Holidays with children. Aka how to bring on a nervous breakdown!

Sooo, after my last post about how wonderful things were between our two little monsters, I’m pretty gutted to tell you that normal service has been resumed, (although it does make for far better blogging material, silver lining in everything!), and arguments abound, along with moaning. Arguing. Fighting. Talking back. Screaming. Shouting and a whole lot of crying. If I tell you that yesterday on the ferry when I had to listen to see if it was our stop, that I said to big girl, ‘hey let’s listen to the man sweetie, we need to see if it’s our stop’ and she promptly put her hands over her ears and stared me out, does that convey the level of defiance I’m up against?!

She is really really stubborn and it annoys me so much as I know she got it from me…..who got it from my dad…haha sorry dad! (I know he gets email alerts on my blog…possibly not again now!!) 😉 So she will  match me obstinate stand off for obstinate stand off, just as I did as a child with my dad. (Sorry again about my bedroom door by the way, those hinges took a real hammering!) Small boy has so far been slightly easier going, although it looks a little as if he is going the same way now if the last few weeks have been anything to go by!!

It amazes me the things they find to argue about.

Aside from the usual, who sits where on the sofa, who gets to sit in the highchair, (yes really, almost 5 and big girl wants to be in there too it got so bad now there are 3 of them after it, we’ve had to remove it altogether!), we currently have a few holiday extras.

Who gets to hold Hermes the lizard being the big one. I have to admit that I get involved in this too. We are not cruel lizard catchers or anything, it’s just that two days in a row now this teeny baby has needed rescuing from the pool and warming up on a hand in the sun before he is able to move around again. It’s just whose hand gets the privilege of being a lizard sun lounger!

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Hermes, our new pet!
Everyone wanted a chance to warm him up.
Everyone wanted a chance to warm him up.
He liked hiding under my Garmin running watch.
He liked hiding under my Garmin running watch, (just in case you thought I liked giant watches)

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Who gets what colour spoon in their icecream. Who has the most mosquito bites. Who can swim better. There have been debates about just about everything you can imagine actually. I think yesterday probably took the biscuit though for crappy holiday behaviour though. Or took il gelato!

We have been on boat trips across lakes with the most dramatic mountains plummeting down to meet it’s shores, picture perfect villages tumbling down them to greet some of the most beautiful towns I’ve even seen. We’ve sat eating delicious ice creams in front of breathtaking vistas, eaten fresh hot pizzas topped with amazing things, like chips, (for the kids), and calamari, (for the grown ups), all topped off with lashings of delicious chilled prosecco, (for the kids…..haha, not, as if we’d waste it on those grumpy mini humans!! 😉 )

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They have had swims in the pool, in the lake and been spoiled rotten by our lovely kind neighbour, their Nonno Italiano, (Italian Grandfather), yet still they behave like they should be in an episode of Super Nanny, the one where Super Nanny turns to drink would be apt!!

Yesterday, as we sat on the ferry, returning from an idyllic island with gardens that made me dream of doing something with our scrubby lawn, peacocks, normal and albino, a palace filled with wonders, I posed the genuine question to Mr PB and my lovely friend who has come to join us for a few days with her small human, big girl’s friend, ‘do you think parenting can cause post traumatic stress disorder? Will we be in our 60s and plagued with flashbacks of this day?’

Although I was half joking, I sort of wonder if it is indeed possible to be traumatised by days out with your children?!

I think we were all wondering actually. Having spent much of the day trying to keep it together as the children took turns in the tantrum relay, passing the baton of tears at regular intervals, (I actually think there were times when they were fighting over that!), we looked like survivors of some hideous ordeal. I think it came very close to us all in tears actually! It was so bad that we actually went looking for alcohol at lunch time. We didn’t find it sadly, but the intent was there! 😀

I’ll just hit you with a few highlights.

