Saturday, 31 January 2015

Childless Adults Aren't Monsters , An Open a Letter To Legoland Discovery Centre

Dear Legoland Discovery,

I've just read this story. In it you basically defend and stand by your policy that adults are not permitted into your venue without a child! I read it and it made me feel really cross, first of all I'm not going to bring up disability rights and the awful treatment of a man who has been coming to your centre for SEVEN months. Before you decided to treat him in such a manner, I think that's quite awful but that's actually not my issue here.

Selfishly I'm cross for my previous self, the one who worked in visitor attractions, and loved visiting them, I'm not alone either I know lots of childless couples who would happily while away an afternoon wandering around a visitor attraction with their bestie/partner/spouse, and hell one with Lego to play with is just an added bonus! So I'd be mortified if I turned up and was turned away for not having kids because basically what your saying is anyone wanting to come look at cool Lego without kids is a paedophile/criminal/deviant/weirdo/troublemaker right? Lets not mess around here let's not sugar coat it ...

' a spokesman for Legoland Discovery Centre defended the policy and said the venue ran regular evening events for adults.

He said: "Our policy not to permit entry to groups of adults, adult couples, or lone adults, regardless of circumstances, who are not accompanied by a child or children under the age of 16 is we believe therefore appropriate and the best way to constantly maintain a welcoming environment for our young visitors.

"We make no apologies for this policy and believe it to be reasonable and appropriate, and one on which we make no exceptions.'

I just don't think you get the insult here to anyone, regardless of ability, if I wanted to have a day trip away and do some cheesy tourist things pre-children or even now should we ever find ourselves on a grown up weekend! I shouldn't be made to feel like some kind of depraved freak, What exactly is so unwelcoming about childless adults? Really I'd love for you to explain. Because let me tell you I've never encountered this policy in any attraction that I've been to without children, and there have been many ...

  • London aquarium
  • The London Eye
  • Newcastle Discovery Museum
  • The Great NorthMuseum
  • Many London Museums
  • Life Science Centre
  • Edinburgh Dungeons
  • Blackpool Zoo
  • Edinburgh zoo
  • Our Dynamic Life
  • Royal Museum in Scotland
  • Eureka
  • Port Aventura
  • Galleries and museums across the world

I could go on but I think I've made my point clear and sadly so have you. Basically all grown up visitors without children have an ulterior motive or no ability to behave appropriately and it's never occurred to you to just have vigilant staff keeping an eye on all customers to ensure that everyone enjoys the experience in a 'welcoming environment'.


Yours with disgust

The Monkeyfooted Mummy





Friday, 30 January 2015

#Mummymakeover Weekly Weigh In - Week 3

You may have seen my post yesterday, apologising in advance to my lovely consultant, basically after what I thought was a terrible week I assumed I would be disappointed on the scales this weigh in. But I'm delighted to say I lost ....

Which made me re think the big fat grump I had yesterday and look at the food diary I (half) filled in this week. Turns out I'm now eating speed food without even thinking about it and the choices I've made HAVE made a difference. You know what else makes a difference? Staying to class listening to the other members talking about their food and how they overcome struggles. I will admit 'sprout soup' is a recipe I've decided to ignore BLEURGH! but I pick up lots of ideas for new dishes and this week even shared my newly discovered recipe for
'Fakeaway' chilli sauce, I swear it's just like the kebab shop!

So I've come out of today's Slimming World meeting spurred on to try even harder and eat even more free food and LESS chocolate!

See you all next week, there may be a celebratory 'award dance'!!


H&A Bathtime Buddies -Review

As you can imagine, the monkeyfooted mini's jumped at the chance of reviewing these Squirting Ducks. They are part of the Bathtime a buddies Range which includes Crayons, Monkeys, Clocks and Bath Tidy's to name but a few.

These ducks are brightly coloured flexible pastic and just the right size for little hands, my littlies loved them and they had lots of fun deciding how to review them, this is the end result....

As you can see these are a real winner in Monkeyfeet HQ and have provided hours of fun both in and out of the bath. Available at Sainsbury, Tesco, Wilkos and Asda priced at only £2 I think these are a real bargain. Thumbs up all round from us!


