Tag: Exeter

Keeping Christmas Traditions Alive

My husband and I are a couple of sentimental fools. We like routine, though admittedly we also like to break the usual by doing something different every now and then.  But mostly, we love tradition, especially the kind we’ve created as a little family.

In my last post, I wrote about going to a Christmas tree farm where we’ve been going to for the past four years or so.  It might be actually my most favourite Christmas tradition – because for me, there’s something magical about walking through pine trees and picking the perfect tree for us.

And then of course, there’s also watching a Christmas show.  We only started this last year when we went to London to watch The Snow Man.  It was an amazing show and T was enthralled by the whole experience, watching it on stage and seeing the snow man and little boy fly through the air, right in front of her very eyes, was as T would say – awesome!

This year though, we’ve decided to see one nearer to home. We chose to watch little T’s favourite  story, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, about an hours drive from where we live.  We’re lucky we have close friends who live in the city and it was a great excuse to spend the night and catch up with them.

A Mini- Review

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the show.  There were only a few actors who played more than one role and they were just fabulous!  They played each role really well.  I was especially impressed with the actress Katherine Senior who played Mrs. Cratchit/Mrs. Fezziwig/Fanny and Belle, for each role she portrayed, she played it like a star.  And of course, Derek Frood, the actor who played Scrooge was also superb.

While all the actors were good, sadly the set was a bit flat, especially since our good friend B (who has lived in Exeter for a long time and has seen different productions in the Northcott) said that compared to what she’s seen in the past, with lovely and impressive sets, “A Christmas Carol” was just a tad bit disappointing.  She wondered if there was any truth to the rumour that the theatre is having trouble staying afloat.  I really do hope that it’s not the case, since in spite of the setback, the play was really, really jolly good!

When asked what her favourite part was in the play, T said that she enjoyed the bit where the phantom appeared.  She wasn’t scared at all, even in the scene where Scrooge realises that it’s actually his name written on the grave.

After the show, T had a blast playing in the University grounds.

Especially when our good friend E, picked her up so she could slide down the bars like Riley in the movie Inside Out.

Loved walking in the University grounds, since it is located on a hill, overlooking Exeter, it’s a perfect way to see the city lights.  Would love to visit during the day and just walk around the campus and enjoy the school grounds.

Loved their Christmas decorations dotted all over the place.

And as you can see on little T’s face, I wasn’t the only one who was loving every single minute of it.

If you live in the area or will be somewhere near Exeter during the holidays, come and watch “A Christmas Carol” over at Northcott Theatre, it will be running till the 29th of December.  Definitely worth a watch!  On the website, you might notice that there is a minimum age of 7, ignore it.  T is 5 and no one in the theatre asked about her age.  To be fair though, we didn’t even know about the age restriction, only noticed it on their website after watching the show when I was checking on what other shows were next on the list. I guess it’s because some children may find some of the scenes scary. Had she not been familiar with the story, I have no doubt she might have been frightened with the phantom and other scenes.

What about you? What is your favourite Christmas story?

Exeter Christmas Market 2014

We love Christmas markets and especially love going to the one in Exeter.

While it isn’t as big as the ones in Birmingham or Manchester, it suits us well and has enough food stalls and other little shops to make a little family like ours – happy.

This was actually a French stall that showed lovely colourful treats, but as you can see, they also sold some Turkish delights.  We asked little T if she wanted anything, to our surprise she replied “No thank you”.

But she couldn’t resist the Italian ones and chose more than a couple of these delicious treats.

She actually had a bite of each one and put them all back in the bag – kids!

Now this is my idea of a “treat”.  I love paella, especially authentic Spanish paella like this one.

And of course, it wasn’t all food stalls.  There were loads of little shops that sold Christmas decorations, presents and everything one would need for Christmas.

A Christmas market isn’t complete without German sausages which little T and our friends had.  Sorry folks, wasn’t able to take any photos.  By this time I was busy eating and enjoying my paella.

That’s little T doing a silly one, but her dad clicked before she could even pull it off.

And there’s the beautiful 14th century Exeter cathedral, which apparently has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.

On our way back to our friends house, we passed a Father Christmas decoration, standing just outside a Polish store.  Little T actually asked me to take her photo, but before I could even click, she did her silly pose again.

What about you?

Have you visited any Christmas market yet?

A Cornish Country Mouse at the Museum

This post has been long over-due and should have been posted right after Little T’s jaunt in the park with Pinky the helium cat.  As mentioned on that post, T and I went to Exeter with her dad and while he was working, we (the country mice) visited the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.

If you happen to find yourself in Exeter with your little ones and have lots of free time to kill, this museum is a must-visit!  There are lots of different things to see and explore in each rooms, an activity/play area, a tea room and of course the museum shop, though we were disappointed not to find any dinosaur toys in there.  And another reason why I really liked the place, entrance fee is free and for a lot of parents, that’s music for our ears 😉

Don’t forget to get your little bee bag in the entrance, complete with a bee costume:

I can see you mummy!

And since it was a saturday, there were lots of busy bees buzzing inside the museums with their parents in tow.

Here’s Little T inspecting herself in the mirror.  Have to say we spent more than a couple of minutes here and I actually had to persuade her to move on.

Little T gazes up at the elephant and concludes that she is indeed very small.

I bet T is thinking “I’m glad he’s encased!”

Look mummy!  It’s the bear like in my DVD!

At the play-area Little T had fun playing with blocks, animals and other toys.  If you see her with her lips out like in the photo above, that only means that she’s concentrating!

After shedding off her bee-outfit and roaming around all the rooms in the museum at least 100 x, little T announced that it was time to go.  Indeed it was – I was exhausted.  But she still seemed to have boundless energy as we headed off to the park.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mills #CountryKids

And #PoCoLo

A Little Jaunt in the Park with Pinky the Helium Cat

The historian, my husband had a scheduled lecture in Exeter last weekend and little T and I tagged along.  While he was working, we went to the museum (I’m saving that for another post), did some shopping – she bought a pink little handbag, a plaid cap and a helium balloon shaped cat which she aptly called Pinky.  By the time we were done with our little errands, the rain stopped and the sun was out.  Little T decided that it was time to have fun with Pinky at the park.

Of course, she’s a pink cat, why on earth would little T name her Pinky?

C’mon Cotton Bottom, let’s have fun with Pinky!  Btw, Cotton Bottom is her most favourite dolly in the world. She’s bald and naked.  Little T prefers her that way.  I have no idea where Cotton Bottom’s clothes are and no, I also don’t have a single clue where she got that name from.

At first, she wasn’t so sure where she wanted to go.  She just stood there with her little helium balloon hovering above her.

Then she was off!  Doing her usual thing – running around like a little loony.

And only stopped to pick up some flowers for her Dada which she put in her very pink hand bag for safe-keeping.  Then the rain clouds came back and it was time to meet up and head home back to our sleepy-seaside village in the country.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s #CountryKids.

And #PoCoLo.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!