Friday, 22 February 2019


Today, in glorious but slightly unseasonably warm weather we went to Stowe to meet up with my parents who had P to stay for a few days. We had a lovely picnic by the Chinese Temple and then went for a wonder round the grounds.

 We saw lots of snowdrops!
 We had a cup of tea (and E had her first ice-cream of the year) before going our seperate ways!

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


G, E and myself popped to Ickworth for their scone of the month - which was a rather yummy Toffee Apple flavour. They were a little dry but there were pieces of toffee in them.

We then went for a quick walk round the estate. It was a beautiful sunny day and I loved all the shapes of the bare trees.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Day 24 - The Wizard of Oz @REP Birmingham

We have totally loved every show we have been to see at The Rep and the Wizard of Oz was no exception.
When we arrived there was some lively skiff music playing by members of the cast against a background of corrugated iron. This really set the scene perfectly. When the play started, we were instantly transported to the farm in Kansas where the farm hands relax between shifts. The simple set of the farm building both inside and out felt so real that it made the whole story.The story starts with Toto being a real dog and when the play moves to Oz he turns into a puppet - P hadn't noticed this till the end when she said "Oh there were 2 totos!".
The Munchkins provide a hilarious welcome to Oz. They manged to be both funny and creepy, setting the tone for the rest of the story. Oz is a magical land full of vivid colour, towering plants and trees, and eerie animals and otherworldly creatures. The ensemble works so hard to bring it to life and it feels like you have been transported into another world.
The thing which made the play so innovative and fresh was the stagecraft and use of the set. The journey to Oz on the yellow brick road is told through a variety of props including yellow steps and chairs which give a feeling of movement along with the stage floor which is a giant turntable. Oz itself has some visual gags, green billboards with Oz puns in them and Dorothy and her companions getting an Oz makeover complete with traditional Dorothy costume. The Wicked Witch of the West was truly terrifying and P had her hands over her eyes for some of it!

I am looking forward to next's years Christmas show already!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Day 20 - Wilton's box of delights

Like so many people, I totally love the Box of Delights BBC television series which I try and watch each advent! As soon as I saw that there was a theatre show of this, one of my favourite books, I tried to book tickets! Sadly I failed last year but was one it as soon as they came on sale this year!

Image result for wilton music hall box of delights blog
So tonight P, E and myself took the train down to the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall. The theatre whole-heartedly embodies the show, such offering lemon posset ice cream which is referenced several times throughout the story, although P was not impressed! The programme is a fully detailed newspaper, ‘The Tatchester Times’ which includes games and ‘news items’.

I thought it was cleverly done with a small cast that do a lot of doubling up and make each person unique.  The staging was simple but for the most part effective. There were some lovely, imaginative scenes, like when the old man opens the Box of Delights and we see a golden, be-jewelled phoenix flying around the stage before it smolders in its own embers.
However, if you are not familiar with the story I thought it could be confusing with the the parallel story lines, time travel, and the cast playing multiple characters.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Day 19 - Polar Express

This evening P and I visited the North Pole on the Polar Express courtesy of the mid-Norfolk railway. It was about an  hour and half drive from Cambridge. We only managed to get standard tickets which meant we had to park in one of the free car parks in Dereham and had to walk about 10 minutes before we arrived.

 It was really well done with lots of actors in each carriage. They sang, danced, told the story...
 .. provided us with hot chocolate and cookies.
 We made it to the North Pole where Father Christmas arrived and gave the first gift of Christmas.
 The conductor even punched holes in our tickets. And we had a sing song on the way home.
I really loved it and P took her bell to bed with her,.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Day 18 - Trip to London including Christmas at Kew

Today we took the train to London.
 First stop was the Mithraeum, a Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras. It starts by showcasing objects found on the site and is the largest and earliest of its kind in Britain and includes the first known reference to London and the earliest hand-written document in Britain.

 You then go and visit the temple with a 20 minute light and sound show including ancient chanting.

 We then walked to the Sky Gardens where we had a quick wonder round.

That evening we went to Christmas at Kew (unfortunately in the rain). Having been before, the lights were different which made it great to wonder round. There were lots of music and light experiences.

 We enjoyed roasting Marshmallows.
 P was keen to go on the fair rides.
 The finale was the lazer show which was breath taking set to Disney music.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Day 17 - Christmas at Wimpole

Today we visited Wimpole at Christmas. There were timed tickets to visit the house (free to NT members).

 Each room had a themed decorated Christmas tree.
 I loved the nativity scene in the chapel.
 We then followed the Christmas explorer path through the gardens to the farm where we spotted a reindeer or two.
We enjoyed seeing the animals - although lots were out in the fields!