Category Archives: Days out

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? – my happy hellish holiday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? Welcome to my happy hellish holiday. I love great british holidays. It’s all I’ve ever really known aside from a med cruise we took to celebrate getting my first job. I’m about to share with you my warped and twisted view of my surroundings at a british holiday camp. On this occasion we visited Haven, and it was amazing. They all pretty much follow the same script though. Enjoy.

It’s like something out of any sane person’s nightmares. Kids running at you from different directions as if running from an incoming asteroid. Taking it in turns to scream and cry. Or so it seems on face value. You can’t hear them as their screams are drowned out by the sound of cheesy pop tunes from the 90’s. All the classics are their. Steps, Busted, Cotton eye Joe and 5ive. Ah gotta love the dance move era. It’s a total cheese fest.

happy hellish holiday

The kids have been on the go all day. Like greyhounds in the race trap, that caravan door bursts open at 9am and they are off. Park, swimming, beach, amusements, repeat on a loop until one by one they flake out.

But what are they running on? Never you fear, here in hell they have an endless supply of fruit shoots, slushies, chips and nuggets, all washed down with a bucket of candy floss and a bag of sweets. Your kids will be on the most epic sugar rush and you’ll be there to take the tantrums and meltdowns as the rush wears off.

happy hellish holiday

But what about you, poor naive parents? Who innocently booked this ticket to hell thinking it would be fun. Heck they sold it to you as a holiday! Never fear, after spending a restless night sleeping in a freezing caravan on a mattress filled with rubble, you will be feeling on top of your game…..no? This is where your resistance to alcohol disables and you suddenly feel the urge to down pints of cider and glasses of wine. After watching the kids eat their body weight in nuggets, burgers and chips, you can’t bear the sight of anymore. So your food sustenance shall be Sahara nuts and krax snax crisps.

Joking aside, we’ve just spent a blissful week in a prestige Caravan at Haven Doniford Bay in Somerset. It was incredibly amazing to say the least and my satirical observations were made whilst slightly tipsy.

happy hellish holiday

What are your experiences of holiday camps? We all know there’s a little bit of hell in there somewhere. Don’t we?

Checkout the haven site now. We booked using The Daily Mail £15 holidays and upgraded to a prestige on arrival. Vouchers can also collected for cheaper holidays from The Sun on the £9.50 deal. Both tend to be term time though. Haven, Doniford Bay

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ponies, Pub friends and Peppa Pig – A New Forest Holiday.

We have recently returned from a 4 night holiday to the New Forest. If I were to summarise our experience in short then ponies, pub friends and Peppa Pig are just a few of the things that made our stay there wonderful.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Oh great! Another mummy review about a holiday I couldn’t give a shit about!” But after regularly updating my personal Facebook page and also posting photos on instagram, I had lots of questions coming from people. They wanted to know what I thought of places we visited, where we were, so even if there is a small minority want to read this crap, then my possibly arthritic fingers have ached for nothing. (Big cheesy grin and a thumbs up from me.)

Our decision to book a break in the New Forest stemmed from a desire to take George (now 2 and half years) to Peppa Pig world before he completely lost interest in it altogether. If I’m honest I was feeling pretty hyperactive about it myself.

The New Forest really doesn’t describe itself very well. It’s actually a really, really old forest, decades in fact. But what it isn’t telling you is that it is one of the largest unenclosed pasture lands in the south east. Largest what what of a where now? Well basically it means that once you cross that cattle grid, it’s hello free roaming animals! Nothing can prepare you for the surreal beauty of this place!

Being my typical research freak self, I began looking for places to stay late last year and stumbled across an adventure packed holiday camp called Sandyballs. I checked that this wasn’t some sort of swingers camp, (have I ever told you about the time my 18 year old self and hubs accidentally found ourselves on the nudist beach at Brighton!)After confirming that everyone would be fully clothed and no car keys would be swapped, I subscribed to their mailing list.

