A Jam-Packed June for Us!

Walmer Castle

 

We started off the month of June with a visit to Walmer Castle in Deal, Kent. Originally a Tudor Fortress, Walmer Castle is the residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the first of whom being the 1st Earl of Dorset Lord Sackville, and the Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger following after. Walmer Castle is packed with history and you can even see the Duke of Wellington’s boots there (he died at the Castle). It isn’t the largest of castles but it is incredibly pretty with the most stunning gardens and grounds to wander in. We managed to enjoy a pleasant stroll and a quick picnic, taking advantage of the sunshine just before the clouds rolled in and the downpour began, cutting short our visit.

Entry to Walmer Castle is usually £10.90 per adult and £6.50 per child (non gift-aid prices) but we have an English Heritage annual membership which costs a little over £8 a month. This means we can visit this castle and many, many other places in the UK absolutely free. Without this membership, our visit would have cost us in the region of £100. The annual membership for 2 adults and 12 children costs us £99 per year (up to six children can accompany each adult member). As you can see, this saves us an absolute fortune so an English Heritage membership is something that we would absolutely recommend for larger than average families to take advantage of.

June sees us celebrating two birthdays. The first was Ollie’s ninth.

 

Ollie June 2018

 

Evidently, Ollie’s birthdays are not an occasion that Anna is enthralled about.

 

Ollie 9th Birthday 3 June 2018

 

It’s not a new thing. At least she has maintained consistency of her contempt for Ollie’s birthday joy, as this throwback photo from his fourth birthday illustrates…

 

Ollie 4th Birthday 2013

 

Ollie’s birthday was also the day that four of the boys were participating in a rowing competition between  local area Sea Cadets.

 

Paddy rowing regatta sea cadets 3 June 2018

 

As they exerted themselves on the water…

 

Paddy rowing regatta 3 June 2018

 

… and honed their rowing skills…

 

Sid rowing regatta sea cadets 3 June 2018

 

….the rest of us chilled out in the sunshine and watched…

 

rowing regatta sea cadets 3 June

 

Ever fans of the farm, we took a trip down to Karoben in Ashford. Karoben is a centre for adults with learning disabilities that supports them in learning about farming and stable management. The open day at the farm allowed us to see the excellent work that goes on there and make a new friend or two!

 

Libby holding snake at Karoben

 

Also, it provided the kids with the challenge of trying to fit into a tractor wheel…

 

Kids on Tractor Karoben

 

… which some managed better than others…

 

IMG_1600

 

A work trip to Austria for Steph meant that we got the pleasure of having this little guy to stay for a few days. Oscar is now two years old and is such a funny character. He has inherited his mother’s propensity for talking and also her lack of grace and clumsiness. As soon as he enters our house he is crowded by his aunts and uncles all vying to fuss over him and lavish attention upon him, which he laps up, of course. Thankfully, he has also inherited Steph’s gregariousness and loves being in the midst of everyone, so he was particularly pleased to be one of ‘the big kids’ and sit on a big boy chair at the dining table thanks to the Apramo Multii booster seat.

This handy little contraption attaches securely to the chair via adjustable straps, whilst another set of straps clips around the child’s belly keeping them safely seated. It is lightweight, portable and has a removable cover for washing which was lucky, given Oscar’s nappy leak early on in the week. Not only that, it also contains space to store spare nappies, wipes or other bits and pieces, and Apramo have even incorporated a cool bag into the design too that is just the right size for slipping a baby cup or bottle into. Oscar is now thrilled to join the big kids and Mike is happy that he no longer needs to climb up into the loft to bring down the high chair whenever Oscar visits.

 

Oscar Apramo Booster

 

The middle of the month had me visiting London with these two beauts…

 

Steph and Cait School of Rock June 2018

 

…oh, hold on…

 

Steph and Cait June 2018

 

Well, anyway… the oldest three and I headed off for a lovely meal followed by a trip to see the very fabulous musical School of Rock.

 

Tania Steph Cait School of Rock June 2018

 

I was the only one of the three of us who had not seen the film and did not know what to expect. The brief outline is as follows: Dewey Finn is a failed rock star who, faced with eviction and no money, accepts a job offer from a prestigious prep school. The supply teacher role was intended for his teacher friend and flatmate, but taking on his name, Dewey needs the job in order to earn some extra cash. His lack of teaching experience doesn’t matter because, through sharing his love of music and encouraging the children to be themselves, he turns his class of straight–A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. The ultimate aim is to get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out.

The show is packed with songs that you will not be able to resist tapping your feet along to and, most incredibly, all the instruments are played by these immensely talented children themselves. We were in awe and this show is definitely one I would go and see again. Just brilliant!

Tickets for School of Rock start at just £17.85.

 

School of Rock Theatre June 2018

 

June was also a difficult month for us all, with it marking the second year since my Dad died of cancer. I cannot believe that it is two years since I heard his voice or held his hand. I have missed him every day since, and I will miss him for every, single day to come. To be honest, the grief is still raw and I am still struggling. When will it ease? Or, more to the point, will it ever ease?

 

Tania and Dad

 

Finally, we finished the month with yet another birthday. Paddy celebrated turning 11 by going away on camp for the weekend. Anna’s birthday antipathy is patently limited to Ollie’s celebrations only, as these cheesy grins show.

 

Paddy 11th Birthday June 2018

 

So, that was our June! How was yours?

 

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