A very typically British half-term

There was a bit of a theme to our half term.

Rain. And lots of it.

Yes, there were nice days, but it seemed that whenever we tried to do anything outdoors, the nice lady in charge of the weather decided it would be fun to get us very wet indeed.

It started on Sunday with a jubilee street party. Huddled under tarpaulin, trying to avoid the drips, we ate soggy crisps and took turns running back to the house, pretending to need the toilet, but actually just wanting to watch the celebrations on the telly from the comfort of a dry sofa.

At points, the rain just thought ‘sod it’, and poured directly through the tarp, despite our best efforts to encourage it off the edges:

On Thursday, we set off for a much-anticipated trip to Longleat Safari Park, to review the park for Tesco Magazine. “We’ll do the drive through bit first,” I told Belle and her friend optimistically, “and then perhaps the rain will have eased off?”

Longleat monkeys

There are actually two monkeys sheltering in this tree – can you spot them?

You can guess the rest can’t you? No, the rain didn’t ease off, and although we did get a cracking view of a Longleat tiger prowling around the car, most of the other animals were huddled under logs. It was such a shame, as Longleat is such a brilliant place for a day out.

Longleat tigers

Soggy tiger through wet windscreen

Still, it clearly takes more than a spot of rain to put us Brits off an outing, and Longleat’s car park was full of people doing their best to enjoy themselves – Longleat own brand ponchos, Wellington boots and a brave smile seemed to be the outfit of choice.

Longleat review

Belle’s Sylvanian Family baby kangaroo tries to spot a Longleat wolf, dressed very sensibly in home-made trunks.

On Monday we headed off on another Tesco assignment to Paulton Park and the delights of Peppa Pig World. It’s hard to say whether we got wetter here or at Longleat, but one thing I can say for sure – if you don’t want to queue, visit a theme park in the freezing hail. It’s amazing how quickly you get on the rides, and a rollercoaster in the hail really is a very invigorating experience, although not one I’d necessarily want to repeat anytime soon.

“Why are your messages so badly spelt?” boyfriend asked, after I’d text him my latest update – Belle tripping over her three year old cousin outside Peppa Pig’s house and them both landing face down in a puddle.

“My han┬úds are num withh the cold,” I replied.

Belle on the other hand had a whale of a time. After we’d done the Peppa Pig part of Paulton Park, I took her, as promised, to the more grown-up rides. There was literally no-one else in the rollercoaster part of the park, so she got to go round and round, again and again. “That was my sixth go!” she shouted, as I huddled in the partial shelter of a vending machine, trying to ignore the fact that the rain had soaked through my skirt, my leggings and into my pants. “I did that whole ride with my eyes shut, singing the Greased Lightening song from Grease – it was awesome!”

Nine years old apparently can have fun whatever the weather…

Peppa Pig World

Nice weather, for ducks.


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