This Christmas was always going to be an interesting one; discovering that we had to move house at the beginning of December, and arranging the move for the first week in January, meant that our focus was less on present buying and more on packing boxes.  However, we decided that we’d like to make the time as family-orientated as possible so planned a few nice things for the kids to do in the run up to Christmas Day.

Of course, things rarely go to plan in this household and between discovering that there were no stabilisers on earth to fit Eli’s bike, having a flat tyre and Eli removing all the keys from my laptop on Christmas Eve…my stress levels were through the roof by the time we finally entered into the Christmas spirit!

That said, it did all come together in the end.

We spent Christmas Eve at Twinlakes Theme Park experiencing the Winter Wonderland they had set up and visiting Santa in his grotto.  Unfortunately (because that was the way my luck was going that day) I managed to delete all but a handful of the 100+ photos I took, so you will have to take my word that it was well worth a visit.  It was by far one of the best Grotto’s I have ever been to.  From the thought that had gone into the smallest details, right through to the fact that the staff dressed as Elves were genuinely friendly and went out of their way to engage with the kids, we really enjoyed ourselves.

Meg was also in her element with it being a theme park.  It was a shame that the weather was so bitterly cold otherwise we would have spent more time having a look round the park itself.  As it was, we spent most of our time in the grotto area trying to keep warm.  She did get to have her very first attempt at Ice Skating however.  It was an interesting experience and I’m quite amazed that I didn’t take a tumble trying to keep her upright!

Whilst we were out, the Kindness Elves had returned to Santa in the North Pole but had thoughtfully left us a Christmas Eve box full of some goodies.  These included new pyjamas for us all, three books, reindeer food, a magic key to leave out for Santa because we don’t have a chimney and ‘Arthur Christmas’ for us to watch that night.  It was lovely to put on our new snuggly PJ’s and cuddle up watching the film.  It was, in fact, one of the only films Meg has ever sat through without protest!

After the film had finished we went outside and sprinkled our reindeer food and left out some treats for Santa and Rudolph before putting the kids to bed.  Amazingly, they were both asleep by 7.30pm – definitely something I hadn’t expected!

On Christmas Day itself we had a very quiet affair.  We opened stockings first thing and then got dressed and had a mini cooked breakfast before opening the presents under the tree.  I was quite thankful that we didn’t have the mass of large unsightly plastic toys we have had in previous years, I just don’t know where we would store them and the thought of packing them up would have defeated me!

Alfie wasn’t missed out either, with Santa brining him a delicious hide cracker full of treats.

My Other Half made a delicious Christmas dinner, and after that we played board games.  We had tried as much as possible to make the focus on spending time together as a family and even Meg commented that it was really fun to just play together without any other distraction.  I really appreciated that now Meg and Eli are older we can do things like this.  It makes me look forward to the years to come.

Later on in the week we drove up to see my Other Half’s family in Liverpool and to go to the Empire to see Peter Pan, which again, I was surprised Meg sat through without too much drama.  It might have something to do with the rather fetching flashing tiara her Nana bought!

I am a big fan of Christmas (as if you didn’t know) and I love that we get to start little traditions and just concentrate on having a nice time together.  We definitely achieved that this year despite the handful of hiccups.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas too x


Last week, the Other Half and I were lucky enough to be asked to come and view the RSC show of Wendy and Peter Pan in Stratford Upon Avon.

In typical ‘us’ fashion, we set off for the show with only an hour to complete a journey which was an hour and fifteen minutes long, racing along praying for no traffic.  We arrived in time, rushed to collect our tickets and got ourselves seated, ready to enjoy!

As we were sitting, we looked around and noticed that the demographic of the audience was a lot older than I would have expected.  I whispered to my Other Half, ‘I hope it’s not all arty and weird.  I thought there would be children here.’  Suffice to say, we were soon turfed out of our seats as it was revealed that we were in fact in the wrong theatre.  Apparently what the staff don’t do when they show you to your seat is to read the name of the show you are meant to be seeing!

Unfortunately this meant that we missed the first ten minutes of the actual stage show by the time we had found where we were meant to be.  Huge thanks has to go to the usher who took us in, even though it wasn’t a ‘late entry point’ as he didn’t want us to miss more than we already had!

However, once we were finally in the right place and able to watch we found this adaptation of the J M Barrie classic to be very enjoyable.  It has been reworked by Ella Hickson with some new characters and a slight twist in the storyline.  Nothing major though, it is still essentially the same well loved tale.

I was particularly impressed with how the flying was presented on the stage.  On the way over we had discussed how they would ‘fly’, whether they even would.  We know of some versions where they have eliminated that aspect entirely and felt that it would cause the show to miss a vital element.  However, there is plenty of flying to go around and I thought it was very cleverly incorporated in.


There were lots of children in the audience, ranging from around 3 years upwards although the age recommendation is 7+ years.  I would agree with this as a child did become upset when the pirates first came onto the stage and some of what they talk about (slitting throats for example) is a bit gruesome and not something I would want to expose my 4 year old to!  The crocodile is also a bit strange, not something I imagine younger children would understand.

However, there was also a lot of the magic of the original storyline, in particular the part where Tink sacrifices herself to save Peter and he has to revive her by clapping and saying ‘I believe in fairies’…the whole audience took part and there was one little girl close to use who was very enthusiastically believing in fairies which was lovely (and loud!)


The thing I enjoyed most about the show was that it was very amusing.  There were lots of quips and one liners which made it very relaxed and it felt like the actors on stage were engaging with the audience.  Tinkerbell was by far my favourite although I will leave out why, so that it’s a surprise for anyone thinking about going.


