Mini beasts Memory Book 4

After reading Memory Book 1 at Britmums conference at the weekend I suddenly realised it’s the last Thursday of the month and so the day I promised to do a Memory Book.  Sorry for the lapse last month, I’m really fired up to do this now. Are you joining me this month? Simply write about a memory, something for your children to look back on.  I will sort out some prompts and put them on the Little Legacy page if that would help for future months?

Dear Miss L

You are 5, approaching your last weeks in reception class. We drop off Mr G at pre school, peeling him from my leg. Hot and bothered we step out into a balmy June day and walk round the corner to school. The clouds look ominous and the combination of sticky heat, house-moving woes and your school sports week are making us tired and irritable.

Time is ticking, but you, as always, are on a different time zone.  You stop to pick a flower, to rescue a snail, to follow a lady bird. Nature unfurls for you, pulls you into it’s timeless zone and absorbs you completely.

I go to hurry you and then stop myself, every day I see so much of my Mum in you. The woman who never lost this childish fascination with nature, who always had time to stop and notice a flower, a beetle, a bug or a butterfly.  I remember walking on the South Downs with her when I was 20, her stopping endlessly to identify flowers, whilst I strode on impatiently, wanting to cover more ground.

I remember her digging the weeds from between the Victorian tiles in our garden in Nottingham, yet leaving tiny mosses and flowers, all of which she knew by name.  She told me she learnt all that when she was still breastfeeding me, but desperate to keep her mind ticking. Whenever your great Grandad (Mum’s father-in-law) would put weed killer on the moss in his prize garden, mum would complain bitterly to me.

In 2001 Mum wrote a letter all about her time at primary school for the school’s Fifties Day, she wrote: ‘The huge playing field was wonderful, looking out towards more fields and woods in the distance, I’m afraid I was a bit of a dreamer, I would often be staring out of the windows watching the birds, the view or simply the rain or snow.’ Sometimes I envy you both this ability to day dream so well.

Like you Mum watched Children’s BBC, but it was different in the 1950s, she wrote  ‘Another programme I enjoyed was called Nature, where Mr Collins and a boy called Tony would go into the countryside and watch or talk about whatever was happening…birds, flowers, insects, the weather and so on. Nowadays I think that there would be a girl as well as Tony!’

Your Gran taught you to find bugs, worms and spiders when you were two, by poking gently under leaves and stones with a stick.  Now I see how much that day meant. Last night you pointed out caterpillar eggs to me and knew the green bugs in the garden were shield bugs.  You look everything up in your minibeasts book.  You are full of surprises these days. Your Gran would be proud of you.

So we cut holes in a flora tub and made a nest for the caterpillar eggs, just as I did when I was 5. The memories came flooding back, my Dad watching us from the veg patch in our garden in Stone, as we plucked caterpillars from his cabbages and saved his veg from being munched. Mum calling out ‘ENOUGH caterpillars!’ as we merrily gathered them up and rehomed them.

Now I find myself snapping flowers that have guerrilla gardened themselves into our lives and thinking of you both. (Aresidence on Instagram).

Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by inspiring people. Memory book is my plan to turn these in to a memory book for my kids. Feel free to link up a little legacy or memory you’ve been thinking about this month, or to leave one in the comments. Here’s the code and here’s more on Little Legacy

@AResidence

Proper Brilliance in Blogging Award Thank Yous

Video winner

I’m so honoured to have won the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Award for Video! at Britmums Live conference this weekend.  I wanted to thank some people when I did my acceptance speech, but I was overexcited at my good friend Hello It’s Gemma’s win in the Lit! category, and having not expected to do a speech and therefore being too scared to forget anyone, I spoke about about how exciting it was to meet a Blue Peter presenter instead. It was of course, and fellow blogger and former Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill gave the ceremony energy, humour and warmth. She also gave me a hug and showed me the Blue Peter badge pinned to her bra. Cheeky lady.

With Katy Hill

So, thank yous, I’ll do it properly now. As Susanna Co-Founder of Britmums said in this article about the conference in The Guardian,

“You have kids, they take over your life, and especially if you had a career, you feel that you’ve lost your voice. Then you start blogging, and you find a voice again.”

