The Light Princess

STphoto-LP-AnnaUsing elements of circus and classical choreography, a new full length ballet taking the tale of Sleeping Beauty as its inspiration is being performed at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

Ballet Cymru’s The Light Princess tells the story of a princess afflicted by constant weightlessness, unable to get her feet on the ground, until she finds a love that brings her down to earth.

STphoto-LP-Beth RobbieFeaturing video projections and a new score by Welsh harpist, composer and recording artist Catrin Finch, The Light Princess was produced in collaboration with The Riverfront Theatre in Newport and continues Ballet Cymru’s work using powerful and timeless stories to challenge its dancers to interpret some of the finest characters in literature.

The Light Princess will be performed by Ballet Cymru at the LPAC in Lincoln on Sunday, November 19th at 5pm. Click here to find out more.

Advertisements

Heigh-Ho Ho Ho, it’s off to the grotto we go

Christmas 2017

Santa 2017If my blog stats are accurate then many of you are a lot more organised than me (although I probably didn’t need numbers compiling to tell me that).

Last year’s Looking to find the man in red?, a list of where the bearded one and his helpers were appearing in and near Lincolnshire, has been steadily gaining views again since early this October.  Despite my usual “not until at least after Halloween” ruling I had considered doing my usual Father Christmas visit round-up earlier this year.  My post Putting the heart into Halloween might explain why I never managed to but, as I’ve also seen certain venues are already selling out, I thought I better get on with it now.  You never know, it might make me get on with booking our visit too, after all it’s not that long until he has to return to the North Pole to see to his global duties.

As always, live events can be subject to last minute changes and selling out so be sure to check booking details before you travel and certainly before promising anything to excitable mini ones! 

And, if you know of one we’ve missed, then please email hello@theminimalpi.co.uk with the link and I’ll be happy to add it.

Ark Wildlife Park, Stickney
Various dates between December 2nd and Christmas Eve
www.arkwildlifepark.co.uk

Baytree Garden Centre, Weston, Spalding
Various date between November 4th and Christmas Eve
www.baytree-gardencentre.com

Belton House, near Grantham
Various December dates
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house/

Boston Pescod Square
Various December dates
Facebook event

Brigg Garden Centre
Various dates in November and December
www.britishgardencentres.com

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway
Various December dates
www.cclr.co.uk

Doddington Hall, near Lincoln
SOLD OUT (waiting list available)
www.doddingtonhall.com

Downtown Boston
December 2nd and 3rd
www.oldrids.co.uk

Downtown Grantham Garden Centre
Various November and December dates
www.oldrids.co.uk

Downtown Grantham Superstore
Supper with Santa – Various November and December dates
www.oldrids.co.uk

Dunholme Community Christmas Fayre, St Chad’s Primary School
November 24th
www.dunholme.org.uk

Elsham Hall
SOLD OUT (December 1st, 3rd, 15th, 17th)
Facebook page

Fillingham Trees, near Gainsborough
December 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th
www.fillingham-trees.co.uk

Hildreds Shopping Centre, Skegness
Various December dates
www.hildredsshoppingcentre.co.uk

Holbeach St Nicholas Community Fayre
December 2nd and 3rd
www.allsaintsholbeach.org.uk/st-nicholas-fayre/

Hykeham Lions
Various December dates
Facebook page

Johnsons Garden Centre, Boston
Various November and December dates
www.johnsonsofboston.co.uk

Kelham Hall, near Newark
November 25th and 26th
www.KelhamChristmas.co.uk

Kirton in Lindsey Fair Gardens
Various November and December dates
www.fairgardens.co.uk

Lincoln area – Lincolnshire Firefighters Escort Santa’s Sleigh
December 15th-19th
Facebook post

Lincoln Castle
Various December dates
www.lincolncastle.com

Lincoln Santa Fun Run & Walk 2017
(No grotto but hundreds of Santas!)
December 17th
www.lincolnsantafunrun.co.uk

Lincolnshire Showground Food and Gift Fair
(No grotto but Santa will be visiting on his sleigh)
December 2nd and 3rd
www.lincolnshireshowground.co.uk

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Friskney
Various December dates
www.lincswildlife.com

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway
December 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th
www.lincolnshirewoldsrailway.co.uk

Lincoln, Wacky Warehouse, Newark Road
Breakfast with Santa, December 9th, 17th, 23rd
Facebook event

Lincoln, Windmill Farm, off Whisby Road
Breakfast with Santa, December 23rd
Facebook event

LMS Country Store Christmas Market, Wellingore
December 2nd
LMS Facebook

Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe
Various December dates
www.normanbyhall.co.uk

North Hykeham Fun Farm
Come dine with Santa – December 13th
Facebook event

North Scarle Miniature Railway
December 10th and 17th
www.lincolnmes.co.uk

Oldrids, Boston
Tea with Santa – December 14th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oldrids, Gainsborough
November 25th and 26th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oldrids, Scunthorpe
December 16th and 17th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oliver Boat Trips, Brayford, Lincoln
Various November and December dates
www.facebook.com/oliverboattrips/

