BBC Music Awards

As you may have already heard (given I have been shouting about it enough!) I was lucky enough to attend the BBC Music Awards on Monday night. I have mentioned on previous posts how much I absolutely love music, especially live music. I adore going to gigs. Usually I have a definite soft spot for more intimate venues, but going to a music awards show is pretty exciting to say the least! 

I was running late, as always – this has become abit of a theme lately- hazard of juggling parenthood and nights out! (One day I might make it with time to spare and shock everyone, you never know!) Unfortunately traffic was bad too, but we listened to the pre-show excitement on BBC radio and did our own version of carpool karaoke to pass the time. But I digress…

We arrived at London Excel with very little time to spare but thankfully parking was easy (carpark costs £15 flat rate for 24 hours) and I picked up our tickets from the box office with no problem. With about two minutes to spare before BBC One began filming live, I skipped getting a drink from the crowded bar and headed inside to find the perfect spot to stand. For those who don’t know, there were multiple stages to allow set-up time for each act whilst maintaining a seamless transition for live tv. I decided it would be better to pick a side stage and get a great close-up view of some of the performances, rather than aim for the middle but be further back in the thick of the crowd. This turned out to be the best decision in my opinion! 

The awards were hosted by Fearne Cotton, Claudia Winkleman and Gemma Cairney, who I felt made a good trio and complimented each other well, with live performances by The 1975, Lukas Graham, Emilie Sande, Izzy Bizu, John Legend, Kaiser Chiefs, Craig David, Zara Larsson and Robbie Williams. There were also appearances from Rick Astley, Lulu, Gerry Horner, Matt Goss, Pixie Lott, Adam Lambert and Rebecca Ferguson to present awards; shame they weren’t singing too, I would have loved to see all of them perform live! Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone there. 

I have read some very negative reviews of the awards, including comments along the lines that the audience was static and unimpressed, but I totally disagree. There was a great atmosphere live at the event and, certainly near the front where I was, everyone was getting into it and enjoying themselves! (I didn’t spend much time looking at the crowd behind me to see what they were doing of course!) 


I admit I was abit underwhelmed by Robbie‘s new single and his performance to be honest, and I would consider myself a fan of his music generally. However, his backstage interview was quite entertaining and his short speech on behalf of Adele while accepting an award on her behalf was really sweet. I really enjoyed Izzy Bizu‘s performance of White Tiger, she has such an amazing voice. Craig David went down surprisingly well with the older crowd in particular (and who can blame them!) But the biggest highlights for me personally were the performances by Zara Larsson and Kaiser Chiefs.

Ricky Wilson going undercover as alter-ego Sandi Branchline to interview fellow stars of the awards was amusing in a somewhat silly but fun way, and reactions were entertaining, especially John Legend‘s mixed expression as he sussed it out. All part of the fun from an award show that clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously. And quite frankly I find that refreshing. Was it perfect? No. There were numerous hiccups and flaws throughout. But that’s real life. Personally I’d take the down to earth vibe over perfection any day. Of course, if someone wants to invite me to the Brits to compare, I’ll very happily oblige… Until then, would I recommend something like this if you ever get a chance? Absolutely!

I’ll leave you with a compilation of my video clip highlights from the night… 

The five awards presented at the BBC Music Awards 2016 are as follows (winners in brackets): 

Song of the Year (Adele)

BBC Music British Artist of the Year (Coldplay)

BBC Music Introducing Artist of the Year (Izzy Bizu)

BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Performance of the Year (The 1975)

BBC Radio 2 Album of the Year (Adele)

Littlesea Haven Holiday Park, Weymouth, Dorset

Last month we went to Weymouth for a mid week short break to Littlesea Haven Holiday Park. This was our second trip to Littlesea and, given it was one of our favourite Haven sites, we were very keen to return! It certainly did not disappoint.

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Pretty scenic views at Littlesea Haven Holiday Park

Littlesea is a lovely site, with scenic views and nice little ‘Tiger Trail’ nature walks. Squiggle really enjoyed following the Rory footprints on our map, so good for developing her map reading skills too!

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Tiger Trail on-site nature walks

There are also several playgrounds on-site, with a variety of equipment suitable for a range of ages. It is great that there are different play areas dotted around the park, as it encouraged us to explore further to find them all!

