The major Malpi

#Blogtober18: Couples #nationalboyfriendday


Did you know it’s National Boyfriend Day today?  No?  I didn’t either until I saw today’s #Blogtober18 prompt.

To answer many people’s next question, National Girlfriends Day is apparently August 1st.

Cowgirlfriend and cowboyfriend

Quite why someone decided that Valentine’s Day or your first date anniversary wasn’t enough to celebrate I don’t know.  Maybe someone’s mum didn’t teach them that sharing is nice and they wanted an it’s all about me day on top of their birthday?

Daddy Malpi and I actually share a birthday so perhaps I shouldn’t be so cynical about the possibility of an all about me day although I’d have to wait until next September for Wife Appreciation Day whereas he’s only have six months for Husband Appreciation Day in April.  And we already have our first date anniversary then so, sorry dear, that month’s already spoken for.

The day he stopped being a boyfriend or fiance and became a husband

We’re very much a quintet rather than a couple at the moment though and have managed about two date afternoons and one date night in the last six years since the minis started arriving.

Perhaps that’s another reason I should welcome any opportunity to put us as a duo in the spotlight a bit more often – after all the mini Malpi wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for us major Malpi – but that’s often easier said than done and most of the time I’d probably just settle for being able to finish a conversation with each other never mind anything more logistically complicated than that.

In a few weeks we will be celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary which means 2019 will be a marital milestone for us – perhaps if we start organising now we could add a second date night to our post-minis’ tally?

How do you make time for yourselves as a couple within your larger family unit?  Let us know in the comments below…



New charity aims to offer better cancer screening

#Blogtober18: Boobs #breastcancerawareness

Can you imagine making something positive out of a incurable cancer diagnosis?

One woman who’s reclaiming her power and doing precisely that is 65-year-old Barbara Delacy-Wrisdale.

Charity co-founder Barbara Delacy-Wrisdale

Following beating breast cancer nine years ago, she’s now been diagnosed with incurable secondary cancer of the liver.

But she’s determined to help others escape such a fate if possible and has co-founded a charity that aims to offer cancer survivors better screening.

Her niece, writer and editor Samantha Curtis, explains:

“Barbara has been galvanised into action. She has founded a charity which she hopes, with enough funding, will be able to offer cancer survivors a full body screening service, to aid the early detection of secondary cancers, should they occur after the five-year all-clear point.

“The Bessy Foundation breast cancer charity stands for Better Extra Screening Service for You.”

Sam has written more about Barbara’s story here – Listen to Barbara and live each and every day to the full, you can click here to like the charity’s Facebook page and, if you are able to help financially, click here to visit The Bessy Foundation’s Just Giving page.

If you’re based near Lincolnshire you can even enjoy a night out while helping to raise funds at the end of this month.  Elvis tribute act Tony Elding will be dedicating the proceeds of a raffle held during his show at Boston Football Club on Saturday, October 27th to the new charity.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Find out more at Breast Cancer Now and don’t forget to check yourself. 



Another year older, another year wiser?

#Blogtober18: All About Me – A Year On

No dear reader, it isn’t my birthday quite yet, but rather the start of another #Blogtober18 – a blogging challenge of a post per day for 31 days either following prompts or choosing your own theme.

In last year’s opening post – On (not) keeping it simple – I wrote about the pitfalls of trying to stuff too much into life.  Clearly, as I start another #Blogtober 12 months on, I haven’t learnt my lesson but the pre-mum me wrote a lot and the current me misses that so I welcome any helpful nudge to remind me to fit a bit more of Karen as well as mum in my life.

I think the bit where I might be a bit wiser though is that I’m slightly more realistic about not completing it – after all I’ve still got June’s #30DaysWild posts to finish…

Last year I had a really good reason to truncate my efforts as Faith’s heart surgery was unexpectedly and suddenly brought forward – Putting the heart into Halloween.