  • When I went to get the tickets, although my italian is pretty passable with simple things like that, the guy in the ticket booth took enormous delight in pretending to misunderstand me as the ferry was there waiting and a large queue of disgruntled people was building behind me. I left there clutching the tickets and literally sweating!
  • The kids were so crazy on the ferry that a breastfeeding mum got up and moved as they were so distracting to her child.
  • We sat down for a drink in between boats and small boy who was somehow still covered in last night’s ice cream attracted a bee. Who told another bee. Who gave the shout out to the hive! I like bees a lot so we were careful not to hurt them but they were very persistent. It was so bad that when small boy went inside to help Mr PB pay, he literally had a trail of bees behind him. Which was actually pretty funny, luckily none of them are scared of bees!
  • We had one buggy. Which small boy refused to go in, preferring instead to career around reminding everyone of that one friend that always peaks too early and needs carrying around for most of the night. Unfortunately, both big girls did want to go in. Resulting in a lot of tears as we refused to let either go in. Especially as big girl is so big her feet trail on the floor when in it.
  • We decided to walk to a restaurant to have lunch as there was a queue to get into the palace and gardens. Once we’d fought our way to a table through the packed room, we sat down and realised that it was just a very expensive restaurant doing just big meals. There was another cafe on the island. The other side of the island. We decided to head for that one. Once we’d battled our way out, carried the damn buggy back up all the steps and cajoled, bribed, shrieked at and generally bullied our kids across the actually pretty big island, we were all pretty near tears!
  • We then found a table of older english  holiday makers who picked up on our obvious woe and started chatting to the kids to give us a break. The wailing tantrums were soon replaced by some very silly behaviour, including trying to make them smell their stinky shoes, putting their grubby little feet on their trousers and generally being very very silly and annoying. Then the people very sweetly made some spurious excuses and got the hell out of there! (Just to clarify, we didn’t just let them behave like that, we were admonishing and restraining but it was having very little effect as they kept saying it was ok!!)
  • A race through the palace allowing precisely zero seconds to actually look at anything, apart from the very large, very graphic room containing the puppet theatre that must have been used to depict hell, prompting endless fascination and awkward questions about the flames, skeletons, devils and general torture!
  • A forty five minute long tantrum when I revoked big girl’s ice cream rights due to bad behaviour. It was epic and was purely directed at me, the snotty, can’t breathe, can’t be out of your face, can’t leave you alone physically or verbally sort. It did however, result in us getting an entire section of the ferry all to ourselves, every cloud and all that!

Luckily today has been a much better day. I think carrying through my threats of no ice cream and no visit to Nonno for treats has had a dramatic effect on big girl’s behaviour and a chilled out, laid back day has calmed everyone down. Probably the trip to the toy shop for a few extra barbie dolls have halted the war too!

Hopefully for the rest of the holiday because I’m not sure I’ve ever drank so much and so regularly for years!!! 😀

Isola Madre is pretty amazingly beautiful! A few of my photos from the gardens. I particularly love the frogs showering in the fountain!

Scroll on down to the bottom for a little extra section. 🙂

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Also, I had so much fun doing my Allergic to ‘E’ Challenge, I’ve decided to turn it into a bit of a series and will be writing a sentence omitting each letter of the alphabet in turn at the bottom of each of my next 26 posts, just for fun really. So we shall start where all the best stories start, at the very beginning.

No ‘A’, No Way!

It feels impossible to write without this letter. Oh, but it is indeed possible to complete. I scribe referring to sunshine, swimming, drifting on lilos, wonderful birds doing flying jumps through the cloudless sky. Difficult though it’s been, I’ve finished, I’m feeling good, it’s not frightening like big smelly bog trolls one teeny little bit. 😀

Best of Worst

Normal service has been resumed!! (What my children argue about.)

So, after my last post about how amazing things were between my two delightful children, I’m kind of happy to say that normal service has now been resumed, (makes far better blog material!), although that undercurrent of real love and playing together is definitely still there thankfully!

The arguing has returned in force. But it’s not over things that I consider to be reasonable, the things hubby and I argue about, like, whose turn it is to make tea, who has to do the chocolate run at 9pm, who has to let the dog out last thing and wait for 20 minutes while he meanders about checking his wee-mails, and who gets to brush big girl’s hair in the morning.

Nope, our kids argue about things like;

What tv program they are watching.

“It’s dinopaws”

“It’s not”

It is

It’s not

What channel is on.

