Category Archives: Family

A sunny September Saturday at Moors Valley

One of the things we were most excited about this summer was going to Moors Valley a lot. Then Nick broke his leg. So we haven’t been since June. But, the stars aligned at the weekend and we had no plans (as the renderer had let us down) and the weather was beautiful so we decided there was no better way to spend it than playing in the forest.

(You can see our previous trips to Moors Valley here, here and here!)

We parked at the local park and stomped our way through the puddles, holding onto bread for the ducks and got on our way.

PuddlesWalking to Moors ValleyNick & Hux

It’s so much fun now that Huxley can run around properly and really enjoy it. He was SO happy when he spotted the Gruffalo statue. He ran up and held his hand for ages. Bless him. He kept asking where mouse was too.

Gruffalo at Moors Valley

Nearby, there’s a hollowed out log and he spent ages exploring all the different tunnels and entrances and sliding around inside.

Huxley in log at Moors Valley

We set off around the play trail which consists of lots of different ‘mini’ playgrounds hidden in the forest. It’s great fun and well and truly wears the whole family out! Huxley’s memory has suddenly gotten really good too. When we turned up at the second play bit, he started asking for his tractor as when we’d gone there in June he’d had his tractor with him and pushed it down the slopes. I have no idea how he remembers things like that!

Hux at Moors Valley in SeptemberTrees at Moors Valley

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Flowers for Grandparents Day

I love my nan & granddad (obviously). I know some people who see their grandparents once or twice a year but I’m lucky enough to live right around the corner from them now so we see each other at least once a week. When I was at school, I’d walk home to my nan’s house and she’d make me salmon and cucumber sandwiches while I sat and watched CBBC and/or CITV on her sofa.

Since I’ve had Huxley I’ve been round much more frequently. Seeing the look of complete and utter joy on their faces as they chase him round the lounge or sit patiently drawing zoo animal after zoo animal for him makes me so happy. So when Appleyard London got in touch asking if I’d like to try their flower delivery service for Grandparent’s Day on 4th October I jumped at the chance to brighten up their day.

Appleyard Harmony Flower Bouquet

My lucky grandparents have been in Sardinia for two weeks so I had the flowers delivered to my house on Monday morning and took them round later that evening. The postman knocked briskly on my door and handed me an enormous, very swanky looking cardboard box. After carefully unpacking it I was greeted with the most beautiful bunch of flowers. I’d chosen the ‘Harmony’ bouquet which is a scented bouquet of white freesia, lilac roses, purple trachelium with ornithogalum and avalanche roses. This bouquet comes in at £46 and has a free box of chocolates included. Personally, I think it’s a great choice if you want to send flowers to someone for a special occasion. You can also order next day flowers if you’re one of those last-minute, forgetful types ;)

Grandparents Day Harmony Bouquet from Appleyard LondonNanThe lovely people at Appleyard have given me discount code to share with you all too. Just type ‘BLOG33′ at the checkout to receive 33% off your bouquet (excludes the flowers-by-post range)

*The flowers were sent to me to review by Appleyard London but all opinions remain my own

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End of the Road Festival 2015

Last weekend we went to End of the Road festival and literally had the best time ever. I’d only ever been to Leeds (2005) & Reading (2006) festivals (see embarrassing photos here) and End of the Road was a WORLD away from my experiences there. Reading & Leeds were scary. Enormous, very music-focused and to be quite honest, downright dangerous at times. End of the Road was completely chilled, with loads to see and do and it all felt a little bit magical.

I’ve tried my very best to keep my photos at a minimum! And I’ve tried not to include the other guys we went with too much as I know not everyone wants their life plastered over my blog but I still wanted to try and capture the feel of the time we had.

Although I knew a couple of bands playing the festival, there weren’t really that many that I was super excited about (except Future Islands!) and this made it quite nice because we weren’t constantly stressed out and rushing around trying not to miss anything. Which was just as well because you just can’t do that with kids!

We camped in family camping which was so chilled and during the day we could still hear the music from the main stage perfectly which was cool. Our mornings were spent drinking tea, eating bacon & egg sandwiches and chatting. (Massive thanks to the other guys who are seasoned campers/festival goers and had remembered to bring things like stoves, kettles and bacon).

Huxley with ladybird

We’d meander over to the main festival area around midday and mooch around between stages eating ice-cream and browsing the shops. Then we’d head back to camp around 5pm to make some food before heading back for some more music with the kids in their pyjamas, tucked up in the pushchairs with their ear defenders on.


On Friday we watched King Khan and the BBQ Show during the day and Tame Impala in the evening who were so much better live than I was expecting. Huxley fell asleep in the pushchair holding my hand at around 10pm and slept perfectly in the tent all night. Dream!

Woods stage End of the Road Festival 2015Sunset over family camping End of the Road Festival 2015Huxley

Saturday night was my absolute favourite. There was nobody playing that any of us were really fussed about so we spent the evening walking around the forest and came across the disco floor. With two 2-year-olds, you can imagine how much fun we had! We were there for hours and the kids were exhausted afterwards and fell asleep just in time for Sufjan Stevens. As it turned out, Sufjan was dreadful. Well, I say dreadful, I’m sure musically it was brilliant but it was just a bit too slow and dreary for a Saturday night and we were all in the mood for dancing.

Me-&-HuxLeaves at End of the Road Festival 2015EOTR festival bearRecording studio at End of the Road Festival 2015Lets Be Brave on a leaf End of the Road festival 2015Forest disco floor End of the Road festivalHuxley-on-disco-floor

The weather was totally glorious on Sunday. I kicked off the day with a cup of tea watching the sunrise over the camp while I waited for everyone else to stir. Nick & James had stayed out until 4am so they were a bit bleary-eyed when they eventually emerged from their tents. We packed up our tent and put all our stuff into the car as we weren’t staying that evening as we had to be in London the next day for an awards ceremony that we knew would also be a late night (2.30am we got home on Monday night!) Sunday saw Future Islands take the stage which was great fun. Huxley & Kip were running around all over the place kicking a giant inflatable balloon around (which I’m sure everyone around us LOVED). Unfortunately Future Islands clashed a bit with Mac Demarco who we also really wanted to see so we walked over to the Garden stage to catch the last bit of his set before grabbing some noodles and heading back to watch War on Drugs. By this point of the weekend we were all knackered from broken sleep in the tent and Huxley was just way over-tired so we ended up leaving the festival and heading home after a couple of songs because we just didn’t have the energy anymore! (One of the benefits of only living 20 minutes away!)

Sunrise over camping End of the Road festivalKids at End of the Road festivalTaking kids to End of the Road festivalHuxley festival Cawston Press juice boxNick-&-HuxMusical instruments in the forest End of the Road FestivalCircus tent end of the road festivalSunset at End of the Road festival 2015Jim-&-Nick2Sunset festivalHuxley at End of the Road FestivalSunset at End of the Road festival with kidsMac DeMarco Garden Stage End of the Road FestivalAnother great thing about End of the Road, and something we definitely didn’t make the most of this time around, was that they had SO much stuff for kids to do. There was a circus tent, clay modelling, family yoga, a little musical area, forest games and a cinema. If we go again next year we’ll definitely get our butts in gear a bit more and make the most of everything on offer.

All in all, it’s a festival I’d highly recommend, especially if you have kids, even if you’re not that fussed about the music. I’d love to go to Camp Bestival one year to see how it compares.

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