This year I am praying not only that I won’t have such a justification but also to accept that I don’t need one anyway – surely a husband, three kids aged 6, 3 and 1 and two jobs is enough in itself to make anything else come at least seventh on the list?  Simply doing the admin required by school and nursery seems to be a full time occupation and then there’s the large amount of time I seem to dedicate to picking things up off the floor…

Photo: Merika Green

Last year I did manage to fit in a day’s papermaking course and a half-day lino printing Christmas card workshop, both of which I really enjoyed.  The return of #Blogtober reminded me of this and I have now booked myself into an evening’s beginners pyrography event to restart my aim to regularly try out a new craft.  Once or twice a year might not be frequent but it’s regular right?

Do you manage to fit in some “All About Me” time?  How?  And what do you choose to do with it when you can?  Let us know in the comments below…


New county visitor website launches on Lincolnshire Day

A new website encouraging people to visit Lincolnshire launched today, helping to celebrate Lincolnshire Day (October 1st).  Visit Lincoln, the city’s “official Destination Management Organisation” tells us more… 


Created by the award-winning tourism team at Visit Lincoln and local marketing agency The Energy Cell, the county website – – has been designed to inspire new visitors to Lincolnshire with striking photos, videos and experiences.

“As experts in tourism we have used the expertise and knowledge of the team to promote Lincolnshire alongside the city,” said Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln Community Interest Company. “We were able to use research into visitor trends with quality visitor experiences to present an inspirational microsite, which aims to boost the visitor economy and increase the performance of the area’s businesses.

“Tourism is a competitive industry and we had to ensure Lincolnshire’s reputation as a place to visit continues to grow. It is essential visitors have a responsive and inspirational website to help them plan a trip to Lincolnshire – the internet is the first port of call for the tourism industry.”

To attract new visitors to the county the website showcases three appealing destinations of Lincolnshire – city, countryside and coast. An interactive map enables visitors to familiarise themselves with the highlights whilst inspiration and experiences are featured across culture, entertainment, heritage, family fun, sport, shopping and the great outdoors.

Talking about the design of the website, Joel Murray digital marketing manager at Visit Lincoln said: “The website has been designed and built to inspire and signpost to a wealth of information across Lincolnshire, helping visitors plan their visit. We are not duplicating content that already exists, but instead providing an inspirational overview of what the county has to offer on one helpful site.”

Lincolnshire County Council is committed to the development of the tourism industry across Greater Lincolnshire, and working with the county’s local authorities, have supported Visit Lincoln with the creation of a new website to showcase Lincolnshire.

“The design of the new website has been entirely driven by the results of the recent research we commissioned,” said Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development Lincolnshire County Council “This gives us a very clear picture of what is needed to attract visitors to Lincolnshire and the website reflects that.”

The website development has been supported by Lincolnshire County Council, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, West Lindsey District Council, East Lindsey District Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Kesteven District Council, South Holland Council, Boston Borough Council and Lincoln City Council.

Find out more at 

Where would you recommend tourists visit in the county?  Let us know in the comments below…

Autumn theatre season 2018

It’s not about panto yet – oh, no it isn’t!

The minis enjoyed a dramatic afternoon on Saturday watching the opening show in the Terry O’Toole Theatre’s autumn/winter season, Christopher’s Caterpillars, and there’s plenty more family-friendly stage shows to look forward to ahead of the annual refrains of pantomime and winter offerings.  Here are some of what young audiences can look forward to in and around Lincolnshire in the next few months.

