Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Days out

The last two weeks / three weekends have been entirely consumed with family matters, work and everything that is nothing to do with mothing or birding. In fact, birding has been completely off the agenda for a while - can't get enthused once the spring excitement is over and in any case mothing picks up then. But August is a funny month as it marks the period when mothing has peaked and birding has yet to take off. The weekend 9th/10th was taken up with ferrying the kids down to Devon, during the following week I had to work in Holland (in a petfood factory, not visiting the bars and coffee shops of Amsterdam - mores the pity), weekend 16th/17th was taken up picking up the kids again and the last week I've been off work keeping them (and me) entertained with days out and suchlike. One local attraction which is always a few hours well spent is Snibston Discovery Park. An interactive museum with all things science, engineering and local mining and quarrying explained. Also a very good historical clothing and fashion exhibition and good photography exhibits from local photographers. With the added attraction of an interactive outdoor play area, the kids thoroughly enjoy it. I'd recommend it to anyone with school age kids, or anyone who is a big kid at heart. Good use of full size models to show what went on in day gone past Snibston is set on the site of a former colliery Making things explode .... Weights and pulleys explained Fire Josh Alex Isabelle Building up a charge We've also been to see Wall.E I often end up seeing these computer animated films though obligation rather than choice, and I had no idea what Wall.E was going to be about. The underlying story could have been a hard-hitting sci-fi environmental horror movie in the hands of the right director, instead of a slightly twee robot love story, but overall it was surprisingly good. Rent it on DVD later in the year if you haven't been dragged to the big screen by offspring. Another great place to visit, I think, is the National SeaLife Centre at Birmingham. Not as good as The Deep, but closer. Whilst the kids get all excited about sharks and turtles swimming over their heads, and trying to find characters from Finding Nemo, I like the challenge of acquiring anything approaching a good photo through glass and water and in low/coloured lighting. To be honest, whilst we had a good day the place was absolutely jam-packed. I'd like to go back on my own out of school holiday time! Lots of different eels Brown-banded Bamboo Shark Lion Fish - not really purple Anemones and corals in displays with the fish, crustaceans and molluscs I like the big tank full of rays and skate Sea Horse breeding programme is doing very well

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