Monday, January 02, 2006

Day Two in the House

Well, I've kept to my new discipline - here's day two of my DAILY blog! Admittedly, it was a close thing, as I have a take-out waiting .

The new time target is definately working for ds1, however ds2 has yet to do anything. His Neopet is getting very hungry... I'm convinced that he will come around. He has a lot of issues from school that he is still working through, plus AS tendancies that don't help.

Today we met up with some other homeschooling friends and went for a walk in Cobtree Manor Park. This little-known park is an absolute gem of a place - complete with truckstop style cafe.

The Cobtree Estate was the creation of Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake and his father, Hugh William Tyrwhitt-Drake, who first leased Cobtree Manor House in 1896. Cobtree Manor has traditionally been thought to be the original Dingley Dell in Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. On the site, was the location of a large menagerie and public zoo. Over the years his collection included one or more creatures for virtually every letter of the alphabet, including baboons, camels, gnu, mysterious-sounding "special" sheep, yak, and several types of big cat. All that remains now is the old elephant house.

Following Sir Garrard's death in 1964, the Trust and the Council entered into an agreement whereby Cobtree Manor and estate were leased to the Council for 999 years at a peppercorn rent with the provisions that the Council should maintain the estate as open space, be responsible for all maintenance costs and lease Cobtree Manor and the immediate grounds to Lady Edna Tyrwhitt-Drake.

In the early nineteen-eighties work began on three schemes. An 18-hole municipal golf course was laid out on 130 acres of land covering the eastern part of the estate. The other two schemes were the laying out of a Country Park known as Cobtree Manor Park and the development of a museum of Kent Rural Life.

We love visiting the park and always find something new there.

Today it was a walled-in picnic area, formed from an old building. Ds2 found a bricked up fireplace (which he was convinced was roman, bless him!). We decided to return to use it as an outdoor class room, as the picnic tables were under shelter. Looking at the walls, I think we could do a study on lichens and mosses.

We all had a great time, a good (muddy) walk, and the chance for both adults and children to continue building friendships.

This evening my boys recreated the zoo in our front room, using their farm and every animal they could find in their toy boxes.

Now the menagerie are in bed (!) hubby and I are going to relax over our takeout, celebrating a successful day.

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