How to Pond Dip

How to pond dip

Chances are your child will demand to know how to pond dip on a day when it is the last thing you have planned. Kids are like that I find. The last thing I expected to do on Mother’s Day was relearn how to pond dip, but it turned out to be the perfect activity for the most beautiful day, as I explained over on Becky’s blog A Beautiful Space. Continue reading

Golfing at The Lost City


Last week we got to try adventure golf at The Lost City in Nottingham’s Corner House. You can play either 18 or 36 holes indoors in the fabulous exotic Incas themed course. This is a great concept with appeal to a wide range of groups – families, stag and hen dos, corporate groups, couples, teens and those wanting something a bit more active to do in the city centre. They also have lots of Easter treats in store.

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A Christmas Carol – @LakesideArts Centre, Nottingham #xmascarol

cc2 Lakeside have once again triumphed with this superb retelling of Dickens A Christmas Carol, which works brilliantly for both children and grown ups. Cleverly I think the characters will also appeal to the student population too, the theatre being in the grounds of Nottingham University.  Continue reading

Pantomime – Jack and the Beanstalk: Nottingham Playhouse

Jack and the PlayhouseI will start by saying I am not a fan of pantomime, as I think it is only fair you understand where a review is coming from. It has also been a tough week at home, the storms were raging last Thursday night, we all just wanted to hibernate indoors. Would I find the magic? Continue reading

The Perfect Situation: A National Trust Dovedale Family Walk


Was you ever in Dovedale? I can assure you there are things as noble as Greece or Switzerland.

Lord Byron, of Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire.

I can’t fully explain the buzz we felt at the end of Sunday. The four of us sat on a picnic rug at the bottom of a huge hill, by the river, exhilarated, grubby and full of chocolate cake, sharing a huge sense of satisfaction after a Dovedale family walk. The perfect situation.

Dovedale in the Peak District is a place we go back to again and again. I’ve blogged about the snowy walk my Dad and I took there. I’ve also blogged about visiting Ilam and staying at the amazing caravan site. Whatever the season, the Peak District is a great place to visit as a family. Continue reading

How do you find your inner strength?

I remember being in labour with Mister G, it was late at night, things had suddenly moved fast and I was afraid. I was given a blend of essential oils containing frankincense to help me face my fear. Every time the consultant entered the room – a formidable lady who terrified me – I sniffed the oils, and felt my fear dissolve.

Sometimes we all need a bit of help locating our inner strength…

My last visit to Eden Hall Day Spa was all about finding and honouring inner strength.  I am becoming something of a regular, but I do feel very at home at Eden Hall. Continue reading

Win a trip to Go Ape USA!

Go Ape!

One thing still on my list of ‘adventures to have with my family’, is to swing and soar through the trees with Go Ape.  We had a sneaky peek at Go Ape when we visited Sherwood Pines in Nottingham recently. Go Ape Tree Top Adventures are for ages 10 plus, so we have a few years to wait. But, Go Ape also offer a Tree Top Junior Experience for 6 years plus, so children can explore the outdoors through specially designed adventure trails. Continue reading

Nottingham Playhouse – backstage video tour

We were really excited to be invited to take a backstage tour of Nottingham Playhouse. Having studied Drama I was excited to see the set up, but for L and G and all many of the other children there, it was their very first glimpse back stage. I did wonder if going backstage would spoil the magic, but quite the opposite, I think it added to the buzz we all felt that evening!

The Playhouse is celebrating its 50th year this year, it is a producing house, meaning that it makes lots of it’s own theatre rather than just taking touring shows. It was fascinating to go backstage and see where it all happens, stage, props, set and costumes. We even managed to say a quick hello to some of the cast and crew involved in Grandpa in my Pocket.

I took my video camera so you can sneak a look too….

Grandpa in My Pocket is at Nottingham Playhouse until 31st May 2013, then touring the UK via Swindon,  Crewe, Wolverhampton, Croydon, Cardiff, Cornwall, Hastings, Bradford,
Dartford, Exeter, Oxford, Wycombe, Rhyl, Richmond, Brighton!

For more tour info check here.

This is a really bright, sunny adaptation, guaranteed to lift your mood in a wet half term. It has a very strong cast, beautiful set, bold lighting, colourful costume, moving and magical puppetry and a playful approach to storytelling. It also had a pirate theme which always goes down well in our house.


Grandpa in my Pocket, Nottingham Playhouse.

Grandpa in My Pocket was produced here in Nottingham and tours the UK. So what did the audience make of it?

Grandpa in My Pocket is at Nottingham Playhouse until 31st May 2013, then touring the UK via Swindon,  Crewe, Wolverhampton, Croydon, Cardiff, Cornwall, Hastings, Bradford,
Dartford, Exeter, Oxford, Wycombe, Rhyl, Richmond, Brighton!

For more tour info check here

Two little Vikings went out hiking…

An utterly magical day out at Sherwood Pines, Nottingham’s Forestry Commission site, with the Vikings and Saxons of the Regia Anglorum who create living history encampments around the UK and Conroi de Vey the Nottingham branch of Regia Anglorum.

I’ve seen a few living history groups in action, but I have never seen one get children so involved, or be so keen, not just to re-enact fights, but to talk about everything from food, to medicine, to coins, to needles, to burials. In fact while the battle was taking place, my two were busy learning how to make bread and grilling those left in camp for clues as to the missing silver cup.

All children got a sheet with details of the crime and suspects and were encouraged to quiz the camp residents. It was great fun and really helped to get everyone talking and learning quite effortlessly.

Of course the forest is a perfect setting, given that a Viking roadway, or the’ Dark Age M1′ was recently discovered in Nottingham forest. I thought it was a really moving reminder of the history of our land, the narration that accompanied the battle really drew this out.

I was torn away by the kids to the walkways in the forest to play in, the den building area and the cafe. I will have to go back for a quiet contemplation of the Saxons and Vikings part in history. I love forests!

I am joining the Where I Live linky over at The American Resident, click the button to travel there!

The American Resident

New Beauty Department opening at John Lewis Nottingham

Beauty Departments can be so intimidating right?

John Lewis just opened a new beauty department which I think has gone a long way to changing that.  The space feels lighter, the displays are more tactile and, well rounded.  It is a space that makes you want to float round, instead of fearing what might lurk round the corner. The counters are much more open plan and display orientated, making it easier for you to try products and for staff to come out front and mingle in a relaxed manner with customers.

My favourite additions are the Bobbi Brown and Benefit counters. Continue reading