Wednesday 31 August 2011

The Gallery - Animals

This was a surprising tough prompt from Tara this week.
Oh the pressure not to be obvious, to be witty, to try to be just a little bit original...
Misty Moo (our four legged blogger) was getting very excited at the opportunity of taking centre stage on the blog for once. But sorry Mooster my four legged friend, you have been stood down in favour four wheels.

We were at Stamfords Car Fair on Sunday and saw a shining array of animals. Arriving slightly late we missed getting a shot of the prancing ponies but we did see them stampede out of Stamford.

For those less familiar with the emblems there is Mustang, Tiger Racing and of course Jaguar.

Hop over to Tara's blog, Sticky Fingers to see other entries in this weeks Gallery.

Monday 29 August 2011

The Great School Holiday Challenge - Week 5

Week 5 already!

I actually think *pauses for breath* that we might just make it. I know I could be tempting fate here but we might actually survive 6 weeks school holidays with no packing cases type holiday, no major injuries or visits to A&E, no major damage to the credit card and, more importantly, survived with our sense of humour intact.
I know there is still time but let me have my moment OK?

Day 29: Car shopping. After 3 months of mostly managing without a car while the Mr is off hunting and gathering, today we went to buy him a runaround so I could have wheels. Yipeee! Interesting experience. First stop, a field and bunker, a moustachioed man and a potential car but the moustachioed man had lost the keys. Second stop, a level crossing and a potential motor with keys. One test drive later, a quick exchange of offers and a passing over of some notes and she was ours/his.

Day 30: Bouncy castle heaven for the kids. Friends had their 2 remarkably well behaved boys Christened and at the party afterwards the Princess and the Wee One had their first successful experience of a bouncy castle. No tears. Not one. I was happy.

Day 31: After an unplanned visit to the local soft play centre (which really must get some investment soon because it is falling apart but they can make a decent cup of tea) our friends from Sant Pol de Mar (Catalunya) arrived for a 3 day visit. Whooo hoooooo! You may have seen my earlier post about houseguests which was inspired, but by no means directed at them. We had a great time. The Princess was in total awe of the Tall One who is 10, my god-daughter, very slim and leggy and also very intelligent. She will go far. The Wee One was in total Awe of the Chatty One, my not god-son, who will undoubtably be in the media with his witty comebacks. The Big One was just as happy as he could be. Sleeping arrangements were tight, with me "shhhing" alot after the Wee One had gone to bed but it worked!

Day 32: I was super delighted and gushing with excitement to be invited to a Mothercare #MummyMeetUp at their Peterborough store. a) This was the first time I had been invited to anything as a blogger and b) this was the first time I would meet anyone in the flesh from twitter. I was surprisingly not nervous and it was a pleasure to meet some lovely bloggers and tweeters. We only had an hour so we didn't exactly have a huge amount of time to get to know each other and the time was also largely taken up by a representative from Medela who fought bravely through the toddler mayhem to educate us on breastfeeding and the equipment that is now available to support you. She did remarkably well given most of the audience was actually beyond that phase of parenting but I did get to play with a fake boobie and breast pump which have improved considerably since I fed the Big One (pumps not fake boobies that is).

Day 33: The sun shone (for once this week) so guess where we went? Regular readers will know that Burghley is my local attraction and I have a season ticket. So off we went. Sculpture garden where the Big One managed to roll around in some nettles (you probably heard his screams) and the water garden where, not surprisingly, we all got a bit wet.

Day 34: I'll let you into a little secret, the best cheese scone in Stamford is at the Stamford Arts Centre. So we went and I had a cheese scone which was still the best in Stamford. The Wee One ate ice cream. And then we waved bye bye to our visitors. Tears were shed when we all looked at each other and thought "Now what?". So we went to bed early.

Day 35: Boring bored sort of day today. Post visitor blues combined with rain and the essential cleaning requirements of a house of 5 people and a molting dog. There is no way I can glamourise the day. It was essentially dull.

And so I return to my hopeful opening paragraph and try not to tempt fate that we are now in the last week of the school holidays and we haven't killed each other. Mind you, there is still time.

Friday 26 August 2011

House Guests and How to Survive Them

We love them right? Friends or family who we don't see that often and live too far away to come just for a day or evening. So we offer them a bed / mattress / tent in the garden for the night. That way we get to spend some quality time with them, catch up with how big the kids have got, remark on how much weight they've lost since you last saw them, and generally relax and have a fun time.

