Where has Summer Gone?

My children have recently been showing an uncharacteristic interest in the weather forecast and quizzing me almost daily. ‘Where has Summer gone Mummy?’ ‘But why do I need to take my raincoat?’ ‘But I’m wearing shorts!’ Note. Shorts apparently mean no raincoats required, must make a note to relay that to Mother Nature. Although in the kids defence the weather has been decidedly batty of late, rain in the morning, blistering sunshine for lunch followed by extreme winds at dinner, it just can’t decide which season it fancies being in. So as I sit here pondering whether (nice pun there) I dare put the washing out on the line I decided to look through my own curated version of the summer thus far (pictures can tell wondrous lies if you only take them when the sun comes out!)

IMG_6421This pic was taken at one of my favourite hideaways in the Peak District, hardly anyone else seems to go there and I always feel like I’ve stepped straight into Lord of the Rings as I leap about from stone to stone.
Apple tree blossom flowering in the sun.

IMG_6862Isn’t this Wisteria beautiful! I’d love some at home but it blooms for such a short space of time I only ever remember I want it when I see it out and about.

Rhododendron colour explosion! We have one mini dwarf rhododendron in our back garden which we keep in a pot but how I wish we had space for one of these giant beauties.

A happy dog enjoying the great outdoors, he’s never very keen to venture out when it’s rainy either.

When you’re a forest Pirate taking a rest on an obliging tree stump while checking your compass.
IMG_3072Finally a picture of this mega strawberry! I bought this just a few days ago and like to think that’s its growth (and flavour – super sweet) were encouraged by all this rain and sun combining and if that isn’t a reason to be semi thankful for all the bizarre changeable weather then I don’t know what is.

Explore! Rescue! Protect! Octonauts Training at Westfield Derby!

Octonauts ShowIf you’re not familiar with the Octonauts then chances are you don’t have any small children. They are popular (animated) underwater characters who spend their days dealing with sea-life emergencies. They explore the deep, rescue creatures that need help and protect animals from harm.

KwaziiIt’s a positive message that kids seem to really identify with. Yesterday they surfaced from the deep blue sea and made their way to Westfield Derby to train wannabe Octonauts (aka fans!) Timed wristbands were available to pick up from the concierge desk for the various shows throughout the day. Each show was entirely free and quite long to boot.

Octonauts ShowAs you might imagine the show was packed to bursting, it’s rare to get anything for free these days, let alone a decent length well rehearsed production. The characters sang and danced to all the familiar songs from the TV show, plus a couple of new ones. I am always amazed how the actors/dancers in these kind of shows manage to seem so agile while wearing extremely heavy costumes.Captain Barnacles

Captain Barnacles (the polar bear) and Kwazii (the cat) asked the audience to perform actions as part of their ‘training’ and amazingly no one was hurt as the huge crowd jumped and shifted about. There were some exceedingly well behaved children out in Derby yesterday 🙂

Octonauts ShowKids shouted out answers to questions about absent characters and seemed truly engaged throughout the entire production. I believe they may have already performed at other Westfield centres around the country, so definitely check out your local one if your kids might be interested.Captain Barnacles

If you missed the show yesterday don’t worry, Westfield are running an Octonauts themed colouring competition and treasure trail around the centre. Just pop along to concierge to pick up the relevant forms and don’t forget to check out the remaining free events scheduled throughout the summer holidays.Kwazii

For More information

For more wonderful events ranging from indoor shows through to craft activities visit Westfield Derby online.

Or you can contact the Westfield team on Twitter, or through Facebook.

Having a Pant-tastic Summer with Spongebob Squarepants!

In my last post I wrote about the challenge of keeping kids entertained at home during the Summer holidays, but what if you want to take a trip out? Not all activities have to cost the earth. For example our local shopping centre Westfield Derby runs kids events throughout the summer, all of which are free! For some of the events, such as craft activities you just turn up on the day. For others (like character meet and greets) you need to obtain a timed wristband from the concierge desk on the morning of the event. Westfield operate shopping centres throughout the country so it’s always worth checking out the website of your local mall to see what’s on.

We toddled along to Westfield Derby yesterday to meet SpongeBob Squarepants in the flesh/sponge. As you might imagine all my children were very excited at the prospect of meeting SpongeBob in ‘person’, so they prepared a short selection of jokes to share with him. Jokes such as:

Why did the hamburger cross the road? To Ketch-up with the fries!

Why did the Octopus cross the road? To get to the other tide!

Knock Knock! Who’s there? Fish! Fish who? Bless you!

That’s some comedy gold right there!

SpongeBob wobbled about in appreciation (his nose spun in circles!) before pausing to take a photo with the kids.

They all received a sheet of small SpongeBob stickers from NickToons, where SpongeBob is having a ‘Pant-tastic Summer’ on the channel everyday from 9am. See Nicktoons.co.uk for details.

As we left SpongeBob gave them all a larger sticker so they could proudly display their visit to the world!

For More information

For more wonderful events ranging from indoor shows through to craft activities visit Westfield Derby online.

Or you can contact the Westfield team on Twitter, or through Facebook.