“It’s cbeebies”

It’s not

It is

Who gets to sit in the highchair. (Yes at almost 5, big girl still wants that privilege, probably for the novelty factor as we don’t have one at home anymore!)

“It’s my turn.”



Who gets to go in the trolley.

“My turn”


“I’m far too big, I’m stuck, this was a terrible idea!” (What big girl would say if she wasn’t so obstinate!!)

Sometimes the argument is literally just words.







This can either end in violence or hysterical laughter depending on the mood.

More often then not though, the argument will escalate in ferocity and volume until small boy finally bellows his closing statement with the roar of an elephant. In the shocked silence that follows, big girl will look at him slyly and very quietly whisper ‘poo’, (or whatever side she is arguing). He will then burst into tears. After which she skips off happy considering it a victory.

One thing caused a little drama this week, we are on holiday in italy and bought some fantastic lego sets for the kids. We found what seemed to be the italian version of ikea, I stopped to look at these chairs, (they were shaped like hands, and really bright colours and they swivelled!), turned around and they had gone! Mr PB must have been setting a cracking pace because it took me forever to catch them up, almost jogging through twisty sections of kitchens and beds. At some point I happened upon small boy, who had joined another family!

Worst bit was that there were no cut throughs, we have it lucky with ikea! It did have a very cool toy department though. Once he got over the fact that I was under no circumstances going to buy him or let him drive to show daddy a massive ride on tractor and trailer, (he was tired and in ‘ small belligerent drunk mode‘ so it was harder then it sounds!), I chose them some sets and managed to get him out of there. Small boy got a very cool pirate set;

Why are pirates called Pirates? Because they Arrrrrr! Sorry, fabulous mum joke there!
Why are pirates called Pirates? Because they Aaaaarrrrrr! Sorry, fabulous mum joke there!

Best of all though, big girl got a pizzeria set complete with pizza oven and delivery moped. So cool! I’m not going to lie. I built it all. At four and two it was a little beyond them yet, ok ok, it was before my first cup of tea and it had to be done right then and there and pre-tea I am not the most patient person, (read: a crazy person unable to form sentences or smile), and they kept asking me to do each bit individually after trying for all of 2 seconds themselves.

It did make me remember how much I love lego though, and it has come on so much since my day when I just had about 200 very similar bricks and a vivid imagination! It is so brilliant.

She even has a phone to take orders!!!
She even has a phone to take orders!!!

The problem arose when they attempted to combine the two and the pirate went to the pizzeria.

What is a pirates favourite pizza topping? Pepaaaarrrrrroni! (Thanks google!)
What is a pirates favourite pizza topping? Pepaaaarrrrrroni! (Thanks google!)

Sadly, he didn’t have the respect that Stephanie the pizzeria owner required. Then being a pirate, and prone to short temper, he threw the table over. The game ended, (as is often the case weirdly!), in both children in tears and under the table. Hopefully they found all the bits as I’m hoovering today and I’ve worked out that each piece must be made of solid gold as it was pretty expensive! 😀 Worth it though, as they did play nicely with it for about an hour and I’m hoping we can teach the pirate captain more manners and show him how to conduct himself on shore. Plus the skeleton could really use feeding up, he’s all bone!

Allergic to ‘E’ challenge

So I was challenged by the lovely *ahem* Every Word You Say to undertake writing an entire paragraph without using the letter E once. (By the way, I haven’t started yet, just in case you were thinking I really haven’t understood the point of this!! 🙂 )


I shall begin now. Holy macaroni, how tough. A quick brainstorm and what joy, amazingly I can still wax lyrical about pink, unicorns, a fabulous sparkly fairy, fun things such as knights, dragons, roaring dinosaurs, glowing light from bright moons shining in a dark night sky.

Also, a fun fact about your author, four birthdays flown past from a point that, big with baby bump, I took against an innocuous thing, a tomato, and still to this day, I can’t stand to munch that fruit.

So thanks to you, blogging buddy, for passing on this writing hardship, so tough, traumatic I would go so far to say. Now though, I must go, for a mosquito is trying to hunt my tasty blood.

