St. George and that Pesky Dragon!

St. George’s Day celebrations at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire is the biggest in the country. And I knew I HAD to go! I was so pleased when my Dad came and picked us up to go on Saturday I was bouncing with excitement. I’ve always had a strong passion for our country’s history and anywhere that has historical actors, cooking displays, battle reenactments and horses is my kinda place. That morning our electricity had gone off at 5am and still wasn’t on by half 10, when we were set to leave! I am quite proud to say that I managed to get myself, a 6 week old baby and my partner out of the house, without even a drop of coffee in my system. A-maze-ing.

We arrived at Wrest Park about 12ish and to my surprise it was not as busy there as I thought. (Maybe due to the entry price???) I had mentally prepared (and panicked) for mass crowds, muddy fields and no tea tent. But was presently surprised to find that I was wrong about all this. There weren’t as many people there that I had imagined, the grass was adequately moisturized, and there was a massive tea room (that even sold beer for the dads!) We had a fantastic time in the medieval section learning all about the manufacture of medieval weapons, how they cooked, made clothes and even about medieval reading glasses. We even watched some very hands-on demonstrations about all of these. We went with my dad, his friend, her friend, her daughter and her friend! The children had a fantastic day and throughly enjoyed watching all the displays and learning loads. My dad enjoyed the falconry as he himself has worked as a falconer. Jay loved the cross-bow shooting and rune stall and I loved the jousting! My dads friend Tina and myself really enjoyed all the pretty jewelry and clothing stalls. Some sold the most beautiful flowery head bands and tailored corsets. Secretly I also loved the stunt horse-rider participating in the jousting. I thought I was keeping it a secret until I was in the front row, preparing to throw my bra at him and screaming like and wild, savage Elvis fan!

At 3pm it was time to watch St. George slay the mighty dragon. This was a fantastic and quite funny show performed with the medieval re-enactors playing the villagers of ‘Little Piddlin On-The-Green’ , beautiful horses and a man in what looked like a rather sweaty dragon costume. It was extremely well done and the crowd loved it. I watched the kids faces in the audience and I truly believe a few children honestly thought it was the best thing they had ever seen in their little lives ever!

The rain held off right until the end of the day and it only started once we sat down in the tea rooms. But oh, not rain. It was hail. And a lot of it! On a spur-of-the-moment decision, I grabbed Tina’s daughters wrist, and ran…. ran right outside into the hail storm and around the building. Just for fun.

The whole day was fun. I seriously can’t wait now until English Heritage’s next big historical day out in Northampton in July. And that time…. we’re camping! 🙂


The Re-usable Nappy Queen

I’ll be honest, I love the idea of re-usable nappies. Great for the planet, and great for your purse too! Thats my idea of a perfect nappy. I read somewhere that 8 million disposablenappies are sent to the landfill every day! Jay’s mum brought us a trial pack of re-usable nappies from Mothercare called SmartNappy when I was about 5 months pregnant. Call me eager!! The idea was to have them in the house for emergencies. Because I, personally, did not like the idea of having to wander to Tesco’s at 4 am with a bare bottomed child when the last nappy had been pooped in.

Re-usable nappies are quite expensive to buy to begin with, but keep your eyes out for deals. Or even keep your eyes peeled on Ebay for them. The pack we brought were half price down from £40 and contained 4 nappy covers and 8 terry toweling liners. You can also buy disposable pads for as little as £1.20 so you only have to wash the nappy cover when needed and throw away the pad. The invention of reusable nappies has developed so much in recent years and are now so simple to use. No fussy folding and sharp pins to worry about.

When Wilow first arrived we used normal disposable nappies for 2 weeks while we got used to the nappy changes and while her skin ‘toughened up’ a bit. At first it took a little concentration to learn how to make up the nappy soak (which is also very cheap and lasts a long time), and get a routine going so you don’t have to put the washing machine on every day. I use a nappy pail that was given to me by my auntie but you can just use an ordinary bucket or dedicated washing up bowl.

I find that its easiest to use the re-usable nappies in the day time and stick to disposables at night or when going out the house. I wouldn’t like to carry around a dirty nappy in my bag all day! If Willow has only done a little wee then I simply hand wash the nappy and stick them on the radiator to dry. It takes 5 Minutes and thats one less nappy in the land fill! If it’s a poo that shes blessed me with then I put the nappy to soak in the pre-made nappy soak I made that morning or even the day before (if there wasn’t many pooey ones) and bung them in the wash when I have enough or when I’m putting a wash on.

I’ll be honest, at first I found it quite tricky getting used to washing some quickly and soaking others but now I don’t even think about it. And any thing thats saves a few pence gets a big thumbs up from me! Also I think Willow looks quite cute in her re-usable nappy!

willow newhouse reusable nappy