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Mum's Guide To Harpenden Blog

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Summer Holiday Shout-out - Part 3


The middle two weeks certainly sped up this year. Thinking back to the summers when we had multiple children under 5 and trying to stay sane for weeks on end, it has definitely got easier although no less exhausting. Lots of lovely visits to and from friends this week and a couple of the children had special days with Granny and Grandpa. 

No 2 went to the London Film Museum, much to the envy of his brothers.

And No 4 headed to Woburn Safari Park. Always difficult to predict when the animals will be willing to surface and ‘perform’ (as well as how thoughtful others will be driving around the safari park) can make it a little frustrating for a 4-year-old but he did catch a glimpse of a bear’s paw(!), zebra, lions walking in front of the car (the big highlight!), elephants, red panda and stunning giraffes. A ride on the dragon pedalo and on the safari train filled the day with plenty of excitement for a little one. A quick trip through the shop for the obligatory grandparents’ treat and he chose…a snake. Not the soft, cuddly elephant Granny was encouraging him to get but the identical toy his eldest brother had been bought years before!

For the last couple of days of the week one of the boys renewed his rugby skills at Blackrock Sports Group before the season begins in September. Always a great camp for rugby training, exhausting children and socialising in the sun or rain.

We then headed off for camping at Henlow Bridge Lakes in the stormy weather with fabulous friends. All packed up on the Friday but it was going to be impossible to pitch a tent so we dodged the rain and arrived on the Saturday morning. Whilst keeping the gin dry we managed to keep everyone’s spirits up and the campsite laid on plenty of active entertainment for all the kids – we ranged from 4-13 years. It’s a site we’ll definitely return to in better climes. 

The following week was filled with music-making at Musicale Holidays. An intense week of playing, perfecting skills and performing that the children absolutely love. The level of playing that the children achieve in a week is outstanding and the friends they make from far and wide are so often friends for life. It’s very heart-warming to watch and the experience is unique for the children. (Yes, music is my passion!)

And to finish off the summer we had our summer holiday booked for the last week to feel really refreshed heading back to work and school. Unfortunately, after packing the car, roping in family to cat and kitten-sit (and watch for the next litter of kittens), preparing the picnic etc for our 4am start it became apparent that the eldest’s passport had recently expired. Words were exchanged, tears fell, begging phone calls made, all to no avail…So, quick change of plan and with the weather being so glorious we headed to my husband’s childhood beach in Frinton. It was perfect. We visited Great Granny’s old beach hut and the ‘new’ inhabitants were so friendly and remembered Great Granny and Grandpa – they even gave the boys a ride to remember in their speedboat! Holiday abroad nearly forgotten and we’re now camping in the beautiful New Forest with ponies roaming and a lot of marshmallows toasting. It could be worse! 

Next week will be a slightly chaotic retrieval of uniforms, shoes, books etc and then all the activity bookings that I always leave to the last minute! However, I know a very handy site that has them all listed for ease…!

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