Half Term Fun Making Memories.

Sometimes it just takes over me. An urge to do things, get out there, make some memories. I get scared that it might be my last chance to have some fun with the kids. They are growing so quickly and I’m not getting any younger myself.

It was half term and I made a plan of all the things I wanted to do. Was it too ambitious? Maybe, especially as we had to go out three days in a week, normally I have to rest after a day out. But, there was a birthday in there and you can’t postpone a birthday. The celebrations maybe, but not the buying of gifts and cards.

So, Monday was buying day. The card shop is practically next door to the toy shop, which would have been great had the birthday boy been under 40! But, no point in wasting a trip to the toy shop with the kids in tow, it was definitely time to spend that pocket money that was building up. Thankfully, the gifts had already been bought, but Graham still treated himself to a new game for his PS4 (yes, I did say he was over 40!) And Boo bought him a new DAD mug. He needs a coffee mug twice as big as the regular mugs to help him stay awake to play his PS4 all night.

white mug in a black box. Mug says King Dad

Tuesday was Graham’s birthday and we went out for lunch. We could have gone out for dinner and included the whole family, but we’d only done that a couple of weeks ago for No1 Son. So, lunch it was at the local Brewer’s Fayre. The girls discovered that they were too big now to play in the play area so The little Man went off on his own. I wasn’t worried about him, he’s not shy and makes friends so easily, he talks to everyone. Plus we had a screen we could watch from the table. Boo, however, worried incessantly, ‘what if he gets hurt?’ ‘What if he goes somewhere else and we don’t see him?’ ‘What if someone bullies him?’ She’s just like a mini mum. I think I was probably like that when I was younger, but you kind of become more relaxed when you’ve had five children.

Three children sitting at the table at a restuarant

Thursday we had decided to go out. ‘Let’s go to the Think Tank’ I said. We haven’t been there for years and it was somewhere I wanted to go. The kids agreed but were not too excited. Had I worn them out already, surely they didn’t prefer to be stuck indoors?

The morning started as usual, breakfast then laptops. But, not without protest, I’d managed to persuade them to get dressed too. I got ready for our day out but no-one seemed really keen. Boo complained that she’d been to the Think Tank with her school just last year. Star complained that she didn’t want to go to the Think Tank but wouldn’t offer a reason. The Little Man just wanted to play Roblox, he didn’t even want to put his socks on.

Then Star said she didn’t want to go out unless we went to Mc Donalds first. I knew what would happen, it’s happened many a time before. We’d go to Mc Donald’s and then she’d insist we came home again. Eventually, she agreed to go to the Sea Life Centre instead of the Think Tank. Arrrgh! At least it was getting out, although I didn’t want to go to the Sea Life Centre, it’s way too familiar. Why was it so difficult, I just wanted to make some fun memories for my kids? Health wise I am probably better off staying home and doing nothing at all, but I don’t want my kids to have that as their childhood memory.

Anyway, cut a long story short, we went to Mc Donalds, then to the Sea Life Centre which was fully booked and we couldn’t go in. So, guess where we ended up? Yes, The Think Tank! On arrival at the Think Tank, Star brightened up as she recognised the place. Then we realised that we hadn’t actually explained anything to her about it and she’d become anxious because she didn’t know where she was going. That’s the problem when you have an autistic child, sometimes it’s easy to forget ‘the rules’ to forget how her mind works. Even though we know she’s autistic we still get it wrong and think she’s just being awkward. The tears and tantrums and effort just to get out of the house could possibly have been avoided had we just spent five minutes explaining that we’d been to the Think Tank before and tried to remind her of what it was like. Or maybe not, you never can tell.

So, fun was had (eventually) and memories made and hopefully, somewhere in the back of their minds they will retain only good thoughts and images of our ‘fun’ packed half term.

two children from the back as they learn how canal locks work at the science museum
Mix It Up Linky
Shank You Very Much

The Mum Conundrum

Debs Random Writings

What to do in Birmingham

I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life and I love my City. Of course I’d like to be closer to the sea side, but being central it’s never that far away.

I’d like to share some of my favourite places in Birmingham with you, some are obvious, some not so obvious but I’m sure there is something for everyone.

If you need to stay over Birmingham has a selection of fabulous Travel Lodge hotels for you to stay in, including five in the city centre. Look our for their new upgraded rooms which are more comfortable than ever and each room has a new king size bed.

Shopping in the Centre.

