Turner contemporary art

Turner Contemporary If there’s one thing you do visit whilst in Thanet I would make it the Turner Contemporary Gallery which sits at the beginning of the pier arm in Margate overlooking the long sandy beach. A contemporary white building that shines out over the bay and grabs everyone’s attention. I recently visited to take a look at the Seeing Round Corners exhibition and I wasn’t disappointed. The gallery is free to enter and explore and I am always in awe of the exhibitions and artwork laid out. This time was no exception and my tour started outside the building on my walk up the steps to the entrance where I spotted this fabulous interpretation of the Union Jack. I love how all of the different patterns fall into a perfect Union Jack which is immediately recognisable.

the new union jack

Yinka Shonibare

As I stepped through the entrance I found myself in a library. It was, in fact, Yinka Shonibare’s The British Library. On closer inspection, you could see that each of the books lining the shelves had been covered in brightly coloured fabric, a bit like we used to cover our school books back in the day. When you moved in even closer, names printed in gold could be spotted on the spines of the books, lots of very recognisable names.

Yinka-Shonibare-The-British-Library

Yinka Shonibare’s The British Library celebrates and questions how immigration has contributed to the British culture of today. Shelves and shelves of books covered in colourful wax fabric the spines bearing the names of immigrants who have enriched British society.

Yinka-Shonibare

Mark Batchelor

There are some steps leading to the upper level and these are never left without any artwork to admire on your way up. In fact this time I was smiling as I spotted the Mini Disco by Mark Batchelor hanging from the ceiling in perfect symmetry.

Mini-Disco-by-Mark-Batchelor

If you look even closer you will see that each disco ball is made entirely out of colourful plastic sunglasses, but aren’t they effective?

There is a great shop to visit which has so many wonderful things from jewellery to colouring books and I always come away with something no matter how small.

There are also workshops held upstairs for adults and children and I really want to take the twins along one day as I am sure they would gain enormously from being inspired by the work around them and just having a go at something new.

The exhibition is upstairs and includes all sorts of mediums, from art, to sculpture and also video and motion pieces. It’s really interesting and I always wish I could come up with some of these grand ideas that I see displayed.

Back down stairs I popped through the corridors to see what was hanging and was struck by these posters. It saddens me that people amongst us can be so cruel to say such things.

Turner-Contemporary-

Richard Long

As I exited the gallery and started to make me way over to Dreamland where dad was with the girls I looked back, and thank goodness I did otherwise I would have missed this enormous wall art called The Ebb Tide Circle Richard Long. It is painted on the wall and Richard Long uses his body to get the effect of movement. Fascinating.

EbbTide-Circle-Richard-Long

Keep up to date with the Turner Contemporary by checking their website (link at the top of the text) and their Facebook page

Hogwarts express

Kids love dressing up. Let’s be honest, adults love dressing up. In fact I’m not sure whether I know anyone that doesn’t love dressing up.

There are so few opportunities to don your favourite costume as you get older, but playing fancy dress can be a great activity for all of the family to enjoy. With that in mind, here are some fantastic days out for you and the kids where dressing up is fully encouraged…

The V&A Museum of Childhood
Whether or not you decide to dress up, this museum is more than worth a visit. Toys from the latest Pixar films share space with 1970s Barbie dolls and various Victorian creations. In fact, there really is something for everyone here. On top of that the V&A Museum regularly holds children’s activity sessions, including the chance to dress up as a true Victorian.

The Marvel Universe Live

Think of this like going to see an Avengers film at the cinema, except all the superheroes are really there and the CGI is replaced with some thrilling stunts and daring pyrotechnics. Of course, you don’t have to come dressed up as your favourite comic book character when it tours the UK, but don’t be surprised to find that you’re in the minority if you don’t.