Overall, it was a really great evening.  I thought the staging was very impressive, not what I had been expecting and although it has been rewritten in parts it was very recognisable as the story of Peter Pan, perhaps closer to the books than the Disney version.  There are definitely some interesting new parts though, such as the marital difficulties between Mr & Mrs Darling…I think perhaps because we missed the start we didn’t fully understand the relevance of this particular storyline…I struggled to see why it had been added although I didn’t think it took anything away.  It was just slightly bemusing.

If you have older children this would be a lovely family evening out; even as just adults I think it would be great.  Myself and my Other Half both had a fantastic childless evening and thought it was definitely worth it!!

Wendy and Peter Pan is showing at the RSC in Stratford upon Avon until the 2 March 2014.  You can read more about the show and book tickets here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with two tickets to see Wendy & Peter Pan for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


I’m not sure that when Winnie the Pooh woke up on a mild December morning, he had any idea what lay in store.  I’m not sure that when he was plucked from his comfy Parisian home in 1999 he really had any idea either!!

So 14 years later, on said morning, Winnie was lulled into a fall sense of security about how his day was going to pan out being first treated to some delicious breakfast alongside some of his pals.

Following some top notch serving from the boy, he unfortunately had to be rescued from the clutches of the dog who had decided he would quite like some breakfast in the form of a yellow bear and relieved at the saving of his precious bear, the boy declared it was time we all went on an adventure.

First stop was the trains.  Unfortunately there weren’t any in the station so one boy and his bear left feeling somewhat deflated.

Things picked up again when the playground was reached.  Winnie had fun initially trying out the swing but things soon turned sour when the boy decreed that the bear would much prefer to hang by his t-shirt, his head coming perilously close to the floor as the swing swung. 

Next up was the spinning chair of torture, otherwise known as one of the boy’s favourite past times.  Even the boy felt that it was time to stop as poor Winnie was probably getting much too dizzy.

Finally, the slide was attempted with both the boy and the bear needing a helping hand as previous rain had meant it was quite a bit less, slidey than usual.

Both bear and boy were feeling somewhat tired after their traverse around the playground but it was decided that we couldn’t leave just yet.  Not until we had played the boy’s current favourite….superheroes.  This involved poor Winnie being abandoned on various bits of playground equipment whilst the boy ran around shouting and asking if anyone needed rescuing.  Once it was determined that the bear was in trouble, the boy then rescued him…because he is a super amazing super brave superhero.  Natch.

After four rounds of this, the rain started to fall and it was decided that bear and boy would both benefit from returning home to cuddle up on the sofa and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate.

Overall, today was a good day for one boy and his bear 🙂


Yesterday saw Meg take part in her very first nativity, as Innkeeper number three.  I had been slightly worried prior to seeing the nativity as the last assembly we attended she refused to sing or join in with the actions for the songs declaring that they were ‘silly’.  

As the innkeeper who did, in fact, have enough room, she had two key lines to deliver and I just wasn’t convinced that she would say them when the time came.

Turning up 40 minutes before the start time was enough to score us front row seats for the show.  Last time I made the mistake of only being 15 minutes early and had to sit right at the back.  I wasn’t making the same mistake twice!!

It was lovely seeing all the EYFS children dressed up and enjoying themselves.  There were the typical hilarious moments with children waving at their parents, and one little boy who spent the whole time mesmerised by the sparkly King’s hat on the head of the child sitting next to him.  Not to mention the little boy who whispered his lines first before bellowing them out to everyone else!

I was amazed when one of the teachers said they had learned the whole play in just three weeks.  I’m sure there were around six or seven songs, with accompanying actions as well as the individual lines of each child.  I was very impressed!!

I was also incredibly proud of Meg who said her lines, albeit a little bit quietly but still, she said them!!  I was weirdly nervous for her, it can’t be easy getting up on stage and looking out into a sea of grown up faces.  Even if most of them had big grins plastered across them.

It was her first time standing up on the stage too, and she isn’t generally a fan of trying out new experiences.

On stage

Well done Meg, and well done to each of the other children as well.  It was a really fantastic nativity and I am one chuffed mama 🙂

Next year…Mary!


A couple of weeks ago we were given notice by our landlady that she plans to sell the property we are currently living in, and that we had until the end of January to find somewhere new to live.

This is certainly not the kind of news you want just before Christmas!

Since that point we’ve been on a house hunting mission as well as assessing how things stand in our house currently.  It’s fair to say that we have a lot of stuff.  Remarkable actually as we have somehow managed to fill every single available space within the house!

Moving is about so much more than just packing up your stuff and depositing it somewhere else.  There’s sorting out what is left behind as well, the cleaning and the disposing of items you no longer need.  This week I’ve been looking at carpet washers so that we can give the house a thorough cleansing before we move on.  I’m not sure that other tenants would go to such lengths but I always think how I would hate moving into a dirty house and I don’t want to leave it that way for somebody else!

I find it hard to let go of the things we have accumulated over the years, I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am a hoarder but I certainly keep hold of things which have special memories for me.  

The likelihood of us finding a similar sized house though is quite remote so we are definitely going to need to downsize.  Where do you begin with a task like that?

I could list on my hand the number of things that some people would consider unnecessary but I would never ever want to part with, like my books for example.  We have moved house about six times since we’ve been married and my dad has faithfully helped us each time.  He always comments on how my book collection has grown since the last time we moved and whether I might consider getting rid of some of them…the answer is always a resounding NO!  One day I will get my dream house with it’s very own library (and moving ladders a la Beauty and the Beast) and I will need the books to fill it!

I suppose moving house does offer the opportunity to have a good cleansing of items that you no longer need, things which get put away and forgotten about until you are forced to contend with the bulging cupboard of mess as you start to box things up.  I have this feeling we are going to make some interesting discoveries as we begin to pack.

Speaking of which, we are meant to be moving house in about 4 weeks and I have yet to sort a single item out…I really should get on that!

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