Saturday, 16 September 2017

Groovy Baby Bubblebum music

If, like me, you've got small children and if, like any parent, you're concerned about their safety and if - like plenty fortunate enough to have done so - you've recently been on holiday, read on.

(Even if you haven't or you aren't or you weren't, read on. It won't cost you anything!)

Anyway, children, cars, travel. In the UK children have to use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Over 12yo or 135cm tall and kids must wear a seat belt. So far, so straightforward.

But what do you do on holiday?

If the holiday involves travelling by car, no problem. But you can hardly take a car seat on an aeroplane, unless...

Unless someone makes one that neatly folds up when deflated, stores in its very own bag
and weighs no more than a packet of digestive biscuits. AND one that meets all EU & US regulations and easily fits into backpack or glove box or suitcase or carrier.

That seat, dear reader, is the Bubblebum. We've got one. They're great.

And you can have one, too. And not just any one, but a fabulously flag-waving Union Jack version.

To enter, click the Rafflecopter widget below and keep your fingers crossed. Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Roald Dahl Day

Happy Roald Dahl day, the day on which (in 1916) the great man was born!

Like many men of genius (I don't think that's taking things too far, do you?) Dahl was a complex individual. Some of his views weren't what we'd call 'politically correct'. Others were downright damnable.

But Michaelagelo was an unlikeable character and it doesn't stop us admiring the Sistine Chapel ceiling. And Gaugin's paintings sell for millions despite the fact he slept with 13-year-old Tahitians.

Separating the art from the artist isn't always easy. So let's concentrate on the art, shall we? And one particular scene from one particular book that happens to be one of our favourites.

Just don't watch if you're about to have lunch...


Monday, 11 September 2017

I've never changed a nappy...

No, not me. I've changed plenty. More than I care to remember.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg has never changed a nappy. Not one. Ever.

I know, shocking isn't it.

There are probably plenty of other people out there who haven't. But perhaps not many who've got six children.

But then, who among us with six (or even my own total, three) children can afford to pay staff to do it for us?

And even if we could...

Yes, you see. That's not really the point, is it?

I mean, I'm not suggesting nappy-changing is a measure of 'new' manhood or parenthood or any other 'hood'. Changing nappies doesn't make you a better dad. Or a dad at all, for that matter.

But... But... What?

I don't know. There's just something about the not having done it at all - and the slightly boasting tone in which such information was divulged - that makes me think, perhaps, that changing a nappy - at least one nappy - might actually be a good thing for a dad.

After all, someone's got to do it. And although Rees-Mogg's nanny might disapprove of him doing it I'm sure an Eton and Oxford education qualifies him to... at least, attempt it.

I'd have thought any self-respecting father would have wanted to have a go at it, these days?

But then, Rees-Mogg - by his own definition - isn't of 'these days' is he?

Which rather begs the question...

Which days is he 'of'?

Sunday, 3 September 2017

High Force waterfall

Charlie's been making a video diary of our summer hols this year, so grab the popcorn - here's the first instalment!

It's all his own work, you know. Ok, well, dad holds the camera now and then... But these directors - they're a beggar to work for!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Ready when you are, Mr de Mille...

'The all-new Crossland X' says the Vauxhall website, 'raising a family and some eyebrows.'

Although the concept of a family car and SUV crossover seems unlikely at first glance, it's proved a popular market addition (think Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008). And although Vauxhall has already successfully added to the range with the Mokka X, the new Crossland is a crossover of a crossover if you like, combining space and style with a more family-friendly price-tag*.

We took one for a test drive last weekend. Charlie was immediately impressed with the in-car infotainment systems (Apple and Android compatible) and I was impressed with the drive. It's also got a decent sized boot for a weekend away:

And that (above) is without using the hidden 'under floor' storage compartment (under which is the spare wheel - yes, it has one. A real one!)

The family found it comfy to ride in and I found it easy and pleasant to drive. I've read reviews complaining about 'poor cab comfort' and 'stiff steering' but I had no problems. The steering, in fact, was among the highlights of driving and the only problem I experienced was a stiff gearbox - especially when changing down to second.

So did it raise eyebrows?

Well, it certainly raised Charlie's. Raised his inner Steven Spielberg, too, inspiring him to make his own iPhone infomercial. Ready when you are, Mr de Mille...

* Prices range from £16,555 for the Crossland X SE 1.2T 81 S&S 5-speed manual to £21,380 for the top-of-the-range Crossland X Elite Nav 1.6DT 120 S&S 6-speed manual.
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