Minack Theatre - The breathtaking outcome of one woman's dream

There is nowhere else quite like the Minack. Carved into the granite cliffs with front row views of the Atlantic Ocean - a theatre experience you will never forget. The whole place was the vision of one woman back in the 1930’s and she worked like an ox alongside her gardener to achieve it. Her unique vision is still thriving and today’s audiences continue to experience the magic of live theatre in this amazing place.

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The Best Exhibitors at the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair

The Country Living Magazine Fair is one of those rights of passage into Spring. The show is lovely – there are lambs to stroke and beautiful chickens to coo over, the food is very good and it is all decorated beautifully. This year there are even more talks, events, workshops and classes which adds a great element to the day. The best thing is discovering new exhibitors. Country Living put together the perfect mix of skilled craftspeople, talented designer-makers and passionate artisan producers. Mum and I have been regular visitors over the years with and without various children hanging off me. With all the boys in full time school now we went just the two of us and there was definitely an element of ‘ladies that lunch’ to our day!

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The Miracle that is Spring Lambing

Everything is on high alert at the farm. There is a massive sense of excitement and anticipation - the lambs are coming!! Every year I don my filthiest warm clothes and head over to the farm to help the ewes. There really is nothing as spectacular as seeing something being born - entering this world and taking their first breath. Every time one is born I feel the whole world around me stand still as this new little creature is welcomed to the world.

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Home is wherever your slippers are....Celtic & Co.

As much as I love spending so much time in the van, sometimes you need your creature comforts around you to make you feel at home. These slippers are perfect for that. Whatever the weather; fresh out of the sea or wind blown up a mountain - these beauties warm me up a treat. See the full range at Women’s Sheepskin Slippers

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Celebrate with the Norsemen at Jorvik Viking Festival, York

We have just come back from a wonderful long weekend of Norse fun at the Jorvik Viking Festival in York. Thor did not bring any thunder… I am not sure if that means he was happy or sad? I for one was very happy with the sun beaming down and the lack of raging storms. The whole event was brilliant. If you have even the slightest interest in vikings (or the amazing History Channel’s series) I would recommend you go. Also, if like me you have a thing for grubby, long haired sweaty men with a penchant for natural fibres you will be in heaven….or valhalla!

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Heading off to the Biggest Viking Festival in Europe

The Norse warriors are re-staking their claim on York with a mammoth Viking Festival this week. The whole city comes under Viking reign with encampments, a parade, feasts, sword fighting, mead, folk music, storytelling, shows, crafts, markets and more.

There is a Viking strong man competition along with best beard contest but the spotlight this year will be on warrior women. All this is culminating with a battle spectacular on Saturday night.

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A little boys guide to fun in Brussels, Belgium

When you think of places to fill a child with glee Brussels may not come to mind first. However, the combination of chocolates, waffles, chips, comic books, the birthplace of Jean-Claude Van Damme and a statue of a small boy weeing may change your mind! There is also the bonus of it being perfectly acceptable to say ‘Manneken pis’ as many times as possible without anyone being able to tell you off!

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An apology to the eurostar cleaning staff....

Dear Eurostar cleaning staff,

I am writing this to wholeheartedly apologise for making your life more difficult on Sunday evening.

I travelled home on the Eurostar from Brussels to London on Sunday evening after saying goodbye to my husband who is working abroad.  I then proceeded to board the Eurostar on my own with my three young children in tow. 

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Fondue in the Forest – An Indulgent Winter Treat

In early February on a grey rainy afternoon we found ourselves trudging through the forest looking for a huge den to accommodate all 9 of us along with my (rather heavy) cast iron fondue set.  This adventure is best not to be taken too seriously - you don’t want to go far carrying a cast iron fondue set and there is always the threat of the meths spilling out everywhere - but the hot bubbling reward at the end is worth it!

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Tired Happy Kids at the Beautiful Anglesey Abbey

If you want to thoroughly wear your children out take them to National Trusts Anglesey Abbey.  To keep them occupied there is a 2-story tree house, woodland xylophone, secret garden, willow tunnel, discovery cabin to route around in, hammocks to lounge in, fortresses to protect, hay bales to run on and a dream dome for you to contemplate why you haven’t got quite as much energy as these little people! That’s all just in Hoe fen - then there is the rest of the gardens, the house, the mill and the restaurant.

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Walk through the ages....and get in the beds at Avebury Manor

This 16th Century Manor House is the boys favourite National Trust property.  The interior was created by a collaboration between the National Trust and the BBC to reflect the house’s use through the ages.  This is not a great spot for a Heritage purist, but if you are a little person who likes dressing up, playing chef and climbing in four poster beds, then it is the stuff dreams are made of.

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Is Geocaching the secret weapon to get your children outdoors?

If you ever find yourself unsuccessfully trying to persuade your little people out the door into the great outdoors, you may need some geocaching in your life! Treasure hunting, orienteering, a secret quest and scampering around in the leaves with the thrill of the find around the corner – what’s not to like?

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Wonder, Magic and Hide & Seek at Avebury Stone Circle

Built 4500 years ago with what must have been a deep love or honour for its long-forgotten cause. The largest prehistoric stone circle in the World, with deep ditches and hundreds of stones, some of which are truly enormous.  All worked by hand with simple tools and brute strength.  If you can’t feel the wonder or the magic of this place then you are dead inside!

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Making Merry at the New Forest Cider Weekend....with toffee apples for the kids

You can smell the apples before you can see them at the New Forest Cider Making Weekend. Everywhere you look apples are being squashed by hand presses with good old graft as power, enormous steam powered contraptions and everything in between. Live music and cider in every form – this is how country fairs should be!

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