'Would you like to colour in a snail?'

The three year old nodded, picked up a blue crayon in one hand and reached for a snail with the other. That wasn't quite what I had in mind!Bank Holiday Monday in Mote Park with 6,000 children aged 0 - 6 providing educational acitivities for CBeebies. My ears were assaulted by Rastamouse and his friends all day over the loud speaker. The molluscs were luckier - they don't have ears. Wasps were out in force so the BBC sensibly decided not to make smoothies in our tent. Sixteen children had been stung the previous day and one rushed to hospital. They were pretty good on child protection, refusing access to anyone over 18 without children, insisting under 18s had to be accompanied at all times and throwing out anyone acting suspiciously. Apart from that it was chaos really and by mid afternoon everyone was hot, tired and bad tempered and not just the adults. I was very glad I hadn't volunteered to be there for all three days - one was more than enough.

I was saved by the Cider Festival at Brogdale on Saturday and Sunday ... and the rain came down. I can't remember a year when it didn't rain and this year the festival was moved forward a month. The farm cat's expression sums up Saturday:Cider Fest cat small

There he is, sitting in the middle of the food stalls with the rain pouring down, as though he can't make up his mind whether to go for hog roast, curried chicken, venison sausage or perhaps a tasty Russian style herring. That day the queues weren't very long and it was ideal for the Newfoundland dogs with their shaggy waterproof coats.

By Sunday the sun returned and everyone got into the festival spirit. It was obligatory to walk round with a plastic glass of cider. There were plenty to choose from! cider fest cider small

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