Sidenote: I have no problem with swinging if that’s your chocolate cake. Each to their own. I just wouldn’t book that type of resort for a toddler friendly holiday. Let’s still be friends yeah.

new forest ponies

Just before New Years, they had a flash sale offering 15% off of the booking price. As a result, I managed to book us a comfort caravan on the site for £207 for 4 nights. When looking at hotels in the local area that offer 2 nights at Peppa Pig world (Paultons Park) and one night in their hotel, it equated to almost the same price and you would still be 18-30 miles away from the theme park!

Although the Sandyballs booking didn’t include the Peppa Pig tickets, these are £27.25 if purchased in advance online. Saving £4.50 per person the day and once purchased the ticket is open ended so can be used once on almost any date until the end of October 2017.

Our booking included a 4 night stay in a two bed caravan, sleeping 4 people. The caravan came equipped with central heating in all rooms, microwave and a decent size lounge television with built in DVD player.  It had other things but these are the things that are important to me and the night time milk monster. For a full inventory, check the Sandyballs website. (Link further down, cheeky way to force you to keep reading methinks).

In my own opinion and with relatively high expectations I found the accommodation clean and comfortable, aside from the mattresses on the beds! These were very soft if i’m being polite, completely knackered and in need of an update if I’m being honest. On one of the singles you had to fight not to roll off one side.  Outside you have a single parking space directly next to your caravan, some were a very short walk to a small parking area. If you have ever been to Centreparcs though then this is a luxury you will possibly appreciate. You also have a picnic table and barbeque. All service charges and linen are included in the price. As well as use of the leisure facilities. I’m not going to waffle on about everything in lots of detail because their website does that all for me.

All you need to know is, I loved it, hubs loved it, George said he loved it. Although at the time he was going through some weird “I can’t believe you’ve driven me 2 hours up the road and called it a holiday anxiety”. He spent the week insisting hubs carried him everywhere like some sort of Egyptian ruler and told me to “go away, I don’t want you”. To be fair though, when we took a walk through the forest it had random strange headstones and felt eerie. So perhaps it was haunted and George was in fact possessed for the week.

new forest comfort caravan

My overall opinion is that is was clean, friendly, welcoming and somewhere we would most definitely recommend.

Onsite you have a convenience store. The prices are relatively reasonable and not massively increased. Genuinely! I’d say everything was marked up by about 50p more than the supermarkets but that’s to be expected. There are a few local supermarkets such as Tesco express and Waitrose just a short drive away though.

There is an amusements arcade with a good selection of old and new style arcade games and penny drop machines. Next door to this is an unsupervised soft play area for younger children and toddlers. We didn’t get around to trying this unfortunately, but it looked pretty cool. As did the huge park play area which again we sadly didn’t get around to trying. But there wouldn’t be a reason to go back if we had exhausted everything so every cloud and all that.

sandyballs amusement arcade

Across the road from our caravan we had an access path to the forest. This was an active walk up and down hills and with access to the river. A toddler could manage it though. Sandyballs appear to own this part of the forest as there are many signs for their activities such as clay shooting and pond dipping. They have such a huge array of activities. We didn’t actually book any except cycle hire. There really is so much to do for every age. Checkout their website here, Sandyballs to see all they have to offer. It has our seal of approval.

Anyone that knows me, knows I believe that life is too short and the world is too vast to return to the same place twice. But on  rare occasions I will. I believe Sandyballs has so much to offer that we would both love to return for maybe a 7 day stay and hire a lodge with a hot tub.

It’s also worth noting that we went just out of season in the last week of March so there is more on offer during peak times. There wasn’t much in the way of evening entertainment. Onsite there is a restaurant, The Forest table, offering Italian cuisine. We had a fry up breakfast here one morning and it was delicious. This restaurant appeared calmer of an evening and less suitable for the likes of a noisy toddler and his Blaze and the Monster machines car tearing it up and down the table.

