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Happy Days Linky – First Day Nerves & Sharknado

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days Linky – I’ve done it! My first day in my new job is done and dusted. I found it quite unnerving going from knowing my stuff to being the new girl not knowing who to pay the tea fund money to. It went fine. I was useless but it was fine!

Sharknado 5 – One of my guilty pleasures are cheesy films featuring monster sharks, huge crocs or such likes. Tonight is the premiere of Sharknado 5 so what better way to finish off my first day in the new job. If you haven’t watched them then you have to. My favourite film of all time has to be Lake Placid. Don’t judge me!

happy_days_linky

The funny things that Isabelle says – At six years old she comes out with some crackers in total innocence that have me snickering and face away laughing. On our dog walk, Charlie seems to like peeing in the river but he always cocks his leg towards long grass along the edges. Isabelle says “I think he does that because he likes the grass tickling his willy” whilst she eyerolls and sighs ‘boys’!

Holiday – We can finally say that we’re going on holiday ‘this week’. There are clothes all over the house in bags and ready but not quite packed for the final pack on Friday morning.

We made it to Spain. The flight was absolutely fine. I set off the beeper so had to go in the machine and then be frisked. Here’s to a week off.

See you then.

Lisa x

 

What Katy Said

#SchoolHols2017 – Teignmouth Beach

#SchoolHols2017 – Devon Beach Days – Teignmouth Beach

We lucky in the South West that there are oodles of amazing beaches to visit some of which could easily be mistaken for being abroad. As part of the #SchoolHols2017 I thought I would share some of the beaches that we visit. First up we have Teignmouth Beach.

Teignmouth Beach

What do you do at the beach?

The beach can be totally FREE if you want it to be or it could end up being an expensive day out.

FREE Activities

  • Pack a picnic and invite friends
  • Take a ball/frisbee/bat and ball etc and make a day of fun games – split into teams and keep score
  • Take a portable BBQ – go late afternoon and stay until the kids are knackered.
  • Play park – There’s a great playpark which you could easily spend a lot of time in
  • Bucket and Spade – It’s amazing how many buckets, spades, shapes and rakes that accumulate from having kids. Pack it all up and let them loose to make sandcastles. Decorate them with pebbles, sea shells and bit of seaweed
  • Crabbing – take a bucket and a net

Other Activities

  • The Pier – Theres loads of amusements and things to do on the pier. Be prepared to have lots of change
  • Fish and Chips – Having fish and chips at the beach can be a real treat.
  • Crazy Golf – This used to be Ryan’s thing. Wherever we went we played crazy golf!

How to get there:

Living in the South West or visiting for the holidays then have a look at our oodles of suggestions for #southwestdaysout – Whether you’re looking for local attractions or fabulous beaches and walks.

#SchoolHols2017 – Woodlands Family Theme Park

#SchooHols2017 – Woodlands Family Theme Park

We haven’t been for a while but Woodlands Family Theme Park is a really great place to take the kids. Although it’s a theme park there are loads of open spaces for the kids to run around.

What is there to do?

  • Vertigo – New for 2017 (I’m not sure I would be brave enough to go on this) – Minimum height 96cm (accompanied) over 106cm can ride on their own
  • Sea Dragon Swing Ship – Minimum height 110cm (accompanied) over 125cm can ride on their own
  • Rock n Roll Tugboat – Be prepared to rock, roll and spin! – Minimum height 90cm (accompanied) over 105cm can ride on their own
  • Bumper Boats – Get competitive with a go in the bumper boats – Minimum height 90cm (accompanied) – over 140cm can ride on their own
  • Seascape Mirror Maze – Be prepared for a unique experience. Imagine the deepest abyss in the ocean. You’re not sure what’s real, Secret Passageways stretch before you forever. This is the baffling Seascape Mirror Maze where Monstrous Sea Creatures mysteriously grow and fade. The Quest is to find the elusive Sea Spirit. Children must be supervised
  • Dolphin Toddler Play – For children under 110cm. Lots of fun stuff for the littles to do including a camper van slide
  • Jumping Pillow – Minimum height 90cm (accompanied) – Over 120cm can ride on their own
  • Tractor Ride – Climb up the life-sized tractors and drive around our very own farmyard. Enjoy looking at all your favourite noisy farm animals as you drive past them
  • Pedal Town – Let the kids get carried away racing against each other whilst you can sit and watch
  • Safari Adventure Golf – Who doesn’t love a game of mini golf. This 18 hole course has loads of fun features to entertain the whole family

