Go for it, dude

Because we’re hoping to move house (*crosses fingers*) I’ve started having a clear-out. And this includes books. Yes, I know. There are so many that we don’t read much anymore, but that I’ve been keeping for sentimental reasons (and not just me – David’s rescued quite a few from the charity bag!) and I needed to find a way to remember them without actually keeping them.

This one is Time To Pee by Mo Willems. Harry loved it, Joe wasn’t so fussed, but this page below absolutely killed Harry. The first time I read ‘Go for it, dude’ on the mouse’s sign, Harry laughed and laughed and laughed. He went bright red in the face, gasped for breath, tears streaming. He said, “Read it again!” And I did, over and over until we were both helpless.

(It barely raised a smile in Joe. Weird.)

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Throwback Thursday: Victorian Strongman Joe

3972507264_ae974fa501_oI always thought Joe looked like a Victorian Strongman in this vest and so one day I added the moustache and curl with eye pencil.

Joe saw this picture a couple of weeks ago (when he was looking for one of when he was “very first born coming out of your tummy, Mama”) and loved it. He wants a print for his bedroom wall.

It makes me smile whenever I see it.

 

A sunny day in a St Annes beach hut

I’ve always loved the idea of a beach hut. My boys definitely do like to be beside the seaside – and I do too (so much that we’re planning to move there) – but sand in the sandwiches and getting changed out of wet clothes under a towel that’s flapping in the wind… Well, it’s not ideal. Beach huts seem so much more civilised.

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Even though we go to St Annes a lot (and Della Says: OMG! is partially set there), I had no idea about St Annes Beach Huts until I saw them on Twitter. Straight away, I said that’s what I wanted to do for my birthday. My only worry was that my birthday might be rainy and obviously a beach hut is better in the sun. But then last Saturday the sun was shining, we were planning a trip to the seaside anyway, and then I noticed that the owner, Stuart, had some availability. So I emailed and asked if we could come straight down and he said yes.

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We got there just after lunch and fell in love immediately. It was an utterly glorious day and the hut is decorated beautifully and comfortably with a pile of cushions on the sofa, a swivelling table, a fridge, kettle and lights. We got out a couple of chairs, unpacked the picnic, and settled in for the afternoon.

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Within an hour or so most of the other beach huts were occupied and there was a great atmosphere. Harry and Joe played on the beach with the children from next door and I earwigged on a fascinating conversation (about a potentially exploding eye) from the other side. David did say that he felt a bit like we were in a zoo – everyone walking past looked at us! – but that didn’t bother me (cos I had a book… and a glass of wine).

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Once we’d been for a long walk across the beach and the weather had started to cool, David went for fish and chips and we closed the doors, making the hut completely private. (Particularly when the boys insisted we also close the blinds “to see how dark it is”.)

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We’d planned to stay and watch the sunset, but it clouded over, so we packed up slightly earlier than planned. Apart from Joe who stayed on the beach until the bitter end.

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It was an absolutely glorious day and we’ll definitely book a beach hut in the future. Fingers crossed for a nice hot summer!

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Stuart of St Annes Beach Huts provided us with a complimentary day’s rental in return for an honest review. Thanks, Stuart!

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Who is allowed to play with LEGO?

WP_20140314_006A couple of months ago, I received a press release about LEGO’s “NEW Enchanting Disney Princess Range”. I admit I groaned because the LEGO Friends range is so gendered and obviously so is the whole Disney Princess phenomenon, but Joe had been asking me for a Frozen playset so I read on.

And I read this “Combining fantasy role-play with construction, fans will be swept away into familiar tales of fantasy, dreams, heroism and magic whilst finding plenty of inspiration for building their very own fairytales.” Okay.

WP_20140314_011And then this: “Allowing girls aged five to 12 years to build and play out stories from their favourite fairytales…”

Girls. Not “fans”. Girls. And “allowing” them to play? Because they’re not allowed to play with other LEGO? Seriously now? But also, um, Joe is a boy. And Joe, I knew, would love this. Is he not “allowed” to play with it?

So I replied to the press release asking why they felt the need to explicitly state that it’s for girls. They replied with “A large proportion of Disney Princess fans are girls however boys are obviously more than welcome to play with the sets too.” Great! So why not stick with “fans”? Why specifically say “girls”? Why not say that the toys for, oh, I don’t know, “children”?

I asked them this too. They didn’t reply, but they did send me one of the sets, which was very nice of them. And Joe loves it. Yes, even though he’s a boy and so not officially “allowed” to play with it.

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Watching Frozen with Joe

How we love Frozen. We saw it at the cinema and Joe and I watched it last week on DVD. And then we watched it again. The third time, Joe was obviously familiar enough with the story that he could ask some questions. So. Many. Questions.

I think this is only about the first twenty minutes. May be slightly out of order since it was hard to keep up.

Obviously, there are spoilers herein…

Joe in his home-made Queen Elsa outfit.
Joe in his home-made Queen Elsa outfit.

Why does she shoot her in the face?
Why does she say… *gasps* ?
Why does she say ‘I’m gonna keep you’?
How is he changing them into snow pictures?
How does he change the magic?
Why do they need to lock the gates?
What about if she just climbs out of the window?
Where are they going?
And how do they park if the ship’s gone?
How did they die?
How did Anna and Elsa not die?
Do people hang covers over pictures when people die?
Did she just get the black clothes and give them to the princess?
Who looks after them now their parents have died?
How do they grow bigger in the movie?
How does she not just open the door?
Why can’t they just break it? With a saw?
How does Joan [of Arc] fight? Is she fighting a dragon?
Why do they need to share the carrot?
And how much pounds is a sleigh?
How much pounds is a horse?
Why is the ship back if it sinked?
Is there a real Coronation Day?*
Why does she say ‘a ballroom with no ball’?
How are they going to eat the cake if the man’s in it?
Is she living with her? Is it a flat?
Why is he nice now and he’s still the baddie?
How do his clothes not get wet and in real life they do?
Why does they both say ‘Arundel’?
Where does the Weaseltown really live? Is Weaseltown really real?
Why does his hair flip over when he bends down?
Why does he say ‘I love crazy’?
Why does she laugh?
How does the snowman know they’re there?
How do they make it on a computer?
Does a real lady sing this?
Why does she say ‘I’m never going back’?
So she’s just going to stay in there without any food?! Why did she not even make a fridge?!

* I said our Queen has been on the throne since 1952. Joe said, “How does she wee?!”