Camp Westival*

 Camping in The Cotswolds, in Oxfordshire.

Our home for four days was in an 8-man tent on a camping site in Chipping Norton. A car and top box rammed to the brim, ready for this annual family meet. The *Westival, named after Mr Red’s Family on his Mum’s side.  We have had this wonderful get together now for the past four years.

We’ve met twice in North Devon – where my husband is from. The meet took us to Nottingham last year, where we got bitten a lot by insects.

This year The Cotswolds. Such a lovely part of the country, I’d like to be able to investigate further one day, see more of it.

So it rained for more than half of our stay, the road by the camp site was very busy and noisy, even at night, but it really was a lovely time away.

The Thursday it had taken us a good few hours to get there, so it was mainly about settling in, tents up, and a take away was the menu for the day.

Sight Seeing

Friday we took a trip to Oxford in the morning, such a beautiful City, would love to spend more time there exploring. We really loved the old buildings, such character. In the afternoon we paid a visit to a National Trust property – Chastleton House in Morton in Marsh, yet another stunning National Trust property to tick off of our visit list. Unfortunately the weather was hideous so we didn’t spend long here at all; we did pop into the Church within the grounds and had light refreshments. BBQ with the family in the evening completed the day.

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Fairy Tale Farm

Saturday whilst the “older” generation went for a pub lunch, we took a trip to Fairy Tale Farm, although started off damp and very breezy it did end up being a lovely time out. The children totally enjoyed this play place, lots of things to see and do, with many sensory items.

There was Bunny Hollow, with a role play kitchen, which the smaller girls enjoyed, the entrance to the hollow were little flower beds with plastic flowers, although it wasn’t obvious.

Two sheds with a path in between had some hidden secrets, with buttons to press, where lights turned on inside, and snippets of fairy tales were told. Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Red Riding Hood. Although Sleeping Beauty was slightly creepy.

Out the other side were sea creature statues, which Baby Red hated, especially the singing Mermaid (think Pirates of the Caribbean singing Sirens creepy).

There were more sensory things as we walked through, things to do, to see and to hear. Even the 12 year old enjoyed herself.

There was a play park with picnic area, the children – young and old enjoyed that, including Rubber Duck Racing! Fun.

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An animal area was last in the outdoor activities, we were able to buy animal feed to feed them, we chose guinea pigs and goats.

Think that was one of their favourite activities.

Inside we brought cheeky cake, there was a small play area for younger children to play, which was lovely.

The day was value for money, would recommend it to anyone with young children.

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Had a walk around Chipping Norton, very small town, not a lot there much like where I live, but a bit more upmarket…

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The day ended with an evening together in a big group for another BBQ, even the rain held off. It is lovely to feel so welcomed by these people.

 

It was so lovely to get away, we are already making plans for our next camping trips, the children really do love it.

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I really can’t believe the School holidays are almost over, they have gone unbelievably quick; I do have some Mummy guilt about not doing a lot this year.  But it can’t be helped; we have done what we could.

 

The Red Head Diaries

Saal Digital UK Photo Book 


​I love taking photos; I take them at every possible opportunity. For me it is important to make memories, but to also make them last. In a digital world it can often make us forget to take the hundreds of photos from USB sticks, our phones, our flash drives. Placed into thousands of folders on screens rather than in shoe boxes or albums. It is always on one of my “to do lists”, to print and sort out the literal thousands of photos I have stuck in my many devices. But of course never gets done. 

I have just recently been given the opportunity to review a Photo book, from Saal Digital UK. I have brought a couple of photo books in the past, they have been okay – pretty run of the mill; so I wasn’t entirely sure on what to expect when my new photo book arrived. 

I have been really pleasantly surprised by this photo book, if I am honest I wish now I had chosen “better” photos, but I love them all the same, I can’t wait to use these books for some of my landscape photos. 

I really love what I have received, and have been showing it off to anyone who will listen and will be back to purchase another, it’ll certainly make the memories a lot easier to look through. 

The Saal Digital UK and software is really easy to use, with clear easy to follow instructions (which make me very happy).

They do a selection of products from prints to Calendars. 

There are a variety of choices for the photo books including hard covers, booklets with spiral binding and soft covers. 

My Book is made up of glossy texture, with an unpadded glossy cover 15×21 with 28 pages. 

Would I recommend Saal Digital UK? 

Yes definitely. There was a really quick turnover from ordering to it reaching me, which is brilliant for last minute shoppers. Thank you for such a great experience.

Ten Favourite Foods

Considering I am on a diet, I really shouldn’t be thinking on my favourite foods.

When I was pregnant with my last baby, I was down to eating 2-3 foods for the whole of my pregnancy, that has put me off a lot of foods too.

Big fan of crap food, hence why I am now attempting to diet my way through life.

But if I could have anything.

My ten favourite foods would be.

  1. Scones,
  2. Avocado Salad
  3. Bangers and Mash
  4. Jacket potato with Cheese and Beans
  5. Mackon Chicken with Coconut Rice
  6. Pork and Rice (Hairy dieters recipe)
  7. Lidl Blueberry Muffins
  8. Gnocchi
  9. Strawberries
  10. Pesto and pasta.

 

Plenty of rubbish, but some good things too.

What are you loving right now?

 

The Red Head Diaries

Meaning Behind My Blog Name(s)

I run two, my first one I have had for a little while and have had several name changes in the five years I have had it, but had the current name for almost a year.

It is such a damn obvious name; I have no idea why I never used it sooner.

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Melody and Me.

