Tag Archives: family time

Review: “Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave” A Great Family Day at the Theatre

Mrs. Armitage and her faithful dog, Breakspear, are off to the seaside for a day of surfing; but what happens while they’re waiting for the big wave makes Quentin Blake’s story a sincere display of true companionship, trust, problem solving, and eternal optimism.

I recently had the privilege of experiencing the Ga Ga Theatre Company’s adaptation of this lovely story at the Abbey Theatre in St. Albans. We took the whole family to this hour-long production and it was a wonderful, interactive way of giving young children a taste for the theatre, as well as having a lovely morning together.


The entire play uses two clearly talented actors each portraying a handful of upbeat, amusing characters. Different voices and accents are used to give real variance and depth to the characters and certainly keep the audience, especially the children, interested.

The main characters endure many situations as they’re ‘waiting for the big wave;’ and with each comes the choice of either giving up or staying positive and finding a solution. These scenarios also made for some good discussion with the kids after the show.  mrs_armitage_0393

The combination of quality acting, funny lines, simple, yet clever, props, and animated, projected sketches make for a well-integrated way of interpreting Blake’s story. Well done to the Ga Ga Theatre Company for this fun production. Looking forward to your next project soon.

For more information on the Ga Ga Theatre Company and their coming productions, see the website, here: http://www.gagatheatre.co.uk

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Halloween: It’s Not Pagan, it’s Fun; and it’s a Herts Good Thing

Halloween pumpkin, hat, corn, broom, leaf and pot isolated over

Ok, I know everyone thinks it’s just one more insidious American tradition brought over from the ‘land of the free’ to infiltrate the British culture (I mean, wasn’t the Grey Squirrel enough?!). I, however, have always loved Halloween. For me it was always about the time of year; the pumpkins, the apple-picking, Autumnal weather, jumping in fallen, brightly-coloured leaves, and then ultimately, the challenge of coming up with a creative and possibly cute (not ghoulish) costume. The British love fancy dress, so why is it that Halloween has had such a bad rap?

Is it because of it’s pagan roots? Is it because it’s like some unwanted and undesirable cold caller ceaselessly knocking at your door until you reluctantly open to placate and go back to your television? Or is it because of the last thing the British want is one more American influence? Maybe? Well whatever the reason, it’s not winning. Halloween is catching-on and it’s catching fast.

Last year alone we handed out two big baskets of chocolates. Children of all ages covered our neighbourhood disguised in everything from ghosts, to princesses, to frogs, to pirates. Each one with a smile on their face, having a blast walking the streets with their mummies and daddies, getting fresh air and receiving yummy treats. It was lovely to see because? Well,  it was fun! Family memories in the making; and that’s a good thing.

This said, here are some of Hertfordshire’s hottest Halloween happenings:  http://local.mumsnet.com/hertfordshire/halloween

HERTS GOOD THINGS: Get Fit with these Three Herts Events

We all want to feel healthy and fit, but many of us need a goal or incentive to do so. I find running the easiest and most therapeutic way to feel great while managing the demands of family life. I mean, all you really need is at least 30 minutes, a pair of shoes, and a bit of will and you’re off; and of course the great advantage, we in Hertfordshire have, is the amazingly beautiful country roads, trails, and parks on offer for us to trod along. I went for a jaunt yesterday while pushing a buggy (while a toddler slept) and this was my view:


Motivated, yet? I mean, c’mon. We have one beautiful county.

This said, it’s time to get yourself out there, too; and I’ve found three HERTS GOOD 10Ks to use as a way to get fit this autumn before heading into the winter doldrums. I know they seem like they’re just around the corner, but a few weeks on the roads (even if you have to run/walk) and you’ll be a solid Hertfordshire running convert soon enough.

1. Herts 10K:

I ran this last year in the cold and pouring rain, but despite the weather conditions it was one fab time. Lots of happy, energetic running-folk excited to challenge themselves in the trails of mud. The route takes you through the hills behind Rothamsted Research park and the shops and cafes of Harpenden ( a great place for a pre-race coffee). Probability states that we’ll have much better climes this year, so do something and get registered this weekend.

**More information here:  http://local.mumsnet.com/hertfordshire/other-local-events/286321-herts-10k

2. Willow 10K – 5 October 2014

I’ve not run this one, but am registered. I also am a BIG fan of Hatfield House, it’s shops, it’s cafes, it’s play area, it’s farm, it’s countryside, etc. SO, I’m really excited to try this one out. Apparently it’s the fastest growing 10K in Hertfordshire and with the lovely unexplored grounds they’ll expose us to I can understand why. There’s also a free kids run (100m dash). It is a week earlier than the Herts 10K, so you better get moving now!

**More information here:  http://local.mumsnet.com/hertfordshire/other-local-events/286325-willow-10k

3. Flamstead 10K – 19 October 2014

Another lovely countryside running event with lots to experience. There’s the 10K as well as a 1K fun run, so get the family along and have a family-fit Sunday. A bit further out, so more time to train. No excuses!

**More information: http://local.mumsnet.com/hertfordshire/other-local-events/286329-flamstead-10k

Here you have it. Get Healthy in Herts and register for one of these Herts Good things, now!

For more information on Mumsnet Hertfordshire check out our site, here:  http://local.mumsnet.com/hertfordshire