A Day Out In Southend

Southend-On-Sea has been a favourite place for me since my childhood. I only went a few times as it can be quite an expensive day out but it always seemed so magical with all the rides, arcades & the beaches. It’s changed a lot over the year’s & there’s so much to do along the seafront, which can be pricey, but as we found it doesn’t have to be.

Normally the travel costs are a big issue for us but C2C are letting children travel for £1 when you buy an adult ticket so the return journey only cost £11.30 for the 3 of us.

I’d read on facebook about the lagoon beach & decided to head there first as the tide was going to be out for most of the day. I was impressed to find the deck chairs were free and we even managed to find some to sit on even though it was quite busy.

Eva was so excited & couldn’t wait to get in the water so she ran off instantly and went in about waist deep before thinking she was drowning and coming out again. She did go back in a few times to her knees though.

Izzy on the other hand wasn’t impressed with the water at all and spent almost half an hour on a deck chair digging up small bits of sand into her bucket trying to avoid actually touching it.

Eventually I did manage to get Izzy to sit in the sand and play properly whilst Eva was turned into a mermaid and they both had loads of fun especially with Izzy tearing apart one fin every time slim began the other haha!

Izzy eventually decided to brave a wander and ended up playing on the play frame with 2 other girls, another Isobella (Bella) and an Ava which was quite amusing when their mum told me!

We stayed at the lagoon beach for well over an hour and a half and on a slightly cooler day I imagine you could sit down there for hours. I would definitely recommend visiting the Lagoon if your ever in Southend.

We went on the hunt for some toilets after Eva attempted to shower herself off using the free shower when we left & as I forgot about the adventure island toilets after a long walk we ended up having to buy a drink in a pub so Slim got himself a pint, I had a Coke and we got the girls an fruit shoot icy.

We actually had a much cheaper day out than I expected too, admittedly we did put a few pounds into the 2p change machines for the girls though which they really enjoyed! 

Eva won a minion pencil and an owl keyring, she was so proud of herself for winning but was sad Izzy hadn’t won anything so when we got home she decided to give Izzy the pencil who gave her a lovely big kiss and cuddle & said thank you!

The girls were pretty exhausted already after another hour or so in the arcades, especially as it was such a hot day, so we decided to take a slow walk to find a stall where we could buy some sticks of rock to take home. The girls spotted a slush puppy stand. And decided they wanted one instead of rock or sweets and decided to get a Twister Straw cup each to drink so they could take home the cups afterwards, Eva got excited as she had the last pink cup & Izzy of course went for a red one!

I asked the girls what they wanted to do next & as they were tired they wanted to head home.

We took a slow walk back to the station watching the buskers perform and stopping to treat them to a McDonald before getting our train home.

Although we only spent around 4 hours in Southend & spent very little money, it was a lovely day out and the girls really enjoyed themselves. Both of them kept thanking me & Eva said it was the best day ever! It was a lot less stressful than I expected it to be too so it’s given me quite a boost.

There’s so much to do in Southend and I am hoping C2C run the same scheme next summer (as I found out too late this year) so I can take the girls there again a few times. I know Eva really wants to go back to Adventure Island for the rides & the sea life centre as its been a few years since she last went & Izzy has yet to go.

Have you visited any Essex beaches this Summer? What did you think of them?

My Purple Dream Kitchen

Since we had the Kitchen, Toilet & Bathroom refit the Mr has been working to redecorate properly and I have finally decided on the Wilko’s Durable Lilac Paint for the Kitchen to keep the walls light & keep with the darker purple appliances & whatever else I can convince the Mr is muchly needed in the kitchen😉.

We already have a perfectly working Kettle & Toaster in purple and since our microwave decided to die on my birthday (followed by the hoover 2 days later!) I’ve been looking around for a nice purple one to match and it seems the Wilko’s colour play range the Toaster & Kettle are from have the best purple one I can find and at just £50 hopefully we can save up for it very soon!

I do already have a dish drainer and although I mainly use the dishwasher now I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous purple dish drainer for a while.

