Ah, Christmas. Seems like a distant memory as I write this. I had a little break from writing as it was a jam-packed December and new year for The Smiths, but I still want to tell you about one of my festive highlights: The Nutcracker at the British Museum.
During the summer I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering with a brilliant bunch of Cambridge United fans. Together we’ve painted and prepped all corners of The Abbey Stadium ready for the new season. On Day 44 of #100DaysNoTV I took our boys to the ground on the eve of the 2018/19 season to see the fruits of our labour of love. The Abbey was looking at its beautiful best.
At 47,000 acres, Thetford Forest is Britain’s largest lowland pine forest that spreads across the border between neighbouring counties, Norfolk and Suffolk – slap bang in the middle of East Anglia. High Lodge is an activity-packed recreation site within Thetford Forest and is owned by Forestry Commission England.
Being a 50-minute drive from our house, it’s a place where we go for a whole day. There is plenty to do whether you want to be active, take it easy or a bit of both. Adrenaline seekers should head to Go Ape! Founded by Tris and Becs Mayhew back in 2002, High Lodge was its first location. On Day 43 of #100DaysNoTV, I took our family for a Go Ape adventure.
Time is our most precious commodity – being with people you love is what this life is all about. Modern life challenges our ability to obtain that longed for work–life balance. In what seems like the longest ever ascent from winter to spring, quality family time has been in short supply: Rob started the year with pneumonia 😦 and has been travelling to and from the US with work (thank goodness he has a break from all that for now).
It has made it even more important that we maximise our time at weekends. One thing we love is to get out to the coast: fresh air and space do us all the world of good. When we were chosen by Bumble Campers to have a complimentary campervan for a weekend, there was only one thing we were going to do: find a free weekend and drive to the seaside. 😉
Back in 1979, the RSPB invited their junior members to count the birds that visited their garden at a set time. It encouraged children to get involved with nature and allowed the RSPB to work out the top 10 UK garden birds. Fast forward to 2018, and it’s gone from strength to strength with over half a million people expected to take part in the annual #BigGardenBirdwatch.
Our boys are rarely happier than when they’re playing outside, and as we like to encourage their love of nature we ordered this year’s RSPB birdwatch pack. Within it was a ‘recipe’ for bird cakes. Simple to make at home, we decided to make this our activity for day 39 of #100DaysNoTV.
As we head towards the end of 2017, it’s a time when many will reflect on the year gone by and look to the year ahead. It’s the busiest season of the year with so much going on every single day – we know that this time of year can be particularly daunting for people living with mental illness, in its many forms. Fortunately, there is help out there for anyone who needs support.
On Day 38 of #100DaysNoTV we left some festive-themed painted pebbles around our little city of Ely. These are no ordinary pebbles; we hope they will help to spread the word about a wonderful community project, Talking FreELY.
As a family, we’ve been to Sea Life once before. It was the one in Birmingham – just about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK! 🙂 Being so young then (two & four), the boys don’t remember much about that visit. They are four & six now, and we were so pleased to be invited to visit and review Sea Life Great Yarmouth during the May half-term holiday.
Great Yarmouth is a bustling seaside resort in Norfolk, about 20 miles east of Norwich. A traditional English seaside destination, the seafront is home to numerous amusement arcades, two piers, many restaurants and a pleasure beach with fairground rides, go-karts, etc.
Set in a woodland, close enough to civilisation, yet far enough away to feel in its own little world, BeWILDerwood is an award-winning family destination in the very beautiful heart of Norfolk. Celebrating their 10th birthday, they held a special press event, to which we were absolutely delighted to be invited. And, it fell at the beginning of an already booked half-term break in Norfolk. Luck like this doesn’t normally fall our way! 🙂
If you’ve been following my #100DaysNoTV project, you’ll know that I like to try new things and have new experiences. And, I can be pretty flexible about when I have my next ‘Day’. So, I have ultimate respect for my blogger friend, Maria Wylie. As of today she’s managed to try something new for 258 consecutive days. Yes, something new every single day!
Maria also challenges friends to complete a week of new things: a monthly Challenge Week. She offers a theme or two to make it easier to think of something cool to do. I took part in the August challenge: Eco-friendliness & Creativity. On Day 25 of #100DaysNoTV I completed a week of new things!
A super simple activity for Day 17 of #100DaysNoTV. I made a little memento of an autumn walk I had with the boys last year. They love being outdoors and collecting “treasure”, and we had carefully chosen some fallen leaves and – incredibly for the time of year – buttercups and daisies. I pressed them, stored them, and now (finally) they’re displayed!
Luckily, I was able to use things we already had in the house. I used a frame that had been sitting in a drawer, for goodness knows how long. We have an abundance of card and poster paint, so there was no issue with making a background for the flowers and leaves to stick on. I just had to decide how I wanted it to look.