I need to start this post off by stating a very obvious fact – I have not blogged properly in a long time. Clem finished preschool at the end of July, and since then I haven’t had five minutes to myself! Although she only went to preschool 3 days a week I didn’t realise until the Summer holidays started just how much I needed those 3 days! However now the holidays are coming to an end and this week sees a big change for us all. She is starting reception class, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it!! I know that Clem is, she is very excited and can’t wait to meet new friends and see her new school.
At the start of the holidays I decided to make a list of things to do this summer. I think we did pretty good and managed to do almost all of them. The only ones we didn’t really get around to doing were go rock pooling, blow bubbles or bake together. Although Clem did do the last one with her nana so that could count.
We went to Saltdean Lido a few times, and I can highly recommend it. Although you will need to be quick as the current season finishes on September 9th. The main pool is heated, and there is also a kids pool with a small slide and splash fountains. We also took her swimming most weekends to the local leisure centres which means her swimming is really coming on. She also swam in the sea which was a big deal as she isn’t a huge fan of it.
August was a very busy month for us, with the most important event being Clems 4th birthday.
We kept things small and had a little picnic in the park, and my mum came to stay for the week. We also used our annual passes for the Sea Life Centre and went to check out the Lego event they had on over the Summer. You had to hunt for clues in the tanks, which formed a word. You could then get a special Lego mini figure. They also had a big Lego mosaic that you could help to make as well as a Lego pit filled with bricks to make things with. The glass tunnel in the centre is actually closed from this week until next year for refurbishment and we can’t wait to see the improvements.
Whilst my mum was here we ate ice cream on the pier, played on the 2p machines and won a whole load of tickets. If tickets are what you want I can highly recommend the Jurassic Park game. August is also Pride for Brighton. For a whole week the city comes alive with rainbows and glitter. This year had the added bonus of Britney Spears headlining the festival. Last year I just watched the parade and then wandered around town just soaking up the atmosphere. But this year I headed to Preston Park for the full event. Britney was actually really good – yes she lip synced but her dancing was amazing!
One of the things that I was really excited about was Secret Cinema. If you haven’t heard of them before they put on immersive cinema experiences. The summer one was Baz Lurhmanns Romeo & Juliet which was one of my favourite films as a teen. In the past they have done Blade Runner, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, Moulin Rouge and more. A few weeks before I received my summons from Captain Prince. I was part of the Vipers, a Montague gang. My clothing instructions were to wear blue and white and come ready for a party. I was also instructed to create a sonnet, a confession, take some peace offerings and a ribbon. I only took a ribbon and peace offerings but I definitely went ready for a party.
“Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?”
As soon as we arrived I was in awe. They had recreated a lot of the main areas of the film. They screened the film on a giant screen in Sycamore Grove, had a fun fair with a carousel and ferris wheel. The Capulet mansion had drag queens, dj’s and various other performers. The Montague’s base was the garage, which also doubled as the apothecary. The actors were so good at getting everyone involved in rap battles, dance offs and secret missions.
One of the big things with Secret Cinema is no phones. As soon as you arrive you have to put them in a sealed bag. However as the film is pretty 90’s tastic disposable cameras were allowed and being sold on site. So I obviously had to take one. I haven’t had it developed yet and I have no idea if the pictures will even come out. But I can’t wait to find out!
The last thing we did this Summer was go camping. Jess had a week off of work so we headed off to the New Forest for a few days. We went last year in April for 2 days and it was absolutely freezing. Luckily the weather was much nicer this time. We stayed at Hollands Wood campsite in Brockenhurst and it was perfect for kids. We camped in a tent and it was actually fine. Clem found it so exciting. She stayed up late and saw the stars. We explored the woods, found secret dens, rope swings and climbed over fallen down trees. The New Forest is famous for its ponies and I can confirm they really do just wander everywhere, including our tent!
On the last morning we woke up to a pony in our tent – well the front porch. We accidentally left some unwashed plates and a bag of rubbish in there which obviously it sniffed out. If you are planning on going camping in the New Forest don’t do that. It was a really nice way to wind down the Summer holidays and get ready for the changes that are coming.
I think we’ve had a pretty great Summer, but now comes the real fun. Clem starting school is a big thing and I’m not sure I’m really ready for it. However I need to be, it’s happening and I can’t stop it. I know she will love it, we did a try on of her uniform today and she wanted to keep it on all day.
I hope everyone else had a great summer, and if you have a little one starting school for the first time I know exactly how you are feeling.