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Poole, its a beautiful place...... Well that's what the guide books say and I have to agree it really is a beautiful place .
For anyone not familiar with the area, Poole is a large town situated on the south coast of England in the county of Dorset. It adjoins the larger town of Bournemouth and is famous for being the second largest natural harbour in the world.
Poole is a fishing port and has been developed into a busy commercial port with daily cross channel freight and passenger services. However it has retained its beautiful seascapes and numerous coastal walks, which are claimed to be amongst the best in Britain.
The very quaint Old Quay is the heart of Poole Old Town. It is steeped in history and folklore, in the streets immediately behind the Quayside you can still see many 17th and 18th century houses originally built by rich sea merchants.
One Old Town hotel which is particularly famous for being haunted is the Crown Hotel, allegedly it is the most haunted inn in Dorset and the TV show Most Haunted has even filmed there. It is supposed to be haunted by the sound of children playing, legend has it that conjoined twins were kept locked in the stable block and it is their spirit which haunts the building?!!
There are lots of things to do along Poole quay whatever the weather, it's a real mixture of attractions, something for everyone in fact. I would say it's a real must for any maritime enthusiast as it has a very rich and varied maritime heritage. The Waterfront Museum is free and has had a £750,000 redevelopment so its gory smugglers tales are now even more appealing!
There are 7 pubs on the Quay, Many provide free evening entertainment in the form of live bands, quiz nights and karaoke.
Whatever you are looking for, whether it's a morning coffee and a croissant , a light lunch, afternoon tea , a cocktail, a beer or a glass of wine and fine dining, you'll be catered for by one of the café's or restaurants situated on the quayside.
Taking a leisurely stroll along the harbour wall you are almost guaranteed to encounter crab liners, powerboats and fishing boats. Or you could take the Poole Cockle Trail (available from the Poole Welcome Centre) and take yourself on a self-guided tour of Poole, its history and curiosities.
The Quay really comes alive in the Summer, it's a great place to be late afternoon as the sun sets , on a Friday and Saturday evening there is often live music outside or why not watch the free firework display on a Thursday from the end of May and throughout June & July.
Just point and click, it really is almost as simple as that.
The basic info is- price £59.00 - 10 mega pixels, 3xOptical zoom, 2.4 inch LCD Screen
This is an easy to use digital camera, great for you average everyday user. It looks neat and tidy, the screen is big in comparison to other cameras I've found in this price bracket. And the buttons on the back are simple to use and not at all fiddly. The picture quality is good, all pictures are sharp and clear, even those taken using the zoom feature. Other features include a self timer, video mode (for short video's) auto face focus and image stabilisation.
The playback is good, although the pictures look far better when you upload them onto a computer. A good feature is that you can do simple editing on the camera and it has a very important 'undo delete' button, which is great if you are like me and sometimes press too many buttons and delete instead of edit!
The easy share software is included, which is quite impressive.
In summary I would say this is a fab camera if like me you use it for holiday snaps, Christmas and weddings and want good pictures without having to invest too much money. The down sides are that you will have to buy a memory card as these are not included and it runs on AA batteries which can be a pain if you don't have a good, quick battery charger.
Well when its your first baby and you have that shopping list of things to buy a car seat is always top of the list, in fact our local hospital wont let you take your baby home unless you have one to take your precious bundle home in.
But there are so many to chose from and each one is a little bit different.
We chose this one after some careful research, mainly because of its safety rating, at the time we bought it, it had been rated as the safest infant rear facing car seat on the market.
Its available in lots of different colours and is compatible as a travel system with a few different pushchairs, we used our car seat with the Quinny Buzz.
It comes with the infant support, it has a head support and bottom wedge of foam so your babies neck is supported, and the foam wedge acts like a cushion under the babies bottom so it fits snug in the car seat harness.
The car seat does not come with additional covers and we found it very hard to take off the cover and wash it. Many of the universal car seat covers are for 5 point harnesses, this however is a 3 point harness, but I'm sure that if you were desperate there would be an internet baby company somewhere that sell covers for it, I just never got round to looking very hard.
We used the car seat with the isofix base, which was an additional expense, but made getting baby in and out of the car simple as you just click baby onto the base, which stays in your car. The easy base is great because its fairly simple to install, and being isofix it means it attaches to your cars chassis which is even safer than securing with a seatbelt.
My son is now 6 months old and still fits very comfortably in the car seat, I agree with the manufacturers that he will be safe and comfortable in it until he is 9 months old, and would definitely buy another maxi cosi car seat.
We bought the Quinny Buzz pushchair for my son before he was born and we didn't buy the carry cot at the time because we didn't think we would need it.
However after a week we soon realised the pushchair isn't really suited for a newborn- - although it is marketed this way. I felt it wasn't suitable because it didn't recline flat, so we bought the Quinny Dreami Carrycot.
It is a large carrycot, in the traditional shape. It has well padded sides and a very soft interior. The covers are all machine washable which is a real winner for me. The rain cover came with the carrycot which is very handy, but don't lose it because as with all things Quinny -they are very expensive to replace.
If you have a wriggly baby, we found a small harness attached to the base of the carrycot, although we never used it.
The carrycot is easy to detach, so you can transport your little one while they are sleeping and not disturb them. We used it instead of a mosses basket when we were visiting friends and relatives, so I definitely think we got our moneys worth.
It comes in the same colour range as the Quinny pushchair so everything matches., and has a reasonable second hand value
I bought this pram when I was 14 weeks pregnant as I liked the look of it, and my husband thought it was not too girly and he could put it up and down very easily - not always the best reasons for buying a pram.
