Miffy Tulips Now Growing in Holland

Dutch tulip breeders have recently produced a variety of tulip to represent Miffy. We were sent some Miffy Tulips to plant.
miffy tulips, nijntje tulipa

Miffy Tulips are a lovely deep red colour. They were produced to match the red shade of Miffy’s dress. Miffy of course, is from Dick Bruna’s much loved bunny storybooks from over the last 60 years.

The cultivation process started back in 2001, and they’re hoping to be on sale in 2017/2018. That’s fifteen years of cultivation!!

This year there are only 2,500 Miffy bulbs in existence. You’ll find most of them in the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. It opens from the 23rd March to 21st May 2017. You’ll see them growing on their walk of fame, as well as the Miffy Garden located in the park.

Panda preparing the soil for the miffy bulbs

There are also some Miffy tulips growing in Carshalton as we received some! H planted them this weekend, it needs to happen in November. Our biggest fear is that the local squirrels will try and dig them up (I will be so cross if they do). We’re going to get some mesh to put over the top of our plant pot, so that should prevent them from doing it. This will still allow the bulbs to grow.

the miffy tulips are ready to be planted

 

The planting instructions are pretty straightforward. Get rid of weeds, and make sure your soil is turned over.

Place each bulb around 5cm apart, and then dig them down deep around another 10cm.

Cover them with soil and then give them a water. Then you just have to wait for them to grow.

Around March time you should start to see some Miffy tulips!

Miffy tulips being watered

They look pretty awesome and I can’t wait for a bit of colour once this coldness is over and spring begins.

We’ll be reporting back on the Miffy Tulips progress – we’re really looking forward to seeing them.

Miffy Mums

Miffy’s Adventures Come to Tiny Pop!

This Friday, Miffy is going to be on Tiny Pop – a new programme Miffy’s Adventures – Big and Small starts! We’ve got some information about it plus a lovely giveaway for you.

Miffy's Adventures Big and Small on Tiny Pop

Miffy’s Adventures – Big and Small comes to Tiny Pop on the 2nd October 2015 at 7pm which consists of fifty two episodes, all of them seven minutes long. This series is an animated sequel to Miffy and Friends which was on tv from 2003 onwards.

Tiny Pop is a digital channel, which has a fine selection of kids programmes. We’ve spent many afternoons watching Meg and Mog on there – and now Miffy is the latest to join the channel.

Miffy's Adventures Big and Small on Tiny Pop

Miffy’s Adventures – Big and Small features Miffy (of course) as well as her friends Snuffy, Grunty and Melanie who all feature in Dick Bruna’s books. This new series also marks the first time Miffy has been seen in CGI.

Miffy’s Adventures – Big and Small features simple dialogue, and consists of stories about the world around her, designed to keep even the smallest children engaged.

Miffy's Adventures Big and Small on Tiny Pop

The episodes keep the bright primary colours that Dick Bruna uses in the books, bringing the characters to life and bringing a new generation of youngsters into the world of Miffy.

Quite frankly, I think the more children that grow up loving Miffy, the better!

Miffy’s Adventures – Big and Small will become a key part of Tiny Pop’s evening block, Cuddle Time, which features gentle programming allowing kids, mums and dads to enjoy calmer, quieter time around bedtime. Tiny Pop has the strongest evening viewing figures in the kids’ category, from 7pm-midnight and will broadcast Mike the Knight, My Little Pony and Miffy from October as part of their autumn schedule.

We’ve seen some preview episodes, and they’re lovely – and very much in keeping with the spirit of Dick Bruna’s books. They’re definitely set to be a favourite for children!

Sensory Miffy Giveaway

As well as this, we’ve got a giveaway! How do you fancy winning a Sensory Miffy Toy? Suitable for children aged 6 months and up, this toy has several areas which it can identify on the body, and is a great fun toy for little ones. We’ve got one to give away, and all I need you to do is answer a simple question. Who is your favourite Miffy character?

Terms & conditions – UK entrants only please. This giveaway finishes on the 9th October 2015. The prize will be sent direct from Miffy’s PR company in the UK. Good luck!

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We Saw the Miffy Art Parade!

A month ago we spent three days in The Netherlands, timing our visit so H could see some of the Miffy Statues around Amsterdam and Utrecht. We’ve mentioned the Miffy Art Parade on here already, but this was our chance to see them properly.

 

Miffy Art Parade Schiphol Airport Pop Up ShopWe landed in Schiphol Airport mid-morning, knowing there was a Miffy Statue before and after passport control [note – the one after passport control had been moved] – and found a Miffy Pop Up Store as we exited Passport Control. Happily, our first one was in there, as well as a map of Amsterdam showing us locations of the statues – phew!

