Rochester Dickens Festival 2017

We spent Sunday at the Rochester Dickens Festival with Martyn & the boys, enjoying the sunshine, actors, music, food & scenery. It was the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway so there was plenty going on in Rochester & surrounding areas for the entire weekend.

Rochester Dickens Festival

Rochester Dickens Festival

After attending the Medway English Festival with Martyn and the boys we were looking forward to joining them again for a lovely day out. With a nice early start we managed to get to Rochester just before everything started, giving us plenty of time to have a slow wander around.

Actors

We came across some brilliant actors over the course of the day but the first Fagin we bumped into Izzy absolutely loved! She couldn’t wait to get in a picture with him, sitting on his knee. He was wandering around looking for the owner of the lost pants in his hand.

We found another Fagin a little while later too and all the kids jumped in for a picture this time! Both actors were fantastic and really interacted with the kids which was brilliant. It was nice to see the girls enjoying the characters too although Eva was a little worried about the clock face guy!

There were so many different Dickens characters wandering around and people who simply dressed up and joined in too. It made the day quite fun having different characters chatting to us & the girls really seemed to enjoy it. Eva was a little unsure about a few costumes but still enjoyed herself.

Performances

Dancing

We stopped to watch the dancing which was absolutely fantastic and Izzy especially loved it, joining in with her own little dance too. Moving on we came across these actors singing ‘Beer Beer Beer’ an ode to Charlie Mops the inventor of beer!

charlie mops beer beer beer

Everyone joined in with the chorus which was quite fun even though it was a small group as it was still fairly early in the day. It was interesting to see so many different characters up to different things. We’re definitely interested in going to the Rochester Dickens Festival again next year so we can catch more of them!

Grand Parade

Next we watched the parade with bagpipes playing & a range of characters, I loved this purple dress! I had to get a video of it all as there were some fab costumes. Most of the Actors were really amusing & played the role so well! I had to take a few videos of the parade as it was so fun, here’s one video, you can find the rest on my YouTube channel.

After the parade the boys got stopped by bobbies on stilts! ‘They went that way officer.. honest!’. These guys were hilarious chatting away and asking who the ring leader was haha!

That way officer

 

Food & Drink

After the parade we headed up to the castle, stopping for doughnuts & ice cream. Another vintage ice cream van was selling ice cream, although a little pricey! We then headed up to the castle grounds where tons of stalls were dotted around full of goodies!

 

Cupcakes & cookies

The girls decided they wanted gingerbread men to take home from Cupcakes & cookies which the girls said were delicious! Unfortunately they got a little bashed up in my bag but the girls enjoyed them anyway.

Treats To Take Home

We also popped by Sudzz again to get Eva another super exploding pink bath bomb and some soaps for both girls. Sudzz bath bombs are amazingly explosive & Eva LOVES them! The cute heart soaps are all different scents too.

 

Simply True Jewellery were there too, so we took them all to get another £1 lucky dip. The boys got skull necklaces again but different to their last 2. Eva got a clear heart necklace & Izzy a star necklace. For £1 I’m still can’t get over the quality of the necklaces! At this rate I’ll be ordering a jewellery box just for Jewellery we buy from Simply True Jewellery!

Stopping off for lunch the kids had a picnic whilst Martyn, the Mr & I had chips & burgers from Scoff & Sip.

Having lined our stomachs the Mr was of course on the Goody Ales again. Although Goody Ales themselves weren’t there the beer stall had beers from several breweries.

Goody Ales

Martyn & I headed over to the Kent Cider Company for a delicious Strawberry cider. I’ll definitely be after a bottle to take home next time! Very tasty & certainly packs a punch. I’ve recently lost my love of cider but I think I may have found it again in the strawberry cider.

Kent cider co

 

With the day almost over we had a little look around the castle grounds before dropping the boys off. It was a lovely day all round although quite pricey for rides & treats. Luckily there was enough going on that the kids didn’t moan too much about going on rides.

