My Top Ten “Dodgy” Children’s TV Programmes.

So glad I no longer have to watch these programmes! So glad my children prefer to watch Dr Who. 😀


Having watched a lifetime’s worth of children’s TV over the last 6 1/2 years I have had numerous conversations about the dodginess of some of them so here is my top ten! It is only for fun by the way so no need to get defensive if your favourite is in the list 😀

  • Special Agent Oso

This cute cuddly bear worries me intensely! Here is a creature who is put in charge of a cacophony of high powered machines such as rockets, motorbikes and trains yet he doesn’t know how to do up his flies, brush his teeth or put the leaves in the compost bin. He also has an army of “shuttlebugs” who spy on children in their moments of sadness and frustration then broadcast the photographs of said children. The most worrying of these was the child who didn’t know how to dress himself!

  • 64 Zoo Lane

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National Trust – Castle Drogo – How impressive is that scaffolding???

I’ve been so busy with things recently that I have been lax on my blog and though it was about time to get it back up and running again starting with Castle Drogo.

If you are in the North Devon area and looking for something a little different to the normality of National Trust then Castle Drogo is worth a visit. As it is undergoing a huge renovation operation at the moment a lot of the trappings of the castle are in storage so you actually get to see the building for a change and learn about how it all came about with letters between the family, the architect and other prominent figures. Just seeing the huge granite blocks makes such a difference from the normal “carpets on the walls” and olde worlde chairs and it does make for an interesting take on the proceedings – especially seeing the letters blown up to make for easy reading to see how things progressed from the hiring to the firing of staff plus lots more. There was also a letters trail around the castle for the little people in our lives to keep them interested and lots of little peep holes in the wood cladding for them to peep through and see the working behind. My three year old loved finding this and peering through – “I fown won” becoming a well used phrase on our round of the castle.

Most impressively though is the GIGANTIC scaffolding structure outside. It truly is an impressive work of art which has to be built a distance away from the castle walls to protect the castle from damage as the scaffolding moves in the wind and because of this is has to be built in such a way that the weight of it is born away from the castle. It looks like a huge Meccano construction and really has to be seen to be believed.

The gardens of the castle are fabulous and there was an activity trail to follow for the children. Although our children didn’t officially take part in the trail with the clipboards you could pick up they did enjoy finding the boxes and carrying out the activities within. We also enjoyed a couple of games of croquet, lawn tennis and bean bag targets on a beautifully maintained croquet lawn.

Overall the day was lovely for a different take but if you like the normal type of National Trust outing you may not appreciate the building work.

Cost for the day (if not members);


Garden only

  • Adult: £5.50
  • Child: £3.00
  • Group adult: £5.15
  • Group child: £2.55

Whole Property

  • Adult: £8.70
  • Child: £4.30
  • Family (1 adult): £13.00
  • Family: £21.80
  • Group adult: £8.10
  • Group child: £4.10

Gift Aid

Garden only

  • Adult: £6.10
  • Child: £3.30

Whole Property

  • Adult: £9.60
  • Child: £4.80
  • Family (1 adult): £14.40
  • Family: £24.00


Photo from


Photograph from

Belton House – National Trust

Strictly speaking Belton House isn’t a holiday review as we went with Alex’s school in the last week of term but it was the reason we, as a family, took out the National Trust membership so I thought I would start with it.

We didn’t go into the house itself but we did take part in activities around the grounds so I’ll tell you about those.

As it was a school trip there were activities set up for the class and we started in the education centre doing some still life drawing decorating butterflies and using our imaginations for what the lady in one of their paintings was looking at in the distance. Alex did me proud and showed what a real Whovian she is becoming by drawing a TARDIS! Good girl!Image

We then had an activity to do which took us around on a treasure hunt of sorts around the gardens and they are beautifully kept and the small hothouse was interesting. I confess right now though that we didn’t actually do much on the treasure hunt as we spent loads of time talking about the plants, the bees and what we could see but all the children in my team were asking questions galore.

