My birthday weekend was much like any other, apart from a big night out. But it was perfect weather unlike the birthdays of my childhood where it always seemed to rain, aiding my avoidance of the birthday bumps at school! So I decided that I’d make the most of our newly renewed pass and take N to Blenheim Palace.
Of course, it’s not that simple getting N off the farm. His reasoning was that he spent the Saturday with me…food shopping, swimming lesson, so he could go on the farm. Er no mister, morning out with me and there would be plenty of time for going out on the farm in the afternoon. Thankfully his cousin had a party to go to, and the OH was doing jobs that are boring, so he had no choice. Plus I took his scooter with him.
We arrived a bit later than planned but still got a good parking space by the pleasure gardens and headed in there for a play. N noticed the maze which we’d never been in so decided we’d have to do that after a quick (and it was at only around 10 minutes before he’d surprisingly had enough) play on the adventure playground.
We also managed to spot a few conkers, which must have fallen after other children had been there.
The maze was an essential. I was expecting it to lead us to the statue, but that was a straight walk through. Instead N led us round and round until we reached a bridge with a view. Before heading (via a few wrong turns) back out again. N was funny when we went into the open statue area.
‘They’ve got short mazes here’. Chuckle, although I couldn’t explain why.
After only a short time in the pleasure gardens area, N decided he wanted to go on the train to the palace, and then scoot on the way back. Getting on the first train of the day does mean it’s nice and empty and you get a choice of carriage.
Blenheim really does get busy, even early on but there’s never been a problem with us going inside whenever we’ve wanted to. I don’t know if they restrict numbers later on in the day. For once N didn’t moan about going inside – and I think he really enjoyed the Michelangelo Pistoletto art installation.
Modern art isn’t really my thing, but this was an interesting exhibition. I also think it’s a great setting because you have lots of old masters and paintings, a historic palace and then ‘weird’ modern art set against it. The installation included reflective pieces of furniture which intrigued N, his Mirrored Paintings piece through the library – where I marched N quickly past the naked female image on a couple of mirrors before he loudly made observations.
Before long we were back outside to go for some lunch. The coffee bar wasn’t open which I think boosted the queues in the main café, so we were lucky to get in ahead of the large queue. Although I left N in the queue with the tray – propped on the counter – while I went to get a couple of cakes. Only to return to find him looking a bit shaken, due to an interfering bloke behind him, wittering on about my tray. I said my tray had been fine, and he hmmphed and jumped the queue ahead of me to go to the next till. The lady in front of us said he’d been interfering and pushing N around, saying loudly that N wasn’t holding the tray safely. But the lady said it was fine, and he wasn’t being particularly nice to a young child. Poor N.
Still, lunch cheered him back up again and we were soon ready to go for a walk. I was surprised at how keen N was to wander. Usually he has a moan about going round gardens and anywhere he deemed boring but it seemed that once he was off the farm, he was happy to go wherever.
He does love the water terraces at Blenheim and seeing a gold car submerged in the water proved a talking point.
There were a few more art pieces around that he didn’t let me get near to investigate. Instead he was drawn across the back of the estate towards 3 tractors. A few questions about tractors later and we were allowed to go and investigate further afield than we’ve ever been to see the water fountain in the distance.
I love watching N excited about something. He loved the fountain, and then wanted to have a go on my camera. Most of his photos weren’t straight, but he’s certainly got the hang of getting the subject in the picture, and looks like a bit of a pro too.
After persuading him away, we had enough time to collect all the conkers under a large tree. N was more interested in using a stick to rake up a pile of leaves, but he was happy with the conker haul in the end.
Picking up his scooter from the scooter racks at the palace entrance, he was then off at top pelt down the road towards the car park. The only problem was the leaves and the drains in his eyes.
‘I need to clear the drains for them so the rain can go down them’. So every drain along the way, he parked up his scooter and cleared the leaves off. Sigh. It took a while to reach the end.
Then once we were on the home straight he was off again, this time trying to beat the train back.
It was a lovely day out, and nice to see different parts of Blenheim. Maybe next time we’ll make it to the cascades. Although our next booked trip there is for the Christmas displays.
How are you enjoying autumn? Do your children take their scooters or bikes everywhere?
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