Tree Climbing

Our Days Out Highlights of 2015

As we near the end of 2015 I thought it was time to look back at our year.

Like everyone we have had some ups and downs as life has tried its best to throw some curve balls at us, but mostly it has been a bloomin brilliant year with adventures both at home and abroad.


Looking back to January reminded me of the horrendous weather we had, with big storms literally washing away some of our favourite beaches and flooding all around us. It didn’t stop us getting out and about where we could and we enjoyed a fun trip to the beach where we jumped off the ridges caused by the storms at Branksome Chine, explored Durlston Country Park with friends, scooted around Christchurch Quay and even took to the ice in Bournemouth Gardens.

January 2015

January is also Eliza’s birthday month and she was over the moon that Anna and Elsa took a trip from Arandell to visit her and her friends at her Princess party and we also enjoyed a trip to the Mayflower to see Gok Wan in Cinderella.


At the beginning of 2015 we vowed to explore our home county of Dorset more throughly and February was the month this really got going with visits to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, West Bay and Hengistbury Head. We also found a new play trail to explore locally at Pinecliff and enjoyed a couple of days out at Moors Valley but by far my favourite memory from February was Sebastian’s first look at snow.

February 2015

I am so glad I got them dressed at 7am in the morning to get outside and play in it as it had all disappeared by lunchtime!


Looking back at March, hubby and I got a rare night out for Abbey’s boyfriend, Paul,  30th birthday. Eliza was invited to a Princess Ball and got to meet some of her favourite Princesses and we also saw Basil Brush on stage and got to meet him afterwards. My favourite memory though was visiting Warner Bros. Studio Tour and seeing the kids doing some wand training before hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express.

March 2015

March was also the month that we were chosen as Konfidence swimologists and I have a fab picture of Sebastian swimming underwater. Kian got to reenact his favourite Call of Duty game at iCombat whilst the younger ones enjoyed a phaser party at Lemur Landings.


Well, having looked through my photo’s from April I can only describe it as a manic, but brilliant month. We headed to Devon for a weekend break and were lucky enough to visit Paignton Zoo, Diggerland and The Golden Hind whilst we were there. It was also the month of the Easter Egg Hunt and we completed them at Kingston Lacey, Studland and Golden Cap, where we climbed to the highest point in Dorset.

April 2015

April saw us visit Wembley Arena twice – once for Mr Tumble’s Circus and the second time for Disney On Ice and then the NEC in Birmingham for the Gadget Show Live. We also saw the start of Isaac’s obsession with WWE when he got to meet Goldust and then see the stars perform at the BIC. Finally it was also the month of Isaac’s 7th birthday and he enjoyed a Super Hero party where Batman and Iron Man came to join in the fun.


It is always hard to pick a favourite month of the year, but for me it has to be May. Back in December 2014 we won at holiday with Mark Warner and during May half term we flew out to MW Sea Garden in Turkey for the kids first sunshine holiday abroad and had an amazing time with Hubby, Kian and I learning to scuba dive and the little ones learning to sail and windsurf amongst other things.

May 2015

It wasn’t all about our holiday though, we had a lovely visit to Avon Heath Country Park where I took one of my favourite photo’s of the year. Had oodles of fun at Dorset Knob Throw and the Spring Tide Festival, learned loads at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and the New Forest Spring Fair and even climbed not one, but two tall ships in Poole Harbour.


The month of June is birthday month in our house with Abbey, Sebastian, Callan and I all celebrating at various times of the month. This year for Sebby’s 2nd birthday we headed off to In the Night Garden Live to celebrate and for Callan’s 18th we headed to Sussex for a meal with family and friends. Abbey was away in Disneyland Paris for hers but we all met up on my birthday and headed for Mudeford for a spot of rather unsuccessful crabbing.

June 2015

This month we also look advantage of Open Farm Sunday and visited a local farm. We were also invited to be models for Field Candy in a remote Dorset field where the kids were positively encouraged to run wild and were also lucky enough to be invited to the opening of Shrek’s Adventure in London which was amazing.


July started off with a Thomas the Tank Engine theme with a visit to Thomas Land and then a trip to London to the premier of the new Thomas film, Sodor’s Legends of the Lost Treasure. We then continued the away from home theme with a weekend visit to Leicestershire where we got to explore Conkers and the National Space Centre before coming home and heading for the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.

July 2015

Hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a meal at our favourite restaurant Urban Reef and we had a brief practise run for Camp Bestival at Big Fish, Little Fish in Exeter, before heading to Lulworth in Dorset for the main event itself.


Our August began still at Camp Bestival which I have to say was the best one yet and we were over the moon meet both Justin Fletcher and Dick n Dom. It was also a very busy month with 4 days at Bournemouth Air Festival, a couple of weekends away including one in Essex for a wedding and another in Cardiff for a visit to the Doctor Who Experience followed by At-Bristol and a pantomime aboard The Matthew.

August 2015

We also headed back to our favourite beach, Burton Bradstock, for beach school and some tree climbing, travelled to Sussex to the Wild Fowl Trust, Hampshire to the New Forest Wildlife Park and to London to meet Pixie Lott who was launching her own Steffi Love Doll and to see the new Star Wars exhibit at Madam Tussauds. Closer to home we also attended our very first Comic Con in Bournemouth.


