Tuesday 31 July 2018

Three Musketeers at Williamson Park

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It is nearly 2 years since we went to see The Hobbit at Williamson Park. Last week my daughter and I went along to this year's promenade performance by The Dukes Theatre. This year's production is The Three Musketeers and we followed the signs to the first scene:

We were there in plenty of time for my daughter to get us front row seats:

We had eaten on the way but had time to eat our dessert whilst waiting for the play to start. It was a lovely sunny evening:

Friday 27 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Cakes, Butterflies and Coming Last! #R2BC #BeMoreWitWitWoo

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I am day late joining in with Michelle as we were out all day yesterday at Ambleside Sports! That will be a video and a blogpost so watch this space... Meanwhile here are this week's reasons:

1) Home Baking

Sometimes its the simplest things that make us happy. I love rustling up a simple batch of cupcakes using our tried and tested recipe. This time I used butter and they were so tasty they were gone in a day:

2) Butterflies

I am so pleased with my bee and butterfly friendly garden. Seeing these beautiful creatures flitting about is a delight to behold. There have been a few varieties too as I tracked for the Butterfly Count:

3) Guinea Pigs

As I am constantly putting the boys out on the grass I am enjoying spending more time with them. This time it was Splodge who posed beautifully:

4) Outdoor Theatre

I had a lovely evening just with my daughter at Williamson Park for the Duke's Theatre promenade production of The Three Musketeers. Plenty of laughs as well as sword fights with some stunning backdrops:

5) Being more Wit Wit Woo

I was blown away by the likes and comments when I joined with Swim Suit Saturday to celebrate the life of Kate Sutton:

I embraced this attitude by actually taking part in the mums' race yesterday. I knew I would be last but just went for it... and yes I was about a metre behind everyone else. My celebration was probably a prize winner though! And look I got this as an award for taking part:

Book Review: Math Quest The Museum of Mysteries

When your child loves maths but doesn't enjoy reading it is great to be recommended a book which is right up their street. These Math Quest books are a perfect combination for him so I ordered one from Amazon (affiliate link):

He was hooked pretty much instantly! I didn't hear a peep out of him for ages as he worked his way through the adventure. You have to solve maths problems to progress through and stop the thieves. If you get an answer wrong the book tells you what you should have done:

The math puzzles are set at KS2 level so year 3 and upwards. Younger children may need to work on the puzzles with the adults unless they are math whizzes! Don't panic parents about not knowing what all the maths terms mean as there is a helpful glossary and explanation in the back:

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Wednesday Top Tip: Parking in a new place

When visiting a new town or city and parking in the streets it can be hard to remember where you put your car. There was a story in recent months about a lady who lost her car for several weeks as she forgot where she had parked it... My simple solution is to photograph the street name so that you can check it when you need to get back to your car. You can even then just type it into Google Maps and i will tell you how to get there! It works in big car parks too as you can just photograph the floor/bay numbers for easy reference (maybe even the name of the car park if you are as scatterbrained as me...):

Do you have any useful parking tips when visiting places?

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Big Butterfly Count

I decided to take part in the Big Butterfly Count after seeing it promoted by Sir David Attenborough. Having an insect friendly garden meant I didn't have to go away from home to spot several species. First up was a Peacock butterfly:

That shows why they have eyes to make them look scary to predators! There were two of them enjoying the nectar:

It was fascinating watching the proboscis being dipped into the flowers:

Monday 23 July 2018

Back in the saddle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Now my son is back cycling we have borrowed my mum's bicycle to give him more confidence and get in some practice. It has meant that I have dragged my bike out of the shed so that we can get out and make the most of the cycle friendly routes around Kendal:

We headed out along the old canal and then up along the River Kent as far as Dockwray Bridge:

We turned around on the industrial estate before heading back down the river:

Sunday 22 July 2018

The Trouble with Women

Kendal Community Theatre's annual summer season was dedicated to Trouble with Women! I caught up with them on Saturday morning as women gathered to celebrate 100 years of Votes for Women with a street theatre piece starting at the Town Hall:

There was a fine array of period style costumes and banners and placards:

After a rousing marching song there were 4 speeches. Each from a slightly different point of view with a local campaigner, an anti suffrage speaker, Millicent Fawcett from the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and Emmeline Pankhurst from the Women's Social and Political Union:

Friday 20 July 2018

End of an Era - Primary School is done

It doesn't seem like nearly 7 years ago when my son started in Reception at school. He does look oh so young on the obligatory first day at school photo:

He has mostly loved being at school (apart from Year 3) and coped very well with a change in primary for Year 4. Today was his leavers' assembly so I armed myself with a few tissues:

He obligingly posed for his last day at primary photo:

Thursday 19 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Be More Wit Wit Woo #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The blogging community is currently reeling from the sudden and unexpected death of one of the most optimistic and vivacious members Kate Sutton. Back in the early days of Twitter when I was a newly single parent she kept me sane with conversations online. She was an inspiration for me to embrace life and not care what anyone else might think! Rest in peace Kate.

