Tag Archives: Summer Holidays

Holiday Plans

Holiday Plans.

The summer holidays are looming on the near horizon and I’m frankly bricking it.  Six weeks is a long time to fill and my kids are active little munchkins.  In addition to this I can’t drive so getting places for days out is a nightmare, or at least a huge challenge which usually involves a massive rucksack, public transport and a lot of patience. Hey ho, at least we have a week away to look forward to.

I wrote a post a while ago about how difficult it is to find a sensibly priced holiday for a family over the summer break, and after a lot of umming and aahing, we have decided to borrow my husband’s, gran’s caravan for a week.  It is actually in quite a local location so we won’t have to travel so far and there’s a playground there and a river for them to play in if the weather is good enough.  I can’t wait!  I just hope against hope that it doesn’t rain.  I know rain is necessary for plants to grow, that it fills reservoirs and that it sounds quite nice pattering on a caravan roof…..but it’s wet, that’s the huge drawback.  Soggy coats, muddy shoes and cabin fever is not pleasant.  Anyway, I’m hoping for a heatwave – ever the optimist!

I'm hoping for lazy days by the river, fishing for tiddlers and finding water worn fossils.

I’m hoping for lazy days by the river, fishing for tiddlers and finding water worn fossils.

We’d consider camping, but after a particularly disastrous week’s holiday in Scotland a few years ago, I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than go under canvas again.  I have vivid memories of packing and going home early, the highlight of which was lying flat on my face like a steam rollered starfish, desperately trying to brush away the torrents of rainwater running all over the tent which made it incredibly heavy and impossible to pack up.  This is whilst the wind howled and the rain persisted it down – to put it politely.  I wasn’t polite at the time, I think I was probably swearing.  Bad mum.

Typical camping garb and weather.  Never, ever, ever again!

Typical camping garb and weather. Never, ever, ever again!

So, back to what I was saying, a caravan, in the sunshine, by a river, that’ll do nicely fank oo!  I’d love to go on one of these Center Parc breaks, or maybe one of those working farm holidays, but I’d have to go rob a bank or compare credit cards with a richer friend than me and see if they have more credit spare, and then smile sweetly at them and ask for their pin number.  Not gonna happen, I suspect that wouldn’t make me very popular with my friends either.  I have actually considered trading in ye olde bank debit card and looking for the best reward credit card so we could afford a little more, that would give us more spare cash, but I think we’ll just have a cosy holiday in a caravan instead and make do with what we have.  Who needs a working farm holiday when the kids bring in ‘cute earwigs’ and slugs on their shoes, I suspect we’ll have all the animals and wildlife we can cope with anyway.

A particularly fine example of a caravan made the kids.  Thankfully we will be staying in a slightly larger version of this.

A particularly fine example of a caravan made the kids. Thankfully we will be staying in a slightly larger version of this.

So there we have it, a conclusion to the ‘Where the hell are we going to take the kids this year?’ conundrum.  The thing is, we could spend a fortune and still have a crappy time or vice versa.  It’s about making the best of it.  As long we can laugh (maybe half hysterically) at the weather, go for days out, spend quality time together, it’ll be fun.   Yay for making happy summer holiday memories. :O)

 

I Hate Choosing Blog Post Titles.

I Hate Choosing Blog Post Titles.

(and an update on the Penguins!)

I just do, so today I’m skiving.  Today’s blog post title is a cop out.  So….

The summer hols are ending, Darlek is back in school already and Sausage starts his first term at primary school next wednesday.  All I can say is ‘Phew!’.  I love my kids, I really, really do – but I need some space and some semblance of routine in my life.  There’s no doubt about it, I’ll miss them, but any more than 6 weeks of hols and I’d be sectioned.

Over the last six weeks I’ve tried very hard to do my best for my two little monkeys, we’ve been to Brockholes in the Lake District, went out and got soaked in a rowing boat in a rainstorm and Darlek went in one of those strange massive see through bubbles that bob around on the surface of a big pool.  No I’m not going nuts, basically they’re like hamster balls for kids that go on water, google them if you like.  She loved it and scrambled around and giggled lots.  Sausage stood at the side in absolute amazement and refused to get in one, which was a blessing in disguise really as it was a fiver a go.  It was a lovely day out , we all cheated at Crazy Golf and both kids went AWOL at the adventure playground.  I’d definitely recommend the place and no, this is not a sponsored post thingy either.