Miffy Art Parade rijksmuseum

So the aim was, find as many statues from the Miffy Art Parade while going to areas we’d be going to anyway. That seemed an easy enough task – we met Steven whose house we stayed in, and headed off on the tram towards the museumplein where we knew several statues would be. As it was we missed loads by a matter of days, as they had been removed, but still found two statues at the Rijksmuseum – who have recently opened a Dick Bruna exhibition which is showing until the 15th November 2015, and has borrowed work from the Centraal Museum in Utrecht as well as some of Dick Bruna’s own personal collection. More info here. Most places around here no longer had statues (check the website for up to date information) so we moved on.

Miffy Art Parade Hotel Okura

We walked to the Miffy Store (de winkel von Nijntje) via the Hotel Okura (which had another statue inside), and were left baffled why the store didn’t have a statue (but you can look inside the store on Google Maps which was fun). We still managed to spend money on essentials like a nice dutch Nijntje, a pack of plasters, several postcards of the statues (picking out the ones we’d seen), and a keyring, money box… so much stuff, but enough we could still carry it all home in our hand luggage.

Hello Utrecht

The following day was the big one – our trip to Utrecht. The home of Dick Bruna, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and the home of the Dick Bruna Huis (currently being refurbished until December 2015), and over the road the Centraal Museum which has a large Miffy exhibition.

Miffy Art Parade maps for Utrecht and AmsterdamOn arriving at Utrecht we wandered around the streets, relying on our data on our phones to find some statues – and stumbling across another Miffy Pop Up Store which was closing on the day we went. Inside was a statue, and there were many more to follow. Knowing there was a map for Amsterdam, I found out that Utrecht also had them, so headed to the tourist information building, where of course there was another statue, so our total spotted was growing!

Miffy Art Parade in Utrecht

When in Utrecht, and you have a map of all the Miffy things, the one place you need to visit is the Nijntje Pleintje (Miffy Place). In reality just a square with a permanent little Miffy in there, but the name was the first time I’d got the pronunciation of Nijntje correct (nine-tche is the closest I can say).

nijntje pleintje in utrecht

It was wet on our Utrecht day, and we were getting cold, and had been wandering around a while now. It was decided we needed food – in H’s case she decided she needed ice cream. So we headed back into the main shopping area, where we found the wonderful Njintje crossing – it’s a Dick Bruna fan’s Abbey Road, basically. We may have crossed over it several times, much to H’s delight. Lesser so, the drivers… oops.

Miffy crossing Utrecht

By now we’d eaten and had to head over to the other side of Utrecht, so took a boat on the canal. What a lovely way to get to know the city – and seeing all the shops canal-side was a great perspective to look at the areas we’d walked. We were soon at the Centraal Museum, where we continued our trip, visiting the Miffy exhibition. In the first room you can see two statues from the Miffy Art Parade.

Miffy Art Parade in Centraal Museum Room 2

These were followed by many more – plus some we couldn’t find. With it being towards the end of the exhibition a lot of the statues were being moved into the Rijksmuseum for an auction on the 8th October (which I’m guessing will tie in with what’s going on there now), but there were still plenty to see!

Miffy Art Parade Centraal Museum grounds

H had a wonderful time in the museum, doing some crafts and colouring in while I wandered around, my childhood in giant books I could hide inside. We stopped in the cafe for a Miffy pancake which I shared with H.

Miffy pancake

We decided to wander back and see which other statues we could find. As it was, there was just the one – in Winkel van Sinkel (which we had walked past several times that morning).

Miffy Art Parade in Winkel van SinkelPlus we also spotted some of the Miffy statues that were on cars when the Tour de France came through Utrecht, on display in a window at the central Council offices. That was it, we were Miffy-d out for another day, and caught our train back to Leiden!

Miffy Tour De France

Our final day, we were back in Amsterdam. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day. A day for wandering around, and if we happened to be near anywhere that had a statue, we’d pop in. We spent most of the day at the Dutch Resistance Museum Junior, before wandering around and finding ourselves where another three statues lived – in the Hortus Botanicus – who let me in at a reduced rate and H in for free – so we found our final two statues which were inside the grounds, including the one by Madelon Bruna, Dick Bruna’s daughter [far right].

Miffy Art Parade Hortus Botanicus

I would imagine all the Miffy Art Parade statues have gone, as the exhibition is due to finish around now, but the celebrations are continuing this year – Miffy is 60, and I’m so happy we had a chance to visit and celebrate too!

