The Famous Five books were a firm favourite of mine growing up.

Growing up Enid Blyton was my favourite author and I am pretty sure my bookcase groaned under the weight of almost every book she ever published. I must admit though that even when I was reading them some <cough> 25 years ago they felt a little old fashioned. That’s not to say that Blyton’s books haven’t lasted, if you consider that The Famous Five celebrates its 75th birthday this year they have really done very well. 

famous five adventure game app

Bess is 11 and she has lots of Blyton books of her own and loves them – it’s amazing to me that these stories written so long ago could be loved by so many children down the generations. Bess is an easy sell though when it comes to books – her nose is never out of one. I love that she inherited this love of reading from me. She met her idol Jacqueline Wilson earlier this year which seemed to make her even more passionate about reading. 

Bringing the stories to life

When I was approached to take a look at the new Famous Five Adventure Game app for the iPhone I did not need much persuading! I knew Bess would love it but I decided instead to approach this review a little differently. My nephew Leo from The Knight Tribe is almost 12 and like a lot of boys his age is not really an Enid Blyton fan. He likes to read but prefers modern authors and comic books. Who better then to see how well this 21st century offering of The Famous Five would connect with a new generation of adventurers? 

Famous Five Adventure App

Kuato Studios has launched the new Famous Five mystery game on the App Store for iOS systems. It costs just £2.99 and the much loved characters of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog have entered the 21st century. 

The app is a mystery game aimed at children 8-11 (although with a little help I think younger siblings would enjoy the game too) which sees the user able to select a quick game or a normal game. I think this is great for children who have a shorter attention span. 

Children can choose to be one of the Famous Five characters (yes, even Timmy) visiting Kirrin island and seeing lots of locations familiar to fans of the books. They can play lots of mini-games and puzzles which will help to solve the big mystery. When the mystery is solved a storybook of their adventure is generated for the child to read back. 

For dyslexic readers, there is a section within the parents corner where you can choose from accessibility options, including, OpenDyslexic font and colour overlays to help readability. 

What we thought

I really like that there were no adverts during the gameplay on this app. So often ads can get in the way and it made a refreshing change. The illustrations were lovely and the puzzles seemed to hold Leos interest really well. I think all in all that this app provides an excellent introduction to the Famous Five stories and as you can see from Leos massive smile this was a big hit with him!

Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post but all views remain honest and our own!

 

 

 

This week I received a head in a box.

It would be accurate to say that when the box was opened I did recoil a little bit. This guy is creepy! I guess that’s the idea though, right? On the upside, it will probably be the last time Bess asks to open my parcels!

The Scary Peeper is not pretty. It’s the same size as an average adult head and can be attached to your window using the suction cup already attached.

I have taken photos in the daytime so that you can see him in all his glory and then at night – it is very creepy at night!

Sneaky peeker Halloween prop

How did the children react

Well, Bess isn’t easily startled so she hasn’t jumped once. Moose isn’t worried by him at all – in fact he has named him “The Wizard”, he believes that The Wizard is making sure they aren’t being naughty and will report back to Santa if they are. This is an excellent result but does mean that The Wizard is going to have to stay put.

Col however has been startled quite a few times already. I have tried leaving it in one place and tried moving him to other windows. Either way Col jumps. So it does do what it “says on the tin” as it were.

I think on Halloween night we might try hanging him on the inside of the window looking out to scare the trick or treaters!

scary peeper in the dark halloween prop

Win the Peeping Tom Halloween Prop #6

Autumn is my favourite time of the year by far. The colours, the smells hanging in the air, the longer nights, scarves and gloves. These are all my reasons for loving this time of year. Pizza is also a favourite.

Why then is it that every year this is also the time that I start to pine for faraway places and for the feeling of skin warmed by the sun? My timehop told me today that on no less than 3 occasions over the last few years it has been this week that we have chosen to book a holiday in the sun. Bizarre coincidence or maybe I love the sun a bit more than my conscious self might like to admit! 

bella&brava

I would rather be eating pizza

It was certainly a good excuse to indulge in some holiday browsing anyway. So today while sporting some seriously autumnal layering I could be found daydreaming of destinations. 

Food always plays a big role when we are choosing where to go. I cannot think of anything more inviting at the moment than eating pizza in Venice.

Bella&Brava would be the perfect spot for us.

Perhaps for some a larger menu might be preferable but I completely understand why they have decided to offer just 6 options. I would rather have 6 amazing pizzas to choose from than 20 which are perhaps just okay. Who wants just okay?

bella&brava

From their insistence upon high quality ingredients to their use of recyclable, eco friendly packaging Bella&Brava sound like our kind of Pizza makers. Simplicity and sustainability. The perfect marriage.

I could imagine us eating pizza while exploring places nearby such as the Grand Canal of course and I would definitely order a Venexiana, what would you choose?

