Monday, 29 August 2011

A Mini Road Trip..........800 miles in 4 days!!!

A few weeks ago on Twitter, I was (drunkenly) talking to the lovely Susan about possibly visiting her. I was all........'it's only a 5 hour drive, of course we'll come and see you'!!! We arranged dates, I booked a hotel and then thought about the route that we might take to get up to Scotland.

In the few days before we left Chick got sick and I thought that we may not be able to go. I then discovered that I'd booked a hotel in the wrong Town (whoops......must stay off the t'interwebz when drunk!!) and the whole thing looked like it would have to be called off :-(

However, I persuaded Chick that she didn't feel so ill and that we should at least head up to our first hotel at the seaside and then re-evaluate how she was feeling. We could then either turn around and come home or carry on to Scotland and ignore the fact that we were in the wrong town!!! On the first night we stayed in Lancaster and also visited Morecombe (click on pictures to enlarge and see properly!!):

On the second day (after some bribery and calpol) we drove to Scotland via the Lake District:

You may notice in the bottom right hand picture that Chick is clinging onto me for dear life??! When we were posing for the picture, a fighter jet completing its practice runs flew directly overhead and felt like it was only about 10 feet above us!!!  In fact it was so close I was convinced it was going to crash into the mountain. I don't know if you've ever been that close to a fighter jet but it was soooooo loud that I still feel a bit deaf! Hence the reason Chick looks so terrified :-)

The Lake District was completely amazing and we will definitely be going back as soon as we get a chance!!! The first place that we stopped at in Scotland was Gretna of many runaway marriages through the Centuries:

We arrived at our hotel and checked in, after the longest drive, and then spoke to Susan.....who had come down with chicken pox :-(  Unfortunately we didn't get to see her but spent a truly fabulous day in Edinburgh instead:

Day four found us in Ayr playing on the beach, at the park and eating lots of ice cream:

I really wanted to go to Arran which is the island just in the distance but unfortunately we had to head home. A six and a half hour drive found us back in our home town (slightly delirious from driving I have to say!!!) and longing to be back in Scotland. Next time we will definitely have to go for longer......maybe we'll also get to meet up with Susan too :-)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Five Minute Writing Workshop

*This is my weekly writing whatever is in your head for 5 minutes post...

I remember the first time I heard your voice but not the first time I actually saw you. I remember that I wasn't your biggest fan. I thought you were over confident and bolshy. The next time I heard of you was when I saw your name on the attendee list of a course that I was running and my heart sank. I honestly wasn't sure how I would be able to handle you for an entire day let alone in a training situation.

When I'm unsure of a situation that I'm in, I automatically default to the middle class voice and ultra professionalism. It turned out that all of that was unnecessary because to quote Bridge Jones 'you like me just the way I am' and were a pussycat in my professional hands!!

That was the turning point I guess and we often stopped for a chat, at least until those chats started turning into something more........


I would definitely recommend that you try this whether you have a blog or not. Five minutes of writing without thinking, no judgment, no topic prompts, just anything that falls out of your head.....I'm actually finding it extremely therapeutic.....leave me a comment if you publish yours and I'll make sure to pop over and read it :-)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Two Year Bloggiversary Giveaway

Can you believe that I've been blogging for two years??? Some days it feels like I've only just started and other days I feel like I've been a life long blogger!! My bloggiversary was actually back in July but I kind of forgot about it until last week!!! Whoops!!! To celebrate, not only my bloggiversary, but the fact that I've also written more than 300 posts (wow!!!) I thought that I would have a week of giveaways over at Adventures of an English Mum Reviews.

A lot of you lovely folk have been with me right from the very start, so I figured it would be nice for you guys to have an advance preview of what will be on offer each day. That way you can pick and choose which (if any) you would like to enter. Today's giveaway is a toy Dyson from my lovely friends at Toys R Us:

Tuesday's prize is a family ticket to visit the HMS Belfast courtesy of the Imperial War Museum:

Wednesday is Fyrflyz courtesy again of Toys R Us:

Thursday is the chance to win £50 worth of toys from my lovely sponsor Argos:


On Friday I will be giving away not one but TWO Olivia Rubin designer scarves worth £70 each courtesy of the new Bold 2-in-1 rose and peony fragrance:

Whew!!! Some fabulous prizes I'm sure you'll agree. The criteria for entering each giveaway is slightly different so please check over at the review blog to see how to enter each day. They are all open until Friday, 2nd September!! Good Luck:-)

Happy Bloggiversary to me!!!!!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Five Minute Writing Workshop

*This is my weekly writing whatever is in your head for 5 minutes post...