The Miffy Art Parade website is here where you can check the status of which Miffy’s are still on show. There’s also a webstore, and I really wish I had bought this Design-Your-Own Miffy – at €39.95 it isn’t cheap, so you’d need to know what you wanted your Miffy to be!

The Miffy Art Parade is still on show in Japan in various cities. Again, check the website for which are still viewable for up to date information.

Project 365 – Week 35

Sunday 23rd August. My baby turned six. We woke up in Plymouth, having booked the Travelodge there knowing we’d be going to the Eden Project the previous day. She opened her presents, we went off for a huge breakfast, then made our way back home via Stonehenge. Here she is modelling her buddingSTEM t-shirt which arrived recently – I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign they did, and gave H the t-shirt for her birthday.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Monday 24th August. Getting Home Learning done for school. Yep, going into Year 2 it seems you get things to do over the Summer Holidays. So this is her Knight outfit. My work is done.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Tuesday 25th August. Had to take H for a haircut and for her eye check up at the hospital, both of which went well. We have to trawl Charity shops for Enid Blyton books, and found two more. I spotted MC Miker and DJ Sven on the floor. Truly awful record (‘The Holiday Rap’) but this is what all our old 7″ records from the eighties look like now. Maybe.

bad records

Wednesday 26th August. We arrived in Amsterdam – tired after a 4am start but ready to explore a city none of us had been to. After forgetting to charge my camera battery last week, it was the first thing I did when I got home from Cornwall, so I have decent quality Miffy pictures alongside my substandard phone ones. I’m much less cross about it! Here’s one of the Miffy Statues from the Miffy Art Parade – they’re all being removed now, so there’s probably only a month or so left.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Thursday 27th August. Utrecht. A long-standing place I’ve wanted to visit – to wander around the streets where Dick Bruna lives, to find out what inspired him, to go to the Miffy Museum (Dick Bruna Huis – it’s being refurbished but there’s a huge exhibition over the road at the main museum) and just to be there. I grew up with Miffy, H has too, but also my dad, when he was alive and went for a break in the Netherlands with my mum, picked up a Miffy for me (but lost it), as he knew how much I loved that bunny back in the seventies. To be in Utrecht meant a lot. Where else would you get Miffy traffic lights?

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Friday 28th August. Back to Amsterdam – and a trip to the Library for the views, a walk around some of the old city and to the Museum of Resistance (which has a fantastic new Children’s area which I’ll go into on another post), before finding more Miffy’s (Miffies?), and heading back to Amsterdam Centraal to make our way home again. This statue is in the Hortus Botanicus and was created by Dick Bruna’s daughter Madelon. I’m so pleased we got to this one, as you had to pay – they let us in for €4.50 as it was about to close, and H for free.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Saturday 29th August. A lazy day around the house – we needed it after a busy last week. H was given a Miffy stencil, so she set about stencilling our back yard. I love it!

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Miffy Art Parade

Miffy is 60, and there are many things to help her celebrate – including a fabulous Miffy Art Parade in several cities across The Netherlands and Japan.

sunshine-by-carli-hermc3a8s-e1430993877523

The Miffy Art Parade is along the same lines as the Paddington and Shaun the Sheep ones we’ve had in London – and are a fab idea. We’re going to The Netherlands in August, and H and I are pretty excited to be there! The Dick Bruna Huis is currently being refurbished so is closed (shame, we’ll just have to go back next year…) but there’s still a Miffy exhibition at the main Centraal Museum in Utrecht – as well as plenty of statues to find. There are two at Schiphol Airport which means we’ll be starting almost as soon as we land!

Across Amsterdam, The Hague and of course Utrecht there are several Miffy statues to be found. I have to say, I was pleased the Shaun the Sheep app existed as quite often I was stood metres away from the statues, having no idea they were there, so this will be a challenge – but one we’re all looking forward to. I’ve been reliably informed by a colleague who lives in Amsterdam that there’s a Miffy Square and they’re quite easy to find!

het-spook-nijntje-by-kenjiro-sano-e1430992595263

Each Miffy Art Parade statue has been customised by a different artist – including Dick Bruna’s daughter – there are 45 statues in the Netherlands – how many will we find? We shall see…

The Miffy Art Parade is across various sites, locations can be found here. The statues are there to see until the 30th September 2015!

de-feestjurk-by-piet-paris-e1430994217609

If all this wasn’t enough, we have an announcement to make – we’re joining the Miffy Mums! Having loved Miffy since I was a little girl (and I remember my parents going to The Netherlands in my 30’s, and my dad buying me something Miffy related for old time’s sake (but he lost it)), I’m glad to be passing the books on to H – who also loves them. So we’re going to have a super Miffy year this year!

