Our Day Out at Thorpe Park

If you are at a loose end with the kids this summer and want something that will suit all ages, from babies to older teenagers (and you) try Thorpe Park.

Thorpe Park is a large theme park set between Chertsey and Staines-Upon-Thames, at juction 11 on the M25.
Despite being just a forty five minute drive from me I haven’t been there since I was a kid.  Mike was supposed to join me, but because of his work commitments I took the kids on my own.  
Two children under two, four over six and just one adult meant I wouldnt be able to make the most of the day.  So, I dropped George and Arthur to my Mum and Dad’s and headed off with Mikey (10), Harri (10), Charlie (8) and Libby (6).
When we arrived the kids checked the map and all the many rides and gave me a summary of the ones they definitely wanted to go on. 

My slight disapointment, being a huge rollercoaster fan, (bigger the better) was because I was on my own, I had to swerve some of the biggest and best rides in the park.

Mikey was also disappointed, as he seems to have inherited my need for thrills! 
Saw, Stealth, Colossus, Rush and Nemiesis Inferno were all no-gos for us this time round. 

So lets talk about the rides we did go on.
Like other theme parks, Thorpe Park is separated into different areas, each with its own theme.
We started our day at Amity, a section of the park based around the seaside town that the movie Jaws is based on.

The first ride we went on was Flying Fish, a family rollercoaster.
After dragging Mikey and Harri on some of Universal Studios scariest rides last year, they were both up for this ‘tamer’ ride.
Libby and Charlie however, were rollercoaster novices and both tried get out of it.  
Thinking they would enjoy it once they were on it, I managed to convince them with some gentle persuasion.

They loved it!
Mikey didnt feel it quite satisfied his adrenaline need, but enjoyed it nevertheless.

Whilst in Amity, we also went on the obligatory log flume Tidle Wave and the more gentle water ride, Storm Surge.

One of my most memorable rides with the kids was ‘Storm in a Teacup’.  Maybe because I remember this ride and the Tetley men from when I was the boys age.  
While the kids were spinning the cup, faster and faster, I was watching their faces, they were ecstatic, their laughing and screaming with excitement will stay with me forever.   It is what #makingmemories is all about.

From Amity, we headed to ‘The Jungle’.  
This is where we rode on Mr Monkeys Banana Ride (a tame thrill ride for younger children) and the Rhumba Rapids, riding through the jungle river on a raft.

Whilst in The Jungle I spied a ‘Ghost Train’ sign.
Ghost Trains are my favourite kind of ride so I dragged the kids kicking and screaming towards it.
They breathed a sigh of relief when it stated at the entrance that you had to be 13 or over.  I was gutted! 
It looked fantastic, promoted as Darren Brown’s Ghost Train, I am heading straight for that on my kid-free visit!

Harri’s ride of choice was Angry Birds 4D Experience.

It was very similar to the Shrek ride at Universal Studios.   I dont want to spoil it for anyone, but it is a great ride for all the family. 

At Old Town the kids jumped on The Rocky Express, which they all commented that George (2) would have loved.  

Then, the kids hurried Mikey and I passed Samuri and Saw whilst we sulked like teenagers.

We stopped for a well deserved Whoppa at Burger King, just because it was the closest Eatery.  However, there are plenty of places to eat at the park.  They have everything from a Bar and Grill to Fish and Chips, Mexican, Kebabs, Pulled Meat and BBQ, they even have Burger King and KFC.

If you want treats they offer Donuts, Ice Cream, Slushies and lots of yummies dotted around the park.
The Lost City was the home of Mikeys favourite ride of the day….Quantum.  Judging by Thorpe Park standards it was one of the smaller rides but given that Mikey hadnt managed to ride any of the monsters, this satisfied his thrill level for the day.

Charlie and Harri however, were not so keen! Mikey ran off begging to ride again, whilst the others threatened to report me to social services for making them go on such a scary ride (I bolted out of the queue with Libby at the last minute as I knew she would be petrified).
Zodiac was a great ride, I actually managed to ride that one with Mikey as the queue was less than five minutes.
We spent the last hour of our day at Thorpe Park at Amity Beach, A large, man-made beach with shallow pools and water features.  
The weather was beautiful and It was so reminiscent of the Lidos my mum used to take us to when we were kids (none of which are open any more).