The Pink Pig Farm, near Scunthorpe
Various December dates
www.pinkpigfarm.co.uk

Rand Farm Park, near Wragby
Various November and December dates
www.randfarmpark.com

Reepham School Christmas Fair
December 2nd
Visit Facebook event

The Ritz, Lincoln 
Breakfast with Santa – December 19th-21st
Facebook event

Rufford Abbey Country Park
Various dates between November 18th and December 23rd
Facebook event

Scunthorpe Christmas Lights Switch On
November 25th
Facebook event

Sherwood Forest
Santa Paws Dog Grotto
December 9th and 10th
Facebook event

Springfields, Spalding
Various November and December dates
www.springfieldsshopping.co.uk

Sundown Adventureland, Rampton, near Retford
Various November and December dates
www.sundownadventureland.co.uk

Tattershall Farm Park
December 2nd and 3rd
Facebook event

Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincoln
December 1st-24th
www.watersideshopping.com

White Post Farm, Farnsfield
From November 25th
www.whitepostfarm.co.uk

The Winter Express
December 20
The Poacher Community Rail Partnership will be taking the train from Nottingham to the North Pole (Boston) to watch the Polar Express in 3D.  On the train there will be activities, treats and on the way home a very special guest.  Booking essential.
www.lincolnshire.gov.uk

Seasonal stories make perfect presents

Whether as part of an advent calendar, included in a Christmas Eve box, a stocking filler or a main present, there’s no doubt that books make great Christmas presents – they even make the cut in the “four gift rule” of want, need, wear and read – so no wonder there are so many great titles to choose from.  Here Gill Hart of Lindum Books picks out a few of her favourites with a seasonal theme to look out for if you’re buying for mini ones this year.

SnowSamUsherSnow – Sam Usher (Templar Publishing, HB, £5.99)
A charming little book all a-sparkle with snow!  The ground is covered in snow and one little boy can’t WAIT to get outside and play.  But his grandad is taking SO LONG to get ready.  When they finally leave the house, they have a very surprising adventure!  A beautiful mini hardback gift edition of Sam Usher’s bestseller.

AllTheWayHomeDebiGloriAll the Way Home – Debi Gliori (Bloomsbury, HB, £12.99)
Daddy Penguin has to look after the egg while Mummy is finding fish.  But he wanders away from the Dad Huddle and he and the egg are whisked up into the air by a gust of wind, landing in the Arctic.  Brave Daddy must find out where he is and how to get home.  But the Arctic creatures aren’t that friendly and he stumbles along in the cold, lost, until he bumps into a reindeer, who takes them to breakfast with the Special Air Navigation Transport Authority.  Can brave Daddy Penguin and his new little one get all the way home before Mummy returns?  If only penguins could fly…

SnowAngelLaurenStJohnThe Snow Angel – Lauren St John (Head of Zeus, HB, £10.99)
Lauren St John’s stunning Christmas classic is about forgotten children, the power of nature to heal us and a girl who will climb mountains in search of a place to call home.  Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father.  But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city’s dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse.  In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she’s still running from?  And is the sparkling fox friend or foe?  After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains.  But will they betray her or be the making of her?

FatherChristmasAndMeFather Christmas and Me – Matt Haig (Canongate, HB, £12.99)
It isn’t always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas.  For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs everyday – even in July – and when you fail all your toy-making tests.  Also it can get very, very cold.  But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it’s up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive.  Before it’s too late…

OneChristmasWishOne Christmas Wish – Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury, HB, £14.99)
It’s Christmas Eve and Theo – left at home with a babysitter – sees an odd-looking star out of his window and decides to make a wish.  He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company.  Moments later the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc.  Written with generous helpings of warmth and humour, this is a story about treasuring the people and values that really matter at this time of year from master storyteller and bestselling children’s author Katherine Rundell.  Emily Sutton’s breathtaking illustrations perfectly capture the magic of Christmas in stunning detail.

For more recommendations from the Lincoln bookseller call 01522 262374 or pop into their store in Bailgate, Lincoln.

Putting the heart into Halloween

With birthdays just shy of the 31st, Halloween has always been a significant date in Daddy and Mummy Malpi’s calendars.

And, eight years ago, we made it an even more special anniversary to remember by getting married.

This year our month to be aware of has had even more heart put into it.

We were expecting Faith’s AVSD (hole in her heart) operation to be in January.  In early to mid October this was brought forward to November and within a few days we were then being called in to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for the procedure to take place before the end of the month.  One postponement later and the operation went ahead as planned the second time.

ZipPoplin

There are no words strong enough to express how incredibly thankful we are to the team at Glenfield Hospital – the outpatients department, everyone working in Ward 30, surgeons, PICU and everybody who supports them – for taking great care of Faith and fixing the hole in her heart and in the process shoring up her parents’ and siblings’ hearts too.

TrickOrTreatThe second half of this year’s October may have gone in a slightly surreal blur but, thanks to the angels watching over Faith, both here and above, they gave her the strength to recover much quicker than expected and she was even home in time for Halloween and to see her brother, sister and daddy dress up for trick or treating.

