Exploring National Trust – Knightshayes in Devon

In an attempt to use the holiday allowance that my stress levels wish that I had used by now, I’m on holiday this week. This has given us the chance for some child-free exploring. Today we checked out the National Trust – Knightshayes property by Tiverton here in Devon.

First, and overall impression of the Knightshayes estate is how tranquil it seemed! While I’m sure it can get busy during the school holidays / Christmas time, off peak – it did feel very peaceful.

We spent the majority of the little amount of time that we had exploring the historic house at Knightshayes, sadly as time ticked away, we didn’t get a chance to explore the wider estate. But what we saw, was a lot of space for small people to run around, and I’ve seen a photo online of what looked like a great climbing frame that I’m sure that the our little person would love.

I’m not going to write a full blown review of our trip, due to our lack of exploration, but I’d like to share a few pics of the estate, after-all they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Have you explored Knightshayes? What would you suggest we look for, when we go back with our small one?

What My Fridge Says

12 Steps To Leaving The House With Children

There are somethings you don’t understand about parenthood, until, you are, an actual parent. You can think you understand those things, but. You don’t. The obvious example of what I’m talking about? Trying to leave the house with kids. (Or even just one kid in our case)

During a particularly elongated attempt  at leaving the house, I decided to write down the twelve steps at leaving the house, when you have little people.

  1. Suggestion. This is normally when someone comes up with an idea of a thing to do. People without kids normally just get ready to go at this point.
  2. Negotiation. When you all work out where you want to go.
  3. Settlement on a plan. DECIDE SOMETHING!!
  4. Realising that the plan you settled on isn’t for whatever reason, going to work, and therefore, you go with the original idea.
  5. Start getting everyone washed, dressed, and shoes on. This step can take two maybe three hours.
  6. Ponder going to Tesco whilst you wait for small person / people to start getting ready.
  7. Time for Threats
  8. Time for Bribery
  9. Ponder if its too early for wine? 
  10. Someone starts cleaning whilst waiting for someone else.
  11. Ensure everyone who needs the toilet has gone to the toilet.
  12. Finish getting shoes on.
  13. Pack the inevitably needed snack.
  14. Pack some emergency wine.
  15. Realise that “someone” didn’t brush their teeth. Send them back to actually do it this time.
  16. Drink the flipping emergency wine.
  17. Leaving.
  18. Coming back to check if the door is locked.
  19. Leaving.
  20. Coming back to grab the camera.
  21. Leaving.
  23. Leaving.
  24. Time for Shouting.
  25. Time for Wailing.
  26. Time for Gnashing of teeth!!!
  27. Leaving and having a happy day. (Phew)

Yes. There are more then 12 steps.

There was always going to be more then 12 steps involved in getting children ready to go out.

What do you think I’ve missed?

What My Fridge Says
Mudpie Fridays

Doctor Who: Upset that The Doctor is now a woman?

So now we know. Jodie Whittaker is to be the new Doctor, the 13th lead actor in Doctor Who. (Ok there’s the War Doctor – lets keep this straight forward please). And yes. The Doctor is now going to be a woman.

Now, I’ll be honest here.

I have been known to argue why The Doctor should be a guy. (Basic argument was that he was a mostly non violent, male role model). But after these 61 seconds, I’m not just ok with the changes, but looking forward to the new era:

It probably helps that I cant help but think that she so looks like The Doctor. (Please dont ask me how I know if an actor looks looks like the Doctor or not).

It’s also been signposted in the show for a while…

Personally I’m looking forward to new character dynamics in the TARDIS.

But What if you’re upset about the new Doctor being a female?

Here’s a few ideas…

  1. Check out the Big Finish audio stories. They’ve been producing Doctor Who stories for years, featuring many of the previous Doctors. Give them a listen, but if you’re not sure where to start, the 50th anniversary special “The Light At The End” is a good start.
  2. Delve into the Doctor Who DVD catelogue. If you really want to try an old go for The Mind Robber.
  3. Wait it out. Watch the new series, or don’t watch it. We’re talking about a show that reinvents itself every a few years. It will reinvent itself again.
  4. Remember, somewhere, there are going to be girls growing up with a new more relatable hero. Thats got to be a good thing right? And again, if it sucks, well give it a few years and return to the show.
  5. Please try and take some joy in this video, and that other girls may well have the same reaction. Please?

Just a shame that apparently shes not keeping the coat…

Any other suggestions for people struggling with the change?

With thanks to @georgeluke on twitter for the idea for this.
Some of these links are affiliate links, and therefore may lead to helping me sustain my Doctor Who habit.

Alternative Parent Friendly Sports Day

Welcome to the close of the summer term at school. If you have a kid at any sort of school, the chances are they’ve either had, or about to have a school sports day.

There will be parents all over the place cheering on their kids in what ever shape or form, and sometimes – there is a chance for parents to join the sports day fun. Normally this looks like racing each other in some form.

Now I reckon there are other sports that fit the world of parenthood more than a egg and spoon race.

Here are my ideas for parent related sports:

  • The dash home. Triggered by the cry of “I need a wee”, in the appropriate pitch that makes you believe that things are coming out. This sport starts when home is the nearest toilet, but is still seemingly far away. To partake in this sport, simply pick up your Little One in your arms, and dash home quick. The winner is the parent that gets their kid home fastest. (Bonus points if you remain calm even though you believe you’ve been wee’d on.)
  • Midnight Lego Walk. Its dark. You have bare feet. The floor has Lego. Go!
  • The Dash Up. This starts with you downstairs, while the little one is asleep upstairs. The night is peaceful, suddenly peace is interrupted by a blood curdling scream. HOW FAST CAN YOU GET UP THOSE STAIRS? Ready?
  • Confident Cyclist. How much confidence can you show your kid, while shes sat on a random bouncy chair behind you as you cycle. When you brought this bike, you never imagined cycling with a passenger, now is your time NOT to freak about how difficult it is! How far can you cycle without the kid freaking out?
  • Hide the chocolate. This parenting game is a variation of “Hide and Seek” except your hiding, and eating the chocolate before the child finds you…

The above may have been inspired by times that the Little One has kept me on my toes.

What sports do you play?

Mudpie Fridays

Being Beautifully Different

Learning about being being different is good, with the help of the children’s book called Beautifully Different…

Kids books are great.

I’ve read kids books to our little one that are about everything from dirty sandwiches, to little girls and their pet ducks. Whatever the book is about, the book is generally a nice positive, uplifting read that leaves you feeling at least slightly ok about the world.

There also seems to be kids books that are about something more than fantastic adventures. There doesn’t seem to be many, but there are some that tackle… subjects that are an emotional step above things like going to the dentist, first day at school, or having a hair cut.

If “Paper Dolls” by Julia Donaldson is an exercise in dealing with grief, “Beautifully Different” by Dana Salim is a look at how everyone is different from each other, and how that difference makes the world a better place.

Arguably a message that more adults could do with learning.

The book follows Yousuf as he plays an imagination game to find out why people are different. During his game he finds beautiful flowers, but there are weeds coming to scare the flowers away!

As you can see from the instagram video below, the story is filled with bright illustrations, can you spot the bit that makes our 4 year old go “Woo Hoo”?

Beautifully Different can be found on Amazon.

Kids books are great.

Maybe more adults should read them?


Beautifully Different by Dana Salim has been supplied free for review purposes, but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links can be found above.