Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dog walking

It's rather nice having a dog again and now that Fizz is old enough to come out on a proper walk with the family it makes us all feel quite complete.

We are just back from a lovely walk along a local stream, where there are managed ponds and plenty or wildlife. It's a great place to walk dogs, away from the hustle and bustle of the town and yet not a long drive away. There are no roads really near and the paths are easy to walk.

Despite that I managed to take a tumble 3 times! Prompting Mr TS to demand I take a walking stick next time. I hate walking sticks. Although as I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (a neuropathy, affecting muscle strength and balance) I guess it's inevitable that a walking stick will be needed soon.

Of course delightful teen daughter found it hilarious when I fell in the mud, I think Fizz just thought I was unleashing my inner dog! And while it was messy I wasn't hurt.

South Downs in the distance
South Downs to the north

The walk has some lovely distant views of the South Downs, and had we walked along to the end of the stream we would have reached the sea, and a pleasant dog friendly cafĂ©, but we turned back at the half way point.

family and dog walking in the countryside
Towards the sea


wheat field
Across toward the farmland

The blossom was out on the blackthorn and we saw several butterflies. The ponds were full of plump tadpoles, which may grow up to be newts as there are newts, frogs and toads in the ponds.

blackthorn blossom
Blackthorn Blossom (sloes in the making!)

river bank

peacock butterfly on nettles
Peacock butterfly sunning itself on the nettles

Fizz spent the time discovering that water (if shallow) is fun.

border terrier on a walk
Fizz relaxing

border terrier in action
Action Shot

border terrier running
Fizz racing about after getting a cold tummy

border terrier leaping in water
Leaping

border terrier in water
pretending to be an otter

Monday, 3 April 2017

Stepping back in time - Festival Ticket Giveaway!

If you had a TARDIS where would you go? Not just in space, but in time?

Last year I went back in time for a weekend to a festival in the grounds of a castle and I lived the life of a medieval peasant for a few days at Englands Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux. Maybe I was a bit of an historically inaccurate peasant to be fair, I had elastic in my underwear, but it was a fun weekend!

win family tickets to england's medieval festival

I learned lots about weaving and wool dyeing. I was thrilled by the battle reenactment (seeing arrows raining down was pretty dramatic!) I drank mead and watched hogs being roasted, my daughter and I laughed at the mud theatre and were in awe of the knights at the joust. And of course I loved dressing up to fit the part.

herstmonceux medieval festival

If you love to dress up, like history (or have kids that like horrible histories), camping, food, festivals or fun this is the festival for you! You can join in as much as you like, dress up and wander the encampments, chatting to the vikings, or just lay in the sun with some cider and a magazine while festival drums and music play around you, the choice is yours.

children at a medieval festival learning sword skills

And if you think that sounds like your tankard of ale then you can win tickets for the entire family here on the blog! (camping included - bring your own tent!)

Yes I am providing you with your very own TARDIS (It's faulty obviously - you can only go to Herstmonceux , and England's Medieval Festival in it, but beggars can't be choosers!) so grab the family and get your medieval 'glad rags' on. Good Luck!

The family weekend festival tickets are worth an amazing £250
The Festival dates are 26th - 28th August so if you are free then - why not enter the giveaway!


2017 will be the largest event the castle has ever seen and will celebrate 25 years of England’s Medieval Festival. To share in this special silver anniversary the festival are offering 25 couples celebrating their own 25th wedding anniversary free festival tickets so spread the word.

‘Step back in time and join the spectacular celebration’

And if you just can't wait (or only want to pop in for a day) you can also get 10% off your England's Medieval Festival ticket price using the code MUMS10 at the checkout 

young girl dressed as a princess with sword at a medieval festival




Disclosure : I will be attending the festival as a guest. But all words and thoughts about the festival are my own

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The female traveller and the Mooncup


I admit I toyed with Enid Blyton style titles for this blogpost. Five Go Camping with a Mooncup. Secret Seven and the Mystery of the Perfect Sanitary Protection. Third Form at Mooncup towers.. yeah I know, I'm losing the plot.

But! The mooncup is the perfect sanitary protection for the female traveller.


The mooncup has many benefits. If you need to deal with monthly bleeds, then you will no doubt be aware of  some of the options around. They are mostly disposable like tampons made of cotton or rayon/cotton mix or sanitary towels made of paper and chemical gels, etc.
There are also reusable towels, but these, while very enviromentally friendly, are a pain to wash and dry when travelling, especially if you are camping and it's raining.

women menstruating do not attract bears
Note : Menstruation does not attract bears according to science

The mooncup is an environmentally friendly option, not adding to landfil, and it's a cheaper option, needing only a single purchase. It's internal sanitary protection too, so there is no odour (that might attract those pesky bears) . Use of the mooncup has no risk of toxic shock syndrome and can be used when you have the contraceptive coil in situ as well. The mooncup is simple to clean, needing only a rinse with water.

So for the menstruating traveller the mooncup is really the only choice. You pack it and forget it, until you need it, it's the size of a small eggcup and lives in its own little cotton pouch until mother nature comes a'calling. Then it's easy to insert (wash your hands first, no one needs a fanny full of ferns) and it can be emptied and rinsed and reinserted as required, with no danger of TSS you can happily leave it in for several hours.

curled fern

The mooncup sits low in the vagina, not high up near the cervix like a tampon does and so you may need to snip off a bit (or all) of the stem before you use it. The act of insertion and removal takes a bit of practice too, both to get insertion right and to ensure you've got a safe 'seal' once it's in. I recommend practicing at home especially in the shower. There is a knack but once you've practiced it becomes a very simple, quick easy procedure.