I’ve lost much more than my voice since mum shortly after I started this blog last January, but blogging has really helped me find my lost self once more. Look, here I am smiling, holding on to my trophy and making people laugh:

Accepting my award

Before I was a mum, I was a Head of Media Studies in a secondary school. That didn’t make me an expert at making films, but it did make me highly skilled at co-ercing teenagers into making something that didn’t resemble Jackass. Vlogging has put me back in touch with all the film theory and allowed me to embrace my inner Jackass.

So huge thanks to Britmums for encouraging me to get into vlogging and being such a source of support, inspiration and opportunity.  The creative outlet has been a much needed distraction, hobby and at times an occupation. I’ve vlogged for Kodak and Give as You Live, taken my readers inside Nottingham Castle, a Youth Hostel family room, and this Summer I’ll be taking my family along to vlog Camp Bestival and Sand le Mere resort.

With Jen Howze co founder of Britmums, Katy Hill and Susanna Scott co founder Britmums

Thanks to anyone who reads or interacts with me online, anyone who voted, the Nottinghamshire blogger massive, the Class of Autumn 2010, my MaSh blosse, my ‘offline’ friends who read and comment via the book of face, Kerry who reads from her phone, Mr A, my kids, my Dad and my bro.

Thanks to GH School for 5 fab years of being a  Media Teacher, to all the teenagers I shouted at for running amok with cameras, to Andy W and Andy G for helping me master the technical stuff.

My co-finalists are amazing. Many of the others in my category I know well, and have learnt lots from as a vlogger. In particular, huge respect to the lovely Nadine from Juggle Mum, a fellow finalist who even videoed my acceptance speech.  Do check her out as she has been doing some TV advertising work and is a natural on camera! I now have a long list of fabulous new blogs to read too. Congratulations to all the other finalists, there were twelve categories, and to the award winners.  Check them out.

Thanks so much to @MotherScuffer at Motherhood Journeys and Helloitsgemma for the pictures.

Strangers on a Train, with Merlot, Quickies and Cash prizes.

Sat across the aisle from me, on the 15.15 from Kings Cross to Edinburgh today, were four Geordie blokes. I know from previous experience of this train route, to expect on-board entertainment from the good people of Newcastle.  Last time I shared a table with a family returning from their daughter’s graduation. They had a huge row for the first 30 mins and then bought me Gin and Tonic to apologise.  We got chatting, I was sad to leave them in the end.

Back to today’s entertainment though, on my return from the fabulous BritMums Live conference, which I will blog about later this week.

‘You came all the way to London to buy that?’ quipped one of the Geordie blokes to a Geordie lady carrying a huge lampshade on her lap.

‘Why yes,’ she laughed along. ‘I’ve been waiting since January to buy it.’ And so began the banter.

‘Do any of you ladies have some nail varnish remover?’ enquired a Geordie bloke, of the ladies in the carriage.

‘I do.’ I said, perhaps a little too quickly, because A) it’s not something I’d normally have about my person and so it’s nice to feel slightly smug about your ability to help and B) I am prone random acts of kindness to strangers.  ‘What’s it for though?’

He explained they’d been to Ascot, got drunk, his friend let some lady paint his nails, but if he went home in it, his wife would be wondering what on earth he’d been up to.  ‘But it’s totally innocent like’ he said.

While rummaging in my case for my box of Quickies nail remover wipes, I was thinking I should let him face the music at home.  But then I decided he was just trying to avoid an unnecessary argument, I’d help him.  So I handed them over.

‘Please will you take it off for me?’ he begged.

I told him he could do it himself, but he persisted.

‘I’ll buy you a bottle of wine,’ he said.

‘All right,’ I said, ‘deal.’

Cue lots of laughter from the rest of the carriage as I reached over the aisle to remove his nail varnish.

‘Thank you…I can’t be bothered to go to the bar,’ he said, ‘can I give you the money instead?’

‘No’ I said, ‘a deal is a deal.’

‘Have a scratch card instead?’ said his friend, fanning out a handful of them.  ‘You can choose, a bottle of wine or a scratch card.’

I was slightly hungover from a weekend at Britmums conference, and already gambling on this random encounter, so gambling further on a non alcoholic prize appealed. I took a card and read it carefully.