2 Tier Dish Drainer, Chrome/Purple Enamel Coated Frame, Glass and Utensil Holder/Removable Purple Plastic Drip Tray

Although it is well out of our price range I hope one day I can buy this stunningly purple oven to replace our horrid old white one!

 

I love these Salter Orb mechanical scales which would be perfect for when we bake!

 

I love this Morphy Richards Accents 5 Piece Tool Set in plum & think it would look gorgeous with the worktops too!

 

Our Knife block is well overdue a replacement and again from the Morphy Richards Accents Range I found this Knife block in the Plum.

And of course to complete the set it’s only right we got the kitchen storage set too.. right?

 

Of course this lovely lot costs a fair bit when you add it all up but hopefully we can save and buy everything on the list bit by bit. Have you spotted any lovely Kitchen accessories in purple recently? What would be your main colour scheme for your dream kitchen?

 

You Never Forget A Good Book

It’s true that once you read a good book you never forget it. I’ve been a keen reader since I was quite young and people used to joke about the fact I would prefer to sit and read the Evening Echo (Our local paper at the time) at the age of 5 over a childrens book. I remember my mother had quite a few books on shelves around the house which is where I discovered a few of my favourite authors. I haven’t picked up a book in a while which I intend to do more of over the coming months so I thought I’d share with you some of my all time favourites!

The Misery front cover I read and the books currently on my shelf!

Stephen King’s Misery is a book I definitely read far too young but as I loved to scare myself silly with physchological horrors like this it’s a book I read several times growing up and is still my absolute favourite book of all time. I love the way Stephen King writes and how twisted & clever the storyline is. Whenever I fancy something a bit darker I go for a Stephen King books and I’ve read quite a few. I currently have a few on my bookshelf at the moment that I need to read, what’s your favourite?

As you can see my copy is quite worn!

This is a set of books rather than just one but I think most people will agree that C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia is an amazing set for children and adults. I still have the original box-set I had as a child, unfortunately they are quite sun-faded but I cant wait to start reading them to the girls! I always got so lost in these books that I would spend most of a school holiday re-reading the whole set just because.

 

On my bookshelf

Another one that is probably on most peoples lists is J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the rings Trilogy. I read this when I was about 11 and I remember being superglued to my bed for 5 days reading the entire book & then went on to read The Hobbit. I was gutted when I finally watched the films as they had just missed out far too much as usually happens when books are turned into films. I still have the same copy of Lord of the rings but lost The Hobbit years ago.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret garden us another classic I absolutely loved reading over and over again. I loved the idea of escaping to such beautiful gardens.

The only image of the front cover I remember reading as a child!

One book I fell in love with as a child has bugged me for years as I hadn’t been able to find it ANYWHERE! Seriously, I have searched & searched the internet & libraries and only just discovered I was right all along! It is called Wild Child  and I am pleased to share I finally know the Author’s name – Monica Furlong! (Thanks to Goodreads!) I remember being completely enchanted by this book and re-reading it several times.

In a remote Scottish village, nine-year-old Wise Child is taken in by Juniper, a healer and sorceress. Then Wise Child’s mother, Maeve, a black witch, reappears. In choosing between Maeve and Juniper, Wise Child discovers the extent of her supernatural powers—and her true loyalties.

Patricia cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series was another favourite throughout my teens, I began at the start with Post-mortem and read every book up to The Book of the dead which is still sat on my bookshelf waiting to be read!
I’m definitely going to start working through my book shelf again and then go on a hunt for some new ones, so help me out! Who’s your favourite author? What book’s would you recommend reading? What books are laying unread on your bookshelf?

Adulting

Sometimes I find adulting really hard, the simplest of things become the biggest of challenges especially if it’s something I’m doing for myself. One of those thing’s is booking appointment’s & where it’s difficult to even get through to my Dr’s Surgery  on the phone it makes the whole thing a lot more stressful but I finally managed to get through today (After 22 attempts!) and was booked in for 4.40pm. Normally after around the 10th attempt I give up but I’m so fed up with struggling I just want to gain control of my life again so I kept going until I finally got through.

