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A dad's journey into health

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holidays

Family Festival Fun

So last week we managed to get away as a family (such a long time coming) and it was a bloody blast. We managed to scrape together enough money to go and stay with family up near Edinburgh. Tranent if we’re being pedantic about it.

We love being there when the Fringe is on. So much to see and do and not just in the city.

One of our best days out was at East Links Farm, the kids absolutely loved it. They had everything there from a huge wooden castle to a ski slope. It had it all with trains, go-kart and wild animals to boot. I can’t recommend this enough but be warned it was £15 a head for the day but deals can be found if you look about.

We started the holiday by visiting the beach at Portabello near Musselburgh (feature image).

The kids also loved visiting Dalkeith Country Park it had lovely grounds and a great adventure playground for just £1 per head (bonus) . It also had nice shops and a cafe for the grown ups (so we can pretend to be sophisticated n’all that).

The best day for us was when the family baby sat for the afternoon and evening. Ah heaven, we certainly made the most of it. My better half had a show at the Edinburgh Book Festival whilst I wandered round and soaked up the atmosphere.

Meandering around I managed to book in to see two great comedy shows. The amazing Richard Herring and the hilarious Adam Riches.

It was an amazing night and a flashback to our pre-kid days. “Oh Happy Days…”

The holiday was all capped off by a childrens event in the book festival by Children’s Laureate Michael Rose. It was a great show, he is so skilled at talking TO children not at them, a new family favourite I think. It was whilst here I realised I was a fully paid up member of the Dad Brigade. Every dad there had a back-pack crammed full of solutions for every eventuality. We are like holiday soldiers preparing for battle, proud warriors.

If you ever get a chance Edinburgh in August is a must, so vibrant and full of life, you won’t regret it.

Love you all, bye.

Summer Haze and Endless Days – but at what cost

That’s it, it’s here, summer holidays have officially started.

I have 3 very excited children giddy at the thought of six weeks of fun and frolics ahead of them, and truth be told, I am jealous as hell.

I remember well the feeling of freedom and possibilities about the time ahead.  I guess the reason that I’m so jealous is that I will never get to have that feeling again.  Now as a “grown up” I have the pressure and cost of shaping those freedoms and possibilities.  Don’t get me wrong though, it is totally worth it as I want them to grow up like I did, always looking for adventures, climbing trees and exercising their imaginations.

With a long period of time to fill the cost can soon get out of hand and the end of the summer can be stressful and difficult.  Here are a few things that are days out but don’t give tour wallet a cardiac-arrest:

Camping – you can buy good, cheap, used tents online some that even come with accessories and for the price of  a few nights in a hotel you can buy a tent the basic accessories and go camping every week in the summer.  Here in the UK you can usually pitch up at  a campsite for as little as £10 per night if you look around.  This is a great adventure for them, a bit of a break for you and very inexpensive.

Seaside trips“To the Beach, Beach, lets go to the beach”  I am fortunate enough to live in a seaside town so I have a lot of options close.  But if you can get there you can build sand castles, play football, climb on sand dunes, go rock pooling and paddling, the list goes on and on and don’t let the weather put you off we have spent lots of time there in the rain it’s just an opportunity for you parents to flex your imagi-muscles.

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Forest Walks – We regularly go on forest walks, truth be told though they are little, purpose built woods but the kids don’t know the difference, so shhh.  Take a few empty jars and maybe a net with you in case there is a stream or something and you may get a chance to catch Sticklebacks.

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Swimming – If the weather is too bad then a swim is a good option.  Some local authorities let local children swim for free in the holidays, therefore for all of us to go costs about £4.  Absolute bargain.

The Library – The wife’s a Librarian and would kill me if i didn’t include this ha ha. Honestly though we often use their services.  If you go into your local library they often have summer schemes for children and it gives you places to go, it’s educational and it doesn’t cost much – if anything.  We do the Lancashire Reading Journey.

Parks – There are some great parks around and a quick Google search will find one near you, these include national parks also.  I often take the kids to Beacon Fell and build dens and play hide and seek.

Soft play – Okay some may see this as a bit of a cop out but if the kids are still young, you can have a fairly cheap morning out (and if you go first thing they are usually quite quiet even in the holidays) and they will have a blast.  Piece of advice though – take a book get a coffee and relax

Local event’s – Keep your eye on the local council website, Facebook and google for free events in your area to go to they cost nothing and fill a day.

Days in – Sometimes weather and money conspire against you, but never fear there’s still lots of options:  You can have Film days (tank the lord for Netflix) we head out to the Pound Shop and get a pick’n’mix each go home and watch a movie and eat sweets, perfect.   Gardening maybe not a day out but my kids love helping me in the garden and getting messy as hell.  Indoor adventure time – one of my favourites, use every bit of bedding, sheets and sofa cushions, dining chairs (even tents) and make an indoor fortress – so much fun.

Finally Picnic it all up – one of the biggest expenses when your out is food so take as much as possible with you and you will save bundles.

IMG-20160816-WA0004Any other ideas mums and dads?  Let me know I would love to hear them

Relax and enjoy the summer, who knows you may get that sense of adventure back after all.

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