However it is very stylish, but style comes at a price - the pushchair itself - frame, seat, rain cover and mini bag retails at around £300, other accessories are very expensive - the shopping bag which attaches underneath is £15, the foot muff is £50 and the carrycot is £150.
Its more than just a pram, it is a travel system. This means you can attach a compatible car seat to the frame (we have the maxi cosi cabriofix car seat £109 ) for ease of use when baby is still small, unlike many other travel systems on the market the car seat does not sit in the pushchair, this is a massive advantage as it reduces the weight of the pushchair - which is really noticeable when you are walking uphill!
The carrycot is lovely, it is lovely and lined but this lining is machine washable- great for a sickly baby. It also attaches directly onto the frame and it was very useful for letting my baby fall asleep while out on a walk detaching the carrycot from the frame when we got indoors and he remained asleep throughout. You can also use the carrycot instead of a mosses basket which was handy for when we were visiting friends and relatives.
The pushchair is very good if you want your baby to be facing you when you are out and about, a speech and language therapist told me this increases your babies speech development as they are basically a captive audience watching you talk to them while you walk. The pushchair seat can also be turned to face outwards which is handy if you are out sight seeing, feeding the ducks etc.
The negatives we found are the wheels/tyres. We have had numerous punctures and the front wheel often gets stuck and drags when you are pushing, making it really awkward, a bit like pushing a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel.
This formula was recommended to us by our Health Visitor as its helpful to stop early weaning. Nowadays weaning is recommended at 6 months rather than 4 as it used to be when I was a little one.
Aptamil is usually more expensive than most other infant formula, but only by a pound or so per tub.
We used the 'extra hungry' as my son was terrible for waking at night times, he would often wake for feeds every 2 or 3 hours when he should really have been sleeping through the night. This milk is designed to satisfy hungry babies without them putting on excessive weight or starting solids.
These tubs come with a built in scoop leveller which is wonderful as you don't have to stagger around trying to find a sterilised knife to level off the formula powder in the middle of the night, also saves on any mess too.
If you contact the Aptamil helpline on the side of the box, you will speak to a qualified midwife or health visitor, they will give you lots of information and also send you a joining pack, which for us contained £5 voucher a cuddly polar bear.
I have used many reusable nappy brands and my husband and I agree that Bum Genius is by far the easiest, it's as easy to use as a disposable, but much better for the land fill sites.
These nappies retail around £15 each and can be used from newborn to when you little one is potty trained. The snap poppers at the front is a great system so you can adjust the waist height of the nappy for a newborn, and the Velcro sides are the same as disposables, so you can adjust the tummy size.
My son has skinny legs and we found disposables leaked, but with the great fir you get from a bum genius, we no longer have this problem.
We use nappy lines to ensure the solid waste is flushable, then just pop the nappy in the nappy bin (with a drop of eucalyptus oil to keep it smelling fresh) and wash when you have 7 or 8 used nappies.
I don't think you can beat the sight of a baby in a reusable nappy and I'd use Bum genius above other reusable's as they are so easy to use and when you're done you can sell them on. Win Win!
This was my first experience on the 'Whale and Dolphin Safari' that Tenerife is now synonymous with.
I would advise you to arrive early as the boat has 2 wonderful mesh decks at the front of the boat and numbers are strictly limited - however the view is awesome and being so close to the water it feels like you could reach out and touch a dolphin!
Don't worry if you aren't front of the queue because the boat staff are very friendly and you will still see the awesome sight of pilot whales in their natural habitat, playing in the ocean.
We were given a lot of information about the legislation that Tenerife has to ensure the whales are protected from being over exposed to tourists, the engine noise is restricted, strictly no feeding and it is of course illegal to swim with these beautiful animals.
The boat was very focused on conservation which was reassuring, so I was at ease knowing we weren't harming the whales by getting so close.
Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins, but after about 45 mins of whale spotting we sailed to a beautiful bay where we could snorkel and have lunch.
It was a wonderful trip and I'd do it again content in the knowledge that conservation is a priority which didn't get in the way of a wonderful afternoon.
I went to Bulins Minehead for the weekend before February Half Term. I went with my 9 year old niece and my 6 month old son . We booked standard accommodation and went half board. It was a cheap deal as 'first child free' offer and you only pay £10 for an infant cot.
Our accommodation was basic but warm and dry, the sheets were clean, the bathroom was spotless but the room could do with a bit of modernising. We had a kettle and mugs and some complimentary tea and coffee, but I would take a mini fridge next time so we had our own cold drinks and milk in the room.
The food was much better than expected, I wasn't keen on the cafeteria style dining, but there was a great choice of meals for children and adults, plenty of healthy stuff on offer too. The mealtimes were fin, breakfast was 8.30-10.30 and dinner was 4.30-6.30 which gave us plenty of scope.
The entertainment for the kids was good. I didn't use the nursery for my son , but noticed they do an hour free sessions on a Tuesday and a Sunday which is worth knowing for next time.
My niece particularly enjoyed the Urban Dance Academy, she learnt break dancing!! The Skyline Gang were entertaining for younger children but I'm told its too babyish for a 9 year old! However we filled the rest of our days watching wrestling, swimming, in the funfair. In the evening we watched Basil Brush, the wonderful Circus Hilarious and the redcoats were all very pleasant and entreating too.
My best tip is save your 2p's for the slot machines - they are everywhere