Heading back to school did nothing to stop our adventures and at the beginning of September we had a weekend break at Trevella Park in Cornwall where we visited Lands End, Cornwall Gold, Springfields and Pirates Quest.

September 2015

During the week the kids were at school but weekends were busy. I managed the 5k obstacle course Be Gung Ho with my niece thanks to Alex Winters whilst hubby and Kian headed to Wales to throw themselves off a mountain attached to zip lines at Zip World. We also squeezed in the Watercress Line trains in Hampshire, Legoland Windsor, a visit to Drusillas Park in East Sussex and a trip to Stamford Bridge where we watched Chelsea beat Arsenal.


October saw months of work finally come to fruition with Blog On coming to Winchester. It is amazing to see just how much work goes into organising these things. We also enjoyed a weekend trip to London to see friends and took the kids to MCM Comic Con and a visit to the O2, which Kian and Hubby climbed whilst we headed across town to Kidzania where the kids to run a city.

October 2015

We got hit by a long bout of illness this month but did get out and get some fresh air at Badbury Rings and the beach.


We started November with a trip to Chessington for Howl’O’Ween and then had some fun on the slopes at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.  This was quite possibly Isaac’s favourite month as not only did he get to see his WWE faves at the Genting Arena but I also took him to the Doctor Who Festival in London’s ExCel and he got to meet Missy followed by a visit to LaplandUK and a meeting with the real Father Christmas.


Other highlights of November for me were Blogfest and although I didn’t get as much out of it as I hoped, but I got see some of my favourite blogging buddies and seeing Dinosaur Zoo at Lighthouse Poole with the kids.


We showed absolutely no sign of slowing down and December featured my proudest moment of the year – Abbey receiving her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at St James’ Palace where we got to talk briefly to Prince Philip. We were also in London for Brick 2015 and Disney On Ice this month which has made me much more confident driving there.

December 2015

We did stay closer to home for some events too, with this years Pantomime visit to Snow White at the Pavilion and a delightful children’s show called Otto and the Robin at Poole Lighthouse. We also had a rather blustery trip aboard a Santa Cruise in Poole Harbour.

Looking back at this post I cannot believe how much we have done this year as this doesn’t include most of our local days out to places like Farmer Palmers and the Oceanarium.

Lets hope next year is just as fun!

Happy New Year to you all.

Camp Bestival

Our Favourite Things to see at Camp Bestival 2015

I have written about the kids favourite things to see and do at Camp Bestival, but going to a family festival doesn’t mean there isn’t things for the adults to enjoy too.

Part of the fun of a family festival is watching the kids have fun, but there are plenty of chances to let your hair down too. Not only is their fabulous food and drink on offer – I had the most delicious Pimms I had ever tasted thanks to the Beales Tent, but there are the acts to see, a chance to relax in a hot tub after a relaxing massage or learn a new skill.

As we have young children in tow, we didn’t get to take part in the relaxing bit, but we did get to see some fabulous acts including my favourite band Kaiser Chiefs. The teen enjoyed Professor Green, Clean Bandit and Wretch 32 whilst hubby and I relived our youth with Soul II Soul, Level 42 and Alison Moyet.

Camp Bestival

The only band we didn’t enjoy was Underworld as I didn’t feel their style of music suited Camp Bestival and we were trying to enjoy the fairies in Lizzie’s Way and the music spoiled it for us, but there were plenty of places to escape to and one of our favourites was the Travelling Bar who played a good mix of music.

Camp Bestival

Of course there is also the carnival atmosphere to enjoy too and you just get swept up on the welcoming vibe. The inflatable church was great fun and we got to take part in a “wedding” which was just brilliant – they even had clothes for the wedding party to get dressed up in. We also get the chance to meet up with fellow bloggers in the Bollywood Bar.

The entertainment goes on until the early hours of the morning and the kids would fall asleep in the trolley if we were out late, although we tended to get back to the tent around 11pm as it is a long old day.

The star attraction in the culinary fun is The Feast Collective, a food lover’s haven packed with the very best street food from around the country! Many are open ‘til late and/or open early so will be ready to serve the night owls returning from the silent disco or early risers with kids tugging at their legs for breakfast.

The highlight of Camp Bestival for us is always the fireworks display on the last night. Simply spectacular!!

The Doctor Who Festival 2015

We are huge fans of Doctor Who and last weekend we were lucky enough to go to the Dr Who Festival at London’s ExCel and discovered the secrets behind the show in the extravaganza of cast and crew panels, behind-the-scenes demonstrations, workshops, stunts, explosions, sets, monsters, props and costumes.

I was unsure what to expect having been disappointed by MCM Comic Con a few weeks before, but I needn’t have worried as we had the most amazing day.

You don’t have to be a fully fledged Whovian to attend, there was something to see for all fans, young and old and there was a good mix of families as well as people in full cosplay costumes – I took my own little Doctor in the form of Isaac.