I sat and watched the four kids mess about, splash each other and have a great time.
Depth Charge is next to the beach.  It is a multi slide where you sit on a raft and ride down the slide.  The kids would have gone on this again and again and again but time was running away.

Being the unorganized mum that I am, i hadnt packed swimsuits or towels so it is just lucky we made that the last stop of the day.
I say last stop, but as every parent knows, no trip to a theme park is complete without a visit to the park store!
Loaded with badges, sweets and souvenirs, we were ready to say goodbye to Thorpe Park.
All I needed to do was remember where I parked the car!!!

For more information on Thorpe Park, their prices and admissions, head over to their website.
If you have been or do plan a day in Thorpe Park I’d love to hear your feedback.
Love Kate
Linking up with #BloggerClubUK

Mudpie Fridays

Tips for friends of a newborn mum

Everyone loves a newborn.  Who can resist those tiny hands and that brand new smell.
It’s even more exciting when it’s a baby of a friend or family member.  

You can impose yourself as soon as the baby is born, then hand baby back when he starts crying…perfect!……if you want to piss off and send your friend into a stressy mess!
When i had the twins 10 years ago, i was clueless.
I was trying to take everything in. Learning to make bottles, change nappies, the art of winding, and all this while trying to bond with my new babies.

Aswell as the babies to care for, i still had a house to try and keep on top of.
When i arrived home from the hospital our first visitors were waiting on the sofa for us to get back.
It was flattering to know people care so much and were getting so excited over our babies but i found it quite overwhelming.
They told me to go and have a lay down and they would look after the babies.
At 24, and a new mum, i did as i was told.
Their intentions were great.  The realitly is, i wanted to be laying down with the babies.
The first couple of weeks visitors poured in with generous gifts and lots of love but if im honest, i hated it.
I heard alot of..
‘Dont worry about the babies, ill watch them, you get on with what you need to do’
Who wants to do housework after you have nurtured a pregnant belly for nine months and squeezed a human out if you?
What i really wanted was to chill out with my babies!
So…4 more babies later and a tonne more confidence, i’m going to tell you what works for me.
When you hear your friend has had their baby, these are my tips (because they wont tell you)
-Send your congratulations text and ask them to text you when THEY are ready for a visit.
No one knows what effect the birth has had on mum.   There is nothing worse than sitting on the sofa, scared to get up infront of your guest because you have leaked through your pad!
It took me a couple of weeks to even leave the house with the twins.  When George (number five) was born, i was out, digging into a tapas the next day!

-Take them round a diner, whether it is a M&S ยฃ10 meal deal or a homemade lasagne, it will be seriously appriciated!

-When you visit, after you have coo’d over the new bundle of gorgeousness, do a bit of housework.  
Make new mum a cuppa, load the dishwasher or offer to hang the washing out.
It will make her day! 
-Tell her how fab she looks after having a baby.  She will probably look like crap but its always nice to hear!
-If they are a new mum and breastfeeding, be sensitive.  Depending on your relationship and how close you are, it can be daunting….and embaressing.
The subtle breast latch, when you can start feeding your baby within seconds and with barely any boob showing is a talent that takes practice.
The first few days it is more of a undignified game of squashing your boob and nipple into all sorts of positions to try and encourage baby to ‘latch on’.
When you have an audience this can turn a already stressfull experience into a total meltdown.
If they look like they are not confident with feeding, either offer to help (if you know how to) or use that time to make a cuppa.

I asked some fellow bloggers if they had any tips, heres what they suggest:
Lisa at Mum and dad plus 4:
Don’t wake the baby if sleeping, don’t kiss baby, offer to make a brew and ask if they need help with anything pots, watching baby while they have a quick shower, making feeds feeding baby. Let them have a sleep if needed.  Go to help not be waited on. 
Lisa at Baremother:
Do: bring cake or food (but check that mum isn’t lactose intolerant first), offer to hold baby so mum can shower, be the one to make tea/coffee, offer to help tidy or put a load of washing on. Don’t: touch baby without permission, kiss baby, overstay your welcome (an hour is plenty long enough), offer un-asked-for advice. 
Jen at Justanaveragejen:
Don’t insist on taking photos of the baby crying – my sons paternal grandmother did this and it broke my heart. She is not in his life anymore (not due to that) but it was weird and I am sure no one else would do it but you never know! And dont comment on how mum is feeding the baby, as long as the baby is being fed it isn’t your business! 
Faye at Glossytots:
Take food and ask before you pick up baby 

Emily at emilyandindiana:
Make sure to focus on how mum is doing, just as much as the baby. And if they have any siblings, make sure to include them too, so they don’t feel left out! 

