Cbeebies Bedtime Story…who would you choose?!

We’ve all been there, with a snoozing baby or young child on our laps as the Cbeebies bedtime hour draws to a close and the bedtime story begins.

I am sure you are probably aware but recently, there has been a bit of a Mum Frenzy over the Tom Hardy appearances. For me, personally, yes he appears like a lovely gent but it got me wondering who I would personally choose to read a bedtime story at ten to 7 each night.

_20170501_212214

I have drawn up my preferred choices, they may not be to everybody’s taste but for me they would round the day of nicely.

I suppose this post is similar to ones on the subject of who would you invite to dinner if you could choose anybody at all. So, have a think and after reading my choices please do let me know your choices! Top 5’s! (Blimey choosing just 5 is really tricky!)

Re-aaaally tricky!

And so, in reverse order…

Number 5 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Derek Griffiths. This is a throw back to my days as a teeny tot watching Play School, Play Away, Look and Read, Bod, Mio Mao, Super Ted and even more recently in Sarah and Duck! Derek Griffiths – who is actually the voice who introduces the bedtime story – is a class children’s presenter. You may have noticed him pop up during the Cbeebies Christmas Carol pantomime a few years ago? I had a tear in my eye to see him still working on the tv and filling me with lovely childhood memories. A quirky, cool, loveable guy, not dissimilar to Danny John Jules (who by the way would also make a superb choice…see what I did there?! Snuck in a double 5th placer!!) of such fame in children’s land as Milton Wordsworth in Story Makers with the characters Jelly and Jackson, played Barrington in Maid Marian and her Merry Men (going back to Broom Cupboard days of CBBC there!) .

_71474599_71474598

Number 4 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Joanna Lumley. What a classy lady, what a relaxing voice and also what a wicked sense of humour! I am quite sure she would entertain not only the children with the story but also the parents (and grandparents – Grandad Aloha always held a torch for her!), with her cheeky looks-to-camera and her knowing eyebrow raises!

image

Number 3 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…Jon Pertwee! I adored Worzel Gummidge as a child and would often be found in the garden pretending to be Sue and talking to the washing line pretending the pole was in fact Worzel (I know I know!). With his ability to bring characters to life and wonderful variety of voices he would be a delight to hear read some children’s books . His gravelly voice would just melt into my surroundings and I would be drawn into the book completely.

ad_117106795

I’m also going to do something a little bit cheeky again here…I’m going to double this choice up with Sean Pertwee, Jon’s son. You may know him as Albert in Gotham. Another whose career I have followed (and yes he is rather yummy too!) and have grown to love his work.

untitled

Number 2 for the Aloha Mummy choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…David Bowie! Now this may seem an odd choice but it all stems from watching The Snowman as a young child. They don’t show this version on the tv at Christmas anymore and it always irritates me!  The classic and true version of The Snowman in my heart features David Bowie and the start with the magical scarf. We the viewer are led to believe that this grown man was in fact the child in the story, bringing it even more to life. He speaks with his mysterious wonderment and leads us into the forthcoming story. It adds to the magic! He would absolutely be my number two choice simply down to the magic of his aura (I know getting a bit hippy-fied but I care not one jot!) .

tumblr_mydgokabGq1r52he3o1_250.gif

And top of the list for the Aloha Mummy Choice of Cbeebies Bedtime Story Reader is…So if I’m taking the Tom-crush-Hardy route here, then for me there is no other possible choice! Steve Backley! Yes! That’s right the Olympic medal holder Javelin thrower. He has long been a crush of mine right back from about 1993, possibly even earlier! So this selection is totally (for me anyhoooo!) down to the pure swoonsome nature of the man himself. Strong, confident, driven, gorgeous, tall, sexy eyes, cheeky twinkle, gorgeous, big, funny, gorgeous (have I already mentioned that one?) Focus Aloha Mummy, Focus! He can play golf, he can throw a long pointy stick (a bloomin’ long way!), he can ‘dance’ on ice (I use the term dance very loosely here but in fairness he did well for a giant of a man who has had two hip replacements!), he can participate wonderfully on Question of Sport and he has a tummy tingling voice when commentating on the athletics these days , and I feel that this distinctive voice would be a real asset to the bedtime story slot! (Yes I would be glued to the screen too!)

