girls on bikes

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it?

In fact, husband went as far as to say to Bessie, as she stepped on the coach to leave with the Year 4 group Kingswood Camp bound, ‘Pick your jacket up! You’re going to lose it if you’re not careful!’

Yes, you already know where this is going, don’t you? One school trip later and one lost jacket.

dab pose

The teacher looked me as if I was dumb when I said, ‘It’s brand new.’ As we were specifically told not to send them with anything new. Do jackets count? Their old jackets have been around for two years and are looking very much the worse for wear. Husband, who delighted in reminding me told me, ‘Send them with their old coats.’ as I was packing and sorting out all of their kit. Did I listen? Of course not!

dad and girls

Blacks had sent these perfect Berghaus jackets to review. They were waterproof, had removable fleeces on the inside, looked very smart and would be perfect for the weather at this time of year. The programme at Kingswood is fantastic, building dens, climbing high, zip wires and a lot of activity. They would be the perfect jackets to wear, fit for all weather and tough.

We had even tried them out on a visit to the coast a couple of weekends ago and decided they were fabulous.

Now we only have one and I am writing emails, contacting via Facebook and disturbing the teachers via email too to see if I have any luck getting it back, after all, it’s a really good coat and like all mums, I bought it big so it would last a year or two.

Westgate on Sea - ice cream

Blacks really have some great gear for kids for all weathers and all seasons. I must remember to thank them for the black waterproof trousers that were sent through as they did return, covered in mud but that’s what they were for. With elasticated waistbands that are easy to pull over jeans or leggings, they came in very handy on rainy days.

I do apologise if this post is shorter than usual but I really do want to find that jacket, you would too if you had one. So I’m going to start phoning and emailing until I am sure that nobody has the jacket. Wish me luck!

girls going on a school trip

Disclosure: We were sent two jackets for the girls to review and some waterproof trousers from Blacks, I really do like them and I’d love to find the lost one. All opinions are my own. You can find them on the following social channels too.

Twitter: @blacks_online     Instagram: blacks_online     Facebook: blacksonline

 

dad in a polo shirt

This weekend saw us return to Thanet to our family caravan, to open it up and get her ready for 2017.

Birchington Vale, previously known as Two Chimneys, was bought by Park Holidays UK and when we saw their plans for a new clubhouse and expansion of the park, we couldn’t resist investing in a static caravan of our own. Here’s our latest pic of how they are getting on.

Birchington Vale clubhouse progress

Our caravan has been closed since November as we knew we wouldn’t have time to visit, so you can imagine our excitement this weekend returning after such a long time?

I had a list as long as my arm of things to prepare and take with us; bedding, towels, items for the kitchen that I had taken home and some fun games for us to do together.

With the car packed to the hilt we set off and arrived for lunch.

Birchington Vale zipwire

There has been lots of progress on the clubhouse and we peeked through the bushes at the brand new play area with zip wire! The girls can’t wait to have a go on that!

Sunday was an early start as we were all excited to be there! The one day we can all sleep in, there were four of us in our bed by 7am!

We decided to go for a walk on the Ramsgate side of Thanet and parked after the town towards Dumpton Gap. It was a mild morning and we took a long walk along the prom stretching along the bottom of the cliffs. Bessie has brought her bouncy ball with her and if I had a pound for every time I said, ‘Don’t bounce it you’ll lose it.’ I’d be a rich woman today.

Thanet coastline

She did of course, lose it. They were throwing it against a cliff and it landed on top of a shelter, so dad climbed up (he hates heights) and retrieved the ball for her.

I know many wouldn’t have bothered but it was the ball from her latest Baebox and she was devastated at the thought of losing it, so up dad went.

dad rescuing the ball

‘Now, hold on to it and be careful!’ I said. Do you think she listened to me? Of course she didn’t it.

They were trying to see who could throw it as high up the cliff as possible and on the last try, it pinged off the cliff at an angle where no one was waiting to catch it and bounced, bounced, bounced off the prom and into the sea.

It is March.

The water is freezing.

But dad, unable to see Bessie cry, striped down to his underpants and braved the water much to the shock of a couple of cyclists who had stopped for a breather.

