A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Tots and technology: The best devices in moderation

Educational Postcard: "Children are living in a different space..."

Today’s guest post looks at the line between technology helping and hindering children’s progress.

From labour saving gadgets to gaming and general entertainment, we barely think twice before turning on tools of modern technology. The relative merits of the impact of technology on modern society are much discussed and perhaps even more so when children are introduced into the mix. Continue reading

What do I need to pack for a Cruise?

It is isn’t long until we head off round the Med with Carnival Cruise Lines on our first voyage as their ambassador family. This is a completely new experience for us, and I’m starting to panic think about what to pack.

Scrapbooks Mine is my blog, but it has always been family tradition to make a holiday scrapbook. You can’t beat a place to stick tickets, postcards, beer mats, flowers and even stray mosquitoes. So a big scrapbook, pens, pencils, glue and sellotape are a must. Beware they can come back to haunt you, here is my Dad embarrassing me from the ‘family scrapbook of Sweden’ in his father of the bride speech at my wedding:

People keep telling me I need some smart dresses for dinner.  I think Carnival Sunshine will have a relaxed and family friendly vibe, it’s not about dinner jackets and ball gowns. But I can see it would be nice to look respectable of an evening, especially for those evenings when the kids are in the Kids’ club. All our summer clothes are pretty worn after a fab summer, time to hit the sales perhaps?

Exercise gear - all inclusive food of this quality definitely requires working out, and although holidays are about relaxation, having a gym and a running track and classes on board makes it really easy.

Travel guides – each stop in port is only a day, so it is important to have an idea what you plan to do. The kids are really enjoying learning about our destinations from the Atlas my Dad gave them. The boat will sail without you if you are late, so I think for some stops we will make the most of Carnival’s excursions. Mr A wants to see the Colosseum in Rome, I want to see the Acropolis in Greece. It will be nice to just potter by the coast in some of the stops I think.

Toys and Games there is absolutely loads to enjoy and do on board for children, we’ll be going to the theatre, making the most of kids club, swimming, watching films and taking on the arcades. But you can’t beat a bit of familiar play stuff for little kids, especially at mealtimes and chilling out times. I’d like us to enjoy whiling away the days at sea together, and taking siestas.

We love Dobble and Storyonics as portable games families can play easily together. Lego is the perfect transportable miniature playworld. Activity books, pen and paper.  A tablet with apps and favourite cartoons too.

Essentials Obviously passports, money, cards, E111 cards and travel insurance. If you are looking for insurance, Debenhams have a kids go free offer: Family Travel Insurance from Debenhams Personal Finance

Any other suggestions gratefully received!

We came, we saw, we conquered, Camp Bestival 2013


This was our second year at Camp Bestival and we still found loads of new things to keep us busy. I think it took us longer to get into the festival mood this year, Mr A and I had less time to switch off from work, and the kids being older, wiser and more used to the site, had very strong ideas about what they wanted to do which caused some frictions. (TIP: On Friday everyone is fresh faced and wants to do everything, so there are more queues and people, so try to save some things for other days!)


No I will not wait ’til Sunday when it is quieter to make slime in the Science tent Mummy!

But I always think festivals are a winding down, transformative kind of ritual, and by Sunday breakfast, Camp Bestival’s magical work on us was complete, look: Continue reading

We’re so excited!

Excitement is really mounting, rather like this 10 second snippet of L’s happy dance at last year’s Camp Bestival. Only a few sleeps to go and we’ve been lying on her bed tonight talking about all the things we want to do together while we are there.

I am now especially excited about the sing along Jungle Book screening and the paper plane world record breaking launch to celebrate Disney’s Planes. The prospect of sneaking some cocktails with some fellow bloggers in the Bollywood Bar is also very appealing. I can’t wait to see Ash and The Levellers. And that’s just me… Continue reading

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