Author Archives: Liz Nankivell

Binky Bear Blog Bonfire Night November 5th Torchlight Procession

Bonfire Night – November 5th

Some things seem quite normal until that is, you start to explain them!  Chatting today to my cousin in the US, I was talking about Bonfire Night which is tonight, 5th November.  I was telling him what we were planning to do, what we have done every November 5th since I can remember and why we do it.  So for all our fans, who are not living in the UK and who may be a bit mystified by the hashtag #BonfireNight across all the social media channels today, here is my explanation of what is going all over the UK tonight and this weekend! Sometime back in the time of King James 1st (1605), there were some people (Guy Fawkes and others) who were not very happy with the King and the way he was running things and they decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament - yes the same Houses of Parliament that you can walk past in London today.  In fact they placed a bomb under the House of Lords - it's in the same building. To celebrate the fact that the authorities found out about the plot before the bomb (a load of gunpowder in barrels) actually went off and the King was saved, the people of London lit bonfires and somehow the tradition has stuck to this day.  So tonight, all over the UK there will be towns and villages and groups of friends getting together around their bonfires, which they have been building for weeks in some cases and on which they may burn a 'Guy' which is a straw filled, often pyjama clad effigy of a man and they will let off loads of fireworks.  Traditionally we eat sausages or jacket potatoes and sip cocoa or tomato soup or something a little stronger like mulled wine. Some villages have torchlight processions and the photo on this blogpost was taken by Moira last year in Alresford in Hampshire. Hundreds of people collect at the top of Broad Street and with flame torches (yes real flame torches) they all walk down to our local playing fields for a fantastic firework display based around a massive bonfire. So there you have it; not odd at all!  Have a great Bonfire Night everyone, wherever you are!  And if you have a particular local way of celebrating Bonfire Night, let us know in the comments box below.
Binky In A Box

Why Will Binky Bear Never Be The Same Again?

In fact to be precise, our lovable Binky will always be exactly the same but our website has been transformed and now reflects Binky’s world of reading books, getting outdoors and having fantastic shared experiences with your family and friends. When people first hear about Binky Bear books they describe them as books about a teddy but what brings our fans back time and time again, to buy more books and to share Binky with their family and friends, is what lies at the heart of each story. We are passionate about getting children outdoors and helping adults have really positive shared experiences with the children in their lives. Each Binky book tells a local story about Binky in a real geographic location. In times when it is easy to get lost in screens we want to inspire families to get out, using the maps in the books, to have a great time together without spending a lot of money. So the magic from their special day in London, Winchester or Alresford in Hampshire is the shared experience and memories which will last a lifetime. Continue reading this article...
MyKidsy Blog

Why Travelling by Bus is Best!

In August 2015 I was invited by to write a guest blog about my own outdoor adventures in London with my daughter. Here it is and I hope you like it!

Living about 50 miles from London in a sleepy Hampshire village, my daughter and I look forward to our day trips up to London and we try to get up each term, ideally on an Inset day when trains are not too busy.  I lived and worked in London for over 15 years, commuting from the south-western suburbs and it was only when I began researching our third book Binky Goes To London and when we started to take the photographic illustrations of Binky our teddy bear character and his real animal friends in various central London locations, that I started to travel around by bus and on foot.  What struck me was how previously-made tube journeys are so much faster and more interesting if you walk.  So throughout the making of Binky Goes To London we travelled by bus and on foot with the occasional taxi ride, if we had a very tired corgi with us! Continue reading this article...
Binky Bear and Pumpkins

Can you carve the Perfect Pumpkin?

Carving the perfect pumpkin should be easy but I'm afraid until we came across these 4 easy steps, our pumpkin carving was messy, and quite frankly a bit risky.  Follow these four steps to have perfect pumpkins and a tip from me is, embrace the mess.  It will get sticky, you will have pumpkin innards everywhere but you will have had a great time and end up with a lovely Pumpkin to put in your window or pop outside on the step, as a wellcome to all the Trick or Treaters.Continue reading this article...
Blackb Apple_Crumble_4624

Binky’s Blackberry and Apple Crumble!