For long trips it's great, no need to learn to ask for sanitary protection in foreign languages if you are travelling around Europe, no worries about running out of supplies halfway up a mountain, and no problem disposables to dispose of in the wild, just a little blood to empty and bury along with any other body wastes (not near the camp! Think bears!)

If you think the mooncup could be just what you need, I have an affiliate link here where you can buy one. Let me know how you get on!



Monday, 20 March 2017

25 Amazing Years

Yes I've been married 25 years this year! I know, I don't look old enough etc etc

Unfortunately Mr Tentsniffer is more of a Hotel-lover than a tentsniffer and so while we share a marriage we rarely share a tent! Which just goes to show that time apart is at least as important as time together.

But whether you and your beloved camp together or spend weekends apart, and even if you have no significant other, if you like festivals, fields and fun of a historical nature you need to be thinking about England's Medieval Festival who are also celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year! (and if you are celebrating 25 years of marriage too - click the link as there are some FREE tickets available for you!)

England's Medieval Festival

So an extra special festival of historical fun and frolics in the English countryside is planned in August and it's not something you should miss. I went for the first time last year, and can vouch for the relaxed nature, the wealth of shopping experiences, the delicious mead and the excellent entertainment for kids and adults alike!

The more warlike of your kids may enjoy sword school or archery, or even axe throwing! While the gentler children can watch puppet shows, magic shows, and laugh (from a safe distance) at the mud theatre.


England's Medieval Festival 2017 from England's Medieval Festival on Vimeo.

Tickets are available for weekend camping,  (and I advise this as there is lots to see and do and you really need more than one day, plus it's camping!!) glamping, and day visits. Use my special discount code MUMS10 to get 10% off your ticket price! (enter the code at the checkout) and if you book early you will get early bird discount too! (early bird prices valid until 31st March but 10% off code works anytime)

Dogs are allowed and medieval dress is encouraged.

dog dressed as a jester

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Top 5 Tips for Camping at Download Festival - Guest Post from Tattooed Tealady

Today on the blog, a beauty blogger gets down and dirty at Download festival and gives us the benefit of her experience. Much of her advice applies to all festivals, not just Download

Camping isn’t my usual topic when it comes to writing blog features, instead opting for beauty, lifestyle and parenting features over on my blog, Tattooed Tealady, but today I’m quite looking forward to being able to share something different, and what better place than here!

Today I’m going to run you through my Top 5 Tips for Camping at Download Festival, a metal festival held in the East Midlands at Donnington Park and the festival I have frequented the most over the past 8 years.

First things first, plan where you’re going to camp. Of course, you can’t guarantee you’ll end up in the camp site you want, but Download Festival does have a handy map which shows all the campsites and the earlier you get there, the more likely you are to land the spot you want. There’s different areas for different campers including standard camping, quiet camping, family camping and disabled camping, all situated generally in the same area, whilst disabled is right next to the arena. The space for Download Festival is huge, so you’re best off aiming for a camp which is closer to the arena and won’t take as long to walk back to after a long day of mosh pits. Blue Camp is a firm favourite, right near the walkway to the arena and next to the village and food stalls; it’s also one of the loudest and busiest camp sites at the festival, so don’t count on getting much sleep.

They don’t call it Brownload for nothing. Download Festival is becoming notorious for heavy rain and flooded camps over recent years, mainly down to the time of year the festival takes place and I don’t see the organisers changing the dates any time soon! Be prepared. Take waterproofs, take extra waterproofs, get your tent and belongings as secure as possible and be prepared to get wet. The last thing you want after an entire day in the arena standing in the rain, is to go back to a wet and soggy tent.


Whilst we’re on the topic of being prepared to get wet, make sure you pick a decent tent that will survive the weekend, because you don't need a collapsed tent and nowhere to sleep. As well as the rain, you’re set to have a windy few nights, with most of the main camps set out on open fields. Trust me, I’ve tried the bargain tent buys that I told all my friends would save me so much money to spend on alcohol, food and merchandise, to have it be completely useless at keeping me dry, keeping me warm or even keeping upright! Go for something that’s going to stand up to a bit of wear and tear; when festival season rolls around all the big brand names reduce prices and put on amazing sales, so you can always pick up a bargain buy.


Follow the rules. Oh, I know, rules were meant to be broken, right? Some are there for the benefit of everyone though and there are certain items, objects, drinks and whatnot that Download Festival simply won’t allow. Yeah you could risk it and see what you can sneak in, but it’s better to go with the guidelines and don’t risk taking anything you wouldn’t want to be confiscated or thrown out.
Always check the rules for any festival, as they usually have a full list and all the information you need about what you can and can’t take, which is particularly handy if you’re planning on providing your own food over the weekend.

Finally, make a tent a home. I’m not saying take the kitchen sink and your favourite childhood teddy, but festivals can be exhausting and sometimes making things a little cosier inside your tent and a nice little area to sit and relax before heading out to see the bands can make all the difference when it comes to the experience you have at a festival. Some of my fondest memories are sitting around a (safe and contained) camp fire with friends, drinking and getting ready for that night’s line-up, or coming back to the campsite after the bands have all gone home and having starting a party with all your neighbouring campers. Your camp is your base, your home for the weekend, so make it count.


If you’re heading to a festival this year I hope you have an amazing time! In the meantime, you can catch up with me over on www.tattooedtealady.com as well as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all under the username ‘TattooedTealady’.

Happy camping!