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Playground outside main entertainment complex
Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
The playground in the campsite section of Littlesea
Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
A lovely little natural playground

The holiday park is set next to Fleet Lagoon nature reserve, with pretty nature walks and coastal paths. We did find that some of the paths were abit too overgrown (and that is baring in mind we often explore wild overgrown areas!) and it was not always clear where to walk next, so better signage might be useful. However, I am not sure how much of this belonged to Haven, as it wasn’t clear at what point we left the site. Regardless, we had fun exploring and enjoyed a wonderful walk to Chesil beach.

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Beautiful nature walks overlooking Fleet Lagoon
Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Exploring Fleet Lagoon

The caravan itself was clean and spacious, with everything we would need for our stay. We were also very kindly upgraded, which meant the quiet but central location of the caravan suited our needs perfectly. (A quiet area of the park is absolutely essential for Squiggle).

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Caravan at Littlesea Haven site

There is a good range of on-site amenities and facilities including; a Spar shop, gift shop, coffee shop, take aways, restaurant, bar, arcades, soft play, pool, golf, sports courts, entertainment venue and multiple play areas, as mentioned.

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way, environment
View of golf
Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Arcade

The swimming pool was newly refurbished last year and is lovely, with fun water features that Squiggle loves. Both indoors and outdoors there are shallow paddling pools, as well as the deeper family swimming pools. The changing rooms are quite small but adequate. There is also a separate pool for water sports and activities, for an additional charge, which we didn’t personally take part in but they do seem to be well recommended by others who have, and having a separate area dedicated to this is a great idea.

The showbar has been refurbished even more recently, just this year. It is a spacious venue with a good size stage and dance floor. The entertainment held in the showbar is a fun mix of discos, shows and competitions. Squiggle adores the Seaside Squad shows and she loves to meet them for cuddles; this is one of her highlights of Haven Holidays. Because of the nature of her needs, it is important that she feels unhurried during these meetings (otherwise it triggers her severe anxiety and OCD), which can be difficult during busier times or with certain members of staff present (and is difficult for me because I can’t mention it around her, as that also makes it much worse!) However, the majority of the team seem very understanding of SEND in many ways, and do a wonderful job generally. And Squiggle had a fantastic time meeting several of the characters!

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Meeting some of the Seaside Squad

 

The characters also give some great positive messages through their songs, shows and activities, for example about exercise, healthy eating and taking care of our environment. Squiggle often sings lines from Greedy’s songs such as ‘pick up all the rubbish and put it in the bin’ and dances around to keep fit like Rory. These are great role- models for children!

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way, healthy eating, health, environment
Seaside Squad showtimes

This emphasis on healthy lifestyle and environment etc… runs throughout many of the daytime activities on offer too; with plenty of sports and games, and outdoor activities such as den building, exploring nature and wildlife spotting. I also really liked the information displayed in the corridor between Reception and the entertainment complex too.

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way, nature, wildife, outdoors, environment
Display in main complex
Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way, wildlife, nature, environment
Bug Hotel

Overall, this was an absolutely wonderful holiday and we would highly recommend it. Thank you Haven for another brilliant time!

Caravan park, Weymouth, Dorset, England, holidays, places to go, review, Living Life Our Way
Littlesea Haven Holiday Park

(Photos of our previous trip to Weymouth are here).

Haven: Littlesea (Our trip to Weymouth, Dorset)

We had a brilliant short break at Littlesea Haven Holiday Park in Weymouth. We stayed in a lovely privately owned caravan in a well-situated spot and really enjoyed the facilities that this site had to offer. We have stayed on several Haven sites now but this one was a firm favourite! Nice pool, good layout, great entertainment, understanding staff, excellent location (with a car) and all-round enjoyable stay.

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Indoor entertainment at Littlesea
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Outdoor play area

Whilst we were at Weymouth, we also visited Sealife Adventure Park. We have been here several times before and absolutely love it! Well worth a visit, wonderful day out.

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Lots to see, really fascinating
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Seals are still her favourite! She was very happy to discover two more seals have come to join Sealife too.
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Fun playing in the water park.
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Lovely new sensory area- great addition!

We also went to the beach…

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Reading the signs on the bridge. Some of them we didn't know so we all learned something new!
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Scenic views
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It was really quiet and very peaceful.
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Beautiful sea views

Last but not least, we popped to the beach and the funfair at Bowleaze Cove…

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Bowleaze Cove (and the marina we passed on the way there!)
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Funfair at Bowleaze Cove

All in all, a fantastic short trip! Loved it!