All of it!

    Capturing Precious Moments with Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons

    Have you been making some precious shared memorise this summer, have you saved them anywhere yet? As we all know I love capturing our travel moments, but it turns out the everyday moments I am not as reliable at documenting!

    Do pop over to my You tube channel and check out this Memory Lane tool, and my latest videos, I’ve been having loads of fun relieving my media teaching days making them recently, and this one even has prizes to win! It’s been great fun working with Cadbury and Channel Mum on this :)

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    Camp Bestival 2016 you were OUT of this world

    Camp Bestival - 3

    Camp Bestival 2016. Our fourth one. Camp Bestival has become a punctuation mark in our years, a rite of passage, an exit from our suburban home world to an otherworldly place where anything goes, a yearly chance to transgress boundaries like bedtime, bathtime, to rave in a field, to take our kids through a little vortex into a glimmer of our youth.

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    10 things we loved about taking the Volvo XC90 to Camp Bestival

    Volvo kindly loaned us an XC90 to take the strain out of driving to Camp Bestival, it really did do exactly that.  Since its launch in 2015 the XC90 has won more than 70 awards, including Auto Express Car of the Year 2015, Business Insider 2015 Car of the Year and Sunday Times Top 100 Cars 2016: Top Large SUV and 4×4. Most interestingly to families, What Car awarded it Car of the Year Safety Award in 2016, the testers said it was the safest car they had ever tested. More on that to come…

    In our house Mr A does most the long distance driving, I’m a confident driver, but if there is a choice between napping and twiddling on my phone and being the driver I know which I will take. However, with a four hour drive to Dorset it’s only fair to share the load and having driven the XC90 the night before to go wild running in the forest, I was very keen to get back behind the wheel. Continue reading

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    Reasons to go see Swallows and Amazons


    My 7yo and I were lucky enough to see the world premiere of this week’s family film release Swallow and Amazons in Keswick (out of Friday 19th August). We’ve fallen head over heels in love with the world of the Walker children, created by Arthur Ransome in his books, would the film live up to our expectations? Continue reading


    How to Have An Epic Swallows And Amazons themed Lake District Adventure

    Swallows and Amazons - 12

    The film version of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons is released on Friday 19th August. At the start of the summer, 7yo Mr G and I were invited to the Lake District to see the film’s world premiere and have our own Swallows and Amazons themed adventures courtesy of Visit England. It was truly magical: canoes to a secret island, a boat trip to see Wild Cat Island where Ransome set the adventure, a stay at Waterhead, a luxury family friendly hotel on Lake Windermere, tea and cake and a walk to the place where the Walker children launched their boat.

    The Lake District is bursting with stuff to do as we discovered last year, but we packed in loads of new stuff in our 18 hours. I wasn’t sure if I was mad to travel all that way for a one night stay, but this will be etched on our minds forever. Continue reading

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    Back to School: A retrospective, with Marks and Spencer

    School Memories - 1

    My brother and me, aged about 4 and 6

    As my son G and I walked out of the infant school playground for the very last time last week, I remembered leaving primary school, something I did twice too. Both times my Mum made me look back to school, and say a goodbye to the building. My second primary was just like G’s, a Victorian red brick building with an old fashioned walled yard and railings. So, when I compare my school days to my children’s school days, so much has changed and yet everything feels strangely familiar.

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    Travel, Wellbeing

    Have you forgotten what a weekend is? A Darwin Forest Lodge in the Peak District

    In, out, in, out, shake it all about. Loved this lodge so much, kids happy playing in the forest, grown ups lazily moving from hot tub to deck to sofa. Enjoying the papers, the peace and the sunshine ❤️ haven't been this happy and relaxed in ages @darwin_forest

    In, out, in, out, shake it all about. Loved this lodge so much, kids happy playing in the forest, grown ups lazily moving from hot tub to deck to sofa. Enjoying the papers, the peace and the sunshine ❤️ haven’t been this happy and relaxed in ages @darwin_forest


    ‘You can tell when you absolutely love something from the heart from your instagrams,’ said my friend Becky ‘I know you always see the good in the places you go and choose places you think you will love, but when you completely, utterly feel at home somewhere I can always tell.’

