Here’s hoping sun will shine on great events

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We’ve had a few good days of sun in May haven’t we? Nothing long-standing enough to inspire me to pack up my winter coats, but it was something nevertheless.

I realised recently that I do waffle on about the weather quite a lot, don’t I? Among all the other waffle anyway. Maybe I missed my calling as a weather reader?

But as we know too well, one of the most frustrating things about living in Britain is that it’s impossible to plan a family day out without having to pack a multitude of clothing options for every possible climate change known to earth.

It’s also why us woman need such enormous handbags (they’re not just full of lip balm and hand cream you know!)

Still, as May draws to a close and we enter the start of the festival season there are loads of outdoor family-friendly events happening almost every weekend.

The Bandstand is back again on Sundays this year throughout the summer, so we can shake out the picnic rugs while listening to some free live music.

If you are a garden buff, or just like wandering around beautiful grounds, then you will love the 2013 Garden Show at Stansted Park from June 7-9.

The show has been running for nearly two decades now and is a great day out for the whole family with everything from food markets and art to interactive workshops and a Plant Doctor to help you solve your gardening dilemmas.

They are really expanding their children’s activities this year too, so there will be loads for them to do including a mega treasure hunt, an entertainment marquee with magic and puppet shows, face painting, juggling workshops, a model railway, old-fashioned fairground rides and a maze (mind that you don’t accidentally get lost and find yourself in the cafe with a brew and slice of cake).

For more details you can visit or call (01243) 538456.

The Portsmouth Festivities are also back again this year from June 21-30. This is a 10- day festival for all the family, offering music, theatre, literature and visual arts.

There is too much for me to list here, but if you want to get the kids involved there are fun workshops where they can learn all the best bits about being a sailor (including how to speak like one!) through drama and storytelling.

They can also visit two ships from the Royal Navy fleet, learn to sing with a West End professional or bring characters to life in a creative storytelling workshop.

Most of the events need to be booked in advance, though some of them are free. You can book tickets at

So maybe if we all do a bit of a sun dance – just a little hip jiggle might even do it –we can combine our optimistic powers and encourage the sun to stay out long enough for us to at least stuff our oversized rain macs back into their ridiculously tiny sacs.

See, there I go again.

Single mum-of-one Mandy Earle juggles a busy home life with her work as editor of Families Solent East, a free parenting magazine