Miffy Mums

Happy Birthday Miffy!

Miffy needs no introduction on Mum Friendly – I grew up with the books and now H does – and to celebrate Miffy’s birthday we bought tickets to see the Miffy Movie at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square.

Happy Birthday Miffy - H meets Miffy at the Miffy Movie premiere in London

Because it was Miffy’s birthday, we were promised a chance to meet the character as well as a goody bag – so H was pretty excited. I worry she’s getting to the age where she might stop liking Miffy – though to be fair, I haven’t – so I’m fairly confident she’ll love her for life.

H had her favourite Miffy Uniqlo t-shirt on, we met Jenny from The Gingerbread House outside (although she had VIP tickets so got to see the film on a different screen), and eventually got inside and waited for the film to start. The screening was an event with Bliss, and all proceeds from today go towards their important work.

At an hour and 10 minutes, it’s the perfect time film-wise for a toddler who can cope with slightly longer films – and there’s enough going on that you’ll be yelling back at the tv when Miffy asks you things. Oh, and there’s a very catchy song all the way through as Miffy and her friends solve clues around the zoo.

This is the new style Miffy, rather than like the Dick Bruna books in cartoon form, like the tv series. The film was actually released in the Netherlands in 2013, and is finally getting a release over here – as Miffy is now 60. She still looks fresh and new, and has many new fans every year.

We have a trip to Utrecht planned – though the Dick Bruna Huis is closed until next year for refurbishment, there is still a Miffy exhibition within the main museum there. There are also the Miffy statues around Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague – most of which I’m hoping we’ll see. The statues are there until September time. I can’t WAIT!!!

Bucket List

At some point in the future we are likely to be moving to Australia. This means I need to make sure all those things I’ve always wanted to do get done. So I’m starting my bucket list. This will be added to and amended when things have been done, but gives me a focus on the things I might never get a chance to do again once I’m over the other side of the world! Some are stupid little things where I’m revisiting my childhood, and others are things I’ve never done.

1. Go to the Dick Bruna Huis in Utrecht (edit – we’re going in August, but the Huis is closed for refurbishment. H says “oh, we’ll just have to go next year then” – good girl!)
2. Go to Amsterdam (booked)
3. Go to Eurovision (just the once)
4. Take H to Salzburg so she can do the Sound of Music tour too.
5. Take H to see Annie on the stage. (booked for November!)
6. Go to Cornwall
7. Take H to a festival.
8. Go to Germany again.
9. Take H to Blackpool.
10. Do the Miffy Trail in the Netherlands this year (could be combined with 1 & 2) 
11. Finish reading the Morrissey book.
12. Go to CenterParcs in Belgium next year (as inspired by Jennifer)
13. Take H to a game of Football at Wembley
14. Take H to a Tottenham game (we’ve done a stadium tour and we’re women’s season ticket holders so that counts)
15. Take H to a York City game. (Done!)
16. See Matilda at the theatre (done!)
17. Go to the York Pantomime (the proper Berwick Kaler one) (done!)
18. Go camping. (done!)

Project 365 – Week 8

Sunday 15th February. After a busy Saturday it was decided to have an easier Sunday, mainly as H has a cold, I was catching it and Shaun is one of those lucky people who sleeps. The morning started with H laid out on the settee reading her Maps book. As luck would have it, maps is one of the topics for school next year so she’s already got plenty of books to cover it.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Monday 16th Feb. My new phone arrived! I was very excited about it, and after a lot of deliberating stuck with EE. I was going to switch to Three, but unfortunately the 4G coverage around here works in EE’s favour. I love Three’s tariffs, and it’s something I’d still consider the next time my renewal is up. So the phone. I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s a Samsung Galaxy A3 and the camera doesn’t have a macro setting. This makes me sad as I was hoping it would – I suspect the A5 will though, but it’s too big for me. It does the job, and I have space on my phone to put things on which is progress anyway.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Tuesday 17th Feb. Feisty. H was told to get off the iPad as she’d been on for a while, so she stomped off upstairs, left this note outside her bedroom door and was “very cross” with Shaun and I. I felt like the note lost a bit of the impact by being on a Miffy notepad, but I liked her fighting spirit. Obviously we all talked about it and she calmed down, and we have new iPad rules in place again.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Wednesday Feb 18th. In my past life as a non-parent I went to thousands of gigs and took photos of the bands for my own use. They live on my longest-standing (and much neglected) website  & blog Sweetfoolthemouth, and they’re only a small selection as I don’t have time to scan these days. Some of those photos caught the eye of the Beautiful Noise documentary maker Eric Green who asked to use them. Anyway, five of my photos make it onto the documentary (3 x My Bloody Valentine, 1 x Lush, 1 x The Telescopes), so I bought the DVD – which arrived from the US in a matter of days! We watched it on Saturday night.

