Lullingstone Castle and World Garden

Lullingstone Castle isn’t a castle. It’s a big house, a great big manor house – it was named a castle way back when it was an impressive thing to do so. It’s a fun place to visit and there’s plenty to do.

Lullingstone Castle

Lullingstone Castle is situated in Lullingstone, close to Orpington, Kent. It is a big manor house where you can join guided tours which last approximately an hour. The tour was interesting, though involved a lot of talking.

I would suggest if you have an impatient child younger than 7-8, skip the house tour and go straight to the World Garden – but make sure to pick up the trail questions from the house before you do.

Lullingstone Castle World Garden

The World Garden is pretty amazing. Tom Hart-Dyke who is the son of the current owners of Lullington Castle is an explorer, a plant hunter. He has an interesting story, and has featured on tv programmes about the garden.

Lullingstone Castle World Garden sign

The World Garden is split into continents, each has plants and flowers from all over the world. There is information in each area from simple stories about the plant hunters who inspired or helped build the garden.

Actually, there’s no point in me describing it – here’s some of my photos that we took. It’s worth going to visit, is open every weekend and we can get in free with Historic Houses Association membership.

Lullingstone Castle World Garden flower 1 Lullingstone Castle World Garden view with wire tree Lullingstone Castle World Garden Australia area Lullingstone Castle World Garden flower 2 Lullingstone Castle World Garden flower 3 Lullingstone Castle World Garden America area Lullingstone Castle World Garden totem pole Lullingstone Castle World Garden flower 4 Lullingstone Castle World Garden flower 5 Lullingstone Castle World Garden cacti Lullingstone Castle World Garden cacti 2 Lullingstone Castle World Garden spot the penguin

Add to that a couple of greenhouse areas which include the most poisonous plant in the world, and you’ve a fascinating afternoon wandering around. Once you’re outside the World Garden, there are grounds too, including a carp lake.

Over that is a bridge – perfect for Pooh Sticks.

Lullingstone Castle World Garden pooh sticks

We were there for almost four hours, popping into nearby Lullingstone Roman Villa up the road, some fascinating ruins which are part of English Heritage. That’s one for a follow-up post I think!

Lullingstone Castle’s website can be found here. It’s fascinating visiting other people’s houses and having a nosey around a small area – especially when they’re still living there. Definitely worth a visit!

How to be a Scientist by Steve Mould

We received a copy of How to be a Scientist by Steve Mould. It encourages exploring, investigating and figuring out how things work. I like the sound of that; a book that isn’t about experiments and makes science about what it should be – everything around us.

how to be a scientist by steve mould

How to be a Scientist by Steve Mould breaks each part of science into easy chapters. Natural World, Human Body, Chemistry, Earth, Physics and Space.

This is where I like it. When I was at school, science was never presented as being interesting to me. When I had to choose one science as a subject it was between chemistry (too hard), physics (too many potential dissections) or biology (too much writing). How sad does that sound? I wasn’t interested and there weren’t books like this to help me see that science is everywhere.

H enjoys it, and I’m doing my best to make sure she keeps enjoying it. I would say How to be a Scientist is a good way of keeping the enthusiasm going. Steve Mould has his own YouTube channel where he regularly uploads videos, and this is his first book. He’s enthusiastic and interesting too.

How to be a scientist - make a tornado
How to be a Scientist encourages children to think like a scientist rather than reading about it like you would a textbook.

I liked the taste test in the human body section. Trying different fruit while holding your nose to show how simple your tastebuds are. Actually, almost all the tests are along those lines. The book clearly explains everything which meant H was able to work through the book with minimal help from us parents.

She has tried a couple of activities. I like that she’s bringing them to us with enthusiasm and a new found knowledge.

We tried the ‘make a tornado’ activity which was really easy – putting washing up liquid into a jam jar and turning it in a certain way to watch the bubbles created turn like a tornado.

Making a tornado - how to be a scientist

Each section also mentions other scientists to back up the learning, which in turn will help when she covers them at school.