Boom! 😀


Wow, so I am more than a little proud of myself now. As Mr Pear Bear said; nailed it! High praise indeed!

Never one to hog all the fun, I nominate these bloggers to do the same! Let’s get those synapses firing!! 😀

  • Link to the person who nominated you and thank them. 
  • Write a paragraph without using the letter ‘E’.
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers.
  1. Inte fan gor det det (I am so interested to see if this is easier or harder in another language!)
  2. Claire at Art and Soul
  3. Sophie Speaks Up
  4. Occupation (m)other
  5. Silence Killed the Dinosaurs

And that’s me done! Phew, goodbye for now! 😀

B(e)aring my soul.

I’m not really one for a share of feelings. Which may sound a bit strange to the people who know me, as I am a huge fan of talking therapies, I’m always there to listen to and advise friends, I was even working towards being a counsellor myself and sat my exams with a mahoosive bump containing a very wriggly, bladder kick-y big girl. When it comes to myself though, I tend to keep my emotional cards very close to my chest, hiding behind a wall of humour and deflection. For some reason I have felt this post bubbling away under the surface all day today and felt compelled to sit down and write it down this evening. The last few years have been really tough for us as a family. I’m not going to go into many details, but to summarise; 2 children. 1 traumatic labour. 4 house moves. Some life changing decisions. A few major health issues. 2 serious operations. Friendship struggles and family difficulties. A very long and stressful battle with the black dog that is pnd (Post Natal Depression). Now however, for the first time in a very very long time, I feel peaceful. I realised today, that I feel fine. The 20 foot high waves of anxiety and stress that I’ve been trying to navigate through have gone. Settled into a ripple free millpond of calm. It is a very strange and wonderful feeling. So alien to me recently, that it took me a good while to work out what it was. I am happy. What made me realise especially today, was because the war between big girl and small boy, that has been raging on for almost 3 years, seems to be over. They must have called a truce one night in their bunk beds without us hearing. Today I watched my sweet little son teaching his big sister how to climb out of the pool without using the steps, and saw her taking care of him as tenderly I would when he was upset after falling, and felt something magical, this is what it’s all about, this is what it has all been for. All this time I have been so worried. Worrying about whether we’d done the wrong thing giving her a sibling. Berating myself over and over because she lost such a big part of her mummy when he came along, busy with a baby who cried almost continuously for his first 12 months, exhausted because it took 18 months for him to even think about sleeping through, weighed down with the fog of pnd. I have been eaten up with guilt. For not being the mother I believe I should be. For finding it so tough. For not ringing out every iota of joy and happiness from just their existing and often praying for a break, just holding out until bedtime. Everyone told me things would get better, they said that things would settle down. It was hard to believe it though. It didn’t start well when big girl used the doll we’d bought her as a gift from small boy as a weapon to club his tiny day old newborn head. Then there was the time she pulled his leg in the bath to dislodge him from his baby bath seat, a look of sheer joy on her tiny face as he slipped out of sight under the bubbles. It really hasn’t been easy and all the while this horrible guilt loomed up behind me, but suddenly, I feel free of it. There is real love between them, they care for each other so greatly. They are playing nicely, displaying real affection towards one another, imparting knowledge and wisdom to each other, sharing toys. All these things I had seen in other siblings and feared I’d never see in my children. The relief is tangiable. Sometimes you don’t realise how much something has been upsetting you until you come out of the other side and look back. Things seem to be on the up and up in general. No more moving, that is for certain now, we are settled, have wonderful friends and have carved out a niche for ourselves in our community. There are playdates and mum’s nights, camping trips and parties. We are included in things and have so many wonderful people we want to include in the things we plan too. We are all healthy. Apart from the cake addiction but hey, pick your battles right?! Pnd is still around, may always be somewhere hovering, but at the moment it is under control, damped down, supressed, managed, kenneled! We may be somewhere where the sun is literally shining, but I feel so sure that the sun will stay shining inside me when we get home. Might sound Sounds soooo cheesy but it feels like there has been a seismic shift in just about everything these last few days, and we have all settled into a very calm, happy, unity. Just goes to show, even if life feels as dark as if there are metaphorical blackout blinds up in every one of the windows to your soul, there will always be a chink somewhere that lets the beaming rays of hopeful sunshine in. (Please don’t worry, despite being all happy and bubbly, I will still be sharing the funny stuff. Like tonight there was a drama that made Games of Thrones look like Pingu, an actual real splinter in Big Girl’s foot. I’m thinking of signing her straight up for acting classes because you would have thought she was having her whole leg amputated when I simply tried to look at it! Needless to say she is now sound asleep with said splinter still embedded…….right, where are my tweezers and torch?!)