So in summary, Stevie-babes would totally be my Mum-Frenzy-Cbeebies-Bedtime-Story choice!

sb_1285low

And now, do please let me know! Are you firmly in the Tom Hardy camp or do you have a deviant nature like me and secretly (or not so secretly!) hanker after a random choice of Olympian?! I look forward to reading your comments!

The Aloha Mummy

Rhyming with Wine
Mummy in a Tutu

My Petit Canard

Mummascribbles

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Flossy and Jim; Illustrators Extraordinaire!

Flossy and Jim; Illustrators Extraordinaire!!

 sketch-1471643150470.png

It has been my pleasure recently to have worked with local, award-winning illustrators Flossy and Jim. Their designs are vibrant, colourful, quirky and above all fun!  I sought them out for a secret project I have been working on and during this process I can absolutely say we have become good friends. (More on this at a later date!! Shhhh!)

_20160908_181307

 

They are a hugely creative couple, with degrees in Illustration and Visual Communication, who are bursting with ideas, bouncing with enthusiasm, overflowing with colour and fizzing with creativity! They are also supportive of good causes and on the national kids strike back in May they organised an event in Brixham which would be fun but also a learning experience for those children who were on strike from school for the day. That day those children learnt about news, media, politics and how to illustrate murals. They are proud sponsors and supporters of the charity Circus Starr, a touring Circus providing disadvantaged and vulnerable children, their families and community groups throughout the UK with free tickets to shows and raising money for local charities. More information can be found by following this link http://www.circus-starr.org.uk/

 

 

When I first met Flossy and Jim I was very much …pregnant! So much so (and with the SPD condition see previous post https://thealohamummy.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/spd-2-pregnancies-on-crutches/) that I was housebound and they drove to meet me at home from their lovely office in stunning Dartmouth. Their car is simply smile-inducing! I spied them coming along the road and as they parked up on my drive a little smile crept across my face – these were the people who could help bring my dreams to reality!

img_20160904_114139

 

Over tea and cake (naturally!) we discussed my requirements and after a lovely morning which passed so quickly we had a project in place. We chatted about many a topic often veering away from what we were meant to be chatting about but these two are just so easy going and down to earth that you feel like you have known them all your life! We chatted about cake (Obvs!), nose piercings, autism, cave houses in Spain, bras,  England rugby players, babies, tattoos, weddings, rings and my project!

This couple is so enthusiastic about what they are creating and as such have won several awards for their business; most recently the #TorbayHour Social Media Awards for Best Business Blog Award but also Best New Business. They are now through to the finals for 3 categories in the Venus Awards in Devon:- Business Mother of the Year, Marketing of the Year and Customer Service! They have been busy giving talks about new business start-ups and networking, creating their own book range The Magical Unicorn Club , working with clients in America,  designing costumes of their character creations to bring them even more to life, collaborating with Boomf marshmallows and creating apps such as YUBL.

 

On top of this they have been establishing their homewares collection with designs featuring on cushions, mugs, towels, designing personalised portraits for clients, perfecting greetings cards, hair brushes, phone cases and Tote bags all with their distinctive designs and quirky slogans.  Oh and they’ve also got married (to each other!) and moved offices!!  They are now located at the very atmospheric Cockington Court complete with views out of the window to the horse and cart rides, cricket matches and a tea room on the ground floor! What more could you ask for…there is even a chocolate shop on site and in the festive season if you’re lucky you may even glimpse an Elf or two carrying out jobs under orders of the big man in a red suit! Magical!

 

They have given me some of their new line of products to have a look at and, although given to me for free, the opinions stated on here are of course honest and true to what I believe!

 sketch-1471643847422.png

I was given one of their hair brushes featuring a very cute little iced gem and the slogan ‘You are a Gem’, a selection of greeting cards and 2 baby grow suits. I think one of the reasons I love their work so much is that it reminds me of when I was in Secondary School and my best friend and I had pens, pencil cases and bags with the Bang on the Door images of Spider, Bat, Aardvark, Hippo etc. We loved these designs and I still have the Spider pen even though it ran out of ink yonks ago!

