Friday 30 June 2017

10 Fun Ideas for Free Days Out in South Wales - perfect for the Summer Holidays


10 Fun Ideas for Free Days Out in South Wales - perfect for the Summer Holidays

The Summer holidays are here soon and we will all be looking for fun places to take our little ones that do not break the bank. Everywhere that charge an admission raise their prices  during the holidays and that can be expensive if you have multiple children. Here are a 10 fun free ideas for days out that we love. These are based in South Wales, within an hour of Cardiff but I am sure you will have similar near you. Although these are all free to visit there may be a parking charge.

Monday 26 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 26th June 2017 - Heatwave and Ice Cream


Our Weekly Journal 26th June 2017 - Heatwave and Ice Cream

Our week started hot and just got hotter. It was perfect weather for paddling pools, the beach and ice cream. Bear spent so much time in the paddling pool, but all au natural so no photos for our journal. He is also great asking for the potty when he has no clothes on, he knows he mustn't wee on the floor, or in the pool and had no mishaps at all.

Sunday 25 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 26


#MySundayPhoto Number 26

I just had to have a picture that summed up how hot it has been this week. So ice-cream has to be on the cards. Bear never liked ice-cream "too cold" but he has suddenly found a taste for it.

Friday 23 June 2017

Spamalot - Everyman Production at Cardiff Open Air Theatre 2017, Sophia Gardens - A Review


Spamalot - Everyman Production at Cardiff Open Air Theatre 2017, Sophia Gardens - A Review

We were delighted to be invited* to review Everyman Theatre productions at Cardiff Open Air Festival in Sophia Gardens. Our first open air theatre was last year when we saw  'Allo 'Allo, which we loved so we chose two more comedy productions to review this year. Spamalot and The Vicar of Dibley.

The festival opened last night with Spamalot. I have never seen such silliness before. We laughed from the very first moment to the inevitable grande finale. It was rude, crude, silly and hilariously funny.

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Techniquest Virtual Reality Changing Room - A Toddler Explores


Techniquest* Virtual Reality Changing Room - A Toddler Explores

Techniquest in Cardiff Bay is one of our favourite destinations. Bear loves it and so do we. It is full of amazing exhibits to keep the oldest child amused. We were delighted to be asked to visit to explore their newest exhibit - The Virtual Reality Changing Room.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

When Terrorism Is Too close To Home


When Terrorism Is Too close To Home

I have woken up to horrendous news too often. A terrorist attack aimed at children at a concert or random attacks in London of terrorists murdering people using vehicles. Then I hear of the manslaughter of families asleep in their homes. A fire ripping through a tower block trapping many and killing an unknown number of people. In Portugal families have lost everything due to what appears to be a natural disaster, lightening setting fire to the landscape.

Monday 19 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 19th June 2017 Strawberries and Ice Cream


Our Weekly Journal 19th June 2017 Strawberries and Ice Cream

Bear picked our first strawberry on Monday. He has a cold that we guess he caught at his new Nursery. He is going once a week on a Friday and is having a couple of settling in sessions. He is so ready to spend time with other children and have some fun but it does mean getting immune to another load of bugs.

Sunday 18 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 25


#MySundayPhoto Number 25

This is a trig point at Llwyn Celyn near Cardiff. It is a Forestry Commission trail that rises up through the woods and leads to magnificent views over Cardiff and towards the Brecon Beacons. We could see Pen y Fan today although the views were hampered by the mist.

This is the view over Cardiff and the Bristol Channel towards Exmoor.

This trig point is an achievement as it is our first walk for years. We used to spend every Sunday walking in the mountains of South Wales, then Mr P's hip became so painful that we stopped walking. He is now recovering from his hip replacement operation and we are starting again. This is an easy route we used to take the children when they were small and the views over Cardiff are amazing, although it was a little misty today.

Trig point is Craig Lysfaen; height 264m (Pen Y Fan is 886m for comparison).



Friday 16 June 2017

An Open Letter to Major Supermarkets - Why Is Your Fruit So Awful?


An Open Letter to Major Supermarkets - Why Is Your Fruit So Awful?

Dear Major Supermarkets,

I am fed up trying to buy fruit that is edible. The government tells me I need five portions of fruit or vegetables a day. For me this would be easy. For my grandson, this would be easy. We both love fruit and veg. If only I could buy some. Why is your fruit so awful?

Thursday 15 June 2017

The Boomerang Kid - And The Grand Kid. A Grandfathers View.


I was chatting to an old friend the other day and the conversation inevitably got around to grandchildren.
The apples of our eyes.
He mentioned how his daughter and grandchild were living with them, and the problems this causes. I know a lot of our readers are in similar situations and asked him to share with us. This is his story in his own words.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Slimming World Weigh In #23 with 7 day meal plan


Slimming World Weigh In #23 with 7 day meal plan

So I am back on the plan except, there's always an except, that on Friday I had a little celebration with some neighbours. It involved lots of Prosecco.
Food wise I have been good, no sneaky choices or uncounted Syns. It's been tough but I am so determined to get to my target weight. With the weather being warm salads appear more and pea shoots are back in the shops which add another flavour.

Monday 12 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 12th June 2017 Giggles and Earwax


Our Weekly Journal 12th June 2017 Giggles and Earwax

It's strange, some weeks I feel we have done very little. We don't seem to have been anywhere or had any trips out and then I look through the photos to put in our journal. I have too many and have to make choices and realise we have actually been very busy.

Sunday 11 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 24


#MySundayPhoto Number 24

Grandad is now walking well after his hip operation and just needs a stick. Bear needs the stick too because he's an explorer.

"Follow me" he said. So I did.

Have a lovely Sunday.


Thursday 8 June 2017

It's called Messy Play For A Reason


Until Tuesday I loved messy play. It's called messy play for a reason but I don't usually mind lots of paint or water or dirty hands. When Bear was very little, less than a year old, I spent many weeks persuading him that paint on his hands was fun and that he wasn't to worry about a few splashes. Just get in and have fun. Lets do finger painting or even better hand painting. Or stamping, I even made stamps out of old kitchen sponges.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Slimming World Weigh In #22 - with 7 day meal plan


Slimming World Weigh In #22

To be honest when I started Slimming World I though I would lose a pound a week. That would make me reach my target after 42 weeks, on 24th October. At my last post, week 21 I had lost 22.5 pounds, well on schedule even after my couple of weeks naughtiness. 
To encourage me to stay on plan I am now going to include my target date in each post. I'm hoping it will drive me to work harder to get there sooner. Well that's my theory.  I am back on plan and without further pre-amble, how did I do?

Monday 5 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 5th June 2017 Helmets and Books


Our Weekly Journal 5th June 2017 Helmets and Books

It was a very short week for us, just two days due to the bank holiday and the disruption being caused by the Champions League final taking place in Cardiff. Bears Mummy works in the town centre and travel would have been difficult for her and Bears Daddy so they took two days off and went to visit Grandad Roddy in West Wales.

On Tuesday we visited Pughs Garden Centre. I'm searching for a garden bench and not having any luck. I am so surprised at the lack of choice everywhere. I want to sit on one before I buy it so don't really want to get one off the internet.

Anyway, outside were a giant garden fork and spade. I thought they were great and so did Bear.

We didn't find what we wanted and were leaving when Bear asked to see the fish. We have only been here with him once before, and that was months ago. His memory is amazing.

We had a look at the fish, threw a copper coin into the fountain and dashed off to Castell Coch. We have a Cadw subscription so it's free and right around the corner from the garden centre.

This is a great fish tank with a bit that little ones can stand in to be inside the tank.

Bear was full of energy and ran around like a mad thing, I didn't get many decent photos as he was so fast and the lighting was poor. It was also very busy being half term so difficult to take photo without other children in the frame.

Only just managed to catch him.

I did get him to sit opposite me on this huge table for a second though!

There was a little girl having a full blown tantrum. She wanted to be carried but her daddy had a bad back and couldn't so she lay on the floor, kicked off her shoes and screamed. The castle is small so she could be heard everywhere, we eventually walked past and Bear was quite upset by it. I just felt for her mother who had been left to cope with it. Mum didn't look upset. She was coping perfectly, but Oh did it go on and on and on..........

Gardeners were strimming the grass outside the castle and it was very noisy. Bear explained to me that the girl was upset by the noise.

"Does the noise upset you?" I asked

"No, it's very loud!" he said with a little smile.


Bear arrives early in the mornings in his PJ's. He likes to go upstairs and clean his teeth with Grandad. This involves him climbing on the bed and turning on the bedside lights.
On Thursday he climbed onto the bed, took my Kindle and with the light on and "read" my book.


He just says random words but always starts with those closest to him.


We had planned to go to the beach but the weather was wet and grey and so we returned to our local National Trust property, Tredegar Park. There is a house and gardens to explore and a huge park. Bear can ride his bike around the park and there's also a playground with swings and slides.

Even though we visit often (we have NT membership too) we found a new path which leads through the woods. There is a trail of stepping stones and laid down logs that Bear insisted on riding over on his bike. He did really well and didn't fall off at all. His balance is great, balance bikes are the best invention and this one only cost me £15 in Halfords.



Bear kept hiding and surprising us with a loud "Boo!" The cycle helmet does not come off even when he's not on his bike. He loves hats and his helmet.

Posing on a stone ball, helmet firmly on head!

Even reading a book in the second hand bookshop requires a cycle helmet

We had a busy couple of days even though the weather wasn't brilliant it was at least warm.

Then on Saturday I watched the TV coverage of the Champions League match played in Cardiff and afterwards turned over to the news channel. Breaking news came in of a major incident in London. It turned out to be another terrorist attack this time at London Bridge and Borough Market. How can anyone do such an awful thing? Luckily Bear is too little to understand, if only we could protect him from all the evil in the world.



Sunday 4 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto number 23 London Bridge


#MySundayPhoto number 23 London Bridge

London bridge is falling down
Falling down
Falling down.............

I sang this as a child, as have thousands of children before me, and many will continue after me.

London Bridge was the scene of another terrorist attack where innocent people died. I do not know how anyone can take another's life. It truly baffles me.

London is my ancestral home. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents and onwards were born there. I have traced one line back to the mid 1700's. They lived in Bury Street, next door to the Gherkin and a stones throw from London Bridge. They must have used the old London Bridge that was the subject of the song. Then the "new" London Bridge that replaced it in 1831.

I am standing on the really new London Bridge that replaced that one in 1967. I am happy. I am a tourist, I had been in London to celebrate my great uncle and aunts 70th wedding anniversary. I have crossed this bridge many times.

My thoughts are with all of those that visited and never went home. RIP.


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