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What a difference a year makes.

Regular readers may remember that we took our then 18 month old away on holiday to Spain last September and the experience left us vowing never to set foot on a plane again.

The holiday itself was lovely; the weather was good and the time spent as a family was just fantastic, but the travelling mentally scarred us. I’d had foolish hopes that flying at bedtime would ensure that my darling girl would drink her milk on take-off then nod off into a blissful slumber for the duration on the flight. Oh how I laugh now!

The reality was that I had an over-tired and hyper toddler bouncing around for the entire flight. The trauma to myself and all of my fellow passengers was so great that I felt that I should have gone up to each and every one of them to give them my deepest and most sincere apologies for what they had just endured. (I didn’t of course; I just put my head down, determined not to make eye contact and shuffled quickly off the plane, hoping dearly that I’d never see any of them again).

The experience was so painful that we had convinced ourselves that UK holidays were the way forward and we had no need to leave the county with our children for at-least the next decade or until they were old enough to be let out in civilised society.

The week before half term, my husband unexpectedly managed to get a few days holiday from work and I “accidentally” found us an amazing last minute deal in Majorca. We haven’t been away since “plane-gate” but the lure of this holiday was too much to bear. With a deep breath I booked it.

This time it would be different, I convinced myself. She is two and a half now and a world away from that screaming banshee we took away last time.

Still, I left nothing to chance. My flight bag was packed to the brim with snacks, games, colouring books and the life-saver; a portable DVD player and a whole library of Peppa Pig DVDs. I was nervous; I won’t lie, but I’m delighted to say that the journey passed without hitch. This time we flew with Jet2 which made all of the difference; no rugby style scrum to get on board (we could sit happily in the departure lounge until last minute), hot meals delivered to our seats (at least 20 minutes of eating time kept the little monster quiet) we even had spare seats so that we could stretch out.

To top it off, on the flight home she actually did nod off into a blissful slumber for most of the flight. Peppa Pig and the stash of lollypops took care of the rest. This may sound trivial to those of you who have never holidayed with pre-schoolers, but for the first time in around five years, I managed to read a whole book whilst away. Utter, utter bliss!

WHAT’S ON?

Saturday, November 16

10.30am -noon the Harrogate Epilepsy Action group meets every third Saturday at St Peter’s Church.

11am-4pm Santa is visiting Treasures Toyshop in Wetherby. It is a great way for children to meet Santa, there are plenty of toys to try out and letter writing to do. The North Pole letter box has already arrived and any letters posted in Treasures are guaranteed a reply. There is no need to book just go along and join in the fun, (there is no charge for seeing Santa or letter writing) Santa arrives at 11am and will be at Treasures until 4pm.

Sunday, November 17

1-4.30pm MUMbler Christmas Shopping Event with nearly new sale at the Cairn Hotel, Harrogate. A great chance to do some Christmas shopping in a relaxed atmosphere. The Christmas shopping event is free to attend and the nearly new sale open, from 2-3.30pm is £1 per adult. 

Wednesday, November 20

7-9pm Pannal School Fizz Night. Tickets are £3 in advance or two for £5, or on the night they are £3.50. There will be over 20 stalls and a raffle. Tickets also get you a glass of fizz!

Friday, November 22

7pm Countdown to Christmas Event at Little Crickets Pre-school, an evening of shopping and pampering at the pre-school, St Georges Road, Harrogate.