The hairbrush is a bright yellow plastic brush with the design across the handle and back of the paddle. I have this in my gym bag. It makes me smile every time I use it and reminds me after a hard workout that I am indeed a gem! The brush runs smoothly through my hair and yes…I have had a good old sing along with the microphone hairbrush!! (But I am yet to pluck up the courage to film it and send it to them for their #hairbrushkaraoke!!) It’s a great brush and on their shop online you can choose from a selection of 4 different designs. Having used this product I would be happy to pay the £20.00.

The greeting cards I was given were of 4 different designs – You are a Gem, Cutie Pie, Totally Cray-Cray, and their signature blue Unicorn. They are square, blank so suitable for any occasion and such lovely bright colours that they would brighten anyone’s day and bring a smile to their face!

I am a bit* of a crafter (and dare I say it hoarder) so when I find cards that I really like I find it very hard to part with them!  I am thinking that with these I will create a little feature in Bubs’ bedroom, buy some square frames and display them on the wall!

The baby grow suits are bright yellow and just adorable! Flossy and Jim kindly gave us 2, one with the Cutie Pie design and one with Blue Unicorn and Bubs looks adorable in them both!! She does seem to have a long torso and legs for her age, and so is tending to be fitting a larger size of baby grow when it has feet, but as these were without legs at 4 months she fitted them just fine. They also make my washing line look wonderfully colourful when I hang them out to dry…I’m sure the neighbours are a little bit well jel!

 sketch-1473342755899.png

 

 

I think that my overall top design is the dozy looking doe deer….I’m very close to ordering my own Dat Face Doe tote bag! I am also very tempted to have a portrait commissioned by this über talented Hubby and Wifey! They capture so much more than just an image when they create around your personal requirements and their customers are always super SUPER pleased with their finished artwork!  So come on! Let’s add to their already enormous work load and get commissioning our own portraits; let’s fill the world with Flossy and Jim images and brighten up our lives!

_20160908_145842

 

You can find all of their products online at http://www.flossyandjimshop.com/

Their website with information on all the fabulous work they do http://www.flossyandjim.com/

For a weekly giggle and to keep up with the busy live of this pair head over to their AWARD WINNING Blog http://flossyandjim.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @flossyandjim

Facebook Flossy and Jim Ltd

sketch-1471643757900

 *mega crafter; I am never without a speck or thousand of glitter!

The Aloha Mummy

themumproject

 

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

Farms for City Children; 40 years of muck and magic!

Friday evening on July 15th 2016 at the Farms for City Children’s 40th Anniversary was one to be remembered for many reasons.

_20160806_124236.JPG

15 War Horse 2.JPG

Firstly, it was the celebration of 40 years of the Farms for City Children charity set up by Michael Morpurgo (yes the very same; incredible author!) to give those children who were living in big cities the chance to experience life on a farm for a full week. Giving those children the opportunity to work on a real farm, to rise at dawn, muck out the stables, feed the cows, the pigs, the horses, collect the eggs, help in the fields, be part of making meals. It sounds like an awful lot of hard work but it is the best kind of hard work. Life affirming, self esteem building, confidence building, respect instilling, educational hard work! The Farms for City Children has now been running for a wonderful 40 years and I am honoured to have been able to visit with my primary school for 2 consecutive years 26 years ago! I am an alumni sister!

Secondly, it was one of those rare opportunities which come up in life when you are able to revisit somewhere that you hold so precious in your heart. Somewhere that you sometimes question whether you in fact dreamt it all; whether this place of childhood magic really exists.

Thirdly, I was able to be in the presence of Mr Morpurgo, this master of Children’s Literature, this wordsmith, once again so many years after my first meeting with him; an encounter which has shaped my life and fuelled my desire to write.

