Wednesday 31 August 2016

Review: Ravensburger The Brighton Belle 1000 piece jigsaw

Sponsored Post

Once again I was pleased to be offered the chance to review a Ravensburger puzzle. This time it was a 1000 piece jigsaw called The Brighton Belle. This was the perfect puzzle for a soggy few days in the summer holidays:

Here is the official blurb on the jigsaw:

This wonderfully bright and vibrant jigsaw imagines a scene from the fascinating history of this very special train. If you weren’t lucky enough to have travelled on the Brighton Belle, or you haven’t yet booked your tickets for a trip on the rebuilt train, enjoy this puzzle instead and discover days of opulence and glamour on British tracks. The Brighton Belle ran daily between London Victoria and Brighton from 1 January 1932 until 30 April 1972. The all-Pullman Belle was unique, its sumptuous Art Deco d├ęcor comprising exquisite marquetry panels and furnishings and managed by white-jacketed Pullman stewards. The entire Royal Family was carried on it to observe the Spithead Review of 1953 and the Queen used it as a Royal Train on a number of occasions. In 2009 a charity, the 5BEL Trust, was formed to return the train to the mainline, thus filling an important gap in Britain’s railway heritage. The engineering challenge to meet modern safety standards and faster mainline speeds was so daunting that many thought it was an impossible dream, But after six years of work by professional rail engineers and craftsmen - and an expenditure of some £6 million - the public can once again experience authentic 1930’s rail travel. Includes in-box A4 colour leaflet showing puzzle image for reference, information about the image and the charity responsible for the train's restoration. Sales of this puzzle support the work of the 5BEL Trust.

This is traditional jigsaw to complete so I started with the edges and the obvious lines around the inset picture:

Thursday 25 August 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family Fun #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

So many folks joining in last week which was great as it was a mix of familiar and new blogs to read. Hopefully everyone will be back this week with a few more blogs for us all to enjoy. We are getting close to the end of our school holidays and still packing in the fun:

1) Jumping for joy at parkrun

Our parkrun had a temporary course this week due to the National Stone Skimming Championships and it poured with rain but it didn't dampen the spirits of the volunteers including my children:

Fell Foot parkrun

2) Quirky signs

Whilst driving through Castle Carrock we noticed that the sign was rather amusingly subtitled. Unfortunately we could only photograph the one on the way out that wasn't quite to easy to read (it says please dance):

3) Tidy tween bedroom

My daughter tackled her room to remove all the clutter and now has the nicest room in the house:

Wednesday 24 August 2016

#CountryKids on Hadrian's Wall #WhateverTheWeather

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

We had a three generation trip to Hadrian's Wall on what turned out to be a pretty hot day. It was going to be a proper hike so when we got out of the car at Steel Rigg car park we all donned our proper boots and slapped on the sun block:

The route to the wall is very well signposted as this is one of the most popular sections of the Wall to walk:

Hadrian's Wall

Once we exited the trees the reason for the Romans building the wall here became clear as they used the natural contours as part of the defences:

Hadrian's Wall

Tuesday 23 August 2016

#CountryKids in Kirkby Lonsdale #WhateverTheWeather

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

Family up from the south gave us an excuse for Sunday lunch at Kitridding Farm near Kirkby Lonsdale. This little gem is so popular you need to book a table. All the food is locally produced and three generations found something to suit our taste buds. Have to say I just about squeezed in this sundae after my lamb roast: 

On the way back out through the award winning Farm Shop there were plenty of local temptations (good job I hadn't got any money on me!). This well loved carved pig sits on the patio outside the entrance:

After a big lunch we all needed to burn off some calories so headed to the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale:

Kirkby Lonsdale

Monday 22 August 2016

#CountryKids The Hobbit at Williamson Park, Lancaster

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Williamson Park in Lancaster is 54 acres of public park which is most famous for the Ashton Memorial which was built in 1909 as a memorial to Lady Ashton by her husband. This is the building you can see from the M6 when passing the city:

Williamson Park

As we had family up from down south my mum had booked us tickets to see The Dukes Lancaster's walkabout theatre production of The Hobbit. They have been putting on productions in the park since 1987 and this was the first time we had been to one. We arrived in time to have a picnic at the foot of the memorial although it rained before we had finished eating:

Williamson Park

Saturday 20 August 2016

#CountryKids at the Lakeland Maize Maze

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

For the last few years my mum has taken my children to the Lakeland Maize Maze on a day that I have had to work in the school holidays. I haven't been since 5 years ago when we had to give up! It was a lovely day and the car park was already very busy when we arrived but most people where visiting the animals and not in the maze:

After the safety spiel we set off into the Mini Maze which would lead us to the Main Maze, The theme this year was The BFG and we had to find ink stamps and count magic beans in the mini maze which had massive maize:

At a few spots the maize wasn't as high at the edge and you could see the farm animals:

Friday 19 August 2016

#CountryKids Surfing at Robin Hood's Bay

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

The last day of our break didn't have the best of weather and at one point we were forced to take shelter in the pub:

It did mean we finally made it into the dinosaur museum:

When we got back to the house it was nearly high tide and we were told that the surf was the best so far for surfing so we headed down to the beach:

Thursday 18 August 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: 122 reasons! #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

Thanks to everyone who joined in last week, hopefully more people will link in this week as I am sure the sunshine will make us all happier! Don't worry I haven't really got 122 reasons this week phew but the reason for the title will eventually become clear... Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Hobbit in Williamson Park

A group of 10 of us from the extended family went to Williamson Park in Lancaster to watch the Dukes' Lancaster production of the Hobbit. An amazing production (more to follow in a later blog post!) but the most exciting part was my daughter successfully volunteering to take care of the key to Erebor whilst the play moved through the park:

2) Home organisation

Its lots of little steps in my challenge to get the house better organised before I go back to work in September. I picked up this Ikea shower caddy with my lottery winnings (a whole £5!) and its making our bathroom a lot tidier:

3) Time together

The advantage of working in school is that I get most of the holidays off with my children. We have also had time with extended family who are up visiting. Certainly a reason for us all to smile:

Wednesday 17 August 2016

#CountryKids Sandcastles and Ghosts at Robin Hood's Bay #Whatevertheweather

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

We had a wild, damp day exploring the village and then the best weather of the week meant a full day on the beach. This gave my daughter and her new friends a chance to build a pretty awesome motte and bailey sandcastle:

My daughter was so dedicated to building up the bailey:

She also carefully dug out a bridge across the moat:

Tuesday 16 August 2016

#CountryKids More Beach Fun at Robin Hood's Bay

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

When you have taken body boards and wet suits on holiday the children will want to use them even if a) the conditions aren't right b) they aren't experts! So on a grey day my son donned his wet suit and we joined a few other hardy souls on the beach:

Robin Hoods Bay

There weren't any decent waves but my son enjoyed just being in the surf on his board:

Monday 15 August 2016

#CountryKids A day exploring Robin Hood's Bay #Whatevertheweather

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Monkey and Mouse

The Tuesday of our stay was a changeover day when some families left and we had some new arrivals later in the day. It was a day we used to explore more of the village:

Robin Hoods Bay

A few of us walked up to the top of the hill above the oldest part of the village to take in the views from the top:

Robin Hoods Bay

There used to be more of the old village on this stretch plus a less steep road but it has all fallen into the sea due to coastal erosion:

Robin Hoods Bay

In the 1970s a sea wall was constructed to protect the remaining houses and you can take a walk along it back to the bottom of the village:

Robin Hoods Bay

The old village really is tucked away at the bottom of the hill:

Robin Hoods Bay

It was such a calm day the sea looked more like the Mediterranean than North Sea:

Robin Hoods Bay

It wasn't a long walk but it was a very pleasant one:

The fishing boats were all safely moored in the harbour part of the bay:

Robin Hoods Bay

The sea wall route was a certainly a lot less precipitous than the main road into the village which has an interesting chicane at the bottom:

It is a 30% slope and not double width so its interesting to drive on! Luckily its an access only road:

Back down in the harbour we explored the Old Coastguard's Station. There was a tiny aquarium with shrimps and crabs: 


The children learned more about how tides work:

and they could generate different wind strengths:

Afterwards we wandered around some of the intriguing footways around the village:

Robin Hoods Bay

Robin Hoods Bay

Our accommodation was right at the top of Fisherhead:

Robin Hoods Bay

I had to move my car up to the Upper Bay as we ran out of spaces so I was next to St Stephen's church:

I then got another walk down the steep hill once again:

Robin Hoods Bay

It was once again an evening for a walk on the beach:

Robin Hoods Bay