Tag Archives: London

Words Written By Me

28 Oct

Wow… What an incredible week its been.

First off I discover I’m one of 10 finalist for the SavooSmartest Shopper Competition” then I go on to be interviewed by four great judges in London.

The competition has a great prize attached. The prize money is generous but you are also given the opportunity to write a “Money Saving Blog” with support from Savoo.

Did I feel incredibly shocked yet incredibly excited about getting this far in the competition? God, Yes…

No matter how far I get in any sort of writing related awards or competitions I still always find that need to pinch myself and pinch myself hard.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons for this but there is one that stands out particularly!

I could say that blogging has opened many doors for me, given me something to tell the grand children (in the FAR away future) but I won’t… Instead I will say how Writing has opened such doors for me instead.

Yes, without the blog how could I do the things I’m doing? But its what goes on the blog that should be noted, after all… What’s a blog without its content.

I wrote a post a while back that spoke about my writing and the reasons why I’d never imagined myself doing what I’m doing today. You see, writing was never my thing (just read this), if anything expressing myself through written content was something I struggled with and therefore disliked immensely! I remember my English teacher telling my mother how I had this amazingly creative mind that I was just wasting by not using it to reach my full potential! Once she started that if I could just put down on paper that creative vocabulary of mine, then we could sell books. I knew even at 12 that this was sarcasm. I’d been a bit of a diva and spoken back to the teacher who was simply not impressed with what I had to say (I had detention for weeks to follow). However, she was always impressed by whatever writing I’d reluctantly produce and she did think that by continuing to write I’d open up a whole new inner passion that I never knew I had.

“Blah blah blah…” I’d think to myself as I impatiently tapped my finger nails on the desk while yawning in an exaggerated manner. Teachers were never right, not by this girls knowledge anyway! I actually remember being sat thinking “Oh stop banging on about it miss… Its Not gonna happen!”

I often sit wondering what she would say if she see me now?

I’m not claiming I’m the best writer! I never read the stuff I’ve written and think to myself wow girl… You sound amazing, go write for a living!… Though I did actually make myself cry once when reading a post id written some months after I’d first published it! My point being, I’m always immensely humbled when I receive an email from a reader complimenting my writing style. I am used to getting emails from readers claiming that I’m an inspiration for sharing my life as a parent to a child with Aspergers and sen. I’d also get those thanking me when I would help them access educational services or advise them on the education laws surrounding their child’s special educational needs. And although i’m just about getting to grips with such words, its those emails and comments that claim my writing to be anything other than bog standard that leave me shocked yet amazed.

If you had asked me as a small primary child or even a raging mad hormone infused teen, if I’d ever see myself writing in the future, and more to the point… actually enjoying it , you can be bet your house on it that I’d quickly respond with with a swift “NO” followed by a burst of giggles (the type that implies you must be insane to even ask).

What I’ve leant is… Miss Whitehead, you were right! Yes, I love to write, I do express my feelings so much better on paper, and if I could chose to do anything during my “Me Time” I’d do exactly what I’m doing now… I’d write!

Did I want to grow up and find myself writing a blog? No!

Did I ever think I’d see any of my writing published in print? No!

Did I ever dream I’d be nominated for any type of blogging awards? No!

Did I ever once think Id go on to collect a Mad blog award (inspirational) in the name of my blog “A boy with Aspergers” for not one but two consecutive years? Whatever… This one is followed by that Swift burst of giggles that again imply your craziness.

Did I ever imagine that people would read about my little self and that blog of mine in the papers? Ha-Ha-Ha… Joker!

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I’ve learnt that by combining my passions with words and sharing them through written material in whatever format I choose, I’m able to gain something back that is incredibly rewarding! That something is the knowledge that by doing something I love I’m providing others with something they relate too, laugh at, learn from, take inspiration from or simply just enjoy!

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That is something wonderful… And Its something I’m not planning on stopping… Not for a very long time.

So, whether I’m blogging about the ups and downs of parenting a child on the autism spectrum, what I’m wearing, how to make your own face mask, sharing tips on how to get the most out of eBay or simply where to get the best shoes for the littlest price, it doesn’t matter… Why?

Because each would mean nothing without the passion I hold for the things I believe in, the things I enjoy and finally the desire to translate them into words, words written by me.

Every time something amazing comes from something I’ve typed on my Mac… I go through these same motions!

Its these motions that have inspired me to blog today… Who knows what tomorrow may bring.

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Review – Jumpy at London’s West End

22 Oct

As a #ButlinsAmbassdor I was lucky to receive an invite for myself & a guest to see the theatre production of Jumpy at the Duke of York Theatre at London’s West End.

JUMPY is written by April De Angelis
Directed by Nina Raine And stars the fabulous Tamsin Greig

‘You’re having some kind of crisis.’
‘It’s called being 50. You must be having it too.’

