Meet Our New Family Member

Introducing a new pet

Last weekend we went to meet a man about a dog, literally! Well, not a man but a lady. A friend had put onto social media that they were looking for a family to take on their Greyhound. The lady was a Greyhound racer and the dog wasn’t getting on well with chasing the hare so she had decided to find a home for her.

A few months ago, we had decided as a family that we would like to introduce a new pet to the home. It is something that we have talked about for years but have never actually done anything about it. After many conversations and taking to google on searching what type of dogs would suit our family we had come to the conclusion that we would look into rehoming a Border Collie.

Dog Rescue

After passing our home visit we arranged a day and time that we could visit a rescue centre that mainly rehomed Border Collies or Sheepdogs, this place was over 130 miles away. On the day, we packed up the car and took to the long journey ready to find our forever pet. The children were excited and couldn’t wait to meet some dogs. Unfortunately, after meeting a handful of dogs we hadn’t found a dog that seemed to be just right for us. The centre showed us a few pups and we said that we wasn’t really interested in puppies and one of the dogs didn’t even want our boys near him. We were then introduced to a female dog who was lovely but was very scared of the boys. Not one of the dogs we saw was a Border Collie. Disheartened, we drove away without a dog.

In the following weeks, we talked about wether we should get a dog or not and come to the conclusion that we will keep looking but more locally to out home.

Meeting Suzie

A couple of weeks ago, My partner saw a post on Facebook about a Greyhound needing to be rehomed. The post was from someone he had known for a while, since school. Last Sunday we drove to Ware, Hertfordshire to a Greyhound Trainers home where they had loads of dogs that they trained for racing. They had a few that were being rehomed due to retiring from racing. Suzie was brought out to us and she instantly made her way over to the boys. She was quiet and seemed to be scared of us, but we was reassured that that was just her nature. So after a little walk around and some bonding time with her we decided to take the plunge and take her home with us. Suzie is 17 months old, so a little young for retirement but she didn’t race that much as she just didn’t take to chasing the hare and didn’t show much interest in racing.

Suzie becomes Luna

We soon found out that Suzie wouldn’t come when we called her name and she showed no response at all whenever we mentioned he name. After calling out a few names to her she eventually came running to us when we called Luna. Suzie was her racing name and I don’t think it had been used that much. So Suzie became Luna. Her ears prick up when we call her and she runs from room to room whenever she hears her name. Luna just suits her more.

Settling in

Luna seems to have settled in well, it’s all new to her but also to us. We haven’t owned a dog in a long time. It will be learning curve for all of us. Luna hasn’t spent time in a home so she needs to learn what home life is like. As soon as we introduced her to her bed she soon took ownership of it and now spends most of her time on (when she isn’t lounging on my sofa, that it!)

What we have learned so far

  • She doesn’t know how to sit (we are training her with treats)
  • Her favourite toy is a teddy
  • Luna loves to have cereal for breakfast
  • She adores the boys but especially loves to play with the youngest
  • She will snatch clothing and take it to her bed
  • Snacks will be taken and she will only eat them on her bed or outside
  • She will just lay on her bed watching tv
  • Walks on the lead but likes to run off lead
  • Luna knows that the front door is the way out for a walk
  • Doesn’t bark but does whine
  • Is quickly learning that if she stands by the back door then she will be let out into the garden
  • Loves to play with a football
  • Enjoys running around with the children
  • Will only do her toilet in the garden and not when out on her walk
  • Is already learning the routine of early morning walks and waits by the door for me
  • Sniffs a lot
  • Loves to sit on the sofa when we are not around
  • A bit weary of the stairs and hasn’t quite ventured up the stairs but is showing interest of going up
  • Sleeps all night in her bed (probably on the sofa too, as soon as she knows that we are asleep)
  • Loves a treat

When we first took her out on a walk, Luna had no idea! She would cut you up – walking from the left to the right. Now she walks by our sides and waits when we tell her to at the roadside and comes when given the order.