Fourthly, the unique attendance at a special one off event, where we were treated to a reading of War Horse from Michael himself accompanied by a wonderful musician, Ben Murray, who together in the huge marquee, created an atmosphere where you could have heard a pin drop. The moment when an entire audience is hooked on every word that is read. Those times where you don’t know the song the musician is playing but after hearing it once, the entire audience can sing along the chorus and hum the melody. Spine- tingleingly magical.

Fifthly, that not only was I returning but I was taking my family with me!! My Twins have heard endless tales of my Nethercott residentials and every time Michael Morpurgo has appeared on TV or radio I have piped up with…’Do you know I’ve met him?!!’ and then I continue with the story of when, where and how!!

So, as soon as Twins had finished school for the day we bundled the entire family of (now!) 5 into the family wagon and headed off for this magical farm hidden deep within mid Devon countryside. Hubs driving, I was navigating – and I’m usually pretty good but I think the excitement got to me and I missed a turning! OOPSIE!!

Nay matter, we were soon on the right track, just a bit further down it than we had intended to be! As we headed down Devon lane after Devon lane following giant milk lorries, horses and cyclists, I began to get a feeling in my tummy. Those little butterflies that tell you instinctively that you are so nearly there. The Swallows were swooping about in the early evening sunshine and I felt as though I could be a character in a Morpurgo classic!

Then, there they were, the gate posts I remembered so well!  In we drove, parked up in the field and as I turned around I saw the house; Nethercott House. My eyes prickled with tears, my throat filled with emotion and my heart pounded!  I was back!!!!

_20160721_172924.JPG

 

The house hadn’t changed at all, it’s symmetrical front still stood looking down across the field where at the bottom we had used the mud to make little clay animals! I walked up past the marquee and beyond the hog roast to the door which I recalled led into the dining room (which tonight was being used as the bar). Inside here I met a lovely lady working for Farms for City Children and I tentatively asked her if we were allowed to look around the house. Her response ‘Yes of course! Wander wherever you like!’ I did not need telling twice! Grabbing the Twins we swept out into the hall way and stopped in our tracks at the beautiful staircase with enormous window. Those very stairs that I walked down every morning to the most delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen, those very stairs which I recall lugging and heaving my weary legs back up, at the end of every activity filled day.

_20160721_172544.JPG

 

The Quiet Room.

I led the boys into this room which as its name suggests, was where we could go to ensure peace and quiet, reading our books, playing chess or draughts, drawing pictures or writing our letters home (we could post letters every day to our families as there was a post box not far from the house. My Nan still has her letters which I set all those years ago.) It is this room that holds one of my fondest memories – Michael Morpurgo came one evening and sat in front of the open fire (I can still feel the heat of the fireplace on my windswept cheeks). He had in his hands one of the stories he was working on at the time and we were treated to a reading of his work. I cannot remember which story it was but I remember the feeling of being totally engrossed, lost in the moment, with pictures dancing in my mind.

The Noisy Room

This was where we would play table tennis, table football and generally let off steam (this was a room popular with the boys in the groups it has to be said!)

The Kitchen

Where we worked on a rota system of helping to make either the breakfast or dinner each day of our time there. The huge vat of porridge, the crispy bacon, the bubbling beans or the thick lava-like bubbles on the top of the macaroni cheese!

Then I saw the back staircase! I had completely forgotten about these! These are the stairs I ran up after our teacher had told us a scary story and I needed to get back to my dorm and my favourite ted!

 

I took the boys back along the corridor to the staircase and we went up taking in every detail. At the top the corridor split off leading to all the dorms. Instinctively I walked directly to the rooms where I had been on the 2 residential. Parsonage – the dorm I remember so vividly! My bed was still there! I’m sure it was the same wooden bunk!  The feelings I had are hard to pinpoint but were this huge mix of excitement, nostalgia, happiness, tiredness, friendship, warmth and childhood. The smells that the building evoked were bacon, porridge, horsehair, open fires and wax jackets. Perfection!

_20160721_172656.JPG                               _20160721_172622.JPG

As we headed back downstairs we made our way out across the lawn, collected the hog roasts for Hubs and the Twins and made a beeline for our picnic rug. Shortly the evening’s entertainment was to begin.