We were sent these items to review


Thursday, 29 January 2015

#mummymakeover Excuses Excuses

An apology letter to my Slimming World Consultant

To My Lovely Consultant

Right now I'm preparing my excuses for when I see you at Slimming World tomorrow. 
  • I put my back out so couldn't go shopping
  • It's that time of the month
  • I've not been as 'regular' as normal (don't you lve how much we memebers share with you?)

But here's the thing, I KNOW you've heard them all before, I know, you know that I'm making EXCUSES. I know you know that had I stuck to it 100% I would have lost and probably even got my Half stone Award. So I'm typing this now and making it public so that tomorrow I can just tell the truth...

  • It is that time of the month and my inner brat has been whispering at me to eat the chocolate and I HAVE! I've had 4 Xurly Wurly's a Freddo and a wafer bar !
  • That same inner brat has avoided going shopping because I plain old couldn't be bothered so I've not had as much speed Food as I should.
  • And that leads nicely to yep I've not been as regular but no speed = slow tummy ! 

I have no idea why my inner brat turns to food when things aren't brilliant but she's always there whispering like a siren 'just buy the sweeties no one needs to know'. But I do, I know! I know I won't get my Easter bunny Bounce if I keep having weeks like these so, before I've even gotten on the scales I'm saying sorry and drawing a bit fat, nice slim line firmly under this week

I promise to try harder next week !

Apologetic Beat Wishes
The One Hiding In the Corner (but still staying for Image Therapy)

So yep you guessed it I'm not feeling positive for my half a stone award and tomorrow, why oh why do I let it all go to pot after one bad day?

How do you get back on track after a rubbish day or two? 

Eggs-ellent Lazy Lunch

I love Eggs, I find them especially versatile on Slimming World. There are so many boiled egg recipes that can be whipped up in no time and are totally syn free. This one is a particular favourite of mine, and goes lovely with soup....

  • 6 eggs
  • 12-18 slices of ham depending on size
  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes


Preheat Oven to 180

  1. Spray a muffin tray with fry light
  2. Line each compartment with ham overlapping if very thin slices
  3. Crack an egg into each compartment
  4. Gently drop a cherry tomato in each egg
  5. Bake for 20 minutes (egg should be set)
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes
  7. Remove from tray and enjoy! 

An alternative twist is to finely chop and fry some onion, peppers and mushrooms then add the mixture to 6 eggs and mix well , divide the mix evenly, bake for 20 minutes.

*** there's no picture today because my family of Neanderthals ate them all before I could go upstairs for my camera!***




Spring Is Coming - My Thankful Thursday

So there may be snow on the ground and my hat is firmly affixed to my head but Spring is just around the corner, the days are getting longer and the birds are singing, it won't be long peeps. And what better indication than this ....... 

Thankful Thursday 29 January 2015


Hello hello, woop woop such a lot of lovely links last week, I loved trying yo decipher the big family tree of Louise from Little Hearts Big Love , And I loved how Vicky, Single Mother Ahoy, found silver linings in Travel Sickness! I'm also very grateful for her brilliant Linky linky!

Thankful Thursday is my weekly linky for us all to share our silver linings, brags, boasts or just something that made us smile. Be it a picture, a word, a sentence or a great big essay lets share what we are thankful for this week. It can be a new post just for this linky, a picture, a video, one word or a thousand this linky is all about thankfulness so whatever has made you grateful this week I would love to know.

If you would like to link up I would love for you to grab the badge below and spread a little linky love to some of the others taking part, by commenting on their posts and don't forget to spread the word, invite lots of people and help me grow this linky and make Thursdays a happier place.

Adventure of a Monkeyfooted Mummy






Monday, 26 January 2015

Totally Tasty Tandoori and Salad

This one takes a little more advanced prep than most of my recipes but I promise it's worth it...