Of course I didn’t get seen until 5pm whilst sat in a deserted waiting room (!?) but when I did I admitted how much I have been struggling with my anxiety and depression the last few months and had missed my prescriptions. Luckily the Dr was really understanding even though i had never met him before. We decided to up my dose of Duloxetine from 90mg to 120mg in the hope it calms my anxiety a bit more aswell as helping with the pain until my pain clinic appointment next month.

After my appointment I realised I had been stressing and panicking for almost 2 months about getting an appointment & losing my prescription and then after a few weeks went by, what the Dr would think of me for A) losing my repeat prescription, B) leaving it so long & C) Struggling so much to do such basic things. I guess it’s silly really as Dr’s aren’t there to judge (although some do and have!). I guess not seeing one Dr regularly makes it difficult too as I never know who I’m going to see!

social-anxiety-disorder-5-728

I found this on google images and it explains how I feel so well!

Hopefully now I have a repeat prescription again things will begin to feel a little easier again and I’m going to try my best not to slip up again!

 

A Day Out At Wat Tyler Park

Wat Tyler Park in Pitsea, Essex is one of my all time favourites from when I was a child. It’s changed a fair bit over the years but it’s still a beautiful place to go for a day out especially for kids. It covers 125 acres and sits within the South Essex Marshes,it is definitely one of my favourite places. There is so much to see and do there that I’m sure I’ll cover much more in a future post

I took Eva a few times when she was small but without a car we just haven’t had a chance to get over there in a good few years. Izzy hadn’t been yet & I couldn’t wait to take her, so when I heard the bouncy castles were back again this summer I knew I had to arrange a day at Wat Tyler for the girls.

We arrived around 12.30pm on Friday as the bouncy castles opened at 1pm but we had taken a picnic with us and wanted to get the kids sat down eating before they went off to play. The kids couldn’t wait to get bouncing so munched their food quickly and asked to go get their wristbands to bounce.

The wristbands for the bouncy castles were £7 for children over 3 and £4 for under 3’s, although you could pay for a full wristband for younger children as long as you keep an eye on them.. With the 3 older girls to keep an eye on Izzy I decided to pay for a full wristband for her so she could go on one or two of the bigger bouncy castles with them.

The bouncy castle days are run by Go-bonkers and I have to say I was quite impressed with the selection. There was a small area for the under 3’s which had 3 castles in, a tiny one, a slide one & a bigger slide & play area inflatable. There was also a pile of big soft shapes for the little ones to build & play with which Izzy loved, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get many pictures across the day as Izzy kept me fairly busy but I did get this lovely shot below of Izzy bouncing.

For the bigger children the inflatables included a basketball lane, gladiators ring, football court & climbing wall as well as 2 normal large bouncy castles and a play castle called the shuttle which all the girls really enjoyed and Eva was over the moon she managed to get to the top of the climbing wall! I wish I had got a picture but I was in the smaller area with Izzy at the time.

I normally find these types of events so pricey and stressful but I have to say for what was there for 3 hours bouncing I would happily pay for both girls to go again! Each inflatable was watched & children were timed by a member of staff, meaning there were no kids crying they hadn’t had a turn and Eva didn’t keep coming back complaining older kids were being mean or not letting her play which we’ve had at other places.

The whole thing was laid out really well, meaning we could take the younger 2 in the small play area and still see every other inflatable and keep an eye on where the older 3 were, without bothering them & panicking too much. Eva behaved amazingly and I think it was mostly to do with being able to just go and play without being followed around.

I took both girls into the visitor centre to buy themselves a little something to take home & Izzy chose a small ball I would normally only pay £1 for which cost £2, so a little over priced, however Eva chose a pen with pictures on (£1) & a small notebook (60p) which was quite reasonable.

The inflatables were in a field next to the large play area in Wat Tyler so the kids loved being able to go and play in there after they were done bouncing. Eva loved the huge tunnel slide and spider-man frame and spent ages showing off to her Uncle Alex who joined us halfway through the after.