A mother, a wife, and fifty, Hilary once protested at Greenham. Now her protests tend to focus on persuading her teenage daughter to go out fully clothed.

It’s LOL funny.

So, being the great daughter that I am, I took my mother along to see the play and here’s what we thought…

I wasn’t sure if this play was going to be my kind of thing but I was wrong… I loved it!

It’s a play that as a mother and a woman you can relate to. Ok, I’m not 50 but I am both of the above and as much as I hate to think about it… My own daughter is very close to those teenage years and I’m dreading it!

The cast are fantastic. Tamsin Greig plays the role of Hilary extremely well. Bel Powley, who plays Tily, Hilary’s daughter is also fantastic and plays the role of a teenage brat just brilliantly.

This is a great play that has received some great press from the critics.

Is it worth paying to go and see? Most defiantly! It’s the best play I’ve seen in a few years and I’d easily be able to sit through it all again.

For ticket prices and information click Here

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Silent Sunday

7 Oct

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MUM I’M PROUD OF YOU #Madblogawards

1 Oct

It was a cold rainy day, sat in the nail shop I asked myself “Do I feel up to this?” I wasn’t referring to my nails but what lay ahead after that! I needed to rush back home, shower, do hair and makeup before finally squeezing myself into my magic underwear and somehow wiggling my legs into my tights without laddering them with what was soon to be my new nails! Then there was the dress, the one I’d only just brought following a disaster with the last (disaster being the sudden realisation that it made me look like a beach whale). This one was short, I hadn’t done short in I don’t know how long! Even with tights I was already feeling a tad self-conscious and I didn’t even have the thing on yet.

I needed to get my party head on and fast. Don’t get me wrong its not that I wasn’t looking forward to the Mad Blog Awards, I really was! I was just a little drained and maybe feeling a little sorry for myself.

Nails done I’m now stood at the bus stop. Time is ticking by and I seriously need to get my butt in gear! Having waited 15 minutes for my bus to come along, it stops, the driver looks at me but doesn’t open the doors… He then proceeds to just drive off like I’m not even stood there in the rain like a prat. Two seconds later what happens, yeah along comes a double-decker bus. Not my double-decker ‘I’m waiting on one of those single decker buses that drive all round the houses making what should be a five minute Journey a 30 minute one instead! This double-decker is racing up the road, his in a rush like me, I could do with this guy driving my bus. Then something crap happened… Splash… FFS, I know resembled a drowned rat! As I stand like a wet lemon, I hear the giggles of the over excitable teens stood behind me. I tell myself he didn’t do it on purpose… But really deep down I knew he did! Could things really get any worse?

Once home and finally done up like a girl with a place to be, I receive a phone call just as I’m about to leave through the front door. As I’m stood explaining my rubbish day to my friend who’s called to wish me luck for the awards, I suddenly realise I’ve missed my train. “It’s a sign, I’m not meant to go” I moan. But being reminded things could only get better I loaded my 5 inch shoes in my bag at speed then slipped on my comfortable flats. I then ran for it, over the road, through the park to the station while continuously yanking down my dress in a desperate bid not to flash my magic granny knickers in the process.

Thankfully I didn’t get lost and as I stopped on the street corner to slip on my heels It suddenly hit me that by doing what I was doing where I was doing it, dressed as I was, one may mistake me as a lady of the night. Walking at speed (and not very well may I add) I escaped into the comfort of the Rassiden Edwardian Hotel the venue of this years Mad Blog Awards.

Hot, messy and out of breath I arrived just in time. My fellow finalist were just about to take there places at the table. Having quickly adjusted the magic knickers, reapplied the lippy and made myself that bit more presentable in the toilets, I then took my place at table number 2 which was filled with some very talented ladies with a great view of the stage.

Was I nervous? No, not up in till now I wasn’t! I really hadn’t the time to be! I just remember feeling relieved to have finally made it. I felt as if My mood was instantly lifted by the wonderful company I had around me. I was sat next to the lovely and talented Luschka (Diary of a first child) as well as the lovely Jen from Mum in the mad in the madhouse , Mika from All baby advice, Kate (WitWitWoo) and a few others (all equally as lovely). The atmosphere was wonderful and all finalist were in high spirits.

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The room looked amazing and it was obvious how much hard work the lovely Sally Whittle, Jen Walshaw and others from the mads had put into making this an event to remember. Everything had been perfectly personalised around each and every blogger in the room. Two large LCDs showed pictures of us bloggers and our families. In between each slide, live tweets were shown (and as the wine flowed the spelling mistakes grew). Even the tables were decorated with confetti made from tiny snippets of our blog headers.

