Brand new for 2020 Inflatanation is opening it’s doors here in Peterborough on January the 18th. The new venue is in the Peterborough One (PE1) Retail Park in Eye. Inflatanation is a 14,500 sq ft…View Post
NENE VALLEY RAILWAY | SANTA EXPRESS
This was our second trip on the Santa express based at Nene Valley Railway in Wansford, Peterborough. The last time we visited, Emily was only two years old and we had a really lovely time. The only reason why we didn’t do it again until this year was purely because we wanted to try other places too.
I booked our tickets online, which was really easy and straight forward to do, all their dates, times and availability are on their website clear as day for you to pick from. On the next page, you can pick whether you want a classic seat or a first-class seat. The only difference between the two is that on the classic ticket you don’t get a table like you do with 1st class and I think you get an extra snack to eat on the train journey, but you would need to double-check that. There are also options to book a private coach and add on food platters.
On the next page, they ask for the children’s name and ages and then the payment screen. We received the tickets in the post at the beginning of December, so plenty of time before we were due to go on the 14th.
The car park situation always looks quite daunting, as there are cars parked everywhere, however, we managed to get parked up quite quickly. Word of advice though, wear footwear that can be easily cleaned because you will get quite muddy getting out the car, especially if it has been raining.
Our train was booked for 2pm and we arrived at 1.40pm. We went straight through to the where you give your tickets to the train inspector and the kids all received badges to wear with their ages on. As our train was leaving at 2pm, the waiting area was empty, as most of the people had already boarded the train. The inspector asked us to hurry as quick as we could because the train was waiting so make sure you arrive in plenty of time so there will be less of a rush. We waited for around 10 minutes to see Santa and whilst we did there was so much going around to keep you and the kids entertained.
There were interactive displays set up which the children could look at, have photos with and press buttons. A children’s entertainer was juggling, spinning plates and playing with his ‘magic’ hat, which had the kids kept very amused. A choir was singing Christmas classics while you wait, they even get the children to pick the next song they sing out of their music book and Lydia got to pick ‘Jingle Bells’ which she loved.
Seeing Santa Claus was lovely! As you get to the door to his ‘grotto’, you are greeted by his friendly elf helpers who interact with the kids asking them their names whilst secretly looking at their badge age so they can choose the relevant gift. Emily and Lydia were full of questions for him and Emily had even drawn him a special picture and gave him another letter to take back to the north pole, which was adorable. Leo (14) said it was embarrassing, but went with it for his little sisters and secretly he enjoyed it.
We boarded the train and made our way down to coach H, which is where we would be sitting for our train journey. The carriage was pretty basic and is really old, but that just added to the experience in my opinion. As soon as we were seated, the kids ripped open their gifts to see what Santa had brought them and they were all chuffed to bits with the gifts. Emily got a Disney Princess Jewelry game, which we play at home and the girls really enjoy playing it together. Lydia loves crafts and she got a paint by numbers set, which she was over the moon with, and Leo loves anything old and retro and even he was happy with his little model Alfa Romeo car.
The train attendants came round shortly after and offered the kids a choice of either a carton of Apple or Orange juice and a chocolate Fredo bar. The adults had the choice of either a glass of wine, baileys, beer, tea or coffee and a mince pie which me and David thoroughly enjoyed, minced pies are our favourite.
All in all I’d say the train journey was about an hour with a short break half way through. The break feels really long and the kids did get bored after a little while of waiting, but they need to do this in order for Santa to make his way safely through each carriage to say Hello and to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and the look on the children’s’ face when Santa came was definitely worth the wait. After Santa leaves, the train heads back to the station where you can continue to see all the lovely things in their shop, or view the old trains. They even have a Thomas the Tank Engine there as well.
We love going on the Santa express and would definitely recommend you go if you haven’t before. You come away feeling really festive and the kids are so excited by the whole experience.
Tickets will be on sale for The Santa express from April direct from their website.
**We paid for our tickets, all opinions are our own**
Let me introduce you to the coolest new booster seat around, The CarGo Seat!!
Say goodbye to bulky boosters and Hello to this NEW lightweight, transportable booster seat that doubles up as a 10-litre suitcase on wheels in seconds.