Or not.

Let's be honest, it is hard work isn't it?

We have moved about a fair bit and we have friends who have moved around a fair bit so consequently we have friends who are far flung. Some we see quite often, some we don't see much, and some we wish we saw a lot more but distance and time prevent it.

If you have to travel a fair distance to get to see them, then you are going to spend at least one night with them which probably means a weekend and there are only 52 of them a year (last time I counted) so chances are, like me, you only get to see them once or maybe twice a year.

And it is indeed a great pleasure. I love it. If only it wasn't at my house.

It is with a sense of despair that I have realised I may be a bit of a control freak. I do a good "relaxed, laid back, hey no problem" face when underneath I am aching to move that abandoned rucksack, put those shoes somewhere more convenient, or just chivvy them along in our (only) toilet.

Yes, thank you so much for making a coffee but actually I like it a bit stronger and with more milk. 

Oh, you let your children stay up till 10 in the holidays.

To be honest, I would prefer it if you didn't leave your used teabag in the sink.

I used to think that my increased anxiety levels were purely down to the fact that I am not a domestic goddess in any sense. The necessary housework required to ensure that guests would want to cross the threshold and then remain there was a major undertaking, requiring much muttering under my breath and swearing at the hoover, normally accompanied by a bit of bashing, slamming and general blustering through anything in my way. So by the time guests arrived rather than a hostess who floated through offering drinks on arrival accompanied by canapes, I would be snarling at a knot in the hoover cable while spraying Mr Sheen in my wake.

I have since recognised that although housework contributes to house guest stress it is not the whole cause.

I know it must come with age, and I am cringing at myself for the slow transition into my mother (runs screaming from the room), but I like my home, the way it is organised, the routines we have, and the sanctuary it provides. And I get stressed when we have people come and stay. I hope that I have not reached the stage where my guests feel uncomfortable (Mother, take note) and can sense any irritation. I'm pretty sure I haven't tutted at a guest yet and any raising of my eyebrows has been strictly restricted to the back of my guests head. [As a complete aside, I have to mention the time we went to visit my parents only to be welcomed at the door (after a 2 hour drive with 3 young children) with a "Well, better late than never." and a "Don't put your bag there please". Bless.]

It is hard to shuffle your life around to accommodate other people into it (even if it is only temporary) but I know that the reward for doing so is the pleasure of seeing my dear friends and being part of their lives as well as me being part of theirs. And lets not forget that it is very likely I will be a guest in their home too and they will have to put up with my little habits and foibles.

So for the record, here are a couple of my coping strategies for when the invasions happen:
  • Get all the cleaning, ironing, housekeeping done before anyone arrives so you don't have to worry about it or try to do it around anyone else (guests do not appreciate the smell of bleach or the fact that you need Take That at full volume to clean the bathroom).
  • Relax the children's routines a little and work out a compromise of bedtimes to avoid overtired kids and give you some adult time.
  • Discuss food preferences before they come so you don't have awkward "Johnny can't eat fish" conversations 5 minutes before you dish up fish fingers for tea.
  • Have some ideas about what you are going to do and have a plan B just in case.
  • Hide anything that you don't want your guest to see before they arrive (bills, letters, dodgy ornaments) and get out things that you want them to see (like the gift they bought you last birthday that *cough* didn't quite match your decor).
  • If your guest offers to help then accept it and put them to work.

And a little advise for the guest:
  • Remember you are the guest in someone else's home (so don't waltz in with all your "Johnny needs to have semi skimmed lactose free goats milk on his Shreddies in the morning" *smiles sweetly* requests).
  • There is a toilet brush and can of air-freshener in the bathroom for a reason.
  • Don't expect full waitress service.
  • If you offer to help expect that offer to be taken up.
  • Don't expect a lie in.
  • Feel free to make a cup of tea/coffee (black with half a sugar/white with no sugar please).

This post is scheduled to reach you just before your weekend guests arrive.

Photo credit:

Wednesday 24 August 2011

World Photography Day - The Gallery

Tara Cain over at Sticky Fingers had tweeted about World Photography Day and I thought what a great way to spend some time, at the Burghley Sculpture Gardens. So the Big One and Princess were given cameras and free reign to snap away. They had a great time right up to the point where the Big One's batteries ran out *fail*

It was wonderful watching them run around and capture their afternoon through a lens. I could have used one of their photos for the Gallery but to be honest there wasn't a shot there that I would say captured the moment or would be saved for years to come in an album to show the grandkids!

