The Quest Can End, I've Found The ONE Ring

It's a long post, but if you truly have what it takes to find THE ring then you will have the stamina to get through it, a cuppa might help.

Branston Pickle's class always begin a Monday with their weekend news.  It's Friday already, so I'm not quite hitting the blog as it happens, but still I wanted to share what we've been up to.

I was a little miffed that Branston Pickle said he couldn't remember anything for this Monday's news.  We had spent all of Saturday afternoon with his sister baking whilst SMO and Small-n-Grubby went to do pre-season work on the cricket pitch.  They will look back on their childhoods and say "You never did things like that with us Mum." but I have the pictures to prove it! 

Branston made Postman Pat cakes from a kit.  Here's the Reverend Timms, often found bumbling around on his bicycle, I always liked him.
I made gluten free muffins with coffee icing and chocolate sprinkles, well a girl's gotta have a treat sometime.

The Dinky Diva made chocolate chip cookies, but they don't appear to have survived long enough to be photographed. 

On Sunday I abandoned the family totally for a double treat with my sister.  First a trip to Hobbycraft in Basingstoke, where I sought out some real bargains.

Then on to The Vyne for lunch and a leisurely stroll through the past.  This part didn't quite go to plan as a combination of nice weather, new exhibits and a special tree climbing day meant the place was swamped with people.  The tea rooms were in disarray and after much queuing all we managed to get was a coffee and cake.  Definitely take a picnic with you if you visit here when the children are not at school.  Perhaps you could eat it on the Chute's lawn, the view's quite nice.
 The new exhibits centre around The Lord Of The Rings.
A 4th century ring that cursed the wearer is on display with information about it and how it was known to Tolkein before he wrote his books.  Could it have been his inspiration?  That was a tentative enough idea to spawn an exhibit, new themed children's play area and a gift shop creaking with LOTR books, DVDs and specially produced tea towels.  I resisted the tea towel, but we did have a funny incident on the way in.  There was a pile of specially produced maps of the estate in a very distinctive style aimed at the younger visitor.
Well we weren't leaving without one of those!  We asked to take one and the elderly volunteer asked if we were planning on going in the Hidden Realm (children's play area) and fixed us with a withering glare.  We mumbled excuses, grabbed copies of the map and made a swift exit.  We did venture into the Hidden Realm despite the sign saying "Children under 10 only."  There were so many families and children there it wouldn't have been appropriate to take pictures, but it all looked very good and we thought it was worth a return visit at some point with a child in tow to enable us to investigate further.

So LOTR fans, geeks and the inquisitive consider yourselves enabled!

~ Kate ~  


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