Natasha at itsatashathing:
Do take a little present for mum and baby. For mum some food and maybe some relaxing bath or shower stuff. Don’t tell her how to do stuff with the baby and sound patronising! Don’t pick the baby up without asking, especially if the baby is sleeping! 
Vikki at familytravelwithellie:
Thinking back to what I wanted from my visitors …. keep the visits short, never arrive unannounced, arrive with delicious selection of easy to cook food for new mum and dad to enjoy that night  ( m and s meals are a winner ) offer to help with any chores ( washing / dishes etc ) . Ask about mum and how she’s doing . Tell her she’s doing amazing. Tell her she has a beautiful baby . Tell her you won’t stay long this time but you would love to come back whenever she needs a little help , support, shower …. 
Arabella at exeterbabyactivities:
Make a constructive but simple offer of help.  I see you are busy feeding baby,  – can I fold the washing for you?  Looks like baby needs a mummy cuddle, can I make a cup of tea for you?  Oh you are changing a nappy, shall I put the dishes away while you are doing that?
This lets mum and dad know you are thinking of them without offering any judgement on how they are coping.
Emma at readyfreddiego:
I have a nine week old and although the offers of tidying etc were nice they made me feel a bit awkward so I would have loved someone  to send me off to have my hair done and make me feel a bit more me!
Abi at somethingaboutbaby:
I often hear people say to help new mums by doing some chores but I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable with my friends doing that – especially in the early days, my husband was at home so he was managing all that.  I really just wanted to know that my friends were there for me, and interested in my new baby – that they wanted cuddles, and to take photos and feel involved in this little persons life.  I  also wanted that contact to continue – for them to continue checking up to make sure I was ok, and baby was ok.  As a new mum it meant the world to me that so many people cared about us. 

Vivienne at themothersroom:
Bring a useful gift – healthy food, a lidded thermal mug, a voucher for a sling consultation so they can get to grips with babywearing, an Amazon voucher so she can load up her kindle for those multiple night feeds –  new outfits and teddies often go unused! Make hot drinks for everyone and if you do get a cuddle, don’t hog the baby!  
(As an aside, don’t invite anyone round in the first few weeks of motherhood if you wouldn’t be comfortable sitting with them in your pyjamas – if they aren’t that close, they aren’t close enough to intrude on such a special time)
Claire at mumsymidwife:
Please do not bring your children if they have colds. I had this and my 12 day old daughter was admitted to hospital because of it. Do bring along something for Mum, as she is often forgotten. 
Terry-Ann at notaneffingfairytaleblog:
Make the visit a short one, call just before to make sure its still okay to visit as things can change so fast with tiredness etc and don’t ask to hold the baby – the mum might not want even her closes friends to hold it yet 
Stacey at onesmallhuman:
Bring a treat for Mum. One of my friends brought me a vanilla latte from Costa (my favourite) and it was brilliant! It had felt like ages since I’d had anything like that. Add to that the fact I felt like I hadn’t slept in days and that sweet caffeine hit was just fantastic.
And the other thing? Once you’ve met baby and had your cuddles, ask about Mum! And have a conversation about something not baby related – office gossip, something on the telly. Remind Mum she’s still a human being! 
Nikki at yorkshirewonders:
Take Just Eat vouchers!  I would have loved this when mine were born.  It’s nice to take them food, but I would rather just have a nice visit then a Dominos delivery afterwards! 
Chantel at twoheartsoneroof:
Great tips above, but don’t forget Dad!! I think Dad’s often get totally forgotten when it comes to new babies. Mums get all the attention and dad is often left feeling like a loose part. Ask him how he is doing too, and if your bringing coffee or something for mum get it for dad too! Baby will alter both of their lives majorly!! 
Jodie at maidenheadmum:
I took ‘Pub grub’ for my friend and her husband in their first week at home. I went and bought some premium burgers, posh cheese and the best chips I could find along with a beer for Dad and something tasty for mum as she was breastfeeding. I then cooked it for them so they felt like they were having a treat, even though they were still at home! 
I’d love to hear what your experiences were.  Do you have any do’s or dont’s for visitors?
Please share this with your friends
Lots of love peps

Baby One vs Baby Five

โ€‹ I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed from the first time mum of twins I was ten years ago to the mum of nearly six now. 

