back, if you will, to our most recent of sojourns. or if you like road trips, look you see. holiday, or a bit of a break, to be sure.
in previous posts i shared some pictures and stories from the bulk end of this last trip, which was to Blackpool. when it came time to head home we, instead of east, went north at first. the spaces between places suggested that a trip directly home would rob us of further experiences and merriment.
so north we went, then, in the general direction of the much revered, partially exclusive Lake District region.
should you have expected a picture of the Lake District to be somewhat more lake in nature, and indeed featuring the famous hills of the region, you would be not incorrect. i did say that we were, at the first at the least, bound for the "general direction" of the place, and not it as such.
no, we were at a delightful place called Lakeland Maze, which is in Kendal. which, in itself, so far as i am aware, is part of the Lake District region. at least in a classical capacity. hence Kendal Mint Cake being a think for walkers, ramblers and so forth.
as you can kind of make out in the above picture, it is predominantly within a field of corn that we were in. or if you like, indeed, maize. a maize maze then.
that there above is the overhead view of the maize maze we tackled. each year features a different layout, it seemed. for this year they went with all that Star Wars business.
so far as i am aware i have not written about a maze before, either professionally or personally. i am wrestling, then, with what exactly to write about it. presumably showing the outline of the maze is, in itself, the business end of anything one could say?
a pleasant distraction from my Nigel Tufnel like confusions as to what to write of a maze is, then, the fact that this was all set on a farm. as you would expect, i suppose. people do not, as a general rule, randomly grow crops of maize in their gardens so as to invite members of the public, for a fee, to wander through it.
so, yes, a working farm, too. not a display one. this delighted the boys some, as they were able to see and as shown feed the animals in their pens. that is the animals were in their pens, not the boys.
we shall return to the animals later, then, but for now back to the maize. or maze. or maize maze. and, as a happy warning for you, the only picture in this post to feature me.
yeah to me the beard feels and looks kind of normal, but when i see it in a picture like this one i am aware of how outrageously out of control it is. i must get it sorted, man. perhaps gone all together.
how long does it take one, or if you like a group, to complete the maze? well, actually that's a double edged question. there are, as point of fact, two mazes on the go. one, the first, is considered an "easy" one, with a completion time expected to be north of 45 minutes but south of 61 minutes. after that one has the chance to do the bigger, major maze. of maize. we were informed some had managed to complete it within 90 minutes, but for most it took around about 180 minutes. or three hours.
further maize or maze insights to follow, but for now what many might consider the "meerkat of England", along with some nice touch sponsorship by Sports Direct.
yes, the domesticated polecat, or if you like the ferret. so not really "the meerkat of England", although there are some striking similarities. for a start, both here and in most corners of the world, you can keep a ferret as a pet. and ferrets are smart hunters, they are, to be sure.
i think the boys have missed being able to see meerkats on a regular basis. all across this blog you will, if you are of a mind to do so, find images of the boys admiring them at both Lory Park and Johannesburg Zoo. but, that said, i think they were suitably impressed with the quasi English version of them.
the wardrobe of the boys for tackling the maze of maize does indeed reflect the spectacular summer we've appreciated here in England this very year. assuming you are reading this in the year 2017, or (2017) as for some reason Kasabian would prefer us all to call it. not quite all cold and wet, but not exactly all sunny and dry, either.
pleasant, i would say, with the sun shining through the clouds in parts.
more of entertaining both the animals and the boys, then. in equal measure, i suppose. whilst where we live is surrounded by fields filled of sheep the sight of goats is something of a rarity. James was then duly impressed to see some, and delighted to learn that they would eat straw or grass (i am not sure which that is) directly from his hand.
William was quite taken with the goats, too. he did, on the whole, however, seem to find it more interesting to go and inspect what them there pigs were doing.
over the years we, that is my (considerably) better half and i, have discussed. no, we haven't, this is all on me. i have suggested or indicated that perhaps instead of William we should have named him Hannibal. as i look at the above and recall one of the more interesting, dwells on the mind passages of the novel Hannibal by Thomas Harris, i am all the more certain that we should have, at the least, given the name some consideration.
there were many more animals on the farm. i nearly said "on display", which they were, but that feels all sorts of wrong. anyhow, here are the not llamas.
they are, i believe, alpacas. often mistaken, by the likes of me, for llamas, but not. quite different, apparently. from what i recall, a llama, like my own hair, has a much more shaggy coat to it. anyhow, as with all life under the sun, beautiful creatures.
and speaking of beautiful creatures, go on then, for her many admirers around the world, my (considerably) better half doing a sort of pose thing.
yes, looking as fit, radiant, beautiful, exquisite, divine and just flat out as perfect as ever, if you like. or words along those lines, i suppose. someone far more talented at all this writing stuff could probably say it all the more better than me, but that is so very true of a lot of things.
the above was indeed taken at a sort of picnic and play park area of the entire Lakeland Maze estate; pretty much given away by the trampoline there to the side. although of course your attention will be drawn exclusively to the impressive looks of my (considerably) better half.
in order to address the distraction of the above taking away from the trampoline, here you go - a better look at it with William using the facility as intended.
James seemed to be not too interested in the trampoline as such. he was, fear not, far from bored, though. there was a boss racetrack with even more boss pedal cars on it.
understandably when you see how smart that is it did take quite some persuading and coercion to get him to give up the track, so it did, to be sure. for this i do not blame him one single jot. i was sorely tempted to have a go, but i feared that i would look silly trying to fit into one of the cars. besides, there were many children all waiting for a go.
back to the maze, then, and a brief stop on a bridge over the maize.
the stick you can see my (considerably) better half carrying is, as point of fact, a flag. each and every team that wanders the maze is given one, so that they may wave it if they come into some distress. very wise, really. well, so long as you are not travelling alone, and that the nature of your distress means that you cannot, so to speak, get it up.
it was my (considerably) better half who discovered that Lakeland Maze was a thing. she was searching that there internet thing for places of interest between Blackpool and home. this one towered above all other options. a most excellent find, and a good choice.
yes, they had swings at the picnic and play park area of the place. most splendid swings, as you can see young William enjoying them. also a slide and a play fort thing.
behind my (considerably) better half stands a field with a goal set up in it. there were a couple of footballs, which allowed the people to have a bit of a kickabout. except, alas, both of the footballs provided had ended up in the field behind it, which was home to some of them not the llamas creatures. a shame - perhaps some kids were channelling England legends such as Chris Waddle, Stuart Peace, David Batty, etc. them that think a smart rugby kick could somehow win a game of football. seldom does, but keep trying.
a last shot within the maze, then. although i believe, if i remember right, this was at the very start of the maize itself.
going back to an earlier point, exactly how, other than the obvious, one know that they have completed the maze as intended? you're given a most splendid pamphlet like booklet at the start. across all of the both mazes there are several points at which you are supposed to stamp this with the stamp provided. how did we do? well, we got all of them from the first one and most of them from the second.....
a lovely day out, then, and a superb diversion on our route home. thank you once again, my (considerably) better half, for a most splendid find.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!