We also went to Wavelengths which is a swimming pool near us with a wave pool, slides and tiny waterfalls, very pretty!  Sis and I decided to go and take her nephews and my two.  In typical Kay fashion, I arrived only to discover I’d forgotten half of my two piece swimming costume.  Rather than go topless and be arrested for looking like a minger, I sat at the side and read the only bit of literature I could find.  I got half way through some indepth leaflet about the state of British Breweries and Camra beers brewed by big hairy blokes in Scotland or summat, and then fell asleep on the plastic table in front of me.  Sis had to cope with all the kids on her own and was an  star.  I felt an absolute idiot.  It didn’t help that even before setting off I was completely unable to find my wallet and she had to pay for me and my brood.  Some days eh!

What else have we done?  You know, it’s quite scary, I can barely remember.  The last six weeks have just gone whoosh and my head is now full of school uniforms, school runs, pending judo lessons, labelling coats and soggy school runs.  I guess I’m looking forwards rather than backwards, which is good as I’ve not had a great time of it recently.  In fact you could say I’ve had a bigger wobbly do than ever before.  Due to the pressures of renovating the house over the road, not sleeping, colitis, finding a job, being made redundant, active kids, a close family bereavement, I’ve just nose-dived. But, I feel happier now.  Which is nice. How many times have I come out with that old chestnut!

I do have some great news though! The penguin project has been so delayed due to everything, but the vlog will hopefully be done next week when the kids are in school and I have time.  If it kills me I will film the damn thing!  If the penguins don’t eat me first that is, we’re running short on tins of tuna you see….

Here’s a ‘teaser’ photograph of the penguin vlog. Half of it has been done, just the other half to do now. The divas amongst them have demanded their very own private caravans and sparkling salmon champagne.  I think some of them are a little star struck myself….

And…….this is the really good bit……Parcels 4 Delivery are seriously considering PostPals as their nominated charity for November and December along with my Penguin Project.  That means after I’ve done this PenguinAmnesty vlog, the campaign can continue, although in a different format (still to iron out the details).  How good is that!  Obviously this isn’t absolutely for definite yet, but it’s looking very very hopeful.  Call me a do-gooder if you like, but it’s nice to do something constructive and Post Pals are such a lovely charity.

Here’s a little video about what Post Pals do.   It’s easy to sit and watch these sort of videos and feel helpless, you might think, what can I possibly do to help these poor kids who go through so much hardship in their short lives?  Surely it’s hopeless?  Personally I know we all struggle to pay for our own kid’s Christmas presents, birthday presents, school uniforms and what not.  But, I say ‘Bogey-pants!’ to inaction (my son says that phrase all the time and it make me laugh). We can cheer them up simply by sending post,  it can literally cost the price of a stamp.  Little acts of kindness can make all the difference.

I have a number of much delayed reviews pending, one for the blummin’ brilliant BaloonBaboon, Orchard Toys, Vapestick and others.  I also still have some penguins to add to the gallery, InkyPrints that means you! (not forgotten!) I guess there’s marvellous mummy bloggers, businessy mumpreneurs, yummy mummy glammy bloggers and then there’s moi – a bumbling mumsy blogger. Huge apologies to anyone who is sat tapping their toes thinking they’ve just sent a load of merchandise to a hypercondriac with a penguin obsession.  Nope, not quite.  I’ve just bumbled a lot over the summer hols, have taken too much on and my colitis has quite literally been a huge pain in the arse.  But, with my youngest starting school I can finally see everything getting back to normal and I shall return to my bloggin’ tweetin’ writin’ reading’ social networkin’ self. I can’t wait!

Riding a Bike

Riding a Bike

I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without blogging, I’m wondering if I can still string a sentence together to be honest. Well that’s one sentence down and I’m still here so I guess I still have the knack.  Now, that’s two. Now that’s three.  You catch my drift.  I’ll stop it now.

