Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Safety in the pool and the importance of a swimming hat

Over on Facebook today I saw a post sharing a truly frightening story of a young girl getting her hair caught in a pool filter while on holiday, and subsequently nearly drowning. She lost chunks of hair and had to be treated in hospital, she was lucky to survive this terrifying experience.

I have read about pool filters and the dangers of them before, and whether at home or abroad it's easy to forget safety when we are on holiday and having fun.

When DD was younger she had waist length hair and because wet waist length hair is a pain when you are trying to swim, we bought her a swimming hat. While she initially hated it and thought it looked a bit silly, she soon realised the benefits, no wet hair all over your face as you surface, no tangles after swimming (or at least a lot fewer than when it's loose) and even slightly better speed when swimming as there is less drag!

When we holidayed in Spain there were signs all around the pool telling guests to wear a swimming hat if their hair was longer than shoulder length and the hotel sold swimming hats so that there was no excuse. Initially I assumed it was some hygiene reason, less loose hair in the pool or something, but I soon realised it was more about safety.

Girl wearing a swimming hat in a pool on a rubber ring

All long hair gets tangled, more so when wet and it's easy to catch it on things, valves of floats, step handles and of course, pool filters.

So my reminder to you all - if you are going to be using a pool this holiday - take swimming hats! You can buy all sorts of pretty or funky ones online for kids and adults alike. (they don't need to be latex or rubber either, you can buy material ones that are more comfy)

Wear your hat with pride, and stay safe.

Jason Bradbury demonstrates that even when you have more hair on your chest than your head, you can still rock a swimming hat

Eat what you like, it's a holiday

At home I'm a fairly strict parent. I'm all about balanced diets, five a day, no fizzy drinks and minimal crisp munching. We make homemade cakes so that they are not over sweet or full of E numbers. Most of our meals are made from scratch. In fact DD is so used to having 'meat and two veg' that she's not that keen on junk food!

But when we are on holiday (which for us usually means camping, all of that goes out the window (or the tent flap).

I suddenly favour things that will 'keep' without a fridge. Snacks that are prepacked (and thus insect proof) and easy to carry, cartons of juice, bags of crisps, 'breakfast' bars (that we all know are just sugar thrown at some oats), of course nature has given us the banana, the perfect snack food, also the easy peel satsuma, but other than that I'm looking at manmade all the way.

teen eating an apple at a festival

A stay in a cottage in the Brecon Beacons

For the first time in years we had a family holiday! Mainly as I agreed not to insist on canvas so that my Dear Husband felt able to come with Dear Daughter and I to the Brecon Beacons in Wales, in October.

We rented a cottage from Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages, we have been using the company since before we were married! So probably about 25 years (is that really possible?) and this made us confident that we'd get what we paid for.We started using them because they have a really good selection of dog friendly places, and Wales is excellent for dog walks! (Bring flexi leads though - there are lots of sheep about)

As we hadn't been away as a family for years I splashed out a bit and we rented a lovely 2 bedroom cottage in Talybont on Usk, with wifi, real log fire and all modern conveniences.

We were delighted to find the cottage was better equipped than our own home, with sky TV, two televisions bigger than our home one, a dishwasher (another thing we don't have) and a washing machine and tumble drier. The kitchen had claimed 'well equipped' and in the past I've found this to be an exaggeration unless a potato peeler and a bottle opener are the limits of your desires but in the case of the Malt House Coach House this was no exaggeration, from mixer to electric carving knife, from cafetiere to microwave, from knives to toaster, with pans, cake making stuff, was amazing. (not that I did much more than grill Welsh beefburgers and fry Welsh fillet steak)

The wifi only worked at one end of the house which ended up being a blessing as it forced me to read when curled up on one of the various sofas in front of the log fire. (and all logs were provided) There were whole libraries of books, and DVDs for dark afternoons or wet days. On the last day of the holiday DH and I discovered there were hairdryers in each room too!