Adventures Abroad

Ok, firstly let me say that I know the blogging rule about not letting people know that you are away. If however, someone is reading, knows where we live and feels desperate enough to burgle us, please let me give you a few tips. The tv in the lounge is a little dodgy, turn it on and wait, seriously, this is very important, you mustn’t try and do anything at all for around 4 minutes. Then, and only then, can you try and change channel/look at the guide. If you don’t wait, it will freeze completely and you’ll have to turn it off at the mains and start again, making sure you wait the required 4 minutes this time. This is really really really only mildly frustrating and I’m sure won’t affect resale.

The computer, this is super mega old and very slow as I have detailed previously. I’m sure the parts would be worth something if you broke them down. As a bonus, you may also come across the rusk that impressively vanished without trace into the back somewhere. (Yes it’s true, kids really do do that stuff!)

We do have a new laptop but I have that with me, in the very unlikely case that you are reading this at a future date and think about burgling us, I think it only fair to pre-warn you that it will almost certainly only take me 2 weeks max to fill this one up with photos and bugs and probably biscuit crumbs for good measure!Read More »

Turning 30 something!!

*This post has been mainly fuelled by Prosecco!*

Birfday dinner. Just missing Mr Pear Bear who is on his way!! 40 minutes & counting! 🙂

So today I turned 30*ahem*something. Ok ok 32! It’s not so bad. Here are a few things I have realised.

1. I am not confined to a commode in an old people’s home sipping my soup through a straw as I genuinely believed 30 plusers were when I was a teenager.

2. Birthdays when you have small children are way more fun if you have your parents around to look after your teeny people & generally make your day relaxing!

3. Re point 1, I may not be as elderly as I’d believed I’d be now but I do enjoy a good afternoon nap.

4. Prosecco is the birthday fuel of champions!

5. I am seriously blessed with some lovely people in my life.

6. In my head I am still 19.

7. There is the smallest chance I may be a bit tipsy.

8. The above is a guaranteed statement made by an elderly 30 pluser, not hammered, wasted or passed out. Just a bit tipsy!! 😉

Happy birthday me!

Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them! 🙂

Losing my baby to school – Sisterhood Award post

A pretty fair depiction of me this last month I'd say!  Last school trips, leaver's parties, final shows. Sob!
A pretty fair depiction of me this last month I’d say! Last school trips, leaver’s parties, final shows. Sob!

So I’m just sitting, feeling a bit meh, (technical term), because my baby girl has her last day at preschool tomorrow and then, after what is feeling like an increasingly short summer holiday, she is off to school.

So excited and looking super cute but just looking at this makes me well up!
So excited and looking super cute but just looking at this makes me well up!

Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely school, really lovely, and she is fairly excited and it’s very close by, but I just feel a huge sense of loss when I think about it. I really feel that when I watch her little uniformed figure disappear through those gates that a part of her will be lost to me forever. I am no longer in charge of what we do every day. I can’t decide to whisk them off on a midweek adventure day, just dropping an email or text to preschool explaining that she won’t be in.

Of course we will still have weekends and holidays but everywhere will be busier, noisier, with long queues for things. I feel this tremendous weight of all the things I wish I’d done with her while we still had the chance to go when it was quieter. It feels like an out of control juggernaut, time, steaming forward with me desperately trying to load it up with as many experiences as possible before it’s too late, hanging off the side with one arm, trying to encourage my reluctant children running alongside to keep up.