Sutton Hoo

Two of the key players in the Marvel Universe are Thor and Loki, yet neither were actually invented by Stan Lee and are in fact figures from ancient Viking mythology. To explore more of this period you can go to Sutton Hoo, where there are ghost ships, ancient archaeological finds and ancient burial mounds to explore. Of course, there’s also the chance to dress up as an Anglo-Saxon villager.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

They say this is the Warner Bros Studio Tour. They say that if you visit you’ll get the chance to look at “sets” or “props”. But let’s call this place by its proper name. This is Hogwarts, or at least as close as you’ll get to it in the real world. And if you’re going to Hogwarts, it’s only right to be dressed in the appropriate school uniform. The real question is, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin?

Simon Plumb - lyme house

Credit: Simon Plumb

Lyme Park

Lyme Park is a stately home with all kinds of activities on offer, from Archery to adventures with Charlie & Lola. Perhaps most fun of all is the chance to dress up as an Edwardian and perform your own period drama re-enactments. The kids can join in as well, of course, or they can watch the Charlie & Lola show while leaving the fancy dress to the grown ups.

Nine Worlds

Another one for kids and grown-ups alike, this is a sci-fi convention with a real emphasis on inclusivity. There are games, talks and activities for all ages here and you can expect to find people in everything from Star Trek uniforms to full suits of armour wandering the hotel. It would be a shame if you didn’t all have costumes of your own, wouldn’t it?

Disclosure: A collaborative post

Cornwall gold Tolgus tin Mill wheel

When I think of Cornwall I don’t automatically associate it with gold but on our last visit to Trevella Park we spent a fabulous morning at Cornwall Gold and found out about the national heritage Tolgus Tin Mill

Cornwall gold Tolgus tin Mill wheel

Cornwall Gold is near Redruth and within easy reach of the main Cornish towns of St Ives, Penzance, Truro and Newquay. Just off the main highway you turn into the ample free car park and walk over to the main entrance. Your journey will take you through the main shop and display area of the most exquisite jewellery, including diamonds and many other precious stones. To the left of the entrance, is the workshop where you can see jewellers creating and also repairing beautiful pieces from all over the world. They have been crafting and creating for over 25 years so as you can imagine the standard is very high.

Cornwall Gold

If you manage to drag yourself away from all the bling you then walk out to a really lovely courtyard where there is a lot going on to keep all members of the family amused.

Cornwall gold

We had a go at panning for Gold, you are given a tray and are allowed to sift and sieve for a specified amount of time. The girls were delighted with their haul, lots and lots of fools gold and tons of little semi precious stones, all tipped into a plastic sealable bag to take home with you.

Cornwall gold

You can visit the Bear Works and create your own cuddly toy, you can decorate your own pottery in the create and paint area, scoop for gems, pick a pearl or play Krazy golf. There are also shops selling typical Cornish produce and offering tastes of the products too. You can even put together your own Cornish hamper to take home with you.

Cornwall gold Tolgus tin Mill

Then, just when you think you’ve seen it all you come across the Tolgus Tin Mill. You can walk around this marvellous historical museum to see exactly how tin was mined and then turned into a material to be used for household products and even jewellery, talking of which in the Cornwall Gold store there is an entire area devoted to Tolgus tin jewellery.

The Tolgus Collection

A living legacy of Cornwall’s industrial past, Tolgus has produced tin for 400 years. Combining Tolgus Tin with silver, we have forged extraordinary jewellery that will keep this unique Cornish mill alive. — Cornwall Gold.

Another area that was beautiful was the Pearl house where pearls of all shapes and sizes have been turned into beautiful jewellery pieces.

Cornwall Gold gem scoop

Cornwall gold gem scoop

Cornwall Gold gem scoop

We stopped for a meal in the Cornish Pantry Restaurant and were very impressed with the food on offer including some favourite Cornish meals.

All in all a fantastic family day out and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Cornwall gold

 

 

Only one week to go and the children will be at home for half term. This will be a mixture of work and play for me as I haven’t taken time off but will go into work for one day and work from home on the other two days but I do like to get a few treats organised for the girls to make sure we spend some memorable playtime together.

