely photograph of all of us together. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of this new world record attempt, to be part our town’s history and to share this with my family.
We left the photographers studio and headed back to the car, where Willow had a nice feed in the sunshine and her bum changed on her Grandad’s passenger car seat. We arrived at the bike show and immediately my dad turned into a kid at a candy shop, eyeing up all the shiny toys and the wonderful stalls. Dad noticed a tiny motorbike. I don’t mean one of those mini-motos that chavs ride around on, but a fully ‘to scale’ super-bike. I looked at dad, dad looked at me, and we both knew that we had the same idea. Bike + baby = photo opportunity! Cruel, we know. But it really couldn’t have been missed. And that wasn’t the only highlight of the day…
…. another highlight of the day would be breastfeeding while watching a stunt bike show. Now it’s not everyday that you get to watch a stunt show with a child attached to your boob. It’s not every day that you have a child attached to your boob while surrounded by hairy, scary leather clad men. But when baby wants food; baby sure does get food!! I must say though, as a new breastfeeding mother, with no experience of feeding babies publicly, let alone at an event like this, I felt very at ease with the situation. And not one person stared, or judged. I’m glad the stunt rider didn’t notice either…. else that could have been a very nasty crash.
The rest of the day followed by watching a spectacular Wall of Death show (thankfully that wasn’t accompanied by a breastfeed.) and a nice juicy burger while sat under a Willow tree, sheltering from the sun. That was most definitely a perfect family Sunday. Bliss