Lunchtime was a picnic on the outside picnic area and there were plenty of tables for us all to sit on without sitting upon each others’ laps so thumbs up for that.

The best part of the day though, for the small people, was the adventure playground. It is huge! There were slides, climbing apparatus, wooden structures and lots more. We could probably have spent all day on that alone.

Suffice it to say that we had such a good time I promptly came home and investigated National Trust membership so we could go and sample more of their properties and, so far, it has more than proved its worth.

Cost for a family entry to Belton House – grounds only? £24.30

Eden Hall – bliss! A relaxed Multitasking review

Today I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to go to a launch at a spa. Did I want to go? All I had to do was write a review? Did I want to go???????????????? errrrrm Let me think about that for all of a nano second – YES PLEASE!

Then I found out the spa was at Eden Hall and it was for the launch of their Aromatherapy Associates. Even bigger YES PLEASE!

I have always wanted to go to Eden Hall but, with my first experience of a spa being the wonderful Aqua Sana at Center Parcs I have been somewhat wary of paying a higher amount of money to go somewhere and feel let down so I had never risked it. Tonight, as it was an invitation only event I thought it was a perfect opportunity.

I wasn’t let down.

We (my friend Heather and I) gathered in the palm conservatory which is light, airy, clean and tidy with some lovely views across the beautifully kept gardens before we were “released” to the spa.

There were several different heat rooms but I only went into the rose steam room and the sauna because of time restraints.

The rose steam room was, on very first impact a little sickly sweet but I find that with rose scent anyway so wasn’t concerned but once the initial seconds had passed the room was lovely. I settled into the bliss of heat, aroma and immediate relaxation. I tried to think of things that had been on my mind all day but kept coming back to a blissful “meh – so what”.

The sauna was a typical Swedish style sauna but it was neat, tidy and didn’t totally smell of that hot wood smell that makes me not keen on saunas. It would have been nice to have some of those little wedge shaped pillows  so we could lie down but it didn’t take anything away from the experience.

I had a lovely relax (that’s going to be a pretty recurrent word in tonight’s blog!) in the foot spa but felt the seating was a little bit uncomfortable as I am short and I had to sit on the edge of the seating to get my feet into the bubbles which meant I couldn’t sit back into the gentle waterfall that was there. My feet were nicely massaged though so being a little picky.

Water wise we went into the jacuzzi, the pool, around the little crescent of water jets and into the hot tub outside. Lovely! The temperature was just right and I could happily have stayed in the hot tub a lot longer if I hadn’t had to get out for a treatment. Even getting out of the water didn’t leave you with that shudder that you can often get when leaving warm water into colder air. Nice.

The treatment I had was a wonderfully relaxing Indian head massage and, although it was only a taster – being complimentary – I was totally relaxed and chilled throughout. Definitely recommend this treatment.

We then had a wander and found the gym and fitness room – it baffles me why you want to get all energetic when you are relaxing at a spa but that’s just me as my idea of relaxation is doing nothing much at all in a nice, warm, chilled environment.

There is also a slumber room which had some huge leather bean bag type beds in it. I had a settle down for a while but don’t think I would have stayed in there for too long although it was  very nice room.

I did have one thing I wasn’t so keen on and that was the rows of loungers by the pool. I appreciate that space in there isn’t huge but it felt a little like the beach on a summer’s morning waiting for the touristy bathers to arrive.

All in all a lovely evening and I would definitely go back there again should the opportunity arise.

One thing that did catch my interest (in the way trivia does) is that there is a definite hint of Ikea in the fixtures and fittings – definitely a few Expedit units and some wibbly wobbly mirrors.

If I had to choose between Aqua Sana (Sherwood) and Eden Hall? Hmmm. Probably edging slightly is Aqua Sana as there are more heat rooms and it doesn’t feel quite so “beachy” with the loungers but Eden Hall is a very close second beating Aqua Sana (Elvedon)

There – a nice blog post for a change. Might do another tomorrow when I finish my spa day! Yes two in a row – that is a massive first!