Despite each category having its own sponsor we wasn’t bombarded with advertisements! The awards were very much a social event that did an amazing job to celebrate the brilliance that are parent bloggers. How awesome is that!

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The 3 course meal was of course Devine… The dessert however was in a league of it own…. Amazing. The wine was flowing around the table and for a woman who drinks little (maybe the odd glass of white every now and then) I did really managed to put some away. I was feeling a little giggly and I did almost use the men’s toilets by mistake (the greeting of a man leaving the cubical was a good indication that I was in the wrong place). But luckily I wasn’t to merry as I was about to receive a little shock when my name was called out and I was announced as the winning blogger of the mads most inspiring blogger for 2012.

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What I’m about to say may make you roll your eyes while muttering the words, “they all say that” but honestly, it was a shock! I really didn’t think I’d win. I was up against some of the best blogs in the blogosphere and the fact I’m subscribed to a few of these blogs meaning every new post they publish gets ping to my inbox just made me doubt myself even more so. Honestly who wants to be up against the much loved mammywoo or the very talented but equally as lovely Wendy from Savette Gazette? Yep …. I rest my case.

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You may roll your eyes once more when I tell you I wasn’t pimping my blog 24/7! I made a video that I attached to a blog post. This didn’t have an excessive amount of hits! I also sent out some tweets… I honestly only sent a small amount this year. Of course I sent out a few shouts on my Facebook page, but again this was just a few. What made me laugh this year was how members of the page had replied to say they had already voted for me. Knowing you have such a supportive readership is heartwarming. I guess the only other thing I did was appear in the local paper, just as I had the previous year. I didn’t want to become a spammer, end up driving my readers and followers nuts. My point is that winning without super pimping is possible and this left me feeling proud of myself, shocked but very proud.

As I stood up to collect my award I suddenly thought “Shit… What am I going to say?” I can speak to whole rooms of people in an advocate, teacher-like fashion. When it comes to advising you on education law or the latest autism campaigns its programmed into me… It’s what I do! But accepting an award is different and just like last year I felt a bit of a tit with nothing to say. With white wine in the blood stream giving me a needed kick up the backside I thanked everybody and stated that if it wasn’t for my readers I wouldn’t be able to raise such awareness for autism! With that I did a runner with my award and a lovely bottle of bubbles presented to me by the lovely sponsor for crazy soap.

Back at my table, sat back down I watched some more fabulous bloggers go up and collect their awards I felt so honoured to be part of it all.

My 2012 Mads highlights: speaking to my little man on the phone…

LM: “Mum I saw it on twitter, you won”
Me: “I know, great isn’t it”
LM: “I’m proud of you mum”
Me “You are?”
LM “You inspire people mum, you inspire me”
Me: “That’s a really lovely thing to say, thank you!”
LM “I have water in my eyes as I’m happy you won”
Me: “I have water in my eyes too, because you do”

When we have this type of conversation it’s magical, rare but magical. He really was happy I’d won! He took the award and polished it and put it next to last years on my dresser. He is now blogging himself… Maybe he will one day collect his very own award to add to the collection.

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Other highlights:

Kerry Aka Multiple Mummy getting the recognition she deserves for her amazing blogs. And the emotional speech from Emma and multiple dad when collecting her awards. And as Emma states… One is actually half hers 🙂 Emma and Kerry both write Science sparks.

Messaging my dad to tell him Myleene Klass was at the awards… Evil laugh (he kinda fancies the arse off her)!

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Thank you to Sally… Your an amazing woman. Not forgetting the lovely Jen and others who helped make the awards really enjoyable for all.

My lovely readers, all those who nominated and voted for me… I could t do what I do without you all.

The lovely Crazy Soap for being a lovely sponsor from start to finish. I’m sure my fellow inspiring finalist would agree.

Littlewoods, I may not have wore the dress you sent but you sent it so quickly and even offered to send me another on the actual day of the awards. If I hadn’t found something in time it’s quite likely that you would have saved the day.

My family and friends for supporting me.

And most importantly, my three beautiful children both with and without Aspergers… You all inspire me to write and do what I do. So, mummy sends you a million hugs and kisses from the blog…. I love you.

Silent Sunday

22 Sep

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Mad Bloggers Aboard A Luxurious Yacht

13 Sep

Things have been so busy these past few months that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you all about a fabulous day out I was treated to back in August.

As some may know I won a Mad Blog award back in 2011 for the Most inspiring blog! This year I’m really excited at the fact I’m once more a finalist and will be heading to central London at the end of this month for a lavish awards ceremony.

Due to the fact I’m a finalist in this years awards, I received a lovely invitation from ‘HomeAway‘ sponsors of this years travel category.This invite was an invitation to attend a fabulous day aboard a luxurious yacht…. Yes yacht!

