Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Well would you look at this!

Ladles and JellySpoons,

I come before you, to stand behind you, to tell you something I know nothing about... (I blogged about silly rhymes here)

This silly introduction seemed apt. I am about to alert you to a product that I have not tried! Have not seen in the flesh and haven't tested!

BUT details of it were emailed to me and I'll be honest I think it looks good!  It's not cheap, but it's on offer at the moment.

'What is this awesome thing?' I hear you mutter - well it is a lunch carrier. Not a box and yet not really a bag. Insulated and also doubles as a place mat when opened up and once empty squashes up into a small flat space in your bag. All of those things appealed to me! Oh and it's machine washable! Hooray - not more trying to wipe out crumbs, or rinsing stuff in the sink.

DD being a teen doesn't want some 'naff' lunch box all plastic and character themed, and while for some time she had a solid box, its lack of insulation was a problem. We bought a plain squishy insulated 'bag' type but it has a 'wipe clean' interior, the corners get full of crumbs and it's just a pain to clean. I really like the look of these neoprene lunch carriers. They come in lots of funky colours too.

What do you think? Am I sucked in by clever advertising? Or do they look good to you too? At just under £20 (currently) are they too expensive?

Love to hear your thoughts.

I haven't been paid, I haven't got a free lunch box, I haven't even been sent a kiss from The Nicest Stuff - though they have followed me on twitter :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


A few days ago I saw that the post40bloggers had posted a blog prompt. The remit was to write about fear. Usually I don't latch on to this sort of prompt but it suddenly made me think to something that happened at a festival a week or so ago.

When we go to Wilderness Festival the thing that DD likes to do most there is to roller skate. They have a rink outside (though covered against the British Summer weather!) and they have lights and disco music. The guys that skate as staff there know all the moves and DD enjoys skating sedately round and round for hours at a time (literally! I have to force her to leave!) watching the others skating.

roller disco blurred topless guys

The things she likes to watch most are the hilarious falls of the cocky, often drunk, and usually hot, guys that come onto the rink to show off.

Sometimes they are dressed up like camp disco kings, sometimes topless and boldly showing six packs and shouting to mates to hold their gin while they show the world their disco skating moves. DD has noticed that the bigger the bluster, the louder the banter and the more flamboyant the dress, the more they fall. She finds this terribly amusing.

On the Sunday we went to the rink and she went to skate while I drank Monkey Shoulder cocktails and ate Burger Bear burgers and sat in the sun (and the occasional drizzle) and listened to gospel music at the Juke Joint.

Juke Joint shack and music at wilderness festival

I looked across to the rink occasionally to see her skate by, to check all was ok. Once I couldn't see her on the rink so I popped over to check. It turned out that the staff had cleared the rink for a lot of large 'tipsy' fellows to have a skate - they were afraid the smaller kids would be squashed! DD was happy to watch them crash and fall until they left and she returned to skate.

Time passed, I drank more cocktails. I chatted to the nice cocktail lady. Telling her how awesome DD was (I was drunk remember) I ordered more booze and sat down again. Halfway through my drink I glanced up. An ambulance was coming slowly across the muddy field. At one point it slipped sideways on a slope and some festival goers helped push it straight and back on its way. It came closer and closer and I became paralysed with fear.

It seems so silly now but it was weird at the time. I immediately worried that DD had fallen, that she must be unconscious as all the staff knew us and knew where I was and she would have cried for me. I thought that she would have fallen while I was telling the lady at the bar how awesome she was. That she would be dying even as I sat and sipped my cocktail. I was too terrified to go and look. I sat frozen in my chair watching the ambulance park and the paramedics head for the rink with a stretcher. I sat filled with fear, still sipping my cocktail, imagining how I would tell my husband, how it was my fault not being there, that I was a terrible parent. I sat almost in tears, too scared to move.

And then the paramedics came out, with a middle aged woman on the stretcher, chatting, laughing.

I got up and went to see what DD was up to. It transpired that they had cleared the rink after the woman had fallen badly and twisted her ankle. When it became clear she couldn't bear any weight on that leg they had called the ambulance. While I waited, transfixed with terror, DD had been enjoying the drama. The ambulance left. DD skated for another hour. I had another cocktail to steady my nerves.