The park can be a bit manic at times so I was relieved my brother was there to run around with Eva whilst I kept an eye on Izzy who spent ages playing in the tunnels and going up and down the slide on the smaller play equipment. I was a little gutted the roundabout and the hamster wheel were fenced off as my brother and I loved them as kids!

Once all the kids were well and truly worn out we popped by the little outdoor cafe by the visitor centre and got an ice cream for the kids before jumping in my friends car and heading home.

Minus our picnic I spent around £3o which covered both girls wristbands plus I paid for a small wristband for Izzy’s friend James, the bits the girls bought in the visitor centre & 5 ice creams.

I was a little gutted my friend who had driven us there suddenly had to leave early otherwise I would have loved to have walked down to the boats with the girls & shown them the miniature train amongst other things around the park!

With so much to see and do around the park that even without the inflatables it’s a lovely day out & doesn’t have to cost a penny with free parking & toilets/changing room in the visitor centre. It’s such an interesting place for all ages I would definitely recommend stopping by for a visit if you are in the area and next time I go I will make a point of taking more pictures!

* Please note this is not a sponsored post.

Challenging My Crochet Skills

Somehow over this summer holiday I have managed to fit in a little bit of crochet in between the chaos and been trying to challenge myself a little more.

My first project was the crochet flower heart wreath Eva had spotted over my shoulder whilst I was scrolling through Pinterest.

The wreath Eva spotted on Pinterest

I hunted around the flat and found some gardening wire to make the heart shape and quickly got to work crocheting 18 flowers & 18 leaves, letting Eva pick the colours and sequence of the flowers.

Once all the flowers & leaves were finished we got to work attaching them to the wire to see how it looked and after a bit of neatening up we ended up with the wreath below…

Next time I will use thicker wool/yarn to make the flowers sturdier and a sturdier wire too as it is fairly floppy but sits well once hung.

Eva decided she didn’t want any buttons or extras added in the end and it is currently hung up on her bedroom door.

I really enjoyed making the wreath and definitely want to try a few different ideas soon!

I also managed to crochet Izzy a little handbag big enough for a fruit shoot & crisps/fruit bag for walks to the park which she seems to love!

I’m really enjoying getting creative with crochet but only knowing the basic stitches was starting to bore me so I decided to have a look around and find a new stitch to learn.

After a little look around I decided to try out the 4 point star stitch (Marguerite stitch) which is really easy once you get the hang of it and look lovely!

My first attempt was quite loose but with a different hook I think it will look much better now I’ve worked it out.

I love how quickly you can learn a new stitch especially with such great tutorials on the internet! I decided to start again with my favourite hook and was much more pleased with how the 4 point star stitch turned out.. What do you think?


Have you learnt any new stitches recently? What’s your favourite stitch?

 

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

A whole year blogging as Relentlessly Purple!

Can you believe I started this blog a whole year ago!

I’d blogged before setting up Relentlessly Purple but tried to put far too many restrictions on myself, only letting myself publish positive posts & eventually I felt like I was unable to write anything.

Blogging as Relentlessly Purple & not restricting myself makes it much easier to write and publish posts although admittedly I have been slacking majorly over the last month or 2 but it’s nice to see I still get visitors daily.

I may not have posted much recently but writing on the blog has helped me get through some tough patches over the past year & I really appreciate the love & support given by other bloggers especially my fellow spoonies who have given me some amazing advice & tips.

I feel like I’ve achieved a fair amount on the blog considering I’m not a regular poster, with 80 wordpress followers, over 2,500 twitter followers & 200 Instagram followers.

I plan on working harder with the blog over the next year and hope to have doubled these numbers by next year if possible and interact with other bloggers more.. Seems silly to sit & stare at posts on social media and not respond in case you ‘bother’ someone so I intend to be a little braver & interact a lot more!

How long have you been blogging for? Is your current blog your first? What did/have you achieved in your first year blogging?