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Now, before you ask, I’m not a finalist in the travel category but instead the most inspirational, though I was actually nominated for travel I didn’t quite make the cut.

Of course my reaction to this nomination was one of laughter! I wondered to myself “who ever put me up for that?” You see, travelling is something I don’t do well with three kids in toll, especially when on is on the autism spectrum. Most of our tales of travel, consists of meltdowns and on my part… breakdowns!

So, you maybe wondering why I was invited to board this luxury yacht docked at the beautiful St Katharine’s dock near Tower Bridge? I know I did! Well, turns out that those lovely lot at HomeAway wanted to share the love and given they had acquired an entire yacht for a weekend, they totally wanted to make the most of it! I guess given that there is only 5 finalist per category, it made sense to invite a few more.

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I didn’t need asking twice, I actually juggled some plans in-order to ensure my attendance. I only had to look at the images to know this was a not to be missed opportunity. I’m your average mum of three who just doesn’t get invited aboard a luxurious yacht for a barbecue. Would this opportunity arise ever again? Most likely not, that is unless I win the lottery!

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I was really pleased that I was allowed to take my youngest Harley. The two older children had plans with their father and I was struggling to find a babysitter.

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The day arrived and despite having to get there with a toddler in a pushchair on the crappy London Underground, I was actually early! If you know me then you’ll understand why I had to slip that in! Was I blown away but this dreamy yacht? Hell yes, it was simply stunning.

At first I did worry the toddler would walk about touching things he shouldn’t. At one point I had this terrible vision of him lobbing people’s belongings overboard just to gain the satisfaction of hearing it go plonk (when your child has a thing about throwing everything down the toilet you can’t blame one for thinking it)! Luckily there was no such dramas and if anything I was amazed at how well behaved my little guy was. Harley loved our time aboard the yacht especially all the attention he got given.

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It was lovely to meet the HomeAway team and see some of my fellow bloggers and award finalist. Everyone was in high spirits, what with the beautiful weather, a delicious barbecue, strawberry and champers and a steady serving of pimms.

We all sat out on the top deck chatting as the sun went down. I stayed much longer than I had first planned and really felt relaxed and comfortable in everybody’s company.

It was a spectacular day aboard a spectacular yacht and I for one won’t forget it in a hurry.

Thanks to both the Mad Blog Awards and HomeAway for making it happen.

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Lollibop – The Festival Just For Kids

27 Aug

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The Lollibop Festival is a magnificent 3-day event that is the only one of its kind!

What’s different about this festival from all others, is that it’s solely dedicated to the the little boppers of today (AKA the kids)! This basically means that if you’re between the ages of 0-10 years, then you’re gonna love it! Lollibop is Located within “Regents Park” one of London’s Royal Parks that also plays host to the Famous London Zoo! Lollibop is a child’s paradise, it’s been filled with magic, the type that creates long lasting magical memories for kids big and small

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We decided to check it out on the Saturday which is day 2 of this exciting 3 day event. I took the toddler and my daughter Alice-Sara wheres Little man enjoyed a days gardening with his dad instead. His that bit to old for Lollibop and given he knows this and likes to stick to the “Rules” he protested from the onset.

My sister also came along with my 2-year-old niece Amy. It’s nice when Harley gets to spend time with his cousin as they are both so close in age with just a mere 10 weeks between them. They’re great company for one another even if they do get into a little mischief every now and then!

The days plan basically consisted of leaving early to ensure our arrival at the Lollibop festival for when it opened! However, this simple plan was shattered when I was left running around like a headless chicken looking for odds and ends that I needed to take with me all while the toddler indulged in huge paddy thrashing around on the floor by my feet.

Then just when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong Little man starts having a meltdown over his brother touching his things. I couldn’t just leave his dad dealing with it all, So in the end I didn’t actually get going till the afternoon! Thankfully South east London isn’t Wales so travelling didn’t prove to be much of a problem, even if we did have pushchairs on the not so child friendly London Underground!

This was our second year attending this festival which was now in its third year. Last year myself and sister just took the toddlers and despite there being one or two little things that needed a little ironing out, it was fantastic, which explains the reason why we were looking forward to discovering just what they had planed this time around.

It was over 90 degree heat that hit London that Saturday and the walk from the station to The Lollibop itself was anything but jolly! Last year the festival was set up in an area of the park that was much closer to the Regents Park entrance.This year however, it was being held much further within the parks grounds.This meant that regardless of the station you arrived at, you were still in for one hell of a walk as the nearest station to the Lollibop is at least 15 minutes walk away. At a guess I’d say that the move may have had something to do with the Olympics because when walking past last years plot I noticed it was occupied by a couple of Olympic mascots alongside hundreds of tourist snapping away at their cameras.