We are extremely happy that Luna is no longer a racing dog but now a member of our family

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Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf

Immersive shows

For the sixth year Canary Wharf, London is welcoming the return of the award-winning Winter Lights, where the area is transformed by 26 spectacular Light installations.

This wonderful spectacular event is free to attend and is only showcased for a fortnight, ending this weekend 25th January 2020.

Finding your way around

We wandered up to the city On Sunday to see the Winter Lights glow up the surrounding area with immersive light displays and exhibitions.

The best time to visit the displays is from 4pm, the earlier the better as the crowds do start to build up later on in the evening. We downloaded the map from Canary Wharf website to help us to navigate our way around but there are stewards dotted around the area that hand out a paper map too. This was far better for us as the children got to choose where they wanted to go.

The map not only shows you where the light displays are but also where you can find a toilet, parking, information, street food and train/tfl stations.

On the back of the map there are pictures that show you what each display or exhibition looks like along with the title and where they are.

Light installations and interactive art

The Winter Light Festival showcases light art and interactive installations by some of the most innovative artists across the globe working in light art today. Alongside some favourites that have been shown before are some newly commissioned artworks that have never been seen in the UK before. Some of the exhibitions can be seen for afar and some will allow you to get up close and interact with.

You are advised that the whole event should take about 90 minutes to walk around, but I would give yourself longer if you really want to experience it all and just enjoy the atmosphere.

My children and I didn’t manage to get round all of the displays, as some of them had huge queues, like the Luma Paint Light Graffiti and Sky On Earth. This is because they are interactive exhibitions.

A favourite of ours was the Constellation display, the children and I were mesmerised

https://youtu.be/swaYuIFaJGc

As you can see the displays make great photo opportunities.

We thoroughly enjoyed what we managed to see at the Winter Lights Festival and will definitely be visiting again next year.

Just remember if you are going to attend to wrap up warm, maybe pack a few snacks as the street food, as tasty as it was, is quite expensive and not to forget your camera.

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My Child’s Modelling experience with Burberry

Just under a year ago an email landed in my inbox from my son’s modelling agency with regards to a high end fashion brand requesting up to date pictures of my boy. They were seeking pictures without him smiling. We took some photos and didn’t think anything of it. Two days later I received an email back from the agency stating that the client would like to book my son for a campaign that they were doing in January 2019. They wanted to meet with him before they were going to confirm a booking. The meeting didn’t go ahead as planned so they requested more pictures instead, which we sent over.

In December the client confirmed my Son for the modelling job. We put in for his licence just before the Christmas holidays as the job was at the end of January

It was all very exciting as he had never done modelling before. He had been featured on a few adverts, so had experience with acting but had never done a stills shoot.

Over the Christmas holidays he lost his first tooth, we was really worried that he would be dropped from the shoot because of it. We contacted the agency and was asked to send over pictures of his gappy smile. We needn’t have worried so much about it as they went ahead with the booking.

With the School letter signed and authorised for a day off we soon had a licence and was all booked in for the shoot. Nan was going to take him to it as both myself and dad had to work. My son was very excited and really looking forward to the shoot.

He spent the day the day in a country stately home with lots of other children of different ages being photographed in their clothes.

Photos from the first SS19 campaign

Since that booking he has had a further 6 jobs with Burberry; one more campaign shoot and the rest ecomm (which are photos for the website).

2019 was a successful year for my son with his modelling, especially with Burberry. He has had lots of fun on set but also struck up relationships with the team. Every shoot he has had with them he has been welcomed and treated like a professional.

As modelling involves being around lots of people, it has helped my son gain confidence in himself, he now understands and has developed a positive work ethic. He has never been made to feel rejected by anyone or felt pressurised to do something that he is not comfortable doing. Over the year I have witnessed my son grow from a young shy boy who would hide behind my legs to being a confident boy who is happy to socialise with young and old without me being by his side.

