That was the weekend that was

That was our half term that was: from Madame Tussauds to Derby Museum

Why is there a tendency to make life more complicated than it needs to be?

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to. The massive juggling act that is motherhood / leadership day job / blogging / instagramming / being a good daughter to aging parent / being a good partner… well let’s just say that the balls appear to get heavier and more complicated each year. I’m not even sure that it’s balls I’m juggling. Sometimes it feels more like I’m juggling burning clubs. Which may look impressive from a distance, but hurt more when you miss.

The point is that I’ve tried to combat not blogging as much by making myself very complicated blogging action lists, with rotating lists of themed blog posts, and series ideas that reflect my interests and those of my readers blah blah blah.

You know what was simpler? When I just used to get back from the Monday school run (my day off from the day job) and just write haphazardly about what I did at the weekend. Upload the photos from my phone, remember to resize them so the internet doesn’t break, forget about trying to photoshop out any background mess – and just publish.

So I’ve decided to go back to basics.

Which means, without further ado, on this depressingly cold and bleak February Monday morning – here is what we got up to at the weekend and over half term.

 

Hung out with Zoella – just kidding

zoella at madame tussauds

No I haven’t been hanging out in Zoella’s bedroom (although if I had been I would have told her to get her shoes off the bed).

Zoella is now a fixture at Madame Tussauds, immortalised in wax forever (or at least until bloggers and social influencers are no longer a thing). I do like Zoella – and she is a reminder that there is hope for all us bloggers!

Yes we were at Madame Tussauds over half term – call us masochists if you like, but we wanted to make the most of the last few weeks of our Merlin Passes (not a sponsored post – paid for out of our own pockets!).

I did blanch when I saw the queue snaking around the building, but for people with tickets in advance including Merlin passes the queue was a palatable 45 minutes, as opposed to two hours for the poor tourist families without tickets. I did feel for them. One big plus of having passes.

 

Hero worshipped Captain America

captain america at madam tussauds

Chiswick Boy never tires of gazing at the wax figures of the Avengers. And let’s face it, a lot of this stuff we do for the look on our kids’ faces right? Chiswick Boy loves Madame Tussauds, and even though we’ve seen the 4D Avengers film at the end multiple, multiple times – he still gets super excited and is transfixed.

I need to be honest and say that we didn’t have a good experience with the extra Sherlock Holmes experience (which is £5 a head on top of general entrance). We were so underwhelmed that my partner asked to see the manager, and he promised us that he would think about our comments, do some spot checking and email us back. I didn’t mention my blog because I just wanted to give our feedback and get a response wanted to get a response as a normal customer. We’re still waiting for the manager to email us back and I’ll let you know how we get on…

 

Chilled at Derby Museum

As you may know, I’m a Derby girl! And every couple of weeks or so we head back up to see my mum.

I was slightly horrified at the weekend, when it transpired that I had never taken Chiswick Daddy to Derby Museum. Seriously – I have taken every single ex boyfriend to Derby Museum and spent most Saturdays of my youth popping in to gaze in transfixed horror at the stick insect collection. (They no longer have a live animal collection.)

I think Derby Museum is a real gem – from mummies to the skeleton of the prehistoric Derby hippo, via a sobering and educational war exhibit and a small but perfectly formed art collection.

There’s also a large room of stuffed animals, and while it is strange with our modern day sensibility to realise that hobbyists and naturalists used to go out and captured rare butterflies and beatles, the exhibits have got a raw and poignant beauty about them.

beatles at derby museum

 

 

 

butterflies at derby museum

 

Shopped for independent designers at Design at 44

If you’re in Derby, then my hot tip for you is check out Design at 44 on Sadler Gate in Derby’s traditional and mainly independent Cathedral Quarter.

It’s filled with jewellery, mugs, prints etc from independent designers – at prices half the price that you’d find in London.

I fell in love with this pendant by Elizabeth Lenore from Nevermore Boutique.

pendant from nevermore boutique

Don’t you think that £14 is an incredible price for this piece of work?

What I love about buying from independent designers is that so many people win. I win, because it’s beautiful. Chiswick Daddy wins because he bought it for me, and had that warm glow from giving a gift. The designer wins because when she pops in the shop will be able to tell her that she’s made a sale and give her the £10 or however much she gets from a £14 sale. The shop wins because they get to pay their rent. The shop assistant wins because she gets her salary. And so on…

design at 44, derby

 

 

Wondered why kids’ fish fingers and chips comes on a slate.

I just think this looks odd.

fish fingers on a slate

 

My son’s been doing the Victorians at school, and slates should be something that children once wrote on, or that you put on roofs. They shouldn’t be something food is served on.

We were at the Kitchen on Sadler Gate. Now I’m going to say something contentious that people won’t like me for. Which is that I still seriously doubt that you can get a proper coffee outside of London.

The coffee here was passable. I’ve definitely had worse. But of course I’ve had a lot better. What can I say? I am a complete coffee snob. 

Fish fingers were yummy though, and served promptly. There was a pizza oven too – so we would go back to try out the pizzas.

coffee at the kitchen, derby

 

Admired my son’s Skylanders Collection

We’re very happy with the new display for Chiswick Boy’s (immense) Skylanders collection.

After considering a few different options, we went for these Mosslanda picture shelves from Ikea, at £8.95 each. If you have children of a certain age then you will no doubt know that *Skylanders come in different elements (affiliate link) – so we’re putting up a shelf for each element. They’re in the sitting room rather than in Chiswick Boy’s bedroom, as they look really aesthetically pleasing and after all the money we’ve spent on the figures (ha ha) I want to be able to enjoy them too!

skylanders display

 

So that’s some of the stuff we got up to at the weekend and over half term. What about you? 

Please note – link marked with * is an affiliate link.

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