The cottage was perfect for lazy walks and pub visits - the nearest pub was across the road - and we spent some restful mornings wandering the canal. There was plenty to occupy us for the week and we were really spoilt. The young lady that welcomed was so helpful and friendly. In the summer the cottage even has use of a swimming pool, so we may well visit again.

We have all always loved the Beacons and this holiday was just lovely. I totally recommend Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages if you are after self catering accommodation in the area. Great for walking both canal side and mountain, for food, pubs and general relaxing.

Edited to add - This cottage in Wales is no longer available to rent for holidays, but you can still find your perfect Welsh Hoilday Cottage (many dog friendly) with Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages.

Heads up - a competition #campingmemories

Not my competition but one I saw online, you might like to try and win a camping holiday.

Fairly easy to enter via social media, though you'll have to act fast as it closes on 23rd August

The competition is being run by Stavely Head Insurance and you can find out all about it and the prizes here.


  • Follow Staveley Head on Twitter or like them on Facebook
  • Share your favourite (or funniest) memories of camping holidays by tweeting them @Staveley_Head or posting on their Facebook Page  using the hashtag #CampingMemories– photos are welcome too!
  • They’ll choose their favourite entry and announce the winner on the 24th August
and that's it!

I might have to tell them about the ants nest!

10 most annoying holiday moments and a film you might like...

car covered in mud in  a festival car park
An annoying festival event...
WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY is a heart-warming, uplifting comedy for all the family.

Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Rosamund Pike) and their three children travel to the Scottish Highlands for Doug's father Gordie's (Billy Connolly) birthday party. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability...

This film is packed with endless amounts of annoying and complicated holiday scenarios- so, to celebrate its release, I am taking a look at what some people may see as the most annoying moments of every holiday...  

10 Most Annoying Holiday Moments From the creators of the hit BBC comedy series Outnumbered:

1. The packing So you really, really, really want to go on holiday but first there’s the packing. Whether you’re a list-maker or a chuck-it-all-in-the-bag kind of person, this task is still a burden. A scenario filled with what am I going wear? Don’t forget the toothbrush and do I need a coat? And if you have children like Jess from ‘What We Did On Our Holiday’ they will probably want to bring their pet rocks and stones- naturally. To make it a little easier always plan ahead and try not to do it all at the last minute- this way you have more time to remember the things you’ll usually forget.

2. The journey The journey, be it by car, coach or aeroplane can be a really annoying part of the holiday- you know you’re so close but so far. There’s traffic to deal with, service stops, long waits at the airport, bored kids in the car, not enough legroom, noisy passengers and all sorts of problems. Unfortunately there’s no magic carpet that can solve any of these problems but the best thing to do is to research and plan air journeys from airports as close as possible to where you live and check for traffic updates in the morning. Rise and shine way ahead of time to plan for delays. Make sure you keep the kids (and yourselves) entertained in the car with music, stories, drawing or play I Spy- literally do anything you possibly can to avoid that dreaded question ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ I favour a printed 'treasure hunt' of things you need to spot, one for each child!

3. The 'everyone wants to do something different scenario'. Whether you are on a family holiday or going away with friends- there will no doubt be debates about what everybody wants to do. If you’re in a big enough group then maybe split into smaller groups with similar interests. If not, then sort out a schedule where everyone gets to do at least one thing they want to do throughout the trip. Especially true with children, try and let them have at least one day each of things they want to do, to keep the peace! But don't forget the grown ups too.

4. The weather- so unpredictable. This is especially true if you are holidaying in the UK. Let’s say you’ve planned a summer holiday in the UK. This translates as holidaying with your whole wardrobe: winter, summer, autumn and all year round included. Unfortunately, the weather is one part of your holiday you can’t control, but wherever you are going make sure you don’t let the weather stop you.

