My birthday was on Saturday (Happy Birthday to me!), but as most of you know I'm off at the gun club all day Saturday. So this year we decided to combine my birthday and Mother's Day on the Sunday.
My youngest woke me up at the crack of dawn to say "Happy Mother's Day", she then woke her sister up to get her to help Dad bring me breakfast in bed. I decided that I would have my coffee in bed, but would rather sit up with them for brekky.
The girls gave me the presents they had made at school for me - which will go and live on my desk at work. My mum had also sent me a present so I unwrapped that too (a BIG chocolate heart full of chocolates ... mmm ... will take me a while to get through that. Miss 6 has already worked out which ones she wants).
Our breakfast consisted of pancakes and I'm so glad I insisted that we sit up as both girls had theirs with honey!
After brekky we had a discussion about what to do for the day. There was an orienteering course that we could of done, but no one really felt motivated. While checking out what else was on I discovered that the Yarloop Steam Workshops had a 'steam' day on. Yarloop is about 110kms south. Miss 6 is currently studying 'transportation over time' and was doing a project on steam trains, so we thought this would fit in nicely.
My hubby had booked us in for lunch at our favourite vineyard - Hainault - for mid-day, but we knew it wouldn't be too much of an issue to change that to later.
So off we went. We got to Yarloop and it was immediately obvious that it was a great decision. Outside of the steam workshops there was two large areas of displays of various farm machinery, pumps, engines etc powered by a variety of methods (steam and diesel being two of the main ones). Most of the equipment was running, or the staff turned them on when the girls went to have a look. There were things like a Lister pump from the mid-1950s, a pull saw (early 1900s?) and lots and lots of other interesting equipment.
We had a look around about half of the display - and the girls chatted to some of the people demonstrating the equipment and then we went into the Steam Workshops themselves.
They run tours through the workshops and we caught up with one at one point and listened to explainations about various areas and equipment, but we found it easier with the girls just to walk around and look at what was there. I liked the way it was laid out. Pretty much all of the equipment was 'touchable' (if you wanted soot and grease over your hands). There was a big steam engine which Miss 6 had a bit of a climb on too.
We went through various rooms - the library, the sand house, the shop, the workshop areas (pattern room, coppersmith area, blacksmith area etc) and then ended up in the steam room. Here there were a dozen or so steam engines running. Again these could be 'touched' (not that you would want to, you would get burnt!). I just liked the way everything was 'right there'. We could even see them stoking a big boiler!
One of the staff members came over and had a chat to the girls and showed them an engine which made smoke rings. The girls, of course, thought that was great. This gentleman also got the girls two posters - one of an old steam engine, very similar to the model Miss 6 was making and he introduced her to the man who owned the engine. Now we need to take them to the Royal Show in September so she can see the engine.
After a long look around this room and a discussion on various aspects of steam engines we headed out to find a cuppa. We then walked back to the car and had another quick look around the outside displays. More of the equipment was operating now, so the girls had to go and check them all out.
We then drove back up to the vineyard. We got there very late (just before 'kitchen closing time', but we had rung them during the morning and they had told us not to worry about how late we got there). The food and wine was as delicious as ever! We didn't end up getting home until well past 5pm.
The downside to which was that Miss 6 still had her assignment to finish, so she worked on that with her dad (she made two models - one of a steam engine and a maglev train). This morning I helped her finish writing up the information she needed on the project sheet. I was very pleased to discover how much she had retained of what she had been told and that we had read to her over the last couple of weeks of researching the assignment.
While Miss 6 was doing the project, Miss 8 did some maths on the computer. Then it was bedtime.
Hope the other mothers reading this had a lovely day like I did.