You know when your child comes home from school, you look in their book bag, and then you see it, the dreaded letter that says: We would like you to make a model of a dinosaur. My reaction is yikes, my husband Mark's is woohoo!Read More
Who doesn't love spending a traditional day out with the family. Forget all the gadgets for a day, and spend some good old fashioned fun on a day out with the kids. Whether it's going for a picnic, skimming stones or picking blackberries, spending quality time as a family is really important.
Traditional family activities seem to be making a come-back. This weekend my husband Mark and I will be taking our two children, Amber, ten and Jacob, three, to the seaside for a bit of rock-pooling.
VisitEngland encourages families to experience life’s simple pleasures inspired by the tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin.
Enjoying a fish supper on Blackpool Pier, negotiating Hampton Court Maze and taking a stroll beside Hadrian’s Wall have been named as some of England’s greatest ‘simple pleasures’ according to a new study released today.
The new study on behalf of Egmont Publishing and supported by VisitEngland asked 2,000 parents to vote for the traditional activities, attractions and days out. The results provide a fascinating overview of the activities, which hark back to a bygone age when the great outdoors was considered the ultimate family tonic.
From learning to skim stones to fossil hunting, exploring castles and forests reaching from Northumberland to Treyarnon Bay, ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’s 25 Simple Pleasures’ were named as:
1. Enjoying a fish supper on Blackpool Pier, Lancashire
2. Indulging in afternoon tea, Devon
3. Picnicking on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District, Cumbria
4. Rock-pooling in Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall
5. Camping in the New Forest, Hampshire
6. Marvelling at Stonehenge, Wiltshire
7. Getting lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace, Greater London
8. Taking a stroll beside Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland and Cumbria
9. Boating day out on the Broads, Norfolk and Suffolk
10. Watching the puffins on the Farne Islands, Northumberland
11. Stargazing in Exmoor National Park, Somerset and Devon
12. Taking in the vista from the peaks at the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
13. Trying to make the Queen’s Guard laugh at Buckingham Palace
14. Watching the changing of the Guards at Windsor Castle, Berkshire
15. Fossil-hunting on Brook Beach, Isle of Wight
16. Exploring the famous White Cliffs of Dover
17. Playing Pooh Sticks at 100 Acre Wood, East Sussex
18. Rolling down the hills around Corfe Castle, Dorset
19. Visiting a honey farm in Devon
20. Skimming stones at Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumberland
21. Picking blackberries on Box Hill, Surrey
22. Riding a narrow boat through the canal ways, Birmingham
23. Taking in the grandeur of Chatsworth House from the park, Chatsworth, Derbyshire
24. Seeking out the deer at Richmond Park, London
25. Admiring Bamburgh Castle from the beach, Northumberland
The poll reveals that dining alfresco is a firm favourite, securing the first three slots in the top 10. No fewer than four National Parks appear in the full list of 25, highlighting our appreciation for England’s green space. Of these, two made it into the top 10.
Negotiating the maze at Hampton Court Palace was the only activity from the capital to make the top 10, although making the Queen’s Guard laugh came close at number 13. Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woodin East Sussex, the original destination for playing Pooh Sticks in A.A. Milne’s classic novel, was voted into the 17th spot, closely followed by another favourite activity Pooh would enjoy - visiting a honey farm at number 19. Overall, the South West of England came out on top as the area that offers the best opportunity to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, closely followed by the South East and the Midlands.
Nearly half of respondents claim their fondest holiday memories are from time spent in England, with having a picnic, taking a walk and building sandcastles coming out as the most memorable activities. Interestingly the research shows that kids today get outside almost as much as their parents did, with nearly 50% of families enjoying outdoors activities. Parents also highlighted just how precious quality family time is, with over a third saying they enjoy at least one family outing a month.
The ‘Simple Pleasures’ campaign was developed by and inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh to encourage modern families to enjoy the great outdoors whilst celebrating our great English heritage. The activities reflect the core themes in A. A. Milne’s best-selling books, which centre around a series of simple adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh and his close friends in the Hundred Acre Wood - including playing the game ‘Pooh Sticks’.
