Let’s Climb a Mountain!

After a lovely weekend in Wales last year (read about it here), we decided to make a return visit this year with the aim of climbing to the top of Pen Y Fan – the highest mountain in Southern Britain (rather than the second highest mountain – Corn Du – which we may have accidentally climbed last year!!)

We spent the whole week leading up to our trip checking the weather forecast. Unfortunately, Saturday was looking like a complete wash out. Heavy rain, winds and flooding were expected so we decided to take a detour to Cardiff rather than heading straight to Brecon.

TJ is currently showing a real interest in Space and science at the moment so we decided to visit Techniquest in Cardiff Bay. It was fairly reasonable to get in and was full of lots of interactive, hands-on exhibits. TJ absolutely loved it and really enjoyed learning about the gas planets in the Planetarium.

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

A cycle ride at Moors Valley Country Park

After spending the days since Christmas Day eating leftovers and having relatives to visit, we decided that it was time for some fresh air.

After a quick check of the weather yesterday morning to see that Friday was going to be a washout, we decided to get wrapped up in our new scarves and gloves to take TJ for a spin on his new bike around Moors Valley Country Park.

When we got there, the car park was full of people with the same idea as us. We headed straight for the cycle hire to get bikes for us so that we could cycle round with TJ – something we’ve never done before.

Continue reading

Winter Sun

Luckily for us, we all finished work/school on Friday so we have a good week to get ready for Christmas. We kicked off our holiday yesterday with a trip to Brighton to visit family and drop off some Christmas presents (stopping off at Starbucks for the obligatory Gingerbread Latte!)

We visited my dad and grandad first and TJ was so proud to show everyone how well he could read now and managed to read all of Green Eggs and Ham which was super impressive.

Continue reading

Camp Bestival – 5 reasons why you shouldn’t miss it

Last summer, we were very lucky to get the opportunity to take TJ to Camp Bestival for the first time. Our friends over at My Two Mums have been going for the past few years and have always had an amazing time and it was great this year to get to share the fun with them.

We were very excited last week when this year’s theme – Camp Bestival Sets Sail – was announced and can not wait to see who the headline acts are for this year.

This got us thinking about the top 5 reasons why you should dig out your tents, dust off your sleeping bags and get your tickets booked for 4 days of fantastic family fun.

Continue reading

Half Term Fun

We’ve only been back to work/school for a week since half term, but it seems like it was ages ago! We had such a busy, fun packed week with lots of outdoor fun in what turned out to be a week of amazing weather.

On Monday, we took a trip to the Sealife Centre in Weymouth to visit Zelda the witch and to take part in the Halloween activities. There was a pumpkin hunt where you had to find the letters written on pumpkins to spell out a word which TJ was able to do completely on his own this year. We then went to visit Zelda in her hut. I have to say the Zelda experience was a bit of a let down – last year the children made a magic potion and were then given a slush drink to take away with them. This year, the activity was making slime using tarantula legs (shaving foam) and some form of glue – I think TJ was fully expecting another slushie drink (as were we) and, although he enjoyed the activity, I’m not sure it was worth £4 (£5 if you don’t have an annual pass).

On Tuesday, we went to Bailey Ridge to pick up some pumpkins ready for Halloween. As I have written previously (Pumpkin Picking – An Annual Tradition), it wasn’t quite the same as picking your own pumpkin from a field, but the place was really nice and TJ was able to make his very own broomstick which he loved.

Wednesday morning was spent in Southampton recording a debate for BBC Woman’s Hour about whether it was safer for children to be brought up in the city or the countryside. I really enjoyed being able to talk about this matter as it is something I feel really passionate about and it was good to be able to discuss our reasons for moving out of the Big Smoke. You can listen to the podcast here.

On the way home, we stopped off in Lyndhurst in the New Forest for a walk. It was approaching ‘Golden Hour’ and the light was absolutely beautiful. It wasn’t long before we came across some ponies and donkeys. You are advised not to touch or feed the animals, but the donkeys came straight over to us and were literally standing next to TJ to be stroked. They were so gentle and stayed there for ages. It was a lovely end to an exciting day.