How to be a Scientist is a book for 7-9 year olds. This is exactly the right kind of book for her. She’s a strong, confident independent reader who wants to be able to do things on her own. H is working through some Brownie badges and I feel like this book will be ideal for the Science Investigator badge too!

How to be a Scientist is available now via DK Books.

We were sent How to be a Scientist for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own.

Scotland Yard – National Unplugging Day

On the 25th June it’s National Unplugging Day – a day when you avoid your tablets and spend some quality family time together. Maybe playing a board game or two? We received Scotland Yard from Ravensburger games, a board game which has been around for a while now. Read on to find out more!

scotland yard from ravensburger

Scotland Yard is a board game which has a few ways to play. It’s definitely a lot more fun when there are more than two of you playing, though I’d recommend doing the easier version first to get the hang of what to do.

For review purposes, assume there are three of us playing. One person is Mister X. The other players are detectives. The purpose of the game is to move around stops in London to track down Mister X. That’s a really simple way to explain it, as there are different ways to move around London.

Mister X wears a visor – after all, he doesn’t want the other players to know where he is.

Scotland Yard Mister X

You have a taxi which covers every stop, a bus which covers quite a lot of stops and finally when playing the difficult version of the game, you have the underground which moves you around the board faster.

scotland yard board game

The easy version of Scotland Yard has the counters on the board at all times, except for Mister X when he’s doing invisible moves. All of Mister X’s moves are tracked on this handy board. When you’re Mister X it’s handy as I kept forgetting where I was.

When you’re doing the difficult version of the game, Mister X only appears on the board three times. This is where the strategic play comes into it – Scotland Yard is quite clever. If you know where Mister X passed through, you also know the way he has travelled. So there’s a good chance you will be able to work out where he could be – each form of travel covers up the move on the board like so.

The detectives take a card from the blue pile to find their starting spot – then it’s about tracking down Mister X with limited clues.

Scotland Yard gameplay

When you’re playing the difficult version of the game you can control two other counters which are the police. You discuss with the other player who isn’t Mister X where those counters go.

The other part of the game are the travel tickets. There are a set number per game to use – lots of taxi ones, a few for the bus and even less for the underground. So you’re having to use them wisely as the object of the game is to land where Mister X is.

Scotland Yard Mister X marker board

We enjoyed playing it – at first I thought the game seemed like Cluedo, but if you think that you’re wrong. Scotland Yard is a game that could go really quickly or could take a really long time. There are ways to escape the detectives and police, but you need to think carefully. It’s really good fun!

Scotland Yard is suitable for age 8+ and for up to six players. For more information head here!

The 25th June is National Unplugging Day, when families are encouraged to Go Gadget Free – we’re going to give it a go!

We received Scotland Yard for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

Borrowing a Samsung Galaxy S8+ with Three

For the last month we’ve borrowed a Samsung Galaxy S8+ with the Three network. I’m with Three anyway, though my phone is only a Samsung Galaxy 5 – and well overdue an upgrade. I had a good play with it, trying out the various phone settings. Here’s how I got on.

Three need no introductions in this house – both Shaun and I are customers. They came in very handy recently with our sudden trip to Australia and their Feel at Home deal they do. Your UK minutes and data can be used abroad. Our bills that month were pretty good!

The loan of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone was so I could try out the photography. I knew we would be visiting a minimum of three football grounds for various reasons. As well as this there are those moments when you take a photo and it actually turns out to be really quite good – and taken on a mobile phone of all things!

So firstly I’d like to share the panorama photos I got from the football grounds.

Wembley – The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final

Wembley Panorama

Wembley – The Buildbase FA Trophy

York City at Wembley panorama

Sutton United – taken from the club next to it, but check out these photos of Absolute Bowie!

Absolute Bowie Ziggy Stardust era, Three, Samsung Galaxy S8+

Absolute Bowie - Lets Dance era

Charlton Athletic – Tottenham Ladies v Blackburn Rovers Women

Charlton Athletic Panorama

The Hive – Arsenal Ladies v Reading Ladies

The Hive Panorama

Pretty good quality, huh?