Woodlands Family Theme Park

Animals

  • Meeks Retreat – Meet the Meerkat family
  • Big Animal Barn – Here you will find Charlotte the Shire Horse, lambs, calves, goats and ponies
  • Pigs Palace – Who doesn’t love a piggy or two
  • Reptile House – A fave as these are animals that you are unlikely to come across in every day life so are a bit more interesting. They have a Dwarf Caiman Crocodile, iguanas, bearded dragons, turtles, terrapins and a black throat monitor as well as a selection of snakes
  • Rabbit and Guinea Pig City
  • Nocturnal House – Do you know what a sugar glider is? You will also get the opportunity to meet raccoons, chinchillas, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian long eared hedgehogs, rats and gerbil
  • Goat Mountain –  I’m like a magnet for goats. Maybe it’s my smell but they always follow me or try and eat my clothes
  • Outdoor Paddocks – Meet the alpaca and emu, llamas and manx sheep
  • Parrots Paradise – Full of gorgeously bright coloured birds
  • Chicken Run – See how many different kinds of chickens you can spot
  • New Babies – If you’re lucky you may see a baby or two
  • Sea Monster Zone – Packed full of rides and soft play adventures
  • Cyclone Canyon Zone – If waters your thing then head for this zone
  • Ninja Zone – This area is for big and small kids to test their agility
  • Circus Drome Zone – Here you will find everything from bouncy castles to Master Blaster – something for everyone
  • Fantasi Forest Zone – As I said, although this is a theme park there are lots of open spaces where you can wander and discover
  • Arctic Zone – I definitely recommend this area with the long slides and assault course
  • Indoor Play Area – Great if the weather isn’t great
  • Toddler Village Zone – Loads of stuff
  • Devon Falconry – Displaying cool birds of prey and owls

Woodlands Family Theme Park

Events

Titan the Robot – 15th August 2017
He’s worked with stars including Rihanna and Will smith and will make 3 appearances during the day where he will perform some street theatre, comedy and music.

Fizzpop Science Workshop and Show – 11th & 18th August 2017
They will be making gooey slime and teach you about friction, from rubbing your hands together to *Dalek Plungers we learn how friction is helpful for us to ‘get a grip’. They will also demonstrate how they can remove friction by adding blasts of air, allowing us to float a willing volunteer around the floor with their very own hover board!

Meet the Woodland Superstarz – Throughout the School Holidays.

Emazad the Magician and Friends – Watch him entertain the kids with his balloon skills – Various dates throughout the School Holidays.

Woodlands Family Theme Park

Facilities

Undercover and outdoor picnic areas

Opening times

9.30am – 6.00pm

Ticket Prices

For up to date ticket prices see the Woodlands Website 

How to find it:

Lisa x

Don’t forget to have a look at all our other suggestions for places to take the kids in the South Westwhether you live here or are visiting.

#SchoolHols2017 – Holdon Forest

#SchoolHols2017 – Haldon Forest

Haldon Forest is one of our go-to places when we don’t have anything else planned. We can take the dog as well which is an extra bonus and Isabelle loves it.

What is there to do?

Go and explore the woods and use your imagination. Try this ones on your little ones – If there is a fallen tree with the roots all showing we tell Isabelle that it’s a trolls house and they’ve popped out for a bit. In other parts of the woods where the Go Ape bits are we tell Isabelle that they are tree people flying through the trees.

She’s nearly seven now so although she knows that the ‘tree people’ are actually people on zip wires, she’s still happy to go along with the troll houses so we’ll go with that.

Follow one of the many trails that they have. Our usual trails are the Butterfly Trail and the Discovery Trail which are the easy routes. There are plenty of things to do along the way such as huge pipes to make your own tune on, huts and look outs. The last time we went there horseriders passed us which was nice to see.

Pick out good sticks, leaves and stones. Play hide and seek and shout to hear your voices echo.