By Liz Nankivell I am passionate about getting children involved in doing things with you, whether it be handing them a map to lead you on a Binky Walk or encouraging them to help you in the kitchen but I know from my own experience that the thought of all the disorder and mess this might create, can easily put you off. That is until I realised that children don't really notice that they did not do everything and even playing a small part still gives them a great sense of pride in the final, delicious result. Here's a classic autumnal recipe for Blackberry and Apple Crumble. When I last made it, my little helper on the day, had a go at chopping apples with a plastic picnic knife and then she added all the pre-prepared ingredients to the dish. When the final result was put in front of the family, she proudly told everyone that she made it! PS: I thought you'd like our blog illustration of Binky getting involved too. Such a clever teddy bear. Introduction: Apple and Blackberry Crumble is a British classic pudding recipe. It is simple to make and ideal for involving a little helper. This recipe will make a crumble for 4 people. Ingredients and method: Take a kilo of apples; Granny Smith’s or Bramleys are best. Peel and core them and then slice them thinly, adding about four handfuls of blackberries. Sprinkle over some granulated or demerara sugar – about 50 grams.* (If by the time you read this all the hedgerow blackberries are long gone, just add in an extra 100grams of apple.) Now make the topping: mix together 225 grams of plain flour, 150 grams of soft brown sugar and 75 grams of butter. Keep mixing with your fingertips until it is quite crumbly. Spread the topping onto the blackberries and apples and place in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 30-40 minutes. Let it cool down a little before you eat it. *If you like your fruit a bit mushed up, cook first in a little water. Serve with custard or ice-cream.      
Binky Outdoor Adventure 3

Binky’s Big Outdoor Adventure in Alresford

At Binky Bear we are passionate about getting children outdoors and having fantastic shared experiences with family and friends.

That’s exactly what we did back in July when fifteen brave families joined us on a sunny morning outside Alresford Station to go on the first ever organised, Binky Bear Outdoor Adventure, following the map at the back of our book, Binky’s Big Adventure.Continue reading this article...

Is this the best family beach in the UK

Going to the Seaside

At Binky Bear, we've got a thing about going to the seaside.  As a child we spend every Whitsun at Hayling Island and I still have fantastic memories of running along the beach, trailing huge pieces of seaweed, jumping off the breakwaters and edging ourselves slowly into the freezing water of the English Channel. Now I have to get to the coast about once a month at least, whatever the season and regardless of the weather.  I know the beaches in Hampshire well and a few in Devon but how do you find out the best seaside places to go when you are away from your home patch?  You don't want to travel miles, with the kids in the car only to find the beach is really not to your liking or that you missed the really good stretch of sand and ended up on the shingle bit.Continue reading this article...
Binky BizAwards_3416_s

One Proud Teddy!

Wow what a night!  You know what it's like when you have worked your socks off and someone actually says, "We've noticed you and we really like what you do"? We felt very proud to attend the Winchester Business Awards as Finalists in two categories: Rooster Creative Marketing Excellence Online Award and The Breeze Award for Service Excellence. We were up against stiff competition and congratulations must go to the brilliant Blue Bird Care and Pass the CASC.  Next year for Binky Bear!Continue reading this article...

Teddy Bear Parachute Jump

Back in March we were approached by Kim Appleby, the Hampshire, Berkshire and Isle of Wight Fundraiser with Action for Children about taking part in their sponsored Teddy Bear Parachute Jump at Winchester Cathedral on Friday 29 May. 66 brave teddies signed up and each donned a silk parachute and flew through the sky in exchange for donations to this leading charity, which supports vulnerable children, young people and their families. Many dressed up for the occasion with extra capes and hats and even some boots.Continue reading this article...