 

Have you ever been to the Rochester Dickens Festival before or is it something you’d be interested in?

Our Day Out On Vintage Buses

We had a fun day out on vintage buses last month run by Ensign bus as a Christmas special! The Mr had seen the day advertised online & decided we should head to lakeside for lunch on a vintage bus. I had absolutely no idea Ensignbus had s vintage fleet! Or a blog.. Which is pretty interesting if your a bit of a vintage lover too!

We were all quite excited when our bus to lakeside pulled up. The girls were surprised to get on at the back and how different it looked compared to the buses we usually use.

 

Eva was impressed when the conductor came and sold us our tickets once we had sat down. He gave her the Ensign Christmas Special brochure along with our bus tickets. She loved watching how the tickets were printed on the old ticket machines. We took a good look around the bus we took to lakeside and pointed out things we don’t see on new buses.

 

 

 

We're on a vintage bus to lakeside! Shame we can't do the christmas market tomorrow but this is awesome too! 😆

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

 

 

I loved the vintage seats and wooden flooring through both decks of the bus. I only just remember riding buses like these as a child so it was really cool to ride on one over 20 years later! We all quite enjoyed ourselves and it was lovely to see the girls so fascinated and interested in the different buses.

 

We decided to head for lunch and Eva came across the Play Mobil display around the Christmas tree in the centre of lakeside and had to get a quick picture with a knight and shook his hand!

Dat out on vintage buses

After lunch we headed back to the bus station to find we had a short wait for our bus home. That was fine by us, it meant we had a bit of time to look at some of the other vintage buses. I quite liked this bus and was lucky to get a good few different shots of it as it wasn’t in running condition at the time and had been towed to lakeside for static viewing.

 

 

 

My absolute favourite picture of the whole day was an edited shot of the X55 to Gravesend. Using colour splash I ended up with this lovely picture I shared on my Instagram account.

 

 

#vintagebus #ensignbuschristmasspecial #ensignbus #X55 #vyj808 #redbus #vintage #buses #vintagebuses

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

 

 

Before our bus home arrived this huge Americruiser thing pulled up. As it was a class 5 it offered free tours around the area which the Mr and the girl’s discovered so we climbed aboard for a quick ride.

Izzy especially loved this one, she loves the buses and the bigger the better. She ‘drove’ us to the pub for most of the way with her eyes fixed on the road causing us to giggle our heads off.

Izzy 'driving' the bus to the pub 🙈😂😂😂😂

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

We returned back to Lakeside bus station and finally jumped on a vintage bus home. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of our last bus home but I did get these few shots of the inside.

We saw a lot more buses and I took ton’s of photo’s but these ones are definitely my favourites. I love looking at and learning about vintage vehicles which some of you may have noticed from Instagram. The Mr and I both enjoy taking photo’s of anything old and a bit different. We play bit of a game trying to get shots of vintage cars we see around and we both took plenty of the buses! Overall it was an interesting and fun day seeing all the different buses even though it was freezing.

Do you love vintage buses or vehicles in general ? Or have an interest in anything vintage?

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit!

We’ve started getting into the Christmas spirit already which you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram!Christmas spirit

 

We’ve been counting down the days until Christmas and doing lots of planning and making! The girls have made a few Christmas cards & pictures & Eva made an rather long paper chain!

Out and about

 

On Friday we popped into town for the Christmas Light show.The girls got a ride on the little Trains, ate hot doughnuts, made elf badges & collected their hoof bell which was part of ‘Come as yourself leave as an Elf’. It was fairly busy and the girls were quite tired so we didn’t do them all but the girls really enjoyed themselves. 

 

Eva was particularly happy to have Anna & Elsa head straight for her to have a good 5 minute chat! Belle tried to join in too bit seemed a little upset as Eva pretty much ignored her.. Although in all fairness Anna was rather talkative haha!

We didn’t stay to watch the lights being turned on as it was freezing & the girls wanted to go home for dinner. But we did return the next day so the girls could get a picture with the tree!

