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Ready to Roll – Easter Monday


We have a very important tradition in our family. I think the annual Easter Egg Roll originates from my Mum’s side of the family, but as with any good family tradition, it got passed down and across. For me it was always who can roll it the furthest and be in the most rounds. My husband’s family have added their twists…I love that it is my sister in law who wants to make sure we have an egg roll planned and  my husband who gets seriously competitive and annihilates his egg on the first round.

We met at Beaver Hall on the Staffordshire Moorlands, where my sister in law keeps her horse. Apart from being an equestrian centre, it has a small farm park which offers owl and meercat experiences – more on that later! It also has a cafe where we had an amazing and hearty brunch, cheese and ham paninis for the kids and a ‘Big breakfast’ for the grown ups, like nothing you have seen. For me the veggie, Staffordshire oatcakes, cheese and tomatoes. My Dad is also from Staffs and so I grew up with oatcakes, so whenever I am in Staffs I have to have some of this wonderful delicacy.  We missed you Dad – Dad was feeling poorly and couldn’t join us.

We decorated these in the cafe…

Beaver Hall Easter - 02

Such concentration from the cousins!


A spot of peaceful contemplation…


Love it when they stick their tongues out to help them concentrate

DSC00460 Beaver Hall Easter - 01

And so we assembled, ready to roll

Beaver Hall Easter - 04

My Mother in Law added a new twist this year, rolling up the hill as it was so boggy, and a stick to mark the start line. All very proper. Mr A likes to make the kids laugh with his preparations…

Beaver Hall Easter - 07

Taking it very seriously…

Beaver Hall Easter - 08

The boggy ground helped, his egg was the winner, and unscathed for once.

Beaver Hall Easter - 09

L was the winner in the children’s heat this year…

Beaver Hall Easter - 06

But my niece gets the prize for the cutest egg good luck vibe preparations…she even kissed itBeaver Hall Easter - 05

My sister in law’s boyfriend added the idea of naming our eggs this year, mine was Zig and Zag…

Beaver Hall Easter - 10


Sadly we ran out of time for another round because we had a VIP experience booked!


Meeting Meercats at Beaver Hall

After our egg roll my SIL treated us to an owl and meercat experience, you have to book this in advance, but what a magical time it was. The kids were briefed to sit still and quiet with a dish of cat food, and in no time the meercats and their babies were jumping on their knees to have a feed.




This picture makes me laugh, classic meercat pose – they do this to catch the sun the keeper told us – coupled with Mr G’s mix of emotions, he absolutely loves meercats, but was also a bit nervous about live ones. He soon relaxed though,  the experienced handler Becky was great at making it a positive, for the meercats and the kids.

Beaver Hall Easter - 11

Then we had a moment with an owl, I love owls.

Beaver Hall Easter - 12

Had a little look at some newly hatched chicks and ducklings.

Beaver Hall Easter - 14

Met a poorly lamb who was being bottle fed after his mum failed to produce any milk.

Beaver Hall Easter - 13

A perfect Easter Monday. The sun had broken through the mist and I sat in the open car boot with Max, and watched the kids playing with sticks.

Beaver Hall Easter - 03

All suitably worn out and ready for a doze on the way home!

Beaver Hall Easter - 15


Hope you had a good weekend, it was lovely to see some other families having egg rolls too via my facebook timeline.

The rest of the weekend was spent on DIY, but that will be over on A Residence soon enough!



  1. Andrea
    07/04/2015 / 9:46 am

    That looks like such an amazing day – I love the Meerkat experience! We aren’t too far away from there so I’ll look into taking Sophie sometime 🙂

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:23 pm

      Def do, it was amazing!

  2. 07/04/2015 / 5:45 pm

    What a wonderful tradition! And those meercats are beyond cute! Please tell me you manages to sneak one in a pocket to take home?

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:24 pm

      He he so tempting!

  3. 07/04/2015 / 7:52 pm

    Looks like such a nice family day out! Not sure about the meerkats…

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:24 pm

      Oh Otilia, they are so tame, which was slightly unnerving!

  4. 07/04/2015 / 10:27 pm

    What a great family tradition and so nice for the kids to get up close wih the animals as well. Mich x

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:24 pm

      Bit of everything!

  5. Becky
    08/04/2015 / 4:33 pm

    Looks a lovely day Penny x

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:25 pm


  6. 08/04/2015 / 8:23 pm

    i think you will find that next year this will be the new HPMcQ family tradition too now! love it 🙂

    • parentshaped
      10/04/2015 / 8:25 pm

      Love it, wracking brains for good hills in London!

  7. 18/04/2015 / 11:20 am

    What a wonderful way to spend a day! And what an interesting tradition!

I'd love to know your thoughts!