Friday, 1 August 2014

Second Part of The Warwick Castle Glamping Review

Apart from Ebi-kun waking us all up with his night shouting, we all had a lovely nights sleep. Sir Stropalot woke up about 5.30am claiming to be hungry (his usual battle cry!), after a wee we managed to convince both young sirs that the rules said that everyone must stay in bed until 7am!

We had a great breakfast, filled our boots! The boys went out for more fighting to warm up for the day, it has to be said, for the boys it was an amazing experience, fighting from sun up to sun down!

Another perk of the glamping is that you can enter the castle grounds earlier than usual, we were headed up to the main part of the castle when we ran into a knight with his squire so we asked for a cheeky photo!

We started off the day with some Victoria schooling in the pumphouse. Highly amusing, the staff are brilliant, totally in character. I got sent to the corner and made to wear the Dunces hat, all because I said the word 'bottom'. Sir Stropalot didn't think much of the whole thing and was certainly not impressed when Di told him that this is what school is like - he starts in September! Poor kid!

We went back down to the Slimy Stuarts, the guy in the wig had us in tears the day before, hysterical! And in the morning, we were stopped by a member of staff and given a special key, there are only 3 of these keys in existence and they are to be given to exceptional members of staff. Although all the staff were brilliant, we decided that Slimy Stuart was the most entertaining. And here he is doing the Stuart rap before we presented him with the key.

Next up was exploring the rest of the castle, up and down all the towers, along the battlements, I was shattered! Great views from the top and some really pretty cottages.

Ebi-kun was all about the jousting and wanted to watch both tournaments in the afternoon. We knew the second time round where the best place to sit was and we also knew that they would be asking for favours for the knights. This time we were prepared and Di had a spare pair of bright pink lacy pants in her luggage! I'm not totally sure the knight was impressed even though they were clean.

And so the battle commenced....

The red and green knight were the Lancastrians (goodies) and the Black and Blue knight the Yorkies (baddies), the jester slits the audience so you can cheers for the one lot or the others. 

Top Tip!

For best viewing, sit near the middle but towards the bottom end of the field, that way you will get a great view (get there early) and get to be on the goodies side - and they just happen to be the handsome knights!

There is lots of jousting and hand to hand battles, and lots of cheating by those scumbag Yorkies...

There is also spearing hoops on fire, skewering the peasants head and setting fire to the rancid pig bladders - what fun!

The knights are obviously great horsemen, all of them stayed mounted but there were quite a few broken lances. It is obviously all choreographed but it's really well done. The knights, king and jester are all wearing microphones and there is a lot of silly banter going on, plus the Yorkies have a go at the crowd too!

Of course the handsome knights win in the end! And as soon as it's all over the place is over run with little boys (mostly) knocking shit out of one another with their swords. Absolutely brilliant, best fun ever!

If you can, I highly recommend the glamping, not only are there lots of perks but spreading the time over 2 days made it a much more enjoyable experience, we didn't feel like we had to rush all over the place and try to fit everything in. For the kids it was an amazing experience, although Sir Stropalot will probably just remember it as 2 days of continuous fighting! 

We didn't see much actually inside the castle this time, unfortunately we had left it until later in the day and the fire alarm went off and the castle was evacuated. It didn't make much difference really because we had plenty of other stuff to do.

And we'll finish with a nice shot of the castle because it really is quite pretty!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Warwick Castle with Sir Ninetoday and Sir Stropalot

For Ebi-kun's birthday I booked an over night stay at the glamping at Warwick Castle and invited my best mate Di and her little boy along too. We were coming from opposite directions and met up just before lunchtime.

There are some very cool perks to the glamping experience, one is that the carpark for the glamping is free and only a couple of minutes from the tents and the glamping site has a short cut up to the castle grounds, whereas the non glamping peasants have to walk a good 15 minutes from their car to the castle!

If you do go, either take swords with you or be prepared to buy one, Sir Stropalot (aged 4.5) had a foam one, which was just as well considering how much he was into fighting! Many small boys would have been going home with broken fingers and missing eyeballs otherwise. Sir Ebi-kun bought himself a wooden Excalibur from the shop.

We grabbed some lunch as soon as we arrived and then watched the jousting - better pics tomorrow because we weren't in a very good spot the first day. Then it was time to explore, we found these young hoodlums on our way...

The Horrible Histories were set up too and were hysterical, I really wish history had been this much fun when I was a kid. Here is the Gorgeous Georgian who told us all about using mercury to kill the head lice, which make your hair and eyebrows fall out. So you would the catch a rat, skin it and use a couple of slices of rat fur to make eyebrows! Delightful.