 

The evening kicked off with a charity auction led by a most entertaining auctioneer and with prizes from crates of wine, family attraction day tickets and a Christmas Turkey a good amount of money was raised. (Whilst Hubs was outside of the marquee with Bubs he sent a message via Twin 1 ‘I hope Mummy isn’t bidding for anything!’ Rest assured I hadn’t accidentally bought anything – the prices were somewhat out of our league –  although the crate of wine was sooooo tempting!!!)The auction was wrapped up and over £2000 had been donated.

Then the main event. Twins came and sat either side of me. From what Twin 2 was saying they had been stuck at the entrance to the marquee because there was a man stood in the door way. They politely said ‘Excuse me’ and the man moved aside to let them come through. I turned to see how full the tent had become and in the doorway saw ‘the man’ who had been blocking the entrance….Yup! Mr Morpurgo! So proud of my Twins for their impeccable manners!

_20160721_172828.JPG

War Horse began. Michael walked down the centre aisle followed by Ben Murray carrying his accordion. They took their places on the stage to rapturous applause and so the story began. Performed over 2 halves with an interval it began at 8pm and finished just before 10pm. The atmosphere in that marquee was tangible. The story so heart wrenching and the folk music so haunting. I openly admitted to the Twins that this was The. Best. Bedtime story they would ever have. Bar none. Simply lit with side lights Michael’s reading was beautiful. At times I found myself drifting off with his voice engulfing me – just as when I was 10 and sat by the fireplace –  as I gazed out of the marquee window, picturing Joey the horse ploughing the field right in front of me.

At the end , a standing ovation so rightly deserved given by an audience so appreciative of what they had been part of.

_20160721_173042

photograph from Farms for City Children twitter account

I hoped beyond hope that I would have been able to quickly catch Mr Morpurgo at some point in the evening. I had taken along the first book of his that I had ever read (I am a bit of a book hoarder so knew exactly where to find it before we left for the night!) ‘Why the Whales Came’. I had asked the lady who had introduced the evening, the fantastic Dr Tessa Stone CEO of the charity, whether he may still have been around and she suggested sending the Twins out around the marquee in opposite directions to locate him! Locate him we did! I was shaking! It’s not often you get the chance to meet your hero, your inspiration. Twice in your life. With a gap of getting on for 30 years! But I did. Oh how happy I was! Michael was so interested in me and the Twins, patting them on the head and shoulder and when he learnt that I had visited all those years ago he flung out his arms and gave me a huge hug! I felt like I was 10 years old all over again! He signed my book and noted that it wasn’t War Horse so I explained the significance of my choice. He seemed delighted!  Clare (his wife) I had met all those years before and she was also here now too. I had such a lovely chat with her and she remarked how great it was for me to be able to return all these years later.

The evening drew to a close, Michael and Clare headed off and my little family headed off back to our snuggly home.

You may have noticed that Hubs wasn’t featured much! Well that is because darling little Bubs decided to have a meltdown! Hubs being the incredible man he is wouldn’t switch with me, wouldn’t have his turn inside listening to the performance. Nope. He wanted me to have this experience, knowing how much the place, the moment and the memories meant to me.

What a man! Thank you my gorgeous Hubs!

The Aloha Mummy 🌺

For more information on the 3 different locations for Farms For City Children visit their website:

http://www.farmsforcitychildren.org

Plenty of opportunities to become a volunteer and lots of fundraising events too!

Pocketwatch Theatre Company

Ooooooo my first posting on a fabulously favourite subject!!! Well, I’ve delightedly selected a small yet exquisitely expert theatre company for this momentous occasion!! The delightful, the incredible, the uber talented…Pocketwatch Theatre Company!!!

 

received_10153850274264773

Photo credit Matt Stockman

Each Summer and Easter season and Summer Half Term, Powderham Castle (located just outside Exeter in the village of Kenton, venue of the most recent Radio One Big Weekend and home to the current Earl and Countess of Devon) is home to Pocketwatch Theatre Company who, quite frankly, are flipping awesome! Working tirelessly and mostly outdoors through the changeable  British weather is no mean feat, yet Pocketwatch have all eventualities covered!