Embassy Theatre, Skegness
October 21 – Milkshake! Live: Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur and more.
Call 01507 613100 or visit

Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
HowToHideALionOctober 9 – How to Hide a Lion: Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse present an adaptation of Helen Stephens’s book.
October 20 – Monstersaurus: Big Wooden Horse present this adaptation of Claire Freedman and Ben Cort’s book featuring young inventor Monty.
Call 01476 406158 or visit

Lincoln Drill Hall
StickManTheatreSeptember 28th-29th – Stick Man: Part of Lincoln Book Festival, Scamp Theatre present their adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s tale of a perilous journey home to the family tree.
October 10 – How to Hide a Lion: Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse present an adaptation of Helen Stephens’s book.
October 28 – A Frog Called Woanda: Laura and her frog friend Woanda search for a lost ring through a whirlwind of twists and turns that combine dreams with reality, laughter with tears, fears with friendship.
Call 01522 873894 or visit

Louth Riverhead Theatre
October 25 – Stories on a String: Presented by Dotted Line Theatre and Polyglot Arts, Stories on a String brings the mysteries of the Amazon jungle to life through live Brazilian music, songs and puppetry, for ages 6+.
Call 01507 600350 or visit

LPAC, Lincoln
SpotAlienOctober 6 – How to Spot an Alien: What do you do if you think your aunt is an alien? 12 year old Jelly and her cousin JonJo have their suspicions.
October 21 – The Nutcracker: In this classical ballet Clara and the Nutcracker combat the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier on a wonderful journey through the glistening Land of Snow to a kingdom made entirely of sweets.
October 25 – The Snail and the Whale: Tall Stories presents Julia Donaldson’s tale of wanderlust and friendship.
Call 01522 837600 or visit

Newark Palace Theatre
September 30th – Milkshake! Live: Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur and more.
October 29th – Tabby McTat: From the book by Julia Donaldson, Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest of meee-ews and a best friend with a guitar. 
Call 01636 655755 or visit

New Theatre Royal, Lincoln
BingLiveOctober 13th-14th – Bing Live: Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as they find out how to tell stories by pretending, dressing-up and singing songs. 
November 4th-5th – Tabby McTat: 
From the book by Julia Donaldson, Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest of meee-ews and a best friend with a guitar. 
Call 01522 519999 or visit

Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe
October 27th – Crafty’s Halloween Spooktacular: Come in your scariest Halloween costume and help Sally the Scarecrow solve the mystery of the ghostly goings-on and discover who has stolen the golden pumpkin.
Call 0844 8542776 or visit

South Holland Centre, Spalding
ButteflieTFOctober 24 – Butterflies: Tangled Feet and Half Moon present this tale of three friends who embark on an exciting adventure to chase their butterflies away.  They cross new seas to unchartered lands, on a journey filled with discovery.  The only trouble is, they are all a bit worried about it.  What if they get wet? What if they make a new friend?  What if they don’t?
November 17 – The Suitcase Kid: Act II Theatre Company present this adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s book following the story of 10-year-old Andy whose parents have just divorced.
Call 01775 764777 or visit

Stamford Arts Centre
LandOfNodOctober 18 – A Frog Called Woanda: Told through live action, puppetry, music and shadows, this is a funny and touching story of love, loss and friendship.  Performed n simple French for ages 6-10 years.
October 20 – Land of Nod: Moon on a Stick Productions blend puppetry, captivating storytelling and an enchanting musical score in this starlight adventure.
November 1-3 – Goodnight Mister Tom The Musical: College Players present this adaptation of the award-winning book by Michelle Magorian following the life of an evacuee.
Call 01780 760203 or visit

Terry O’Toole Theatre, North Hykeham, Lincoln
TinForestOctober 20th – Tom Thumb: CBeebies presenter Patrick Lynch presents a beautifully crafted and imaginative re-telling of the fairytale.
November 17th – The Tin Forest: An uplifting, humorous and touching show featuring puppetry and musical fun, with mechanical birds, live music, a wind-up circus and exotic animals of all shapes and sizes.
Call 01522 883311 or visit 

Looking for some dramatic entertainment further north?  Click here to find out what Family Theatre at Northern Stage this October there is in Newcastle as highlighted by Debbie from My Boys Club.

