Thursday, 24 July 2014

Helen's Visit: Arriving at Milton Keynes.

So we arrived at Helen's next destination in Milton Keynes and everyone came out to meet her and say their hellos.

Gosh what a lovely lot of friends Helen is going to make here.

Everyone was talking at once wanting to introduce themselves.

Gaby immediately let Helen borrow her lovely hat.

Oh look more girls coming to say hello.

So many girls!  I am surrounded....and it gets just a bit too much girl talk...

Fortunately I soon find some friends to play with.

Davy and Gregor show me their wonderful garden.

Which gives us a bit of a haven away from all the girls excited chatter...

All too soon though it is time for me to leave so we make our way back.

What's that?  Gregor asks startled...  Never mind, it has flown off.

We chat some more...and say our goodbyes.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Helen's Visit: Saying Goodbye

Rory is sitting in his usual spot of late watching the tadpoles and little tiny frogs that are emerging..

Helen and Henry approach him.

It is time to say goodbye do you think Rory will take it?  Helen asks Henry.

Well he is quite a sensitive boy.  Henry replies.

Hi there Rory.   Helen calls out as she waves to Rory.

Rory waves back.   Hiya Helen.

Helen sits down and they chat for a while.

Well Rory, it is time for me to continue on my travels.  Helen tells him.

Rory turns to Henry.  What?  She has to go already?  You  didn't tell me!

I'm sorry Rory, but I didn't want to upset you any earlier than we had to.  Henry explains.

Rory is very sad...

Helen gives him a big hug.  Don't be sad Rory, I had a lovely time, but I have so many other people to visit on my year long journey.  

It's okay Rory, Helen is going to stay with Aunty Jocelyn  next, and she will have lots of fun there as well. Henry tells Rory as he pats him on the back.

But I don't want you to go!  Rory cries.

There, there now Rory,  don't worry, you will be able to see pictures of me...and what I am getting up to.  Helen explains to Rory as she gives him a final big hug.

Rory sits back on his rock and stares into the pond.

Rory, I'm off now...

Bye Helen, Rory says as he quickly turns round to see them, after wiping his tears.

He quickly turns back to the pond as Helen and Henry turn to leave.

Poor Rory, Helen says.  He really is a sensitive lad isn't he?

He is.  Henry agrees...But don't worry, he will soon be absorbed with his frogs and he will be okay.

So how long will it take to get to Aunty Jocelyn's do you think Henry?

I'm not sure...Mum said about an hour at the most....

Henry is putting a brave face on things as he hates goodbyes as well, but knows Helen is going to have lots of adventures of her own and get to meet a great many more new friends and for that he is pleased as he knows how much fun it is meeting new people and making new friends.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Helen's Visit: Playing!

Race you Helen!

Whoa, not too fast...I'm still a bit wobbly on here Henry.

Really?  I thought you had ridden a bike before Helen?

Well I think it must have been a long time ago Henry or this bike is a lot bigger than I am used to.

Eventually Helen gains her confidence and we have a fun bike ride.  

After the bike ride Helen enjoys the swing chair.

All we need now is an ice cream!

We look for frogs...

Look there is one!  Helen points out.

Isn't he cute?

I bet Rory is thrilled about all the baby frogs in here.

He sure is!

We watch the frogs for a bit longer, before going to find Rory to tell him about the latest frogs we saw.

How many?  He asks.

We saw at least three baby frogs and several 'almost frogs'  We tell him.  Discussing frogs with Rory is always a good ploy if you want him to do something else as well.

We manage to talk a reluctant Rory into being an umpire for our quotes game.

Yeah!  I got the bulls eye.  Yells Helen.

How did you manage that?

I'm just super good at throwing!  Helen tells me.

Rory looks intently...he is sure there wasn't any cheating going on...

Seems Helen won fair and square.

Rory is pleased...he can go and check on his frogs and tadpoles now.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Helen's Visit: St Albans Cathedral with friends.

After a nice morning and lunch at the Rose Gardens, we then set off to see St Albans Cathedral.

This was on Fanny's list of places to visit and we were more than happy to take her there.  It was also very lovely to have our friend Jocelyn with us as well.  The more the merrier!  Nothing is better than sharing things with friends.

Helen & I pose in front of the Cathedral.

It is a magnificent building.

Lots of photos of the architecture

What a fantastic place to visit and so close to us.

Helen and I discuss what we want to see inside.

This looks interesting...steps leading somewhere...

....they were very narrow and the doorway was very low...they must have been small people as well.

Helen & I stop and chat...that is something she does like to do as I have discovered.

Oh look Henry...

It says you can get Pilgrim Badges. Helen says.

Mum will get you one of those as a souvenir if you would like one.  I tell Helen.

Really Henry?  She won't mind buying me one?  Helen asks me.

Of course not Helen.  I reply.

We look at some of the relics inside these old cupboards.

We walk round the rest of the Cathedral look at all the various altars and things.

We stop briefly on our walk round, not realising we are standing in front of a treble clef...seems Mum always finds some 'music' symbol somewhere to make her smile.

So where shall we go next?  Helen asks.

We we could go and look at the strange blue statues.... I suggest.

These strange blue statues were made by a local children's group. 

In the 1500s the original Nave Screen statues were removed by Henry VIII's knights as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.  The plinths remained empty until 2006

We are not really sure quite what we thought of them....

They are a little odd...

These wall paintings scattered around the Cathedral date from the early 13th Century and were used as altar-pieces.  Sadly they were hidden under whitewash after the Reformation in the 16th Century and were not rediscovered until 1862.  Unfortunately removing the lime-based white wash destroyed a lot of the colour and detail.  

One of the magnificent lead light windows.

A rather nice stature in comparison to the blue ones!

Helen thinks it was all very interesting and can't wait to tell her Mum about the Blue Statues!  Strange as they were, they were rather fascinating...  The history of the Cathedral dating back to the time of the Normans was of course something she could barely comprehend.  Such history!