National Experience Week is here!

Between 17th and 26th April, it is National Experience Week, and if you could choose anything, what would it be ?

With such a large family, getting out and gaining new experiences that cater for everyone is pretty impossible, these days we tend to split off into smaller groups, of differing interests or ages (not sure how I ended up with the Peppa Pig trip to the cinema!)

The amazing people at Into the Blue are setting you a challenge! Create a wishlist of the experiences you would like to do, then tweet them or send it to them on facebook, you can read all of the details and give yourselves some ideas here.

One lucky person will win their wishlist (up to the value of £1000) and two runners up will win a £100 voucher to use on the site, so what are you waiting for, head over to the site and get compiling your perfect wishlist.

I asked our children what they would like and Viggo and Tyrus would like to go trampolining, Eowyn would like to learn about Pony Keeping (i’m sure daddy wouldn’t, in case she announces she would like a pony for her birthday!) Kaide loves anything Sporty or maybe a Spy Day. Neva would obviously go with the Zoo Keeper for a Day, Lochlan would probably go for Tank Driving and Xene would go for something a little less energetic like an Afternoon Tea or Chocolate Making, but the great thing with this competition is that you could choose ALL of these.

What will you choose ?

Join us on a #RailAdventure with Greater Anglia Trains

The children all adore going on a train, no matter where they are going, it may just be a short hop across the border, or a trip into London, wherever it is the children love the adventure. Until I started blogging I rarely used the train, as more events were taking place (usually in London) I started to realise that trains were playing more of a part in our lives, so we invested in a Family and Friends Railcard, with so many of us to transport, the savings really do add up! (I paid for my 3 year railcard in just one journey for all nine of us!) Continue reading

Babe The Sheep Pig – Norwich Theatre Royal

On Easter Sunday, Neva, Kaide, Eowyn and I were invited along to Norwich Theatre Royal to watch a performance of Babe The Sheep Pig. The Dick King Smith classic is brought to life with amazing puppets and an enchanting cast.  I had read many reviews of the show and was very keen to see it for myself, we had watched the movie and I couldn’t wait to see how they transferred it to the stage, we were certainly not disappointed. The children aged between 8 and 14 all thoroughly enjoyed the show, so anyone considering if their child is too old, I would say No, it is a family show and everyone will enjoy it.

The beginning of the story, when Farmer Hogget picks up Babe to guess his weight, was particularly lovely, and you can almost forget that it is in fact a puppet. I loved the puppies and the way they interacted with Babe.

The fact that the entire cast is made up of just 8 people is stunning, the sheep costumes are amazing and in certain lights the dog Fly looks almost real. The story follows Babe’s arrival at Hogget’s farm and his natural ability to herd the sheep, through manners and politeness! He starts off as a meal for Christmas and ends up a prizewinning Sheep Pig!

To begin with Eowyn didn’t quite get the concept that the sheep were also playing real people, so there were lots of questions, is it a sheep, is it a person, why is the person wearing a sheep outfit, the kind of things you would expect from an inquisitive child! Once she got her head around the fact that they were playing both parts, she became engrossed, although she did get a little concerned when Maa the sheep was killed by a wolf, and I can see why, as the Wolf costume was very scary and the lighting effects really did add to the scene, thankfully Farmer Hogget got a phonecall just in time to let him know that farms were being attacked and he no longer thought that Babe had caused the death (much to the relief of everyone in the audience!)

Overall, it was a great family show that I would encourage everyone to go and see, there are two showings at the Norwich Theatre Royal today, so be quick and book your tickets!

If you don’t get a chance to see it today check out Babe The Sheep Pig UK Tour for dates and places it will be appearing.

Honk! Gorleston Theatre Company

On Tuesday evening we went along to Gorleston Pavilion Theatre to see a performance of Honk! A musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling staged by Gorleston Theatre Company ,this high-energy musical comedy tells the story of Ugly, the duckling who is born into ridicule and loneliness because he is different.With its exuberant music and steady stream of hilarious characters, HONK! will delight every member of your family. A fowl play has never been quite this much fun

Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is a lovely old theatre built in 1901, with a capacity of 300, with a cabaret style seating arrangement, which means a fantastic place for a family get together whilst enjoying great entertainment.

The show was brilliant, from the tiny little ducklings through to the domesticated cat in the cottage, everyone played their parts perfectly, and the story of the Ugly Duckling was brought to life beautifully. The role of Ugly was played to perfection by Neville Rowell, he looks ridiculous standing next to the four ducklings played by Willow, Yazmin, Leah-Ann and Dylan, but it worked, it follows his path from late hatching through to his transformation, and all the characters he meets along the way! Mama Duck Ida (played by Andrea Whiting) was a winner, she had compassion, understanding and the fierceness of a true mum, taking care of her flock, I loved her rendition of The Joy of Motherhood.

The Cat played by Chris Whiting was hilarious, who knew a French cat could be so funny, and although he was actually the baddie trying to eat Ugly, you couldn’t help laughing along with him, although his plight was thwarted at every opportunity.

The Geese formation was my favourite part, the goggles and jumpsuits were fabulous and the very disorganised flying squad had us in stitches.

They say never work with children or animals, but they never said anything about working with children as animals, the junior ensemble were completely adorable and each and every one of the cast played their parts with enthusiasm and pride.

The show is still showing tonight and there are two performances tomorrow, so if you are local and looking for something to do this Easter weekend, go and book tickets NOW! The entire family will LOVE it!

Sunny Afternoon Norwich Theatre Royal

Neva and I were invited along to watch Sunny Afternoon at Norwich Theatre Royal, a fantastic musical following the rise of the 1960s band The Kinks, who began their musical career in Muswell Hill, a place I know very well as that was the area both my parents grew up in, and my dad was also in a band during the same time, so all of the songs were played in our house whilst I was growing up, although Neva is only 14, she also knew some of the songs, which goes to prove good music, never goes out of fashion. Continue reading