Top 3 things to do at half term in Kent

Leeds Castle – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Leeds castle

We haven’t been to Leeds’ Castle for a long time and last time we went it was on the run up to Christmas. Leeds Castle had organised a Gingerbread trail and the twins really enjoyed it. For this half term Leeds castle have organised a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trail which takes you walking around the beautiful grounds of the castle (so wrap up warm) hunting down clues and solving the riddles that will lead you to giant chocolate bars each with a golden ticket inside. Each Chocolate bar will have a different coloured wrapper which you have to match with the stickers that come with your trail card.

Once the trail has been completed you can show your card to the Maze Café & Grill where you will receive sprinkles on their new ‘bubble gum’ flavoured Kentish ice cream and at the ned of your day hand in the completed trail card at the marquee and claim your mini chocolate bar prize.

Leeds castle

Top tip: Lookout for golden tickets hidden inside special ice-cream cones, for your chance to win a tour of the never before open to the public Solley’s ice-cream factory in Deal! Silver tickets will win a delicious afternoon tea in the Fairfax Restaurant.

Charlie’s Chocolate Trail is £1 per person to enter and includes a chocolate prize at the end.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks

This weekend we were invited up to Leicester Square by Twentieth Century Fox to view the brand new Alvin and the Chipmunks film, the road Chip. Well, we can safely say it’s a great fun film with the adorable, if sometimes a bit mischevious, chipmunks. The story unfolds as Dave, the chipmunks dad, has a relationship with a doctor, Samantha, that is starting to get serious. Samantha has a son and the chipmunk’s first encounters with Miles are not good at all. They want to stop this relationship going ahead. When they find an engagement ring they set out to sabotage the relationship that takes them on a cross-country journey, through Texas and New Orleans (dad loved this bit best) finishing off in Miami. Of course they are also running from a ‘baddie’ who will keep uyou entertained throughout the film too.

Visit Canterbury

The beautiful city of Canterbury is only a 30-minute drive for us so I  am planning on introducing the girls to this amazing city over half term.

Canterbury was a major pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. Ancient walls, originally built by the Romans, encircle its medieval centre with cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. Iconic Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 597 A.D., is the headquarters of the Church of England and Anglican Communion. With intricate carvings and stained-glass windows, it incorporates Gothic and Romanesque elements.

Canterbury cathedral

There is a lot to see and do, a list I will write here and hopefully tick off over the next few years so I hope it comes in handy for you too.

1. Canterbury Cathedral
2. The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer’s stories brought to life
3. Canterbury Roman Museum
4. Howletts Wild Animal Park – about 15mins drive outside of Canterbury
5. The Historic River Tours – great tours of the city on water
6. The Beany House of Art and Knowledge – museum and gallery
7. Westgate Gardens – lovely formal gardens by the river
8. The Goods Shed farmers’ market – by Canterbury West Station
9. The Marlowe Theatre (town centre) or Gulbenkian Theatre (University of Kent campus)
10 Shopping! Whitefriars shopping centre and many independent shops to enjoy

Please find lots of other top tips all over the country from some of my favourite blogs and above all, have a great half term!Helen gives you three unusual days out with kids at half term if you’re in and around London, plus a bonus craft activity for a pyjama day!

Helen gives you three unusual days out with kids at half term if you’re in and around London, plus a bonus craft activity for a pyjama day!

Penny has three easy creative projects to do at home which could also fire their imaginations for bigger activity, because we love it when one thing leads to another.

Alice has some simple but successful tips for keeping kids entertained on the beach even in this cold February weather.

Becky has 3 thrifty and simple ideas for half term happiness

Kirsty can help families in Hertfordshire, who need inspiration to help keep boredom at bay!

Cass shares her favourite three ways to have fun at half term without spending a penny!

Joanne shares three indoors ‘days out’ incase of horrid weather

Michelle introduces you to three fun seaside towns in East Sussex

Joy explains 3 ways that throwing a party can help with half-term entertainment. 