Here’s my favourite photos that I took without spending too much time setting up a shot and just going with what the S8+ could do when I did a simple point and shoot. Unfortunately I messed up – I added my Samsung account to my phone and saved my photos to the cloud. When I reset the phone it removed the photos, but fortunately the best ones I have taken are on Instagram.

Bee! Loving the camera on this S8+ for shots like this. #bee #nature #samsungs8 #s8plus

A post shared by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Hasn’t that come up brilliantly?

I like this photo, although wished for better weather. We had to make a trip to Swansea as my godfather died, so Shaun and I went to the funeral. We took the Second Severn Crossing and I liked how the two central parts of the bridge lined up to make two H’s.

A post shared by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

H and I also had fun playing around with the filters on the phone, adding ears to ourselves because let’s face it, when you get the latest phone you want to do exactly that, right? I eventually downloaded Snapchat and can now see why it’s one of those apps you can distract a child with when they need distracting.

samsung silly filters, three

In May and June the photos here on Mum Friendly are all taken on the S8+. Would you have guessed? The quality is impressive. The only downside is zoom, but that would be the same with most cameras. Close up the pictures are fantastic.

Aside from the photos, how is Three as a network? We’ve been with several networks in the past, and are quite happy with Three. We get the same reception as previous networks and at a better price!

Samsung Galaxy S8+

This morning the S8+ was collected from work, and I’m sad to see it go. My old Galaxy 5 is good – but it’s not this good. I now have serious phone envy of myself which is really confusing.

I’m saving my money to try and get one – I’m on a SIM-only contract with Three so . It’s a big phone, and indeed was too big for most of my pockets – if you want smaller then the S8 might be better – that’s working on the assumption it has the same camera as the one we borrowed.

We received a Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone with Three, complete with a SIM for 30 days with 12GB data, 3000 texts and 300 minutes. All opinions are our own. Shaun was particularly jealous ūüôā

UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Finals Panini Sticker Book

UEFA Womens Euro 2017 Panini Sticker Book
Rejoice, rejoice! Panini have brought out a UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Finals sticker book! It’s out now, available in stores.

Panini have brought out the first ever UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Finals sticker book – and it’s available now! This is a REALLY big deal, as it has never happened before.

Back in the 80s I used to subscribe to Shoot! magazine – a football magazine famous for its League Ladders and facts about footballers across all clubs. My favourite week was always the one that featured the Tottenham team, obviously. But you had to wait…

My other favourite week was getting a free Football League Panini Stickers album – plus a few stickers to start you off. I’d spend my pocket money on Jukebox 7″ singles at our local supermarket alongside several packs of Panini stickers to complete my collection.

H is now at the age where she gets enough pocket money she knows to save it up to spend it on something she really wants. When I spotted that Panini have launched a UEFA Women’s Euro finals sticker book I had to buy it as a treat – start ’em young, right?

UEFA Womens Euro 2017 Panini Sticker Book Norway team and badge

The sticker book covers all clubs from the forthcoming European finals, plus has a team badge and full team photo on each page. I found a book in Sainsbury’s. The book contains six stickers inside plus a couple of packs. I bought six more packs, you can never have too many.

UEFA Womens Euro 2017 Panini Sticker Book starter pack

The collection consists of a 40 page album with 334 stickers to collect. There are 22 special stickers to look out for too. The starter set costs £2.99 and consists of the book and 24 stickers to start you off. Each pack of stickers is 60p for five. Panini also offer you the option to order up any spaces online. That means no more having to save the backs of your old stickers before ordering.

UEFA Womens Euro 2017 Panini Sticker Book switzerland page

There are familiar names from the 2014 World Cup alongside players we’ll get to learn about. There are familiar names from the games we’ve seen, predominantly the England Lionesses of course, but also some Dutch players.

UEFA Womens Euro 2017 Panini Sticker Book England page

This leads us onto our next ‘can we do it?’ moment. We’re going to try and fly out to The Netherlands to catch a game if the flights are reasonable. We don’t even mind not seeing England, it’ll be something fun to do. The games are affordable, so it wouldn’t cost us a lot. We have a friend who lives in The Netherlands who we could stay with… very tempting!