The Gruffalo Trail – Download the Gruffalo Spotter app and have fun spotting the creatures from the Gruffalo and then meet the Gruffalo and Stick man at the end of the trail.

Take the bikes and follow one of the bike friendly trails.

Go Ape – This is one for kids over 1 metre and there are various different adventures available.

Segway Trails – Suitable for kids over 10 years old. These look really cool but we’ve yet to have a go on them.

Once you’ve finished you can pop into the cafe for refreshments and maybe an icecream or cake.

How much does it cost?

Visiting the forrest is FREE but there is a charge for parking which you can find the info on the Forestry Commission Website.

Get a Gruffalo Activity Pack from the Rangers Office packed full of cool stuff to make your experience in the woods cooler – just £3.00.

How to get there?

Don’t forget to have a look at all our other suggestions for places to take the kids in the South West whether you live here or are visiting and follow the hashtag #SchoolHols2017

 

#SchoolHols2017 – Morwellham Quay

#SchoolHols2017 – Morwellham Quay

We’re long overdue a trip to Morwellham Quay. The last time we went we had to stop half way there as Ryan felt car sick and he used his Nintendo DS as a sick bucket. It’s fair to say that the DS died a gruesome death that day. However, all was not lost as we had a fantastic day.

What is there to do?

Ride the Copper Mine Train – Take a ride on the train and admire the view before entering the George and Charlotte copper mine.

Traditional Crafts – Watch local Craftsmen working in the forge or pottery and rope making in the village.

Chocolate Making – Discover where chocolate came from and how it is made. Take part and make your own chocolate treat.

Victorian School – Experience school life in Victorian times including the strict regime and punishments.

Morwellham Quay

The Brewery – Sample Beer and Cider from the brewery and learn how it’s produced.

Victorian bakery – Learn the traditional techniques, knead some dough and make your own bread roll.

Mining Copper – Smash a rock and see what riches you can find.

Panning for Gold – Kids love this traditional way of searching for precious metals.

The Garlandstone – Step on board one of the last cargo vessels built in England.

Play areas – Let off some steam in the kids play area.

Dress like a Victorian – There are loads of costumes for both adults and kids to try on which is a lot of fun.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm

Dogs are welcome and there is wheelchair access, but there are lots of cobbles.

Ticket Prices

  • Adults: £10.95
  • Children under 3 years old: FREE
  • Children 3 – 16 years: £8.95
  • Concessions: £9.95
  • Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children): £34.95

If you book your tickets online there is a 10% discount.

How to find it:

Enjoy.

Lisa x

Don’t forget to have a look at all our other suggestions for places to take the kids in the South Westwhether you live here or are visiting.

Happy Days – chippy chips and Rain

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days – Monday started off with a grey sad looking sky so I suggested a trip to the museum or the library. Isabelle fancied the museum with a Trip to the park on the way. We got ready in such a leisurely manner that it was almost lunch time before we left the house. I was going to make a little picnic but there’s a great chip shop near the park so I thought we would be naughty and get some chips and eat them in the park. This part went so well. We got the chips and found a picnic table at the park. Isabelle ran off to the play equipment whilst I went to the bin where I was mugged by a seagull who was determined to get the chip wrappers. The seagull won!

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We had a play on the equipment for less than 10 minutes before the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Parents and kids all ran off in different directions looking for shelter. We started off under the slide but big blobs of water started to drop through the gaps so we had to run to a big tree to camp under until it stopped. Isabelle thought it was hilarious! When it finally got to drizzling we decided to make a dash to the museum – which of course doesn’t open on a Monday. We ended up at home wet but happy!

Tuesday was a work day for me and Isabelle was at Nanny and Papa’s. I did the final bag check for Ryan. It’s the last time I’m going to see him before he sets off on a plane to Spain tomorrow. I’m going to miss him but on the plus side there will be snacks in the cupboard for the rest of us!

Thursday I was a bag of nerves as it was my last day in my current job. I’m going to miss my job! I’m going to miss my colleagues and I’m going to miss my desk. They made my last day lovely and I walked out with a smile on my face.

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Friday Isabelle and I spent the day together. We took Charlie out for a walk and played games. It was my leaving do in the evening so I ate, drank and laughed the night away.