Featuring themed weeks which include Robin Hood, Pirates and Mermaids, Candy Capers, Royals (genius!) Wonderland, Pirates, Enchanted Dragons, Knights and Witches, the team of performers entertain children of all ages and also throw in the odd aside for the benefit of us grown up kids! Savvy?!

When we visited this Summer Half Term the company were performing Wonderland Week up in the American Woodland Garden which was a new location for them. I did not think they could get any better from when we had seen them perform in the Pleasure Garden right beside the Castle wall but Oh Me Oh My! The added ambiance, magical rhododendron enclosed pathways, Folly and Leat all made the Wonderland Week exquisite. A whole level of ‘magical’ was added to the show. Not to mention the choice of music for the tea party – divine!

received_10153850276819773

Photo courtesy of Jonty Depp

 

  • The Queen of Hearts (Claire Fisk whilst also taking on the responsibilities of Stage Manager) was fab, sporting a beautiful ruby encrusted heart-shaped necklace and threatening, in the nicest possible way, to chop off heads!
  • Alice (Elisabeth Burnette) was sweet and innocent whilst cheekily asking for wine at the tea party table (well done that girl!). The little girls in the audience just love her as she helps them find hidden objects which the Queen must have for her birthday gifts.
  • Marchie (Hare) (Ben Tallamy) as always was brilliant! Played by a talented fellow who pens some quality songs both quirky and thought provoking. Marchie, with his steam punk fashion always makes me chuckle! His little quips to the adults are so well timed and capture the moment perfectly.
  • And last but most definitely not least, dear Hatter (Jonty Depp)! I’m sorry but I actually think our Hatter is the real deal! Superb! Costuming to the extreme, nothing is left to chance with the delivery of this charming character…even if there are a few ‘cheesy’ jokes flying around!  Watch closely and you may just catch a glimpse of his Futterwacken!

When we had our magical holiday of a lifetime to DisneyLand Florida, we went to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and saw a Captain Jack ‘act’…Twin 1 and Twin 2 both said – “He’s not the real Captain Jack! Our Captain Jack is the real one!”(to be perfectly honest, he wasn’t a patch on our home grown talent!)

And that’s the beauty of Pocketwatch – we all believe!

If you’re sensible enough to visit Powderham when the team is performing I promise you won’t be disappointed! The detail in which they plan their performances is brilliant; costumes are elaborate, scripts are sharp, props are abundant, audience and child interaction and participation occur seamlessly and hilarity is a given. The cries of ‘Sword, Pig, Monkey’ can be heard at our house long after an encounter with a certain long-haired, broken compass wielding, Rolling Stones-esque pirate Captain!!! (Take a visit during Pirate week; it’ll all become fantastically clear!). It’s a little extra on your entrance fee (£3 per child) to the Castle but honestly I would be happy to pay more – the effort Pocketwatch go to and the enjoyment that the children experience is beyond measure.

 

received_10153850284574773.jpegPhoto credit of Benjamin Borley

With their availability for private parties too (which by the way are equally as well planned and entertaining as any performance) your party can really go off with a bang and be such a special, memorable occasion for little ones (and us big ones!)

To have (in my humble opinion!) the UK’s best Johnny Depp lookalike character actor, in any number of his unique guises, entertain your kids along with members of the company is just magical. I guarantee your Mum friends will want to stay to these parties, and will even adhere to your fancy dress stipulations! (and here I speak from personal experience at Twin 1’s & Twin 2’s 8th birthday party! Mummies, you know who you are!!!)

 

received_10153850317664773

Photo credit mike pitches for Plymouth Barbican Waterfront.

Check out Pocketwatch at their website:
http://www.pocketwatchtheatrecompany.com/
http://jontydepp.com/

But nothing beats seeing them in action! They can also be found at Pirate Festivals so other websites include:

Home

http://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/

And for dates of their upcoming Summer Season at Powderham check here:

http://www.powderham.co.uk/events

other websites of interest:

http://bentallamy.com/

http://elisabethburnette.weebly.com/

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

Mummuddlingthrough
A Cornish Mum
Petite Pudding