We bought our Panini UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Finals book ourselves, let us know if you get any doubles!

that familiar Panini sight

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SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football with Crystal Palace FC

SSE Wildcats Girls Football Club

Football is for everyone. Over the course of this summer SSE and the FA have created training sessions in conjunction with several football clubs around the country. These are sessions exclusively for girls, SSE Wildcats clubs. As part of our FA Project with Britmums we signed up with the group at Crystal Palace.

Have fun, make friends, play football is their slogan and so far H is doing all three!

SSE Wildcats are hour-long sessions run by various football clubs around the country. We visited the Crystal Palace group about 20 minutes drive away. Sutton United also run classes nearby.

Warming up with SSE Wildcats

We went along for one session, and have decided to continue – and it’s because they’re brilliant.

H is still convinced she wants to be a goalkeeper… in her second session she had that chance and felt proud to get praise from her coaches for some of the saves she did (and there were some good ones – I’m not biased!).

An SSE Wildcats session tends to start with some fun stuff, kicking the ball around and warming up.

Warming up with SSE Wildcats

Games like ‘Stuck in the Mud’ and ‘Foxes and Farmers’ are played to get the girls running around and improving their spatial awareness.

The girls are paired up to work on skills. Tackling to get the ball from their opponent, things like that. The two female coaches are always checking and let them know if there are things that could change.

Warming up with SSE Wildcats

Finally the girls end up having five or six a side games which depend on how many girls turn up. H likes going in goal and bossing her team around, encouraging them to run up front so she can pass the ball to her. Do we have a future Karen Bardsley here?

That’s when the fun starts – and some swapping around if one team dominates too much. At the end both sides shake hands, and their coach gets a picture of them with the SSE Wildcats sign.

It’s great fun – and H loves it. She loves football anyway, and this is another reason to get her going again.

future england player

We used to train with Crystal Palace and Carshalton Athletic a few years ago and she was frequently the only girl. Often the boys wouldn’t pass the ball to her and she’d run around not too fed up but we could see. With it being all-girls you don’t get any of that.

Right now it’s about getting her confidence up again.

I have to add her lack of confidence isn’t due to previous classes, we need to get her skills back!

The SSE Wildcats sessions run throughout the summer and there’s a possibility they could continue. If this funding doesn’t continue then Crystal Palace are likely to keep it going. That’s brilliant news as there will still be opportunities for girls. They’re a friendly little group and H is making new friends.

future tottenham player

Crystal Palace SSE Wildcats currently have 29 girls registered. Their target is 30 and the space they have can accommodate more than that. My gut feeling is that after the UEFA European Championships even more girls will want to sign up and play. I’m hoping England do well and am considering trying to get to a game. After our last World Cup success coming third, wouldn’t it be amazing if our England Lionesses won?

To find out your local session head here. Our session costs £1 per week Рprices vary, but are low. This may change once the initial SSE Wildcats period is over. All clubs run on a weekly basis and are on different nights of the week. Crystal Palace are on Saturday mornings.

We attended the Crystal Palace SSE Wildcats session with thanks to the FA and Britmums. We have received a fee for our time, this does not change our opinion of these sessions. Please note Рall photos of the girls have had their faces removed to protect their privacy. 

Please see our other posts that are part of the FA Project – when we went to the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final for the third year running and when we watched an FA WSL Spring Series game.

Here are the other bloggers taking part – Chelle took Fizz to see Brighton play

North East Family Fun caught Sunderland

Baby Budgeting at Wembley

 

Making an Easy Harry Potter T Shirt

As a Brownie Leader in Training I like to try out things at home before we do them at a meeting. Last week I dug out our fabric pens so we could complete the Craft Badge. At home I had a plain t-shirt and we had fabric pens. H and I decided to make a Harry Potter t shirt.

Harry Potter t shirt ideas are all over the place. You can find quite a wide range at Primark, but we decided we’d like to make our own. It wasn’t too difficult.

harry potter t shirt things you need

All you need is a plain t-shirt, some fabric pens and an idea of what you’d like your t-shirt to be.