You had to scratch off a panel to reveal a die, then you had to scratch off six panels to reveal a die with the same number of spots.  After scratching the first 3 I had a match. Two dice with 5 spots.  So I went to scratch off the section to reveal my prize.  I was expecting a tenner, or a gift I didn’t want. But I scratched it off and it said…(scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

£5000!

I got the girl next to me to check the card. Then I screamed for the whole carriage to hear:

‘Oh my god! Five thousand pounds!****!  I Won! I can’t believe it!’

The rest of the carriage laughed. The girls on my table congratulated me.

I laughed in the face of the Geordie boys.  In seconds I had begun to plan what I would spend it on. But then I felt guilty, I apologised, I offered to split it with the guy whose card it was. I began to plan what I would spend £2500 on instead.

‘How do you claim it?’ one of them asked, ‘Check the back of the card’.

So I did…scroll down

 

 

 

 

I shouted, and swore.  Then we laughed lots.

But it wasn’t quite over, the woman opposite me started gesticulating at me wierdly. And I looked down and realised a tampax had fallen out of my bag. I tried to pick it up, just as the conductor appeared, and the nail varnish man got up to go to the bar for my bottle of Merlot. I tried to get round their legs to subtly grab it and a scuffle entailed, me trying to grab it before they did.  I returned it to my bag red faced, only for the conductor to pass me some more and enquire about my winnings.

‘Aghhh!’ I groaned.  ‘When does this train get to Peterborough? I want to get off.’

Will it stop me talking to strangers on trains? Or performing random acts of kindness? Probably not.  I didn’t win, but it was the best drama I have been part of in ages, plus, it could have been worse, at least I got off at Peterborough, not Edinburgh.

Family Mantras personalised by Pickle Pie

A while ago I posted about an exercise called Twenty minutes to change your life.  I ended up with a list of 100 things that are either goals or things that are important to me in life. Then Pickle Pie asked me if I would like a personalised print to review, with some of the things that are important to my family. It seemed like the perfect way to give my family life some clarity.

My personalised print is taking pride of place on the mantelpiece (the very one you can see above in my header).  Starting at £12.99 plus post and packing, Pickle Pie personalised prints make great value gifts.  You could pay lots more for this kind of personalised product.  The service is really professional, you simply supply the information and choose the frame, colours and style. Then there’s a chance to proof and alter your design if you like, before it is printed and framed.

Great for a new arrival, a wedding, special event, family mantra, or just to remind yourself what matters. Check out Pickle Pie.

We lose a child every 5 minutes, here’s how to find them.

I heard about the Me Finder digital wristband on Twitter, I immediately wanted to find out more.  Apparently we lose a child every five minutes in the UK.  I know I certainly worry about losing a child every five minutes.

A few weeks back we went to The Gadget Show,  probably not the ideal place to take a 3 year old, but Daddy was working there.  On arriving the security guard told me to keep a tight hold on my son as it was incredibly busy.  We could have done with a Me Finder gadget!

Instead out came a biro from my bag and a very undignified scene where I tried to scrawl my phone number on his arm without anyone noticing, and he tried to bite me.  The numbers I did accomplish were illegible, so I tried to fashion him something out of my ID badge, which he threw off.  I then tried to make him hold hands the whole time, he wrestled with me and licked my hand. In the end I spent a miserable couple of hours worrying about losing him. He on the other hand loved every minute.

I’m sure if he had got lost, some kind of tannoy system would have made an announcement and let me know, but I just wanted to know the first person who found him could call me on my mobile and I could be there fast.

Lots of children’s festivals now provide wristbands that allow you to record your mobile number, but not every event plans so well for children. There are places where it’s not as simple as a tannoy, or where the time it takes to get the message to you can cause serious upset to the child.  Parks, beaches, markets, theme parks and attractions, or on holiday.

So a Me Finder is a watch like digital wristband the child wears. It’s programmable with up to 7 numbers.  Given Mr G’s track record I wasn’t sure it would work for us, but he loves wearing it.  He also likes to tell people he has Mummy and Daddy’s number on it so he’s already getting Me Finder‘s  ‘Show and Tell’ message across.

