Today has been a marvellous example of a “free” day. Marvellous! And I am here to gloat about it. I have only lived in the area, erm, lets see, 9 years (*cough*) and whilst for 5 of those years my lack of local family-fun knowledge can be forgiven because my womb was yet to become a rental property, the remaining 4 years cannot.
HOW CAN I HAVE NOT KNOWN ABOUT “LIGHTHOUSE” or “SPEEN HOME FOR RETIRED HORSES”?!!!!
Lighthouse is like a massive festival, but for kids and it’s full of really lovely clean (as in hygiene and sober) people who welcome you with open arms and entertain your kids, for donations only. WOW. We are not a church-going family, and essentially this event is a religious based one. We go about ours lives with our own beliefs and thoughts so don’t know a lot of the religious community. But these people welcolmed us with open arms, not in a “here-is-God-shove-y-down-throat-y” kinda way. They were just well, pretty cool and welcoming. And they had proper bourbon biscuits.
During one sing-a-long where a Vicar was about to have an egg smashed on his head (the Easter story…apparently) Ed, taps me on the shoulder and then vigorously, in a stabbing motion, and totally without warning, points at the Vicar wearing a blue shirt and trilby and says
“THAT one…is my favourite”.
You can tell we don’t go to Church by his referring to a man in religious authority like he was a Thomas the Tank Engine toy, ergo suggesting ownership of the Vicar. Poor Vicar. He won’t want to live in our house – Our bourbon biscuits are supermarket own rip-offs.
Singing and interacting with Ed with him sat on my lap was whack. I was reminded of days at Bump and Grind (real name, Bounce and Rhyme) at the library when we used to go when he was a baby. Now, almost 4 and wearing hats to fit fully grown men (true story), it was a bit like attending a singing session with Benjamin Button (aged mentally 4 but physically 40) or that film “Jack” where Robin Williams ages reeeaaaally quickly. It was like bumping Lenny from “Of mice and men” about on my lap.
Of course, Alex wouldn’t interact. I started singing, totally enjoying the cool groovy vibes only for him to repeatedly shout “NO!” at me. This may have been his objection to my singing ability rather than “getting involved”. It was hot and I was tetchy so I just kept randomly joining in and whispering the lyrics in his ear. The ringing in my ears from him screeching was totally worth it for getting-one-over-on-the-baby satisfaction value.
We get in the car and I tune in to Twitter and am told by Tesco they are doing a 25% off their wine deal. Result! Off we go, me thinking 25% off?! It’s basically like winning the lottery!
Returning to the car with my Nobilo wine (25% offer saved me £30! I practically DID win the jackpot) to where I was parked in a kiddy space at Tesco’s I kept noticing these secret, stolen glances from the builders set up nearby who were doing work expanding the car park. Wow. This, I think, is pretty exciting! This NEVER happens to me. I started to think, maybe I look, slightly pretty today and get a bit embarrassed…I looked over at a builder who was TOTALLY sneaking looks at me. How equally exciting and embarrassing at the same time! I unload the shopping…slowly…put the kids in the car…holding in my gut…get in the car and reverse and flash a winning smile. Builder, rolls his eyes at his mate, mouths “finally” and plonks a bit yellow cone right where I was parked, starts up his drill and starts ploughing a big hole in to where I had been parked.
Oh. Just embarrassing then.
And then on to Speen to look at and admire some old manky donkeys and tired miserable horses. Or so I thought. Driving down the huge private drive to this Palace for the Equine, this Meca for the neighing breed, I realised I should have come here a hell of a long time ago. When I am old, I wan’t to retire here, lets put it that way. Its amazing.
Ed found his twin…in donkey form.
They are pulling the same face!
I knew for a fact I would end up talking loudly about how my dad used to be The Ass Master (as we called him – he looked after the donkies on the water wheel) at Carisbrooke Castle donkeys years ago (see what I did there? High fives self…which is essentially, clapping) and I did. Alex fluttered his eye-lids and caught an old lady for me, and I went in for the kill regailing my donkey knowledge. Poor old woman. Elderly and weak and unable to run away…
So, all in all, it has been a fab blooming day. *high fives self again. Kids ask me why I am clapping*
So, do any of you lot have any idea for free activities? Not parks. Please not parks. You know how I feel about parks. But, well, any other ideas or discount knowledge or inspiration would be greatly received.