It was looking like today would be a good one in terms of the weather as for the first time in 10 days and much to Muds disgruntlement, bright sunshine had greeted us this morning. But having promised the Mudlets the trip out, he couldn’t change his mind at this late stage and in true Victor Meldrew style, muttered something about Sods Law as we pulled off the drive.
By the time we arrived at The Deep, 1 hour before opening time, the clearish blue skies were already starting to become populated with the now familiar sight of rain clouds, in their varying shades of grey. This lifted Muds mood considerably and we could only hope that the rain didn’t arrived until after we had entered the building.
We whiled away the time walking along the shore line of the Humber and had an interesting discussion with the engineers working on the Neptune Proteus NP1000, which is a tidal power device currently utilising the tidal stream in the Humber to power The Deep. This was the first of several such devices which would, we understand, eventually be placed along the river to harness the tidal power.
We finally paid our entry into the deep (£34 for a family ticket bought on entry but it is slightly cheaper to pre-book tickets online) and then spent an enjoyable 2 hours looking at all the displays and some very odd looking creatures. We had lunch at one of the Deeps cafes and were pleasantly surprised to see that, unlike many such centres, patrons were allowed to bring and consume their own food on site – certainly something to bear in mind for the next visit.
The gift shop was our final stop and the girls spent a relatively short amount of time choosing their gifts. Each child had brought their pocket money and Middle Mudlet had Tooth Fairy money and some birthday money to go with hers, a fact which Little Mudlet was not happy about. Thankfully, for every ones peace and tranquility, Mud quickly agreed to make up the shortfall so both girls had the same amount to spend.
So, proudly clutching her bright pink cuddly snake which was longer than she was tall, Little Mudlet descended upon the poor unsuspecting shop assistant and to Muds horror offered her little purse, containing £3.21 in pennies and twos as part payment for her prized new toy. Muds face was a picture and he quickly suggested that he pay for the item and then she could pay him back.
As a mum, I know that paying for their own things with their own money and actually handing the cash over, is something most little ones love to do and with Little Mudlets face showing the very early signs of teary annoyance, I stepped in and explained this fact to Mud. Resigned to the inevitable and giving a sympathetic smile to the Shop Assistant, Mud helped her count out her pennies. To give him his due though, the Shop Assistant didn’t flinch and declared that he was happy to accept the change although his co-worker predicted that he may soon regret saying that as she had spotted Middle Mudlet standing beside me with an equally fat little purse in her hand.
Finally with both toys purchased we headed back to the car and started for home.
Passing a sign for a plant nursery, just a couple of miles from our village and with the sky showing no signs of brightening up in the very near future, Mud suggested that we pop in to have a look see but first he wanted to go home so he could drive Annie down to the Nursery to double check that she was no longer losing fluid of any description, something that is best checked whilst the engine is hot, apparently.
By the end of the afternoon,not only had we ascertained that Annie was not leaking but we had also found and bought a shrub I have wanted to have in my garden since I first saw one in flower about 15 years ago – Dicentra ‘Valentine’ otherwise known as a Bleeding Heart plant. It now resides in a bright blue pot, outside the front door, the cream paint of our cottage render providing a lovely backdrop to the plumes of red flowers. Glorious.