Where to begin … I can’t believe how quickly time is going, almost half the year gone already. And we’ve had the weather of every season this month – torrential downpours and strong winds, closely followed by record-breaking temperatures, only to have to wear coats and hats the following week again!
Thankfully the sun has shone when we needed it.
Aoife and her school took part in the Primary school rugby competitions. Firstly spending one Saturday competing in the ‘Six Nations’ and then spending another competing for the ‘World Cup’, where they represented Georgia. Each competition had over 250 local children taking part, a brilliant turn out and fantastic for rugby!
The rugby season has come to a close, but her U11 team celebrated with a bang. The coaches organised a brilliant day canoeing and raft building. This is Aoife’s final time playing in a mixed team and she has had fantastic coaching over the years. Both she and the other female player were given a lovely end of season gift from the remaining players and it is such a shame she is moving on. A massive hats off to the coaching team for all their effort and support; the true unsung heroes of local sport. Aoife was made up to receive the coaches award for most improved player of the season. This is her first individual award and great recognition for her hard work – well done Aoife!
Seamus celebrated the end of his season with a medal and certificate. Sadly, the annual end-of-season water pistol fight had to be postponed for fear of hypothermia (it was soooo chilly!) so will have to be revisited when we go for beach training in the summer! He proudly took his medal to school and received a sticker from the Head Teacher – woohoo!
With no rugby on a Sunday for a while, it may mean we actually get the occasional lie in! Well, one can dream…
The festivals are starting and we kicked it off with Margate Bookie – a celebration of literature. One weekend Seamus and Orla took part in a story telling workshop with author Tamara Rattigan, who has written a book ‘Everyone’s Special’ inspired by her son who has autism. They made their individual characters from craft items and celebrated the things which make each of us unique.
We were lucky enough to take part in another workshop a few days later, this time with author Sam Gayton where we made Fanzines. The kids (and I) each made a fanzine on the things we love. It was a brilliant way to spend a morning and a great way to celebrate our interests – our fanzines featured topics such as emojis, dragons, Ghostbusters, puzzles and 80s music… quite eclectic tastes in one family.
To raise funds for the Water Gala, there was a fun fair and events at Broadstairs Bandstand during the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Carousels, dodgems and flying chairs! We took a picnic, met up with friends and enjoyed the sunshine listening to live music! The sunshine brought so many people to the area – the beach was packed!! It really felt that summer had arrived.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Margate this month too – visiting the Turner Gallery (we’re still not sure we ‘get’ some of the exhibitions, but we’re trying!)
We love the quirkier side to Margate and the surprises we find each time when we’re just pottering around …
But Margate Meltdown has got to be a big highlight of our calendar. Seamus was in his element when we went to see the bikes along the seafront. Music, scooters, Harleys and sunshine – a great atmosphere and impressive sight on the Bank Holiday!
We visited some familiar favourites too. The Shell Grotto is celebrating its 180th year of being open to the public.
… and we’ve discovered some new ones too. We finally made it to the Tudor House and enjoyed exploring and dressing up. It gave Orla a chance to tell us some of the things she had been learning at school regarding the Tudors. The oldest building in Margate, it’s quite an interesting place to pop in. The staff were friendly and lovely to talk to. The weather was so pleasant, we spent a while playing games in the side garden. Brilliant value at £2 per adult and free for children!!
There have been some wonderful events in Margate where we could embrace nature. We enjoyed a Mad Hatters event at forest school. The kids made bug hotels, made shell necklaces, helped plant a tree and seedlings and take part in lots of other activities. They got to be hands on with the tools and worked with such friendly staff and volunteers. The Forest School is a lovely place and the site is really developing as it establishes.
More fun was had at the Windmill Allotments which we visited for their strawberry fayre. The kids loved pond dipping, finding newts and watching the dragonflies. They blew bubbles, rode the smoothie bike and made friendship hands. It was lovely to see so many people visiting and enjoying everything around them, whether the activities or the peace of the garden environment.
Ramsgate was looking gorgeous in the sun too. We popped along to go to the cinema one afternoon. Major debate ensued: multi-million pound made-for-the-big-screen block buster, The Avengers or Sherlock Gnomes … guess what we saw!
We visited this hidden gem for the first time too. Although we have been to King George VI Park in Ramsgate countless times, we obviously just skirted the edges as had never found The Italianate Glasshouse. It is nestled in the grounds of East Cliff Lodge, Sir Moses Montefiore’s estate. We popped there for a cream tea and some cake after playing in the park. Top tip: when you pay by card and they ask where to text your receipt, DON’T give your husband’s mobile number as he’ll find out what you spend your money on!
During our most recent visit, the park was also the venue for the Annual Pugathon – a real celebration of all things pug. There were stalls, activities and lots and lots of dogs!
The Travelling Fair came to Ramsgate too one weekend. With Victorian style quirky curiosities, the kids enjoyed stories from The Wonderful World of Mr E as well as magic and music.
We enjoyed a morning making arts and craft ice-creams and lollies when the weather was a bit murky at Arts in Ramsgate to add to their window display ….
… and went to a slime workshop. Yuck!
The Royal Wedding has given us a chance to enjoy the formal side of life. Seamus dressed as a Prince for his school’s celebration. Rather dapper, if I do say so myself.
Another chance to dress up was for the May Queen celebrations. A little later and a much smaller occasion than usual due to the illness of the organiser, but nevertheless lovely.
The dressing up didn’t end there. Baby Sensory held a special fundraising week in aid of Tommy’s. The theme was Showtime – so I was joined by babies dressed up in some fabulous costumes and had to wear a sparkly gold jacket and top hat for much of the day. We’re not sure of the exact total raised yet, but fingers crossed …
So the month has been incredibly busy with so much for us to be involved in. We are so fortunate to have such a wide variety of things to do and places to visit, many of which are free or low-cost and are family friendly. June is on its way, we’ve a few birthdays on the horizon and hopefully more fun ahead too.