Emma has three ways to enjoy half term on a budget

Sarah showcases five different ways you can entertain the little ones in Norwich this half term

A visit to a National Trust property is always fun in half-term, here Michelle shares with you three of her favourites.

 

weekend in Rye East Sussex, panorama

Back in September 2008 when the twins were 10 weeks old, we decided to go on our first holiday since the girls had arrived, a long weekend in Rye. It was only going to be a 4 day break  and we didn’t want to stray too far from home but be in reach of a quick journey back if it all proved to be a dreadful idea.

weekend in Rye old twon

We decided on a weekend in Rye, East Sussex, a pretty town built on a hill that in years gone by would have been on the shoreline, today Rye is separated from the sea by one and a half miles of drained marshland and is the joining point of three rivers which form a picturesque harbour.

weekend in rye harbour

Rye once played an important role in the defence of the south coast of England but these days the warships are long gone and replaced by a local fishing fleet of private boats and yachts moored up, bobbing peacefully close to the town. The stretch along the river is a beautiful walk as is the town itself, where you can walk to the top of the hill and take in the panoramas from the high point or stop at a local pub for a bite to eat.

We stopped off for a fabulous pub lunch at the King’s Head Pub also known as the Top O’ The Hill pub.

Top 5 things to do on a weekend in Rye

  1. Climb to the top of the tower of St Mary’s parish church for breathtaking views.
  2. Visit Rye Harbour Nature reserve
  3. Visit Ypres Tower museum
  4. Take a walk around Lamb House
  5. Follow the 1066 country walk – this will take more than 1 day.

On a three day sojourn in 1573, Queen Elizabeth I bestowed the title ‘Rye Royale’ and the town attracted many authors, musicians and celebrities of the day. Walking around the town you can discover many quirky things like this house called ‘The House Opposite’.

weekend in rye village - door

The timbered houses are separated by cobbled streets and connected by secret passages used by smugglers and highwaymen in years gone by. Rye is full of secrets and mysteries and is a huge favourite amongst film crews in search of historical settings for film productions.

Rye is a popular weekend destination and well worth a visit if you’re looking for a fun weekend away.

We stayed close by at the Park Holidays resort Rye Harbour and it proved to be an excellent base for the south coast. A walk from our home towards the coast led us past this fascinating hut in the Rye harbour nature reserve.

Rye harbour nature reserve

Rye harbour nature reserve

A short drive took us into Rye where we walked the cobbled streets with our massive buggy and discovered the beauty spots of the town.

rye - the weekes family

We ventured to Hastings for a day out and another time we drove to the town of Battle famous for the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and home to af abulous castle that I shall take the girls to soon.

Hastings mari and buggy

The entrance to Hastings pier with its Union Jack whipping in the wind.

Hastings Pier

Recently Babyworld shut down and I was able to import my pregnancy diary and my baby diary. Hence this peek back in time. Babyworld and Baby Centre were lifelines for me when I was trying to conceive and later when I was pregnant with the twins, I am sad to see Babyworld go but in the meantime I am rewriting the diaries and adding to them like this post here. Which has inspired me to pull the Time Traveller Linky out of hibernation.

If you have a post you’d like to link up then please add it to the Linky below.

If you’d like to read my twin baby diary, here are the completed entries so far.

Twins 5 weeks old

Twins 6 weeks old

Twins 7 weeks old

Twins 8 weeks old

Twins 9 weeks old

and to finish off some lovely twin photos I found from that break. This is how we slept the twins for the first three months of their lives, in a single cot widthways. This is the travel cot we took to Rye with us.

Twins co sleeping in travel cot

 

Alice taking a nap after her bottle of milk in our static caravan at Rye.

Alice having a snooze

 

Bessie falling asleep on her bottle.

Bessie bottle fed

 

Thinking ahead we bought the girls some winter jackets which, as you can see were still rather large on them but warm :)

twins in buggy 10 weeks old

 

TimeTraveller