The children had abandoned their cameras to run up and down this hill and around the wooden 'carrots' (I'm pretty sure that wasn't what the artist had in mind when he conceived his sculpture) and I just got a quick glimpse of Princess through the Big One's legs and I snapped not even thinking that it would come out okay.

This sums up our World Photography Day.

Thanks Tara. Pop over to Sticky Fingers to see other entries in the Gallery.

Saturday 20 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Challenge - K

We had a double whammy yesterday. Whilst jumping up and down like a loon in the middle of a critical nailbiting football match against Daddy, the Big One was inspired for his next letter so we took it there and then. Well, technically I took it (again) but it was all his own footwork.

K is for Kick!

We'll back again tomorrow folks.

Friday 19 August 2011

The Great School Holiday Challenge - Week 4

Welcome to our weekly catch up of what the Five have been up to over the school holidays. This is where I should be referencing back to the list I came up with before the holidays started and keep ticking off all those great ideas we had. *Ahem*  This list is remarkably intact.

Day 22: The good news was that Daddy was going to be home by mid afternoon. The bad news was that Daddy wouldn't be home until mid afternoon. *groundhog day*

Day 23: Yay, nice weather so we headed off to Burghley to the Gardens of Surprise to make good use of the season ticket. We set off before lunch with a plan to eat a picnic before we went in. Finding no where to sit we took advantage of some partially constructed seat terraces for the Horse trials. Who needs parks or water gardens when you can have pull down seats that you can run up and down.

Day 24: For reasons best known to themselves, today was deemed to be dressing up day. We are one the very rare households that hasn't got a dressing up box (I have no idea why) so dressing up involved Mummy popping into Sukies, the local costume hire and party one stop shop, to pick up the required bits and bobs. The result of hours of bending, taping and sewing were a pair of fairy wings and a pirate's bandana. I cheated and bought the eye patch though ;-)

Day 25: MY DAY. I took a day off being Mummy today. Having seen it on Kirstie Allsopp's Homemade Home programme, I went to the Lincolnshire Home and Antiques Fair indulging my crafting, recycling, vintage and thrifty gene. It was the third day of the fair so many stalls were already packing up but it is such a large fair that there was still so much to see and of course bargains to be had. I then had a NIGHT OUT and went to Tolethorpe (a local open air theatre) to see Shakespeare's The Winters Tale. I had a lovely time just being me, suiting myself, and being selfish. *grins* *and ticks off #23* *and finds shoe tidy for the hall (see below) so ticks off #35 too*

Day 26: Back to Burghley (not bored of it yet) to the Sculpture Gardens which are amazing for their originality and ability to amuse children despite it being art and a garden. We took our cameras, one each, and chased around taking hundreds of photos of sculpture (all), the ground (Princess), the children (me) and other unknown people (the Big One). I'm going to do another post on this one because it is worthy of it. (Note to self: remember spare batteries for camera next time).

Day 27: Puddles were splashed in. Snails were tormented. And tea was drunk in large quantities. There may also have been a few DVDs.

Day 28: Paaaarty! Paaaarty! Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. And eat cake. Nothing like a 3 year old birthday party to make you smile and hit new sugar highs!

Phew. Another exhausting week where not enough sleep was had by Mummy. Maybe next week...

School Holiday Alphabet Challenge - J

We are already at the letter J in the School Holiday Alphabet Countdown which means that there are only 16 days left before school starts again. Yay! No, that isn't just me feeling the pressure of entertaining the children that is also a Yay from the Big One who really likes school and is missing his friends. We have caught up with some of them over the holidays but others he hasn't seen.

In the meantime this photography challenge is keeping him entertained for about 10 minutes a day. Just need to fill the other 1430!

Today the Big One wanted to star in his own photo so I was instructed to take the shot.

We have J for Jump!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for another riveting episode of Alphabet countdown x

Thursday 18 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Challenge - I

Another day and another letter. This time it is I.

Yesterday we went to the Sculpture Gardens at Burghley and there we found this:

This is I for Ice House.

Dating from the late 18th century, the Ice House at Burghley was used to store ice collected from the lake where it would stay frozen for up to 2 years! Amazing!

