Countdown to the 15th Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run & Harwich Family Festival

This Sunday, 7th September is the 15th annual Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run & Harwich Family Festival sponsored by Woodland Group and Jack Lilley Motorcycles. Everything is now in place for the Charity’s biggest annual event with some fantastic new entertainment in store!

This year, for the very first time The Imps, Britain’s largest motorcycle display team will be performing at Dunton. With the youngest member of the team just 5 years old, The Imps really are unique and deliver a highly disciplined spectacular show with complex cross-overs and visually stunning pyramids. On Sunday, they will be giving two special half hour performances at 9:15am and 10:45 am and with a new layout at Dunton this year the crowds will be able to see much more than ever before!

Bikers are asked to ride safely on the day and pay attention to the new road layout on the approach to Dunton. Participants will leave Ford Dunton Technical Centre from 11am and make their way to historic Harwich following a route approved by Essex Police down the A127 to the A130 and on to the A12 and finally the A120. Bikers will be greeted by local dignitaries and VIP’s including the Mayor of Harwich and event sponsors as they cross the finish line which will be marked by a specially branded Ford Tourneo Custom courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

All motorcyclists that have pre-registered to take part in the event will be entered into a prize draw to win £2,000 worth of motorcycle kit sponsored by Devitt Insurance. Plus for the very first time there is a runner’s up prize of Iconic Lewis Leathers Triumph Jacket worth £700 donated by Jack Lilley Motorcycles. Those who have pre-registered should keep the special number on their pre-paid sticker and be at the Harwich Family Festival to hear the prize draw live on stage.

Online pre-registration is now closed but the Essex Air Ambulance Team will be at Great Bentley on Wednesday evening at the weekly biker meet for any last minute registrations. Bikers are still free to turn up on the day and pay at the gate..

As well as the star pre-reg and runner up prizes up for grabs there will also be a chance to bid for some fantastic ‘money can’t buy’ items in a live auction on the stage at Harwich including some amazing Motorcycle Run goodies signed by Moto GP riders such as Valentino Rossi and Scott Redding. Plus, a one-off and unique green Motorcycle Run t-shirt and helmet signed by World Superbikes World champion Tom Sykes.

Follow us on Facebook and take part in our ‘Where’s Wendy’ competition to win more goodies signed by Moto GP riders. In the lead up to the event ‘Wendy’ the Ford Tourneo Custom will be at various locations across the county to promote the Motorcycle Run. Every day a photo of ‘Wendy’ will be posted up on the Essex Air Ambulance Facebook page and supporters are invited to guess where the vehicle is from the photo and to submit their answer by commenting on the page. All correct answers throughout the competition will be put into a draw and a winner will be selected at random.


Review: The Science Museum Energy Show

On Saturday 12th July 2014, myself and four of my children visited The Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on Sea to see The Science Museum Energy Show.


What a show it was !!!

Fire, bangs and explosions, it was amazing (I am 36, I loved it).

The story line tied in well with the more visual effects. Annabella and Philomena (Phil) work together to pass the final exam (which they both previously failed). They are helped along the way by I-stein, a virtual lab assistant who explains to the audience what is happening when Annabella and Phil mix things up. Another assistant Bernard (who is odd) also lends a hand.

The show is aimed at children 7+, this is important. My children are 9, 10, 12 & 13. It was perfect for them, however my 9 year old did get a little scared by the bangs.

These are loud..when Phil says to put your fingers in your ears, don’t think as I did that ‘Oh it won’t be that bad’, seriously put your fingers in your ears.

Even now the children haven’t forgotton what happens when you mix hydrogen with oxygen.

You can find out more and view future performance dates here:

When Mumsnet Essex met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg & Justine Roberts (Mumsnet CEO)


On Monday 30th June 2014, I was invited to head into London to discuss the new Flexible Working Rights with Mumsnet & Nick Clegg.

Up until now, the right to request flexible working hours has only been available for carers, or people who look after children.

This has now been extended to all employees.

Tuesday’s extension of the right to request the chance to work flexibly means more than 20 million employees can now benefit.

Flexible working helps people balance their work with responsibilities, keeping more people in long term employment and enabling companies to keep hold of top talent.

It is expected the new right will be of particular interest to older workers who want to work differently as they approach retirement and to young people entering the labour market who may want take up additional training or learning while they work.

