Monday, 27 May 2013


Today we saw lots and lots of bees. In fact, there was a swarm of bees right in our garden!

Bees are very important to farmers. They help pollinate lots of plants which helps the plants to survive.

In a hive there is one bee called the queen bee who is in charge of it all. A queen bee can't sting.  But some types of bee (the English native bee) are getting endangered and are soon to be extinct. I have signed a petition to help save bees. You can help save bees too by going to this website and learning what you can do. If the bees die out we will lose a third of our diet.

Our bee swarm was an unusual swarm because usually the bees hang on a branch or something suspended in the air. But our bees didn't have anything they held on to. Swarms are caused when a new queen has been born and the parent queen leaves the hive with her worker bees. When the queen comes out of her hive she goes away with the flying bees.

Our next door neighbours phoned a bee man who had a very good plan to get the bees. He got a box and a little brush. Then he sat down and waited. Gradually the bees swarmed to a different place and he scraped them into the box with a little brush. He scraped most of them in. He hoped that he had got the queen bee because without the queen bee the rest of the bees would think 'where's our queen?' and then they would go their separate ways looking for her.

The man said it was a small swarm and a usual swarm would usually be about 15,000 bees (about the size of a rugby ball). This one was about a thousand. I heard them in the box and it sounded more like water than the buzzing of bees.

I had great fun with the bees!

Richard Kingsnorth

Richard Kingsnorth was an ancestor of mine. He was born in the early 1600s. He became a Baptist minister after he heard some people names Francis Cornwell and Christopher Blackwood say how they had become Baptists. He set up a church in his house. But the King didn't like people being Baptists so he made a rule that only 5 guests were allowed inside the house at a time. If you did it you might go to prison for a long time! But Richard Kingsnorth kept doing it. Luckily he wasn't caught. He died in 1677.

when we visted Staplehurst, we walked up the hill to where Richard Kingsnorth's house still stands
Here it is!
This is the Anglican church where a lot of the Kingsnorths were married and buried.

Audley End House

Last Saturday we went to Audley End House, an English Heritage site with our grandparents (dad's parents). It was very nice. We first went around the beautiful gardens. There were all sorts of different flowers. Roses, tulips, you name it, they had it.

Then we went to the stables. It was a very nice place. There was something which when you press a button tells you about a person who worked there once. There were real horses too! Myfavourite horse was a brown one which I can't remember the name of. He used to be a racing horse but now he is a riding one.

After that we went to the house. We first went to the servants headquarters. My favourite room in it was the cheese room. It must have taken a long time to make the cheese!

Next we went to the fancy part of the house. It had hundreds and hundreds of paintings. My favourite room was a room full of stuffed animals. It was my favourite one because I learnt that in those days not many books had pictures. So, if you wanted to know what an animal looked like, you go to the stuffed animal room.

I had so much fun!!
we some ducklings at the pond there!
We walked up the hill and saw the house from a distance

In the gardens with the tulips
Elsie and I dressed up as servants
meeting the horse in the stables

Monday, 20 May 2013

William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was a man who helped to abolish the slave trade.

The slave trade was an awful trade which got some African people and sent them on a long journey usually to the West Indies or America. The journey was awful and one African man was only allowed to take up the space of the length of a table! It was also very smelly because nobody ever let them go to the toilet! Most of them died in the middle of the journey. Even when they got to the West Indies it was still horrible. The sugar cane was very sharp and they were also were burnt by fire.

He wanted to change the slave trade because he had heard about how awful it was from John Newton, Thomas Clarkson, Olaudah Equiano and many others. He put the bill forward in Parliament asking to abolish the slave trade for 18 years before it was passed in 1807.

William Wilberforce married Barbara Spooner and had six children with her. He was friends with William Pitt, the Prime Minister. He studied at St John's College in Cambridge and was very popular when he was there. He had most of his Christian influence from his teacher, Isaac Milner. Later, he asked John Newton for guidance about whether he should be a politician or a minister. He decided that he could serve God as a politician.

He died in 1833 just days after the Slavery Abolition Act was passed (this Act actually set the existing slaves free). He was buried in Westminster Abbey, next to his friend William Pitt.

William Wilberforce statue in St John's College

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Blakeney Point

On Saturday we went to Blakeney Point to see seals. We saw a swallows nest as well. There was a book fair with lots of good books and mum and dad got me a book called At the back of the North Wind.

