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Marwell – Much more than just a zoo

It wasn’t the most auspicious of starts, two days before our planned trip to Marwell Zoo, the forecast was so bad that the friends we were going with nearly pulled out, then on the day itself, we misjudged the time needed to get the children out of the house and left our friends waiting at the gate for half an hour, but even so from the start there was something about Marwell that made me think it was going to be a special day.

“Spacious” and “Beautifully landscaped” are generally not words you associate with zoos or anywhere that the public descend with children on mass, but Marwell seems to specialise in surprises, even for returners. It may have been our first trip, but our friends who had been several times before found new buildings, exhibits or cafes at every turn and we got the distinct feeling that this was a place that was being invested in and cared for.

 

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Our two week holiday at child friendly gites in France

Earlier this month we returned from a fortnight’s holiday at La Grange Du Moulin in Charente Maritime in France. As regular readers will know in previous summers we have holidayed on boats in France with my family, but this year my sister decided they wanted to do something different and so we were left with a blank canvas and a bewildering range of options.

Living so close to Portsmouth and the ferry terminal it made sense to head back to France again and as we’d had the Charente region recommended by Le Boat, I casually started googling Charente and child friendly gites.

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Celebrating Canada 150, in England, when you aren’t even Canadian…

Those who have followed this blog for a while, will know that after two years living near Calgary in Alberta we adopted Canada Day as our annual celebration and (almost) every year since, have marked July 1st with some misplaced patriotism, flag-flying and barbecuing. Whilst some old friends have now helped us celebrate in three countries an are old hands at it, others who are new friends, are often understandably a little confused when we explain our only real connection to Canada is our dog, who was born there. But we don’t let our tenuous connections get in the way of a good party…

 

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Which are the best wellies for walking the dog?

Two years ago I wrote this post about my search for the perfect pair of comfortable supportive wellies. When you live in the countryside and have two dogs to walk you unavoidably spend a fair bit of time over the winter months wearing wellies and there is nothing more maddening than a pair that lack decent grip on the sole or start to leak after a few months. Back in 2014 I wrote a list of some of the popular brands and shared my knowledge and experiences of them and I thought I’d update it to include amongst other things, my latest pair of premium boots from Bogs Footwear…

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Winter wellies in July…

Winter wellies in July…

by Clare Mansell

Our family spend a lot of time in wellies, so much time in fact that a couple of years ago I spent quite a lengthy period of time researching and writing this post about the best pair of adult wellies to buy… and then had them stolen after I bought them, but that’s another story.

One brand I hadn’t heard of when I wrote that post were BOGS. BOGS Footwear is a boot company based in Oregon, US who sell a range of 100% waterproof boots for babies, children and adults. Most have pull on handles and many incorporate original prints into their design.

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