Back when H had a Harry Potter party last year, I downloaded the font that goes with the films. This came in handy as I could then make the wording we wanted in PicMonkey and make it as large as we needed it to be.

We decided on ‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good’ for her Harry Potter t shirt. I created a blank document in PicMonkey, printed it out and placed it in a central position inside¬†the t shirt.

harry potter t shirt tracing

I traced the letters with a pencil as I wanted to make sure the paper underneath didn’t move. Mainly so it would stay aligned. After that it wouldn’t matter as the paper would stop the ink from soaking¬†through.

harry potter t shirt i solemnly swear

The Ikea Loppstarr pens are great Рideal for decorating t shirts too and a bargain at £2 for six different colours.

ikea loppstarr fabric pens

We coloured in the letters using careful strokes in one direction, making sure to stay within the lines. H isn’t the most patient child and tends to rush things. I made sure she slowed down – after all we want this t shirt to last a few years!

Once we had finished, this was the end result. Our own home made Harry Potter t shirt which was pretty easy and quick to do!

harry potter t shirt i solemnly swear i am up to no good

Bank Holiday Food with Prezzo La Famiglia

Prezzo Banstead
It was a rainy Bank Holiday Monday, and the sort of day you don’t want to venture too far outdoors. Thanks to BritMums we had a voucher to try out the new La Famiglia offering at Prezzo. We headed to the Banstead branch to give it a go.

La Famiglia is a giant bowl of pasta which you share. Imagine it, a bowl in the middle of the table and some quality family time. There are four different varieties to choose from, with alternatives available. We drove to Prezzo in Banstead to give it a try – after all, who wants to cook on a Bank Holiday Monday?

We settled at our table Рit was light and airy and a nice place to sit. Lots of natural light thanks to the roof. Prezzo was full but not too busy and our server came over a lot to check everything was okay. H had a kids menu which had plenty of activities to keep her amused.

Prezzo La Famiglia meal

The La Famiglia meal involves sharing a large bowl of pasta. The choices are Penne Arrabiata, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara or Penne Alla Rusticana. I’m vegetarian, so the Penne Arrabiata was our choice. H and Shaun cursed me for not eating meat anyway as all the options looked pretty good.

garlic bread for starters

We ordered starters, two garlic breads. They were quite small – though with two it meant we had two slices each. They tasted good and quickly disappeared. In future we’ll go for the Large Garlic Pizza bread as that looked bigger and didn’t cost that much more.

For drinks we ordered two Diet Cokes and a bottle of Fanta and had water after that.

We spent about two hours in Prezzo. We had a long wait between courses which was fine as we were in no hurry, so it was nice to talk to each other while waiting. H enjoyed doing all the puzzles on both sides of her kids menu too.

When the La Famiglia meal arrived it was hu-ge!

la famiglia pasta

Unfortunately the Penne Arrabiata was too spicy for H. Our server brought some cream to mix in and cool it down. Unfortunately it was still too spicy so H was given a fresh batch of pasta with some sweet tomato sauce. That went well and she devoured it in minutes! They were quick at bringing it over which we were grateful for. It can be ordered with a different sauce Рindeed, the dishes can be customised for various dietary needs.

h and spicy pasta

The La Famiglia bowl of pasta has enough for four people. We had waited over half an hour after the garlic bread starter, so were pretty hungry. We also ordered a side salad to go with it as the pasta sauce didn’t contain any vegetables. The cucumber was handy when H got grumpy about the spiciness!

I found the pasta to be a good amount, and because we had waited so long it went quickly as we were hungry.

La Famiglia Pasta and salad

We waited for another half an hour and our server took our dessert order – two scoops of ice cream. I went for two scoops of chocolate and sea salt gelato. Shaun had one of blood orange sorbet and a chocolate and sea salt gelato, and H had two of chocolate ice cream. Ice Cream is always a winner, and this was no different – we scoffed the lot.

ice cream and gelato

Even though we spent a long time in Prezzo (two hours and ten minutes), it was a pleasant place to be. There was enough space between us and the people around us, so we didn’t feel cramped. H enjoyed sharing the pasta with us and did do so well, she really tried to eat the pasta. We enjoyed sitting around the table with the food in the middle rather than our own individual dishes. I enjoyed serving the food as we don’t get to do that at home.

