With the return back to school, there was the disappointment that our continuous daily Country Kids days would be over.
Then the happier realisation that come September, weekends are special and sacred, something to look forward to and treasure after a long week at school, so we started to plan things to look forward to.
When we saw that Manor House Wildlife Park were once again holding their Chiami festival we knew we had to go. As Double Bubble Ticket holders this All Day and Evening event was free to us, so once again my Double Bubbles, even for a family of six, have been well worth the money spent.
A change to our routine this year is we have weekend swimming lessons, which I did worry would eat into our weekends a bit too much, but as long as we go off straight away after swimming, we can still enjoy a long day out.
When we first arrived, the kids went straight to the green- I have wrote before about how much Danny loves the tricycles there! There were stalls to visit and bands playing on the Dragon stage (which came from Glastonbury originally).
Then they played swing ball together and alone and climbed on the “wild animal” structures, as seen in the photos above.
I couldn’t wait to see find our friends, and have a go at Bushcraft,eco crafts and meet an author, but the kids had to play along the way.
Eventually, we found our friends and went to play in the Hay Barn, which they always love.
They also climbed the climbing wall, and we were slowly getting closer to the activities for Chiami…
We knew Danny and the boys would enjoy Buzzard Chris Bushcraft, where they learnt to make a fire.
At the end of the day, the boys all bought their own flint, so no more matches next time we have a campfire!
Danny also loved the woodcarvings and wants one of the wooden knives for Christmas.
Then we had a play in the lower park.
Izzy loves playing with her older sisters. She got a bit upset when another little girl shared the see-saw with Rebecca and was trying to tell her to get off I think! Thankfully we distracted her with the slide so all was sorted! It was funny to see her getting jealous for the attention of her sister, bless her.
Then, Rebecca and Caitlyn took part in Eco Crafts.
They made a butterfly and a dragon fly with Tina Marie Cunningham from Sculpture By The Sea. These were quite simple to make and were made of milk carton plastic, sticks and fabric strips, so we are definitely going to make some more at home.
Don’t they look lovely?
Then we were lucky enough to meet Tanya L James, author of Sid and the Cwmhendy Dog Show.
The book is about Tanya’s own mischievious dog.
Danny is enjoying reading the book- honest- this is his reading in the sun face!
The kids all enjoyed making their own “Sid” badge to wear. Tanya was very impressed as Caitlyn coloured Sid in blue…little did she know that he actually ends up blue in the story! Caitlyn didn’t know this, it is just her favourite colour.
Tanya’s son, Dan, was in charge of making the badges.
Tanya signed our book and we all got a free bookmark too.
We loved reading about Sid and Caitlyn asked for a little Jack Russell teddy for her birthday. She has named it Sid, of course, and she takes it everywhere with her. Luckily, he has not been covered in blue yet!
We went back to the Green, and listened to some more bands and performances. We bought delicious, “proper Welsh” chocolate from Nom Nom and Pembrokeshire Honey from Pembrokeshire Bee Keepers Association. The kids also sampled Sub Zero Icecream which went down a treat!
Then the heavens opened and we sheltered in a Marquee. The music was temporarily off as the electric equipment was quickly covered up. The kids amused themselves by collecting the free samples of Nom Nom chocolate that were now being given out- I loved the Salted bar even more than the Nutty one we had bought for ourselves!
The rain eased and the musical entertainment was taken to the Cafe Veranda area. It was lovely to see Anna (Ryder Richardson) and other organisers of the day, having the chance to enjoy a glass of wine and relax after all their hard work.
I enjoyed a dance with Izzy to the wonderful Jonski, who despite being an incredibly talented friend, I never get the chance to see him play enough. The kids enjoyed playing in the nearby park.
We stayed there till late, appreciating the pretty bunting, candles and gorgeous natural scenery all around us.
Good music, food, drink, kids playing, relaxing after a busy fun filled day!
Unfortunately, there was so much to do that we didn’t manage to go around see all the animals, we didn’t even go and see our favourite, Steve, Lisa and Bryn, but as we have our season tickets, we are sure to go and see them very soon!
Thank you Manor Park and everyone who helped to make Chiami possible, it was a wonderful day and we can’t wait for next year!
P.S. While writing this post and searching for the relevant Chiami links, I found this promo video by AngharadCati1- who did I spot in it? First Danny and his friends, my friend, then myself, then a brief glance of Dave and Izzy! The girls were right by me making their butterflies in my second scene but they are off camera. Take a look…can you spot us?