We chose to dine at the Woodside Inn one night and stopped by a second night for dessert and drinks. The Woodside Inn is both dog and child friendly. This reminded me of the scene in the film Titanic. Whilst the more refined classes were enjoying fine dining in the upper decks or in this case The Forest Table. We were herded together, dogs and rowdy children into the pub the Woodside Inn, to do some irish dancing on the tables. Clearly this is just a figment of my imagination but it did make me chuckle.

We absolutely loved it at the Woodside inn. The food was lush and portion sizes were sufficient. We attended the pub quiz curry night on the wednesday and there was a good mix of pensioners, 50 somethings and thirty something families in attendance. The banter was good and the quiz was very well organised. Needless to say our confidence wasn’t much help as we came close to bottom.

The staff everywhere were very friendly and always made an effort to interact with George, who was at times struggling to adjust to the excitement of being on holiday and was being very clingy and temperamental.

The swimming pool area was nice but it wasn’t all singing and dancing, no slides or alike. There are two small triangular splash pools for toddlers, either side of the steps to the main pool. As it was March, we couldn’t try the outside pool as it is closed off peak. I absolutely loved having some much needed chill time in the Jacuzzi and Spa, pummelling my sore muscles after a crazy bike ride. Whilst still being able to seeing hibs and little one play together in the splash pool.

new forest mountain biking

Ah yes, the bike ride. Hubs and I haven’t ridden bikes in just over two years. Having hired from  the onsite cycle centre, who provided us with a route map of varying difficulties, we set off. It was George’s first time on the back of a bike in a special childs seat. We were apprehensive as to whether he would enjoy it, but he really did.

Our chosen cycle route took us down the road before entering the forest. Once in the forest, we encountered many ponies. You are advised not to approach or touch them, but they approached us so it seemed rude not to. They simply wanted a little scratch and then they were on their way again, munching through the forest. At one point a grey pony crossed the path ahead, specifically to stand in my way. I asked him if he was trying to tell me not to continue that route and he simply looked at me and walked off. Leaving me dumbfounded. Needless to say he wasn’t wasn’t warning me about any dangers ahead. Maybe about the small stream we had to ride across that I ended up getting a sodden foot in, but I’m here to tell the tale.

The ponies were just totally surreal. As soon as you cross the cattle grid there are ponies galore, with the odd cow and donkey. It was just awe-inspiring.

Until next time…..

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Flying With A Baby

A review of Everyman cinema – Beauty and the Beast 2017 #KCACOLS

This post is a review of  Everyman cinema, detailing the experience we had watching Beauty and the Beast, 2017. Please note there will be NO spoilers from the film, so please feel free to read on without hesitation.

Visiting the cinema is something I haven’t done in several years.  To celebrate my birthday, (I totally believe in Birthdays by the way!) I thought it was ideal to try out our new Everyman cinema. I know so many people who claim birthdays are ” just another day”. Not so in my books! Each birthday is a celebration of making it through another year. So many people don’t make it through no choice of their own. To my mind, life is a gift to be celebrated. So I asked my darling mum to have George for several hours. Allowing myself and hubs to have some quality time together.

Our local area has recently received the marvellous addition of an Everyman cinema. If you haven’t heard of Everyman , they are a cinema chain offering a luxury cinema experience. For our film of choice I decided a romantic rendezvous with the hubs wouldn’t be complete without a romantic fairytale ala Beauty and the Beast.

On arrival we approached the desk and informed the lone girl at the counter that we had booked to see the 13:45 viewing online. After determining we were there to see Beauty and the Beast, her interaction with us ceased. I had to ask her for guidance, explaining that we hadn’t been before. It would have been helpful to have been asked if we had visited before and explain how things work.

As we made our way to the main atrium, a selection of boutique styled seating and tables confronted us, along with a bar and several people sitting eating. A quick stop off at the loo revealed all the soap dispensers had ran out. The member of staff I informed was very apologetic and this was rectified when I visited the loos again before we left the cinema. We took a seat in the atrium and began to peruse the menu.

Having done my research, (I’m a stickler for research!) I knew you could order food to have brought to your seat in the screening. Again though, being a total newbie I didn’t know how you went about arranging this.