The water was a bit deeper than he thought it was going to be but he managed to fish the ball out of the bobbing waves.

dad rescuing the ball from the sea

That’s our dad that is, a superdad. He’s even got the red polo shirt to prove it!

 

Disclosure: Dad was asked to look at the polo shirts for men on Jacamo, a fabulous website with lots of great stuff for men.

What better than to eat fish and chips on a visit to the coast?

peters fish factory ramsgate

On one of our recent family trips around Ramsgate we popped into Peter’s Fish Factory on Harbour Road at around lunch time, curious to try for ourselves the infamous fish and chips from this award winning restaurant.

You can choose to eat inside or outside on the bistro style tables. We had Baxter with us who wasn’t allowed inside but seeing it was a lovely day, we sat at a small wooden table and waited for our fresh food to be cooked to order.

We ordered 2 small codling and chips and a portion of fish goujons and chips for the girls to share as it was a large portion, I also indulged on a portion of mushy peas. With a couple of soft drinks our bill came to around £12. (Summer 2016)

The meals were served in takeaway boxes and you could add salt and vinegar at the counter. There were small wooden forks and serviettes on offer plus a table of condiments to pimp your fish and chips to however you wished.

Peter’s Fish Factory fish and chips

fish and chips Peters fish factory

We all agreed that the fish and chips were delicious, very good portions and cooked perfectly – in our opinion. The girls managed to eat most of the box leaving only a few chips which dad helpfully polished off for them.

It was a bit windy sitting outside and we had to be careful of the polystyrene cups blowing about and serviettes taking off across the harbour but it was a lovely spot with no through traffic.

If queues are anything to go by on deciding whether a fish and chip shop is good or not, Peter’s Fish Factory in Ramsgate had a queue for the entire time we were there and lots of happy faces coming out.

Let us know if you agree.

NB This post first appeared on another blog I set up called Thanet Uncovered in 2016. It quickly became apparent that with work, family, home and life in general I wouldn’t have the time to run two blogs so I am in the process of closing down Thanet Uncovered and transferring the content onto Mari’s World where I shall have a category for Thanet to store all of our fun times there.

Alice Weekes donating hair for wigs

A couple of weeks ago Alice wanted to have her hair cut short. Having heard about people donating hair for wigs coupled with the news her cousin Megan has been diagnosed with leukaemia and would lose her hair during the chemotherapy, she decided she wanted to donate her hair for a wig too.

She sent off her cut hair to the Little Princess Trust and to make the most of the moment we also decided to ask our family and friends to support her decision with donations to the charity. We had discovered that a single wig can cost from £350 – £500.

We set our target of £500, to cover the wig that Megan would be given, and we were totally overwhelmed to have smashed it making a grand total of £660.00. One of my favourite memories will be Alice asking me to check how much we were up to during the first few days.

donating hair for wigs

Donating hair for wigs

Bessie has been watching all the fuss quietly from the sidelines, she still doesn’t want to cut her hair off just yet but she has mentioned that one day, she would like to do the same.

The Little Princess Trust got in touch with us this week as they are organising a very fun event with Shrek’s Adventure! in London. They are looking to find a real-life Rapunzel and have asked us to help spread the word.

The #RealLifeRapunzel campaign is all about looking for the longest hair donations, do you know somebody who fits this bill?

For this competition, hair donations must exceed 12″/30cm and Shrek’s Adventure! in London will be offering the winner and four finalists fantastic prizes.

The finalists, together with three guests each will be invited to a VIP experience on the 29th April as part of ‘National Princess Week’. What will this include?

  • The VIP day will kick off with breakfast at Starbucks,
  • a VIP tour of the attraction,
  • free haircuts in Shrek’s ‘Throne Room’,
  • a makeover
  • goodie bags to take home.

There will be more surprises on the day too.

Weekes twins

Monica Glass, Little Princess Trust Charity Manager said, “The charity is looking for especially long hair donations at the moment and so the search is on!  Whilst we help boys as well as girls across the whole of the UK and Ireland, at the moment there is a need for particularly long hair donations.  It takes a number of donations to make a single wig and of course the longer the hair donation, the longer the wig.”