You Need
  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 1/2 white cabbage
  • 4 onions
  • Light vinegar
  • Chicken
  • 500g Fat free yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons Tandoori powder
  • 5 peppers any colour
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Mint Sauce (no sugar)


**I now use a food processor for my veg which I love but you can use a mandolin or just a knife if you are good at chopping**


Cabbage Salad


  1. Finely shred the cabbage
  2. Mix it all in a large bowl with about a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of water,and a pinch of salt stir well
  3. Cover and leave in fridge over night (if you remember give it a few shakes whenever you are in the fridge

Onion Salad

  1. Shred the onion and cucumber
  2. Add two healthy spoonfuls of mint sauce (taste dependant but I like mint)
  3. Mix well cover and refrigerate

Tandoori Chicken


  1. Chop the chicken into 2 cm cubes
  2. In a big bowl mix 1/2 the yoghurt and tandoori powder until all red and no big chucks of powder are visible
  3. Add in the chicken and stir until all coated
  4. Cover and refrigerate over night


Next day

  1. Pre heat oven 180 degrees
  2. Roughly chop peppers
  3. Spray a oven dish with dry light and add the peppers
  4. With a slotted spoon scoop out the chicken pieces shaking off excess yoghurt mix
  5. Place in the oven dish and then roast for 1-1.5 hours



  1. Mix the remaining half of yoghurt with a tablespoon of mint and a teaspoon of sweetener


Serve the chicken and peppers with the mixed cabbage and onion salad and lashings of raita and it's all FREEEEEEEEEEE!



Saturday, 24 January 2015

Perfect Paella and Patatas Bravas

This is one of my husbands favourites and with a bit of tweaking (to the recipe not the husband obv!) I've made it syn free. You can add chorizo into the recipe if you wish but it's 10 Syn's for 100g

2 chopped chicken breasts (roasted with some lemon and garlic)

2 chopped peppers

4 chopped onions

2 handfuls of Green beans

250g paella rice

3 (ish) pints of chicken stock

Seasoning to taste... Garlic, turmeric, saffron, salt, pepper, chilli


  • Soften the veg in a paella pan or just a big pan if you don't have one)


  • Add the paella rice and fry for a minute until the grains go a bit pearly


  • Add the stock, seasoning and chicken


  • Stir occasionally and allow rice to cook and water to absorb,

now start your patatas Bravas...


Patatas Bravas

6 potatoes

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

A healthy pinch of dried chilli flakes and a big spoon of garlic

  • Cube and parboil Potatoes
  • In a separate pan simmer the tomatoes chilli and garlic (keep them on simmering so they get thick)
  • Roast the potatoes with some fry light
  • When potatoes are golden and a bit crispy pour the tomato mix over the top and return to the oven for 10 minutes

Boosh you are done, this serves four, pahahahahahaha who am I kidding? You just eat as much as you like it's all free! Don't forget there's lots of speed veg in here but you can add more or have speed fruit salad for dessert.





Friday, 23 January 2015

Decisions Decisions, Buying a New TV

Here are some random facts (random but relevant later on )


  • I had a corneal transplant 11 years ago and can not see properly in 3d since.
  • My Husband is a techno geek.
  • I'm a bit of a techno-phobe.


These facts together mean that when it comes time to buy a new TV generally it's best if he does it on his own because frankly I'm normally not that bothered what I watch Eastenders on (mostly my iPad). In fact when Mark and I first met (in the years of disposable cash) my flat had a 16inch portable TV, a laughable term as it probably weighed more than most modern 52inch TVs. It didn't have a remote and from across the room you could easily miss most details in a scene. So he promptly fixed that by buying me a humongous TV for my birthday. From then on I've happily let him be in charge of tech.

But something has happened and it's very strange! I've developed a crush on a tv!!! Now I've heard of most TV types plasma, LCD, HD, 3D (pointless for me!) but I'd never heard of 4k!

Oh my I've always stood firm that I can't really see much difference between SD and HD , mostly because I don't think it's worth paying the extra but 4k is like super doper high definition. The actual tech facts are that 4K TVs deliver four times more detail than HD! Imagine how brill your picture looks in HD.THEN IMAGINE MORE Honestly it's like being in the movie or the Arctic or on the pitch , depending on your viewing preference.

So while we have been researching our next TV to buy we both seem stuck on one of these Panasonic Beauty's over everything else! I guess its an investment though right? do you see I'm justifying my desire here?

So have you seen a 4K TV in action? What do you think, should we get one?



This is a collaborative post with Panasonic

#Mummymakeover Weekly Weigh in Week 2

You may remember that last week there was mention of a 'smug dance'. Well I'm back from this weeks weigh in and (embarrassing dancing alert) I'm very very happy to share this....