The barman simply asked for our order so I asked how we arrange for the food to be delivered to our seats. He said he would give us our drinks now and the food would be delivered to our seats. (The film wasn’t due to start for half an hour so in hindsight we should’ve asked for the food there and then). The menu has a choice of pizza, garlic bread, nachos, chips, burgers and hotdogs. With sundaes, brownies and then typical sweets and popcorn for afters. Drinks were varied with upmarket soft drinks, wines, beers, cocktails, coke floats and milkshakes.

We ordered an orange and ginger fentimans for hubs and a chambord royale cocktail for me. We ordered fries with cheese each. Then I ordered a sundae and hubs ordered a brownie. After moseying about for a while with our drinks, we saw ourself to the screening room. You don’t need your tickets checking, unless you want assistance to your seat.

everyman cinema review

After settling down in our comfy, spacious two seater sofa, complete with cuddle cushions, we waited for our food. As we waited for the the trailers to begin, a waitress appeared with my ice cream sun

The Natural History Museum – London. A toddler’s experience

Here’s a little run down of our day out at The Natural History Museum in London and our first experience there with a toddler in tow.

A physio appointment for myself brought us all to London for the day. Making the most of our train ticket we thought we would introduce a two year old George to the wonders of the Natural History museum. The museum is easy to get to by tube by most tube stations in this area are not pushchair or wheelchair friendly as they are steps and escalators.

natural history museum

Having refused to nap all day, George wasn’t feeling overly energetic and spent a lot of time at the natural history museum just chilling on Daddy’s shoulders or in the pushchair. Nonetheless he seemed thoroughly fascinated by a lot of what he was seeing. You could see his little mind drinking it all in.

natural history museum

The mammals section of the museum was particularly popular with an abundance of different size stuffed animals and birds. There’s also a human biology section where there were plenty of levers and buttons for George to press and pull to make himself feel useful with. I don’t think he understood what most of them were for. In the creepy crawlies section there were lots of older children using magnifying glasses to inspect insects and arachnids encased in small Perspex cubes. There was also a very large moving scorpion to scare the wotsits out of any passing child.

natural history museum

The most interesting of sections for us was the hall displaying various complete dinosaur skeletons. As well as the centrepiece being focused on various mammals and the late blue whale. It was round a very noisy corner of this hall that we discovered a huge crowd drawn to a life size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex. We spent some time admiring him and watching him move on the spot and roar at various intervals. George was very dubious of the T-Rex but remained tear free thanks to some reassurance from Mummy that the dinosaur was just saying ‘Hello’.

natural history museum

There was plenty more that we didn’t see as we wanted a leisurely day and reason to return in the future. We did enquire where the large hall was containing a huge diplodocus skeleton. Something I remembered from my childhood. The museum worker informed me that at present the great hall is having a redevelopment and when it reopens it will contain the great blue whale. More information here Hintze Hall redevelopment.

Meanwhile Dippy the diplodocus is due to start a 3 year tour at the start of 2018. This was slightly disappointing as I think George would have been in awe of the scale. Plus it’s his favourite dinosaur. It’s something I could’ve found out if I had checked in advance. We are looking forward to returning once the redeveloped Hintze Hall is complete.