As part of the right, employees can expect their request to be considered in a reasonable manner by employers – this will be much simpler than the previous burdensome process businesses had to undergo before making a decision.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet CEO opened the discussion by highlighting that Mums generally are seen as a burden by employers due to a number of issues (pregnancy appointments through to childcare), Mumsnet however has 40% of it’s staff on Flexitime.

Nick Clegg then began to speak about how the issues Mums face in the workplace are not just issues for Mothers but for Fathers too, Dads need the same rights as Mums. It is now time to remove the typecast from these roles.

Flexible working will allow all the people with talents to show, not just restrict to a few.

Questions were asked and the consensus was that there needs to be a cultural shift in attitudes regarding flexible working and Mr. Clegg explained that there would be nowhere to hide for those who do not wish to move with the times. Equal childcare will be available to those who choose that option.

We were also advised that babies due from April 2015 will benefit by receiving shared parental leave, again a huge step forward into making parenting & childcare equal and not ‘just a mums’ issue.

You can read more regarding flexible working hours Continue reading

Mumsnet Recommends- Yes, we really do buy the stuff we see mentioned on Mumsnet!

The Millers Tale

This article by Mumsnet Lancashire- Em Hill, caught our eye. Read the original here.

79% Of Mumsnetters buy a product after reading about it on Mumsnet

 I find these figures fascinating: 79% of Mumsnetters read about a product on Mumsnet then go on to buy it and; 80% of users seek advice or read reviews on Mumsnet when they are planning to buy a child-related product and this got me thinking – what have I bought after reading about on Mumsnet?
(Stats are from an independent study of on-line parenting forums for the Arts and Humanities Research Council).
Karcher steam cleaner- something else I applied for-a product test. I got one, added my feedback, following the feedback thread avidly to read about the experiences of the other testers. It does a fabulous job especially on tiles- my kitchen wall tiles shone like when they were new and it wasn’t an easy task due to…

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Essex Air Ambulance, Go Yellow !



Charity Fundraisers Inject some Colour into Go Yellow Week!

The Essex Air Ambulance fundraising team get colourful during a yellow powder paint fight to launch Go Yellow 2014! Starting off in pure white, fundraisers Sabi and Jenny were soon coated head to toe in yellow. The battle took place at North Weald Airfield, the home of our sister aircraft the Herts Air Ambulance, as the Crew cheered them on from a safe distance.

The fun stunt is to raise awareness for National Air Ambulance Week in September and encourage registrations for the Charity’s Go Yellow campaign. The week takes place from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th September and will raise both awareness and funds for the County’s ‘YELLOW’ life-saving helicopter.

The Charity is inviting schools, businesses, groups and individuals to take part by doing anything to Go Yellow during the week. You don’t have to get as messy as our fundraisers: wear a yellow item of clothing or have a non-uniform day, sell yellow cakes or put on a yellow themed quiz or party to raise funds for Essex Air Ambulance. Anything yellow goes! Could you challenge your work colleagues or teachers to a lemon eating competition?!

imageSabi Blyth, Essex Air Ambulance Senior Fundraising Coordinator said: “It was so much fun doing our Go Yellow paint fight, even though it took me three baths to get all the paint out of my hair!! We really want people to have fun with this, so every yellow-themed idea is welcome. If you have any crazy ideas of what you would like to do, get in touch and we can advise you on how we might be able to help. Registering today will help us to keep our life-saving helicopter flying, by raising vital funds and awareness.”
The Essex Air Ambulance receives no direct Government or National Lottery funding, and relies on the generosity of the people who live and work in Essex to continue to save lives.

To register to take part in Go Yellow or find out more about how you can help, contact Jenny Macpherson at Essex Air Ambulance on 0345 2417 690 or email

The Crown & Castle in Orford – We review.

The Millers Tale

download The frontage of the Crown & Castle

We have stayed at The Crown & Castle on three separate occasions in rooms across the tariffs- from the dog friendly garden rooms to prime rooms overlooking Orford Castle (dreamy and romantic) and have yet to be disappointed. The dog friendly rooms do not smell of dog either -something that concerned us when we had to be moved there one night. The hotel is dog friendly though, even providing a pre-bookable doggy table in the restaurant area.- something you need to consider if you detest dogs. Children are welcomed of any age in the restaurant at lunchtime and those over 8 years old in the hotel and at dinner time so please be aware of this as some guests have and do complain. Car parking can be an issue when the hotel is full as they state they are two places short and therefore…

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