The National Trust 50 Things challenge


We’ve been taking on huge 50 Things to do before you’re 11 3/4 challenge from The National Trust. What a wonderful way to explore the world for little or no money!

So far we’ve made dens, played grass trumpets, and as you can see, picked and eaten fruit straight from trees. We’ve got loads more to do but I think we’re enjoying it as much as Arthur!

BeWILDerwood, Boggles and amazing mazes!

We never get bored of BeWILDerwood.

A magical adventure playground of epic proportions tucked away in the North Norfolk countryside – it’s the very best place to let your children’s imaginations run wild.


a href=””>Creator, Tom Blofeld, in the Sky Maze. Creator, Tom Blofeld, in the Sky Maze.

This time we went when the new Sky Maze had opened and what a wonderful addition! Set high in the treetops, this massive and hugely impressive wooden design reaches over 8 metres high and weaves through the natural landscape. It’s a puzzle in a puzzle and Arthur and his daddy spent ages getting lost and found and discovering new ways of getting across the walkways and canopies.

We went in August, during the height of the summer holidays and despite there being plenty of cars it still managed to never feel full or over crowded, such is the lay out of this wonderful place.

We had the wonderful boat trip from the entrance in one of the lovely coloured boats and met Mildred the Croc, who spurts water at unsuspecting, or in our case suspecting and excited, guests.

Arthur and his friend Isabel loved the story telling and we listened to all three. The staff, all quite young, do an amazing job of bringing the children into this magical world, with dancing and costumes and instruments. This time we all took part in Pippy’s Peculiar Costume Cavalcade – What a fab idea! We all marched around the new path which weaves up neat the Sy Maze, and met the Parasquawk.

Just a glorious day filled with stories, imagination, fun and crazy creatures – who doesn’t want to peer through the trees and fing a Twiggle house?!

It’s not just somewhere for summer either. Some of my best BeWILDerwood adventures have been at Halloween and their wonderful bonfire themes fun. Just go, take the children and let the magic take over!

The whole world in a gym

I’ve just been to the gym. A fairly inoccuous way to spend a morning one would think.

The wearing of trainers, a touch of lycra and the obligatory water bottle I found lurking in my bag from…well possibly too long ago. So, off I went, full of hope and on a mission to sweat myself into shape. What I soon realised when I stepped into the gym is that it is a mirocosm housed within glass. A social commentary of life as we know it – with a few bar bells and unfathomable machines of torture thrown in.

I plugged my headphones in – more than a little excited I could watch Eastenders while trotting along. But soon it becaome clear this was the place to watch mother nature in action. To my left a group of eager boys tight with muscles and enthusiam were like bees to honey around a young woman desperately trying to lift weights.

Her vocal workout was, to be fair, as strong as her lifting technique with yelps, breathless cries and deep breathing all serving to build a frenzied moment, relieved only by the elderly lady struggling on the nearby treadmill. She was here with her husband – I think it was her husband. Gripping their little workout sheets to avoid going ‘off piste’. I had totally forgotten to fetch my sheet from the appropriate drawer which meant I randomly mounted pieces of equipment in the hope it would do what Hannah, the lovely instructor, had planned for me to do.

The hardcore peacocks were in the corner willing each other to lift heavier and heavier weights while their blood vessels pulsated in protestation. Eventually someone lifted something close to the holy grail and there were grunts and claps and I felt a wave of testosterone hit me straight between the eyes.

In my corner were those less inclined to grunt and more inclined to hide away in baggy clothes, cycling in silence. Or like me, trotting along on a treadmill all to aware of my bum writhing up and down in the mirror. One lady had some kind of canvas combat trousers on and a hoodie. Maybe she was hoping the excess clothing would help with weight loss – either way she looked in pain but she and we, all knew those extra clothes weren’t coming off.

All in all it was a little stroll (with some light inclined cycling) through life’s gym goers. Those of us desperate to be invisible and those desperate to be seen. We all came together in one glorious mash up of gym ettiquette. I quite enjoyed it – I’m going again soon and who knows, I might even grunt a little.