After a long walk through the park in what can only be described as deadly uncomfortable heat, we finally reached destination Lollibop! As expected there was no queuing to be done, what with it being the afternoon we strolled in no problem. Once inside I noticed how this years event was much larger than that of the previous one. Everywhere you turned something magical was taking place! There was clean toilets stocked with tissue at every corner of the park, plus dedicated areas to park up and leave your buggy. The area had been well decorated transforming this park space into a brightly coloured magical children’s kingdom. Large coloured flags hung from tall white beams that had been hoisted up high into the blue skies above, while pretty Bunton was draped around pretty tents, stalls and stands. All around us were hundreds of bubbles big and small floating through the air, it was magical!

As we arrived it was the sounds of the ZingZillas singing that greeted us as it roared out from the live stage that was located right in the centre of everything else making it easily accessible for all.The rest of the festival was divided into numerous different areas each hosting different shows, workshops and more. This therefore made things much easier to find.

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One of the great things about Lollibop is that once you have brought your ticket all the days activities are free (with the exception of food, drink and gifts).This includes all those important little things that kids just love, such as face painting and the opportunity to get themselves a child friendly air sprayed tattoo… Plus loads more besides.

Note: Queues for things such as face painting can become quite lengthy due to it’s popularity so be warned and get inline as early as you possibly can!

Lollibop, had organised some magical entertainment this year. Roald Dahl story telling, Horrible Histories, The science museum and that of the Skylanders area were particularly great for the older children and these seemed to be popular for the duration of the day.

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The organisers behind Lollibop had done a great job to ensure there was enough activities and workshops to keep everyone entertained. There was so much on offer and we felt quite honestly spoilt for choice. One of the first things we did was check out the Halfords riding tent where children were invited to jump on a bike or grab themselves a micro scooter to try. Next up we headed of to see Mister Maker which provided us with the perfect excuse to sit in the shade and cool down for a bit. Mister Maker did an awesome job at entertaining the children. The show last around 20 minutes and within this time he did some quick and easy crafting demonstrations while getting the kids up on their feet and participating in the fun by encouraging them to make various miming actions like pretending to paint, mixing a pot of glue or cutting out shapes. In all honesty, I think the toddlers were quite star struck as their expressions went from that of wide eyed and open mouth to twinkling eyes and giant smiles as they were overcome with excitement.

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Other guest that had Harley jumping up and down for joy was that of the Moshi Monsters who at one point he refused to leave. The Moshlings had also brought along their huge double decker tour bus that doubles up as a Moshi Monsters Discount shop therefore selling everything Moshi monster at cheaper prices. Nonetheless, this did pose a problem for some, especially when kids both big and small could be seen throwing themselves to the ground howling the words “I want, I want!” as their helpless parents stood red faced and close to a mental breakdown.

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This year there was an endless array of crafts and activities on offer. The 3ft and under area was particularly good for little ones with its extra security and fenced of location. WOW toys (one of Harley’s favourite brand of toy) had a great tent that was full of WOW toys for the children to play with while parents were offered the opportunity to grab a beanbag in the shade. I don’t doubt Harley recognised the WOW area from last year when I had no choice but to carry him out kicking and screaming when it was time to move on. This year both Harley and Amy had loads of fun getting to grips with the many different WOW toys on offer and thankfully didn’t do a repeat of last year when it was time to leave.

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This years Lollibop was home to many different children’s tv characters and Harley loved getting to see them all. We even run into the super cute Haribo teddy as he walked around the area handing out sweets to anyone who came his way. We then meet the one and only Titan the Robot and this for me has to be the highlight of the day. This clever futuristic robot was everything you would expect from a robot and more. There was never anything this brilliant when I was a kid! All we got was my dad dressed head to toe in cardboard boxes with bottle tops stuck all over him. Titan was absolutely massive and would have made my 6ft odd brother look a midget. He was also kinda humorous as he let out some very comical one liners. As for my my daughter, she couldn’t get enough of him and therefore ended up chasing him around the park taking numerous pictures for her very own blog

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The live stage offered a wealth of entertainment With a number of great acts such as Mr men and ZingZillas taking to the stage. It was having CBeebies presenter Alex alongside the lovely Katie from the CBeebies show” I can Cook” that really worked up the crowd resulting in a sea of families smiling and dancing till the end.

Alice-Sara was also pleased to see Dick and Dom do their thing up on the main stage, and eagerly participated with all the games that were played.

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Of course We were never going to fit everything in given we had missed out on the mornings goings on, but we still manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount. We finished a great afternoon by way of chilling out on a couple of toadstools over at the enchanted forest where we all enjoyed story time with the loveable Waybloo.

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So, there you have it! The Lollibop was a success. It was bigger and better than the last, a day that I’m sure both myself and the children will remember forever more. With this do you really need to ask the question… “would you recommend the lollibop festival to others ?” My answer… Hell Yer!

