Today felt like summer again. But there are daffodil bulbs in the shops, conkers on the ground and my wedding anniversary and birthday are approaching. This means we are in the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”. It is definitely about time that I tell you about the amazing summer that we’ve just had – beginning with the wonderful month of May. (Okay, I know it is the last month of Spring but humour me!)
A plethora of birthdays
Our summer started back in May with a plethora of birthdays. Little Miss H and all her buddies celebrated there first birthdays and most of our weekends were spent collecting party bags. In fact, Little Miss was extremely lucky and we celebrated her birthday in 4 different ways.
We held a joint birthday party with a number of Little Miss H’s friends. We hired a hall and everyone brought food to share. We also arranged for our local Baby Sensory leader to come and lead a special birthday themed session. There was singing, bubbles, parachutes, presents and cake. What more could a 1 year old want from a birthday party!
My brother’s birthday is also in May and so we went to visit them in Essex to have a joint celebration. Little Miss H had a wonderful time playing with her big cousins. She spent a very happy hour playing with her Cousin H and a water table. This mainly consisted of soaking mummy which both Little Miss and her cousin found very amusing.
On Little Miss H’s actual birthday Mr H and I took her to see the animals at Howletts: The Aspinal Wild Animal Park. It was so fabulous to have the birthday girl to ourselves and to spend some time as a family.
It was lovely to be at Howlett’s on such a special day. It is such a brilliant wild animal park. There is plenty of room for all the animals and conservation is a primary element of all the work that they do. It is clear that the animals are loved and cared for. Most of the animals at Howlett’s have been rescued from poachers and the Aspinal Foundation aims to reintroduce endangered species back into the wild. We want Little Miss H to understand the importance of protecting the world around her. Taking her to places like Howletts helps us to educate her in this important lesson.
|Little Miss H was very taken by the rhinos and the African elephants.|
Lastly, we held an afternoon tea party to celebrate with the grandparents and Little Miss H’s Aunt B. We decorated the flat with homemade tissue paper pom poms and bunting. Then we served traditional birthday party food – sandwiches, party rings, fondant fancies and jelly, blancmange and icecream. I may have over catered. We were eating cake for most of the following week.
“Once: The Musical”
My good friend Miss M and I have a geeky crush on Arthur Darvill. It all started when he starred in Doctor Who as Rory Williams. We often had long conversations about how lovely he was. I may have shed a few tears when he left the programme.
When Miss M text me to tell me that Arthur Darvill was starring in “Once: The Musical” at the Phoenix Theatre in London I jumped at the chance of going. Boy, am I glad I did. Not only was Arthur Darvill amazing. He is a hugely talented singer and musician. But “Once: The Musical” is probably the best musical I have ever seen.
From the moment the cast appeared on the stage to have an impromptu jam in the bar I was hooked. Both the music and the storyline are beautiful. The performances are also faultless. There is no orchestra and the cast play every instrument that you hear. They even dance with their instruments (this seems okay for the violin players but not so great for the poor guy with his cello).
This isn’t a bright or spectacular musical like “Legally Blonde: The Musical” or “Wicked”. Music is an integral part of each of the character’s lives and the songs flow naturally. There is no jarring moment when the cast launch into song for no reason.
Thinking about this musical still sends a shiver down my spine. I feel all goose bumpy when I listen to the music. I definitely want to see it again and would advise you all to buy tickets now.
I know I’ve shared this video before but I love it. I really love it:
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”
In complete contrast, a few weeks later I went to see “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” starring Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound at the Savoy Theatre. I went with my bestest and oldest friend Miss A. It was so lovely seeing Miss A but I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy the musical.
It was funny in places but it all felt very try hard. I just felt that the storyline did not lend itself to a musical. There weren’t any outstanding performances and the music was completely unmemorable. Ultimately, it was harmless and silly but it definitely wasn’t “Once: The Musical”.
And the rest…
– Little Miss H’s last Baby Sensory class and her first Toddler Sense class.
– Play dates in gardens with paddling pools and slides.
– Trips to the swings.
– Messy play with paint, shaving foam, water and bubbles (not all at once).
– Lie-ins and picnics with mummy.
– Flower girl dress shopping.
It was a fantastic but very busy month. Do come back later this week to hear about what we got up to in June, July and August. What were your favourite parts of the summer? I’d love to hear all about them.