It has become such an important place for me, a safe place to share our daughter, to relieve some thoughts, to help others understand why and what I am thinking. It isn’t always easy to get these things across, especially some people would rather risk running across the road in front of a bus than speak about the life we lost.

It is strange to have had this space for this long now.

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The Red Head Diaries

This blog, I have again had several name changes, and I have never really been overly confident with this one I must admit. I have no idea why, but as it is a parenting and general life blog, I always feel I am pretty much winging both life and parenting, and it isn’t always particularly exciting, but ultimately I don’t really do it for anyone else, I love writing if it gets read then bonus.

Again I can’t believe I never had this name sooner. I am a read head, my children are all read heads, my husband has a hint of red in his hair (although he won’t admit to it).

And red heads are absolutely awesome – and hot (tempered).

 

The Red Head Diaries

 

 

The Top of My Bucket List

I try not to speak about bucket lists too much.

Live for the moment, I really do like to take one day at a time. We do make plans of course we do but the bigger ones we don’t always plan too far on advance.

The top of my bucket list would be to travel the whole of the UK, including Scotland. I am sure there is a whole world that needs visiting. But I am privileged enough to have been born in a country with such beautiful heritage and histories. I’m lucky that where I live, here in Somerset we’re already surrounded by stunning landscapes and wonderful buildings, but I would love to see them all.

We’re hoping to do Scotland in a couple of years anyway, but I would love to visit everywhere, even if there are places that aren’t as picturesque, they still have character of some kind. Although I am not religious, I think the UK has some beautiful churches and cathedrals.

We’re members of the National Trust, so we do get so see some of the local areas which are included, so this will help towards the sights I would love to see. There are many theme parks here that we could enjoy, countryside outside of Somerset to visit.

Don’t get me wrong there are a few places I’d like to visit away from the UK, Italy being one and Disney Land too…I know not a wide spectrum. But it is here I’d love to explore more first, nooks and crannies that aren’t huge on the tourist lists. I’d like to write Melody’s name in all of the beaches here, visit the lakes and see the Dragonflies.

Try cream teas in different parts, try foods that maybe I have already tried but are from a specific region, maybe cider is actually better away from Somerset, (I doubt it ;))I know real Irish Guinness is nicer that the pub version.

I live in a beautiful country;I look forward to seeing more.

 

The Red Head Diaries

An Average Day

I will have to be honest; there really isn’t an average day in this house.

We rarely have two days the same. Having two of our children being terrible sleepers, it is completely unpredictable on when or how our day begins. Mini has occasionally woken at 1am – for the day. Occasionally the pair of them will tag team, one night Mini will sleep until 4 am and Baby will wake, there is no two the same.

We have started bed transfer with Baby Red, but she’s often back in our bed between midnight and 3. We keep telling ourselves it isn’t forever. Surely not?

Mondays and Fridays have a little more routine, but I guess routine will get better once Mini begins school in September.

Mondays I tend to do group admin, I try and do a lot of networking which people don’t see, contacting various places raising as much awareness as I can, it is tireless; at times I feel as though I am speaking to myself.

Anything Majorette related I add in, but often that leaks in somewhere daily, particularly recently when we were organising a fun day.

Feeding Baby Red endless amounts of breast milk, making sure she doesn’t come to harm’s way, she goes overboard with her adventuring sometimes.

School runs.

Providing I’m organised enough I can get dinner started before the Mr arrives home.

Over the summer term, my Fridays

6am Get up

6.10 Shower

6.30 Breakfast

7.00 Baby Red needs boob

7.15 walk to work at school

7.45 start work

8.45 finish work

8.50 meet the children before they start school

9.00 errands in town

9.30 walk to see Melody

10.10 walk to school

10.20 arrive ready to chaperone swimming

10.25 -11.25 walking with and waiting for swimmers

11.30 returning to school at 11.45

12.00 shift

1.30 finished return home

1.35 Baby Red needs boob

1.45 lunch

1.50 Baby Red needs Boob

3.15 collect children from school

4/4.30 dinner

4.30 Baby Red needs boob

4.30 print anything needed for majorettes, get ready for majorettes

5.30 leave the house

5.45 drop two children to one hall

6.00 Stay with trainer in another hall

7.00 One lot of training finishes, (natter to one of the other Mums)

8.00 drive home

8.30 supper

8.30 Baby Red needs boob

9.00 hopeful transfer to bed for Baby

9.00 hopeful uninterrupted writing time

10-11pm bed time

 

 

 

 

What’s In Your Fridge?

We’re attempting healthy eating I, for one have really poor willpower.

Our fridge at the moment is well stocked with fruit healthier things. Not a bottle of alcohol in sight – not for now anyway. I’m not a massive drinker, so it is quite rare to see anything alcoholic in there; being in charge of children it is hardly fair to be drunk in front of them all of the time. My husband is Teetotal, as an ex-alcoholic he completely quit many years ago.

This is our fridge.

Apple Juice 3 or 4 cartons of the stuff

Garlic Bread, the children like to have it with Spaghetti Bolognaise, which we’re having over the next few days.

Mince meat

Muller Light in the hope it will help curb my sweet craving, which is also low in calories.

Grapes, salad, and avocados – We are trying…

Cheese

Tube Yogurts

A large pot of yogurt for my overnight oats.

Soft cheese spread

Dairylea Spread

Vitalite

Milk 16 pints of it…

Bottle of diet coke our once weekly treat.

What you can’t see it garlic cloves, jam, mayo, salad cream, Babybel.

 

Very boring.

 

The Red Head Diaries

Xx