May Day at Quarry Bank Mill

Bank holiday Monday did not start well. We had been busy all weekend, I was at Blog On MOSI (post coming soon) on the Saturday, Mr C had wasted the day in bed on the Sunday ‘cause he’d stopped up to watch the boxing so I was determined we were going to get out of the house and have a bit of family time. In the morning the munchkin had an uncharacteristic lie in, leading to us spend far too much time in our PJs drinking tea, eating toast and trying to decide where we were going to go.

I soon started sulking, no one was moving, there was too much bloody washing that had been neglected, the munchkin decided to go outside to play with her friends and Mr C wasn’t coming up with any good ideas of where to go, even though I had already suggested the Victorian May Day at Quarry Bank Mill. I then threw my toys out of the pram and declared we wouldn’t bother!! Cutting ones nose off to spite ones face.

Anyway, once the washing was under control and we had all managed to get dressed and I had put my dummy back in we decided that we would actually go out. We set off, after a mini detour to get petrol (grrr!) quite late in the day. As I was driving and Mr C couldn’t come up with a better idea we made our way to Quarry Bank Mill. The traffic was quite bad once we got closer, it’s about 40 minutes away but took longer that day. We drove passed Manchester airport so managed to do a bit of plane spotting whilst we were queuing to get in. By the time we got in, parked up, bought tickets (signed up for a National Trust membership!! Exciting!!) it was lunchtime. Because we had left unprepared, we were picnic less. If you’ve read any of our other days out, you’ll know we love a picnic! We knew we would need to eat before we did anything else, we’re all grumpy if we’re hungry. The queue for the café was out of the door (apparently May Day at Quarry Bank Mill is the busiest day of the year) so we decided to get Jacket Potatoes from the van in the meadow.

May Day at Quarry Bank Mill

Finally arrive and the sun comes out

The queue for the spuds was ridiculous and because they had stuck Artisan on the blackboard they charged £5.50 a spud! Have you ever heard of an Artisan Jacket Potato? Outrageous! With no other option I had to spend close to £20 on 3 spuds and 2 drinks. This is why I take a picnic everywhere! Mr C had found us a spot to sit near the maypole (we leave a picnic blanket in the car) so once I had got said expensive spuds, which didn’t taste any different to the ones I do at home, and sat down, the sun had come out and we managed to start to relax and enjoy the day.

May Day at Quarry Bank Mill

Enjoying his ‘Artisan’ Spud

The setting for Quarry Bank Mill is stunning, we didn’t go into the Mill or really explore as we thought we would go back when it was a bit quieter and we could have a look round properly now we’re fully fledged National Trust members. There was still plenty to do in the meadow and gardens. Lots of old-fashioned fun. All the staff were dressed in Victorian costume and in character which really added a little magic.

Whilst we were eating our spuds we watched the May Pole dance, the munchkin was very impressed with the dancing and how the ribbons didn’t get knotted together. We wandered into the gardens to watch the Punch and Judy show and try out some Victorian toys. We spent ages at the toy marquee, as she tried stilts, skipping and a whole host of other wooden toys. We then had a look at the sewing tea party table. The munchkin had a go at adding a strand of material to a rug. It was interesting to find out how these would have been made out of old clothes and rags, and the lovely lady giving the talk was great at setting the scene. There was also a dress up marquee and a craft area but they were really, really busy and the munchkin decided she didn’t want to wait around to look.

We walked back into the meadow to have a look at the old-fashioned fairground games. There was a large swing thingy, coconut shy, hoopla, test your strength, buzzer and chair flight ride.
Lily wanted to try everything! She was really pleased with herself when she hit the bell on the test your strength game, not so pleased with her and Mr Cs effort at hoopla!

May Day at Quarry Bank Mill

This is quite a nutty place

We bumped into a policeman, who was in character and very funny! He let the munchkin sit on the penny farthing for a photo.

Penny Farthing at Quarry Bank Mill May Day

Ello Ello Ello What have we here!

As the swing and the chair flight had an additional cost (only a £1 but remember I’d just spent all my cash on spuds) we said she could pick which one she went on and as the queue for the swing was huge she opted for the chairs.


May Day at Quarry Bank Mill

By this time it was getting quite late in the afternoon, we had all but ran out of cash and the froglet would need feeding soon so after the munchkin had enjoyed a very long ride on the chair-o-flight we decided to head home, with the promise that we would return to Quarry Bank Mill to have a proper explore of everything else that was there.

We had a really lovely day, even though it was all a bit last minute, I love this type of day out or event. Have a watch of the video below! The only thing that was missing was a good slice of cake and a nice brew. We will definitely be visiting again next May Day, we’ll just be a little more prepared next time.

The Mystery of the Missing White Socks

Something is amiss in my house. All of the munchkins white socks have vanished! VANISHED!! All of them, apart from one pair, which is helpful. I have no idea where on earth they have gone. If I’m honest things go missing quite often in our house, it’s like a black hole sometimes, mainly due to all the junk that covers every surface, picture one of those hoarder programmes and you’re on the right track. The odd sock to go missing is acceptable, expected even, but for every single white school sock to have disappeared is ridiculous.

She’s not worn them for a while, she’s had her ‘winter uniform’ on so has worn grey or navy socks or tights, tons of them still knocking about. Now she’s decided she NEEDS to wear her summer dress for school, because of all the lovely weather we’re currently experiencing (Ha!) which is light blue, navy and blue socks just don’t go.

You would have thought that they would have been put neatly away in her sock draw. You are all wrong. You may have considered that they might be in the bottom of that wash basket I keep meaning to put away. Again Wrong. I have searched everywhere. Everywhere! They are gone!

