Category Archives: Wales

A Day Out in Barrybados

You can see why we call it Barrrybados!

So yesterday school was closed for the strike, giving the kids and me a bonus day off. At their request we’d planned for a loom-band-and-lego-fest, and the playroom floor had even been cleared of the usual clutter all ready to go.

This all changed when my little girl came twirling up to be in her new (to her) teeshirt. ‘Look Mum! It says Beach Break! That’s what we should do today – go to the beach! Let’s all go to Barry Island for the day!’

Naturally my first thought was ‘The beach? On my own with the three of them? That’s bound to be a disaster’. Followed by ‘Beach? That means I’ll have to drive. And I’m still being a wimp about that. No way, Jose’.

So I mumbled something about we’d go to the beach another time, when I’d had a chance to get things organised. Only to be met with the rejoinder ‘MUM! What do we need to organise! It’s the BEACH! And the sun is shining! And we have a day off! And we’ll be really good, promise!’

So that’s how we came to be at the bus stop, with an enormous Clas Ohlson bag filled with a blanket, towels, swimmers, sun cream, balls, hats, drinks, buckets, spades and fishing nets. There’s something about kids on a trip to the beach that seems to make everyone smile – even the bus driver didn’t grumble when he had to stop the bus and wrestle one of our fishing nets out of the door mechanism because it had slipped out of the luggage space. Whoops!

That set the tone for the day really. The kids were brilliant on the bus and the train to Barry Island (I’d forgotten that this is part of the adventure for them) and we all had such a lovely day together. It was a proper beach day, with rock pooling, football, digging to Australia, Crazy Golf (more like Crazy Hockey the way we played, but still!), a fish and chip lunch and of course an ice cream at Marco’s.

Crazy Hockey
Digging to Australia
Looking for Pirates

We all had such a wonderful day together, and I learnt a couple of lessons – firstly that though I haven’t really noticed it happening, everything is easier! Even last year I wouldn’t have taken the three of them to a crowded beach on my own – I just wouldn’t have felt that I could manage them all safely. And secondly, that everything does not have to be organised to the nth degree – sometimes the best days are completely random and *twitches slightly* not planned at all!

I’m linking up for the first time in far too long with the brilliant Country Kids at Coombe Mill – why not go and check out some more adventures in the great outdoors, planned and unplanned!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Now listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

Hello you lovely lot *waves* um, it’s me, again. Right. Ahem. Er, it’s about the Wales Blog Awards.

Now I know a while back I asked you kindly to give me a shout out in the Mum and Dad Blog Awards for Best New Blog, and lots of you did – for which, a huge thank you/diolch yn fawr iawn. I didn’t make the final cut but I was really chuffed to receive nominations in the New Blog category, as well as a few others – including Most Entertaining (I presume that means accidentally) and Best Family Fun, sadly a view which my kids don’t share!

To be honest, I found asking for votes a bit cringy. Worse even than asking people for sponsorship – that’s hard enough, but at least you can big up the fact that you’re asking for money for a Good Cause. Unfortunately there’s no way of pretending that votes for an award will do any good for anyone, except provide a temporary boost to my sense of self worth and give the long suffering husband a night off while I go to the awards shenanigans.

So it is with a grimace and a wince that I write this…

Right. You might have read my post a couple of weeks ago where I rather gobsmackedly shared the news that I am a Wales Blog Awards finalist for ‘Best new Blog’ category – I still cannot even believe I am writing that, by the way! Well, all the blogs in the final are also up for the People’s Choice award, which is decided by – you’ve guessed it – voting.

I actually wasn’t going to ask for votes for the People’s Choice Award. I’m up against so many amazing blogs, and also let’s face it, there really isn’t any way to make a begging post an interesting read, whichever way you dress it up. But then I read that the winner gets the chance to write four pieces for WalesOnline – and you know what, I really, REALLY want to grab any chance I can to get some proper writing experience under my belt.

Now listen very carefully. I shall say this only once…and then we shall never speak of it again. If you enjoy the blog, and if you could suspend your disbelief enough to put ‘LearnerMother’ and ‘People’s Choice Award’ into the same thought bubble, and then hold hold hold that thought whilst you do the one-click voting thing here, I would be simultaneously utterly gobsmacked at your poor taste and at the same time embarrassingly grateful. There, I said it! Phew! *mops brow and uncringes self*

And as always, whether you vote or not, thanks for reading!