The top 10 have inspired a new illustrated guide for families featuring brand new artwork by Mark Burgess, who coloured the original E.H Shepherd Black & White art and the latest book ‘Return to the Hundred Acre Wood’. The guide is available to download for free from the VisitEngland website.
James Berresford, Chief Executive, VisitEngland said: “It’s great that respondents’ fondest holiday memories are from time spent in England and we are thrilled that Pooh’s simple pleasures can be experienced across the country. We hope the guide will inspire families to discover, explore and enjoy the best of England this bank holiday.”
Sarah Bates, Publishing Director, Egmont commented: “Winnie-the-Pooh shares many a simple adventure with his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood so he is the perfect character to remind us how to enjoy the simple pleasures that England has to offer.”
To download the guide, visit www.VisitEngland.com/WinnieThePooh
As I dived behind a chair at my daughter's 10th birthday celebrations, I began to think about how many photographs of our children we had taken in just a few short years.
We almost have a flicker book from when they were born to present day.
At my son's recent pre-school photograph, I was amazed that at 3 years old, the photographer took 2 shots of him and it was done. Not much coaxing or squeezing a noisy animal whilst jumping up and down behind the photographer and saying 'come on smile' was needed!
Kids are so used to having their pictures taken nowadays they aren't fazed by it. Which is ironic because with digital cameras you can take as many as you like, you only had 24 or 36 (which you could always squeeze a couple more snaps out of) pics you could take when I was young on a roll of film! Apologies if any younger people are reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about (I'm starting to feel old now). Have a look on Google!
I remember having my picture taken as a child, mostly by my Grandparents. My Grandma had one of those long thin cameras that had a tall flash that you slide on top of it, that looked liked a mini tray of ice cubes! We'd have to wait what seemed an eternity for the flash to be ready, it took so long, no wonder we had some corkers! She always managed to chop the top of our heads off which was a running joke when we had waited 2 weeks for the pics to be developed and at least one had a sticker over it saying it could be improved!
I have to say, my Grandma who has just gone 81 (don't tell her I said that, she will go mad), sends me a text at least once a week, so she has always been into modern things! She isn't on facebook, and I'd love to get her a little netbook to use it, she calls it faceache, and gets a bit annoyed because people find out things and see pictures on there before her and she was always the one to know what's going on first!
It's sad really as we never print out our digital pictures, when we had been on a family holiday when I was younger, the anticipation in waiting for the rolls of film to be developed and returned, then going to my grandparents houses and having an evening of showing those photos was a lovely thing to do. We don't do that anymore.
I love taking pictures of the kids, on my phone, with the small digital camera or my big digital SLR (still never had time to learn to use it properly).
I got a bit grumpy with my husband while on our daughter's birthday cinema and meal outing because he'd put a picture of me with our birthday girl and her friends at the cinema on to Facebook without me seeing it first!
Thank goodness for Instagram sometimes, because to be honest, that's the only time I'd be happy with a picture of me being made public, if it had gone through one of Instagrams lovely filters, oh and taken from a height, so I have no chin, erm... and only my left side, and head and shoulders only, ok!
I then started to think of how every time a photo opportunity presented itself, I would always say 'I'll take it, go on, you lot get together'.
The reason for this was I don't like my photo being taken!
This can depend on how I feel about myself that particular day.
In the last 20 years, my weight has fluctuated massively, I have clothes in 8 different sizes!
You will find plenty of pics of me when I was smaller in size!
It only occured to me at the latest get together, that my children won't have many/if any pictures of me when I'm not here anymore.
I know it sounds a bit of a morbid thing to think about, but I love to look back at old photos of my family, to bring back the memories to the front of my mind and step back in time just for a few minutes.
So I really need to pull myself together and start having my picture taken more, no matter what I feel I look like! Somethings better than nothing, right?
So here goes, the first step... here's a picture of me with my children, Jacob had chicken pox when this was taken!
I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below. Thanks.