The first thing we did was got our bearings and collected a show planner which had all the events listed to help plan our day. There were a mix of different shows in various sections and the first one we attended was the Millenium FX Show with special guest Mark Gatiss who has not only acted in the show, he was Richard Lazarus, but he writes for the show too and was the brains behind this weeks episode, Sleep No More. We found out how some of the monsters were made, watched a challenge to design a new Doctor Who monster and name it, as well as meeting a Mire and a special guest appearance from a Sandman!

Doctor Who Festival

It was really interesting to see how these Monsters were created and one lucky audience member even got to try on a mask.

Once it had finished we headed outside to explore and Isaac spotted Davros in his hospital room, so we queued briefly to go in and see him. The attention to detail on the model was out of this world and it looked very realistic.

Dr Who Festival

On our brief look around before the show started, Isaac spotted LEGO Dimensions and was desperate to have a go. It was really quiet so he took his opportunity to have a play whilst I had a much-needed cup of tea. LEGO Doctor Who sets and LEGO Dimensions are already on the boys Christmas list but I can see me playing it too. You can fly the Tardis, which changes inside depending which Doctor who are playing as and take a ride on K9 if you choose.


Isaac drew in quite a crowd when he was playing it, so we decided to let the others have a go and went off to explore. We found stage one where Danny Hargreaves and his team from Real SFX were showcasing the techniques they use to create physical special effects for the show. They were funny and engaging and one lucky boy even got to shoot a Cyberman.

Doctor Who Festival

We then headed over to their stand where they had snow billowing from a machine as well as lots of substances on display that they use to simulate ice, rock and glass which Isaac enjoyed handling. He had the most fun with his sonic screwdriver in the smoke machine though.

Doctor Who Festival

It was then time for the next two shows – Meet the Writers who included Toby Whithouse, Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat followed by Meet the Cast and although the rooms were full, they split attendees into two groups, with two chances to see the shows so it wasn’t over-run.

Sadly I didn’t get picked to ask my question, but it was a really informative and fun couple of sessions with a few spoilers for up-coming episodes and for those of you missing the sonic screwdriver, it will be back.

Dr Who Festival

There were lost of questions from the audience and the answers caused one or two foot in mouth moments by some of the cast which was hilarious and Toby Hadoke who was comparing did an excellent job of keeping them in line.

Doctor Who Festival

The show was over far too quickly for my liking and we headed back out to explore some more. We found the props and costumes area which was not as large as the one in the Doctor Who Experience Tour, but did feature costumes worn in the latest series and of course those famous Osgood boxes.

Doctor Who Festival

Millenium FX also had a stand showcasing some of their famous alien models and Isaac even got to try on the head of the Mire which was almost as big as him!

Doctor Who Festival

Production Village was next on the list and we got a look behind the scenes of the Doctor Who Viking set and were put into the shoes of the production team. I cannot believe how many assistant directors there are on top of sound, costume, make-up, vision and more. We found out the team start stupidly early in the morning and are last to leave after a busy day of filming but the job sounds like lots of fun too. They even let Isaac try on the Doctor’s sonic sunglasses and sit in the Directors chair.

Doctor Who Festival

Sadly we ran out of time to attend Drama School, where we could have learned how to be the perfect monster or act out a scene from the audio books and Isaac wasn’t keen on testing his knowledge in the fan challenge area as he has only watched the first 4 series. There was a shopping village where we found a Tardis hoody for Isaac and the perfect Christmas jumper for me and a chance to have a photograph on a green screen and in an iconic set………do you recognise it?

Doctor Who Festival

The highlight of our day was getting a photograph taken with Missy (aka Michelle Gomez). Sadly all the Doctor and Clara pictures were sold out before we got our tickets so it is wise to book early if you are planning to go next year. Ingrid Oliver came bounding into the room a one point and I didn’t get my camera out quick enough to take a picture, but I did get some of the amazing cosplay costumes people were wearing.

Doctor Who Festival

If you are a Doctor Who fan than I highly recommend this festival, we cannot wait for next year.

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Project 365 2015 – Week 46

After last week being mostly wiped out with Eliza being poorly I was hopeful that the other kids had escaped it, but sadly Sebastian came down with it too.

We started the week well with a trip to WWE Live in Birmingham and Isaac was over the moon to see some of his heroes up close. His little face as Finn Balour came out was pure excitement and awe.

Monday it was back to school and I thought Isaac would be tired but he had a great day at school and even scored and saved a goal at water polo.

Tuesday was Egyptian day at school and Isaac was dressed for the part. Wednesday started well and Sebastian went to playgroup but by the end of the afternoon I knew he wasn’t right and by the late evening he was being sick.

Thursday and Friday were spent at home snuggled on the sofa with my poorly boy but I did manage to get outside with Eliza to take some pictures for a review, and we spotted a rainbow on the school run.

Saturday everyone was back to full health but the weather was rubbish so we met up with friends at Lemur Landings soft play centre.

Here is my week in pictures:

Week 46

312. Shaemus fighting Finn Balour at WWE

313. Isaac’s save caught on camera

314. Egyptian Day

315. Playing with Duplo

316. Eliza in her Frugi dress

317. I can see a rainbow

318. Climbing at Lemur Landings