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This is not what I had in mind when I booked a holiday!

Emergency hospital visits and getting flooded was not what I planned for a half term holiday.

They say life is what happens when you’ve made other plans, so I feel confident to say I’ve been really living this week. Yay. 🙄

If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve talked a lot about what a misnomer the word “holiday” is when you have young children.

“Looking after your children in a different location” would be more accurate.

“Looking after your children in a different location without any of your usual support networks, while they sleep even less than usual and are way more unsettled, and you realise that even gin is not the answer because you have reached an age where your body no longer knows how to metabolise alcohol” would be more accurate still, though wordy, I’ll admit.

It has rained torrentially this week in the Western Lake District. That’s fairly par for the course. But we’re staying in a cosy terraced house with our very loud children who “keep forgetting” to be quiet while tobogganing down the stairs yelling at the tops of their voices. I’m sure one day that will be a useful skill - What do you mean, “When?” I don’t know - when they enter the Opera on Skis championships? - but this week, I could have done without it.

Then Youngest got a rash. It seemed to blanch ok under a glass, but kept spreading around her body really quickly. We were puzzled and a bit worried so husband drove through the torrential rain in the middle of the night to A&E who saw her quickly, reassured us, and gave her medicine. Because this is Cumbria and we’re staying somewhere remote, the nearest hospital was nearly 30 miles away. By the time they got back we were very low on petrol. So we set off this morning to buy some. What could be so difficult about that?



And did I mention it had been raining?

After driving for half an hour, we prepared to turn right, looking forward to hearing the sat nav trill, “You have reached your destination”, only to see a river where the road should have been, sandbags outside houses, and a Road Closed sign.

I won’t bore you with all the details. Apart from anything else, I’m knackered. But our quest for petrol involved children up to their waists in water, wading through a flooded sewage station, fire engine crews pumping out houses, finding that the petrol station was shut after all, and finally a local family with little ones who took me and the children in, drove husband to get petrol, and provided chocolate coins. While also checking on the houses most in danger of flooding, and vulnerable residents.

If I ever get to heaven, those angels will be wearing wellies and giving out chocolate coins, I’m sure of it.

So I'm here to tell you that I may not be booking any more "holidays" any time soon - sending the children to holiday club and staying at the top of a high hill in Birmingham is looking really attractive right now.

But the GOOD news is that we've launched the brand new B'Opera Musical Advent Calendar for 2021! It's the perfect gift for little ones near and far.

  • Completely waste free!

  • A perfect gift for little ones far away - no postage faff!

  • Open their ears to new styles of music

  • Buy as a gift

  • Introduce them to your favourite Christmas songs

  • The gift that keeps on giving - a new song every day throughout Advent

  • Play the songs again and again - little ones love (and need) repetition!

And it's all yours for the early bird price of £12.50 (until midnight Sunday 14th November when it will be £15)​​

The B'Opera digital musical advent calendar brings you Christmassy videos every day of Advent for you to enjoy with your little one, accompanied by lyrics, information about the song, and accompanying activities to try. With 25 days of musical nuggets from us, you'll be able to count down to Christmas in musical style! You can expect some old favourites, some new, and songs from around the world.​​

For just £15, or £12.50 if you order before midnight on 14th November, you will get beautiful music from your favourite children's opera company delivered to your email inbox each day.

Why not buy one as a Christmas present for a friend or family member who would love a daily dose of musical love and positivity in their inbox! Just leave a message with your order giving the intended recipient's email address. Some comments from last year's happy customers:

"I'm loving the Advent calendar and can't wait to open it each morning when I wake up. This is my favourite so far." Marion​

"Imogen likes to reopen every single Advent song each day from B'Opera. It's so lovely! She listened very carefully to Phil's suggestion to add a drum accompaniment." Eleanor​

"I loved this morning's song. What incredible voices you have!" Ann-Marie

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