29 November 2008

More reindeer

Real ones, this time, snapped at Gateshead's Frost Fair. They were gorgeous - such velvety soft antlers and fur.

The Nordic Frost Fair was, as ever, a bit of a mixed bag. The reindeer were fantastic (and we managed to ask what they would like to be left on Christmas Eve - apparently carrots are acceptable) but the Frost Fair stalls were the usual dull not-very-nordic range of crafts (glass angels, silk bags, fudge, Northumberland cheese...etc etc etc). There were a couple of token 'country' stalls from Denmark, Iceland and Finland which were a little more interesting, but that was about your lot. It would have been lovely to learn a little more about Scandinavian culture and traditions, especially those relating to Christmas. Oh well.

What was amazing was the Los Kaos life-size polar bear, Bjorn, who had the children spellbound, eyes wide as saucers. He shuffled into the performance space, sniffing the air, and looking every inch the real polar bear (he's a puppet with an operator inside). He was a mixture of thrilling and terrifying - M refused to go and stroke him as he was too scary, but couldn't take her eyes off him.

28 November 2008

Dear Santa,

Here is a picture of you, Mrs Santa, Rudolph and Glitzen the Reindeer. We've posted it to you (at Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, SAN TA1), and we hope you like it enough to reply...

It's amazing what you will do to keep a three-year-old amused on a damp, cold afternoon. Let's hope Santa's impressed...

(and yes, I know it's not Glitzen, but M insisted).

20 November 2008


(photo via the Guardian)

There's camping, and there's camping...our Rapido may not be quite as snazzy, but if we're heading off into the great outdoors to escape the urban grind, the last thing I want to be taking with me is an "on-board entertainment centre, complete with a projector, 6 speaker surround sound, and a roll down screen" or PC tablet stashed in the dashboard to check my email... I'll save my £86,540, thanks.

16 November 2008

Christmas is coming...

It's been a few days of feeling Christmassy (as well as stress about the sheer amount of work that has to be finished by then).

But we now have a Christmas cake - recipe over here at Recipes for Millie - which looks rather spiffing. The new silicon tin (Lidl's versions are brilliant, and come in at under £3) is a marvel. No more faffing about with all that baking parchment.

And yesterday we trundled up to Kielder to take part in the Northumberland Lights 2008 installation, Out of Water. It was a fantastic, magical experience, albeit a little eerie to be wandering around the woods in the dark. I loved the illuminated bridge, whose steel ropes 'twanged' a tune, and the immensely tall pine trees, lit from below to look like totem poles.

The moon rose over Kielder Water during our walk, and you could see for miles across the water. It was so beautiful, we made a resolution to go back up there in the summer, and have another look in daylight.

10 November 2008

Things to do with a three-year-old, no. 432

1. Finally get fed up with the fact that there's a gaping hole in the tiles behind the loo, and decide to do something about it.
2. Set off for Homebase in the freezing cold and rain.
3. Pick out lots and lots and lots and lots of wallpaper, giving the three-year-old free rein to choose.
4. Take wallpaper samples home; drink lots of frothy milk and eat cake (this part is essential).
5. Hold a wallpaper face-off, with a happy/sad/not-bothered-face scoresheet (make sure you outnumber the toddler here, unless you want a loo which is papered with pink roses).
6. Realise you've not actually got any money to sort it out just yet....

06 November 2008

Captain Jack Wakeman

He also has a rather natty wand, to match the tiara/cape/wings combo.

02 November 2008

It's amazing what you can do with sticky-backed plastic

1. Fairy wings (the kitchen is now awash with glitter, and the cat is leaving glittery pawprints throughout the house).

2. Halloween cat (the real cat was rather spooked).