Every day we have been adding doing something Christmassy (yes that is a word as is Christmassing 😉). The Mr has been repainting the living room for Christmas.. based on an an idea Eva had. He has gone slightly crazy and come up with a brilliant/crazy idea! I can’t wait to share with you all so look out for my next Christmassy post!

The girls bedroom is slowly getting there too with their Christmas tree up, tinsel on their chest of drawers & the ‘Santa please stop here’ sign the girls made!


Are you getting into the Christmas spirit yet? Have you been making or buying anything special?

A Day Out In Southend

Southend-On-Sea has been a favourite place for me since my childhood. I only went a few times as it can be quite an expensive day out but it always seemed so magical with all the rides, arcades & the beaches. It’s changed a lot over the year’s & there’s so much to do along the seafront, which can be pricey, but as we found it doesn’t have to be.

Normally the travel costs are a big issue for us but C2C are letting children travel for £1 when you buy an adult ticket. The return journey only cost £11.30 for the 3 of us.

I’d read on facebook about the lagoon beach & decided to head there first as the tide was going to be out for most of the day. I was impressed to find the deck chairs were free! We even managed to find some to sit on even though it was quite busy.

Eva was so excited & couldn’t wait to get in the water so she ran off instantly and went in about waist deep before thinking she was drowning and coming out again. She did go back in a few times to her knees though.

Southend

Izzy on the other hand wasn’t impressed with the water at all and spent almost half an hour on a deck chair. Digging up small bits of sand into her bucket trying to avoid actually touching it.

Eventually I managed to get Izzy to sit in the sand and play properly whilst Eva was turned into a mermaid. They both had loads of fun especially with Izzy tearing apart one fin every time slim began the other haha!

Izzy eventually decided to brave a wander and ended up playing on the play frame with 2 other girls, another Isobella (Bella) and an Ava which was quite amusing when their mum told me!

We stayed at the lagoon beach for well over an hour and a half and on a slightly cooler day I imagine you could sit down there for hours. I would definitely recommend visiting the Lagoon if your ever in Southend.

We went on the hunt for some toilets after Eva attempted to shower herself off using the free shower when we left. I forgot about the adventure island toilets after a long walk we ended up having to buy a drink in a pub so Slim got himself a pint. I had a Coke and we got the girls an fruit shoot icy.

We actually had a much cheaper day out than I expected too. Admittedly we did put a few pounds into the 2p change machines for the girls though which they really enjoyed! 

Eva won a minion pencil and an owl keyring, she was so proud of herself for winning but was sad Izzy hadn’t won anything so when we got home she decided to give Izzy the pencil who gave her a lovely big kiss and cuddle & said thank you!

The girls were pretty exhausted already after another hour or so in the arcades. Especially as it was such a hot day, so we decided to take a slow walk to find a stall where we could buy some sticks of rock to take home. The girls spotted a slush puppy stand. And decided they wanted one instead of rock or sweets and decided to get a Twister Straw cup each to drink so they could take home the cups afterwards, Eva got excited as she had the last pink cup & Izzy of course went for a red one!

I asked the girls what they wanted to do next & as they were tired they wanted to head home.

We took a slow walk back to the station watching the buskers perform. Then stopping to treat the girls to McDonald’s before getting our train home.

Although we only spent around 4 hours in Southend & spent very little money, it was a lovely day out and the girls really enjoyed themselves. Both of them kept thanking me & Eva said it was the best day ever! It was a lot less stressful than I expected it to be too so it’s given me quite a boost.

There’s so much to do in Southend and I am hoping C2C run the same scheme next summer. I found out too late this years. I know Eva really wants to go back to Adventure Island for the rides & the sea life centre as its been a few years since she last went & Izzy has yet to go.

Have you visited any Essex beaches this Summer? What did you think of them?