Dippy the Diplodocus Tour Dates and Locations

Now let’s get to food. My favourite part. There was a fab range of shopping and eating facilities within the building. We chose to eat in The Kitchen. Special kids lunch packs were on offer hut George is particularly fussy so snacked on a selection we too with us. We had the choice of lovely fresh cooked pies and alike. The also did lovely crusted sole fillets if your kiddie wanted a cooked meal. We opted for amazingly delicious wraps which were £7.95 but came with your choice of two side salads. Now when I say salad, I’m not talking some chopped iceberg and a bit of cucumber. I chose the delicious cherry tomato and mozzarella ball salad tossed in pesto. As well as the roasted sweet potato salad and was served 4 large wedges. The food was amazingly good quality and the wrapped was stuffed to busting point. With two salads included in the price, £7.95 is very reasonable. Drinks included wine, prosecco, cordials and San pellegrino. My fav! Although it’s worth noting they have a free water drinks dispenser at the cutlery station. For dessert hubby had a honey and yoghurt cheesecake which he was raving about for hours. I had a scrumptious crispy road. A slab of rocky road style treat with maltesers, rice crispies and smarties. It was utterly delectable. We later found a restaurant called the jungle grill which did burgers, pizza and steak. With two arguing animatronic dinosaurs at the entrance to the restaurant they were definitely a crowd puller. The restaurant appeared colourful and great for kids.

Natural history museum

Overall we had a fun filled day with plenty of exercise. I may not have included everything in this review but I have given my verdict on the areas I experienced.

Until next time……..

Our first family holiday – Butlins Bognor Regis October 2016

So our first family holiday to Butlins has now happened! We’ve taken George on several holidays since his birth. However, these have all included other members of mine or hubbies family. Mums, dads, nans, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles.

I have found since having George that group holidays are hard work. You would expect that they would be easier and more relaxed as the babysitting duties can be shared. This hasn’t ever happened though and to be perfectly honest I’ve never wanted it to.

I’ve just spent 30 years holidaying by myself and 16 of those with hubby and I as a couple. I love the notion of having child friendly holidays now that we are parents. Doing all the silly activities we haven’t done since we ourself were children.  Overall, since I became a mum I find myself becoming exasperated with trying to fit in with everyone else’s requirements.Butlins

Imagine my extreme excitement when myself and hubby booked a tots week to Butlins, Bognor Regis. Our first holiday as just the three of us, just a few weeks shy of George’s second birthday. It also included Thomas and Friends as the live show, which I knew he would love. (One of the reasons I booked this specific week.)

Butlins

We arrived at Butlins on a Monday and was greeted with a friendly reception team. They directed us towards our children’s themed hotel room. The corridor leading to the room was carpeted with fish pools and life saving rings printed onto the carpet. Your entrance and exit to the elevator was via a ‘walk the plank’ effect vinyl flooring. Each room had a pirate ship steering wheel and navigation board as well as a large octopus cushion and octopus feet sofa.

George’s bedroom was a double bunk room complete with porthole effect lights as well as a soothing soft coloured night light built into the shelf above the wardrobe. The room also had a small flat screen TV. The ship/sea theme continued throughout the room with smart captions on the drawers and a fishy poem with pictures printed on the the bath area wall. We were impressed. It was clean, comfortable for us and exciting and novel for George.

Butlins

After unpacking our luggage we decided to go on a quick walk around the Butlins site to check out the facilities. We had been previously but not for three years and hadn’t stayed during a tots week before. As we walked around we made a note of all the shows and activity timings that we would be interested in throughout the week. George was running around at high speed in complete awe of everything on offer, including the huge expanse of amusement arcades.

We did note however that there were quite a few older people without children, as well as a very large group of adults with carers. Many had a mental disability or cognitive disorder or down syndrome and it was apparent they needed an intense level of care. Their family didn’t appear to be with them, they all had a minimum of one to one care. I thought it strange they was on a tots week but mentally and emotionally many of them were behaving as children do so thought this may be why. We also couldn’t find anywhere advertising the live Thomas show.

Butlins
Arriving back at our hotel reception we were informed that it wasn’t Just For Tots week and it wasn’t the Thomas live show week. Feeling deflated, we got the reception staff to check for us. One call to the manager later and we were informed that it wasn’t our mistake. The website clearly had sold us a Just for Tots weeks but it wasn’t in fact on until the end of the month.

The manager gave us complimentary tickets to a 3D Dino babies cinema experience to the value of £10 but given we had spent £262 on a break that was meant to be specifically aimed at toddlers we were less than impressed but felt helpless as really there was nothing anyone could do. Seeing George’s excitement continuing to build and the amazing  smile he had on his face helped us to realise that in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter. He was completely oblivious to what could have been.

