This is my dad..he seems pretty normal to me…

I had a rare evening out last night leaving Mr Intrepid home with BV. It doesn’t happen very often but I always feel incredibly guilty. Mum guilt gets me every time. I need not worry so much as the boys get along just fine without me. So much so that BV is very much a daddy’s boy. Daddy is definitely his favourite.

“This is my dad..he seems pretty normal to me…”

We recently had some new additions to BV’s book shelf including this macho book of love. 



My Dad used to be so Cool is written and illustrated by Keith Negley.  It’s a fun book with bold and colourful illustrations. 


A cool dad gives up his cool life to keep it real with his son. My Dad used to be so Cool is a cute bed time story for daddy and his mini-me to enjoy together. This one is loved by both BV and daddy (and me) and aimed at those used-to-be-cool-dads (hehem Mr Intrepid?) that might be sporting ink, riding a motorbike or still talking about that band they were in whilst at Uni! 

My Dad used to be so cool has the kids trying to work out what happened to make daddy “…give it all up” whilst allowing us parents to be knowingly smug (if a touch nostalgic!)

I like to see tattooed daddies represented amongst today’s children’s books; and it’s a sure fire way to know that the ‘next generation’ are having children of their own. Ink and mohicans are not only accepted as the norm but it’s so acceptable now that it is no longer “alternative” (I hate that expression’- alternative to what?). 

My dad used to be so cool is a wistful tale of life as a parent; giving it all up to have it all..It is for every daddy who desperately wants their kid to know that “back in their day..” they were cutting edge. All we need now is a “my mum is still so cool” sequel to reassure us that we’ve got this too!

Lindsay x

My Dad used to be so Cool
is published by Flying Eye Books

@keithnegley

@FlyingEyeBooks 

Advertisements

The Magic Garden. Magical.

One particularly chilly and overcast day this June, and after checking the daily weather report (let’s face it – I should have known better!) Mr Intrepid, BV and I decided to check out the new Magic Garden at Hampton Court.

I’d heard good things about it, and it was relatively local (2 train stops, a bus ride or a 30 minute boat trip).  Almost 2 years living in Surbiton and Fam-A-Lamb have never taken a River Boat (insert shocked face emoji here!) It seemed like a pleasant, outdoor option for a bit of a grey day, so we opted for the latter.

Turks River Boat Cruises did exactly what it said on the tin. For £8 for an adult return ticket (BV free), we hopped on and settled ourselves down for a leisurely and relaxing river cruise. Pff fat Chance. BV was wild with excitement (and a little bit suicidal). He ran around the boat’s cabin like a wild animal, followed (and saved from diving of the side) by daddy! So not relaxing! With the exception of my crazy, little hell cat – it was a delightful journey and I highly reccommend.

We disembarked at Hampton Court, whereby BV continued to run like a mother fucker- straight in to the path of an oncoming tractor! Fortunately for my poor heart, it was travelling about 2 miles an hour and I was able to save him. Again.

The Magic Garden itself costs £7.70 per adult (under 5’s are free). This includes access to the Maze. I believe it was free for a short time before the official opening  on 4th May by Kate (The Duchess of Cambridge). Gutted we missed that. On busy days there is a time restriction, however we got lucky with a term time week day visit. Boom.

The Magic Garden is epic. There’s water, and sand play, big slides and staircases with thrones at the top. Not to mention, a dragon, a unicorn and a coffee shop! Hurrah – we were in for a fun, caffeine filled day.

unnamed

 

There was plenty for my little bear to do despite being ‘under 2’, the astro turf alone proved to be a hit! The only thing to impair our Fam-A-Lam day out was the weather. It was so hot (bloody weather apps!) and we were all massively overdressed. BV had the luxury of the water features to run about it, however I am not sure the Mr and I could have got away with free spirited leaps through the streams. We were all so sticky and sweaty by the time we left – in fact that is my only criticism of The Magic Garden here, the lack of shade. If you are visiting here on a sunny day – ensure you have plenty of sunscreen and maybe a parasol.

BV day trip rating 10/10

Lindsay

“Crunch, Munch and Chew”

“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” — Dr. Seuss

 

Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis

This one is my particular favourite, from BV’s Bookshelf.  It is written and illustrated by Paul Beavis, a British Ex-Pat now living in NZ. This was the very first book I ever read to BV, as I bought it whilst I was pregnant.