5. The food. This probably isn’t annoying for the more adventurous types, but for many, the food (wherever you go), just isn’t the same as it is at home. (unless you are at a camp site making it yourself of course!) Do you opt to try the local delicacies- with names you can’t pronounce? Is there something for the kids to enjoy? A whole range of questions can unfold- perhaps if you can bring some snacks the kids will enjoy with you and embrace the local cuisine as much as possible.

6. The beach Heading to the beach? Sounds like a great idea…Listening to the waves, sitting in the soft sand and relaxing the day away. All this until you want to get up- sand everywhere-in your hair, in between your fingers and in between your toes. Then as you go to shake the towel off all the sand blows in your face and all over the picnic you bought with you. (take talc! rubbing talc on your childrens feet (and yours!) and between the toes gets rid of sand, dries the feet and makes getting shoes back on so much easier!)

7. The argument There will no doubt be some arguments on your holiday- possibly about the range of annoying holiday moments above, such as ‘Why haven’t you packed my toothbrush?’, ‘I don’t want to go and see the ruins on the top of that hill’, and ‘Why did you have to take us to the beach? Now we’re all just covered in sand.’

8. Torn between relaxing and being a tourist The ultimate what is the purpose of our holiday scenario? Are you there to relax and to spend quality time with the people you love most? Or are you there to be proactive and see and do everything that’s on offer? The best way to solve this is to do what you love most and make sure that everyone is happy and getting to spend their holiday just the way they like it.

9. It's never long enough After all the above chaos, you would think holiday-goers would be ready to come back home. However, the reality is that holidays are never quite as long as you would like them to be, and you never quite want them to be over. Because when a holiday is over it means back to reality- work, emails and school and that’s hardly ever as fun as a holiday.

10. Coming home And so the coming home begins, this means the annoying holiday moments of the packing and the journey have to be relived all over again but without the excitement of an upcoming holiday.

From the creators of the hit BBC comedy series Outnumbered - WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY is a heart-warming, uplifting comedy for all the family. Something to enjoy while on holiday? a movie?

It's out now and the reviews are looking good. It's on my list of movies to watch.


Guess who went to the New Forest to camp in the rain?

Yes it was I!

Well I didn't plan on the rain. Neither did my brother and his 2 daughters, or my own daughter. We all thought it would be a repeat of last years August trip away (to the same campsite) full of chilled beer, crabbing by the beach and sunny days. Warm evenings round the camp fire making smores and lunchtimes in friendly pubs.

Due to the weather it turned into wet days, soggy camp fires and the discovery that the (expensive) Coleman Event Shelter is not strictly waterproof.

We were glad to have the event shelter though. I think without it we might have given up and gone home! It really rained. A Lot. Luckily we had planned a day at Splashdown which the girls loved, and we did manage a couple of evenings of dry enough weather to toast a marshmallow or two.

empty cava bottle by the campfire

One of us got smashed a tad tipsy on cava one evening. I'll leave you to guess who.

We took the ferry to the Isle of Wight and had a fun, if damp, day out via bus to the Amazon World which was excellent, loads of animals in nice surroundings, though like most things I guess it would have looked even better in sunshine.

Ferry trip
tortoise sex
Tortoise orgy
cheeky gecko
baby meerkat
Baby Meerkat

We even squeezed in some crab fishing (a favourite passtime on a sunny day - a less fun one on a chilly day)

And we were at the right place at the right time to take a picture of the biggest fish this fisherman had caught to date!

fisherman with large sea bass catch of the day
Catch of the Day

I think this will be the last camp of the season, though I could be tempted to take the tent out again locally for a weekend maybe. It seems so final to put the tents back in the loft.

You'll be pleased to hear that no tents leaked. And we had so much fun we are planning a week on the Isle of Wight (under canvas) next year!

Night night, sleep tight - Camping sleep mats review

For a long time I have searched for the perfect comfy night's sleep when camping. As I'm in my 50s the simple thin foam mat favo...