Was It Really So Long Ago

By LincolnGreen

Science and Nature

The weather today, although mostly dry was cold and made much worse by a biting wind, whistling across the south Suffolk farmland.

We spent the day at Jimmy's Farm where the science and nature festival was again being held. It has a mixture of each topic, with stalls, demonstrations and hands-on experiments and experiences. We first visited the science tent, where Miss I engaged in a huge way with bubbles; experimenting with colour-changing cabbage water (when mixed with various household chemicals); and microscopes showing plant tissue and pregnant water fleas! Quite fascinating.

Miss C, being less disposed to the wonders of science, eagerly accepted Beloved's invitation to seek and find some animals to look at. We soon caught up with them, queuing for a quick cuddle with a lamb, which was immediately met with approval by all three children. It was Master H's first encounter with an actual 'baaa'. 

The 200 year-old barn housing the restaurant was full, so we headed off to the Colchester Zoo experience for a good dose of diversionary putting off of lunch until later. A hands-on experience was to begin within 20 minutes and since the array of animals ranged from tarantulas to meerkats, Miss C was adamant that we should stay and wait (I assume I need not point out which of the two mentioned creatures held the greater appeal).

Up first, came the Chinchilla, for which Miss C was successfully selected. 'It was really fluffy'. She volunteered for the next animal an 8kg Boa snake, but was not selected. However, her sister Miss I was! I Suggested to Miss C that a successful stratagem might be to avoid volunteering for any more animals, until the 'big one' arrived. It was going to be very popular and as such, she would be most unlikely to be chosen if she'd held all the rest. Nevertheless, her hand was most enthusiastically raised again. At least I tried. Finally, the Meerkats were brought out and the actual holding was preceded by an introductory do's and don't of holding these fascinating animals. The handler was faced with a sea of young hands pointing skywards, the smallest of which had to be declined. Slightly larger children all around her visibly grew taller in an instant! Next the handler asked all children having already held animal to put their hands down. To her credit, Miss C immediately complied and she could only look onwards as children around her were selected until no more seats remained available. This did not go down well. Not well at all.

However, not to be deterred, we returned after lunch and after the demonstration was over, to find the handler sitting with the Meerkat in hand. The place was almost entirely empty and she was willing to allow arguably the world's biggest Meerkat fan to have a stroke. Phew!!

Master H failed to see the appeal and spent the whole episode having an afternoon snooze which extended right through the rocket-making and launching. The girls successfully negotiated making of the rockets without the required plastic tokens. Beloved had secured these tokens in her bag and having left at 3pm, was well on her way with them to a Derren Brown show in Dartford.

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