This little ditty to the tune of a well know nursery song keeps popping into my head. Luckily, you can’t tell when you read it where I have been melodramatically weeping in frustration.

Oh where, oh where
Have all the white socks gone?
Oh where, oh where can they be?
The knee-length ones
With the pretty hearts
Oh where, oh where can they be?
I think they went into
The washing machine
To make them nice and clean
They whirred around
Drenched in glo white
They were mucky as can be

Oh where, oh where
Have the white socks gone?
Oh where, oh where can they be?
The ankle ones
With the little cute bows
Oh where, oh where can they be?
The munchkin needs them for her uniform
A summer dress she now wears
Navy and grey just don’t seem to match
All the white socks have disappeared
Perhaps the sock monster has eaten them
There’s no other way to explain
They went in the wash
And then they were dried
But a single pair I can’t find

Oh where, oh where
Have all the white socks gone?
Oh where, oh where can they be?

I’m going to have to buy some bloody new ones aren’t I!


I sit
Close my eyes
Take a deep breath
Soak into the silence
A moment of calm
Picture myself
On a beach
Cocktail in hand
The gentle sound of the ocean
Imagine myself
In the countryside
Sun on my skin
The sweet birds sunny song
Visualise night
Engulfed in the darkness
Brightness of 1000 stars
The quietness of a world asleep
Then I’m up
Rudely awoken by
Calls for food and drink
The whirring of the washing machine
A moment of calm
Over before it began

It’s a kind of Magic

This week we’ve been trying the new Petits Filous Magic Squares. When I say we, I do mean all of us. Both kiddies, being complete yoghurt monsters have loved them, you get 2 flavours in one pot which has been a big hit. They’re filled with fresh dairy products containing calcium and, vitamin D which helps absorb the calcium and build strong bones, it’s a treat I don’t mind them having. They are yummy! Mr C and I had to try them out, just to make sure that they were ok for the kids you understand. I may have taken them to eat at work!

Petits Filous Magic Squares

Petits Filous Magic Squares

Whilst we have been enjoying the magic squares, I’ve been busy spreading a little bit of magic around the house.

The munchkin has a little live pet. She was playing with the bird, I forget it’s name, and left it in the bathroom. I’ve no idea what it was doing in there, (this is not the most unusual thing I have found in the most unusual place in our house.) I moved it from the bathroom and popped it on the banister at the top of the stairs.

The munchkin found this most peculiar. How did her toy bird get from the bathroom to the banister? Now, I must point out here that I did tell her that I had moved it. I really did. That night at bedtime we were having a chat about what we’d both been up to that day:
‘Mummy, this bird is very mysterious.’
‘Why’s that?’ I asked.
‘Well it was in the bathroom and then it ended up on the stairs.’
‘I moved it there, munchkin.’
‘No mummy, I know, but then it moved again.’
‘Did it?’
‘Yes! It’s mysterious isn’t it? I think it might have flew by itself.’
‘Maybe it did, where is it now?’
‘It’s here, on this shelf’

Now, I don’t know what you would have done in this situation but that night I did what anyone with a child that believes her toys come to life at night should do. I moved it out of her room and back onto the banister.

In fact I’ve been moving it to a different place every night this week!

The munchkin is amazed. She is really convinced that her bird moves in the night when the fairies come to visit, each morning she comes to me excited, with the bird in her hand to tell me where it was found.

Little live Pet

Mysterious Bird

She has embraced the fact her little bird moves when she’s sleeping, she has come up with all different scenarios about what the bird could be up to. It’s spread into the rest of her play all week, she’s drawn pictures and even written about what’s been going on.

You may say I am a cruel mother making her believe something that isn’t real. I think it’s fun and so does she. Whether it be drinking a pretend cup of tea, calling her Anna or Elsa all day when she’s dressed up, paying complete attention to her when she’s telling us that her friend who is spiderman has given her special powers and now she’s Iron Man, writing notes from fairies or moving toy birds around. That’s how we mix up the magic. We embrace her imagination, all of it, all of the time and we keep the magic alive.

This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous.

Daisy Chains

What do you do when Mr C comes out of rugby retirement, again, you’re being a supportive family and watching him play but the munchkin, it turns out, is not that supportive and decides she’s bored? You use your quick thinking mummy distraction skills and scroll through the National Trusts 50 things list (I love this app a little more each time I use it), looking for an activity she might be able to do, of course! 

With 49 activities still to get through we had a lot of choice, some not possible on an open playing field. Then up popped daisy chain making! The field had lots of daisies dotted around, it’s a great time of year for them, this activity was perfect to keep her entertained and as soon as I told her it was another on the list she was all for it.

I remember being 6. Just. I can’t remember why I walk into a room sometimes, or what day it is but I can remember sitting on my primary school field making daisy chains and when the grass had been mown, nests out of the cuttings. Just me that did that? Ok then!

We had to start off with a bit of a tutorial on how to achieve the best chain. Pick from the bottom so the stem is long, use your thumb nail, have a little patience. Patience is something she often lacks, like most 6 year olds, but I’m pleased to say after a couple of false starts and ‘I can’t do its’ followed by my ‘there’s no such word as can’t you just need to practise’ she really enjoyed it. She actually sat for quite a while finding the perfect daisies to add to her chain!

Daisy Chain Making

Daisy Chain Making

We’ve managed to tick another activity off the 50 things list, only 48 to go, and the munchkin can now make jewelry out of flowers! She’s since made us a lovely garland out of dandelions and didn’t understand at all when I called them Wet the Beds!

What do you mean you’ve never heard them called wet the beds?