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Thursday Feb 19th. We lost lots of H’s toys a year or so ago, and I was convinced they were under the stairs. In the last week I’ve found them – including her old Kidzoom camera (which she loves as it has games on it…) – Shaun put batteries in and that was it, she was off making in-flight entertainment films which seem to be showing the entire plane all her toys.

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Friday 20th Feb. I did not take a photo today. I did, however, take a film. See, at work if I get in first I have one thing I do to start the day off (other than get a fork for my breakfast and a cup of steaming hot water to drink) – but only if nobody else is in. Joe who sits opposite me blagged a Tardis full of Dr Who music – the incidental music (so we’re talking Delia Darbyshire here) – though they’re still unplayed in the office. The Tardis itself is fab though, and always makes me smile. See?

A video posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Saturday 21st Feb. We went to Sutton Empire to watch Big Hero 6 – which we enjoyed a lot although I had to hold back the tears several times with the theme of loss running through the film. Afterwards we headed to Waterstones as H wanted to buy ‘My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat’ which came out last month, as she’s read the other two books in the series. Waterstones had it on a half price deal when bought with another book, and by the time she went to bed last night she’d read the whole thing. She loves those books!

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TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

New Miffy Books? Almost… but yet they are!

Simon and Schuster are the new publishers of Miffy books. We’re long-term fans – they’re books I read when I was little and now H loves them too.

Miffy was first brought to life by Dick Bruna way back in 1955 by the Dutch artist Dick Bruna. We have a mighty fine collection and one of the things I’ve found the most charming is the not-quite-right translations of the books. Words that would never rhyme being used in the stories. I’m sure I didn’t care when I was young, I just read and got on with it.

So I have a sense of loyalty – and was a little wary when it was announced the books would be getting a bit of a revamp for modern times. I’m not a fan of change unless it’s for a good reason.

Fortunately, there is a good reason. The Miffy illustrations stay the same, and most of the rhymes stay the same or similar, but have a better structure. For example – there is a picture of a pear and some peapods, the original book mentions a cauliflower (probably to make the words flow better) yet it isn’t pictured. The new version of the book is much simpler and sticks to what you can see. See the two pictures for more examples.

Miffy

I quite like them too. I bought ‘Miffy’ and ‘Miffy at the Zoo’ today and have compared both versions we own. But yet it says the translations date back to the 1990’s – so what did we have before this? What did I read in the seventies? Would it be unreasonable to buy a third version of the books purely for my own curiosity?

If, like me, you weren’t sure what was going to be done with the books, rest assured, it’s fine. It’s a job done well and very faithfully. Would I buy all the books again? I’m unsure – as we own them all already it could prove quite costly. Fortunately they’re being made available in small batches (Miffy at the Gallery is the third in the series – which was published via the Tate Bookstore not that long ago) so won’t break the bank. I’m hoping that the last book, Njintje is Stout (Miffy is Naughty) will get a translation, as I’m fairly sure that’s the only book that hasn’t been.

Miffy at the Zoo

October is a bit of a cop-out with Miffy’s Dream getting republished! The only one without words – maybe new translator Tony Mitton needed a break 🙂 We like and have read a few of Tony Mitton’s books – though only own ‘The Somethingosaur’ which we reviewed a while back.

I can see there are also activity books available too, though didn’t buy those. It looks like Miffy is going to be well stocked in bookstores again which is quite frankly, a fabulous thing. You can find all the books over here  – Miffy – the New Books (contains an affiliate link).

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World Book Day

World Book Day was today. H got her voucher from school and we’ve decided on The Worst Witch as her choice, an activity book.

They didn’t dress up at her school – I’m not sure why. Instead it has been announced they’re doing a week of book related things when at the start of next term.

The relief thinking we’d got away with it turned to “uuuuhhhhh nooooo” when I realised we have to find an appopriate costume for the day. At least we have a month and a half to think about it!

So far my suggestions have been…
A Pigeon (Mo Willems)
Little Miss Naughty (we have the costume)
Topsy (she’ll need a Tim)
My Naughty Little Sister
Milly Molly Mandy
Meg (she can use Jessie Cat as her Mog)

they haven’t had the most enthusiastic response.

Before then we have to get Easter out of the way – there’s a school bonnet parade before the end of term and fortunately Poundland have kits in stock. We just need to make it now…

What did you dress your child in today, or is your school going later too?

Here’s some previous costumes we’ve done!Little Miss Naughty World Book Day

Miffy World Book Day