Yes this Week I have lost a stonking 3Lb! Thankyou Slimming World Extra Easy Plan

See you guys next week


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Kickin Kale Curry

What do you do with a big bag of Kale that's about to go off in the fridge?


Curry of course! I also have a yummy recipe for spicy fried Kale which I will post separately.



So keeping in mind that I'm a total make it up as I go along cook, here's the recipe.

1 Bag of Kale *

1 Can of Chickpeas

2 Handfuls of Frozen Sweetcorn

4 Onions*

6 Carrots*

1/4 White Cabbage*

4 Sweet Potatoes

1 Pint of Chicken Stock

1 tin of Tomatoes*

Garlic, Curry Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Coriander Leaf, Chilli Powder (all to taste)


Peel And cube the sweet potatoes, chop all the remaining veg, rinse the chickpeas and rocket.


Here's the good bit....


Put ALL the ingredients in a slow cooker (or stock pot if you aren't a slow cooker addict, like me). Switch on the slow cooker leave it over night.

If you are cooking on the hob obviously DO NOT leave it over night! Cook until veg tender.


take out 3/4 of the veg and blend the rest with a hand blender. Put the veg back in and that's it! Yummy scrummy super easy speed food Curry.


I will warn you it smells like feet when it's cooking and doesn't look so appealing but it's lush


*speed foods



Thankful Thursday 22 January

Hello there lovely people, Happy Belated New Year. I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and are now back to your normal routine and not feeling the 'January blues' too much. If you are just new here then the info below might help, and if you are coming back then thankyou, you know the drill I look forward to reading your posts.

Thankful Thursday is my weekly linky for us all to share our silver linings, brags, boasts or just something that made us smile. Be it a picture, a word, a sentence or a great big essay lets share what we are thankful for this week. It can be a new post just for this linky, a picture, a video, one word or a thousand this linky is all about thankfulness so whatever has made you grateful this week I would love to know.

If you would like to link up I would love for you to grab the badge below and spread a little linky love to some of the others taking part, by commenting on their posts and don't forget to spread the word, invite lots of people and help me grow this linky and make Thursdays a happier place.

Adventure of a Monkeyfooted Mummy


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Finding Silver Linings

I would consider myself a fairly positive person, I try to see the silver linings whenever I can, but sometime I, like most of us, can be a total grump!


Then last month I read something in passing that really struck me, it was a list of unusual thanks. I won't quote word for word but the jist of it was to find thanks for the things we all grumble about. For example be thankful that your clothes fit a little to snug, it means you have food to eat. Be thankful that you are paying your bills it means you have money to use.


There were more but as I said it was read in passing, I wish I had screenshot or saved the image! But these strange thanks popped into my head when I was running downstairs for the 5th time at 4am. This time to Termite just wanting cuddles! I'll be honest 4 hours of very broken sleep had made me a little grumpy but then I remembered this post and thought I'd give it a shot, here is my list...

  • I'm thankful I've been up 5 times to my children because it means I have children, a blessing beyond compare.
  • I'm thankful I've had to go up the stairs again because it means ...
  1. My legs work.
  2. I have stairs. (This has not been the case just recently)
  3. I'm fit enough to do so.
  • I'm thankful that my smallest little person woke me just for a cuddle because I'm loved and needed.
  • I'm thankful that my Husband snoring is keeping me awake because it means I have my husband safe by my side.
  • I'm thankful that my biggest little person woke me up to say she loved me and wanted to sleep in our bed because it means she's not so big she doesn't still love a snuggle.
  • I'm thankful that my middle little climbed into our bed after a bad dream because it means I am still enough to settle his fears

So there you have it, silver linings in every grumble, and you know what? As crazy as they are, thinking up those lists really cheered me up in the middle of a very dark and cold night
Adventure of a Monkeyfooted Mummy



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

#Mummymakeover Mid Week Wobble 'what's the point?'

I want chocolate, and pizza and chips and crisps (actually I don't miss crisps at all) well I don't really want to eat all that but my inner brat does!
I'm being petulant and grumpy, I've had so many lovely positive comments and messages about my first weeks weigh in at Slimming World but I'm still in a right huff!