Steve Blackburn, General Manager of Shrek’s Adventure! added, “Shrek’s Adventure! London is home to lots of princesses and we are really proud to be working with the Little Princess Trust, spreading awareness of the incredible work they do and encouraging those with long hair to donate it for the benefit of children suffering from hair loss.”

How to enter the competition

  • Visit The Little Princess Trust competition page
  • Upload a clear photo of your hair, detailing what length you are willing to donate
  • Write, in no more than 350 words, why you think it is important to donate your hair

Closing date 31st March. finalists will be notified by the 7th April

There’s more, if you would like to donate your hair to The Little Princess Trust then you can have your haircut and styled on the 29th April, free of charge too. Terms and conditions apply, for more information please visit the website on the above link.

The Little Princess Trust are the charity who make wigs for boys and girls suffering from hair loss. To date they have given away nearly 5,000 real hair wigs to young people suffering with cancer and other medical conditions and they are constantly on the look out for people having their hair cut to donate it to them ( a minimum of 7″/17cms is required).

 Pegwell Bay thanet

Pegwell Bay

When looking at a map of Thanet it becomes immediately apparent that there is a hell of a lot to do and see but we had to make a decision to start somewhere. Although we are both familiar with the area we wanted to start with something new to us and so we decided that Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate would be our starting point.

We woke early one Sunday morning and as it wasn’t raining and the sky was promising a clear morning we headed off from our base in Birchington Vale for our first adventure.

Pegwell Bay - Thanet

Pegwell Bay sits on the estuary of the River Stour between Ramsgate and Sandwich and is home to a large nature reserve, many different species of wildlife live here or visit throughout the year. Families can visit the Pegwell Bay Country Park to discover more of the mudflats and salt marshes and take a closer look at the varied nature.

We parked in the residential area along the top of the cliffs and, with Baxter on a lead, walked down the slopes leading to the beach. The beach is rocky and sandy and is dog friendly although there may be a dog ban from 1st April – 30 September between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

Pegwell bay exploring

We were there before 10am and so let Baxter off his lead for a run and around the sandy beach and another failed attempt at catching a seagull. The girls enjoyed larking around on the sand too and we could see Ramsgate Royal harbour in the distance.

Pegwell bay

The Boating Pool Cafeteria

We walked back up one of the staircases to the top of the cliffs which was a good climb and strolled along the top back towards the car. There we came across The Boating Pool Cafeteria, there was a playground which caught the girl’s eyes and a welcome cup of tea which caught mine. Dogs are allowed on the terrace and so we sat down and enjoyed a cuppa in the sunshine whilst watching the men drive their boats on the lake.

The Boating Pool Cafeteria Pegwell Bay

I love the ‘Once upon a time’ look of the Boating Pool, reminiscent of times gone by but once inside you will be invited to a wonderful clean and fresh atmosphere with a fantastic chalkboard menu to choose from. I have a feeling we may be back here soon to try some of the food.

 

The Boating Pool cafeteria Pegwell BayIt did seem the perfect spot to enjoy a lunch or even an afternoon beer or glass of wine as the sun sets over the sea.

One last thing worth mentioning was the fabulous sculpture on the green along the cliff tops at West Cliff, Hands and Molecule by David Barnes. The sculpture was unveiled in 2000 to mark the opening of the National Cycle Network (Route 15) in Thanet.

Hands-and-Molecule-David-barnes-Pegwell-Bay

Things to see and do in Pegwell Bay

  • Visit Pegwell Bay Country Park
  • See Hugin, the full-size replica Scandinavian longboat complete with shields situated by the main road on the low clifftops above Pegwell Bay commemorating the first Anglo-Saxon landings in England in this area.
  • Take a look at St Augustine’s Cross, a stone memorial in a fenced enclosure on the south side of Cottington Road. The cross was erected in 1884 to commemorate the arrival of St Augustine in England in AD 597.

NB This post first appeared on another blog I set up called Thanet Uncovered in 2016. It quickly became apparent that with work, family, home and life in general I wouldn’t have the time to run two blogs so I am in the process of closing down Thanet Uncovered and transferring the content onto Mari’s World where I shall have a category for Thanet to store all of our fun times there.