This list worried me a bit,  and before you contemplate calling social services after reading this, George is the happiest baby I have ever known! 

You tend to do so much different the second, third, fourth,  fifth and sixth time round ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
Baby One :
I started looking at buggies and cots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. 

Baby five: 
I dragged the dusty cot out of the loft on my due date. 
Buggy? I don’t have time for a buggy, I just strap baby to me and go! 

Baby One:
Book pregnancy massage at 30 weeks to relax.

Baby Five :
Radox relaxing bubble bath while one child is talking to me whilst taking a dump on the loo and another throwing toys at my head. 
Baby one :
‘oh wow, congratulations,  that is such wonderful news ‘
Baby Five:
‘ANOTHER ONE!?  you need to stop now!  Send him for the snip!
Baby One :
Panic and Google everything about childbirth, gather as many stories as possible and hope your hospital stay is minimal. 
Baby Five :
Not to worried about the pain,  more concerned how I will muster the energy to actually push the baby out. 
After two homebirths,  considering a hospital birth to blag a couple of peaceful days with my feet up being waited on. 

Baby One:
Sterilise the sh*t out of everything, dummies,  bottles,  hubby’s hands….  
Baby Five :
Put the dummy in my mouth to clean it!  (come on,  I just watched the dog lick the babies hands and my five year old put her fingers in his mouth!)

Baby One :
Keep everyone away for a couple of days after the birth to recover,  when they do come,  hostess and act like the perfect, coping mum  
Baby Five :
Invite as many people as possible over as soon as baby is born and go straight to bed to ensure you can buy enough ‘visitor baby hugs’ time to get a good couple of hours sleep.
Baby One :
Boil wash every item of clothing prior to baby wearing it and clean bedclothes daily.

Baby Five :
Wash at 30 degrees with the other kids clothes and only wash bed clothes when baby has been sick!  
Otherwise it falls in the general house rules of one wash a week! 
Baby One :
Buy every lotion, potion and gimic you can afford. 
Baby Five :
Olive oil for cradle cap, lavender oil in the bath rather than the ยฃ10 bottle of lavender scented baby bath cream.   
Oh, and FYI, Calpol is exactly the same as the own brand baby paracetamol but triple the price. 
Baby One :
Two weeks post birth spent in hibernation.
Baby Five :
School run six hours later.

Baby One:
Panic over the ‘ right ‘ time to start your baby on solids. 
Baby Five:
Disregard the professionals and as soon as baby isn’t getting satisfied by milk the porridge comes out.

Baby One :
Toddler groups three mornings a week. 
Baby Five:
Organising coffee mornings around what coffee shop has  the best ‘kids area ‘ 

Baby One :
Never take the babies to McDonald’s! They will only eat healthy, organic food including their 5-a-day until they are 9!
Baby Five :
Tried McDonald’s by nine months and even substituted the fruit for an apple strudel.
Baby One :
6.30pm bedtime,  no excuses. Boom!

Baby Five :
It’s 8pm and the baby is watching Fresh Prince with the older kids. 
If the house is quiet why rock the boat? 

Baby One :
Plan toilet training like it is a military operation.
Baby Five :
Forget to put a nappy on the baby and realise after two days he has been using the potty in the corner. 
Baby One :
At one month old, researching primary schools, high schools and universities so that my angels can become the next prime minister, doctor or lawyer.

Baby Five :
Now looking at high schools for real for the older kids.
Primary school is already planned under the sibling rule and ive actually realised,  as long as they are happy and have good support, who cares what they are when they are older. 

Baby One :
Baby gates everywhere! Can’t possibly risk baby falling down the stairs. 
Baby Five :
Teach baby how to climb down stairs safely before he can even walk. 
Baby One :
Worry at 2pm that baby hasn’t had lunch and stop everything to make sure they have a suitable meal. 
Baby Five :
At 2pm wonder if the two ginger biscuits and a mouthful of mud he had at the park is ok to pass for lunch.