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happy_days

Saturday Isabelle went to the cinema kids club to watch Sing and later on we went to a reptile birthday party where we met all kinds of animals including a baby skunk, a tenrec and a tagu. The tagu was enormous but it was so so beautiful. We even touched a snake!

Hope you have a great week.

Lisa x

The #HappyDaysLinky is hosted by  @WhatKatysaidUK and @QFSheSaid. 

What Katy Said

#SchoolHols2017 – The Miniature Pony Centre

#SchoolHols2017 – The Miniature Pony Centre

We’ve been to the Miniature Pony Centre quite a few times over the years, but we never get bored of it. There’s plenty to do and lots of open spaces for kids to have fun.

Miniature Pony Centre

What is there to do?

Animals – Despite the name there are lots of other animals as well as the ponies. Pop into the paddock where there are loads of ponies roaming around that you can stroke. See how many different colours and size ponies you can spot. If your kids take a real shine to the ponies they can take part in a Pony Care Day where they learn to look after a pony.

Birds and Poultry – You are most likely to be greeted by a peacock when you arrive at the Pony Centre as they wander around freely. There are also aviaries dotted around which are home to cockatiels and various breeds of chicken.

Miniature Donkeys – It’s not just miniature ponies at the centre. They also have miniature mediterranean donkeys who love to be stroked and cuddled. If it rains, you will find the donkeys in the barn.

Baby Animals – Lots of babies have been born this year including foals, piglets, lambs and chicks.

Pets Paddock – Here you will find some of the smaller animals including rabbits, guinea pigs and creepy crawlies.

Heavy Horses – The Miniature Pony Centre is home to Buster the Shire Horse and Harris the Suffolk Punch. These are enormous beautiful animals who are usually in the barn, but if you’re lucky they might be in the arena.

Lionhead Rabbits – These are lovely rabbits with a furry mane. We had one and he was so soft and fluffy.

Giant African Land Snails – Eeek!

Giant Millipedes – kids love these. Isabelle has held quite a few of these.

Stick insects – See if you can spot them in amongst the branches.

Skinny Pigs – I only found out about these a few months ago. They are totally cute and totally bald!

As well as the animals there are indoor and outdoor play areas. Plenty of picnic areas and open spaces to sit on the grass.

Pony Rides – This is lovely to do if you get the chance and suitable from ages 3 – 10 years. The riders are suitably matched with a pony and are guided by the experienced staff. There is an additional £2.00 charge for this.

Facilities

There is a lovely cafe where you can buy hot and cold food as well as drinks, snacks and ice creams.

Dogs are not allowed in the Pony Centre but they do provide free kennels.

Opening Times

7 days a week between 22nd March – 29th October

10.30 – 4.30 (10.00 – 5.00pm in August)

Ticket Prices

  • Adults: £8.50
  • Children 3 – 16 years: £7.50
  • Senior Citizens: £7.00
  • Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children): £30.00

How to find it:

Let us know what you think if you take a trip.

Lisa x

Don’t forget to have a look at all our other suggestions for places to take the kids in the South West whether you live here or are visiting.

#SchoolHols2017 – Pennywell Farm

#SchoolHols2017 – Pennywell Farm

All kids big and small love a farm and there’s plenty to do at Pennywell Farm!

What is there to do?

Kids and adults can take part in lots of farm based fun including egg collecting at Funky Fowl, goat milking the old fashioned way and bottle feeding the lambs and goats.

Have a go at pond dipping and Ferret and Pig racing – Miniature Pigs!!!!

Pets Teatime – Have a snuggle with your favourite pet and give them a treat.

Planting – Plant a seed and take it home as a reminder of Pennywell Farm.

Pennywell Farm

Meet the Animals

Heavy Horses – Meet Fusilier the Shire Horse – See how far you have to look up before you see his head.

Miniature Pigs – These adorable little piggies are definitely worth a visit. Keep an eye out for the piggy racing times and feeding times which are a treat.

Pets – Have cuddles with friendly rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, chicks and ducklings.

Funky Fowl – Meet the many birds in the international poultry collection.

Goats and Kid Goats – Join the cheeky kid goats in their purpose built goatarama.