Brilliant blog posts on

Andrew Barton Ultimate Blondes

The last couple of weeks I’ve been testing out the new Andrew Barton Ultimate Blonde brightening and rehydrating shampoo and conditioner for blondes.

Asda has been stocking the Andrew Barton range for a while and I’ve always been a fan so I was just a little chuffed when they bought out a range for blondes – especially as my roots could do with a little brightening!

Packed with camomile and Arjan oil the shampoo smells delicious and natural and is a bargain with a 400ml bottle coming in at just £3.90. The conditioner is equally as delicious and feels light weight. My hair feels soft and like it’s had an injection of moisture which is perfect during the summer months and the colour is definitely brighter.

It doesn’t take much shampoo to get a good lather which means the bottle will last a good while and as I blow dried my hair I kept getting waves of a delicious summer smell – it was my hair!

A lovely set of products which give you quality without the price tag.

Lollibop, the perfect festival for small people.

Lollibop, Lollibop oooh, Lollilollibop…

Sometimes only a song will do and this weekend at the fab Lollibop Festival, this is exactly what we were singing as we left, tired, and very very happy.

I’ve been to Lollibop before and had a great time but last year I know there were a few niggles about it becoming over- commercial. I suspect these fears for everyone were allayed this year. In it’s new home, Hatfield House, the festival had a relaxed and happy vibe from the moment we arrived. The grounds are huge and the set up means you could wander easily around and take in the atmosphere.

We drove and parking was easy and plentiful, there were loos as soon as we arrived and for me, that’s always a good sign! There are loads all through the festival with easy changing stations and drinking water too – just making a day out with small people so much easier.


There were queues for the Lollipalladium so we wandered around and enjoyed all the other stuff first. Fantastic impromptu magic shows, the fantastic Titan the robot and face painting galore!

Arthur absolutely loved the street dancing classes and we spent ages getting our groove on, the dancers was fab with the children and we spent a good hour in there. We wandered around the Harry Potter Wizard School and planted magic beans and made wands.

Arthur was chuffed with his Beano magazine and, along with his little friend, spent ages in the lego tent. We also caught Michella Strachen reading from her book and she kept us entertained for ages, a really great story-teller and Lollibooks was a wonderful addition this year.


It worked for everyone, from Charlie at just a couple of months old, through to his mummy and me who find it hard to resist a comedy dress-up moment! loll5


To be honest there was so much to see and do we didn’t manage to get back to watch any of the shows but our day didn’t suffer for it. We did watch some of the acts on the main stage and Arthur loved Lazy Town and Mr Maker and it was so easy – you could watch easily from way back and there were huge screens for extra effect.


A brilliant festival vibe with little people at it’s heart. I can’t wait for next year but there’s still time to pop along tomorrow – it’s absolutely worth it.

Crazy toddler question time

What Arthur said

A while ago I wrote a post about the funny things Arthur says – it seems, at the ripe old age of three these little gems keep on coming so – chapter two of ‘what Arthur said’.

Me: “How did you hurt you hip Arthur?”
Arthur: “ Playing golf last week.” He’s never played golf…unless he’s sneaked out for the odd round when I was asleep.

Me: “What do you want for tea?”
Arthur: “None of your horrible stuff and no pasta – it’s horribler than your horrible stuff.”

While sitting in the park a man with lots of facial piercings and tattoos walked by and smiled.
“Mummy, that man is all decorated like a big cake and his face has been nailed.”

Me: Do you need a wee? Arthur: “No I did one on daddy’s head”

We’re all familiar with the relentless questions, some of which I can answer, many leave me floundering and laughing in equal measures.
A selection of my favourites:
“Mummy, what is dead?” What followed was a fumbling explanation I won’t bore you with. His retort: “So are you dead then?”

Does Father Christmas get lonely in hot weather?

Where does chicken come from, does it come from cows?

“Is the moon the sun’s shiny shadow?

Just a little selection of my favourite I’ve remembered to record…I fear there are many more to come. Love you Arts!