Monday, 11 June 2012

A few days with Charles and Caroline

Last week we looked after Charles and Caroline, Jackie's niece and nephew, Charles 9 and Caroline 7. They came to stay while mum, Lucy and dad, Jonathan caught up with work. On Wednesday afternoon, after collecting them from near Aylesbury, we took them to the Forge Mill in Redditch, which Jackie slept after finishing her night shift. They were having a Roman exhibition there and Charles and Caroline we able to dress up in costume and really get involved:
Here he is in Toga looking very 'Regal'

Caroline also looking good

Not so sure about Gran Pauline though

Later in the day we took them to Redpoint climbing centre in Birmingham where owner Phil had arranged for them to do some self abseiling (with a safety rope just to be careful!). After a couple of hours climbing various routes up to grade 5, we joined up with Phil and instructors, who took them up to the top and showed them what to do. Here's some photos of Charles's abseils (unfortunately we didn't get any of Caroline, but she did it as well!):
Charles on his way down
View from the top
Thursday was wet and rainy, so we were unable to take them outdoors climbing on real rock so went into Birmingham for the day. We queued for about an hour to get into a very busy Sea Life Centre which, although expensive was very good. Here's a couple of pictures taken by Caroline:

We finished the visit with lunch on a narrowboat on one of Birmingham's canals:
Thursday afternoon and evening was taken up at home and we set up ropes in our hall so they could climb up the outside of the stairs and upstairs landing and be abseiled back down (in complete safety we would add!). This was followed by them ascending a rope from our hallway by doing 'self rescue' (as you might have to if you fell into a crevasse in a glacier). Didn't know we had glaciers in Birmingham!

On Friday, before we took them back we again went to Red Point Climbing Centre again (at their request) and they climbed more routes. Jackie and I led a route which went up and across a bridge, so they could go up on a rope onto a climb that was very exciting. The top part on the bridge was about 10m up and over a void, the abseil back down being into complete open space. We think they enjoyed it!

A great few days!

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