La Famiglia menu pasta dishing out

This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo. We were provided with a voucher which entitled us to drinks, a garlic bread starter, the La Famiglia pasta dish plus ice cream. We paid for the extras ourselves.

FA WSL Spring Series – Arsenal Ladies v Reading Women

The Hive Panorama
The FA WSL Spring Series is about to end, a group of games which bridged the gap between the end of the last WSL1 season and the start of the new one in September. We visited The Hive in North London to watch Arsenal Ladies play Reading Women – our first WSL game.

The FA WSL Spring Series is a set of games running from April to June 2017. It features all the teams from the WSL1 apart from Notts County who folded on the eve of the competition, bringing it down to just nine teams.

We really enjoy attending the Women’s games. It’s a different atmosphere to the men’s, and somewhere I’m happy taking H to. Even the players don’t have potty mouths!

please refrain

We arrived at The Hive in Barnet. The Jubilee Line runs alongside the ground, it’s probably a ten minute walk from there. As Tottenham supporters we’ve been to Arsenal games and seen¬†how intense it is (I would never take H to one) – is¬†the ladies game different?

Arsenal v Reading FA WSL Spring Series The Hive

It was – their supporters were noisy too. This was probably our first women’s game where we heard constant singing. Tottenham need to up their game now! It was good noisy though, lots of supportive ones and none about their opposition or their North London neighbours (although that’s questionable as both teams don’t play at the same place as the men).

With pitchside seats and an attendance was 870 it was a good turnout for this FA WSL Spring Series game. When you put your rival differences aside it was a great game of football. Arsenal always looked like they were going to score but never seemed to quite do it until just on the 40th minute.

It’s worth pointing out that often the women’s game doesn’t seem to carry the differences the men’s does. It’s people going to watch a great game of football and support their team. You don’t get derogatory terms and you don’t get swearing either. It’s the kind of setting I enjoy taking H to because we can watch football without me getting annoyed.

Jordan Nobbs FA WSL Spring Series

Two¬†England players who have been named in our England Lionesses Euro squad this summer were on the pitch. Jordan Nobbs and Fara Williams both featured in the Arsenal side; ¬†we’ve watched Fara play¬†several times over the last couple of years on television and we’re looking forward to the Euro’s! After England did so well in the World Cup in 2015 I’m really hoping we can build on that and go even further, plus the games are on at a far more sociable hour.

The FA WSL launched in 2011 and has grown in size from season to season. Ten clubs now compete in both leagues, with Tottenham being the newest club to gain promotion to WSL2. The games used to run over the summer months, but will now start in September from 2017, running at the same time as the men’s game.

FA WSL Spring Series Arsenal v Reading 2

We¬†love taking H to watch football – and she enjoys watching. I grew up watching York City every week in my teens and Tottenham once I moved to London. I want H to enjoy all aspects of football. It’s great¬†that her favourite players range from Harry Kane to Fran Kirby.

She has watched games for a good couple of years now. I love that there are so many opportunities for girls thank to the FA’s For All purpose. The FA wants to make football available for everyone, and it is certainly getting easier season by season. They want to double girls’ participation in the sport by 2020 which is brilliant.

FA WSL Spring Series Arsenal v Reading

 

There are so many football opportunities available at the moment for girls like H. Check out the SSE Wildcats FC’s¬†around the country that are girls-only football clubs. We’re going to be heading to Crystal Palace SSE Wildcats FC soon.¬†H had lessons with Crystal Palace when she was five, so we’re looking forward to trying the girls-only session out.

To find a FA WSL Spring Series game near you, or for details on the new season which starts in September, visit www.fawsl.com.