So I’ve decided to stop. I’m out of time now anyway. I don’t want a summer of stress and frantic attempts to enjoy ourselves while in reality, everyone will just end up miserable, hot and bothered. This summer is going to be….The Summer of Nothing,

There, it has a proper title now and so we will have to abide by it. This summer we will relax, have fun where we find it, take hours to go to the shop for an ice cream instead of chivvying them along everywhere, have water fights in the garden, pick blackberries, (they are ripe already, this isn’t right surely?!), see family, see friends and just take each day as it comes.

Life moves by so quickly, time ebbing away in a flurry of playdates and trips, mundane things like doing the washing and going to the supermarket, that I don’t want to waste any more of it. The amount of times we have planned a trip somewhere, teeth set on edge before we even make it out of the door thanks to dawdling, reluctance to move, lost shoes. Then far too long of the obligatory in car arguments over music choice, who is going to get out first etc etc. We have had tons of days out that were wonderful of course, but really, some of our very best days have been spent on a blanket in a field, playing Pooh sticks and eating squashed sandwiches.

Nature Walks. Cheaper then Legoland & just as fun.....surely?!
Nature Walks. Cheaper then Legoland & just as fun…..surely?!

Instead of flitting about trying to do everything, I want to just chill the hell out, stop trying to be a tour guide, standing up front, waving my umbrella about in the air while my children flop about and moan at the back, overtired and grumpy, looking for every opportunity to escape out of a side door into the sunshine, and just do Nothing. Oh, and take a lot of naps! Naps are good. 🙂

I googled for images of tour guides and then bored tourists and this gem popped up. I think it's probably very similar to how we look as a family at the end of a day out somewhere!! :D
I googled for images of tour guides and then bored tourists and this gem popped up. I think it’s probably very similar to how we look as a family at the end of a day out somewhere!! 😀

(This post was written in the aftermath of the ‘celebratory kiddy dinner with a few friends’ that graduated into a leaving party of around 30 kids and their mums! Amazing fun but I’m super tired and on a sugar and e-number crash down today! Let it also be noted that everyone brought something along and as a testament to their fabulousness, around 90% of it was sugar based! :D)

Luckily I'll still have the  Whirling Wonder Boy to keep my mind off it. Dread to think what I'll be like when it's his turn!!
Luckily I’ll still have the Whirling Wonder Boy to keep my mind off it. Dread to think what I’ll be like when it’s his turn!!


Luckily I remembered that the lovely Claire from Art and Soul had nominated me for this Sisterhood award and it inspired me to write the above post, so thank you for snapping me out of my funk and making me smile again!

Now I have cleared my mind of the serious bit, I can set to work answering her questions and coming up with a few of my own, yay!

1. When was the last time you wrote something with pen and paper? What was it?

I filled in a transition form for my daughter’s preschool this morn, hence the reason it’s all on my mind I think. I then forgot to actually take it in with my, but hey ho, we got half way I guess!! 😀

2. Have you read a book more than once? What was it?

Oh heaps! I read Mallory Towers so many times when I was younger that it genuinely fell apart, I don’t think reading it in the bath helped either, water and paper don’t mix very well. I do blame this book for the misguided idea it gave me of what boarding school would be like. It was NOTHING like it. I was very disappointed for a long time!

3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Ooh, tough one! I love seeing the things that I think written down, I like the sense of satisfaction I get from creating sentences that flow nicely. I’d forgotten how much I love words and language. I wrote all the time when I was younger but recently I let it slide and I get a real thrill now that I’ve rediscovered it, especially seeing that other people enjoy my posts enough to take time to comment on them, that has to be the biggest high.

4. What’s the funniest video you’ve ever seen on the internet? If you can remember and find it, please include the link!

No question, hands down the bacon dog. This makes me cry laughing no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I remember when it was withdrawn due to copyright or something and the sense of loss I felt when it wouldn’t play. Also the happiness when it reappeared. Whoop!

I would like to nominate a few bloggers who I’ve really enjoyed reading posts by and chatting with.

Doodle Mum because her illustrations always make me smile.

Phoenix over at Struggling to Thrive

Silence Killed the Dinosaurs

The questions. I’m going to do 4 as well.