Safety and Fitting
Before I start on my review, you will need to know the most important bit of information when purchasing any type of car seat for a child. CarGo Seat meets Europe ECE R44/04 regulation safety standards and has been rigorously crash tested.
CarGo seat is specifically designed for children weighing 22kg to 36kg and a height of 125cm or taller so please bear this in mind before purchasing. The fitting instructions are very simple and while there is a booklet stored within the case, the side of the car seat has easy to follow picture instructions although I would recommend reading the booklet. Fitting the seat is really simple and can be done within a minute. I found the strap adjustment a little finicky the first time and when lifting or closing the handles, it is easiest to keep the yellow button pressed through the whole movement. Ensure the handle is fully lifted and clicked into top position.
The strap must be anchored to the side of the seat that is next to the seatbelt connector, measured to the top of the shoulder. We found it much easier to do this in the house rather than the car, as we could access the back much easier. In the car, the strap is then moved diagonally across to the opposite side where the belt comes over the shoulder before being secured into the connector. If done correctly, it should feel secure and there should be little movement in the strap. The seatbelt fits really easily into the strap connector, which is nice as I have had issues with similar connectors in the past, struggling to get the seatbelt into and out of the connector.
I absolutely love this car seat. So much thought and creativity have gone into making such a simple yet versatile product. The covering material on the seats gets grubby quickly and I find it such a chore having to take the car seats off to wash them, waiting for them to dry and then putting them back on, but with the New Cargo Seat, the body is fully plastic (no metal parts at all) which makes it a lot easier to keep clean and the small washable seat pad attached with strong velcro so it is much easier to wash and dry.
We run two cars in our household, with my car being the most used with the kids, so their car seats stay in there pretty much all the time. This often means that my car is used by my partner should he need to go out, rather than his own. The main reason for this is because it is such a hassle transporting the two large car seats from one car to the other. However, the Car Go seat is so much smaller, lighter and much easier to move between the two vehicles.
Our favourite feature has to be that you can turn it into an easily transportable suitcase on wheels within seconds. Lydia loves taking her favourite teddy Chuppy out with her as well as lip balm, colouring pencils and notepads. So now whenever she stays at Grandma’s or Auntie’s house, she can go, with her car seat, packed with all her things. For the adults, it also means she has a car seat they can use should they need to go out anywhere, rather than having to take one of our larger ones as well as a suitcase.
Final Thoughts and Price
We are using this seat for Lydia and she chose her favourite colour, Purple. As you can see from the photo, it’s a nice vibrant colour and CarGo seats are also available in Blue, Green and Pink. Speaking to her the seat is comfortable and she now does not want to go back into her larger car seat and even Emily wants one now, although unfortunately, she is not tall enough to have one yet.
The seat retails at just under £55 (and comes with a 12-month warranty), which for its versatility, is well worth the price. It is ideal for anyone who runs multiple cars and has to swap seats or would prefer to swap seats rather than buy additional seats for each car that then need to be stored when not used. It is also ideal for kids who stay around family often that drive, as the seat doubles as a suitcase and car seat saving a lot of hassle. Having trialled this seat for two weeks now we love and highly recommend this seat.
***I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own***
Technology has been able to offer benefits in several sectors, and the insurance sectors are no different. Younger drivers are often met with excessive insurance premiums because of the information made available about drivers within a specific age range.
However, the use of telematics has ensured that younger drivers are given an advantage when it comes to showing showcasing how careful they are on the road.
The information is acquired by the attachment of a black box to the vehicle, but some may be worried about this due to some of the myths associated with black box insurance.
- Data Is Shared With Third Parties
Online protection is a hot topic nowadays, so it’s understandable why some are concerned with how their data is used.
However, data acquired by insurance companies is also used for the calculation of premiums, and legally can’t be provided to a third party without the driver’s consent.
- Drivers Can’t Drive at Night
Another myth associated with black box insurance is that drivers can’t drive at night. There are no curfews associated with black box car insurance, but drivers do need to be mindful that travelling at night carries more risk than travelling in the day, so premiums could be slightly higher as a result.
- Black Boxes Report Speeding to Authorities
Many people are worried that if they go over the speed limit then their information is sent to the police. However, instances of speeding will only be used for calculating insurance premiums, which will be more expensive if instances of speeding are constantly recorded.