We chose to plough head on into our week of fun, despite the fact I couldn’t shake the feeling of disappointment. Having informed all our friends and family of our plans to commemorate George turning two, I felt a bit foolish realising it wasn’t going to fully be the experience we had hoped. A quick Facebook update to friends and family helped alleviate this. I also sent a tweet to Butlins to vent my disappointment, along with a screenshot of the misleading website booking.

Butlins

Hubby, aware of how easily my mood shifts (we suspect I’m suffering a mild bout of depression) tried to boost my spirits by pointing out continually how happy and unaware George was. We threw ourselves into making it as memorable week as possible for us all. Clapping, singing, dancing and just generally being as silly and enthusiastic as the entertainment team on site as we went.

George fell absolutely head over heels with the two star characters featured at Butlins, Billy Bear and his girlfriend Bonnie Bear. We watched and got involved in so many shows, we really did have a blast and the shows are really high quality.

Unlike other holiday camps there are regular children’s shows and activities from 10am through to late at night including puppet shows, putting Billy Bear to bed, and live shows of their favourite TV characters. This week features angelina ballerina, bob the builder and fireman sam.

Butlins

The biggest negative of the week was the overall customer service we experienced at some of the onsite food establishments and bowling alley. In the first day alone we walked out from the Papa Johns after being seated but no service. Three places couldn’t make the cocktails I requested from the menu. This was due to lack of ingredients or “technical difficulties” as I was told.

One restaurant charged us £22 per adult for an all you can eat buffet. They failed to tell us they were closing no more than 10 minutes after we arrived. Realising they were clearing the food away whilst we were eating our dinner, we quickly grabbed deserts mid way through our dinner. The waitresses also didn’t ask if you were finished before they cleared your plate. They made George cry when we visited for breakfast as they removed his food before he had finished. After complaining to management they couldn’t offer any compensation or refund.

We also visited the bike hire to enquire if we George was suitable to sit on the front of a family bike, which he was. We left saying we would return the following day as we had a show scheduled. Returning the following day we found they only had two bikes which wasn’t available. They recommended booking these in advance but had failed to mention this the previous day. This is probably common sense to some, but we didn’t realise and wasn’t informed.

When we visited the bowling alley it appeared to be un-manned for quite a period of time. It was a huge effort just to try to track someone down to enable us to book a game. Overall though we had a fabulous week. George fell in love with the place and we are considering returning next year.
Butlins

I would recommend it as a concept but I’m eager to try one of their other resorts.  And I can’t reiterate enough that the shoreline hotel staff and all the entertainment crew were incredibly friendly and welcoming. I will say that had we not frequented any of the restaurants then this may have been a rave review.

I’ve now tried a mid week break, and an adults only weekend. I am eager to try a just for tots week. This would be something I’d have ticked off my list by now had the booking website been clearer. I would recommend booking over the telephone as the website is quite evidently poor.
The week couldn’t have ended better than with George vomiting on the way home. All over the car. Something I wasn’t expecting as it’s only the third time in his life he’s ever been sick. I hadn’t experienced the previous two times as they happened at nursery. Thankfully we had a car full of spare clothes and towels. But I have a car seat to deep clean now! Oh the joys of going on holiday! (She’s says gleefully)

Until next time……..

Edit: April 2017 – and we have had contact with Butlins and all issues explained and resolved.

  • Butlins believe their website booking system to be clear and easy to navigate. I however must have had difficulty understanding it and actually booked a mid week break. I never booked a Just for Tots week so this was as much my error as theirs. As for the hotel staff corroborating this. The guest solutions team have stated it’s unlikely they understood it as they don’t regularly use it.

My screenshot above is supposedly inaccurate and this one gives a better impression of how to guarantee you are selecting a “Just for Tots” break.

