How To Play Happy Wars

“Today, we found a game to show you on our Xbox called Happy Wars. We thought it was enjoyable so we uploaded it (we did it in France).

I thought you guys would enjoy it, I actually enjoyed it too!

It is free to download on the Xbox 360, I’m not sure if you can get it on any other system – please tell us if you manage to.

Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment, either here or on YouTube. We’d love it if you could subscribe to our YouTube channel too. We create videos about gaming, and also ‘Look Inside’ videos taking things apart to see what’s in them. We also do vlogs of our holidays.”

By Toby

“We are so sorry for the graphics picture quality, it was because we were in our French house and the TV is a bit old! But we decided to upload it anyway because the video gameplay and information are all good and we thought you might find it helpful.”

By Hugo

We made two videos to get you started, one beginner’s guide showing you how to play Happy Wars, and one showing characters and mounts.

Let us know what you’d like to see next – we’d be happy to help!

30 Days Wild – Week 3

Wow, where did that week go?

It’s always hectic, isn’t it, when you’re just back from holiday, and back to school? Back to earth with a bump.

It has been much harder to keep up with 30 days wild, firstly because my children are back at school, and I prefer to do the challenge with them, and secondly because we’re back in Britain with the good old British weather!

Our previous posts, week 1 and week 2, were full of wildlife (even on the rainy days), but being home has been as much about plants, and about research.

Day 15 – we spotted a solitary wild plant pushing through the brick on our driveway. I think it was oil seed rape? (It was such a boring photo that it since got deleted!)

Day 16 – I think I might have failed on this day. We did walk through the park to school – does that count as something wild? I didn’t get any photos of it though.

Day 17 – Toby showing that boys can wear flowers too (and look pretty cool, may I say?)

Boy with flower bracelet
Boys can wear flowers too!

Day 18 – We planted some sunflowers in the garden. They are great for wildlife, and also very cheery!

Sunflower planting
Planting sunflowers in the garden

Day 19 – The sunflowers were closely tended by my big boy, and I just couldn’t resist taking a photo of one.

Sunflower Head
Beautiful sunflower head

Day 20 – Feeling the cool, soft grass under my hot sausage toes! It was a really hot day, and I couldn’t wait to kick off my shoes!

Feet on grass
Feeling the grass beneath my feet

Day 21 – Today I learned that the black bee I photographed in France was in fact a Carpenter Bee, so spent some time looking up more information about it. I learned that this was the male bee, because it didn’t have a stinger, but it is prone to being aggressive and ‘facing up’ to people, just as this one did to me! The females can have a nasty sting though, so beware! Also, they like to burrow into bare wood, so get the paintbrush out!

Posing large black bee
A black bee faced up to pose for me!

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30 Days Wild – Week 2

Well, more than 2 weeks have passed since we started the 30 Days Wild challenge. You can read how we did in week 1 here.

The first two weeks were the easy part in a way, as we were on holiday in France for most of it. Sustaining it when we’re back in cold and drizzly Britain is the difficult bit!

Having said that, 30 Days Wild doesn’t have to be about galloping through the countryside every single day, it can be as much about learning, or about nurturing wildlife eg feeding birds or making a place for bugs to stay.

Here’s what we got up to in our second week of wildlife:

Day 1: We were at Vallee Des Singes (Valley of the Monkeys- post here), but it was the farmyard which was a big success for my little monkey. He loves getting hands-on with animals, and couldn’t resist the little goats, which he wanted to take home.

Little goats
Toby wanted to adopt a little kid!

Day 2: We went to a village we adore, Verteuille-Sur-Charentes, and had a lovely walk by the river, looking at the fish swimming in the shallow water.

Castle Verteuille
Chateau Verteuille – fairytale castle & lovely river

Day 3: The boys were very excited to catch some photos of this black bee. We saw a few of them in France, they are absolutely huge and very noisy!

Posing large black bee
A black bee faced up to pose for me!

Day 4: We went to a Plan d’Eau near to us. A lovely big lake which is teeming with wildlife. Here, Daddy & H were initially looking for ducks they could hear in the reeds, and ended up spotting some lovely dragonflies and damselflies

Spotting dragonflies
Spotting Dragonflies and Damselflies in the reeds

Day 5: We stopped at the roadside to photograph this lovely row of poppies growing wild

Poppies by the roadside
Wild poppies by the side of the road

Day 6: Geese & ducks by the river

Geese and ducks
Ducks and geese by the river

Day 7: Home again and watching Springwatch on TV with my dog!

Dog watching television
Watching Springwatch on TV with my dog


Can we keep it up now that we’re back home in the UK? It’s much more of a challenge now! Follow us on Facebook & Instagram to find out!
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Planet of Crocodiles, France

We’re making a list of cool things to do in France, since that’s where we spend most of our holidays (we own a holiday farmhouse and gites which we rent out – Chataigne House & Gites).This week we visited Planete Des Crocodiles, at 86320 Civaux, (approx. 40 miles from Chataigne House) in the Vienne region of France.

This is the second time we’ve been here, which is a good indication of how much we like it! This time, Hugo had some school homework to find out as much as possible about crocodiles, so what better way to do a great piece of research? He therefore insisted we had to make a visit!

The boys made a Vlog and took some fab photos. Yes, can you believe control of the camera was given over to the kids?! That’s because Mummy wasn’t on this trip, and she’s our normal photographer!

So, without further ado, I’m now handing over to the boys to give you all the facts:


Planet of crocodiles
Planet of crocodiles – great homework!