Roller disco

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I did in my holidays - Camp Bestival

I shall rely mainly on the medium of slightly odd drunken photos to share my experiences of Camp Bestival this year.

As you know I was given the amazing privilege of attending on of the 'funnest' festivals of the summer as an Official Camp Bestival Blogger. Sadly this did not enable me to grope any famous beards.(I might have kissed a beard though....shhhh )

We arrived on the Thursday as I know from experience that the fields fill quickly and the best (flattest) spots in the camp site will be taken by Friday. As I was meeting up with my brother and his family it was vital i secured a large enough pitch. We had two young teens with us who shared their own tent. So we were a 3 tent group (though not such pitch hoggers as to bring a gazebo too!).

After setting up (in the Purple campsite) we were too lazy to really explore past the portaloos (the usual functional but grim chemical toilets - which ran out of loo roll and hand gel on day 1, so glad we were prepared!) and the nearby food places, sadly no Grill this year, but a nice coffee stall and a smoothie place.

And then on Friday the fun began. My brother, at his first ever festival, enjoyed the kids field and perfected his circus skills

We chilled to Courtney Pine

Were thrilled by the Insect (and mollusc) Circus

Saturday was fancy dress day, and we dressed in our Circus best, with me as Ringmaster, trying hard to control the big cats (and the bearded lady and the fortune teller)

The jousting was great fun, so much so that we went twice

A little Chap-Hop with  Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer was spiffing!

And the food was so good that I kept forgetting to photograph it!!

The Dingly Dell was filled with excited children getting back to nature and down and dirty...

I fell in love with, and got a bit tipsy on, the jam jar cocktails, specifically the Bloody Mary

The weather was lovely (I managed to sunburn my breasts - don't ask)

The entertainment was second to none as always, a bright splash of colour across a gorgeous landscape

We Met up with Juggle Mum and her family for Sunday Roast with the Surplus Supper Club

Then after comedy, more food, more booze etc there was the fabulous firework display (DD was slightly sad there was no cartoon show this year on the castle, but my brother was extremely pleased that his favourite band Queen provided the soundscape for the incredible light show.)

All in all it was a fantastic weekend.

And then, on Monday, we went home...staggering up the hills to the car park

Very impressed with how clean people left the campsite!

Early bird tickets are already sold out!! But why not join us next year? You can pay in instalments and spread the cost. Check out TicketLine for details.

all these photos and more at Flickr

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Camp Bestival's Bearded Beauties

Many of you know that this year the lovely folk at Get Involved invited me to be a Camp Bestival Blogger . (I say 'invited' , I think they got fed up with my whining about wanting to go, to be honest) anyway, it did mean that I could attend the festival for families that this year really lived up to its circus theme of the greatest show on earth.

Now this is a short blog post, just a teaser really before the main event. Because I'm off to another festival on Thursday so, what with work, getting the washing done and re packing, I'm a bit busy!

I thought I'd share a few photos from around the Camp Bestival site. Showing all the fun and the beards...wait...I was distracted...beards

well yes there were a few fine beards and yes maybe a few hot dads and yes maybe I took some pictures...

and maybe I'll share some with you...ready?

hot dad at a festival shirtless

fabulous full beard
This beard was so awesome I asked if I could take a picture!

good looking dad with beard and tattoos

man with beard

But that's not all I, oh no, I also ate food, danced, got tipsy and dressed up...

But more of that in my proper review, for now be content with beards.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A day out in Sussex, with goats

Yesterday we had a rather cute and cheap day out at the Aldingbourne Country Centre. It's a farm and horticultural centre with cafe, that gives opportunities to adults with learning disabilities.

It has a slightly odd pricing structure, at £3 per child (aged 3-15), children must be accompanied by an adult, and then the adults have to pay £3 too....adults can visit the cafe and garden centre area for free as long as they have no children with them!

Any way we were 3, two adults and a child and we paid £3 each so we could do all the things included in the admission price, crazy golf, visit the animals (we forgot to visit the bees!) do the treasure hunt, wander the gardens etc

We even managed to pop into the cafe for coffee and cake, and had a look at the upcycled furniture.

All in all it was a lovely day and very good value. It's right next to Fontwell in West Sussex. Close enough to Eartham woods for a walk there too, or trips to the Roman Villas at Bigor and Fishbourne too.