So! Anyway, I’m still mucking about on the keyboard.  vjdagbhjagbrhabv  See, just like that.  They say lots of things are ‘like riding a bike’ and I’m hoping that blogging is like that too, although less energetic and without all the sweating and silly tight shorts.  I guess I’m back on the bike now, one foot poised on a pedal, the other balancing me on the gravel – holding the handlebars tightly, nudging the brake with my thumb.  Ready…..Steady….Go!

I’ve raced through the summer hols one way or another.  The days seem to have blurred past me for sure. Both kids have been equal parts angels and demons, and I’ve had more than my fair share of chocolate milk on the carpet and honey on the sofa, but I guess that’s just how it goes.  They’ve also made biscuits, gone on bike rides, watched too much telly, been cute and refused to tidy their bedrooms.  Same old, same old.

As for me I suspect I’ve been a walking nightmare.  My steroids have made me a right miserable git, as opposed to the usual bundle of energy that I usually turn into. Ah well.  Hopefully I’ll get off them soon, and in the meantime it’s a great excuse to eat too much and blame the chipmunk cheeks on the medication rather than too many pieces of cake.  Thanks so much for all your lovely supportive messages on my ‘Arse’ post, they meant more than you know. T’is true!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  There’s loads of kisses for you all.  I’ve gone all over-affectionate now.  *blushes bright red*

News from the Brink of Bedlam household. Erm…..(scratches head).  Sausage has decided to shout ‘Bogies!’ all the time, at the telly, at me, at his toys.  It is officially an adjective at this house, eg ‘Bogey-pants!’ ‘Bogey-head!’ to name a few.  Everything has gone rather ‘Bogeyesque’.  I suppose I should be pleased he is using the english language in a creative way, but it just winds me up something chronic.

Darlek is refusing to wear anything remotely feminine and turns her nose up at anything pink, frilly or with kittens on and is embracing the tomboy image, which I can’t say I mind too much.  A recent trip to Tesco led to the acquisition of three boys T’shirts that have Mario on and other boyish icons that I can’t bring to mind (Moshi Monsters or summat), and a pair of jungle army camouflauge style pants. If anyone would like to tell me how to spell ‘camoflauge’ I’d greatly appreciate it.  I’ve messed around with the spell check and the red line obstinately refuses to go away.

Horace has broken the puter in the front room, so we can no longer record telly or play Spotify, which is nice.  I have the decomposing corpse of the puter lying in the corner of the room.  I almost feel sorry for it with all its wires and innards lying there open to the elements.  Horace keeps prodding it with a screwdriver, but it doesn’t seem to help much.  I swear I can hear it whimpering every now and then.  It had a terminal virus apparently.  We should probably have a puter funeral.

Well, that’s enough posting/riding the bike for now.  I still have the penguin project pending, it’s been so delayed and I’m so sorry.  I’ve just felt utterly incapable of doing anything apart from feeding, cleaning, exercising the kids and hoovering very occasionally.  The goddam black dog has been a proper nuisance.  He will be found a new home shortly.

Reet, I’m off to bed.  The kids will no doubt wake early and demand breakfast and CBeebies at some stupid hour, so self preservation tells me to shurrup and go sleep.  Good night and wishing you all health, happiness and above all sanity throughout the remainder of the summer holidays.  If you could wish me the same in return I’ll be very grateful. ;O)

A Drizzly Day Out at Cliff Castle!

A Drizzly Day Out at Cliffe Castle!

This is going to be a quick blog full of photos because my poor ikkle fingers are too tired for typing and my brain is giving up on me.   ‘Flibble.’  There’s the proof.

Today the kids and I went for a day out to Cliffe Castle in Keighley.  I have to say it was an ‘interesting’ day out.  If I look at it from one angle, it was lovely.  Quality time with the kids, running around in the castle grounds with flowers everywhere, looking at cute bunnies and guineapigs in their enclosure, ice-creams and laughs.

A field full of wild flowers!