We liked

  • the watch-like monkey design
  • the soft rubber so it’s very comfortable
  • even though your child may play with the buttons, your numbers are still displayed
  • you can choose to display one of 5 different numbers, perfect if Granddad takes him for the day.
  • Of course no system is foolproof and Me Finder relies on your child getting across the ‘Show and Tell’ message, but the postcards and stickers that come with the digital wristband help with this and also with identifying a ‘safe adult’. They actually encouraged me to teach him what to do if he gets lost, rather than just hoping it won’t ever happen.

3 year old Mr G could remove the wristband himself, but interestingly only did so when we were at home and not out and about, because he didn’t want to lose it.

Me Finder‘s are £14.99 and come in a range of designs. You can buy them here.  Do talk to @ClaireShowTell on Twitter if you have any questions!

Disclosure – We were provided with a Me Finder to review. Stats from me Finder website.

Losing my give as you live virginity and WIN £150 Amazon Voucher

Today’s vlog: I’m giving away virtual hugs and my give as you live virginity, plus YOUR questions on Give as you live answered.

To help me in my quest to recruit as many people to Give as You Live as possible, sign up here. If you want to be in with a chance of winning a £150 Amazon voucher, fill in one of my pledge cards at Britmums with your email address, or leave a comment below, making sure to add your email to the comment form, and I will add your email to a pledge card and enter you in the draw. Completing a pledge card means you will get more information on Give as You Live.

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Give as You Live and Britmums.

Why I vlog 2. Vlog within a vlog.

I’m a finalist in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the vlogging catergory. Britmums asked us to vlog about what inspires us to blog or vlog.  So I did.  It got me really thinking about what vlogs are especially good for.  What do you like about vlogs?

To see any of the vlogs within this vlog in full go here

What do you like to see vlogs of? 

What to wear

Nottingham had some very exciting visitors yesterday, me and HelloitsGemma popped in to shop at TK Maxx. TK Maxx kindly offered to sponsor us an outfit for the Brilliance in Blogging awards and Britmums Live Conference.

This unfortunately detracted from some other visitors. Yes these two also visited Nottingham today and lucky Gemma saw the Queen’s hat.

What do you mean I missed them? I came all this way to see Penny and Gemma!

While the Royals were busy doing royal stuff, the shops were very quiet, which was fab for us as we were busy doing shopping stuff.

It really doesn’t matter of course what you wear to a blogging conference, you will see it all, from tiaras to posh frocks to jeans and T shirts. Last year I saw people tweeting about their outfits, panicked and wore something I didn’t feel at home in.  So at Cybher I wore my favourite jeans and stripy top.  I felt at home. You just want to be comfy and feel yourself.

So, TK Maxx, it’s ace, its like a high class jumble sale, full of designer clothes at bargain prices. Loads of really unusual, well-made pieces at the £10-20 mark.

Our shop reminded me of wedding dress shopping, I picked up a heap of floaty dresses to indulge my inner dressing- up-mad-child, before realising I had lost all sense of what actually suits ME. In a wedding dress shop this is the point where the clever assistant points out the dress that you’ve completely overlooked, which turns out to be the one.

So I pulled out two dresses I had completely overlooked and my second trip to the dressing room was much more successful. Simple, clean lines, a quirky Owl-like pattern, sleeves, respectable neckline, very comfy and covers a multitude of sins. Most importantly I feel like ME in it.

And that I think, is the secret of what to wear isn’t it? Be YOU.

Disclosure – Outfit sponsored by TK Maxx. Thank you 🙂

Reasons to Camp Bestival

We’re getting ridiculously over excited in the Alexander Residence, about going to Camp Bestival, the festival for families. I’m feeling a bit festival rusty too. I’m not sure how it happened but somewhere along the line I fell off the festival wagon. The last time I camped at a festival was Glastonbury in 1997:

My last festival, Glastonbury 1997

As a teenager I felt like festival going was in my blood.  I had a khaki rucksack covered in band names and a grubby list on a page ripped out of my Maths’ exercise book of ‘essential festival kit’. I was very proud of going 6 years in a row, plus a few Readings.  I’d trained hard at Chester and Towersey folk  festivals with my parents:

Crying because I didn't want to leave Chester Folk Festival aged 9

A year after my last Glastonbury I met my husband, and although we still camped, festivals faded into city breaks, country cottages, a honeymoon, and kids.  But after some day trips to family festivals last year, and lots of family camping, this year it feels like the time to spread our festival wings again.