Ponies and Donkeys – Stroke and brush the many ponies and donkeys.

Ewes and Lambs – If you’re lucky you will get the chance to bottle feed a lamb.

Tortoises – Pennywell farm has it’s very own Tortoise Retirement Village for tortoises whose owners can no longer look after them.

Alpaca – Meet Tommy and Toffee the Alpaca. Who can resist their beautiful eyes.

Pennywell Farm

Rides

If the animals aren’t enough for you, there are rides available.

Red Rocket – Launch around the battlefield. Suitable from age 4.

Tractor and Trailer Ride – All the family can take part in this for a ride across the grounds across to Dartmoor National Park.

Rainbow Railway – Take a ride on this miniature train.

Run Rabbit Go-Karts – Race mum and dad on these fun go-karts. Suitable from age 8.

Facilities

If the weather’s great take a picnic. If the weather isn’t great you can still take a picnic as there are both undercover and outdoor picnic tables available.

Or if you fancy treating yourself to lunch there, then choose from a selection of locally sourced food and drinks from Henny Penny’s Cafe.

Microwaves are also available for heating up baby food.

How much does it cost?

  • Child Under 3 years old – FREE
  • Child 3 – 16 years – £10.95
  • Adults – £14.95
  • Senior – £13.95

There are also lots of upcoming events which include Elfic the Jester, Animal Yoga and Poco Drom – all of the details can be found on their Events Page.

Have a great day.

Lisa

Pssst – Don’t forget to have a look at the many other suggestions for the School Holidays. Check out our #SchoolHols2017 page for many great days out in the South West.

*images taken from www.pennywellfarm.co.uk 

#SchoolHols2017 – Powderham Castle

#SchoolHols2017 – Powderham Castle

We’re lucky being in Exeter that we’re close to many great places to take the kids. Powderham Castle is a stone’s throw away from us and has lots on offer for the kids to do.

Powderham Castle

Opening Times

11am – 4.30pm Sunday – Friday (Not open on Saturdays).

Dogs are allowed on a lead in parts of the grounds. Not in the Deer Park or Walled Garden.

What’s On?

Between 30th July – 4th August the Pocketwatch Theatre Company are going to be there telling magical tales of Knights, Dragon’s, Witches and Wizards. The sessions run for approximately 45 – 60 minutes and are aimed at 5 – 11 year olds. Tickets are available on the day.

A Guided Tour of the Castle – Take a guided tour inside the castle where you will explore the many beautiful rooms and listen to stories of the Courtenay family and history of the castle.

The Walled Garden Play Area & Pets Corner – Housed in what was originally a Victorian Walled Garden is now home to many animals and a play area for kids.  Here you will find a donkey, pot-bellied pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, guinea pics and apparently stick insects. There’s a large picnic area with seating and the Courtenay Fort.

Powderham Castel

Themed Days – As mentioned above the have a Knights and Dragons event, but listed on the Powderham Castle Website are many more:

  • Knights & Dragons – Sunday 30 July – Friday 4 August
  • Faeire Folk – Sunday 6 – Friday 11 August
  • Robin Hood – Sunday 13 -Friday 18 August
  • Pirates & Mermaids – Sunday 20 – Saturday 26 August
  • Wonderland – Sunday 27 August – Friday 1 September

These are all provided by the Pocket Watch Theatre Company and Clive PiG so it’s likely that whenever you visit there will be something a bit special happening.

Birds of Prey – Running from 23rd July – 1st September Devon Bird of Prey will be holding demonstrations twice daily (1pm & 3.30pm) and you may even get a chance to hold one of the birds.

The Potting Shed – I’m not sure if this is a new addition as I haven’t noticed this before, but your kids can have a go at planting something which they can take home with them.

Deer Park Safari – Hands up who has a competition to see who can spot the deer first? My in-laws live in Starcross so we always look out for them when we’re  on the train (a better view). If they’re sitting out on the grass it’s a sign of a nice day. Not sure how true it is but they always sit out on the nicer days. Take the Safari Tractor Train ride which takes approximately 35 minutes around the grounds to meet many deer (approximately 600) and other wildlife. There is an additional charge for this of £2.50.

