Wednesday, 16 July 2008

More HESFEs and some grockle* photos from Cornwall

Just had to add a few more photos/vids from HESFES. Although it was over 2 weeks ago, it's still fresh in all our minds.

Burning marshmallows on the campfire

Look! I've got a bandana too!

Ds2 at a Lego Robot workshop.

(What? You mean we come all this way to play with Lego - you could be doing that at home in your bedroom?!)

Is it some weird alien object or Dd1 at HESFES?

After HESFES we had just over a day at home to look at the weeds on the allotment and despair at the washing that needed doing before we headed to Cornwall. I hadn't been to Cornwall since I was a kid and for several years I've been keen to go and see The Eden Project, so that was our main intention.

The weather wasn't as kind as it had been to us at HESFES and was wet for the first 4 days of the holiday but we made the best of it. Using our EO membership card at Eden Project gave us an amazing discount - around £17 off. Definite advantages to being home educators! The Eden Project was fantastic. I know some people have been disappointed with it, but there was lots to see, even when the weather wasn't great, and the kids managed a full 2 days there without complaint, a miracle in itself!

The biggest biome took us most of the day to get around and was hot and sticky.

Blown away by the waterfall inside the tropical Biome

Fortunately, despite the heat, there were plenty of distractions, including one of the staff members (the 'pollinators' as they are called) who was demonstrating carving vegetables. Not just carving vegetables, but creating frogs, crocodiles, pirate galleons and other sculptures. Apparently there are lots of demonstrations online if you google it (haven't had a chance yet).

On our second day we visited the Mediterranean biome which was a much more comfortable heat. Everything had been so well thought through and staff were keen to help, give information and generally 'pollinate' the visitors (i.e. spread information and ideas and inspiration - according to one of the 'pollinators').

Ds2 and dd1 at Eden Project

I'm being a bug!

Pollinating plants

Just looking cool

One day the kids went with dh to a shipwreck museum while I went to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Again, it was a lovely day, with lots to see and very interesting (though I think the kids would have been pretty bored with yet more plants if they'd come with me). I'm pretty sure this is the garden they used to film 'The Victorian Kitchen Garden ', as I recognised some of the garden features. There was an area where they grew pineapples using just the heat of manure, though I'm sure it was rather more complicated than that. Then there were glasshouses with gravevines, peppers and cucumbers. There were other areas which were just plain indulgent - a ravine which was labelled as the jungle area and which really did look like jungle, thick with huge palms, bamboos and tall, a walk through a rockery an Italian garden and, well, far too many other things to mention. I dread to think how many gardeners it took to maintain the garden during the Victorian period or even now - it's huge!

Enjoying the beach

On the last night there was a festival in Mevagissy, which, fortunately for us, had been rescheduled from the previous week due to bad weather. There was a parade through the narrow streets of music, dancing, costumes and fantastic creations including a giant fish and a mermaid. At the end of the evening many chinese lantern balloons were released across the harbour area followed by a fireworks display.

Ds2 finds a Harley Davidson in Mevagissy and gets its lucky owner to let him sit on it.

Fireworks display at Mevagissy

*(For the origins of the word Grockle, see . I know it as a slang term for tourist in Cornwall/Devon.)

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