Why I’m glad we invested in a caravan in Wales

It was just over 5 years ago that we decided to buy our static caravan that is now based on a beautiful site in Snowdonia, Mid Wales.  As much as we loved holidaying abroad, we wanted Joe to be able to experience the freedom and enjoyment of spending time in the great outdoors. Both myself and Pete had spent a lot of time in Wales as children, and  we wanted Joe to have that joy of experiencing the natural environment, the rivers, stream, mountains and valleys that make Wales so breathtaking.

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The Camping and Caravanning Club have been looking at how we can get children away from their play stations, Nintendo’s, smart phones and technology, and give them the chance to be kids again, in the way that we did, before technology took over. As someone who tries to do this at least a couple of times a year, I can totally see the attraction of leaving the computer and mobile phones behind and enjoying some proper family time.

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Our caravan is set deep within a valley. WiFi is non existent, and phone reception is minimal, but there are so many other things to be doing, whatever the weather. There is a gorgeous stream (freezing cold!) that runs at the back of our caravan that currently has a rope swing over it. The mountains are there for climbing, with a lake at the top and spectacular views across the valley. A large field is great for games of football, or rounders, and there are lots of barbecues and opportunities to eat ‘al fresco’, when the sun is shining. My dad loves to stoke up the BBQ and to even prepare meals outside, peeling potatoes with a pocket knife, it’s like being in a boys own adventure. (You can find a guide to pocket knives at Pocket Knife Reviews if you are planning on going all Jamie Oliver too.) There are also real opportunities to enjoy nature, with birds of prey regularly flying through the valley, pheasants wandering freely, even an odd sheep taking a stroll through the camp.

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If you want to explore, Wales is the perfect place, with market towns, the seaside and picturesque lakes all within a short drive. We spend sunshine days at Barmouth, enjoying the traditional Victorian seaside with fish and chips, ice creams and an eclectic range of shops to enjoy. Aberdovey is another favourite destination, with acres of white sand where Joe enjoys searching for shells and pebbles, or crabbing in the small pools.

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When we use our caravan we rarely use the television during the day, and sleep soundly without the sound of cars and the city. We all need that break from civilisation sometimes, and I think time in a caravan is a perfect way to enjoy this.

Diamond Engagement rings from Orla James

Marilyn Monroe said it best. A kiss on the hand may well be Continental, but when it comes to being a girls best friend, diamonds rate very highly. That most beautiful of stones has it all when it comes to class, elegance and luxury, so when it comes to choosing a ring as important as an engagement ring, diamonds are always a choice that rate very highly – it’s a forever ring after all, one that signifies a lifetime commitment to the person you love.

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Orla James are a jewellery company with a difference. Offering a wide range of engagement and wedding rings that are ‘made with love in the UK’, Orla James understand that when it comes to a wedding ring, you need to get a feel for the piece on your finger. With this in mind, they offer a unique sampling service which quite literally allows you to try before you buy. Each ring has the option of requesting a sample at the cost of £2 each, the samples are unhallmarked silver versions of rings, these can give you some idea of how the ring will look when it is actually sitting pride of place on your finger. I think this is an amazing and useful idea that will help you find exactly the right ring for you.

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But back to engagement rings. The diamond engagement rings by Orla James are guaranteed to be conflict free – no blood diamonds for this company. Each ring can be made in a range of precious metals, from white and yellow gold, to wonderful precious platinum. The diamonds can also be cut in round or princess designs, with different carats and claw settings. You choose your diamond, your design preference and your metal, and then receive a beautiful ring that has been totally tailor made to your specific requirements. Now, what could be more romantic than that?

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Retro Movie Night

Everyone enjoys a good movie night. You take a classic film, get the perfect cinema snacks – the Popcorn, the Pringles, the fizzy drinks and a group of your favourite people, and you enjoy all the fun of the cinema in your own home. I recently hosted my own retro movie night, based on the regular movie nights hosted by Sunrise Senior Living, a trusted Care Home Provider who have a care home in Solihull, these are a regular event with residents’ families to invited to attend. Favourite movies are a great way to bring people of all generations together, united in the love of a great, classic film.

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For my movie night I chose the film All About Eve. Now, this is a favourite of both my mom and I, a 1950s Oscar winning classic starring the inimitable Bette Davies in one of her most famous roles as Margo Channing. Tie in an early, eye-catching cameo from Marilyn Monroe, and an acerbic, scene stealing performance from George Sanders, and you have movie perfection. I was excited to find out that my other guests, my husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law had never seen the film, and had no clue what it was all about. All I could say is ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.’

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A movie night is a great way to bring people together, I invited my parents, my sister and brother-in-law and my father-in-law. We had a Chinese takeaway first, and then snacked all the way through. The general consensus was that the film was a hit (phew!), with a great twist ending, and everyone seemed to enjoy the night of movie fun. There was even a bit of a poll for what film would be good to watch next time, with 80s classic Top Gun rating quite highly.

 

Have you ever hosted a movie night? Who did you invite and what did you watch?