A Day Out At Wat Tyler Park

Wat Tyler Park in Pitsea, Essex is one of my all time favourites from when I was a child. It’s changed a fair bit over the years but it’s still a beautiful place to go for a day out especially for kids. It covers 125 acres and sits within the South Essex Marshes,it is definitely one of my favourite places. There is so much to see and do there that I’m sure I’ll cover much more in a future post

I took Eva a few times when she was small but without a car we just haven’t had a chance to get over there in a good few years. Izzy hadn’t been yet & I couldn’t wait to take her, so when I heard the bouncy castles were back again this summer I knew I had to arrange a day at Wat Tyler for the girls.

We arrived around 12.30pm on Friday as the bouncy castles opened at 1pm but we had taken a picnic with us and wanted to get the kids sat down eating before they went off to play. The kids couldn’t wait to get bouncing so munched their food quickly and asked to go get their wristbands to bounce.

The wristbands for the bouncy castles were £7 for children over 3 and £4 for under 3’s, although you could pay for a full wristband for younger children as long as you keep an eye on them.. With the 3 older girls to keep an eye on Izzy I decided to pay for a full wristband for her so she could go on one or two of the bigger bouncy castles with them.

The bouncy castle days are run by Go-bonkers and I have to say I was quite impressed with the selection. There was a small area for the under 3’s which had 3 castles in, a tiny one, a slide one & a bigger slide & play area inflatable. There was also a pile of big soft shapes for the little ones to build & play with which Izzy loved, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get many pictures across the day as Izzy kept me fairly busy but I did get this lovely shot below of Izzy bouncing.

Bouncing at Wat Tyler Park

For the bigger children the inflatables included a basketball lane, gladiators ring, football court & climbing wall as well as 2 normal large bouncy castles and a play castle called the shuttle which all the girls really enjoyed and Eva was over the moon she managed to get to the top of the climbing wall! I wish I had got a picture but I was in the smaller area with Izzy at the time.

I normally find these types of events so pricey and stressful but I have to say for what was there for 3 hours bouncing I would happily pay for both girls to go again! Each inflatable was watched & children were timed by a member of staff, meaning there were no kids crying they hadn’t had a turn and Eva didn’t keep coming back complaining older kids were being mean or not letting her play which we’ve had at other places.

The whole thing was laid out really well, meaning we could take the younger 2 in the small play area and still see every other inflatable and keep an eye on where the older 3 were, without bothering them & panicking too much. Eva behaved amazingly and I think it was mostly to do with being able to just go and play without being followed around.

I took both girls into the visitor centre to buy themselves a little something to take home & Izzy chose a small ball I would normally only pay £1 for which cost £2, so a little over priced, however Eva chose a pen with pictures on (£1) & a small notebook (60p) which was quite reasonable.

The inflatables were in a field next to the large play area in Wat Tyler so the kids loved being able to go and play in there after they were done bouncing. Eva loved the huge tunnel slide and spider-man frame and spent ages showing off to her Uncle Alex who joined us halfway through the after.

The park can be a bit manic at times so I was relieved my brother was there to run around with Eva whilst I kept an eye on Izzy who spent ages playing in the tunnels and going up and down the slide on the smaller play equipment. I was a little gutted the roundabout and the hamster wheel were fenced off as my brother and I loved them as kids!

Once all the kids were well and truly worn out we popped by the little outdoor cafe by the visitor centre and got an ice cream for the kids before jumping in my friends car and heading home.

Minus our picnic I spent around £3o which covered both girls wristbands plus I paid for a small wristband for Izzy’s friend James, the bits the girls bought in the visitor centre & 5 ice creams.

I was a little gutted my friend who had driven us there suddenly had to leave early otherwise I would have loved to have walked down to the boats with the girls & shown them the miniature train amongst other things around the park!

With so much to see and do around the park that even without the inflatables it’s a lovely day out & doesn’t have to cost a penny with free parking & toilets/changing room in the visitor centre. It’s such an interesting place for all ages I would definitely recommend stopping by for a visit if you are in the area and next time I go I will make a point of taking more pictures!

* Please note this is not a sponsored post.