Best bank holiday day trips for a seven year old

That Friday night glass of wine tastes all the sweeter knowing there is an extra day in the weekend thanks to that old British tradition of the bank holiday. These little beauties have a tendency to pop up just at the right time, when the school run is becoming just a little too repetitive, and the email inbox is wearing you down. I appreciate that not everyone has the chance to participate in bank holiday glory but for those who do, it’s an opportunity to really make the most of the time off.

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Save the housework for Sunday, and use the holiday as an excuse to get away from screens, the home and the unfinished chores tormenting you and go somewhere with your offspring. And if, like me, you have a seven-year-old to keep happy, here are some of my tips for days out that won’t disappoint the most demanding. Continue reading

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We’ve finished! How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell

How-to-Fight-a-Dragons-Fury-648x1024I estimate that it’s taken us approximately one year and four months to work our way through Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series of books, and tonight we closed the final chapter in the final book. And what a doorstep of a book it is.

It seemed a fitting ending to a cracking adventure series, that not only packed plenty of suspense, action and plot twists between its pages but evoked every emotion from despair to elation, and from sadness to terror.

We laughed, we cried, and sometimes ducked under the duvet during this thrilling viking saga. However, it is time to say goodbye to Hiccup and his fellow vikings, and with this last book I sensed that Cowell had exhausted every avenue with this story, tying up all loose ends, and saying goodbye finally to the world and people she’d created. Continue reading

Protecting the Carnegie Library is about protecting an ideology

In Dunfermline, we’re pretty proud of one of our most famous exports, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

_A man who dies rich dies disgraced_Andrew Carnegie

His legacy is everywhere. In street names, school names, business names and our concert hall that is slightly less famous than the similar named Carnegie Hall in New York. An Andrew Carnegie statue proudly watches over the dog walkers, joggers and kids on scooters using Pittencrieff Park, and a short stroll away from this wonderful green space, you’ll find the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum.

Andrew Carnegie gave more to the town of Dunfermline than just a famous association to draw visitors for years to come. The son of a weaver, Carnegie emigrated to America with his parents in the mid 19th century, and it was there, in the land of opportunity, he built up a steel empire that made him one of the wealthiest industrialists of his time. Continue reading

Why every kid needs a joke book

indexI’ve never been much of a fan of the common gag, preferring observational comedy, but as a child, getting to grips with a good old-fashioned joke is a rite of passage.

For Toby’s fifth birthday he was given a copy of Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry’s Jolly Joke book. He liked the idea of a joke but he didn’t yet have the language skills to understand why they were funny.

Fast forward two years and he’s chosen to revisit this book, but this time he understands the humour and can repeat the jokes with confidence. It’s testament to how his language skills have developed. Plus, it’s lovely to see him finding pleasure in a bit of old-fashioned comedy. Continue reading