This is part of the Britmums/FA Project we’re taking part in. We’re being paid a fee for our time, though this doesn’t change our opinion of the game.¬†

Tottenham Ladies v Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Charlton Athletic Panorama
On to our third football match this month, Tottenham Ladies vs Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the FA Women’s Premier League Play Off. Tottenham had won the FA Women’s Premier League South, and Blackburn won the FA Women’s Premier League North.

Here’s where things get interesting. Only one team can get to the Women’s Super League 2 – so there’s a play off final between the two Premier League winners.

This doesn’t guarantee they’ll get into the WSL2 as there’s still further¬†criteria they need to fulfil, but generally the teams in that position have all that in place already.

Tottenham Ladies must have gone in being favourites as they had already completed the treble (League plus two cups) – and this game is the biggest in their history. Blackburn had gone through this season unbeaten, so weren’t an easy opponent.

I suggested to some of my old pals who used to come to Tottenham games with me that we should all attend. Bring our kids (if we had them), and it’d be a fun way to spend a Bank Holiday Sunday. It’s cheap, and if we’re lucky it’d be sunny too. Plus the football would be pretty good and it’s OUR team.

H at Tottenham Ladies

On entering The Valley there were Tottenham volunteers handing out flags and pictures of the Ladies, as well as some blue and white face paint. I love it when things like this happen. We’ve had it at the Women’s FA Cup Final and at an England Men’s Friendly before now. You really feel a part of it! Our flags were ready and our faces striped up in time for kick off.

After a scrappy first 20 minutes with some quite brutal challenges on both sides, the game settled. It was hard to believe that due to Tottenham’s lower league status, most of the players have jobs and do this in their spare time.

Eventually the goals came – and Tottenham sealed their historic quadruple, gaining promotion to the WSL2 for the first time.

Tottenham Ladies win!

As this was the first time we’ve watched Tottenham Ladies play, we needed time to get to know the players. Bianca Baptiste is outstanding – and when you find out that she currently works in a gym you can only hope that the Ladies will turn professional now (I’m not sure if it is a requirement) and Bianca could become one of our star players.¬†She scored the first two goals, and was also Player of the Match.

Wendy Martin’s goal in the 90th minute was fantastic!

Tickets for Tottenham v Blackburn Rovers were cheap. Adults were ¬£5, over 10’s ¬£2.50 and under 10’s ¬£1. We went to¬†Charlton Athletic’s ground, The Valley. The total attendance was 826.

Tottenham Ladies v Blackburn Rovers Ladies

I enjoyed that a few people started singing some songs, even though it didn’t really pick up like at the men’s game. I really try not to compare the two, and I was desperate to start a “Karen Hills blue and white army!” chant but was too cowardly.

The afternoon was fun, there are several new converts to the world of women’s football and I’m now tempted to buy extra tickets for games to encourage¬†more people to come along.

Tottenham Ladies did us all proud. We all made it onto a video at the very end too which was quite amusing!

Tottenham Ladies play their games at Cheshunt FC. They have also played a game at White Hart Lane last season. I’m glad to see that they’re included when it comes to teams representing the Tottenham name.

Tottenham Ladies are definitely our Women’s team. They were always going to be.

Tottenham Ladies

Now Tottenham Ladies are a WSL2 side, they are eligible to apply for a place in WSL1, as Notts County folded earlier this year. All WSL2 clubs can do this as there is a space, but they have to fulfil various licence criteria.

In the WSL each league has¬†ten teams. Clubs play each other twice, home and away, same as usual. From September the WSL will run alongside the men’s, starting at the same time for the first time ever.

We’re part of the BritMums/FA Ambassador group where we’re attending women’s games. We couldn’t attend Chelsea v Liverpool because of this game (which ended up¬†7-0 to Chelsea). Instead we’re going to see Arsenal Ladies v Reading. Given our Tottenham-supporting status, it’s going to be interesting watching our rivals. It’ll probably be a lot nicer than the men’s game too which can get quite nasty at times.

That’s another thing about the women’s game I like. There’s none of the nastiness there like you can get in the men’s game. Sometimes it can be so intense. The women’s game is a breath of fresh air. It’s the sort of place you want to take your children.