Baby One :
Perfect changing bag packed and full of baby necessities at all times.  
Baby Five :
Two nappies in one pocket and baby wipes and a dummy in the other and off we go! 
Baby One :
If the baby starts creating in a restaurant,  stick by your guns,  ride the tantrum out and beam with pride when you win and other diners are patting you on the back. 

Baby Five :
Baby creates in a restaurant and you pass them the lemon from your g&t, a left over rib, order a chocole brownie or do just about anything they want just to shut them up…..then roll your eyes at the disapproving diners! ๐Ÿ˜‚


Saint Nick popped in for a cuppa!

โ€‹Deck the halls!  
We have had a really special,  festive weekend full of friends,  wine,  mince pies, sausage rolls, tinsel, The Pogues and Santa Claus! 
Back in November I looked into which Santa to take the kids to visit.  
I looked into local garden centres, National trust venues and shopping centres.   
I know most of them are great experiences but when you have 5 children they are also really expensive. 
It got me thinking,  how much would it cost to bring the big guy to us!?

I hit Google and found a company called Hiresanta.  
They sent me a few videos of different Santa auditions and the relevant price for each Santa.

Obviously, the best,  most realistic was the most expensive….. And typically the one I set my heart on. 
The price tag for our Santa came at a wopping ยฃ300, but,  considering I was going to spend ยฃ100 for 2 minutes with a half decent Santa at the local garden centre, I thought I’d give it a go.

He didn’t disappoint!
The children were absolutely blown away (and so were the adults). 

Turns out our Santa was a professional actor with credits such as Eastenders, The Bill, Frost, Londons Burning and Casualty just to name a few.
He spent two hours talking to the children,  listening to each of their presie lists and told them a lovely Christmas story. 

We are definatly going to book again for next year. 
Some of the older kids were suspicious but he was pretty convincing and left even the most defiant believers wondering….. Could he be!? 
So I can confirm we are now officially in the Christmas spirit! 
If you can get a few friends together and split the cost it is a great experience and a chance to make special memories that last forever. 
It’s also a great excuse for the parents to get together with a few bottles of wine and let a jolly man in a suit entertain the children for a couple of hours. 
Only one problem, Santa left his belt on my bed!…. Try explaining that one too the kids ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ™Š๐ŸŽ…

HO HO HO!!!! ๐ŸŽ…

My little man

I’ve been finding it hard to blog lately. 
Since George turned one he up’ed his game massivly.
He has gone from a quiet little baby who sits contently playing in his playpen (or cage to you that know us well) to a walking,  talking, shouting Hitler whos day consists of eating,  tipping up the dogs water bowl,  eating some more,  shitting and then eating again. 

Happy times though,  He has started saying my name! It’s so cute! 
He hasn’t learned that whine yet, He just walks around saying 
‘ mum, mum, mum, mum ‘ 
Let’s see how long that little novelty lasts before the sound ‘mum’ has me scratching at my eyes! 

When my babies are born i always make the mistake of strutting around with my beautiful new baby telling everyone how lucky I am that he is so good. 
This was true,  he was good,  most babies are when all they do is sleep,  drink milk and poo.
It’s when they start crawling/walking and learning the art of manipulation that things start to change. 
When I had the twins I used to take a high and mighty ‘i will not give in ‘ approach……not anymore. 
George wants chocolate,  I say no,  George screams,  I give him the chocolate. 
…..bad, bad mum 

All that aside, I am loving every precious moment with my number five.  
He is growing into a sweet, funny and affectionate little boy, just like his big brothers USED to be๐Ÿ™ˆ.
I am so excited to see what he makes of his new little brother when he arrives. 

I'm backย 

I’m sorry I haven’t posted any blogs recently.  It’s been a busy time in our house the past few weeks. 

Getting the kids ready for school after a fab six week summer holiday,  baby girl had turned 6 and it was George’s first birthday. 

The kids seem to have settled back into a routine better than I have! 
All this while living with no kitchen, collecting cows,  hatching chicks and looking after a poorly dog has left very little time to blog.

Im slowly getting back into the swing of things though so Modern Mum will be back on track. 

