Monday, 4 May 2015

Bank Holiday Fun at Blickling Hall

One of those rare things happened today…a sunny Bank Holiday! I was stuck for ideas but after a quick search online I came up with Blickling Estate. It's a National Trust property a few miles out of Aylsham and I'm a sucker for stately homes. 

Being on a tight budget we couldn't afford to go into the house and around the gardens today but access to the park, woodlands, children's play area, shops and cafe is free with parking just £2.50 all day (and even then you can use the voucher attached to get £2.50 off in the cafe or restaurant!)

We grabbed a map and headed off on the 3km Lake Walk. A 7.25km walk takes you to more interesting parts of the park; the pyramid-style Mausoleum, Tower, Great Wood and Pond meadow, but   we felt that it was too far for Harry to walk (and me, with my dodgy hip!) 

As you leave the car park and begin walking towards the lake you get some great views of Blickling Hall. My phone camera just doesn't do it justice.

We had a lovely, leisurely walk around the lake and the children had fun playing in the wooded area. Once you've circled the lake you come close to the house and gardens. Again, my camera didn't take a great shot but the bluebells below were beautiful. 

Coming towards the front of the house again took us past this gorgeous Orangery. Trying to make the trip educational as well as fun I asked Molly if she knew why it was called an Orangery. After a long pause she asked "Was it painted orange?" Bless! 

After  our picnic lunch we took the children to the play area to run off some steam. It's rather small and looks tired and rundown but it kept them happy for half an hour! It was such a gorgeous and warm afternoon that I lay down on the grass soaking up some rays while they chased each other around (Charlie wearing Molly's cardigan for some odd reason) and competing to see who could do the best handstand. Oh, how I wish I could have taken part!

We then went for a quick wander around the courtyard and had a closer look at the house. The architecture is absolutely stunning. I'm hoping that we can save up and visit the house one day. Although stately homes & estates are not usually Charlie's thing he thoroughly enjoyed it and begged us to do the other 3km trail. If only I had that boy's energy! 

We eventually managed to convince him that we will definitely return to Blickling so we then took a short trip to Cromer to enjoy an ice-cream.

A truly wonderful bank holiday. Let's hope the next one is as much fun! 

This post has been linked up with Coombemill's Country Kids linky.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Horrible Histories Live at Norwich Theatre Royal

The Birmingham Stage Company have brought two new shows to the stage; Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders and last night was the first night of the Horrible Histories tour in Norwich. Molly, Charlie and I went along to watch Incredible Invaders.

It's a fast-paced, funny and raucous trip through a thousand years of ancient history involving the Romans, Saxons and Vikings including some wonderfully catchy songs, one of the elements we love most about Horrible Histories. The small cast play a number of historical figures throughout the show, including Boudicca, Alfred The Great and William The Conqueror, but shining out for us was Hannah Boyce who played Mavis. Her singing voice was sublime.

Thrown in were plenty of in-jokes for the adults and some incredible 3D Bogglevision effects. I won't spoil the surprises but there were a few that had us screaming and jumping out of our seats!

I asked Molly and Charlie what they thought and they said it was 'awesome, epic, and really funny'. We all agreed that the 3D Bogglevision was most definitely the highlight.

This is one show for all of the family to enjoy and it brings history to life in such a fun way that it grabs childrens' interest and they don't realise it's educational.

They're on stage in Norwich until Sunday 26th April before heading off to Derby. Get your tickets now as they're selling fast. Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01603 630000 or by visiting the Norwich Theatre Royal 

*We received tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My red-faced morning

Molly and Charlie have reached that age where they find Mum and Dad terribly embarrassing. Harry on the other hand seems to be out to embarrass me. Daily I'm embarrassed by how loud he is and by some of his behaviour but most of the parents think he's adorable! Today was different...

Yesterday in the playground I had a tap on the shoulder from one of the Mum's of Harry's classmates. Apparently Harry had given her son something on Friday but he'd since lost it and was worried. I could only imagine it was a toy car he'd taken in and I told her to not worry as it's Harry's fault for taking his toys in when I've told him on a number of occasions that they'l get lost. She seemed a little embarrassed and then went on to explain that J said it was an invite. Harry had handed out party invites on Friday but J was on the reserves list. I didn't have the heart to tell the lad he wasn't invited so I said I'd take in an invite for him. One more lad wouldn't make a difference…but then I started to wonder if J had received T's invite by mistake as T was late to school on Friday. Did I need to invite T again? Did J's Mum know that it was T's invite? What a pickle! I gave J his invite this morning and T's Mum was there too so I did ask if he'd had an invite and he had so it seems that Harry just decided to invite another person along. I'm hoping I don't get any more like that!

A couple of Mums in the Junior School playground called me over to tell me that Harry had thrown his cap up so high that it was stuck on the roof of a portacabin. There was nothing I could do but hope that the wind would eventually blow it down. Harry just stood there grinning, with everyone watching, so I marched him off to his school. A few minutes later we heard someone shouting our names. One of the Mums got her son up on her shoulders and he reached up for the cap. This is the same Mum I had a huge falling out with a few weeks ago so I've now got to approach her and thank her. Cheers Harry!

Harry was clearly in a playful 'let's wind Mum up' mood this morning and thought it would be funny to run up to me in the playground and shout "Mum, I need a poo!!" even though he didn't need the toilet. It's on days like this that I almost wish his speech wasn't improving.

I thought that would be it. Nope.

As his teacher came out he realised he'd got squash in his bottle (we'd left the house in a hurry and he grabbed the wrong bottle) so he announced it loudly to his teacher, then the first TA, and the second…. His teacher's face was a picture: she was not a happy bunny. At that point I wished the ground would open up and swallow me but my prayers weren't answered so I had to skulk off, heading hanging low.

I dread to think of what he'll do next!!

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