Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A day out in Sussex, with goats

Yesterday we had a rather cute and cheap day out at the Aldingbourne Country Centre. It's a farm and horticultural centre with cafe, that gives opportunities to adults with learning disabilities.

It has a slightly odd pricing structure, at £3 per child (aged 3-15), children must be accompanied by an adult, and then the adults have to pay £3 too....adults can visit the cafe and garden centre area for free as long as they have no children with them!

Any way we were 3, two adults and a child and we paid £3 each so we could do all the things included in the admission price, crazy golf, visit the animals (we forgot to visit the bees!) do the treasure hunt, wander the gardens etc

We even managed to pop into the cafe for coffee and cake, and had a look at the upcycled furniture.

All in all it was a lovely day and very good value. It's right next to Fontwell in West Sussex. Close enough to Eartham woods for a walk there too, or trips to the Roman Villas at Bigor and Fishbourne too.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hopeful Sunday #growhope

Posting a couple of pictures that mean hope to me.

What does hope mean to you?

Visit http://www.worldvision.org.uk/get-involved/grow-hope/ to find out more and


Join World Vision in marking the anniversary of the 1984 Ethiopian Famine, the worst in living memory, by growing and sharing hope with family and friends this summer.

follow #growhope on Twitter

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm feeling sad

I’m not a political blogger and I’m not going to start ranting politics now. I don’t know who is right or wrong in Syria, in Israel or Gaza, in Russia and the Ukraine. Conflicts can take years and the rights and wrongs become murky and muddied as each side uses might to try and win.

But yesterday the news was too much. Too much to ignore. Too much to bear.

Children killed in Gaza on a beach. I live by the sea, I see children on the beach everyday. The image of children playing and then running for cover as shelling starts, only to be too slow and to die in a violent and terrifying way, played over and over in my mind, with the backdrop of our stretch of beach, gentle waves lapping at the shore.

A passenger plane, filled with people travelling for work, for pleasure, off on holiday, to visit relatives, to attend a medical conference, shot out of the sky. 298 people, including children and babies, dead in an instant. No one needs to take responsibility, we are all responsible. Wars and fighting affect us all even those far away. This tragedy helps to bring home the fact that no one is able to ignore a conflict and hope it goes away. What is the answer? I don’t know, and that is a bigger tragedy. How can anyone stop a war? More fighting? I’m at a loss. I feel lost and sad and angry and helpless.

Last night there was a storm in the UK, lots of loud thunder, rolling and rumbling in the night. Bright flashes of lightning. I wondered how it must be for a parent to lay in bed and hear shelling not thunder. For the crashes to be bricks falling. For the flashes to be fire and explosions. I do not know how anyone can survive mentally, day to day, with that kind of stress. This is not  a political post. It’s a sad post. A post where I don’t know what to do to help and yet somehow feel I must do something.

I am a mother, hearing about children dying is like hearing about my child dying. I cannot read an article or hear a news story about a mothers pain without tears of my own. I am far away and cannot help, don’t know what to do but my tears are real.

Bright umbrella in dark mass of cloud and rain
Copyright: artisticco / 123RF Stock Photo

What are you doing? Ignoring the news? Donating? Writing? Do you feel as lost as I do?

Links to aid agencies that are contributing to humanitarian aid in these areas.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

The one where the Teen gets excited about Camp Bestival

young teen girl in shorts and sunglasses with festival trolley
DD and I have been 'doing' Camp Bestival since she was 10. As a ten year old she was near the top of the 'kiddie' age group but still found plenty to enjoy. Last year we were worried that she was really 'getting on a bit' in Camp Bestival years and maybe we had outgrown it. Secretly we both still wanted to go but now she is 14...surely too cool to want to see Mr Tumble .. (obviously I want to see Mr Tumble, let's not discuss that further)

As if Rob Da Bank himself had been reading my blog and answering our wildest wishes, this year Camp Bestival is having a dedicated Den for the teens! Specifically designed for those aged 13 to 17 its a dream come true for DD.

I'll let Camp Bestival explain

"This year in conjunction with The Roundhouse,
Camp Bestival is creating a first of its kind area for ages 13 to 17,
curated by a small team of young festival producers. Our genre-spanning
line-up won’t disappoint - whether its contemporary folk, live drum and
bass or house you like, come prepared to hear next year’s top artists. 

Coco & The Butterfields and the folky Nathan Ball are not to be missed.
Andy Robb; author, actor and all round hero will be
talking about his novel 'Geekhood; and we’re also lucky enough to be
playing host to an award winning selection of Associated Roundhouse
artists including Poetry Slam winner Antosh Wojcik, the insanely talented Fran Lobo and Karyma Ellis. 

If you want to hear about Fashion Journalism from The Editor in Chief of
TheCool Fashion, see 21 Ukuleles play simultaneously or try Yoga with a
disco twist; The Den shall be playing host to a range of bizarre and wonderful things. 

We’ve hand picked some of the best bits of the Guardian Literary Institute, Rob da Bank’s Music Club and special guests from around the festival exclusively for you. To top all that, The Amazing Corner will be spreading their positivity over the area; screening films, main stage takeovers and hosting open mic performances.
If that’s not enough, we’ve also thrown in the 10 piece Roundhouse Brass Band for good measure. 

So head over to the The Den to lose yourself in new music and try something life changing!"

Find out more about the acts and how to get tickets for Camp Bestival at http://www.campbestival.net/line-up/2014-line-up/the-den/

This blog post originally Published at http://tentsandfestivals.blogspot.co.uk/

Friday, July 11, 2014

A catching up post

I'm sure* you are all wondering what I've been up to this week
(*I realise you don't care)

And so here is my news.

This week I have mostly been panicking about what to buy my dad for his birthday. I'm sure in 'the olden days' it was easier to buy things for people, we didn't have much and we didn't seem to want much, we were easily pleased. I know that each year I struggle to think of things that I need or want that I don't have already...more earrings? More books? More handbags? When did owning things become a chore? I just thank my lucky stars for food and alcohol - both of which get used up between birthdays and for charities that allow you to buy something for someone that actually needs something...I once bought a bicycle for a Dr in Bolivia for a friend...and my mum once bought me a school desk in Africa...

This year I bought my dad beer..and I have a surprise gift planned for when we meet up next weekend (we are going camping of course) 

Also I've been planning my imminent London excursion to see Sir Tom Jones in concert in Hyde Park. I was hoping to take DD but she is double booked and is off to a Cheer leading Competition instead. The weather forecast for London is wet...and that's not just the middle aged women at the concert...

I've also managed to finish a bottle of wine and a bottle of cava this week, averaging a glass and a half a night, not sure when you declare you have a drink problem...when you can no longer afford it?

Other things I have been doing include playing The Sims (freeplay) on the ipad, including finally getting a birthday for all the babies, and buying a Frisbee for the dog.

And trying to get past level 20 on Disney's Maleficent Free Fall.

So there is my exciting life. Oh and Mr TM broke the lawnmower...again, by crashing it into the trampoline., we currently have an uncut circle of grass like a reverse crop circle on the lawn.