If you missed out on the Lollibop this summer then check out the Lollibop Mini Disco due to kick off this October half term (2012) at Ministry of Sound London. You can grab Earlybird tickets for just a tenner per person. Check the Lollibop website that has all the information you need.

Lastly I’ve made a little list of tips you may want to consider if attending the Lollibop Festival in 2013. I’ve also included information relating to the Lollibop’s Disability Access Policy and how these services were provided this year (2012).

Things to consider if visiting the Lollibop:

Arrive early to avoid long queues at the face painting stand.

Check the whether forecast and ensure you pack appropriate supplies for the day. The Lollibop is a festival that takes place during the summer month of August so you stand a good chance of sunshine. Bottled water, plenty of sun protection and sun hats for all are therefore essential. I’d personally advise that you also pop in your bag a suitable lightweight waterproof jacket & some wellies! After all this is London we’re talking about.

Food isn’t cheap but is reasonably priced in comparison to other festivals.

Gifts are reasonably priced with Helium balloons costing around £5.

If the Festival remains in the same area of the park next year you will need to remember that this is a fair walk from the nearest tube station which is Camden town.

Toilet facilities are good so please, there is no need to bring your own
loo roll.

You can check out all the latest updates over on the Lollibop Facebook Page or if twitter is more your thing you can also find them there too!

Autism & Disability Friendly?

Little man didn’t come along but I did check out the Website earlier on in the year on what accommodations would be made for those with disabilities. I also tried my best to follow this up on the day.

Gaining Access To Disabled Facilities: In-order to fully access the disabled facilities a form had to be downloaded, completed and emailed back to the lollibop team. A photocopy of DLA letter or similar must be forwarded to the the Lollibop team with application. This is a good idea in many respects as it allows organisers a way of ensuring disabled peoples needs are fully met. This system also stops people abusing the facilities provided. However this also means you need your forms submitted pretty quickly normally within a few weeks of purchasing your tickets. The final date for submitting a form this year was the 6th of August meaning those with disabilities, would not be able to enjoy spontaneity and would not be able to access the disabled facilities if turning up and buying a ticket on the day.

The Facilities on offer:
LolliBop provides facilities to those with disabilities within that of its own dedicated area “The Arena” A free carer/PA ticket where required can also be provided to ensure the day is both enjoyable and comfortable for those with disabilities. Note: Carer/PA tickets need to be applied for using the form discussed above.

A viewing platform is available at the LolliBop Live Stage so all can enjoy the performances on offer. As great as this seems Lollibop do have a strict one plus one policy (disabled customer + their carer/PA) and its noted that Carer/PA’s may be asked to leave the platform when it is busy to avoid overcrowding. Note the above isn’t great for the single mum with an autistic child and 2 siblings in tow. The parent/carer would struggle if they were unable to leave the two smaller children to be of assistance to the child on the spectrum. A child like mine would be overly anxious to leave their mothers side. However, I do understand why the Lollibop are imposing these rule and I’m unsure If accommodations can be made in these situations as they may well have been this year.

General Notes: All disabled customers are welcome at Regent’s Park, but as it is a greenfield site there are sections of the arena that have uneven ground meaning that sometimes, access is difficult. Lollibop do note that stewards however, will be around to assist those having any difficulties.

I’ve been advised by a mother of a child with disabilities, that the toilet facilities were of a great standard.

Disabled Parking is allocated to the Blue badge holder on a first come first serve basis.

Lollibop Say… We will provide access to the viewing platform for all customers that need use of this facility. This includes, though not exclusively, wheelchair users, customers who are unable to stand for long periods, customers unable to be in large crowds and customers with invisible disabilities.

The music was quite loud as one would expect. However we discovered that ear defenders were on Sale at the official merchandise stall and these were really fairly priced. Despite Little man not attending we brought some ear defenders for Harley as his quite sensitive to loud noise/music.

Upcoming Competition

What’s more I decided to buy an extra set of children’s ear defenders to offer on my blog as a prize. These are great for any child attending a festival but are used a great deal on a daily basis for the child with SPD or ASD. The ear defenders along with a few other pieces will ran as a competition tomorrow.

Acer Launch – Spencer House

20 Aug

I don’t know where I would be without the web. If there was no web there would be no blog and that for me is a daunting thought.

I remember when I first started using a computer, I’d be there for what seemed like forever searching for every key I needed on the keyboard (it wasn’t unusual for it to take up to 5 minutes to complete a three letter word)! Likely it didn’t take long for me to get used to typing and using the Internet. Within months I had launched the blog, finding myself writing post on a daily basis.

The children share a desktop for homework and creative projects. Little man has gained so much from using it and if anything such technology has provided him with a way to communicate and express himself in a more positive light.

