Sunday 20 March 2011

Red Nose Day

We're just back from a short weekend break at Wellsfield Farm near Denny. It may be less than an hour away from our house but at least it's a change of scene and the lodge we were staying in was extremely well equipped. We brought the two camp beds along so that Sean and Finn could sleep in the living room, lined up behind the couch which was their "headboard" while Sharon and I sat and read (or played chess against the computer - I need to do something that isn't work-related to keep my brain cells moving). This worked out remarkably well.

We arrived on the Friday evening, after Sean had completed his skiing lesson. It was good to see him fairly flying down the slopes at Hillend and enjoying it. We didn't know it at the time, as I left with Sean, Phoebe and Lewis, but another of Sean's friends fell badly just 20m from the end of the run and broke his femur so badly it required a four hour operation and a metal plate insertion. I was talking to Blair's dad, Charlie, just minutes before. We were discussing how neither of us really fancied skiiing due to the risk of injury.

Friday was Red Nose Day for Comic Relief, the highlight of which was the "gunking" of three teachers at the school. Sean and Finn had made T-shirts with "Gunk Miss Collier/Mrs Mathieson" but neither of their teachers underwent the ordeal.

Sunday turned out to be red nose day for Rowan, however, as he maintained his record of being the Wallace child most likely to end up in hospital by doing a face plant off a cannon at Stirling Castle. All we heard was a loud slap, presumably of hands, rather than face, on the slabs but he bashed his nose and mouth sufficiently to produce a lot of blood. Memories of Mallorca last April. He hardly has a nose to speak of, which is why his glasses aren't doing much of a job as they are forever near the tip of his nose, and the way he's carrying on he'll have a boxer's nose by the time he's a teenager.

Credit to Rowan though, his powers of recovery are remarkable. Sharon took him off to the cafe to get some ice for his lip but after she had a couple of sips of coffee he was complaining. "Why am I here? I want to go and play with my brothers!" Soon he was back in the thick of it, climbing the rocky outcrop within the castle walls. Stirling Castle is great fun for the boys with bits for climbing, running about in and generally exploring. There was a guided tour going on that sounded interesting too.

Rowan was also first to take up the challenge of pony riding. There is a livery at Wellsfield Farm. Having walked past the stables on the Friday evening as we went on a stroll to get our bearings, Rowan was keen to take up Sharon's offer of pony riding. On the Saturday afternoon, after we'd had a pleasant drive up the Carron Valley and a picnic at Callender, he got his hard hat on and sat astride a little black pony called Molly to be led up the hill on a twenty minute ride. Rowan had his super dimpled smile to the fore, delighted to be trying something new and a bit risky. That's one of the areas he differs so much from his brothers - he's a risk taker!

Sean and Finn, having helped with the grooming of a horse on the Saturday evening, were convinced to join Rowan for a Sunday morning ride. Rowan was relegated to a tiny pony called Milly, Finn took his place on Molly and Sean lorded it on a taller pony called Minnie. They all seemed to enjoy it. It was hardly Cheltenham Gold Cup pace but it gave them a chance to do something different.

The only down side of the trip was Sharon having a punishing sore throat and me having to start fasting on Sunday for a hospital trip on Monday. Aside from that, Wellsfield Farm is somewhere we'd like to return to.

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