This week has been half term – a unique and problematic holiday. It’s not really long enough to feel like it warrants any formal, paid childcare and yet at the same time work still has to be done, mostly in a blind panic early in the mornings and on the days when Belle has gone to stay with my mum.
Belle moved up to secondary school this September and has been finding it hard going, so I wanted to make sure half term was lots of fun for her – enough fun at least to keep her going until the Christmas holidays. As you can see from her whiteboard plan of the week we had a lot going on, including a lovely day out at Yeo Valley. The thing she was looking forward to most though, as you can see by her use of seven exclamation marks, was our trip to London on Wednesday to see The Lion King and to meet Bee for lunch.
For starters, the Lyceum Theatre is absolutely beautiful, and even the bar area where we had a drink before the show was stunning. From my sneaky glances at Belle during the performance I could tell that she was genuinely having a brilliant time (and not just because she had a bag of wine gums) and from time to time she would turn to me and smile, her eyes sparkling.
The costumes were absolutely fantastic and the way the actors moved was incredible. If I told you that a woman danced on stage with a model gazelle on her head and one on each arm it might sound a bit lame, but she way she leapt and the shapes she created gave a life to the animals that you wouldn’t believe unless you saw it.
Our tickets came courtesy of Viagogo, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, operating in 50 countries. Viagogo is designed to be the safe place to buy and sell tickets to sporting, music and theatre events, rather than take your chances on something like eBay. Obviously as a guest of Viagogo we didn’t get to experience the buying process, but the principle seems sound – Viagogo act as a middleman, monitoring transactions, arranging secure delivery, and holding on to your money to ensure that sellers don’t get paid until you have successfully attended the event. This in itself acts as a disincentive for anyone looking to sell fraudulent tickets.
The system doesn’t come without risks of course. Although Viagogo guarantee to replace or refund tickets that don’t arrive, that does mean that you could potentially be left having paid for travel and accommodation, not to mention the disappointment, if tickets fail to turn up. You also have to be prepared to pay a little over the odds – these are tickets to sold out events and the seller rather than Viagogo sets the price, so it can be as high as an individual is prepared to pay for it. Both of these risks though are ones you would expect when buying tickets second-hand.
Also this week I was sent a picture by Great Big Canvas. Members of my family will probably correct me as I have a terrible memory but I chose this picture (out of what felt like gazillions available on the very extensive website) because I remember having a print of it at home when I was little. I also really like the Don McLean song and it plays a little bit in my head every time I look at it.
The canvas came extremely well packaged, (possibly a little bit too much unnecessary cardboard for my liking), and the quality of the canvas looks really good. Sometimes with these kind of prints the picture ends up looking pixelated because the canvas itself isn’t great, but even close up I was impressed.
Now I can lie in bed and reminisce about my trip last year to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. (I can heartily recommend the kids’ audio guide – very much my level when it comes to art appreciation and a quarter of the price of the adult version.)
And finally, in an effort to help me overcome my dislike of anything that involves getting my hands wet, Dettol sent me some hand wash. (The excitement never ends here.)
“I think Dettol would like to think it was exciting,” says Boyfriend, reading over my shoulder.
“But it’s hand wash,” I say.
“But it smells nice and kills the bacteria,” he says, “I find that exciting.”
Well, what can I say to that?
He reads this last paragraph back. “Lame blog,” he coughs.
Seriously though, the thing I don’t like about getting my hands wet is the dry feeling afterwards. I have a bit of a thing about very dry hands. It reminds me of that horrible goose pimply feeling you get when you rub a bit of cotton wool between your fingers.
(I suspect I may be making myself sound mad now…)
Dettol’s hand wash contains E45 softness and other moisturising ingredients so my hands feel lovely and soft after washing them and I don’t have to sound one cotton wool ball short of a beauty kit. A great result.
Disclosure: We were guests of Viagogo at The Lion King and were sent the hand wash and canvas print for the purposes of this review.