Mum and dad got us tickets to go on a boat. I loved it. I love the feeling of being water. All the water was rushing past and it felt so nice when I got sprayed with water. I am going to live in a houseboat when I grow up. It will be called "The Bookworm".

On our boat we saw some seals. The baby seals were soooooooo cute. We also saw some males fighting.

Then after we got off the boat we learned what dad and Lydia had been up to. They had been having a marvellous time. They went for a walk and they saw some crabs. Lyddie even made up a song: "Daddy and Lydia went for a walk, Lydia was sitting on Daddy's back, Lyddie, Lyddie, Lyddie Lou".

Me and Elsie on the boat

me looking at the water

the seals
a curious seal comes up to us
After Blakeney Point we saw Oxburgh Hall. We got a book called "50 things to do before you're 11 3/4". Most of the things I had already done. The hall was great. We got to go inside a priest hole. A priest hole is a place where priests would hide when Queen Elizabeth's servants went looking for them. They needed to hide because they were Catholic. Nobody was allowed to be Catholic then. Some priests hid for days in there. It was very cosy.

me and Jacob in the priest hole

coming out of the priest hole (it was very hard not to bump your head)

a chimney that looks like one in Hampdon Court

Me and Elsie next to the moat

My favourite poem

We are learning about Romantic poetry this week.We learnt about poems by Wordsworth, Byron and Coleridge.

My favourite poem we read is called 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', by  Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I like it because it is a story and I love storytelling.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was addicted to a drug called opium.He was a close friend to William Wordsworth and agreed with him about nature. They both saw nature like a god and sometime spelt it with a capital N. He married Sara Hutchinson.

'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is about a mariner telling a wedding guest a story. The story is about himself and his fellow sailors lost at sea. They were running out of food but then they saw a good sign. It was an albatross. In those times, people thought albatrosses brought them good luck. But then, the mariner shot the albatross. All the crew were angry with him because they had now lost all their food. Though, as a punishment they made him wear the albatross around his neck. But one by one they all died, except the mariner. After a long time it rained! Then he is near land and meets a hermit and he tells him what he has done. The hermit tells him that he must tell the story to everyone he feels compelled to tell (like the wedding guest).

My favourite bit is:

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

I like this bit because in the first verse it has a very good comparison (choked with soot). Also, I like where it says 'was withered at the root'. I like this because I imagine a wrinkled root for their tongue. I like the part about the cross and the albatross because I think that would be a good punishment, because an albatross is heavy and they can see that he killed the albatross.

The albatross was hung around neck as a bit of a metaphor too because when we do the wrong thing, that weighs on you until you feel like you have to tell somebody.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bird watching

Today we went to Anglesey Abbey to go bird watching. We went to a wildlife discovery area. We went on the Lime Tree Lookout which is a gianormous tree house with an old boot as a door stopper. While we were up there we saw some people setting a hedgehog free, so I think it was a pretty good deal. Next we went to a bug hotel. It was really, really big. I saw some slaters in one bit. I also saw lots and lots of spiders webs. Then we went to a wildlife hut. We saw a Great Tit and I thought it was a woodpecker. The tit was really colourful.

Then we went to the shops and bougt some peanuts so we could attract some woodpeckers. When we got it home we hung it up. It was quite cool.

looking at the bark on one of the trees

the woodland

wildlife discovery area

Lime Tree Lookout

Bug hotel

with our binoculars!

Great tit
Our bird feeder with peanuts in it.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Cowper, Newton and Bunyan

On Saturday we went to the Newton and Cowper museum. It was about a person named John Newton who was a slave trader and one day he became a Christian. It happened when his ship was caught in a storm and almost sunk. But God was gracious and let him live. He STILL did slave trade for a while but then he stopped and became a minister. He wrote Amazing Grace.

running through the garden!

Elsie and me looking at a model of a slave ship like the one Newton would have been on.

looking at the displays

me outside the summer house, where Newton and Cowper met to write and talk

Cowper was a famous poet and a friend of Newton. He had fits of depression, owned three hares and was Jane Austen's favourite poet.

Then we went to the John Bunyan Museum. He is famous for writing The Pilgrim's Progress. It is a very good book. The Museum was great. My favourite part was the cobbled street because it looked so lifelike.

Statue of John Bunyan

Bunyan Museum