The Isle of Wight Island Line

Island Line Isle of Wight Hovercraft Ryde Pier

Real life has got a bit in the way of writing about our trip to the Isle of Wight last month, but there's still plenty more to share with you. My inner train geek has wanted to go to the Isle of Wight for years for the simple reason of wanting to take a trip on the Island Line. Many people may not realise that the Isle of Wight has its own little railway, but it does. Running from Ryde Pier Head (where you connect with the ferry to Portsmouth Harbour) the route is just 8 and a half miles from there to Shanklin, but the route itself isn't the most exciting bit about this particular train ... read more

A Day at the Needles and Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

A Day at The Needles and Alum Bay Isle of Wight

When you think of the Isle of Wight, the Needles, the Lighthouse and neighbouring Alum Bay with its colourful sands have to be some of the island's most iconic images. I vaguely remember going on a boat trip around the lighthouse when I was there on a school trip when I was about 8 and I knew it was somewhere that we had to visit again when holidaying on the island as a family. The Needles are right at the far west tip of the Isle of Wight and when you're on the island you always seem to be seeing adverts featuring the Needles themselves, the famous lighthouse and also the cable cars that ... read more

A Hungry Lion – Lucy Ruth Cummins

A Hungry Lion

It's fair to say that we read a lot of books in this house. Whilst Little Miss C is now obsessed with reading herself, Master C still loves nothing more than curling up in an evening with a pile of picture books - and I'm pretty sure that's not just as an excuse to delay bedtime by 30 minutes or so. Some kids books can be a tad predictable and when I first picked up A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals I wondered if that was going to be the case here. Surely it was just going to be a cut and dry case of the hungry lion being the culprit and Miss Marple wouldn't even need to ... read more

Challenging myself to Swim the Distance

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Swim the Distance

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that one of my least favourite times of the week is taking my kids to their weekly swimming lesson. I've always considered swimming a life skill and it's also something that both of them enjoy, but boy, the whole getting them out of the pool, showered and dressed again in a cramped changing cubicle thing can drive me mad! Especially as all three of us are tired and hungry at that point. To make the whole thing somewhat more bearable though I've started using the time that they're in their lessons to try to improve my swimming and have a bit of me ... read more

Catching up with all things crochet

Attic 24 Ripple Blanket taken camping

I've been a tad rubbish this year writing about all things crafty. That's partly because I just haven't had much time to be crafty this year, but also because when I have had the time I've been actually crafting instead. Instagram has also become my go to place for tracking my progress with big projects, and that's exactly what I'm doing with the second Spice of Life blanket that I'm currently working on. I've just found that when you're working on something that takes weeks or months a series of blog posts as you go isn't always the most riveting read. Crochet and a cuppa with good ... read more

The world’s only commercial hovercraft service

Isle of Wight Hovercraft

Whilst the kids may have thought the ferry over to the Isle of Wight one of the most exciting parts of our week long holiday there there's actually another way that I want to get to the island the next time we go - hovercraft. The Isle of Wight is home to the world's only remaining commercial hovercraft service which takes passengers between Southsea in Portsmouth and Ryde on the Island. I'd read about this route before we went, but I have to admit that it wasn't until we were in Ryde and found ourselves next to the Hovertravel terminal that I got really excited about it as a mode of ... read more

Our first family camping experience

First Camping Trip Playground

One thing I've learnt from seasoned camping friends is to do a trial run before a first camping holiday. Something local where you get to test out your tent and other camping equipment and also make sure that the kids don't totally hate the whole concept of camping. With a proper camping holiday planned for part of May half term I figured that we needed something before that so St George's day was booked in as the perfect opportunity for us to have a trial run. Mr C and I have both camped before, but not for years and we don't think we've ever camped together. It was also going to be the ... read more

Camping – nearly all the gear and absolutely no idea

Camping Kit Table

I'm sat here writing this on the eve of our very first family camping trip. We're planning to go away in Spring Bank week (end of May) but in an attempt to be really organised when I joined the Camping and Caravanning Club (which lots of seasoned camping friends recommended we do) I also found out where our nearest site was and booked us in for one night. And that night is tomorrow! Argh!!!!! The logic was that I wanted a practice run before our first proper camping holiday. It'll be the first time the kids have ever camped, and the first time we've used our new tent, so we figured that if ... read more

Crossing the Solent to the Isle of Wight

Wight link Isle of Wight Ferry

In case you didn't gather before, I was pretty excited about our recently family trip to the Isle of Wight. Not only was I generally looking forward to going there and seeing if the island was as nice as I remembered from a school trip all those years ago, but I was also hugely looking forward to the ferry trip over and the kids' first time on a ferry. I'm not totally sure what the kids expected a ferry to be like, but we'd talked to them a fair bit about what would happen and how we would take our car on to the boat. Master C did keep getting a bit confused and thought we were travelling ... read more

Growing brains with Education Quizzes

Education Quizzes

Before becoming a parent I have to admit that I'd not really thought about education for my kids much. That kind of happened at school and I didn't need to think about it much. Now that I am a parent though I realise that education is much more of a life long thing and what you do at home works so much along side what your children do and learn at school. The two really need to work in harmony and that's where a site like Education Quizzes works so well. Designed for all children, the primary aim of Education Quizzes is to help children be successful at school. The quizzes are all written ... read more