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

Have tent, will camp

Vango Edoras 600XL family tent

It seems like a lifetime ago that I blogged all about how we were on a quest to buy a tent and become campers. So much has happened since then that it seemed like it was time for a little update. I'm delighted to say that we are now the very proud owners of a family tent - after spending crazy amounts of time researching tents and camping equipment and spending our weekends dragging the kids round camping shops across the south east. The big tent purchase came though after a trip up to the NEC to the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show on Mr C's birthday - we know how to celebrate a ... read more

Round the world by ferry

Legoland Denmark

A couple of weeks ago I took part in a twitter party for Discover Ferries. I heard about it by chance as one of my friends was helping to run the twitter party and as I'd just booked ferry tickets for us earlier that morning for a Easter holidays trip to the Isle of Wight it seemed appropriate to take part. Especially as there were prizes to be won. I always love a chance of winning something after all! As it happens I didn't win (damn!) but I did have the most amazing hour reminiscing about various ferry journeys that I have taken over the years. If you'd asked me before hand if I'd ever ... read more

Born to Be Wild with the RSPB #BornToBeWild

RSPB Born To Be Wild

Photo Credit: RSPB With a daughter who currently has her heart set on being "a nature explorer who also is an artist" an invitation to the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes to meet Hattie Garlick, author of the wonderful new book Born To Be Wild, was absolutely perfect. Both kids love being out in the fresh air, but Little Miss C really gets a buzz from doing nature based things outside. At school she seems to spend hours and hours in the playground building bug hotels and feeding snails and when inside she's always happiest when sat at the kitchen table with some gloopy glue and a load of ... read more