Here are my reasons to be cheerful which I am sure she would have appreciated:

1) Insects

Its wonderful to see busy bees and butterflies making the most of the flower bonanza brought on by the unusually warm weather:

I am glad to have done my bit for them with the wild flowers in my front garden:

2) Clearing Out

We did another car boot sale on Sunday and got rid of some more bits and made a few more pounds for the holiday kitty! It was also a good social occasion:

3) A Trip Down Memory Lane

I went through lots of boxes in the garage for the car boot and found loads of treasures. This included the children's christening gifts, some missing Denby and this rather bizarre guinea pig I made in art at high school:

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Front Garden update

I thought it was time to do a follow up post to my gardening post from April! Things have definitely come a long way since I dug out the borders for bulbs and seeds:

Here was a my video update from last week when I incorrectly identified cyclamen as geraniums:

Here are some of my favourite wild flowers that grew from seed:

Sunday 15 July 2018

Puy du Fou Historical Theme Park

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Before we went to France I had seen some Instagram photos of Puy du Fou historical theme park. So we booked some advance tickets to go for a day. It was an hour and a half drive from our campsite so an early start but it was definitely worth it!

On arrival we had to pass through a bag check and security scanner but it gave us time to check on the day's timetable. We only managed to acquire a Spanish version (and later discovered we could have installed an app!) but it was enough to realise that the Dance of the Phantom Birds was the first thing to go see. It was raining as we crossed the park, typical it was on the furthest point, and joined the huge crowd in the arena. I could understand enough of the French to get the gist of the show, not sure what my son understood! But we could all appreciate being close up to such an amazing variety of birds:

Next up it was the Knights of the Round Table. This was when we first discovered how the sets for the big pieces could actually move so much. Again the words went over my son's head but there was enough action with sword fighting etc for him to enjoy the show:

We then had to queue for a while to get into the Vikings show. It was worth it to be right at the front. This show had a bit of everything from fighting, longships and trained animals:

Friday 13 July 2018

Wild Swimming in the River Kent

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

After our enjoyable swim in Rydal Water my daughter and I wanted to go wild swimming again. This time in the River Kent nearer to home. So we headed down to Sedgwick where there are some good pools for swimming. The water levels there are very low at the moment so it reveals the way the river has carved a passage through the rocks:

Although this looks stunning its not a safe place to swim as its tricky to get in and out of the water. So we walked along the river bed to find a more suitable spot:

We had to walk a long way on what would normally be under the water:

Thursday 12 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Proud Mum #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I am joining in once again with Michelle for Reasons to be Cheerful this week. Its great to have things to make us happy and to share each other's pleasures. I look forward to reading everyone else's. Here are mine for this week:

1) Proud Mum #1

My daughter performed at her school's musical recital. She sang a beautiful song (maybe she will let me share it on here!). Meanwhile here she is with me in the River Kent:

2) Proud Mum #2

Here is my son on his way to 1st place in the junior school wrestling at Langdale at the weekend. He brought his SATs results home this week and passed with flying colours. He even got the maximum score for his maths!

3) Furry Mum

I have to include our furry family in this week. How could the sight of a guinea pig in a tunnel not raise a smile:

4) Blooming lovely

My wild flower seeds are now flowering in the front garden. When I walk down the path I pass the poppies with bees buzzing in and out gathering pollen:

That's it for me! I will now pop over and read all those on the link:

Sunday 8 July 2018

Langdale Gala 2018

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
On the first Sunday of July its the Langdale Gala at Chapel Stile which is a traditional Cumbrian event. The weather wasn't typical when we arrived:

After signing in for the fell race the first event my son took part in was the school's Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling. There was a little mix up when he wasn't in the draw for the juniors but after I'd pointed this out he ended up winning and getting £5! This was a friend's son in his first ever bout as an under 15:

The flat races then started with traditional events such as sack, sprint and egg & spoon races. My son was in the sack race:

 and then I had to head up onto the fell side for the fell races:

Due to the heat all the juniors took the lower level route. There were some disappointed teenagers that they had to only do the under 13 route:

Saturday 7 July 2018

Rydal Water Swim

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On Wednesday my daughter and I headed up to Rydal Water for an open water swim. It was such a beautiful day and so peaceful:

We parked in the LDNP car park (note it only accepts cash at the moment) and took a short walk to a secluded little beach. Then we went out into the blissfully warm water:

It was so calm and still with just the current from the river causing any commotion:

Friday 6 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

A slightly belated reasons to be cheerful so its just as well its Michelle being host this month! Its just been such a full on week that I hadn't had time to blog really. Any way here are some of the things that have made us smile and kept me busy:

1) Summer Fete

For once I made it to the school fete, for some reason my son's school always does them straight after school. Not only that but I was early enough to actually win on the bottle stall. Not a bad haul for £2:

My son had fun on the water bomb throwing game and eating cakes!

2) Fell Race

On the final race of the junior championship my son had his best finish yet beating people who have beaten him in all the other races. Not sure on his final finish position yet but hopefully close to the middle of the table.

3) Langdale Gala

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Review: Saal Photobook

Sponsored Post

I was offered a voucher so that I could try out and review a Saal Photobook. Regular readers will know that I take loads of photographs but hardly ever get them off the digital version and into a hard copy... So this was a golden opportunity for me to rectify that.

To start with I had to download and install the software to my laptop. This was a trouble free process. Then I had to decide which of the many photobooks to choose from. In the end I chose the 15 x 21 glossy book with 26 pages for £24.95. 

The hard bit was choosing which photos to put in it! At least getting them in was pretty straightforward with a little bit of trying things out. I sometimes used the auto features and at others adjusted the photos to fit myself. I was able to save the progress and come back to it and didn't have to create it all in one go.

Once completed I processed the order which again was very simple. Then I just had to wait a few days for the photobook to arrive. I am certainly impressed with the quality and feel of the book (I should probably have come up with a better title!):

The pictures that have spanned over a double spread still look amazing: