Another venture forth from the south eastern corner of Cornwall saw Mrs The Millbrooker and me collecting NooNoo from his mummy at Plymouth station yesterday and heading off westwards on a micro-adventure.
After an hour's worth of colouring in pictures in young sir's colouring book to while away the journey to St Austell, we had a few minutes to spend waiting for the bus to whisk us onwards. The arrival of the big green bus was, as I'm sure you can imagine, very exciting.
And after a short journey through the backsides of St Awful, we disembarked at one of Cornwall's most famous attractions.
Yes indeed, biome spotters, we'd arrived at the Eden Project. It's been many a long year since we were last there ('twas during everyone's favourite first-cousin-once removed Auntie Jean's first visit to Millbrook, must have been 8 years back).
The place had a special offer for Cornwall residents of next-to-nothing for two years membership (i.e. unlimited entry to the park) which Mrs The Millbrooker snapped up, with me as the "member". Because I can't see properly, I can have a carer come in with me without paying - so that's herself and me sorted. NooNoo being under 5 is free as well. Bargain.
We did things at NooNoo pace - slowly with lots of attention to stuff that us larger folk wouldn't normally bother with. Some seeds fallen from a tree were a source of fascination.
As were mimosa leaves that close when you touch them.
The rain forest biome was a tad warm, not unexpectedly I suppose.
We stopped for a bite to eat in the rather excellent Eden Bakery which, perhaps uniquely for a major tourist attraction, operates a trust policy. Collect what you want to eat from the self-service buffet. Eat it. Afterwards, go to the till and tell them what you've had. I bet they don't lose much - and the goodwill created is priceless in my 'umble.
It's all clearly price marked, so you can't inadvertently spend more than you intended, there are plenty of (very pleasant and helpful) staff around to help if you need it and the pricing policy is very reasonable. Mains are a fiver, sides are £1.50 and there are pitchers of water on every table. We could have comfortably had a good sized lunch for £6.50 each. We splashed a bit more than that - but nonetheless, great value.
And then it was into the Mediterranean Biome.
Where NooNoo found lots more to occupy himself.
We stumbled upon a storyteller just beginning his half-hour performance. "Cornish Dave" regaled us with a tale about a magic bowl and a magic stick.
All too soon it was time to make our way back to the bus and the homeward journey. NooNoo spent most of the walk toward the bus stop beating his Dragon Lord with his own "magic stick" just like in the story. Thank you, Cornish Dave.
This wanton bashing of Dragon Lords resulted, of course, in a broken magic stick. Not to fear, the very kind lady on the information desk at the main entrance/exit from the Project spotted the problem and fixed the magic stick with some Eden Project stickers.
I'm not sure I'll ever quite forget the moment that she explained to the mildly bemused couple who arrived to queue behind us for their query to be dealt with, in a completely matter-of-fact tone, that she'd "..be with you in a moment. I'm just mending this magic stick."
Great day out, made even better by some very good staff. I'm still smiling.