We’re doing it big style with Camp Bestival and rather appropriately, three of the bands on my old rucksack are playing: The Happy Mondays, Dodgy and The Moonflowers.

As a family we hadn’t really got past talking about seeing Mr Tumble, The Happy Mondays and Rolf Harris. So what surprised me most about the Camp Bestival line up when I had another look, was the variety of entertainment on offer.  I especially like the idea I might learn some cool stuff while I’m there, watch out for my post on Camp Besti blog previewing some really inspiring and unusual speakers.  What I like most is there’s something for all my family and our eclectic tastes in fun, like:

The Gruffalo LiveThe mouse had a nut and the nut was good.  Like the idea of hearing those lines amongst hundreds of other spellbound kids.

Ballet lessons.  Little girls seem to wear tutus and wellies to festivals, ‘tis festival law.  At Camp Bestival kids can actually put the tutus to good use, and have lessons with English National Ballet.  Miss L won’t believe her luck.

Jousting – my two favourite knights, Mr G and Mr A, are going to LOVE this.

Rolf Harris.  He’s a genius and a great leveller when it comes to adults and kids.  I met him once and he’s lovely.  His CD keeps my two quiet on long car journeys. I can’t wait to see him live (deja vu here, feels like I might have seen him in Glastonbury, memory isn’t what it used to be).

Fantastic Mr Fox the Opera.  Love the book, love the film, now I love the idea of the opera, under the trees in the Dingy Dell, with a 7 piece orchestra.

New Musical Inspiration.  I got a bit lost with music once it all went digital, and my kids arrived and I didn’t have time to think.  I like the idea of stumbling on some new stuff.

So I’m off to make my essential festival kit list, it seems not that much has changed, Babywipes are still top of my list.  I must also re-read Hello its Gemma’s guide to Camp Bestival.

So, I’m a bit rusty… what else should I pack?

Camp Bestival is 26-29 July 2012 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset.

Disclosure – We will be previewing and reviewing Camp Bestival, here and on Camp Besti Blog, in exchange for a family pass.

I need a Krona, a Krona is all I need, and a Kindur.

This morning L found an Icelandic Krona in her pocket, as 5 year olds are apt to do.  So began some tales of my adventures long ago with my good friends the girl Vikings, in the land of geysers, volcanos and hot springs.  L couldn’t quite believe Iceland was a real place.

How apt it was then, that we finished our day together, watching Kindur, the story of the adventorous life of Icelandic sheep at Lakeside Arts Centre. There’s a whole weekend of cutting edge theatre, the Luminarium and free, fun creative activities for kids, do check it out Sunday 10th June, if you’re local.

Kindur is a dance piece in which three professional performers create the story of the sheep’s journey across Iceland, with all it’s magical territory, using dance and movement.

When you arrive at Kindur the ushers kneel down to children’s level, welcome them and clip a woolly heart to their clothing. During the performance these hearts light up, signalling to different groups of children that they can come onto the stage to move, dance, jump alongside the professional dancers. Adults have hearts which light up at moments when the whole audience is invited to move or call out.  The perfomers’ and audience’s movements and sounds create different coloured patterns on the white floor and backdrop.

Higging our woolly hearts

The set is constructed out of light and projections which form the amazing Icelandic landscapes and the seasons.  L’s heart lit up at the moment the sheep had to cross a icy river and splash through the mud.  As the children jumped, the sounds of cracking ice and splashing mud could be heard while the projections showed the mud spattering through the cracked ice.  There were loads of magical landscapes to explore, such as inside a waterfall, the Northern lights and a volcano. Miss N, daughter of Amanda from The Ana Mum’s Diary was called up to explore the fire and lava.

This show really appealed to me, partly because I have some amazing Icelandic friends, they’re not really Vikings, but they are amazing, magical and fantastic fun as is their homeland. I loved the dance, there were some great movements that really perfectly captured emotions and had lots of children chortling proper great big belly laughs.

Kindur got me debating interactivity and performance. My daughter found not knowing how the turn taking to go on stage would work slightly difficult to deal with, as did some of the other younger members of the audience.  This led to her fixating on when her turn would be, rather than the performance, at points.