Humungous Bunnies and Squeaky Guinea-pigs!

Looking at the trip from another angle – we spent rather a lot of time in the loos dealing with awful, sometimes very smelly, accidents – why, oh why will my son not be toilet trained!  Sausage refused to put his coat on and when I tried to make him put it on, he hit me several times with the stick he was carrying (which was nice).  It rained intermittently and I had the headache from hell for a while.  I have resolved to A) Toilet train Sausage NOW, B) Ban all sticks, C) Carry paracetamol at all times and D) Adhere to points AB & C or risk admittance to the funny farm by the end of the summer hols.

I have no idea about the names of these plants, but they carpeted some of the flower beds and looked so pretty!

But at least we were out!  I don’t want to get to the end of the summer hols and feel like we’ve wasted the time.  Even if it was pretty stressful every now and then, we were out of the house and doing something interesting and different.  I think Darlek learnt a bit about bees (they have a bee-hive there you can see into), and about history.  Sausage learnt that if he hits the rabbit enclosure railings too much mummy yells at him.  I learnt that I need to take more pairs of pants for Sausage out with me or suffer the consequences.

The see through bee hive! I thought the reflections looked amazing with the bee backdrop.

A lion hide preserved at the museum. Looked like it would still bite given half a chance.

Darlek was an absolute angel in comparison.  If I didn’t have her to back me up sometimes I think I’d go mad.  Often I’ll end up in stupid yelling matches with Sausage – yes I know that’s not an ideal parenting method -and she’ll just calmly go up to him and persuade him to give up his daft, ‘I will not move’ or ‘I’m just going to stand here and wet myself’ campaign by cuddling him or making him laugh.  My daughter has a knack that I do not have I think.  I should learn from her example I think.  Six years old and she’s already got so much sussed about life. I have a lump in my throat now.

A velcro nature scene, the kids could stick the bees and other animals on the scene wherever they liked. Brilliantly tactile!

Anyway! They had an an ‘Ancient Wisdom’ (2nd July to the 5th September) activity thing set up in the main hall which was perfect for kids.  Lots of interactive displays describing about how the Egyptians developed the use of keys and locks, about how the screw principle can be used for drainage, how aquaducts are made and many more topics were covered too.  Sausage and Darlek loved it and threw themselves into the activities.   I suspect Sausage was a bit puzzled though, at one point he looked up at me and said ‘What is this place, I don’t know what it is?’.  I think he expected a castle with ramparts and stone staircases etc.  To be honest, I’ve never really understood this either, it’s called a ‘Castle’ but is most definitely a museum. (entrance is free by the way if anyone is thinking of going)  and if you’d like info on the place, please click HERE.  (this is not a sponsored post by the way)

An example of two of the stuffed birds they have in their display cabinets. Just imagine the skill that went into preserving them and presenting them in such a life-like manner!

This was only one part of a huge embroidered vista of life from the beginning to the current day. Really amazingly detailed!

Here’s a few pictures of the day’s activities.  It’s funny how much nicer and calmer it all looks in retrospective!  It was actually fun when I think about it.  I think I’m just too tired to think about it too much.  In fact I may fall asleep before I finish posting this.  Maybe I’ll just curl up in this chair and…..

So, a drowsy conclusion.  I don’t think I’m cut out for this parenting marlarkey sometimes, but I’m/we’re in it for the long haul.  I reckon the summer hols are a challenge for most mums so I’m not on my own I hope in feeling a bit over-wrought with it all.   I tried my best, there’s not much more I can do.  I hope my little trouble bubbles enjoyed the day out, despite the occassional bit of bickering.

A sunny Sunflower in the gardens!

I bought Darlek a ring at the gift shop, a beautiful little silver coloured ring shaped like a flower with what I think is called a Moodstone (probably a completely different official name) in the centre of it.  She said she will keep it forever and ever because she loves it so much.  We agreed that it would always remind her of her day out at Cliffe Castle and I said that I hoped that every time she looked at it, she’d remember that I bought it for her because I love her so much.  Is that a silly sentimental thing to say?  Probably, ah well.