Arthur’s Activity Board

Mr B is great at DIY so when I saw an activity board on Facebook I knew this would be something he could make for Arthur. Like most toddlers Arthur loves to play and explore everything…..phones, cupboards, keys etc so we thought an activity board would be great for him.

I can honestly say that Mr B excelled himself……a trip to Homebase and The Range and he got all the bits he needed, plus adding ‘essential’ tools to his already extensive tool box!

The first things he did was cut off a piece of the wood board to make doors, sanded down all hard edges, varnished and painted.
Here are the doors and letters – in his beloved Norwich City Football colours!

Then came the working out spaces for all the bits. I finished making Christmas cards whilst this was going on! I could look but not touch the board!

Here is the final board

And with the doors open to show a picture of all of us and one of Molly Cat who he loves.

His little face when he saw the board was an absolute picture, he immediately went for the magnet letters and the phone. Think this is going to be a well loved toy!

For information the bits that were added are:

Cardboard letters for his name

A light switch

A telephone

Door stoppers

Bed wheels

A door chain

A handle

A bolt on the cupboard

Cupboard doors

Pictures beneath the doors

Steel baking tray

Magnetic letters and numbers

Boys need clothes too!

Buying boys clothes can be really bloody frustrating. I know you can’t have the pretty dresses, the colourful cardigans and the cute skirt/tights combos. But seriously…..I think shops can do better!

Loads of shops seem to have half a rail for boys and 4 for girls. Thankfully I get most his clothes online where there is a bit more choice, but it is very annoying. I go into shops and see loads of beautiful girls clothes to choose from, and hardly any boys. How am I meant to fulfil my need for retail therapy if there’s nothing to buy!

As I am not above naming and shaming, the stores I have found to be the worst offenders are:

1. Sainsburys. Many a time I have gone to a store to take advantage of the 25% off offer and found that there is hardly any boys clothes and the ones I like rarely have his size. My bank will be happy about this, I am not…..
2. Marks and Spencer’s. This really annoys me as this is one of my favourite stores for quality clothes with generous sizing plus they regularly do 20% off. Fortunately their online store and click and collect is brilliant.
3. H&M. I haven’t actually managed to buy anything because the last store I went into had such a small boys collection and their online system isn’t quite as user friendly.

Boys also want more than jeans and striped tops, a little variation would be great. I don’t want Arthur to look like every other little boy, he will have enough time for a uniform when he’s as school! At the moment there seems to be a uniform for toddler boys, jeans or navy cords and a stripy long sleeve top!

There are some amazing online stores which I think I’m going to have to start using, but then my bank really won’t like me!!! Organic leggings here we come……


Let’s do better shops!! What are your experiences with shopping for baby/toddler clothes, am I missing a gem!?

Poppy wearing 

I wear my poppy with pride, I remember my good friends who didn’t come home from recent conflicts and I remember everyone who paid the ultimate sacrifice in all previous wars.

I am a Royal Navy veteran, a navy wife and I am proud.

I do not expect everyone to have the same views as me nor the same outlook. I understand that, I understand people are pacifists, I understand that people think the political powers use war as a tool for their own endgames with no regard for casualties, costs or ethics. I understand that people are different.

What I do not understand is some of the outrageous, unsubstantiated hypocritical arguments I’ve seen over the past week regarding poppies. Here are my top three issues


What a load of absolute nonsense. For a body which at its core over the last decade has been corrupt I find their sanctimonious stance on this laughable. So a poppy is a political statement is it? You’re wrong, it is a respectful way of saying thank you. The one time of the year we highlight, primarily, the loss of life from two world wars. Please tell me how it was ok in 2011 for a match against Spain, but 2016 it’s not.


Quite frankly, at a time when football has come under so much criticism this I’m sure has helped it. Just think it’s a sad state of affairs.

In a statement FIFA said that “Britain was not the only country to be suffering from the result of war”. They’re right, and I’m sure the 211 countries who are part of Fifa understand. And if they don’t…..grow up


2. White poppies


This is a difficult one for me as I can see arguments for this. According to the peace pledge Union they represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamourise or celebrate war.


A. They do not represent service victims of war, that is the red poppy with proceeds going to fund the amazing work the Royal
British legion does for veterans, widows and families. It is like wearing a cancer research badge but saying you support all medical charities. I’m sure you do but that is not represented by what you are wearing.

B. A commitment to peace, the red poppy does not promote war, in fact the very statement of ‘lest we forget’ is to remember the casualties and hardship of war.

C. I just don’t understand how the red poppy glamourises war? Yes, service personnel are involved with the campaign, why wouldn’t they be. These people have decided to live a military life and are the very people which could be in need of the British legion support.

This year had the biggest numbers of white poppies sold. One argument is because people are against hate crimes and racism. How on earth does a red poppy promote this? I find the White poppy confusing.

3. People who write/boast about why they don’t wear a poppy.

Stop being an attention seeking arse. If you don’t want to wear a poppy don’t wear one. Also, don’t be surprised that if you write comments like “they knew what they signed up for” that you are going to get people very angry. You’re right, the 18 year old patriotic boy did know what he signed up for…to protect your freedom so you could spout your absolute nonsense.


I’m sorry if I’ve offended/annoyed anyone but this is a subject and charity dear to my heart. I’m sure no one could have looked at the poppies at the Tower of London two years ago and not been moved by the number of lives represented. Wearing a poppy on armistice day is such a small way to say thank you.


The Pramshed

Flying with a toddler 

Following on from my flying with a toddler preps….how did it go!?

Well, it is not something I want to repeat! It was a long journey for Arthur (and me) and unfortunately no amount of preparation can help with some of the issues. I am glad that I prepared for the worst and hoped for the best, they did definitely help. 

So here are my post travel tips:

1. Have your hand luggage well organised so you can get what you want easily. I had two bags and although I thought they were well organised I could have done it a bit better. I did make sure I would only have to get one bag down which helped. But really know where changing stuff, snacks, toys are. At one point I needed the emergency chocolate buttons which meant pulling out the whole bag. School girl error 

2. Have a a change of outfit and some pjs at the ready for them. We needed a few changes one was because he was sick all over himself and me in Dubai airport. Have something for you too!!!

3. Look after yourself too. During the second flight the kids dinner was given to me at the same time as mine. It would have been near impossible for me to manage both of them and Arthur so I just kept his. This meant I didn’t really eat and later on I felt really quite unwell. Need to keep your strength up too

4. Travel is boring and for a toddler it must be even worse. I tried to keep him entertained but it was hard work. The new toy was great for a bit but his other toys held no interest for him. Too much to try and investigate. Where safe and not annoying to others I let him do some exploring. But it is tiring. Emirates were amazing and the air stewards were so helpful. 

5. One of the hardest parts of the journey was the stopover. We went to the play area which helped for a bit. But unfortunately escalators were more interesting than anything else. I honestly found this the hardest part of the journey. So if you have a stop over I would check the facilities at the airport and maybe look at a lounge if that’s an option. 

Also…..Honestly don’t do it!! If you do though accept it will probably be hard work and try to keep your sense of humour…. It might be tested!

I stand by the rest of my preps though, the sling was a saviour, the snacks were required and the toys did help!
If you are travelling with a toddler, good luck! 
Any other tips??