My lovely consultant text to cheer me on and say having looked at my food diary she's noticed I've had a couple of days going over 15 Syn's and I need to eat more speed foods. First off I have to say it's lovely having someone to be your personal advisor and I KNOW to just listen and follow her directions and I will succeed but I've found myself feeling grumpy about it all.

  • First I totally thought (because this is how I used to do it) that if I had a 'good' (please note I mean bad) weekend of syn's I could just make up for it by having less syn's through the week.
  • Second I've had speed foods in, on and with every single meal so I turned into a 6 yr old with a 'pfft whateva' attitude for a bit about not eating enough. I mean I honestly couldn't consume any more fruit or veg.

So I'm feeling all very 'what's the point' but I'm giving myself a shake. I'm enjoying good food with loads of fruit and veg and it's really making a difference to how I feel, although I have to be honest I could easily buy a family bar of Dairy Milk and sit at home eating it all myself, but while I may have gotten off with this behaviour gain-free when termite was exclusively breastfed (and I did eat that much , DAILY!) I know I won't now and I'm trying to break these habits.

So I'm just going to spill my misery and grumpiness onto you lot and then go eat some sweet potato and kale curry!

I'm also going to post my favourite recipes so far including a cake!




Monday, 19 January 2015

Gro Bag Review

Gro Bag's! Definitely one of the first products I'd heard of when I was pregnant first time around. Seems everyone with a young child uses them!
I can totally see why, we've been a fan for ages so I was really flattered when I was asked to work with The Gro Company.
We chatted by email about what kind of Gro Bag we would need, and they are a friendly bunch. They didn't even mind when I said we don't do 'girly'. Thing is there's lots of different Baby sleepig bags options, there are different, togs, patterns, sizes, you can even get travel ones with special openings not to mention they go from newborn to age 10!!!! This is information that my big two are very excited about and they claim we 'need' to get them each a big grobag for holidays, best get daddy talked round soon then! 

I love the print on our bag, it's so funky and I love that it's not putrid pastels (a very personal dislike).
Termite has gotten to the point where she likes to move around and wiggle her legs in her sleep so it's important to have lots of room in the bottom of the bag and this is just perfect, it fits snugly around her top so she's not going to slip down and get all bunched up and uncomfortable, but the bottom is wide enough that her evening river dance doesn't leave her tangled up....

The bag also has a double zip so you can open it at any point from top to bottom , making nappy changes in the middle of the night a fuss free affair. It also has a wee 'hatch' so that you can use it while traveling and still ensure little one is securely fastened.

There's been no shrinkage in the wash and it dries quickly too which is great for a quick turnaround. priced at £30.99 it in the mid range of their prices, and I think very reasonable, there's plenty of wear in these so they should last a long time.
They don't just make sleeping bags either check out some of the other brilliant products. I loved the swaddle when the babies were babies and they washed so well that all thereof them have used the same ones. We also found the bedding a great help in transitioning to toddler bed and we will be getting this cute alien one for Termite this summer but our very next purchase will be the award winning gro-light. We've never needed one of these as my babies have always slept in darkness and I've gotten quite adept at happy changing in the dark, but since the start of school my boy has developed a fear of the dark and wants to sleep with his light on! I know this will pass but in the mean time I'd really like to try one of these as a compromise to having a bright light shining on him.
If you'd like to know more you can connect with The Gro Company on Facebook or Twitter and visit the website here.

Family Fever

Friday, 16 January 2015

#Mummymakeover Weekly Weigh In Week 1

I really wanted to write this post whilst performing my happy dance and feeling as smug as can be...


Instead I'm slightly crestfallen and in a right old huff with myself.


This week I lost a pound. That's ONE pound...uni, eins, en, een, jedan, uni! One whole pound I've thought about every single thing that went into my mouth, I've planned food, avoided chocolate and I won't lie to you I feel robbed.



But I'm not going to throw a paddy and eat my weight in chocolate. I've come home from class and made some lovely speed salad and soup and I'm making another food plan and this week will see some exercise.





#Mummymakeover - Slimming World Week One

I had intended to write on Thursday evening about how I've found my first week in Slimming a World, sadly I fell asleep but I still want to put down my findings BEFORE a weigh in this morning.