Those who read the blog will know how my child who is diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome amongst other labels, suddenly stopped writing and as a result his ‘then mainstream school’ found the only way to get him to produce and engage in any type of work was to give him access to a computer. Little man is a fast learner and I’ve found that todays world of technology has provided him with great opportunities, a way to show how clever he really is! Little man is 11 and can do just about anything on a computer from spread sheets to presentations, video editing and site building. Like me it provides him with a louder voice, a way to send messages to world. Little man is undergoing OT (occupational therapy) and as part of the programme his learnt varying levels of touch typing. At 11 my son has just started his own blog and discovered the world of twitter (which he loves just as much as his mother)!

So, when one of the big names in technology ‘Acer‘ invited me to the launch of their latest tech products, little man was pushing me out the door armed with a note pad and pen and a camera shoved in my hand.

the launch was also a celebration of their worldwide partnership within the Olympic movement as well as the support it has provided to the ‘London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (LOCOG) during this years London 2012 games.

A few select bloggers and writers were invited to the magnificent Spencer House in Saint James Place London, Where they got to have a play with all the latest releases from acer, before being treated to a delicious 3 course meal set in one truly astounding setting.

Before I begin to write about what’s new with acer I really want to share this beautiful historic eighteenth century mansion ‘Spencer House’ a place I felt so privileged to have been invited.

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Image credit Spencer House

I had no idea that the venue for the event was one of such historic beauty. Decked out with vintage furniture & accessories, gold leaf trimming, tall vases and large dangling crystal chandeliers.The walls of every room displayed an array of beautiful painted art and the ceilings are higher than any I’ve seen before. Set over looking Green Park and located just around the corner from Buckingham palace, one didn’t find it hard to be bedazzled.

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As you can see from these images, I became a tad obsessional about those stunning chandeliers.

Acer and spencer house put on a beautiful lunch consisting of three wonderfully prepared causes ( and there was me expecting a table of full of nibbles).

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Possibly the most beautiful house I’ve ever stood in!

I loved the mix of attendees. I was sat with some lovely people at dinner. Conversation was flowing as all had something interesting to say (there is nothing worse than dinner with a load boring so and so’s so this I was pleased with).

The gadgets were all pretty impressive. I think that most mistake acer as a brand that produces user friendly yet very basic tech products therefore explaining their affordability. I’m guilty in assuming that acer mostly produced consumer friendly net books and tablets. With time its become very apparent that this isn’t the case and it was during my visit to spencer house that I discovered just how much more acer offered its users.

The Acer Aspire 5600U, an all-in-one PC, was the product that really impressed me. Not only does its floating design look fantastic with full HD screen and ability to recline up to a 60 degree angle but it’s also a touch screen which I’ve found to be a fantastic feature for those with certain SEN and disabilities (especially that of autism) because of the simplicity and sensory benefits it provides.

I had a good play on the Acer Aspire 5600U and can therefore report that yes, the 10 point touch technology really does make this an incredibly smooth and highly responsive multi-touch experience.

There were many other reasons for lusting over the system. The semi-transparent enclosure around this PC accommodates the hard drive, blue-ray player and the screen giving it that tidiness.The keyboard and mouse are wireless and it boasts a frameless screen which is an impressive 23″. The PC comes with an exclusive VESA mount kit allowing you to view HDTV on the wall giving u the perfect cinema experience.

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Another that caught my eye was this special-edition Olympic tablet, the iconia A510.

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The A510 has an extra long battery life of up to 15 hours and built in storage of 32G (can be expanded up to 64G with the use of an SD card). This is a tablet designed for both work and play with its powerful quad-core performance and smart productivity, the A510 is able to multi task with ease.

Superior audio is another great feature that comes with the A510. The Dolby Mobile 3+ with premium 5.1-channel HD output, and two high quality inbuilt speakers, makes both music and movies that bit more enjoyable.

This has been pre-loaded with Eurosport player for a limited time and includes that of the Andriod Ice Cream Sandwhich OS, making the A510 the perfect tool for mobile lifestyle.

This is a great tablet thats not only powerful but also attractive in terms of design. Available in both black and silver and sporting the Acer/Olympics logo that celebrates it’s partnership within the Olympic movement.

The Olympic A510 special edition tablet is available from Carphone Warehouse from £349.99

With little mans birthday fast approaching this tablet has somehow become his most wanted item… Yes, his not asking for those weird but wonderfully cheap items like batteries and padlocks, as his done in previous years (another trait of his Aspergers I’m sure)!

So, there you have it, some awesome Tech products from Acer. Christmas will be here before you know it after all.

This is a review post. I wasn’t asked or paid to write this. I reviewed the items during the Acer launch at Spencer House. Opinions are honest and all words are that of my own.