It’s worth a trip to Birmingham just for the shopping. Come by train and you will most likely to arrive at Grand Central, a brand new station and shopping centre with lots of new shops including a great John Lewis store. There are also many places to grab something to eat. Then right next door you have the Bullring Shopping Centre, three floors of fabulous shops with something for everyone. That’s before you’ve even stepped outside onto the high street! The shopping experience just goes on and on. If you fancy a break there is the Museum and Art Gallery you could visit, or the library. Why would you want to visit a library? Well, just take a trip to the roof garden and soak in that view! If you come around Christmas time (12th November to 22nd December) you can catch the wonderful Frankfurt Market, which extends to the Christmas Market and Craft Fair.

Birmingham Symphony Hall

Just a stones throw from the library you will find Birmingham Symphony Hall. Maybe you fancy catching a show, coming soon you will find Will Young and Jimmy Carr, or maybe you will like something classical, there is plenty to choose from, from Beethoven to Mendelssohn.

The auditorium is a model of a modern concert hall with superb acoustics so whatever you decide to see you will enjoy.
Or you could even opt for a tour of the hall, they are held frequently.


Just the other side of the  Symphony Hall you will find one of Birmingham’s famed canals. The canals have been restored and are now a lively hub of activity with bars and restaurants. You can take a trip on a barge, or just take a barge taxi to another canal area, the Birmingham Mailbox.

Think Tank

On the other side of the City is the Think Tank, which is Birmingham’s brilliant science museum. It’s a real fun day out for all the family with so much to do and learn. There is even a fabulous science garden to explore on nicer days. It’s a wonderfully interactive museum which will capture imaginations. You can explore the science behind manufacturing, see the world’s oldest working steam engine, find out about the future, visit the planetarium and much more.

Sea Life Centre

Birmingham also has a wonderful Sea Life Centre which has been voted one of the best things to do in Birmingham. It has an interactive rockpool, a 4D cinema and a colony of  Gentoo penguins in the Penguin Ice Adventure. An all time favourite has to be the 360 degrees tunnel with the sharks and giant turtle called Molokai.

Cadbury World

If you want to venture out of the City Centre then why not visit the home of chocolate...Cadbury World. This is where Cadbury’s chocolate began. It’s not just about the factory though, Bournville is a whole community which was built for the workers at the chocolate factory. (Because the Cadbury’s were Quakers by religion, you will not find a pub in Bournville!) The tour of Cadbury World is fun and enlightening, with lots of taste testing on the way. There is a Chocolate shop you can visit, and many photo opportunities. If you visit, do take a look around Bournville village too. Just across the road from Cadbury World you will see a Clock Tower which hosts a Carillon, which is one of the largest and finest in Britain. It is actually 48 bells held in a cupola which are worked by a keyboard, so the tunes that can be played are quite amazing. You can hear the Carillon being played at the weekend in the afternoon. 

Whatever you decide to do I’m sure you’ll find plenty to keep you happy and occupied in Birmingham.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Picnic in the City!

One of the nicest things about blogging is that there is a whole blogging community that you can become part of. I’m often meeting up with other bloggers, either at events, or meet-ups, so I had to jump in when I heard there was going to be a meet-up in Birmingham, my home town.

We picked a lovely day for a picnic and had decided, at the last minute, to meet up at the fairly new Eastside Park which is situated outside the Think Tank museum at Millenium Point. The last time I went there it was a car park so the transformation was very pleasant. As well as a stream and lots of grass areas with plenty of seats, there was a lovely little maze, and a great sensory park. There is also the Science Park which is part of the Think Tank, which means it also comes under the Think Tank fees….But, it’s free after 3pm and well worth a visit.

I was first to arrive, having swiftly found the car park despite being the first time I’ve driven into town in over two years and coming from a completely different direction after moving home. Go Me!

Other’s were not so lucky in finding the car park, mention no names *wink*

Then everyone seemed to arrive at once and we all went into the little play area where the kids got to know each other.

The Little Man instantly took a liking to Zoe’s (from Mama Geek) daughter, although he was a little pushy she didn’t seem to mind. The Little Man is just like his dad, he’ll get on with anyone! Boo is similar and was soon joining in with the others games. Star is a little shyer but soon found common ground with some of the little lads.

I know I was a little quiet on the day but while I have Star in her halo I seem to be very edgy whenever we go out, she doesn’t seem to worry, but I’m terrified she might fall or get hurt, or even hurt someone else, those rods can give a good bruise.

I did have a lovely day though and it was really nice catching up with everyone.

The Olivers Madhouse – Jaime
Mama Geek – Zoe
92three30 – Erica
Mummy of 3 Diaries – Chris
Pink Oddy – Joy

Here is the Sensory Park

And the Science Park

A couple of my favourite photos from the day.

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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.