Mrs M cover

“Not even a hello? How rude!”

The story focus’ on a destructive monster whom believes he is to behave a certain way, because “that’s what monsters do?” Mrs Mo takes it upon herself to show the monster that there are other things that he can enjoy without causing mayhem…

It is impossible to believe that this is Beavis’ debut book. The illustrations are even greater than the story itself (if that’s even possible), and together, with a narrative, a loveable, yet mischievous character is born.

I attended a reading of this book (and his more recent one) by Paul Beavis himself, back in October at my local pub (alcohol and fun for BV? Boom!).  Despite the fact that BV was very little, we both enjoyed it, and we learnt how to draw a monster too.

Last year, Mr Beavis released his 2nd Mrs Mo’s Monster book, ‘Hello World’. Another raging success.

You can follow the lovely Paul Beavis on twitter @PDBeavis, and like Mrs Mo’s Monster’s Facebook page for more hilarious news on our monster friend.

BV Thumbs up rating: 10/10

 

Lindsay

 

Hairy Maclary – How can anyone not love that little scruffy dog?

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Now that I am back commuting, which is still so loathsome, I have welcomed back those 2 hours of my day to enjoy one of my pre-baby loves, reading.  Standing on a packed train with an elbow in my back, and an armpit in my face and a book (well, kindle) in my hand has become my new indulgence, if you can call it that. Reading has become once more so enjoyable, and I am grateful I have that time again.

I used to read a lot, and I love a book. However, I also have a kindle (courtesy of Mr Intrepid), that is great for commuting and travelling as it is so light and stores literally hundreds of books in it’s magical pages.

BV is loving books too. This makes me so happy. I was brought up as the only reader of a family of 7 (4 siblings). I could devour a book a day in my early teens and it is lovely to  think that junior may have a similar passion.  I married a book lover too so the odds are in our favour. We have been reading bedtime stories to BV since he was 5 months old, and now at 16 months it is obviously a favourite part of his day! He selects a few from his book shelf each night and we sit down to enjoy them whilst he has his bedtime milk.

With this in mind, I thought I may write a monthly review or two based on his current favourites.

First up, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

This is probably BV’s most favourite story. It was gifted to us by a friend of ours from NZ, just after he was born. I have read it so often for him, that it is now ingrained in my brain. I know all the words off by heart and it has become one of my favourites too. I mean, how can anybody not love that little scruffy dog?! BV loves dogs, and I am sure this book is responsible for that.  The illustrations are fab too.

cover

“Out of the gate, and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy….” 

This is a fun, rhyming story about small dog, Hairy Maclary.  He goes for a walk, collecting on route, his canine friends, and of course the scary, Scarface Claw (the toughest Tom in town!). Written and beautifully illustrated by Lynley Dodd more than 30 years ago, it is still as popular as ever, and is widely available worldwide.

This lovely book is my go-to for birthday presents for BV’s friends. What better way to give a gift from him, then with a copy of his favourite book.  As a champion of local, and independent retailers, I have bought many a copy of this book from my local favourite bookshop The Regency Bookshop in Surbiton. Follow them on Twitter @RegencyBookshop

BV Thumbs up rating: 10/10

This one is most definitely worth a read!

Lindsay

 

The Sky Garden Snoozey Time

The Sky Garden, London’s highest public gardens is located at what is affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie”, or for the proper; 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Sky Garden offers 360 degrees of uninterrupted views across London Town, and 3 levels of gardens, bars and restaurants and an open air observation deck. The best bit? It is absolutely free! Hurrah! Tickets, however are limited and must be booked in advance.

I thought the Sky Garden would be a great place to take BV for his first views over the big city. I was wrong. He was asleep by the time we hit the queue and remained so for the entire time we were here….

The gardens itself are actually not that impressive. You should only really go here for the epic views over the City.

Fam-A-Lamb had a great time here (despite BV’s snoozey time) and we are likely to be back soon too. MIL would love it up here.

We were lucky, that despite it being November we had a clear (if a little grey) day. It is the first time I have seen The Shard this close.  We spent a lot of time (much to Mr Intrepid’s dismay) of attempting unsuccessfully to take Fam-A-Lamb selfies with The Gherkin (my fave London building). I blame BV and his bloody pram!

IMG_8157

At least we all got to see The Shard! oh wait….

…..BV and The Shard