Butlins

  • The Butlins guest solutions team are unable to help with the disappointing restaurant establishment experience. This is due to the fact our holiday was over 6 months ago. The staff now will have undoubtedly changed. I have been assured all staff receive training and Butlins have received positive feedback since my time there.
  • As for why my query wasn’t resolved sooner. I was sent a feedback survey and tweeted an guest solutions email back in October when I raised my concerns. Returning the feedback survey, I didn’t realise it states that Butlins will not respond. Believing I had sent my concerns, I didn’t respond to the guest services email. I was oblivious to the fact that had I contact the email instead then this would have been resolved sooner.
  • To summarise, Butlins have kindly offered me a price drop guarantee and the best discounts for rebooking. I am in liaison with them for some dates for a Just for Tots week. This is a kind goodwill gesture and one I am happy with.
  • I can recommend Butlins and will return myself. My contact with guest services has alleviated some of my worries about returning and experiencing the same issues. I am not a complaining type so I was genuinely disappointed at the time.

Butlins

Plutonium Sox

This is my church – football from a woman fans perspective

I’ve been a fan and regular season ticket holder of my ‘local team’ (despite relocating 30 miles away) for at least 14 years. Given this, I feel I just about qualify enough to be able to give my perspective of the wonderful game. 


Now please don’t mistake me for a fan of all football. Unless hubby is playing or its my beloved team then I am more or less clueless. Or rather I don’t give a shit! I’m happy to also admit that despite spending almost every Saturday for the past 14 years watching the mighty Daggers, I am still often none the wiser as to what is going on. Often spending most of the games unashamedly admiring the players and not for their footwork. But my favourite football match pastime is to actually watch the fans. I love nothing more than a bit of people watching. Something my son seems to have inherited, the telltale sign being we regularly frequent toddler play places only for him to want to sit and watch what everyone else is doing and comment on it, rather than participating himself. 

Please don’t get the impression I’m some pathetic woman that doesn’t know what she’s talking about when it comes to football. I don’t always feel confident enough to argue my case with hubby, but I like to think (and many silently agree I’m sure) that I view the game clearer than most of my fellow fans of the male variety. And why is this? Well for starters I refuse to accept the pair of rose tinted glasses invisibly offered to me at the entrance gate. I see the game for what it is and not what I believe it is. 


Week after week I listen to these silly boys…… yes boys, as soon as they enter those gates they checkout from manhood and revert to being eleven year old boys again! …..So I listen to these silly boys goading the lino and the referee…. 

Sorry let’s pause for a moment. If you are reading this and have no clue what these terms are then sorry this is not a “How to understand what happens at a football match” post. Maybe you should opt out of reading this post if that’s the case. 

(Fellow bloggers shudder in horror!)

“Did you see? She just told readers to stop reading her post!”

Anyways getting back to what I was saying….these silly boys, wearing their rose tinted glasses, standing there telling the lino’s and the ref and the bloody players how to do their jobs! Yeah, yeah I get that because you paid your entrance fee you feel it gives you the right to do this but no! You are paying to spectate! You wouldn’t pay for a plumber and then stand there screaming that he’s unplugging your blocked drain incorrectly. Or pay to watch a show where you don’t think much of the acting so you decide to start screaming that they should be acting in a different manner! So who agreed this is what should be acceptable at a football match? And it’s not just friendly advice, you actually believe you are experts on the matter. Though your fickleness fails you as I am there watching you taunting a player….
“You’re supposed to jump! That’s why it’s called a header” “Shoot!” “Chase it!” “Oh your crap!”
Only for me to find you minutes later clapping and cheering the same player as he celebrates the goal he just scored! I have no words (places head in hands).

I actually wanted to be a female footballer but my body let me down. Despite knowing what I should be doing and understanding the game, I couldn’t get my body to be any good at it. I remember trying out for the after school girls football club. The tutor, exasperated by my lack of skill, decided to try me in goal. I was pretty good in that I saved the goals, but usually with my face. Ending up laying flat on my back with everyone cheering around me, my face throbbing from the ball I’d just saved. No I’m much safer in the terraces sadly. 

