Saturday, 30 July 2016

Tanks, Monkeys, BumBags and Birthday presents

It was DGS2's tenth birthday recently.   We asked him what he'd like, and he asked for a Day Out.    So, that's what he had.

He likes military history, and we though he'd like Bovington Tank museum in Dorset. We arrived just as it opened, and we were there for hours. It was really interesting, lots to see and do.... and so...many....Tanks.  

Some of them had glass panels in, so you could see inside.    One tank was cut in half, with a walkway through the middle.   It really was fascinating. And horrendous, actually.

I found myself getting a bit teary at the WW1 Horse bit - memories of War Horse came flooding back,  and I had a lump in my throat while watching the stories of several individuals.

I was quite excited when I found a Scorpion Tank amongst the many tanks there.    My cousin Martin and I each had an Action Man Scorpion Tank when we were kids, so it made me smile to see it in full size.

I gave him some money to spend in the gift shop, and said that if it wasn't enough, to let me know and we'd see what we could do.    At first it looked like he was going to buy a bullet. A big one.  I inwardly shuddered. I don't mind, but I could imagine his mum wouldn't be overjoyed. (We'd already taken an extreme liberty by taking him to Air Rifling with us the night before).

And then he found what he wanted. I saw him from the other side of the shop, going through a rack of commando  vests. And then the utility vests.    And that's what he had. He was so excited!

We left The Tank Museum and drove half a mile up the road, to Monkey World.  I'd wanted to go to Monkey World since watching Monkey Life on TV.   I couldn't believe it when I found it was so close to the Tank Museum. 
A couple of weeks beforehand, I'd pre-booked a guided tour, got the last one available, 3.45pm.  The timing worked perfectly.  We arrived at about 2.30,  we walked slowly through the park looking at the enclosures and the gorgeous apes and monkeys.  We had an ice cream at the top, and then got to the meeting point at the appropriate time.

The guide was fab.  The background stories were really interesting, we learned stuff we wouldn't have known just by reading the displays next to the enclosures.  It was really lovely seeing some of the animals we'd seen in the show, and I really wish I'd watched some episodes again before we visited. Luckily, we walked a different way to the way we had come up, so we saw lots of things we hadn't seen on the walk down.

I was concerned that H might find it a bit "dry",  and he wasn't always listening.  But he did ask lots of sensible questions,   and I heard him relating lots of bits of info to his mum and then his dad later that evening over Skype.

At the gift shop H chose something very inexpensive, and said that he realised that we'd spent a lot on him at the Tank place.

We left just before closing time, and drove home.  H slept nearly all the way.

The next day, I was working from 11.30.  H wanted to make something on my embroidery machine, and fancied a bumbag. (We'd briefly mentioned bumbags the day before, when I had to carry some stuff for him in my handbag).     He went to look at my fabric stash, and was really excited to see some camouflage fabric, which would go REALLY WELL with his combat vest.

I explained that it was quite an intricate design and would take a while, and that I hadn't made it before.  He still wanted to go ahead, so we did.    I searched through my bits and pieces and was amazed to find that I had the necessary hardware.  I didn't really have the right sort of strap, but I used canvas tape instead. Not great, but it'll do. 

It came out really well.  I didn't take a photo before he left,  so I'll see if I can get one sent to me to post.

He's such a pleasure to have.   I suspect he presents his best side when he's with us.... to be fair, I suspect we do the same back, LOL.

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