Come back tomorrow for J.

Photo credit: The Big One

10 things you didn't know about me

Whoo hoo. I've been tagged! Thank you to Melksham Mum for tagging me in this meme.

Most of you will hardly know me at all, being rather new to this blogging lark, so I could just tell you some really basic facts, rub my hands together and bask in the glory (glory? really?) of another completed post.

But I somehow suspect that isn't exactly entering into the spirit of things. Instead I give you the most obscure and interesting (I hope) facts about me.

  1. I lived in Warsaw, Poland for 4 years. I moved there for work, had to learn the language (soooo many consonants) and moved home in 1999. It was an experience.
  2. I have an MBA but no degree. I studied part-time whilst living in Poland and finally got my masters in 2004. 
  3. I know how to hand-stitch a button hole. Not that I would suggest you do it. Waaaaay to many other interesting things to do.
  4. I use Waitrose Bottom Butter as my own emergency skin salve. Genius in a tub and smells delicious.
  5. I have a very large and sad collection of 80's compilation CDs. Nuff said.
  6. I love frozen peas. Yep, straight from the freezer. (And so does my daughter).
  7. I can roll my tongue into a tube. (And so can the Big One).
  8. My girl heroes are Davina McCall, Claudia Winkleman and Kirstie Allsopp. Funny, pretty and genuine (in a TV personality kind of way).
  9. I hate housework with a passion that would be put to better use saving tigers from extinction (for instance).
  10. I want to write a novel. I have several ideas but haven't yet made enough time to do anything about them. Watch this space.
Still awake? Well done!

Thank you Melksham Mum for tagging me and now I am duty bound to tag 5 more people. (Sorry if you have already done it :-)


Wednesday 17 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Countdown - F, G & H

Opps, bit of a catch up required on the School Holiday Alphabet Countdown.

It's been an 'interesting' couple of days which have conspired to interrupt normal service.

On Monday we had a non-sleeping toddler who finally laid his head to rest at midnight completely sabotaging any attempt I would have to post the Big One's photographic project. And Tuesday was MY day where I went out without children and did grown up stuff that was just for ME. I left instructions for photographic project that were ignored.

Hence today we have catch up.

On Monday I was instructed to create fairy wings and pirate costumes. Which I duly did.

F is for Fairy:

On Tuesday the Big One went cycling.

G is for Gears

And today is H. Also following on the cycling theme...

H is for Helmet.

Tomorrow, I know you can't contain your excitement, will be I.

Feel free to join in and add your link in the comments x

Photo credit: The Big One

Sunday 14 August 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

School Holiday Alphabet Countdown - E

Slightly tougher one today. We hadn't been to a zoo so Elephant and Emu were ruled out. As easy as a simple Egg would be it was deigned by the Big One as "boring". And then, in the blink of an eye...

the solution was there looking back at him.

Today's letter was E for Eyes.

Come back tomorrow for another great photo from the Big One beginning with F.

Photo credit: the Big one

Saturday 13 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Countdown - D

With a little bit of coercing the Big One was up and running on today's letter D and we were spoilt for choice.
Our list of ideas was as follows:

  • Duck (thank you Melksham Mum for her D)
  • Dinosaur
  • Dalmatian (as in 101)
  • Daddy (ahh)
  • and Dog
There was a photo taken of Daddy but he censored it. It was taken very close and from a less than flattering angle. When he is ready to be launched to the world he would prefer it to be with a photo of his own choice I think.

But Daddy treated them this afternoon and while sat indulging in a Maltesers milk shake and waffle, the Big one spotted this:

So he gives you D for Dog. No it isn't our dog, Misty Moo, and no we don't know these people. That would have been too easy I suppose!

Pop back tomorrow for E.
Until then.

Photo credit: The Big One

The Great School Holiday Challenge Week 3

The Great School Holiday Challenge whizzes into its third week (well not quite whizzes, more like drifts).

Day 15: I have learned that Misty Moo is not entirely appreciative of being tied up outside the library for 30 minutes while the Big One and Princess 'debate' which film they are going to borrow. Neither does she like Waitrose car park while the same two children decide which comics they are going to buy. Having said that, the Big One chose a great "Make and do" comic and made a shark.