My beloved George was equally content in his first year at football matches. Snoozing, having his milk and clapping along whilst people watching during the 90 minutes. This was when we paid extra to be in the seated area of course.  As the new season approached along with George’s impending second birthday, we decided to take advantage of the special offer for standing terrace tickets. Taking George to his first terrace game, we stood at the far end so he had his own play space and escape from the crowds if he so wished. Within 5 minutes the first chants and goads began. I hadn’t quite realised how aggressive these men can sound to a young toddler and being a hot day we thought his ear defenders would make him too sweaty so had left those at home. After 10 minutes of trying to move him away from the noise and him still being completely inconsolable, I left and haven’t returned with George since.  Hence why he now stays at Nanny’s house whilst me and hubby have some quality couple time, at a grubby football ground, surrounded by smelly shouty men (rolls eyes, yes I’m an easy to please date). George’s preference of sitting in the quieter, pricier seated area of the stadium just goes to prove he has inherited mummy’s expensive taste. 

So getting back to he wonderful game, if you are one of the poor souls I get chatting to over there (mainly because my husband doesn’t talk during the game, fabulous date I know) then you will know that players tend to become my favourite if they have an obvious haircut/colour. This allows me to identify them easier. I knew our team backwards and forward years ago but having missed a few seasons due to George’s arrival I now struggle to get to grip with who’s who. Why won’t they just stand still for 5 minutes! (Laughs whilst all the ‘fans’ shake their heads in dismay). Football matches are great places to learn about Geographical facts too. For instance, I recently discovered that Wrexham is in fact in Wales! I mean I would have never have guessed. Places like Maesteg, Caernarfon, Aberystwyth….they all sound Welsh. Wrexham! Well it just doesn’t does it! Sorry. 

There’s no knowing how much longer I’ll continue to be a season ticket holder but what is always a given is that I shall always be a Dagger. I’ve been there through promotions, relagations, cup ties and end of season fancy dress piss ups. It’s a part of mine and hubbies history together and something we will always speak fondly of together no matter who plays for us, who owns us, who stands next to us or puts us down. They are our team and nothing will ever change that. 

What love do you and your partner share? Are you footie fans? Would love to hear. 

Until next time…….

Holiday to Loch Ness, Scotland.

This post will make you think twice about rushing around in a hurry. Our lives are so busy these days, but trust me, you can make your life so much more difficult in just a few seconds. Read more to find out how a holiday to Scotland became memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So it all started with a memorable (maybe for all the wrong reasons) but  lovely family holiday to Scotland to celebrate my mums 70th birthday. She’s not an old dear mind you, so do not by any means start conjuring up images of a decrepit old lady. Oh no! My mum has been likened to giving Helen Mirren a run for her money. Faux leather waterfall jacket and denim jeans and all.

The week had a few surprises, most of them nice and most of them for my mum. However, unfortunately, the last surprise of the week was going to be for me. To cut a rather long and painful story short I’ll break it down into one word descriptions. Packing, spillage, slipped, fell, arm, numb, crying, A&E, X-ray, pain, bruising and then we arrived back in England.

On the advice of the A&E department in Scotland, I kept my arm moving over the course of the next week, possibly too much. 8 days later the elbow began, rather unpleasantly, popping in and out of the socket. One trip to the GP surgery, one referral to my local A&E, one more set of X-Rays, one week with my arm in a sling and one follow up appointment at fracture clinic later and I found myself as an inpatient on an orthopaedic ward awaiting a place in theatre!

sad, arm, sling, home
This was now 18 days after my fall. One overnight stay and a 9 hour fast later, the consultant decided he couldn’t fit me in that day and sent me home to return two days later.  hospital, cannula, procedure

Finally, 21 days after my fall, I was anaesthetised and wheeled into theatre where the consultant and his happy team were able to manipulate my elbow back into place and send me on my merry way with no more than a few cannula bruises and a feeling that I need to not rush about in future.  Bruising, Arm

Until hopefully NOT next time….