Family Movie Nights ๐ŸŽฅ

โ€‹Who doesn’t love Disney movies!? I could watch them day after day…… 
Oh, hold on,  that’s exactly what i have been doing for the last nine years! 
Given my babies ages (11 months. 5, 7 and two 9 year olds) I have been on the ‘disney, cebebeies, baby TV and Mr bloody Tumble’ channel for nearly a decade. 
So,  people may judge me when they hear i have been embracing the twins impending teenage years by introducing them to some of MY favourite movies. 
Some have been a hit, some haven’t, some appropriate, some maybe not,  but I’ve had a blast sharing my old favs with them. 
Pauly Shore is a bit of an unknown name in the UK, but growing up,  his movies were amongst some of my favourites. 

California Man, Bio-dome, son in law and In the Army Now are great movies for my boys.  They think he is one of the funniest people alive (besides Mr Bean). 
Stand by Me was our Friday night movie recently.   

It was a really lovely evening as Mike and I were as excited to sit down and watch it as they were. 

They found it quite emotional (when Gordie’s brother dies and when they tell stories about their family lives) but the ‘leech scene’ and all the swearing made up for it! 
FYI,  a little trivia I found out while writing this blog, did you know,  Vern in Stand by Me has grown into Jerry O’connell, who has been in Scream 2, Mistresses, Billions and Jerry Maguire! Who’d have guessed that! 

I don’t worry about them watching movies that use profanity anymore.    They know what they are allowed to say and what they aren’t and I trust their manners….
Plus, they probably hear worse at home anyway! 
Beetlejuice is now on their favourite list aswell as mine, along with Goonies, National Lampoons Vacation, Big, The Great Outdoors,  Overboard, The Ernest Movies,  Gremlins, Jaws, Mannequin, Parenthood, Return to Oz…I could go on. 
One choice that was very controversial in our house, and, I won’t lie, was Mikes choice for a movie night.  
His all time favourite movie,  FOREST GUMP!!!!
Now,  this movie is PG rated which was his argument for letting Mikey and Harri watch it. 

However,  I don’t think he took into account the various scenarios this movie involves. 

I found it the most painful 6 hours of my life (that is how long the movie goes on for isn’t it?  No? It f#@king felt like it!) 
Cringing at every scene i knew would be followed by an awkward question 
‘ mum why is Forest making funny noises after his teacher visits his mum ‘
‘urgh why is jenny making him touch her boob!?’
‘ why is jenny running away from her dad?’
But, the boys absolutely loved it,  Harrison asks me daily to watch it again. 
The adult themes went over their head but the emotional rollercoaster really swept them away. 
They are memorised with the whole movie,  Forest, his relationships with family and friends,  his comic manner, his constant need to please,  protect and love. 
I feel,  in hindsight,  it was a great movie choice for them that taught them things I certainly couldnt.
And it opened the door for me to test some other movies such as Olympus has Fallen,  London has fallen,  San Andreas, Outbreak ๐Ÿ˜ฑ, Salt, Planet of the Apes.
So in short, now. When we have ‘a family movie night ‘ I can be in the room with them mentally aswell as physically, watching with general interest rather than staring blankly at the TV because I’m watching Toy Story, Frozen or Horrid ba#@ard Henry for the 1000th time! 
Don’t worry George…… I’ll still sit through all the crap for you ๐Ÿ˜˜


โ€‹So this weekend something happened that will change my sex life for the next 20 years. 

After telling the kids to ‘shhhhhhh’ for the 58th time in the six berth camper we had hired for the weekend, finally silence fell.
…..until Harrison asked loudly, in a disgusted tone:
‘urgh, are you two having  S….E……X!? Because of you are having  S…..E……X. You need to stop.  It’s just gross, with your kids here,  close those curtains,  this is grossing me out!’
What the fu#k!? Firstly we actually were not having sex, any grunting noises had come as a result of me clambering up the shit#ing ladder to get into the coffin style bed above the drivers seats.
Secondly, the space from our bed to the ceiling was about half a foot, i could barely turn over let alone anything else!! 
Thirdly…..I was too tired ๐Ÿ˜œ  
So the next morning I questioned harri on what is S….E…..X? 
His answer….
‘its when a man and lady are naked in bed, kissing and making noises’

Day three he wake up and he asks:
‘ who was rocking the caravan last night?’
I had to think on my feet.
‘oh,  i thought you were asleep (true!)  there were some naughty boys outside pushing our caravan.  Did you hear dad go out and shout at them?’
‘no, but thank God for that,  I thought it was you two having S….E….X.  i hope those boys don’t come back tonight! ‘
No fear of that son…they have well and truley got the message๐Ÿ˜’

So we are now looking for locks to put on our bedroom door and I’m trying to work out how to approach the proper birds and bee’s talk with them …..wish me luck! 

