z139So, on rising this morning the bidding kicked off again fairly early for the house Dadda looked at yesterday (5 parties involved in total).  We got involved and soon it was climbing up again.  However, it stalled at about 0900 hours with us as the highest bidders.  Dadda was just about to contact the estate agents and push for the signing of the contract and sale, when the people who had kept bidding with us, put in another bid early afternoon, so we countered back within 10 minutes.  We are going to bed tonight as highest bidders still, but because no one has formally withdrawn yet from the process we are still not at the finishing line.  So, providing there are no more bids first thing, Dadda is going to push for the sale to be completed tomorrow. That is where we are at bedtime tonight.

z137 z138 z136Today I took the trio off on a little adventure though to take my mind off things a bit.  We went to explore some caves.  One of the National Trusts 50 things to do.  I had considered other caves, but all seemed really commercialised, so we headed for a natural cave system in the Forest of Dean that had been used to mine iron ore.  Not only did they get to look at caves in a more natural state, but they learnt about mining, and how lucky they were not to be down them, as you started work as young as 5, for 10 hours a day!  Our little lady was reading and absorbing everything as she usually does, and touching absolutely everything.  Mini man no.2 was climbing and chattering, and generally giving the impression he was a little bit spooked, but mini man no.1 surprised me the most.  Now both twins have reached the non stop why phase, which is great but infuriating!  However, today, it was like twin 1’s thirst for knowledge wasn’t quenchable, and his interest in the whole place was astounding.  He was totally absorbed in the experience.  He wanted and needed to know everything about everything.  The cave’s system isn’t really that large and only took us about an hour and a half to mooch round.  If you are a bit older, you can have a guided tour down to the lower levels but our twins were too young.  However, it did serve the purpose of giving them a great cave experience, and for a lot less money too (even better when I got there and discovered under 5’s were free!).

There was a small museum before you entered the cave system, but throughout the cave system there were little displays and bits of equipment to look at and touch.

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Our little lady tried out a billy (quite a heavy container children as young as 8 would carry the ore to the trucks in, and she was only just able to lift it empty).  There was also items of equipment, that had something similar to timpani mallets attached to them, so if you played them like a musical instrument, not only did you get a nice tune, but visitors in other parts of the cave system, heard noises like axes hitting the rocks, imitating the mining.  We also saw a lovely natural water pool, and on this they had done a clever light display in white, of fish moving in the water and on the far wall as well.  It was very effective and slightly hypnotic.

It was a lovely quiet place, and not heaving with visitors, and all very natural.  Despite all this though it still manages to get you to run the gauntlet of getting to the exit through the gift shop with three little people in tow!  It was a great visit though, and we will be filling in our national trust books tomorrow.

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