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post
Buzzoole

Day 3 of Blogtober is about cars. I have been able to drive for 13 years but I know pitifully little about cars. So I will talk about what I do know. 

I have owned 4 cars. An old renault clio, a C3 which I chose because it looked cute but which repeatedly died on me, a Vauxhall Zafira which was kindly written off by another driver on a roundabout last November and then this. A Hyundai Matrix. If you think it looks like an old man’s car, you would be quite right

 

hyundai matrix

 

The old man’s car

My children have spent more time in this car than I have. In fact, the day I got it Col and Bess jumped into the back and having opened their secret hiding place, they proceeded to pull out a little plastic horse, a pack of pencils, a few shells and some other assorted oddments. A small handful of memories.

This car used to belong to my Grandpop. He loved to drive, he and my Nan would often have Col and Bess to stay and take them off to the beach or woods for lots of playtime. Even when we moved 150 miles away my Nan and Grandpop would drive in this to meet us at the beginning of the school holidays so they could whisk Col and Bess away for the duration of the half term. As soon as the children caught sight of this car they would get so excited to see their Great Grandparents. To them this car meant adventure.

That was quite a few years ago now. My Nan has since passed away (fuck you cancer) and then last November I was involved in an accident (decided in my favour by the insurers) which resulted in my previous car being written off. 

 

The shakes

Around the same time it had become apparent that the Parkinsons my Grandpop was suffering with was getting worse. A lot worse. It’s strange and scary to see someone you love be affected by ageing and all that comes with it. Especially when they have to deal with a condition like Parkinson’s too. I think most people know about the involuntary shakes associated with the disease but not about the other stuff. It really robs a person of who they are. Mentally and physically.

The day after I told him my car had been written off, my Grandpop called to tell me that he made the decision to give back his driving license. He said it quite matter of factly (as is his way) but I could hear how difficult and brave a decision this must have been for him. He wanted me to have his car. An offer I was not expecting.

I felt so conflicted about the offer. Of course I was incredibly grateful but also sad. Sad that we had to accept that things were changing. The Grandpop who would turn up and get stuck into some gardening or fix some DIY catastrophe was not going to be around anymore. 

I of course accepted 

So now his car is mine. It has been nearly a year since he signed it over but quite honestly I don’t think it will ever really feel like it’s anything other than Grandpops car. I am ok with that. It maybe isn’t the prettiest car in the world but it has something which not a lot of cars have. It has love ground into the carpets (along with god knows what else) and it has a place in the story of our little family.

ps. My foot still hurts, fingers crossed it’s better tomorrow! 

 

 

 

#Blogtober17

 

Day 2 of blogtober and I am dosed up on some pretty hefty painkillers thanks to what Google tells me is a trapped nerve in my foot (medial planter nerve to be exact)

I couldn’t get an appointment with a GP even if I wanted one so instead I am treating it with a lively dose of ibuprofen 3 times a day, rest and lots of ice packs. If it goes purple or some other equally alarming colour I will call someone.

Blogtober marches on though and today’s prompt is Babies. 

Babies is the title of one of my very favourite songs by Pulp and also what we refer to very young humans as. I have produced 3 babies in my lifetime and 3 is definitely my magic number. I am so over babies.

People don’t like it when you say that. I sometimes feel, as a woman, that I am expected to want to produce a never ending conveyor belt style stream of babies. After giving birth to each of my little darlings someone would ask “so, when’s the next one?”. As though I would want to jump straight back onto the morning sickness inducing, oedema bringing fun train that is pregnancy. Some people glow in pregnancy. I did not.

1 year old col

A much younger me with a much younger Col

The truth is that I had a taste of life after babies before Moose came along. With Bess and Col both at school I had 6 hours a day to myself to pour into my business. I could decide on a whim to go for coffee with a friend or nip to the shops, and I did.

I could sleep in on Sundays safe in the knowledge that my children were able to make their own breakfast quite happily without needing me at their side.

Days out got interesting again. We could play board games and computer games together. It was actually more fun!

And then there was Moose.

Before Moose I thought our family was complete. I had as many children as I had hands and that, I thought, was enough. Fate (or whatever you want to call it) had other ideas and we found ourselves outnumbered and surviving on no sleep once againand in the company of a little boy who fills my heart to the brim. Who really does complete us.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children now and I loved them as babies. When Col was a baby he had the cutest little feet which you wanted to nuzzle because it made both of us giggle – you do NOT want to touch teenage Cols feet. Trust me. Now we giggle over our shared love of certain TV programmes. Bess was so cute as a baby, but as she grows toward adolescence she honestly takes my breath away with her brilliance.

All I am saying is that as much as we all love babies, there is a lot to be said for a bit more sleep and for children who are able to tell you with words what the hell it is they want.

So, if you are a parent who is coming to realise that your baby is really not a baby any longer. Don’t stress. The best is yet to come.

 

#Blogtober17