- The Use of a Black Box Affects Other Functions in the Vehicle
Given how advanced the technology found in a vehicle these days, it’s understandable that some don’t want to add a device that could interfere with the inner working of the vehicle, but this isn’t the case.
The use of a black box simply uses electricity, like stereos and car alarms, and certainly don’t omit frequencies that can interfere with other devices in the vehicle such as Bluetooth.
- A Mistake Made Will Automatically Lead to High Premiums
Those new to the concept of black box car insurance may be concerned that that one mistake can lead to higher insurance premiums, but this is very rarely the case.
Insurance companies that make use of black boxes will be reviewing your driving habits over time, so while repeatedly driving at high speeds and braking urgently on a regular basis will affect insurance claims, a mistake made is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on the premium being paid.
When compared to other forms of car insurance, the use of black box car insurance can be overwhelming at times, but it’s important to remember that insurance companies aren’t spying on customers or using their data for nefarious purposes, but rather collecting data to ensure that fairer premiums are offered to young drivers.
Irish number plates might seem pretty self-explanatory they’re the number plates found on vehicles manufactured/ sold in Ireland right? Well yes, they are but things are a little more confusing than you might first think. Irish number plates and different for those found in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
So, before we look at the Irish number plates in more detail it’s important that you know how Northern Ireland’s and the rest of the UK’s plates work. In the UK non-personalised number plates follow the same pattern.
They are laid out in the following order with two-letters which act as the location code, then the age identifier which is usually shown as two numbers and then there will be a combination of three letters or numbers to finish the plate.
In Northern Ireland the layout is similar but there are some differences to know about. When it comes to newer number plates in Northern Ireland they will always use select letters for the location code. These will typically begin with the letter I but they can also feature letters A – W as long as the second letter is I.
However, apart from this, the layout is the same as the number plates found in the rest of the UK. So, Northern Irish plates are for all intents and purposes quite similar but what about the republic of Ireland? When you’re looking at these Irish plates things are quite different.
Number Plates In The Republic of Ireland
Number plates in the Republic of Ireland may at first seem more complicated than those found in the UK and Northern Ireland but just like those alternatives, the plates are divided into three sections. They follow this basic layout YYY–CC–SSSSSS.
So, yes they are typically going to be longer than the plates found in the rest of the UK. To help you get a better understanding of each section and what they will usually look like read on below. Once you know how they are put together Irish number plates are easy to understand.
The Y Section
This section will always be numbers so it is the reverse of the layout found in the UK. Three digits are used in two groups one section covers January to June while another covers July to December. This new practice began in 2013 using 131 for the first 6 months and 132 for the latter half of the year.
The pattern has continued for the following years with 133, 134 and so on. Vehicles registered before 2013 use the older YY system for this section of the plates. Which is similar to the age identifier used in the UK. In this system, only two numbers were used to signal the registration of the vehicle.
For 2005 this would have been 05, for 2006 it would be 06 but this was changed to the three-digit YYY system in 2013. You may have already noticed that the YYY digits are based on the date the vehicle is first registered. So, it may differ from the actual year that the vehicle was manufactured, model numbers and the date of registration won’t always be the same after all.
The C Section
The second section of an Irish number plate is the two-character location identifier. This follows a similar system to the plates in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. While the location identifier will usually be two letters some locations in Ireland will only have one letter. Galway county and Dublin, for example, use the single-letters G and D.
The S Section
Finally, we have the S section this might at first seem quite random and erratic but this section does actually have a pattern to it. The S section will always be numbers on standard Irish plates and it can range from a single-digit to six numbers long.
The S section is based on the number of cars manufactured in a certain period in each location. For example, the first car registered in Dublin would be D 1, the second D 2 and so on. This number is usually reset back to 1 after each year but this might not always be the case.
So, that completes our look at Irish number plates. You can likely see now how they differ from the number plates found in the rest of the UK. To sum up the main points one last time the first section is based on when the vehicle was registered.
The second section is the location identifier which is based on where you live and the final section is based on the number of cars registered in your location during that specific time period. It’s also important to remember that Irish number plates are fixed which means they can’t be transferred to other vehicles. You can change your plates however you must first get your existing ones de-registered.