So this week I have...


  • Ate more food than I've ate in ages and ages but it's all been healthy and nutritious and mostly unprocessed .


  • Discovered a new love for spinach and split peas



  • Cleaned my house from top to bottom, sorted and tidied all sorts of toys and 'stuff' in an attempt to avoid the chocolate call, but also because I feel more motivated and full of energy than I have for a while


I've also discovered some things


  • Despite my affirmations that I have 'no off button' for chocolate, I have more self control than I gave myself credit for. There have been 12 Freddo's, 5 Curly Wurly's and 12 Blue Ribbands in my larder for 5 days and I've only consumed 2 Freddo's (and counted them in my 'Syns') this is a massive difference because normally I could inhale a whole pack of Freddo's and feel no remorse !


  • Chorizo is definitely not worth the syn's


  • Jelly Babies are evil and wicked! 1 Syn EACH! That's 1 each! Terrible and not worth it at all, sadly I found myself grazing on them when someone bought the kids a giant box full so I've been playing catch up all week!


Slimming World makes you pump A LOT!! Honestly steer clear of Monkeyfeet HQ it's ripe!


I've had more wee's than I could count, I mean I have to take every opportunity when I'm out, the fruit and veg are making me permanently in need! I'm hoping this bodes well for good loss this week...,

Wish me luck!




Saturday, 10 January 2015

#Mummymakeover - Getting Back My Bounce For Easter

One thing I rarely do is tell people my weight, there's a few reasons for this....

  • I'm heavier than people think I am, infact at my skinniest in size 8 jeans when people told me I was too skinny they were stunned to hear I was 10 stone!
  • I think it makes people uncomfortable, it's a bit like telling someone your age, people often feel the need to feign surprise 'ooh you look so young' even if it's not true. With weight folk feel like they have to say 'there's nothing on you' or 'you hide it well'
  • Normally I'm embarrassed to say my number and I hate feeling embarrassed.

But I'm doing lots differently so in order to break all my bad habits I'm going to put myself in a very vulnerable position and tell you all exactly what I'm working to break away from.


So today, this is me....


I hate these pictures they make me very sad but I'm not dwelling! This is me after growing 3 babies and not taking as good care of myself as I should! I weigh 15 stone and 10.5 pounds! This is 4 stone more than I would like to weigh.


My measurements are


  • Bust - 47
  • Chest - 41
  • Waist - 43
  • Hips - 49
  • Arms - 13.5
  • Thighs - 27


This is all rather depressing but I've come out of my first Slimming World meeting (I should say I was only weighed at my meeting I did the measurements and pictures at home) feeling rather motivated and excited to start changing habits.


My goals are


  1. To reach my Club 10 weight (this is a loss of 10%) by Easter.
  2. To be 13 stone 5lb by May.
  3. To reach my Target by August, this is a goal of half a stone a month!




Thursday, 8 January 2015

#Mummymakeover - A Fresh Start


See that ^^? That is the line I'm drawing under my rather disasterous weight loss journey so far!

Two weeks after the birth of my termite saw me 1 stone lighter than I was before I fell pregnant ! Since then I have yo-yo'd down and up the same 10 pounds which leaves me...., in exactly the same place I was 16 months ago! And so no more messing, for me, for the wardrobes of beautiful clothes in my loft, for my health and for my family I am now saying this is IT.

My first step is to join Slimming World.

I have attended slimming world before and successfully lost 3 and 1/2 stone. But that was 15 years ago and a lothas changed since then (when I lived on beans and mash and macaroni cheese!) so I'm going back with an open mind and ready to listen and learn.

Tomorrow is my first class, wish me luck. I shall tell you all about it when I have recovered from the shock of someone else seeing THOSE numbers on the scales.

***I am working in collaboration with slimming world but all opinions are my own and results will be posted honestly***

Monday, 5 January 2015

Little Red Riding Hood at The Customs House

I've seen every Panto at The Customs House between 1997 - 2012! I'll be honest I didn't enjoy the last one as much as previous years and so we didn't book again for 2013 but I took the chance on some special offer tickets this week to see Little Red Riding a Hood.

Arrival and ticket collection was smooth and easy, the car park has plenty of free spaces and there's a good selection of sweets snacks and drinks available in the bar.