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#Silent Sunday

19 Aug

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#Win Family Tickets For The Fabulous Lollibop Festival

10 Jul

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It’s almost that time again for this years Big Bash For Little People… The amazing Lollibop.

I’ve seriously been looking forward to next months Lollibop Festival, so much so, there is a danger that I’m more excited about it than the children.

Myself and sister attended last years event along with our toddlers. I have stored away in my mind, the wonderful memory that was the look on my little Harley’s face when he came face to face with all his idols such as Bob the Builder, George Pig and Raster Mouse to name just a few.

Last week I posted an update on this years line up and if you’ve already checked it out then you will know where I’m coming from when I declare it be… Totally Fabulous and worth getting extremely excited about.

Last year, I found that despite the festival heaving with little partygoers everyone got well looked after. The festival is totally accessible for those with disabilities, it even has a raised platform with wheelchair access. which has been directed towards the main stage. This therefore means everyone gets to see their favourite children’s characters over the sea of heads which is formed the crowd. This doesn’t just apply to those in wheelchairs but also those children with autism or sensory processing disorder who cant do the whole crowd thing (normally resulting in meltdowns). Despite the fact little man didn’t attend last year I was confident that the lollibop was ensuring all children and families the time of their lives.

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There is just so much to do and see while attending Lollibop that if I went through everything this post would simply never end.

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So… Below I have posted a mini update highlighting some of the exciting surprises in store for this years little festival goers.

If You like what you read and I can’t see why you wouldn’t then make sure you enter our awesome competition to win some very sought after family tickets to this amazing event!

ZINGZILLAS & DICK AND DOM TO ROCK REGENT’S PARK
Lollibop, Billed as The Big Bash for Little People, will take place between August 17 and 19 and is aimed at children up to the age of 10.

Festival highlights, include The ‘LolliBop Live’ stage which plays host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment with performances from the likes of the ZingZilla’s, Jassa Aluwahlia (Art Attack) and The Mr Men & Little Miss Party Roadshow. TV favourites Dick and Dom will also take to the stage to entertain crowds with their unique blend of music and games.

Celebrating its first year in the West End, Shrek the Musical will also make a special appearance with a performance from the award-winning show (Sunday 19 only).

Global phenomenon Moshi Monsters will also be on site, bringing the UK’s first Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament to Lollibop. Taking place each day, children are challenged to put their Mash Up skills to the test. All players will also receive a free pack of Mash Up cards, so everyone can join in. Fans are encouraged to bring their own collections with them, as there has never been a better chance to trade with other Moshi Card collectors. Head over to the Moshi tent for lots of other fun and games including character appearances, monster quizzes and more!

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Halfords are creating a bespoke Bike City, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5’s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids bikes. For older kids, highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.

In the Lollipaladium, see the story of The Gruffalo brought to life on the stage with plenty of audience interaction and CBeebies favourite, Mister Maker will be on hand to demonstrate his unique arts and crafts skills.

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The brand new life-size Transformers Optimus Prime Truck will also be at the three day event, giving fans the chance to get up and personal with this movie legend.
Other headline attractions include yoga sessions with Waybuloo, workshops by Horrible Histories, Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre, performances by 8ft Titan the Robot, an Alice In Wonderland tea party and a chance to meet ‘Tiny’, a 125 million years young dinosaur.

Check out the official video (it sure does get you in the party mood)

All of the activities, stages and events are included in the entry ticket price, which start at £22 per person. For more information, including a full programme of events, visit www.lollibopfestival.com

Lollibop have kindly offered me a family pass (consisting of 4 tickets) to give away to one lucky “A Boy With Aspergers” reader. This is a brilliant prize, one worth over a £100 so if your wanting to attend its really worth entering.

All you have to do is complete the mandatory question below leaving the answer in a comment which includes some form of contact details (twitter handle or email is fine).

Question… What will the Moshi Monsters bring to the Lollibop for the first time?

Extra entries (one comment to be added for each additional action please)!

Tweet: “I want to win a family ticket to the #Lollibop with @clairelouise82 & @loillbopuk”

Follow me on twitter

Follow the Lollibop on twitter

Like the Loillbop Facebook page

Pin this Competition on pinterest and include the following hash tag #Lollibop use the button located on the sidebar or if you have one in your tool bar that’s even better.

Lastly: Google + 1 this Competition.

T&Cs
Standard publication T&Cs
• A family pass is 4 tickets to the event and can be used on either Friday 17 August or Sunday 19 August.
• The prize is non refundable and non exchangeable
• No cash alternative will be offered
• Travel is not included
• Closing date is 20th July 23rd July 2012 at 5pm

Competition open to those in the UK only, please leave a contact with your comment so I can contact you in the event you win. Winners are given 72 hours to respond to winning notification. Drawn at random.

 

 

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