1. If you ever got a tattoo, what would you get and where?

2. What is the one hairstyle you’ve always wanted but never dared try?

3. Do you have a dog?

4. Which country would you visit first if you came into some money?

Thanks again for the nomination Claire and I can’t wait to see your answers nominees! 🙂

To accept the award, you have to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Copy the award badge and display it in your award post.

3. Answer the questions the blogger who nominated you asked.

4. Nominate other bloggers and set them some new questions to answer (I believe it’s supposed to be 10 bloggers and 10 questions, but you’ll see I’ve reduced this a bit! If my nominees want to go ahead and use 10 that’s great).

Cornbury coolness!

I am very lucky, I have a lovely friend who does her amazing children’s musical class at festivals and asks me to be her assistant. I can’t even call it work but technically that is what it is, we even had wristbands that announced it! This year at Cornbury Festival in the seriously picturesque Oxfordshire countryside we were doing both Miniature Music sessions and making circus peg people.

So basically for three hours each day, I got to sit and make little peg clowns and acrobats and help children of all ages, (and some adults!), to let their imaginations run riot. I was blown away by their creativity. Not one child just sat and copied the examples, there were trapeze artists on pipe cleaner trapezes, a lion, fairies and even a performing penguin. There is something so magical about watching somebody totally absorbed in creating and I find it very relaxing to get the chance to just be still and peaceful and lost in making too.

They were given just a plain wooden peg and out on the table was an explosion of colour and textures, wool, feathers, sequins, felt, pens, netting, it was like a haberdashery had hovered over the table and tipped itself up.

I had made some rainbow tutus for us to wear and we had rainbow bow ties and over the knee stripy socks…….we cut the feet off as socks and flip flops is not a good look even in fancy dress!

Myself and Mr Pear Bear! ;) Only joking, I don't have the spare million pounds I'd need to get him into a suit like this!
Myself and Mr Pear Bear! 😉 Only joking, I don’t have the spare million pounds I’d need to get him into a suit like this!

The best thing about being ‘workers’ is that you get to go behind the scenes, which is brilliant as you get to see some acts getting ready. One of my favourites was seeing the cry-with-laughter funny Granny Turismo drinking tea and popping their teeth in ready for their next performance! 😉 If you’ve never heard of them, as I hadn’t, here is a little clip to brighten up any day! 😀

It was a seriously amazing weekend, there was a lot of fun, a lot of laughter and a fair bit of cider! The one thing that we couldn’t have done without, (aside from heaps of cash!), was our trolley that we pre-hired. Last year we went to a festival and didn’t pre-book and spent the whole time trying to get hold of one and watching enviously while parents rolled their peacefully slumbering children out to enjoy a bit of the evening vibe as we sat by our tent at 8pm. This year it was our mission to have one too. It was the best thing since sliced bread! The peaceful evening slumbering didn’t go exactly to plan, (I have a fabulous video of them dancing to Razorlight but I frustratingly can’t get the program to rotate it to work, and as amusing as it is imagining all my lovely readers watching it with their heads on one side as I’ve been doing, I will wait until I can fix it!), but for day naps, general tired legs whinge prevention and to carry all those ‘essentials’ with kids, like 4 dolls, blankies and all the random tat you seem to accumulate at these things, it was our new best friend. We decorated it with fairy lights. These unfortunately met an untimely end in the axis of the trolley but handily, the flowers made amazing skirts for many show girls and fairies the next day!

Trolleys. For general reclining in and being rolled around eating crisps!
Trolleys. For general reclining in and being rolled around eating crisps!
How amazing is this?! RIP  fairy lights but your flower skirts live on to twirl another day! :D
How amazing is this?! RIP fairy lights but your flower skirts live on to twirl another day! 😀

The other thing that has been super duper amazingly handy of late, not just at the festival but generally with living with smalls, has been the swiss army card that Mr Pear Bear bought me waaaay back when in our early years of dating, I rediscovered it and it’s been living in my bag ever since and has been used for splinters, emergency eyebrow tweezers, (don’t tell him but they are actually better then the well known brand ones that he moans at the cost of…sshhhh! This will suss out whether he actually reads my posts or just pretends too! 😉 ), it’s also great for snipping off suddenly-too-skritchy-to-keep-walking labels and the pin once came in extremely useful for widening the holes on some wooden beads when we absolutely had to make a bracelet on the bus.

