Castle playgrounds and central heating

Yesterday I booked a car and took the kids for lunch and a play at Drum Castle. Drum Castle is displaying some of the art from Aberdeen Art Gallery while renovations are underway at the gallery and so the castle is now open all through the winter. It’s so nice to be able to go to a castle for lunch on Sunday and it’s only about 20 minutes away too. The car booking cost a little over £10 and because it was one of the electric cars there was no fuel cost whatsoever. 


I must admit I am a nervous driver and now that I drive so rarely I am even more the Grandma behind the wheel than I was before. However that didn’t stop me from going through a red light. I was stopped at an intersection waiting and then the pedestrian light went green so off I went. Fortunately there were no pedestrians crossing in front of me but I like to think I wouldn’t have bowled them over if there were. I think I’m so used to paying attention to little green men telling me when to cross that I forgot I was in a car rather than on foot or on my bike. Daniel said to me from the back seat, “Have you even got a licence?”.

The playground at Drum Castle is terrific. The kids had a fantastic time tearing about and we could have stayed there all afternoon.

It’s amazing how many things you can make for a playground using only natural materials. They have woods with stepping stones:


A maze made out of vines:


The kids also like the playground telephone:


The flying fox is always a hit:


Yesterday our boiler broke down again and there’s snow on the ground this morning. We really need to buy a new one and we have had a few quotes for this already. It’s going to cost about £4000. I would really prefer not to get a gas-fired boiler because I’d prefer a non-fossil fuel solution but I couldn’t find a viable alternative. We already use Good Energy for all our electricity but our heating is through natural gas. There is a new type of boiler coming on the market which uses gas but that also generates electricity at the same time: A Flow Boiler. We’d quite like to get one of these but the company is so new that they haven’t installed any of them yet. What do other people use to heat their homes? I’d like to put in a log burner and I think we may do that at some point.