Day 16: My brother and his family popped over for the day on the way to their caravan. When I say popped, they actually drove about 2 hours out of their way so bless them. It was a joy to see the children playing with their big cousins and brought a lovely big grin to my face!

Day 17: Sent the Big One off to a friends for the morning where a snow storm was artificially created in their living room. Lesson: do not allow boys and polystyrene packaging to mix! One part of me wishes I had been there to capture the scene for posterity. The other part of me is soooo glad I wasn't. Hoovering hell! They were suitably admonished, given a carrier bag each and sent to clear it up.

Day 18: A Pizza Express voucher magically appeared in my hot little hand inbox so we HAD to go! A family favourite. They have had a makeover and have some lovely art on the walls. One of which is this bull. Along side it a plaque describes the traditional bull-running that took place in my own town, albeit up until 674 years ago. See, Pizza Express is educational.

In other news, the Big One gained a new bike and lost a tooth.

Day 19: Cycling practice with gears for the first time had the Big One flummoxed for a bit until I explained that it wasn't obligatory to only use gears 1 and 6. You hear that clunking whirring grinding noise every time you go between gear 1 and 6? That's the other 4 gears you could be using. To unwind we baked these fab cookies from Sticky Fingers blog.

Day 20: Today was a bit of a non-day :-( You know, when you don't achieve anything. When nothing really gets done and the kids watch a wee bit too much telly. I have admonished myself sufficiently to ensure that this will not happen again. The "I'm Bored" box was used and bubbles were blown (thereby ticking off #42 on the Challenge list - yay).

Day 21: Secret Seven lives again (apparently). I was a HUGE Secret Seven fan in my youth and the love of mysteries has stayed with me. A friend of the Big One has just discovered the series with the help of his Mum (another big fan) and has instigated a Secret Seven Club all of his own. The Big one is a member and a meeting was called today. I would love to tell you what they did, what plans were concocted, what mysteries were solved but I can't. They're secret. And hence, no photo.

Three down and three to go. School holiday fatigue is starting to kick in so the bottoms of barrels may be scraped shortly. Stay tuned to see what new depths we can reach!

Friday 12 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Countdown - C

The Big One was sulking today. Not sure why. Tried reasoning with him. Tried shouting at him. Tried cuddling him. Even tried bursting into tears. Nothing worked.

Until... I thought up a silly game of getting across this rug by only stepping on one particular colour.

Transferred to the garden with the aid of chalk and artistic license:

And so today's letter is C for Chalk.

Photo credit: The Big one

Join in and comment below x

Thursday 11 August 2011

School Holiday Alphabet Countdown

Who wants a mini challenge for the rest of the school holidays?


What? Well it will keep me and mine amused and feel free to join in when (and if) you like.

For the remaining 26 days of the school holidays (in England) I am going to challenge the Big One to take a photo of something beginning with each letter of the alphabet (of which there are 26, how convenient eh?). He can then post it on the blog.

You can link up to your photo in the comments.


So yesterday (ahem, bit late) we had A:

It is a film that has been watched in our house about 40 times in the last couple of months...
starring some chipmunks...
who can sing....
and the lead singer is...

And today for the letter B: (I had to take the picture because the Big One wanted to get involved)

Yep, Bubbles! Which coincidently is #42 on our Great School Holiday Challenge list *applause*

Tomorrow is C (yeah, obviously you know that) so come along and join in if you want to.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

The Gallery - Water

Where can you get wet, see art and PLAY?

We are lucky enough to live very close to Burghley House where they have an attraction called The Gardens of Surprise.

It is brilliant. No, scratch that. It is fan-bloomin-tastic. It is a cross between interactive sculpture and water, where you will definitely get wet. Kids (and *ahem* adults) run through fountains, paddle in streams, navigate mazes, dodge geysers (water spouts not a slightly lairy gentleman in the know) and look on in wonder at clever sculptures.

The Wee One loves water, he 'squeally' loves water. And the instant he saw the water and fountains he squealed and didn't stop for, ooh, about 2 hours. I had to wrestle him into his little rash vest and swim nappy before I could let him run wild. For that alone it was well worth the £24 for the family day pass which admits you to the Sculpture Garden as well (also amazing).

There is a timetable of summer activities for kids and a rather nice (but pricey) cafe too. For £58 you can get a family season ticket which runs from Easter to October so you have loads of time to get your moneys worth.

