Our Unschooled Week #30

Another week, another county.  This time we were in Devon for a few days visiting Steve's parents.  We spent lots of time on the beach at Exmouth, wandering the parks in town, in Exeter, and down on the Riviera.  I even managed two whole days without even looking at e-mail or social media - bliss!

Our little history buffs continued their learning in Exeter, where Mol's coffee shop is often cited as the place where Sir Francis Drake met other sea-faring captains and, though it is much disputed by even the most amateur historians, it was a great starting point for a chat about Elizabethan adventurers and the like.

Paddington was all over Marks & Spencer in town, which the girls loved and insisted on photos with.  They chose their wrapping paper for this year and we browsed some gift ideas for family and friends.

After breakfast at Boston Tea Party, we wandered the streets a little and popped in a few shops, as well as finding adventures and climbing opportunities where we could.

The girls loved the Medieval arch, St Stephen's Bow and the site of St Catherine's Chapel and Almshouses, destroyed during the war.  After our learning about World War II last week, this was great reinforcement, especially as the level of destruction is so clear to see on Exeter's high street.

We all loved Exeter Cathedral, so rich in history and full of beauty.  The girls admired the Remembrance poppy wreaths outside and asked lots of questions about Flanders fields.

This tiny ancient door fascinated Tatiana, albeit with its anachronistic companions!  While Lara adored the Elephant Misericord, one of a rare set of 13th century misericords from under the Prebendaries' stalls.  It is likely to have been carved from a drawing given to Henry III by someone who had never seen an elephant for themselves, hence the muddled proportions and strange horses hoof-like feet.

We made 'Cairns of Hope' from an assortment of natural materials in one of the chapels and said prayers, and lit candles for Teddy in the Lady Chapel.

Unfolding Love by Janis Ridley

The beautiful 'Devon Remembers' display of 34,000 poppies in the Cathedral was breathtaking.  One poppy for everyone who dies in the Great War.

In Exmouth, we spent time with the grandparents, in the parks, on the beach, and went to the girls' first ballet.  Lara felt the need to do mine and Tatiana's make-up for the evening, so Tatia went as an ABBA fan!  The Nutcracker was lovely, and the girls were fascinated by the music, the dance and the beautiful costumes.

Our hotel was perfectly located on the sea front so we had great access to the beach, even with grey skies!  But what small person can resist sand and water, whatever the weather?!

In Torquay, we went to Babbacombe Model Village, which the girls love.  So much to see and do, and so well maintained.  LEGOLAND could learn a thing or two!

Yep, more history!

Lara is particularly interested in how houses are built at the moment, so was fascinated by this half-built roof.  It may be miniature, but the principles are the same.

While Sophia and Tatiana loved this house on fire.

Since we got back, we've been busy wrapping Christmas presents, watching Christmas films, and generally getting in the zone!  The excitement is building...

See you next week, Lx

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