Friday, November 23, 2007

Reindeer Roadshow

For the last two years this has been held in Barnstaple. Last year my husband took the kids but I couldn't make it, so this year I was determined to go along. This year's Reindeer Roadshow was held in Bideford. The roadshow bit was Lantern FM, the local radio station, with a stage at the bottom of the High Street. The bit I was interested in was the Reindeer bit. They were lovely and surprisingly small (its no wonder Santa needs eight of them to pull his sleigh!)

We arrived in Bideford just as Santa was coming along the Quay and we followed the procession til we met my sister and her son. Then we wandered up the High Street for a look around, went into a shop and completely missed the turning on of the Christmas lights, much to daughter number two's disappointment (especially as she wasn't there for the Barnstaple one last week.) However, finding the reindeer on the Quay more than made up for it. We stood and watched them for ages, and she managed to touch on of their antlers, which are covered in fur. Then she cheered up even more when I lent her my camera and took a photo of the baby reindeers (well actually a baby reindeers bottom, but she wasn't bothered about that!)

There were lots of street entertainers around too and we managed to get one of them to make us some balloon animals, then it was off for a cup of tea before coming home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas Lights

I don't normally go in for this sort of thing, but as I had nothing much else to do today, and as there was someone reasonably famous coming to do it, I thought I'd make the effort and go and watch the Christmas lights being turned on. The someone reasonably famous was Joss Stone, a devongirlie herself, and a someone who is involved with local charity Amigos International. (She made a visit with them to Uganda, my daughters teacher went too and helped to make a video and educational pack that is going out to school across the county.)

Anyway, me and my littlest one trekked down to Barnstaple's newly re-vamped Square, along with hundreds of other people, and were only able to squeeze our way to about half way to the stage area, hence the blurry photo. Joss came on and sang 'Son of A Preacher Man', turned on the lights then left again. There were some pretty spectacular fireworks (look and learn Chivenor) and then it was all over.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bonfire Night at RMB Chivenor

We've not been here for a couple of years and when we got here last night I remembered why - far too commercialised!

RMB Chivenor is three miles outside Barnstaple as you head towards Braunton. A couple of years ago, for the anniversary of Guy Fawkes' failed attempted at blowing up parliament, the Marines decided to team up with the Roundtable and hold a combined fireworks celebration. Then they just carried on doing it. In my opinion it was much nicer when they did it at Barnstaple Rugby Club. You walked in, watched the fireworks, which were done to music, then came home again.

At Chivenor, you drive onto the airfield through a shambolically organised ticket 'gate', then walk to what can only be described as a money trap. There's the stall selling the obligatory glow-in-the-dark toys which inevitably fall to bits after two minutes, numerous fairground rides, a whole row of fast food vans and, most strangely, a Santa sleigh playing Christmas songs!

So after negotiating with the children that they were only allowed on one ride, and letting them nag their Dad into buying them a multicoloured light sabre each, we stood to wait for the fireworks. It was a pretty average display that lasted only about 15 mins - no music. Shortly after this the bonfire, a large ship, was lit. We stood and watched it for a while then came home. Bring back the good old days when bonfires were proper shaped and you were allowed to toast marshmallows next to them!