Half Term Horrors 4/5

Trick-or-treating turns out to be a great way to make older neighbours smile

Day 4

Today was all about the kids dressing up to look as scary as possible.  I had a little vampire and a purple-faced witch (still not sure why purple – I think she just doesn’t like green).  We spent a lot of time on the sofa reading scary stories – Meg and Mog, Room on the Broom, Oliver Moon, and watching Harry Potter.  Finally it got dark and we went out trick-or-treating.


Never having done trick-or-treating before, I wasn’t really sure about knocking on people’s doors begging for sweets.  However we soon worked out that if someone had left a pumpkin out it was a sign that it was ok to knock.   The experience turned out to be unexpectedly positive as we met a couple of older neighbours who were clearly delighted to see the children and have someone to talk to for a few minutes.


Half Term Horrors 3/5

Smugglers lived in these woods it is told,
long ago in times of old,
Their treasure is hidden for you to discover,
just follow these clues and help one another…

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Day 3
After a slow start to the morning the kids invented a mad game to find the maximum number of bricks you can balance on a Duplo vehicle base, while I prepared a map and scribbled some awful rhyming clues for a treasure hunt in the local copse.

We met up with friends and had fun following the clues through the woods. I slipped away unnoticed half way through to hide the treasure in a silver bag under a log. After a route that took us all around the copse, past “giants’ building blocks” (WW2 anti-tank defences), a fallen tree, wildlife pond and through a coppice “maze”, we reached the treasure. The kids’ faces were a picture when they found it; I’d drawn features on clementines to make them look like jack o’lanterns.

In the afternoon we carved pumpkins, organised costumes for tomorrow’s trick or treating and watched Scooby Doo (H from behind the sofa).

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Half Term Horrors 2/5 – Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine

Time travelling fun at the theatre!

Day 2
N was feeling a bit better after a quiet day at home so today we venured out. I managed to get last minute tickets to Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine at the Worthing Connaught Theatre, so we all piled into the car for some time travelling fun.

The show featured one of the kids’ favorite Cbeebies stars Andy Day. Having watched him presenting Cbeebies earlier in the morning, the kids were concerned how he would get to the theatre on time from the Cbeebies house. After sitting in a traffic jam for 10 mins I was more concerned about how we’d get there in time to collect the tickets but fortunately we made it with a few minutes to spare.


Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine is a fun time travelling show with references to Back to the Future that the grown ups in the audience appreciated (for example the time machine is powered by a flush capacitor). The audience were encouraged to get involved from the moment the curtain went up, a game of “egyptian hand ball” setting the tone. The children loved the whole thing and struggled to choose their favorite moments. N (6) enjoyed working out how the shrinking box trick worked while H (4) loved all the physical humour (she’s a slapstick fan). I loved all of the improvised banter between the two actors. I was particularly impressed with the way Andy and Mike interacted with volunteers from the audience. Somehow they managed to walk the tightrope of keeping an audience of adults and children laughing whilst treating their volunteers with respect (well as much respect as a grown man wearing a wig, tutu and moustache can demand). After the show everyone got the chance to meet Andy and Mike and the kids came home with autographs, stickers and enormous grins.

By the time we got out of the theatre we’d missed lunch so we stopped at McDonalds on the way home. It was an odd experience as we shared the restaurant with several other young families, an aging heavy rock band and their crew. The kids weren’t remotely interested in these strange old men with wrinkled tatoos and big hair trying to attract attention as they fed the seagulls on the steps of their hired minibus. They were far more interested in deciding where they would go in a time machine…

Tour dates for Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine can be found at: http://www.andyandmike.com

Image taken from http://andyandmike.com Copyright 2012 Cheeky-Chap Productions

Half term Horrors 1/5

I thought it would be fun to record what we get up to over half term. After a full 8 weeks of starting school and Uni we’re all tired and ready for some fun.

Day 1
N’s got a temperature. Great. This is probably the first ear infection of the winter. We’ve had crazy windy weather here over the last few days culminating in this morning’s St Jude’s day storm. N’s glue ear makes him particularly susceptible to ear infections so it all feels rather familiar. At least the storm has been kind to us, a few trees came down nearby but no major damage.

Today has been mostly operation keep N calm and happy. We’ve watched films (Spy Kids and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), played games (We’re going on a bear hunt; Kerplunk), worked through an entire Ninjago activity book, assembled a particularly awkward cardboard robot, made all of H’s fiddly little Lego Friends sets, made a Dinosaur puzzle and pretended dinosaur games. All before teatime. At this rate I’ll be ready to go back to University for a rest by the end of the week!

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*** Update ***

OK so I’ve not blogged in ages, time for a quick update.

My youngest was due to start school this September.  More than a little bit late I started to think about what I wanted to do with all this soon-to-be-free time and made an appointment to speak to someone about possibly doing a University degree.  Half an hour later and feeling slightly stunned I was signed up to a 3 year music degree at the local Uni.

We had a long summer, H started school and I started Uni.  So far so good…

There were two in the bed…

I wrote this a few months ago, but after a particularly uncomfortable night with both kids snuggled into our bed, it seems particularly appropriate this morning…

There were two in the bed when the mummy heard: thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. Click. Bathroom sounds. Click. Thud-thud-thud.

There were three in the bed as the little boy with icy toes climbed in between his mummy and daddy and rolled over.

The mummy coughed quietly and the daddy snored. The little boy fell fast asleep.

There were three in the bed when pad-pad-pad-pad “hem-hem?” The mummy kept her head down and opened her eyes just far enough to see the top of the little one’s head. “Hem hem?” … Hem Hem?” … “HEM HEM!” The mummy prodded the daddy. “I think someone’s trying to announce their presence” “Go on then” said the daddy, granting permission for the little one to climb in.

There were four in the bed as the little one snuggled in next to the mummy and sleepily asked if the elf had visited Father Christmas yet.

There were three in the bed as the mummy lept out of bed to check if she’d remembered to move the elf.

There were three in the bed and the little one rolled over into her brother’s arms. “What a lovely present” he yawned and cuddled up to her.

There were three in the bed as the mummy tiptoed in and heard the little one whisper “Let’s have dreams about My Little Ponies and Leapster games”

The mummy tried to work out how to squeeze back into bed in the dark.

There were three in the bed as the little one padded out for a wee. The daddy and little boy snored while the mummy strained to hear what was going on in the bathroom. Pad-pad-pad “Turn the light off!” pad-pad-pad. Click. “I can’t see!”

There were two in the bed as the mummy scrambled out to help the little one find her way back.

There were four in the bed and the little one said “cuddle me?” So the mummy gave her a big cuddle and she fell asleep in her arms.

There were four in the bed as the mummy rested her head and smiled at her little family all snuggled up together.

There were four in the bed when the little boy with icy toes kicked his covers off and rolled on top of them. There were four in the bed and the little one had now fallen asleep like a dead weight on the mummy’s arm. The mummy reached over with her free arm and tugged at the covers under the little boy but it was no use. The mummy desperately searched around the side of the bed with her free arm for anything to cover the little boy in. No good.

There were four in the bed when the mummy dragged her numb arm out from underneath the little one “CUD-dle!” and the little one rolled over to the warm spot where the mummy had been. The mummy tucked the little boy back in, sighed, and saw that there was no room in the bed.

There were three in the bed and the mummy went downstairs.