On Thursday, we went to Longleat to visit their Autumn Exhibition. We also got a sneak preview of the Festival of Light which looks like it’s going to be absolutely amazing. After the success of last year (Santa Train), we have booked to see Father Christmas there again this year and can’t wait to see the stunning lanterns in all their glory. The Autumn Exhibition was really good and TJ got to make a fish out of willow as well as learning about Owls.

On Friday, our friends came down for the weekend from London and we met up at Kingston Lacy. Again, the weather was glorious and the children loved running around, hiding in dens and taking part in some of the autumn activities which had been set up for them.

Although it was a bit chilly on Saturday, we decided that we couldn’t have our friends down without a visit to Weymouth. The children loved it and all managed a quick paddle before having a much needed hot chocolate to warm up. We then went to Billy Winters for a bite to eat and got to watch people Kite Surfing while the children carved pumpkins which had been kindly provided for them.

Our half term ended with a brilliant Halloween Party over at MyTwoMums’ house. We met for the first time at Halloween while we were living in London, so Halloween has become a kind of anniversary for us now. The boys had a great time together and we are looking forward to meeting up again soon.

As per usual, our holiday was full of fun, friends and adventure. Next stop……..Christmas!!!!

 

 

Country Kids

City vs. Countryside – where is it safer to bring up children?

Last week, I was invited to take part in a debate on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour discussing whether I thought it was safer to bring up children in the city or in the countryside. (Click here to listen the the Podcast we recorded after the show)

The producer had stumbled across our blog through a google search (hooray!) and decided that our experience of living in the Big Smoke and then deciding to move to Dorset would give her some interesting material.

Tuesday evening was spent scribbling down notes and organising my thoughts ready to travel to the BBC studios in Southampton on Wednesday morning. It really got me thinking about why we decided to move out of London and what I missed about city living too.

Continue reading

A New Family Hobby

When we lived in London and saw photos on social media of TJ’s godmother out kayaking or paddle boarding, we couldn’t help but get pangs of jealousy. We both lived by the sea as children and really missed it during our time in the Big Smoke.

When we moved to Dorset a couple of years ago, we were determined that TJ would enjoy living by the sea the same as we did and that he would also get the opportunity to try a range of water sports.

We are lucky to live pretty close to Weymouth Watersports on Ferrybridge which hires kayaks and paddle boards for very reasonable prices. TJ’s first experience in a kayak came when he was just 3 years old. We hired a 2 man kayak and paddled around with him in the front for almost an hour! He absolutely loved it and so did we. There’s such a sense of freedom and calmness being out on the water.

Continue reading

Camp Bestival – Day 2 (Soggy Saturday)

After refreshing my weather app about a million times on Friday (and having to buy more data!), there was no escaping the fact that Saturday was going to be……soggy. The wind and rain that we endured on Friday was nothing compared to the rain that was expected but there was no way that it was going to dampen our spirits! (To be honest, we were rather relieved that our tent had lasted the night – quite a few didn’t and we thought that if we can survive that, we can survive anything!)

Saturday morning started off bright and sunny with TJ able to eat his breakfast ‘al fresco’. The theme for this year’s Camp Bestival was Rockstars and Popstars and the boys got kitted out ready to face the day.

Continue reading

A Sunday Walk around Ringstead Bay

A couple of weekends ago, after a damp Saturday, we decided to spend Sunday afternoon wandering around Ringstead Bay, a pebble beach near Osmington.

We visited Ringstead once in the summer holidays and the views in the bay are beautiful. In the summer, we paid £5 and parked in the beach cafe car park which is only a short walk to the shore. This time, we decided to make use of our National Trust membership (It’s a No-Brainer) and park in the car park on top of the hill and then walk down to the beach.

When we got there, a herd of sheep were crossing the road in front of us and TJ found this absolutely hilarious. He grabbed some grass and tried to feed some of them, but they were having none of it!

Continue reading