This is the one I have. It’s pink surprise surprise!

The other person I really want to mention is a very very nice man called Graham Jones who was there promoting his book series, Time Travelling Toby. The reason I mention him is because he put so much effort into his show, he did 3 or 4 half hour shows with only a short break in between each one, which he spent out and about chatting to everyone, and was as enthusiastic, engaging and animated each time. He genuinely kept both small boy age 2 and big girl age 4 totally rapt for the full 30 minutes, I have never seen this before, ever!

He really brought history to life for the children, (I was very interested too and history was my worst subject at school, think I came away with more knowledge then all of my GCSE left me with!!), big girl loved it so much she went to all 3 shows on the last day and spent the 50 minute drive home giving her imaginary audience a very enthusiastic and factually interesting account of the battle of fafalgar, (Trafalgar)!  I think the most admirable thing is that he does this as a sort of hobby to get children interested in history and goes around schools for free to do his wonderful talks. (He’s based near Cheltenham but I’m not sure how far he travels).

I haven’t even covered the music, but bed is calling sooo loudly after my 2 nights on a hill sleeping on a bit of foam that should be ashamed to call itself a mat, so I will just leave you with the fact that one of the biggest musical hits with the kids resulted in some crazy cool dancing from big girl and an attempt at head banging from small boy. They were one of my faves too, I had never heard of them before. The Wonder Beers. Here is an example of their music to lull you to sleep…..not! 😉 There may well be a Cornbury Continued as I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface yet. We still need to cover the logistics of onesies with capes and portaloos!

Why I envy my children.

This is a totally materialistic post. I envy them for….their clothes!! Seriously, I am genuinely gutted that the clothes in the children’s range don’t go up to my size.

Here are a few reasons why;

1. Elasticated waistbands.

Self explanatory. Also the handy elastic and button system. Save having to change my whole wardrobe every time I change shape. (Read: pay for my cake addiction!)

2. Funky leggings.

I am SO jealous about this. Have you seen the little girl’s selection of leggings in h&m alone? It’s like a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns. Downstairs in ladies? There are black. Maybe brown if you’re feeling really wild.

3. The dresses.

Ok I know that you can get some pretty amazing dresses for women too but I just bought her a dress that was covered in wild flowers and bees for £2.99!! There are also matching shorts.

4. Dinosaur trainers.

Trainers, covered in dinosaurs. For around a tenner. I’m sure someone somewhere makes grown up dinosaur print trainers but they would probably be about £50 min.

5. T-shirts with capes attached.

Actual capes. How much fun?!

6. Everything is glittery. Everything.

7. You can get a hat with cat ears built in. Actual cat’s ears on a pink straw hat. And a teeny heart nose.

8. You can also go out in fancy dress whenever you like. Not that I want to go out on a scooter on a dinosaur onesie or anything. Because that would be weird. Wouldn’t it?

Here are just a few examples of why I am so envious. Maybe I am shopping in the wrong places, if anyone has any suggestions of shops/websites that I can check out, please tell me so I can funk up my leggings collection……..and totally embarrass my husband! Mwah haha! 😉

skirt leggings shoes

5 thoughts I had today.

1. My children don’t seem to have a volume control. Or if they do, it’s faulty and stuck on ‘penetrate steel’.

2. A silent protest tantrum can actually be a joyous occasion and really make for a relaxing coffee.

I wouldn't let him eat all of my danish after he'd finished his gingerbread rocket. I only allowed him half. Evil!
I wouldn’t let him eat all of my danish after he’d finished his gingerbread rocket. I only allowed him half. Evil!

3. I must stop staying up late to watch tv, I had to close my eyes at the dentist today while they got the whizzy polishy thing out and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep.

4. Sometimes almost 5 year olds still need a nap occasionally. They will give off subtle hints like wailing uncontrollably because they are desperate to go along to the dentist. Another difficult to pick up on sign is that they are face down on the carpet with their eyes closed.

5. Dominos is totally amazing and the perfect accompaniment to House of Cards really really unhealthy and should only be ordered at times of extreme exhaustion. See point 3.