Daddy was a zombie again, Luke quickly donned his choice of spider top on returning from school and Willow chose to accessorise her vampiric dress, ghost torch and claw treat bag with a fire fighter’s helmet, knight’s shield and explorer’s binoculars.  Obviously.

Here’s hoping your mini monsters are happy and healthy enough to be behaving like little terrors this Halloween.

Just one more minute…

OneMoreMinuteStats

Those sobering statistics are the reason that Child Bereavement UK has developed a campaign featuring bereaved families and celebrity supporters who have experienced the death of a family member.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the needs of bereaved children and families and the benefits of support.

The national charity’s film shows a series of contributors talking about what they would say if they had one more minute with their special person who has died and includes celebrity friends of the charity such as Rio Ferdinand and patrons Mary Berry and Jason Watkins.

OneMoreMinute

The charity’s chief executive Ann Chalmers said “The idea behind the One More minute campaign taps into a human truth that will help people to understand the impact of bereavement, which is exactly what Child Bereavement UK endeavours to help grieving families to face as they begin to rebuild their lives.  The film touches on the yearning that many bereaved families tell us they have, to be able to have more time with the person who has died.  In our 23 years’ experience of supporting children, young people and families, this is something that is commonly expressed and that many people will relate to.

“Child Bereavement UK deals with a subject that many people find too unbearable to contemplate, the untimely deaths of parents and children, but every year, child bereavement is experienced by thousands of families in the UK.  Our vision is for all families to have access to the support they need when a child grieves and when a child dies, and our One More Minute campaign gives us the opportunity to spread the word so that the families are aware that bereavement support is available through organisations like ours.  We also need to reach new audiences to provide vital funding to help us plug the gaps in bereavement support across the UK; we know from Child Bereavement UK’s YouGov survey that 1 in 5 British adults who were bereaved of a close family member said they wish they had more support.”

Watch the films, find out how to seek bereavement support or make a donation to the charity’s work at www.onemoreminute.org

Author event may inspire children to write

Dan Walker Book Signing PosterBilled as “amazing, action packed stories,” you can find out more about from the author of Desert Thieves and Sky Thieves himself when Dan Walker visits a Lincoln bookshop on Saturday (October 14th, 2017).

Aimed at ages 9-12, the swashbuckling adventure series includes flying galleons, floating islands and long lost treasure.

And Walker is looking forward to his appearance at the High Street branch of Waterstones from 11am to 2pm just as much as any of his young fans are.

“As a children’s writer, events are super-exciting,” the Nottingham writer explains.

“Writing stories is something children do at school, so the understand the process well.  It is not an abstract thing for them.  So when they meet someone who does it for a living – someone who can give them tips and tricks, talk about structure and characters – it’s really interesting.

“In terms of reading as a hobby, kids are always fascinated by the inspiration for characters, events, settings, everything!  I also get a lot of feedback from children who had given up on their writing, but were inspired by meeting an author to get back on it again.”

DanWalker
Author Dan Walker

And it’s not just the children who might find the event inspirational as Walker finds meeting his young readers very beneficial too.

“For a writer, events are great because it means you get to speak to your readers, ” he says.  Writing is a solitary job, and sometimes you get so buried in the details of a story that you lose touch with why you’re putting words on the paper.

“When you go out to an event, and meet readers, it reminds you of the end-point of your story.  You remember who you’re writing for, and the joy it hopefully brings.

“Practically, it gives you a little boost, so that next time you sit down at the computer you’re ready and raring to go.  From a craft perspective, it’s also good to know which bits of your books kids particularly enjoyed, and which bits they didn’t.

“Feedback is good in every station of life; writing is no different.”

Find out more at: www.waterstones.com

Bushcraft, browsing and a Wobbly Bodger

Belton House Autumn Fayre 2017

Autumn is my favourite season so it’s lovely to hear of other people celebrating it too.

National Trust property Belton House holds an annual Autumn Fayre and this weekend (Saturday, October 14th and Sunday 15th) is 2017’s time to host it.

“The two day Autumn Fayre offers families the chance to immerse themselves in all things autumnal, from learning forest skills with Silverback Bushcraft, and having-a-go at den building in Lincolnshire’s largest outdoor adventure playground, to exploring autumn with the RSPB’s Nature’s Colour trail” says marketing and events officer Anastasia Stratigou.

“Browse a selection of handmade arts, crafts and foods that celebrate the best of regional produce. With local traders selling a variety of foods, vintage linens, handmade jewellery, leather bags, garden items, home décor and more, the fayre promises there will be a treat to be found by all”.

Click here to find details of the stall holders attending: Belton Autumn Fayre Stall Holder List 2017.

The North Front at Belton House, a restoration country house built 1685-88
The North Front at Belton House.  National Trust Images: Andrew Butler.

New for 2017, chainsaw artist Andrew Frost will be creating live action wood carvings in preparation for Belton’s Christmas display, at the fayre on Sunday.  And, on the same day, the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust’s annual greyhound walk around the parkland will start at 11am.

The Wobbly Bodger will also be demonstrating traditional heritage crafts all weekend.

The fayre will take place from 9.30am to 5.30pm on both days, with different activities throughout the weekend.  Grounds admission applies.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house for more information.