(This was also featured as My Sunday Photo )

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My Sunday Photo

I was allowed a day out without Mummy this week (she wasn’t feeling too well). It was strange to be having a ‘family’ day out without the whole family, but what was stranger was that she relinquished control of the new camera! Neither of us knows how to use it yet, but it has a good zoom, which is handy when you want to get a few good shots of crocodiles!

Yes, we went to Planet of the Crocodiles, where I took this photo. I’m rather pleased with it actually! They make good models!

Planet of crocodiles
Planet of crocodiles – great homework!

Silly Saturday Siblings

Today’s Saturday Siblings is very silly!

We were at a restaurant in Verteuille (in France), eating outside, when boredom began to set in for the boys. I thought I’d take a few photos by the flower beds to keep them amused, and, well, need I say more……

This is the result!

Good job I love them!!
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…Typically French of course! Did you think this was going to be a negative and moaning post? No chance! The sun came out this week, and showed us all the things we love about France, so my word of the week is therefore

typically:  Adverb ; in a way that shows all the characteristics that you would expect from the stated person, thing or group;

and I’m going to show you some of the typically French things we discovered.

Last week Paul painted our typically French shutters on Chataigne House a lovely French blue (the same blue as last year and the year before, as they need doing quite regularly- look out for the forthcoming maintenance post!)

French shutters
Painting the shutters

Hubby and I also had a rare night out alone together, to a gorgeous local place called the Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, which is run by Brits but is a typically quaint French house with shabby chic decor and great food.

Mad Hatters Restaurant
The Mad Hatters Kitchen, Caunay, France

The boys went to Planet of Crocodiles (we have a full post about it here). OK, this isn’t typically French, but it was a great adventure for them! One of the reasons the boys wanted to go was because Hugo had to learn about crocodiles for his school homework (although typically, he left his homework at school so we’re not entirely sure what he was supposed to do!)


The whole family visited a typical French marche in our nearby town, and the sights and sounds were something to behold. I’m writing about that separately too, as we have so many beautiful images to share! Look out for that, I’ll link to it later when it’s ready.

We also had the typical holiday barbeque, including langoustines which we had bought at the market earlier.

Barbecue BBQ
Outdoor barbecue with langoustines from the market

Later in the week we visited a fabulous place called Vallee des Singes (Valley of the Monkeys), which is all outdoors with many varieties of monkeys roaming free. (Full post is here). Is this typical of French ecology at work? I’m not sure, but it has become a typical visit for us because it’s very close by and we love it so much!

Valley of the monkeys
My little monkeys love Valley of the Monkeys

Typically, Toby wanted to take some animals home. This time, it was the little baby kids. “I just can’t leave them!” he said.

Little goats
Toby wanted to adopt a little kid!

Finally, yesterday we visited another of our favourites, possibly one of the most beautiful villages you could wish for, Vertuille-sur Charentes. It has the typical fairytale French chateau, and beautiful riverside walks and cafes, bridges, flowers, everything really! Look at the photos and you’ll see why we love it so much!

Castle Verteuille
Chateau Verteuille – fairytale castle
Verteuille cafe
Riverside walk and cafe in Verteuille
Verteuille cafe
Another cafe by the river in Verteuille
Shop in France
Lovely French flower shop boutique in Verteuille

We have more lovely images of France on our Instagram page. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter to see all of our posts about France – the travel and the renovation.

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30 Days Wild – week 1

This is an initiative from the Wildlife Trust to spend 30 days doing something wild every day, including ‘random acts of wildness’ like

  • Feel the wild landscapes through the soles of your feet – sand, grass, pebbles, water
  • Wear daisies & dandelions to jazz up any outfit – in your hair or around your wrist
  • Switch off all gadgets for a day: no phones, tablets or computers. Tune into nature
  • Taste sweet wild elderflowers in cordial, soda water or sparkling wine
  • Encourage wild at work with bird feeders, a herb box or outdoor meetings

You can read more about the project here

Here are some photos from our first week of 30 Days Wild. We were in rural France at Chataigne House and had an abundance of wildlife all around us.

Day 1. It was pouring down for the 4th day in a row. At least the flowers were happy!

Flower outside farmhouse
Peony outside our French Farmhouse in the rain

Day 2. Right on our doorstep, the beautiful sage is a hive of activity for wildlife, especially bees and sphinx moths, but also snails and lizards.

Sage flowers with bee
A huge bee enjoying the sage flowers
Sage plant and snail
Snails also likes the sage plant

Day 3. It stopped raining enough to go outside, and the boys enjoyed climbing the trees. They’ve had a big lecture about not damaging them!

Climbing trees
Just hanging around, waiting for the sun

Day 4. A further record of our cheeky boys tree climbing.

Boy in the tree
Is there a boy in that tree, or is it a monkey?

Day 5. We took some time to look at different types of moss and fungi. We have a book for identifying fungi, but I’m too nervous to eat any just in case!

Day 6. We recorded birdsong, in particular a hoopoe who we think is nesting in our garden. They have such a strange call, almost like a bark really, a “whoop whoop whoop!”. It is posted on our Instagram page

Day 7. After a gorgeous morning at our local market in Lezay, we bought some langoustines and barbecued them with sausages, and had an outdoor lunch enjoying the country air.

Langoustines on the barbecue
Barbecue with langoustines bought at the local market

We’re really enjoying this 30 Days Wild challenge – check back next week to see if we manage to continue!
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