Exploring Arundel

Its school Half Term and like other parents I have spent the last few weeks thinking about how we can all have fun together and survive each other! Easier said than done! Previously we have had weeks off where I have not planned enough, everyone else has gone away and we spend the week bouncing off the walls of the house… sometimes quite literally. Then there are the weeks where I have planned too much and I have dragged three exhausted children back to school the following Monday!

However, we are halfway through and… I think it’s going well! I have quite by accident managed to book in enough fun and down time to please everyone. We have managed a healthy amount of time on computers which for the parent, involves precision timing and excellent negotiation skills:  Slightly under an hour, two mins warning, followed up by the actual removal, with these words : “If you freak out now you won’t go on it later”  or my preferred approach  “Come off calmly… you do want to see the computer again today don’t you?  Walk away from the Computer! Gently put the controller down, well done, well done. Now, hands where I can see them. That’s right, slowly now and keep backing away from the computer.” It works most of the time.

One of the best things about half term is getting to spend time with other families! Yesterday we had such a great day, we got to have fun with two wonderful families from our original NCT group (9 years ago)! Its amazing to look back at our time as friends, walking through all the ‘firsts’ with our new babies together and then later the joys of family life ( and sometimes the pains ) :). 

I thought I would share it with you and also give a certain little café a  plug as a thank you! 

We started at the WWT Arundel Wetlands Centre. We love it there, it provides a fantastic mix of nature, activity and peace. Here are some snaps, hiding in the Hide!

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We had a brill time throwing food for the great variety of birds (so, o.k once it was a couple of stones but that was quickly stopped)! There were some calm and (fortunately) friendly wildlife photographers that were bombarded with questions from over excited junior bird spotters. They generously shared their knowledge and patiently waited for the dust to settle after the stampede of 7 children passed by.

My fave bit was the boat ride. Originally, I was afraid that we would have children hanging over the side, falling in the water and yelling at the top of their voices at dazed Water Voles. However, the reality amazed me, they were so quiet! The sun streamed in and 7 kids sat silently listening for the whispers of wildlife in the reed beds. A truly special memory. Our boat Guide was funny and interesting, turning the boat so all of us could get a sneaky glimpse of the Water Voles washing.

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It was only afterwards that we realised one of our little wrigglers had been stuck to the seat the whole time. The bench and life jacket had become tangled, which may have reduced our chances of having to dive into the water in life-saving stylee.

After the ‘outdoorsy’ morning we headed into the center of Arundel and to a very lovely cafe called …

Sally was our host and had planned an afternoon of craft, cake decorating, tea and cake. It all felt rather vintage and ‘Englishy’ set in the shadow of Arundel Castle. I loved it!  It was rather a tall order… Sally managed to cater for 7 children, girls and boys, three 5 year olds, one 6 year old and three 9 year olds! Here are some of them:

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We made yummy cakes, Archie lost the butter overboard…half landed on the table, half on the…well nevermind.

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Then onto bottle decorating:

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Pen holders:

phone feb 22 209    After this we were ready for tea and cake. 
    The kids each had a cup of tea and felt
    very grown up.

Some of us were ready for cake 🙂

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Plenty of giggles, mess, fun, craft, friends, sunshine and adventure. A super day.

The website for Lulamae’s: http://www.lulamaes.co.uk

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