We did lots of exploring and around 4.00pm we headed down to the campsite. Each tent will sleep 6, they have a double bed, two singles and if you want more beds they put in a couple of airbeds. All with fresh linen and a wooden floor. Spotlessly clean. They also hide chocolate coins for the kids to find.

We were camped right at the far end which was lovely, the setting is beautiful, under all these old trees and next to the river.

We decided to go for the early sitting for the banquet, the food was delicious and you could just help yourself to whatever you wanted. The roast hog and cracking was superb and I maybe ate far too much! Cider was quaffed and much merriment went on.

I had sneaked a cake in earlier so the staff bought it out and we sang happy birthday but then we were too full to eat it! So we took it back to the tent.

I suppose you think that was it for the night but oh no...after dinner was school time. First up was archery school for Sir Ninetoday, he has been asking to do this for months so I was chuffed that he finally got to do it. All this is part of the glamping package.

Then both the boys joined knight school, which is where they learned sword skills

And jousting skills...

Then at the end they were knighted! The staff are brilliant and this fella at knight school was really good, funny too.

Finally we got the boys into bed (and my mom) and me and Di went to find some Good Knights, well actually the bar and to take some silly photos for her comping habit. We had a good chat and a chinwag, then headed off to bed around 11pm. Ebi-kun did wake us up shouting "Stop, Stop" but he didn't realise because he was still asleep. The next morning he said it was because he was dreaming someone was trying to steal his sword!

Lots more photos tomorrow and I will share my top tips to get the most out of the experience!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The next top golfer...

Mom has some mini gold clubs, so Ebi-kun has been out of the green practicing...

This does lead onto an open busy road so it's a bit worrying letting the kids whack balls around, the clubs are just the right size for him this year though so he needs to get the practice in!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Almost Nine Birthday BBQ

We arrived safe and sound, very long trip but fairly uneventful! Doha airport was rather nice, some great play sculptures and super clean.

We arrived in Manchester just after lunchtime and headed home for a cheese and beetroot buttie (sandwich!)

Yesterday the family descended at the house and Ebi-kun got a few presents then we went up to the local pub for a BBQ. 

Hanging with his cousin, who I hardly recognised, he has shot up! 

After we had eaten we had a round of pass the parcel, this was a very low tech, old skool birthday party - mainly because that was all I could be bothered with!

More presents, and help from the girls...

Followed by a Storm Trooper cake, which Ebi-kun decided was too sweet.

The weather was lovely, all the kids got on and it was great to catch up with everyone. This is Kate who actually lives in Japan but is from the same town, so she came over with her girls too.

Lovely day by all accounts! 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Blast From The Past…Boys Themed Birthday Parties

These next two weeks I have lots to get through work wise but don't want to just leave you hanging, so I have dug up the archives and found some great posts for you!

Boys Themed Birthday Parties

Star Wars Party parts one and two

Ninjago food, decorations & goodie bags, games

Knights and castles Cake part 1, Cake part 2, the party

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Blast from the past…tutorial fun

These next two weeks I have lots to get through work wise but don't want to just leave you hanging, so I have dug up the archives and found some great posts for you!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Happy Almost Birthday To You…

So, last weekend we were supposed to go camping but due to very dodgy weather we cancelled but it did mean that we got to have a nice relaxing weekend instead. I managed to get into Tokyo for a hair cut - and got lucky because my stylist was still busy so I got an extra long massage, ohhh yeah!

Then we met at a friends house for some good food, beer and company, the boys had fun playing football in their undies in the rain - I'm not sharing the photos until one of them gets married!

Then Sunday we had the usual Aikido followed by lunch and shopping, I took a sneaky nap whilst the boys watch the match on TV.

And then Monday, which was a national holiday, we had Birthday celebration #1. Ebi-kun wanted to celebrate with daddy - since we will be in the UK for his actual birthday but reading between the lines, he couldn't wait to get his birthday present!

I managed to rustle together a Golden Snitch Cake (from Harry Potter), I made carrot cake and baked it in a Christmas pudding bowl, made two then sandwiched them together with cream cheese icing. I just happened to have some gold cake spray to spray it all with and finished it off with some golden wings. I was pretty impressed with myself for such an impromptu effort!

And his present…a Jboard, he has been pestering for one for ages and it is the transportation of choice down our road! Didn't take him long to get the hang of it and now they have a course drawn on the road with chalk, the kids have been busy!

All in all a lovely weekend. Now it's just a mad rush to do the packing and get all my work wrapped up, ready to go.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Blast From The Past…Artist Inspired Days

These next two weeks I have lots to get through work wise but don't want to just leave you hanging, so I have dug up the archives and found some great posts for you!

Artist Inspired Days

Yamamoto-san salt art

If these posts are you kind of thing, you will love my book…

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