Gentle tale of cavies, caterpillars and colourful change

CC2a“They’re so wriggly, they make me giggly and I want to do a wiggly dance” –  there’s not many pets that you can say, or sing, this about but caterpillars fit the bill.

Which is probably a good thing as the larvae are a very good-sized pet for a guinea pig rather than the dog, cat or elephant alternatives Topsy Turvy Theatre sing about in one of the opening numbers of their show Christopher’s Caterpillars.

The minis enjoyed watching the cuddly cavy in the company’s adaptation of Charlotte Middleton’s original title, Christopher Nibble, at the Terry O’Toole Theatre last year.

We discovered and took home two further adventures of the eponymous hero for bedtime reading that afternoon so were delighted to discover they were bringing one of the sequels back to the North Hykeham theatre today.

CC1aThis time Dandeville’s foremost dandelion-growing football player discovers some colourful crawlers in his herb garden and, along with his friend Posie, decides to adopt them.

With the help of cafe owner Mr Rosetti they learn how to care for them and, using some handy imaginary magnifying glasses, the audience gets to watch their progress too – until one day they disappear…

The pair then set out to solve the minibeast mystery, creating some beautiful artwork along the way.

It was no mystery to the very clever audience of course as it seems Luke isn’t the only one to have studied the life cycle of a butterfly at school but the young theatre-goers were persuaded to let the furry friends find out for themselves and their foreknowledge didn’t dampen their delight in the flight the curly charges took following their final transformation.


The gentle tale was interjected with fun, interactive songs that gave the children opportunities to get up and move and the only dampening of the audience came from the water sprays overshoot when Christopher’s friends were watering the plants, growing more excitable reactions.  With the chance to meet the main guinea pig himself and shake him by the paw after the show there’s definitely a few more Nibble fans in Lincoln now.

Hopefully Topsy Turvy Theatre will be back next year with the recycling fun of Christopher’s Bicycle!

Find out more about the theatre’s children’s programme at

Looking for further caterpillar activity ideas?  Click on #30DaysWild Day 8 – Who’s been eating these leaves?

Lincoln City FC sponsors 2018/19 Lincoln Loves Kids booklet

LincolnFC2News of Lincoln City Football Club and Visit Lincoln’s new collaboration hit my inbox around the same time as Luke received his birthday card from the Junior Imps Club so I quickly went from knowing kids love Lincoln City to Lincoln City loves kids too.

The city’s “official Destination Management Organisation” and the League Two club are working together to encourage more people to visit Lincoln.

The Imps’ role as a new Corporate Partner will see a new Visiting Supporters’ Guide produced and the club sponsoring the 2018/19 Lincoln Loves Kids booklet.

Liam Scully, Chief Executive at Lincoln City Football Club, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Visit Lincoln; not only to encourage travelling away fans to visit Sincil Bank to watch their team, but also to spend a bit longer in Lincoln to see our beautiful city.

“As Lincoln City FC continues to grow on and off the pitch, we believe it will have a positive impact on the local economy; not least with the travelling away fans and local home fans, but also with other commercial opportunities that will be presented by having a vibrant football club within Lincoln”.

Left to right: Joel Murray (Digital Marketing Coordinator, Visit Lincoln), Poacher the Imp (Lincoln City FC Mascot), Jake Longworth (Marketing Manager, Lincoln City FC), Liam Scully (Chief Executive, Lincoln City FC), Lydia Rusling (Chief Executive, Visit Lincoln) and Alan Long (Supporter Liaison Officer, Lincoln City FC).

“Working in partnership is at the heart of everything we do,” said Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive at Visit Lincoln. “We have enjoyed working with the team at Lincoln City FC to produce a new Visiting Supporters’ Guide to encourage visiting football fans to stay a little longer in the city, and maybe turn a match day into a short break.

“The Lincoln Loves Kids booklet sits at the centre of our family marketing for Lincoln and the surrounding area and to have the association with the city football club is a winning combination!”