Now having seen so many of Mr Spencer's panto's I could probably tell you most of the jokes and I think I definitely know all of the community songs (that's the one at the end that everyone joins in with). But this year I've laughed out loud (always a good sign) and even gasped at some of the jokes aimed at the grown ups! The kids have giggled and most everyone in the audience seemed to be having fun. This year of course see's the return of Ray Spencer not in his previous role of Tommy but as Dame Hood. He's still as funny and watching him sing 'All about the bass' with a Geordie twist was hilarious. Joined by daughter Natasha as Red there's a certain gigglesome air between them at points which is nice to see and the partnership with Timber (Craig Richardson) works well. There is a hint (probably intentional) of the old Tommy character about Craig and his facial expressions are very funny.

We Loved

Peanut loved the frozen songs, obviously! The golden child loved shouting 'he's behind you' in fact he was so absorbed that at one point he was the only one in the audience warning Red about the wolf!

The sets are fun and beautifully painted and the costumes are amazing, Dame Hood's are hilarious and Bracken and Wolfgang'sare brilliantly  sumptuous and over the top.

They both loved the community song and obviously the traditional 'oh yes we did' 'oh no you didn't' parts.

I thought performances from Bracken (Jamie Birkett) and Wolfgang (Steven Lee Hamilton) were great! Bracken's voice especially was a surprising delight, not a warble to be heard during 'let it go' and how she manages an entire perfomance in those sky high-thigh highs is beyond me!

The jokes for grown ups were funny and passed straight over the little people heads (rightly so) but they chuckled anyway, carried along by the happy laughter of the grown ups.

Room For Improvement

For me the first half could do with being about 20 minutes shorter, there was a lot little people shuffling and mumbling which I think is always a good indication the younger audience have passed their need for a break.

The Golden Child did not love the scene when Granny gets got by the wolf and as a parent I think it was very cleverly done, but a little scary.

Totally unrelated to the show but I think worth a mention if you are planning a visit... The Customs House lock the back entrance (the one nearest the car park) On an evening so you need to walk all around the building and down the car park feeder road on your way back to the car. So keep this in mind if like me you decide that as its only 30 seconds from car to back door, you can leave your coats in the car so as not to take up space in your seats! It was a chilly walk back round. Maybe park closer to the front if you go.

***update*** The lovely Customs House have been in touch to explain these doors are closed to minimise noise to nearby residents. Which totally makes sense and is really rather considerate!

Overall a lovely end of school holiday treat most definitely 'the little Panto with the big heart' and we will absolutely give it another chance next year. If you've not yet seen it there are shows until 10 January you can book here or call 0191 4541234. You can connect with The Customs House on Facebook and Twitter

Cast List For Little Red Riding Hood

Natasha Haws: Red

Ray Spencer: Granny Hood

Steven Lee Hamilton: Wolfgang

Jamie Birkett: Bracken

Jamie Brown: Prince Chop-a-lot

Craig Richardson: Timber

Stephen Sullivan: Mr Fracker

Luke Maddison: Saveloy

Gareth Hunter: Bratwurst

Kylie Ann Ford: Chorizo


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Combatting Christmas Cabin Fever

We've spent a lot of time indoors this Christmas break for a few reasons ...

  • The kids are tired from the long winter term
  • Christmas is an indoor day traditionally
  • Christmas means new toys and no kid wants to be pulled away from them
  • We've been poorly
  • We've waited in for deliveries
  • We've waited in for gas engineers

There's only one result ... Mummy has cabin fever! I need sea air and a good gust of cobweb beating wind! So despite the rain and freezing North Sea Wind today we bundled up and headed out. We are really lucky to be close to parks and beaches and lots of open spaces so I'm happy to let the big two scoot alongside me. I'm so pleased we went, tge kids have run and played, collected sticks for Mr Birdy (this is a family 'thing' I used to encourage the kids to head home by asking them to collect sticks for the bird in the tree where we could see a nest. They still love to do it! They've scooted and climbed, and they've come home rosy cheeked and hungry enough to polish off a roast dinner and head straight to bed.

And Mummy? Well I came home cold but refreshed and free of my nasty headache. Happy Days !


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall