Word of the Week: Holiday


This week we’ve been on our holidays… full reports to follow when I get around to the blog posts!


Word of the Week: Experiences


This week has been a week full of experiences.

I went with the eldest two Littlesheeps to see The BFG.

We saw Behemoth from Robot Wars.


This was at the Dunstable Downs Kite Festival where we also saw lots of different kites being flown and kite acrobatic displays, several para-gliders and watched the gliders being towed up and landing.

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Then came the biggest experiences of the week for the middle two Littlesheeps.

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Middle Littlesheep had his sailing course – he’d done some sailing with Cubs and with Grandpa (who is a sailing instructor) last summer and decided then that he wanted to do it this year so Grandpa duly took him to the lake for a week for the RYA Level 1 & 2 course which he successfully completed. Apparently he did spend the week sailing but the only photo I was sent was him in the water practicing capsizing!

Littlest Littlesheep’s long awaited two afternoons snowboarding course… This was an interesting holiday activity to arrive at and came about because I was trying to suggest things he could try – as his brothers had tennis and sailing to do… climbing, trampolining, cycling, archaeology… the list was getting more and more random until I said snowboarding and he was hooked on the idea! I think he found it harder than he imagined but seemed to enjoy himself and definitely wants to go again so for a child who doesn’t often get enthused about any ‘extra-curricular’ activities it was obviously a hit.

We saw lots of rainbows driving home from a tennis tournament along the M6 – it was almost like we were chasing the rainbow all the way home.

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We also did new trainers and school shoes for three of the four… that was a fairly painless experience as for once I didn’t leave it to the last minute so there was plenty of choice and no queue!

It’s going to be a week to remember of the holidays and potentially a tough one to beat!

What’s your Word of the Week?

The Reading Residence


IMG_0041.JPGLike many families one activity on our Summer To Do list was a trip to the cinema to see the BFG.

First of all a top tip to get cheap tickets- cinema going is an expensive business…

and as is usual for our cinema trips I made them their own bags of pick-a-mix / popcorn to take with us to save a few more pennies too!

So the film…

In my opinion it’s a great adaptation of the book  – it’s quite scary at times even when you know the story but there are some funny moments too. I think I was most impressed with the computer editing that would have had be done to account for the size differences of Sophie and the BFG given that most of the story is between them!

I think the boys enjoyed it although the critique in the car on the way home was all about all the times the plot differs from the book – will have to watch the old cartoon film to see which one they feel is a better representation of the story!

Word of the Week: Adventures


This week has been week one of the school holidays and we’ve been planning our adventures – the list from the boys isn’t particularly adventurous but it is fun to have time without the bind of school timetables and activities. This week was a bit odd as we still had ballet (Miss Littlesheep), tennis squads (Biggest Littlesheep) and swimming lesson (Littlest Littlesheep) so with that time table and Biggest taking part in two tennis tournaments there wasn’t much week for adventuring.

This was also the week we pretended to own a dog – my mum did a London-Paris cycle ride (very proud of her on her adventures) and when my dad went out to join her for a mini-break in Paris we looked after their dog so we had lots of dog outings.


We bought a fire pit, had a fire and made smores…

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We caught some Pokemon (and some like this little beastie got away)…

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The middle two signed up for the summer library reading challenge (and Little Miss got a card for the mini challenge).


and we had a day out at Worcester Country Park (the phone ran out of battery from Pokemon-hunting so no photos of the park) but it was a great day out meeting up with NCT volunteers from Worcestershire to campaign to save their children’s centres before milkshakes and toasted teacakes in the cafe, a play in the park and a walk in the woods.

Summer Holiday Plans

So here we are at the start of the school holidays!

For the first time ever I’ve got to juggle work with the long summer holidays – luckily I only do 9 hours a week and my employer is very flexible so I’ve worked out a timetable with a mix of time in the office, working from home and annual leave.

Biggest Littlesheep will be spending part of it playing tennis (naturally!), Middle Littlesheep is doing a sailing course (hopefully getting his RYA level 1), Littlest Littlesheep is going to go snowboarding and Miss Littlesheep wants a sleepover at grandma’s with her girly cousins.

I asked the children what they wanted to do and here’s a list (including some of the things that featured in the ‘Things we want to do this year’) of things we might do this summer…

  • watch the Harry Potter movies
  • watch Star Wars films
  • watch Minions Movie seen 24.8.16
  • watch Angry Birds Movie seen by Bigglest Littlesheep 21.8.16
  • watch Despicable Me films
  • watch The BFG seen 30.7.16
  • hunt Pokemon done every day so far…
  • do some cooking
  • have a waterfight
  • play on Wii
  • play on DS
  • play on computer
  • play tennis done 21.8.16
  • icebucket challenge
  • have a fire fire pit bought 24.7.16 first fire had 27.7.16
  • go cycling done on holiday 18.8.16
  • go swimming done on holiday 18.8.16
  • go the Wimbledon museum
  • find the BFG dream jars in London
  • go to Legoland Windsor
  • go to Drayton Manor
  • do science experiments
  • complete craft / science kits
  • go to the seaside
  • go the zoo
  • do a Where’s Wally jigsaw completed 22.8.16
  • go on a steam train

We have a holiday booked with my parents and all my siblings and their children so that should be a filled week too – wonder if we can tick of any of the above with them? Sadly the holiday cottage we ended up with isn’t near the sea so we’ll have to try that one somewhere else.

I’ll also sign the younger three up to the library summer reading scheme – I’ve suggested that they look for recipe books and science books to tick off some of the things above… I fancy going to Roald Dahl Museum as we haven’t been there and the Stick Man Trail at Salcey Forest should be good if the weather stays nice… There is also Brick Wonders exhibition at Herbert Art Gallery visited 10.8.16 which they might like.

What are your summer holiday plans?




Word of the Week: HOT

page01For someone who is supposedly intelligent my first two words of the week are both three letter words – hopefully I’ll be able to come up with something lengthier next week.

The Reading ResidenceI haven’t yet looked across at the linky but I’m pretty sure that amongst UK bloggers there will be a fair few who have picked words like hot, sunshine, summer and melting because it does appear that this week summer has arrived in the UK and we’ve all been pretty hot and sticky. There didn’t seem to be much warning before this heatwave the temperatures of which are great if you are lying by a pool or on a beach on holiday but not so fabulous to have to work in or do the school run in.

As you may know I’m standing in the elections to be a NCT Trustee so here are some links to useful tips about the heat if you are pregnant, or have babies / small children.

Today is the end of term – hopefully the summer won’t end now school has and we’ll get to do lots of fun things outside.


30 Days Wild

30DAYSWILD_ID2 tealI had grand plans that I was going to follow the #30DaysWild and post a blog each day of our adventures in the wild and finding the wild in our neighbourhood but clearly like most of my good blogging intentions that didn’t happen.

June was a funny month with a wide range of weather which lead to lots of conversations about how butterflies and bees like the sunny days but slugs and snails like the damp and rainy days. We saved a bee from the path and popped it on a flower and we saves a snail from the drive way where it might get crushed and put it in the hedge.

In no particular order – here are 30 wild things we did see in June though:

  1. poppies
  2. deer
  3. rabbits
  4. sunshine
  5. snails
  6. butterflies
  7. spiders
  8. mallards
  9. willow tree
  10. rainbow
  11. bees
  12. hedgehog
  13. daisies
  14. clouds
  15. buzzard
  16. dandelions (and blowing dandelion clocks)
  17. squirrels
  18. slugs
  19. ladybirds
  20. rain
  21. thistles
  22. moorhens
  23. bat
  24. oak tree
  25. fish (in the river – maybe a stickleback or a minnow?)
  26. puddles
  27. stinging nettles
  28. hailstones
  29. swans
  30. blackbird

and there were even more I’m sure.