An idea for the summer holidays – Reigate, Surrey

โ€‹Mikey has had rehursals for his summer show in Reigate over the last 5 weeks so I feel like I’m really getting to know the town well. 
I worked in Reigate years ago but never appreciated what it had to offer, but then  I did spend all my free time in the pubs!
We have spent a few lovely evenings at Priory Park, enjoying the warm summer nights while the kids play in the fabulous playground. 

Libby didn’t leave the zip wire, Charlie was king of the pirate ship and the twins were having a water fight (when they weren’t hunting for pokamons).

The park is so beautifully kept with perfectly manicured flowers, paths perfect for bike riding, a lake, tennis courts and skateboarding ramp. 
It’s has the feel of a Royal garden but without the hassle and bustle of London.
We have also given some of the restaurants a go….. It’s hardwork but there has been no time to cook! ๐Ÿ˜œ
Charlies favourite place to eat is The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant with a modern feel.
The food is stunning and I recommend the Green Thai Curry, Thai Beef Salad and Pad Thai noodles.
Charlies favourites are the pork dumplings and the paid Thai are a guaranteed win for my lot. 
We have also taken the kids to Bills which has a fabulous little courtyard garden.
The menu has something for everyone from Seabass, Burgers, Grilled paprika chicken and Salads.
The kids menu is very reasonable and the decor is great. 

Reigate also has Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, Carluccios, Cotes and lots more lovely places to eat…. I’m working my way round! 
So if you find yourself at a loose end over the summer,  take a visit to Reigate,you won’t be disappointed. 

I need my omelette makers back! ย 

โ€‹Since we last all our chickens,  ducks and geese to Mr Fox last year I decided to take a break from farm animals (with the exception of our sheep).
I have been thinking lately that now George is a bit bigger and the summer holidays are on their way, it’s time to build our stock back up.
I can’t wait to start having my own constant supply of eggs again.

I’m going to pick up some point of lay hens next week along with a nice big Cockerell….  I love my Cockerells big and noisy ๐Ÿ˜‰
Chickens make great pets, they are usually really friendly and apart from cleaning them regularly they are pretty minimal work. 
I would stay clear of Cockerells if you have neighbours close by though.

There is a fantastic poultry and farm shop called near Hickstead Show ground in Sussex where I usually buy my birds.  They have a great selection and are so knowledgeable on everything. 
My preference are Orpington buff hens,  they are a large breed, super friendly and great with the kids. 

I am also on the list for ex battery hens which I have picked up in the past. 
I wouldn’t suggest this if you are new to chicken keeping though.  They arrive in pretty bad condition and are very precious.  
I have lost many ex bats because it’s been a little too cold for them (it is common for them to arrive with little or no feathers ๐Ÿ˜ž).
If you have kept chickens before or have the time to spend with them however it is really worthwhile and gratifying. 
If you saw the state these chickens are in you would NEVER eat caged hen eggs. 

Because of Mr Fox I’m not going to risk free ranging them anymore so I will be buying (or making)  a big run for them. 
I have also ordered some fertile eggs to hatch some of our own chicks and ducklings.   
We have done this in the past and the kids love it. 

Ducks are my favourite,  they are full of character.   
Ducks imprint on their mothers (or whoever they bond with first after hatching) so my Indian runner ducklings would follow me all around the house!  
The only problem with keeping ducks is the mess….. They can turn a beautiful lawn into a bog in no time. 

As for my geese, I think i will wait a little longer before I replace them. 
They were great guard animals but unfortunately they couldnt always tell the difference between welcome and unwelcome guests! 

I’ll stick with Bullmastiffs for now!  
I’ll update you once we have our new arrivals.