I always love to watch him whilst he is on set to see how much he changes for others, he listens to direction well and always does as he is told. Yes, he has his moments just like any child does, he can mess around and get a little silly at times but once its out of his system he gets right back into the job in hand. He has a laugh with the team and they always tease him about pinching his sweets. I am quite amazed at how they manage to get him to stand still, I may have to ask for some tips next time he does some modelling.

I am looking forward to seeing what this year may bring to him. He may not get another booking and if he doesn’t that is fine but here’s hoping that this may just be the beginning of a new adventure for him.

Photographs have been taken from the Burberry Website and Pinterest Site

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Review – Top 5 Places to visit

The Most Spectacular Christmas Destination In London

Located in the heart of London in Hyde park, get ready to fully immerse yourself in the biggest and best Christmas fair that there is around. Offering an array of attractions, activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter and it is huge! There are more than 50 rides, over 10 pre-bookable attractions, up to 200 bars and food stalls and London’s biggest Christmas Market to enjoy. The shear size of this place is phenomenal and the work that has gone into putting it together is really impressive. At night the park is transformed with hundreds of sparking lights.

Press invite

Last Sunday we were invited along to experience Winter Wonderland ourselves. We have been once quite a few years ago to visit the Ice Rink and The Ice Kingdom, but didn’t really spend much time there. So we were looking forward to spending the day walking around and fully immersing ourselves into the Christmas Festive Spirit.

My eldest two boys arrived before myself and the youngest as we had a football match to attend first. They arrived just before 11 and managed to try out about three or four rides before we joined them at lunch time. Mornings are ideal for families to visit, we found it to be busy but with mostly people just leisurely walking around. The queues for the rides weren’t massively long, in fact the longest we queued for a ride was about 10 minutes and that was later on in the day.

What to expect

Winter Wonderland is split into festive themed areas.

You will find

  • Santa Land – Explore the land of Santa, see his workshop, meet the elves or ride on the Santa Express. Enter through the Red Gate, a dedicated Family Entrance that takes you straight into Santa Land.
  • Arctic Circle – Visit The Magical Ice Kingdom; a spectacular snow and ice sculpture walk through and ride on a real ice slide
  • Circus Town – Here you will find the Circus Megadome that is home to Zippos Christmas Circus, Mr.Men and Little Miss Show and Cirque Beserk.
  • Bavarian Village – This picturesque area is the perfect place to unwind, with its cosy chalets, outdoor seating, bars, cafes and restaurants.
  • Thrill Zone – Home to the world’s largest transportable roller coaster The Munich Looping and many more rides for those that are not faint hearted
  • Traditional Funfair – Young and old will adore this area full of beautiful Victorian-style rides -the carousel, helter skelter and vintage fairground games.
  • Angels Christmas Market – Over 100 charming traditional wooden chalets will tempt you with unique gifts, traditional Christmas decorations and culinary delights

Zippos Christmas Circus

Step inside the Circus Megadome to watch this fun packed daytime show last just under an hour which makes it perfect viewing for the younger ones. The boys were transfixed from the beginning introduction from the circus Ringmaster to the end performance of illuminated acrobats.

The show is jam packed with energetic routines and dare-devil antics that will keep you on edge of your seat.

There were unicyclists, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, roller bladers, acrobats and a juggler who entertained us with a repeat action of his Guiness World Record of keeping five boomerangs in the air at the same time and catching them all without dropping one. Unfortunately, on his first attempt he dropped the last boomerang but not to be downhearted on his second attempt he was victorious.

Zippos Christmas Circus is a fabulous family show that will keep the whole family entertained. Emilion the Clown kept the crowd entertained throughout, throwing huge beach balls into them and finishing the show by putting on a little mime act using people from the audience.