On one hand the turn taking was great in that it gave all the children room to fully explore dance and to experience both being a performer and an audience member. I wondered however, if taking a risk, and allowing the children on stage for longer and in bigger groups would have been interesting too. But this wouldn’t have given them the same chance to reflect and experience the show as an audience perspective.

Children’s theatre is at a really interesting place right now. Every show I see is becoming more and more interactive, as I think, are children’s expectations of their entertainment.  It was L who pointed out to me that it was our movements that were making the coloured patterns appear on the backdrop, she’s so used to ‘touch screen’ technology and that sense of control over technology.  She was certainly hungry for more control in this performance, but I wonder would that have been at the expense of appreciating it as a member of the audience?

The dance, set, lights, projections, animations and sound were amazing, and it was also really wonderful to watch the children become part of the show, the lit up hearts were beautiful. As inspiring as Iceland itself, left us with warm heart, oh and a Krona in our pocket.

Disclaimer- I am a parent blogger in residence at Lakeside Arts.  We were provided with tickets in exchange for our review.

The Medium is the Message

I’m honoured to be a Britmums Brilliance in Blogging finalist for vlogging

I probably have a different reason for wanting to win than the other finalists.  See Katy Hill is presenting the awards and actually I always wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter, so to meet a real live bonafide one would be rather brilliant. Look @byebyebirdie even made me into one a while back I went on about it so much: Continue reading

Wheee! loved it.

This afternoon we chased clouds, watched snow fall, saw a troupe of red penguins dance, worshipped the light in a rubber church, chased butterflies, giggled at some people who’d lost their heads, flew on the tail of an asteroid, met the beetlebuns, sat on the moon, lay under an orange tree, and rounded it off with tea and scones.

Not bad for the first day of the bank holiday.

If you fancy trying any of the above experiences they are part of Wheee! the Childrens’ Theatre and Dance Festival on until Sunday 10th June at Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham. Many of the shows are also touring venues in the East Midlands as part of the Jump In Festival.

Today we saw:

Nubes – Spanish for clouds, by Arcaladanza Theatre Company.  Nubes is a piece of dance inspired by the work of surrealist artist Rene Magritte.  Based on the theme of Clouds, the performance magically conjures the most irresistible floaty moments using nets of ballons, giant plastic sacks, flippers, ladders, shadow puppetry and fake snow.

It’s a while since I have seen a dance piece, here I loved the way the dance combined with props, lights and special effects.  Once I relaxed, and let my concious mind switch off a little, I tuned into the surreal world and the piece really started to work it’s magic on me. There are lots of moments that made me and the rest of my family smile, you just can’t explain, but a flipper dance, headless dancers and clouds that turn into sheep really tickle your subconscious.  Plenty to entertain all four of us here.

In Goobledegook’s Planet of the Beetlebuns children interact with images projected onto a white carpet. After a hesitant start, 3yo Mr G tore round for 30 solid minutes chasing butterflies, beetlebuns, asteroids, sitting on the moon and  jumping from planet to planet. Watching Mr G it was as if he was inside a giant video game.   He had to be reminded to watch out for little ones a couple of times, but remarkably there were only a couple of very minor collisions despite the kids tearing round with their eyes on the floor most the time.

I really need one of these installations at home, I predict them becoming the must have toy/home entertainment of the future.  Aimed at ages 18months – 4 years.

Exxopolis  – a huge inflatable sculpture half the size of a football pitch, as as tall as a three storey house and full of tunnels and light.  The kids LOVED this.  They couldn’t stop exploring. Miss L was very proud of the window I helped create.  Here’s yesterday’s video snippet I put together from the launch.

So a day full of stimulation, colour, creativity and inspiration.

We’ll be back at Wheee! next weekend to see Kindur the Icelandic Sheep, and The Book Eating Boy, theatre in a booth for one adult and one child.  If mine were older, I would definitely be checking out the extreme shadow puppetry that is Swamp Juice. There’s also lots of exciting free creative events happening on Highfields Park next weekend (9/10th June), as well as the shows themselves.

The Wheee! and Jump In productions and Exxopolis and are running throughout the half term week until Sunday 10th June 2012. White has fully sold out, do book ahead for other shows.  Exxopolis is free to children accompanied by a paying adult on Tuesday, if wearing a Jubliee themed hat (must be soft so as not to pierce the rubber!) Call the box office on 0115 846 7777 for up to date information.