Time to take a bath…

I never want to sit in a puddle of time wondering where it all went.

At home, we’ve got a huge bath and it takes an age to fill, but it also has a slightly dodgy plug which allows the water to slowly ebb away. It’s not noticeable straight away when you’re sitting in it. It’s one of those jobs we’ll ‘get round to’.

But, last week, as I sat in my bath I realised, without me noticing, the water was a puddle around me – it struck a chord. How like time it is. How like the sudden realisation we’re half way through our bath and time is trickling away.

It was Arthur’s fourth birthday earlier this month and so many people said, as we all do: “Where did the time go?” “It doesn’t five minutes ago he was a baby”. So much is dictated by time. Do we have enough, have we used it wisely. It’s the one sure thing we can do little about.

Time will never stand still or offer respite from its tireless journey. We need to beat it at its own game. Embrace time and never allow that final puddle to be a surprise. The one sure thing it’s we all have a finite amount, a time when time says ‘time up’ and all those faded clichés become your truth.

So for me and my boy, I’m going to embrace the clichés, grab each moment as best I can. Sometimes I won’t be able to, sometimes I’ll forget but time is the only thing I can’t control, it’s also the only thing of which I’m sure.

Time will end, so I’m going to make it one hell of a bubble bath.

Mama and More

Thank you NHS

chrimbo5I kept meaning to write this post but time seemed to pass so quickly. But I told myself I wanted to say a thank you and I needed to find the time.

On his fourth birthday Arthur ended up in hospital with a raging temperature and difficulty breathing. Diagnosed with croup and a bronchial tract infection he was home within the day. What amazed me was the service we received.

From the moment I anxiously picked up the phone to call 111- filled with scepticism it has to be said, to the moment we left the hospital. I was left with no doubt that he was getting what he needed.Thankfully I’ve never had to spend much time with a sick child in hospital but I do know it was a scary out of control, feeling. I only glimpsed this for a few hours.

I wanted to put down in words how grateful I feel to live somewhere that gave me peace of mind within hours. Somewhere I didn’t have to worry about affording to make sure my boy was ok. Somewhere where his welfare was immediately the most important thing for the doctors and nurses.

i called 111 around 10.30pm after a horrible few hours. The operator talked calmly and clearly to me. Within moments I was speaking to a nurse and less that 20 minutes later I had a first response vehicle at my door.

After a quick assessment they decided he needed to go to hosital and far quicker than  I ever imagined, he was whisked away by ambulance with daddy, while I drive frantically behind. ( Jonathan had had a couple of beers ).

We arrived in A and E on a busy Saturday night surrounded by the walking wounded, the paralytic and the somewhat strange that emerge in the small hours. Arthur was scared but they took him straight to a side room and made him, and us, calm.

It was a long few hours but who cares-the nurse and the doctor dealing with him were wonderful and ridiculously busy. I know it’s not everybody’s experience of the NHS. But it was ours and it was fantastic and next time I moan about paying my tax I’ll stop, take a moment and be thankful that my boy lives here.

Amazona Zoo – a little bit of South America in Norfolk!

On a bright and breezy Friday morning I took Arthur and his buddy, Leo, on a South American adventure. My budget didn’t quite stretch to the real thing but wow, we enjoyed a lovely day at Amazona Zoo. A small zoo in Cromer which focuses on animals from across South America.

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It was very quiet on the day we went but that suited us fine as the boys could run around and discover without worrying about them causing too much mayhem!

The first glorious animal we came across were the beautiful Jaguars. Stunning and the boys loved watching the ‘big giant cats’.They both stood, enthralled as the Jaguars prowled around the enclosure.

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Next up it was the parrots, their colourful plumes really are amazing and the boys loved them as they are exactly like the characters in Rio, the movie!

The zoo has easy, buggy accessible paths throughout, each path having it’s own foot prints to follow – a lovely touch. The children’s playground has recently been upgraded and now has two amazing bouncy pillows. They are such fun and I have to say I was wholly disappointed the age limit was six! It was a little chilly but they boys bounced around for ages and I can imagine in the summer these will be a real crowd pleaser.

Last time we came along I was fascinated by the Mara which wandered ( or hopped, I’m still not sure!) around the open spaces. I was pleased to see this magic little creature again. It’s something I’ve never seen at another zoo and I love the fact he or she was out, lounging in the winter sun and paying not the least bit of interest to us.zoomara

We wandered past the bright pink Flamingoes and both boys spent ages trying desperately to stand on one leg – with varied success!

Next up were by far the favourite animals of the day – the Capuchin Tufted Monkies. After naming them Freddy and Freddy Sweet Treat, Arthur and Leo were literally mesmerised. Watching them climb and swing and generally monkey around!

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In the inside enclosure we discovered lizards and Caimans and, perched on top, the guinea pigs! But don’t worry, they have a brand new home built for them outside but it was a little cold for them just yet. In summer I suspect we’ll see them scurrying around outside in their custom build homes.

After a good wander around we spent some time in Jungle Tots. A great little soft play area perfect for rainy moments or just a change of scenery. It was clean, bright and perfect for pre- schoolers of all ages, from tiny toddlers to my slightly raucous four-year-olds. Arthur and Leo especially loved the huge blower and the slide – a great addition to Amazona.

You can also pick up snacks and lunch at the Lakeside Cafe – on a warm day it would be fantastic to sit outside, we did this last year and it was lovely.

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We had a lovely day and I would highly recommend this as a great day out. Smaller than most zoos it has a lovely family feel. It works for all ages, is easy to walk round and to top it off, very importantly for children, it has large and very clean loos which are never far away!

*If you fancy taking a trip then don’t forget mums go free on Mothers Day.