I need to sleep. I'm not just tired but absolutely bone weary.

I've been almost daydreaming about sleeping whilst trying to work.

I feel that if you gave me a pillow and a big enough space to lay down that I could probably fall asleep on any kind of surface......grass, carpet, asphalt, the couch, maybe even the washing line!!

There couldn't be a better feeling in the world for me this week than the one you get when you are sooooo tired and then finally crawl into bed.  You know the one when you get to lay your head on the pillow and close your eyes and you almost want to groan out loud just because it's feels so fabulous....that has been the highlight of my week.

Followed closely by the smug satisfied feeling that you get when you are falling asleep, but are still awake enough to know that you are drifting off, and giving yourself a smug smile in your head because you made it through another day without having a nervous breakdown!


I would definitely recommend that you try this whether you have a blog or not. Five minutes of writing without thinking, no judgment, no topic prompts, just anything that falls out of your head.....I'm actually finding it extremely therapeutic.....leave me a comment if you publish yours and I'll make sure to pop over and read it :-)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Lollibop Festival - The Big Bash for Little People part 2

As you know on Sunday we were lucky enough to receive a family pass to attend:

We bumped into these quiet (???!!!) bloggers ;-) :

These are my cool festival-going girlies hanging out in front of the main stage:

They made a new friend:

Or two:

The Punk had a boogie with the Baby Loves Disco crew:

The girls also made this:

My favourite place to shelter from the rain was the press tent not only because they were lovely but also because they fed me beer and french fancies...yum!!!:

The highlight of the day for all of us was watching the Horrible Histories show.....the sound quality isn't great but the show was awesomely amazing and completely horrid!!!!

Towards the end of the afternoon the rain simply washed us out of the park! Chick and I were soaked to the the bone and the Punk wasn't too cheerful either:

All in all a fabulous day :-)

Monday, 8 August 2011

London Riots

As we've been on holiday for the last week I managed to miss the start of the trouble and riots in London. Tonight I've managed to sit down for the first time on Twitter and to watch the news at the same time and my brain is split 50/50 between thinking WTF and worrying about my brother and sister-in-law who are really close to the trouble.

The two questions that seem to be asked the most on Twitter are 1) where are the police?

Would they be the same police who have suffered massive cuts, no longer get overtime and have generally been treated badly? I'll tell you where they are....I imagine they are at home thinking that David Cameron is getting his just desserts and that instead of sunning himself on an Italian beach he should have come home yesterday at least!! How much does he get paid to run the Country? Well actually £142,500....surely enough to afford another holiday???

2) Why aren't they sending the Army in?

See number one!!! The same Army that are losing all of their staff? That even in good times didn't have the kit they needed unless they bought it themselves? The same army who are fighting wars all over the world, who are stretched beyond belief and are completing tour upon tour because too many are being made redundant??? I imagine that they have NO spare Army to be able to send to London!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems to be such a small minority but then watching the news it's spreading to Birmingham which is less than an hour from me. I know that people are poor, bored, frustrated but you know what? Too many people in the UK think that they are owed something. You only get what you earn and work for. Benefits are supposed to be a safety net yet all too often you hear of families where no-one works. I work and am still poor. Yes, I'm unhappy at they way the Country is being run but I would NEVER riot, loot or steal. I don't feel that I'm owed anything by anyone and I hope that my daughter doesn't grow up with this attitude.

Now I'm left wondering where it will all end?

Looking out for your family's wellbeing with the best private health care.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the Seaside

I'm not doing a five minute writing workshop this week because we're away on holiday and I haven't actually had 5 minutes to think let alone write!! We've been camping in Norfolk in my Mum's lovely garden and been having a fabulous time. Mainly this week we've been..............

Hanging out with my Mum:

Eating ridiculous amounts of ice cream:

Randomly bumping into Carol at the seaside:

Hanging out with the most gorgeous Laura:

Water Zorbing:

Swimming in the sea:

The weather was fabulous until about 5 minutes after this picture was taken and since then it's rained solidly for 24 hours and everything is now soggy and damp. As I'm very much a fair-weather camper, I've taken over my Mum's living room to dry out!! Fingers crossed that the next couple of days will be nice and sunny to finish off the holiday nicely!!