Nature Trails – There are two nature trails which you can follow and daily nature craft activities are on offer in the Nature Nook.

How Much Does it Cost?

  • Adult tickets start from £8.50
  • Children (4 – 16) start from £6.50
  • Family ticket from £23.50

The full priced ticket price does also allow you to return for free within 7 days if you get it validated on the day.

How to get there

Oh and don’t forget to try some of the many yummy cakes that they always seem to have.

Have you been to Powderham Castle? Share your thoughts below in the comments.

Lisa x

Pssst – Don’t forget to have a look at the many other suggestions for the School Holidays. Check out our #SchoolHols2017 page for many great days out in the South West.

 

 

 

#SchoolHols2017 – Exeter Central Library

#SchoolHols2017 – Exeter Central Library

As we live in Exeter this post is based on what’s on offer in Exeter Central Library but I’m sure that your local library is running something similar so do pop in or head on over to their website to see what they’re up to.  Click here to find your local library.

The main library in Exeter City Centre is pretty awesome. It has a huge children’s section with cool squishy seating areas and a rocking horse. They of course have oodles and oodles of books that you can borrow as well as audio books (great for travelling) and a massive selection of DVD’s that you can borrow as well.

Our library also has computers which can be used with parental supervision.

Exeter Central Library

What is there to do?

Summer Reading Challenge – This FREE event is taking place all the way through the summer holidays. Pop into the library where you can sign up for the challenge pack and investigation kit. This is great for getting the kids reading and rewards are given along the way. The suggested age for this is 4 – 11 years.

Animal Agents Craft Session – Monday 7th August + Monday 21st August – 10.00am – 3.00pm – Animal themed craft sessions on a drop-in basis and FREE.

Willow Puppet Workshop – 3rd August 10.00am – The PaddleBoat Theatre Company have packed a very big suitcase full of exciting theatre shows and creative workshops for all the family to enjoy this summer. Come and weave willow into beautiful mini puppets that you can take home! Learn this ancient craft and get to see how some of the props have been made in PaddleBoat Theatre Company’s brand new show Rustle. This is suitable for ages 6 years + and needs to be booked in advance via The Phoenix.

Above Bounds Theatre Collective Staging Adaptions Workshop –  Friday 4th August – The PaddleBoat Theatre Company have packed a very big suitcase full of exciting theatre shows and creative workshops for all the family to enjoy this summer. This storytelling workshop is inspired by Hans Christian Anderson fairytales. Suitable from 4 – 7 years and is £4.00 for the session which can be booked via The Phoenix.

Sharp Teeth Theatre Storytelling Workshop – Friday 4th August 2.00pm – PaddleBoat Theatre Company have packed a very big suitcase full of exciting theatre shows and creative workshops for all the family to enjoy this summer. This session is an adventure with terrifying magic and beautiful music. Suitable from 7 – 12 years which can be booked via The Pheonix.

Free Shadow Puppetry Workshops – The Ugly Duckling & Other Tales – Monday 14th August – 11.00am + 2.00pm – Above Bounds will be waiting for you to join them in creating your very own shadow puppet inspired by the traditional art of Wayang Kulit. This workshop will delight the senses whilst introducing you to the rich world of fairy-tales. Suitable for all ages and FREE. Tickets available from the library.

Storytime with Loreley Amiti – The Moon Lantern – Friday 18th August – 2.00pm – 2.30pm – Pop along to meet Loreley Amiti where she will be reading The Moon Lantern. Under 5’s only FREE drop-in session.

Boo to a Goose Theatre Presents: The Magic Garden – Tuesday 29th August – 2.30pm – Join Auntie Mimi and Mr Forget-me-not for a picnic in their Magic Garden. This enchanting, multi-sensory show with puppets and music, is sure to delight the whole family. Bring your teddy along for this session. Suitable for under 5’s. £4.00 per child. Tickets available from the library.

These are just a few of the events and sessions that are available at Exeter Central Library this summer. Do have a look at the library website for further details.

As well as the library, there is also a lovely cafe area where you can have a nice cuppa and a piece of cake. AND if it ever stops raining there’s a lovely space to sit outside.

Have fun!

Lisa x

Don’t forget to check out our other suggestions all listed on the #SchoolHols2017 page.