The Magical Ice Kingdom

An indoor Magical Ice Kingdom walk through experience with a temperature of -10c you really do need to wrap up warm for this attraction. This year the incredible Ice sculptures tell the story of A Christmas Carol. The moment you enter the Ice Kingdom you are transported into the wintry streets of London following Dickens’ Christmas tale of goodwill, where Scrooge is taught the true meaning of Christmas. The magnificent sculptures of the characters and settings took a team of very talented ice artists months to carve and create. This was, personally, my favourite attraction. I could have stayed in there for ages just taking it all in, if it wasn’t so cold. The Ice Kingdom really is Magical! The whole experience from the beginning to the end is amazing, there is so much to see. Every ice sculpture has so much detail and helps you to relive the Dickens’ timeless classic story.

I don’t think the children felt the cold as they slid down the ice slide; they love it!

Giant Wheel

Winter Wonderland has the tallest transportable wheel in the world. The giant wheel is 70m tall and is a new attraction to Winter Wonderland. We rode the wheel at about midday and only had to wait about 5 minutes to board. We had a ski-like pod to ourselves. As you enter the pod, you are given a welcoming pre-recorded message where you are given the option to listen to music on your flight. The views are amazing, although I did get a little freaked out when the wheel stopped at the top to allow passengers to get on at the bottom. Our flight took about 10 minutes and went round slow enough for you to take in all the sights around the park and across the city, also it’s a great way of looking around the fair from above and working out where to go next, especially if you ride during the day. The view is spectacular and you get to see the shear amount of time and effort that has been put into the organisation of building Winter Wonderland.

Real Ice Slide

The Ice Slide in Winter Wonderland

Situated on the edge of Santa Land is the Ice Slide; a giant, 5-lane slope made entirely of slippery ice. After being given a helmet and a rubber donut to sit in you hike your way up to the top. We queued for about 5-10 minutes before we got to the top. Once there, you place your tube down in a lane and sit inside it. The friendly Winter Wonderland staff will then proceed to push you down the slide. You can reach a pretty high speed coming down, and it’s even better when you’re out of control and spinning around wildly as glide not-so-gracefully to the bottom. You get two turns on the slide per entry. It’s great fun to race your friends or family down the this spectacular slippery slope. There is also quite a breathtaking view of the park at the top of slide.

A slide made out of ice in winter wonderland

Ice Mountain Coaster

An indoor spinning roller coaster that takes you on a ride through a mountain cavern. We queued for about 15 minutes for this ride and that was mainly down to it being later on in the day. This was the last ride of the day for us, so we didn’t mind the queue. The queue went down rather quickly and soon we were all in the car ready to be carted off into the darkness of the mountain. We really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. We got flung from side to side and the car spun around making us feel rather dizzy. As the spinning coaster passed through the illuminated cavern we were transported through a world of penguins and polar bears.

We spent about 4 hours walking around and taking in the festive atmosphere. I found the facilities to be clean and well staffed and there were plenty of friendly staff around to help with any queries or questions that you may have. There were plenty of places to sit down and enjoy some tasty food or a light refreshment. The prices of food varied from about £5 upwards. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Bavarian village for some refreshments, we bought some Churros for £5 and there was enough to feed the four of us. We found a fire pit to sit around to enjoy a glass of bavarian beer and a festive mulled wine, it really was lovely and got me feeling rather warm and excited for Christmas.

Although, Winter Wonderland is free to enter you will need tokens for the rides, which are available from token booths around the site. Contactless is also available. Rides vary from £2 up to £8 per person

I would highly recommend pre booking attractions as they can get booked out rather quickly on a weekend

Zippo’s Circus – £14.00 per adult and £10.50 per child

Magical Ice Kingdom – £10.00 per adult and £8.00 per child

Mr Men Show – 10.50 per adult and £7.50 per child

The Big Wheel – £9.00 per adult and £7.00 per child

Winter Wonderland is open from 10am to 10pm up until the 5th January 2020 https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/

We were given tickets and tokens for the purpose of this review

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