We go at least a couple of times a year and this year, knowing we don't have a summer holiday planned, we splashed out (geddit? see what I did there? LOL to myself) on a family season ticket so I am praying for lots of sunny days so the kids can get nice and wet! Oh and under 3's are free.

Hot tips to get the most from the day:
  • Take a picnic. There are some lovely grounds to eat in and the cafe is limited
  • Take towels
  • Take swimming costumes and flipflops or crocs
  • Make time to go round the Sculpture Garden. It is a large area and you can spend a couple of hours there alone
  • Get the kids into their swimming stuff before you go through the gates. After that and you will be wrestling to keep hold of them.
  • Take a warm layer that they can put on
This is not a sponsored post. I just really love it there and just wanted to share!

Go over to Sticky Fingers for more entries in The Gallery

Saturday 6 August 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

The Great School Holiday Challenge Week 2

Survived another week of the Great School Holiday Challenge. Yes I did need gin round about, oh Saturday night so not bad all things considered!

I interrupt this post to point out that I am not alcohol dependent. Just saying.

Day 8: To Beans Coffee Shop to try to rid my fuddled brain of it's sleep starved state. One Maltesers milkshake and waffle later. Semi-normal service was resumed.

Hit the library and lost (then found) one of Wee One's shoe. "I'm Bored" jar came out today and the Big One picked 'Make a picture Frame' and Princess got 'Paint your toes'. Much cutting of cardboard, hoovering up of glitter, wiping paint off floorboards and painty footprints off tiles later, I started to consider the possibility that some of the 'I'm Bored' suggestions may be a little ambitious :-/

Day 9: Nature trail on Stamford Meadows. Duly printed spotters sheets and we were off. Discovered Stamford's Spa, caught (and released) butterflies (unharmed, I think), lost Misty Moo in the stinging nettles (do dogs feel stinging nettles?). I had bigger ideas than the children had attention span for, so we also picked a few flowers from the back garden to press.

Day 10: Is it only Monday? Bribed kids to help me hoover and dust. To be perfectly honest, their help, although valiant, was to very little effect. Changed beds. Lost Princess inside a duvet cover. Walked dog. I was so bored, I reached for the "I'm Bored" jar! So we had salt dough modelling, badminton in the garden, finger painting (I couldn't believe it was the first time that the Wee One and paint had been introduced. Result - messy) and made courgette muffins for tea.

Day 11: Daddy's home! And so to Burghley Garden's of Surprise. A FANTASTIC afternoon was had by all in lovely sunshine. The Gardens are awesome and well worth a vsiit if you happen to be passing Stamford. A separate post on this one for sure. And something ticked off the Challenge list -yay!

Day 12: Mum's gone to ... Ikea! Yep. Another fail as far as the Challenge list is concerned but who can resist hot dogs and Daims. Well you could have knocked me down with a bite size Daim... if you could have found one! There weren't any Daims to be had. Sooooo, hot dogs, plastic beakers, paper napkins, glass tumblers, step stools x2, groovy rug, cuddly rats (?) x2, filter coffee x3 and Pear Cider (yes, I know. Who knew?). A successful trip I'd say. And we managed to miss the freak thunder storm.

Day 13: Princess to nursery and the Big One invited to a soft play place. Result! Me and the Wee One went to Tesco to buy the bits that I forgot in Ikea, namely wine glasses, muffin tin and crafty bits. So I should have been making muffins while the children made a lovely picture for me. The children did indeed use their new metallic pens to do some rather impressive colouring (I'm biased) but I got sucked into twitter and only emerged to cook tea. I blame myself for having started this process probably 30 minutes later than a mother who had been paying more attention to her children would have judged as ideal. Soooo, teatime hell commenced. Damn you twitter!

Day 14: The end of another week. Two down, four to go (not that I am counting). Misty Moo needs a walk every day. The children need to get out of the house everyday. The result is daily dog walking monotony with 3 children in tow. However, today, cunning Supermum pulled it out of the bag. Oh yes. I give you Dog Walking BINGO. Here's what I rustled up over breakfast. (Top left is a map and bottom right is a duck. I do not claim to have any artistic talent.)

So simple. Get the kids spotting things on their walk. What do points make? Prizes. Yes folks, bribery was involved as were sweets but mission dog walk was successful. Oh and we played cricket in the park too. Oh and built a rocket, as you do.

Until next week x