Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Caerleon, The Roman Fortress Of ISCA - A Toddler Explores


Caerleon, the Roman Fortress of ISCA, is just a few miles from Cardiff. There is an amphitheatre that could hold up to six thousand spectators, the finest remains of Roman barrack buildings in Europe and a museum. We took Bear to explore the amphitheatre and buildings. He was feeling a bit poorly as he had a cold so our visit was cut short when he got tired and we didn't get to walk the Roman walls. Maybe another day.

Parking and entrance is free and the site is buggy friendly although you would have to walk around the amphitheatre to the furthest side to get in.

Quite often you will be joined by a  legion of local school children marching as Roman soldiers. Shouting "Sin, Dex; Sin, Dex".  Left, right to all us non-Roman soldiers.

We had gone to run about in the sunshine but earlier footfalls had been to fight as the sign at the entrance clearly spells out.
"You're stood in the Porta Pompa - the ceremonial entrance to the amphitheatre. For some gladiators, their last footsteps were taken across this very walkway in front of you..."


Bear wasn't too worried, he had already chosen his favourite Roman stone and was happy that he had found a drain although it was dry.


Around the sides of the amphitheatre are the remains of buildings and this one looked very much like a kitchen. Bear liked the chimney.


Even though we had had lots of rain the site was quite dry except for one puddle that Bear found and had great fun jumping in.



Sin, Dex; Sin, Dex!
At the far side of the amphitheatre is a grassy slope that is suitable for buggies. Bear likes hills, he likes to run down them.



Bear didn't want to walk along the city walls so we headed to the Barrack buildings on the other side of the car park. Usually Bear loves to walk along the walls but he just wasn't in the mood. All around the site are explanation boards that bring the place to life.


Ruins of the Roman toilet block 

The Roman Barrack Buildings

We left the ruins and walked back to the car park where there are toilets, although very basic they were clean. There is a wooden statue called Three Romans and One Celt by Gerard Ducret. There is no explanation but it looked like rugby players to me with one sat on a sheep!

Three Romans and One Celt? Or does Bear make two?

Bear was very impressed with the stone balls outside the toilets. Luckily he knew that he shouldn't try kicking them.


We have been before and will definitely come back when Bear is feeling better. It's a great place for a stroll amongst ruins and history. I must visit the museum one day too. Although there are no facilities for a picnic it would make an ideal site as little ones can run around safely. 

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Dragons, Lions and Rabbits

It's been a funny week, and not funny haha. Funny in that we have had so many highs and lows. Dragons, Lions and Rabbits, I nearly called it bullies, bunnies and brexit but that was too depressing.

We started the week with Bear not sleeping through the nights leaving Mummy and Daddy very tired especially as Bears Mummy had pain in her back that wouldn't go so we all went to Ystrad Mynach Hospital so she could have an x-ray. We were surprised at how modern and wonderful it was.

Bear quickly spotted a Dragon in the courtyard.

Bear just checking if this Dragon bites.

"Teeth" he said and looked at me
"Yes, the Dragon has teeth"
"Bite" as Bear shakes his head
"No Dragons don't bite" I reassured him, not mentioning their awesome power of breathing fire
"No, bite" He looked at me and ran off down the corridor. Happy now that he knew the Dragon was friendly.

Bear likes Dragons and he recognises them in all their forms ever since we saw the Dragon* at Caerphilly Castle. This is good seeing as he was born in Wales and it is their National Symbol. Our neighbour has a Welsh flag flying from their window, the Dragon gloriously red against a background of green and white.

Does this Dragon bite?

"Bite?" says Bear with a shake of the head pointing to the flag
"No" says Nanny "Dragons don't bite"

Yes we are in the middle of the Euro's. Wales is playing fantastic football with the whole nation behind them and there are Dragon's everywhere. The Lion? What about the Lion? Well there's three lions on their shirt and it's my National team, and Grandads too. So we waited for Thursday hoping that we win and that both teams get through. YEAH! We did it!

On Thursday we decided to go out for the morning to visit a local farm park, Walnut Tree Farm Park. Although we only live a few miles away and drive past it loads we have never been before. It was great fun and Bear got to stroke a rabbit. He also got to see bullies.

Bear stroking the rabbit. He had no fear, the little girl was more cautious

They didn't know they were up against a Dragon with two Lions covering his back

Boys bigger and older than him shouting very, very loudly "No babies! No babies!" as they barred the way onto the play boat. Stood at one side was a toddler looking very scared and timid but Bear was bemused. He looked at me and I reassured him that he was a boy not a baby and he could go on the boat if he wanted  to. He bravely stepped forward, our little Dragon, and the boys repeatedly shouted "No babies! No babies!" at him trying to bar his way. He ran past them again and again until he'd had enough and we left to see the snoring pigs.

Sleeping piglets with their mum

Then Friday, the Dragon and the Lion had spoken. We were out, the nation had voted out of the European Union. Only the Unicorn voted in.  I felt like I had lost something, something close to me. I feared for our futures and for Bear. I put my heart on my sleeve and wrote him a letter. I really do hope I am wrong.

On a brighter note, Bear was looking at something and I couldn't see what was making him laugh, then I noticed he was looking at his reflection in the door handle. It's the little things that bring joy.


What's new this week?

Bear is now stringing three words together Mummy and Daddy, Nanny and Grandad

He is more confident at everything. Climbing stairs and playing at Tot's

He is laughing at us. He does the funniest pretend laugh when he thinks something is funny

This week I'm finishing with a Dragon. Wales are through to the quarter finals and we are so proud of them. Just England to do their bit tonight. I just hope it doesn't go to penalties or we're doomed!

Beware the fire breathing Dragon

*The Dragon is only at Caerphilly Castle until the first of July so hurry if you haven't been yet although I hear there is a new Dragon there. We must go and check it out.



Sunday, 26 June 2016

#MySundayPhoto number 26

#MySundayPhoto number 26 is of Bear reading his book in his tent. I just loved the way the sunlight lights up his face and his book.

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