    There is always subtext in the words we write, but I guess I hadn’t always realised how much. Becky was right, I fell headlong for Darwin Forest in the glorious Peak District, and had the most transformative, wonderful weekend. Long baths, lie ins, a hot tub, easy family meal times, walks in the forest, kids building dens, reading the paper, naps, films, chatter, pottering, lots of tea and cake. I would go so far as saying I had forgotten what a weekend can be, and this reminded and refuelled me. Sometimes you need a proper break, to do nothing, switch off and get some headspace, Darwin Forest was the perfect place for that. Here’s why. Continue reading

    All of it!, nature, Nottingham, Wellbeing

    My wild running experience in Sherwood Pines Forest

    Wild-running (n.):
    1. running in the wild or in the elements; escaping the modern world and reconnecting to nature.
    2. running freely, with exhilaration; without limits or restrictions.
    3. running to the peak of our evolutionary ability; running extraordinary distances and achieving the extraordinary.

    – © Jen & Sim Benson, Wild Running

    It’s no secret I love Sherwood Forest, we go bike riding and Robin Hood hunting there as a family, I went to see Jake Bugg there recently, we’ve nature crafted with the ranger there and even met Vikings there. Now the Forestry Commission are piloting a series of off the beaten running routes at Delamere, High Lodge, Sherwood and Bedgebury Forests. These 5 and 10k trails have been mapped at 4 sites by wild running enthusiasts and authors of guidebook ‘Wild Running’ Jen and Sim Benson. Continue reading


    6 #OMGB Moments in Northumberland: Hadrian’s Wall and Glamping

    Northumberland - A family adventure - 29

    Look at those grins! They really do say it all, now my kids are getting older they really don’t like to stop and pose for a photo, but there were so many willing smiles on our weekend to Northumberland. They had already spent the previous blissful day, a bonus INSET day, sailing to the Farne Islands and exploring Bamburgh Castle, before retiring to the glorious Bamburgh Castle Inn to watch the sunset over Seahouses harbour. Saturday we drove down to the Tyne Valley, it was all about the Romans and Hadrian’s Wall – utterly mind-blowing stuff. Our Visit England #OMGB tour continues, with six more Oh My Great Britain moments… Continue reading

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    Bring on the Festivalling!


    That’s me, at Chester Folk Festival, aged about 7 or 8. Today, my kids break up for the summer and it feels like an appropriate day to nurture my inner child. I’m disappointed about a plan for summer that hasn’t come off and today of all days. But do you know what, it’s good to get some perspective in these situations, I feel so lucky, I have two amazing kids about to break up from school and I can’t wait to spend some time with them.

    Today when Mr G walks out the gate I will have seen my two through their days at infant school and when they go back G will join L at the Junior school. It’s an emotional and a proud day, I will make him look back at the school as we leave, just like my Mum did when I left schools to move on.

    A long and lovely summer stretches ahead and first on the agenda is….Camp Bestival! We’re so excited to be ambassadors for Camp Bestival for the fourth year running and to be working with Volvo this year, I can’t think of a better car for piling high with family camping gear.

    I grew up with festivals, Towersey and Chester with family before finding my own way at Glastonbury and Reading, so it is so important to me that we have Camp Bestival in our lives. Sometimes I do a double take looking back at the photos, me at Chester could almost be L at Camp Bestival, although face painting has come on a long, long way since I was a kid…

    Before I go and pick my two up, I will leave you with some pictures of a younger me and my family festivalling. The best little legacy a parent could give, and a lifetime of lovely memories. Tents, parades, face paint, music, picnics, flags, circus skills, peace and love.

    Have an amazing summer whatever you get up to.


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