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May 2012

Good Times

By Friends & Family, Happiness & JoyNo Comments

I’ve just had two weeks off work on annual leave. It gave me the opportunity to spend some precious time with family & friends and take some much needed time for rest & relaxation. The time off has been full of good times including:

Alton Towers – For My Birthday
For my Birthday Mum, Ian, Steve and myself went to Alton Towers for a day of thrills, frights and fun. I wanted to go as I’d never been.The weather remained dry all day, but had dark grey clouds in the sky and the temperature dropped in the afternoon. Steve and I managed to get on:

  • Th13Teen, my favourite ride. It was a thrill and fright ride. Loved it and would have liked the time to go on it again…and again.
  • Air, is a fast hurtling-towards-the-ground-to-your-death before quickly turning away type ride. I had this image of test dummies coming back without legs, arms and a head from some rollercoaster that I saw in the News ages ago. I didn’t like it.
  • Nemesis, a complete thrill ride. Loved it and would go on again.
  • Nemesis Sub-Terra (new for 2012) – really disappointing. If I’d have known it would be like that, I wouldn’t have bothered.

In the afternoon we all visited Hex and illusion type ride which left me with a head ache. We also visited the aquarium, which I was personally disappointed by as it was too small and people were touching the fish even though there were signs asking them not too. Alton Towers is a massive place and we didn’t manage to get to see everything, even using the Sky Ride. So I’ve put together some tips if you’re planning a visit to Alton Towers…

Alton Towers Top Tips:

  • When buying tickets, buy online. There are two reasons for this. Firstly you wont have to que when you get there. Secondly we saved loads of money by buying them a week before.
  • Download the Alton Towers app as it’s really useful for a map, live wait times and other info.
  • Take an extra £6 for parking. I was surprised to see they charged for parking.
  • Go on the ‘big’ rides in the morning. It will save a load of time queuing in the afternoon.
  • Take packed lunches, otherwise you’re going to spend about £20 each on lunch.
  • If you’ve got someone whose not going on the rides then they can hold your bags. If you’re all riding, the rides have luggage storage for while you ride. Plus there are some lockers near the Air ride.
  • We didn’t get to see everything, so consider two days at the theme park. You can buy a ticket for another day at a reduced price both online and on site.

Baby Ethan’s Christening
Baby Ethan is my Nephew and I was honoured to be asked to be his god parent at his Christening. Although I’m Pagan and it was a Roman Catholic Christening I like the concept of a god parent. Someone whose there to support the parents and be there for the child. Ethan was christened, sleeping through most of the service and then there was a celebratory party. It was a great day and although being a god father is a big responsibility, I hope to do Ethan and his parents proud.

Chester Zoo & Tea in Chester – For Steve’s Birthday
Steve, two of his friends and myself went to Chester Zoo for his birthday. Click on any photo for full size image. We had loads of fun:

In the giftshop,
we found masks :).
Steve’s a Giant Turtle.
I’m a Giant Turtle.

I noticed a significant reduction of the animals in Chester Zoo, we started in the side of the park with the Zebra’s (all three of them) and there were a lot of empty enclosures. The enclosures were of a high quality (as always), even if we couldn’t see the animals because of poor design:

(Spirit of the Jaguar Enclosure. Bushes made it difficult to see the Jaguar’s.)

However here’s some photos of the animals we did see:

Tigers – sun bathing.
Mother and Baby Chimp.
We saw a lot of them,
some exotic, some not.
These Dinosaurs
Flying Bird Dinosaur.
T-Rex Dinosaur and baby.

We went for tea afterwards in The Slug and Lettuce in Chester town centre. We all had a great day, made more special because it’s was celebrating Steve’s birthday.

Visiting Steve’s Family in Hastings
For my last weekend off Steve and I went to visit his family in Hastings. It was lovely to see them all, and I would like to thank them for giving me somewhere to stay. We had a day out in town and I got to spend some time on the sea front. It was glorious weather and I had to walk up and down the entire sea front repeatedly to get a photo with no people on the beach, but I managed it:

Lots of Sunbathing
Throughout my two weeks, we’ve had some fantastic weather and I’ve used every opportunity I can to bask in the sun. The result: my face, neck and arms are lobster red. In a few days they’ll turn into tanned skin.

Well that’s about it for my Summer Holidays.

Blog soon,


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Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Reviews2 Comments
ive-got-your-number-sophie-kinsella-book-cover Sophie Kinsella is quickly becoming the Queen of chick-lit. In her latest book I’ve Got Your Number, we meet Physiotherapist Poppy whose just got engaged to Magnus Tavish. Magnus has given her a priceless family heirloom, an emerald engagement ring. But while at her hen party – a Marie Curie Champagne Tea in a Hotel she looses the ring when the fire alarm goes off.

Poor Poppy searches high and low for the ring, but cannot find it. So she leaves her number with the hotel receptionist and goes outside to ring a friend to see if she’s got the engagement ring. A hoodie on a bike rides past and snaps her phone out of her hand and makes a quick get-away. Poppy worried that the hotel won’t be able to get hold of her, goes back to the hotel to tell them that her phones been stolen. But then she sees a phone in a bin in the hotel foyer and thinks finders, keepers.

The phone belongs to Sam Roxton’s PA and it rings. Sam tells Poppy she must stop a group Japanese business men led my Mr. Yamasaki from leaving, as jobs are at risk if she doesn’t. Poppy gets Sam to agree to let her borrow the phone if she stops the business men from leaving. What follows is the most hilarious scene in the book where Poppy announces she’s a singing telegram. She sings “Mr. Yamasaki, Mr. Yamasaki” in the style of ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce. The business men like it and then Sam arrives. Poppy takes her leave quickly, before Sam can change his mind about borrowing her the phone.

A relationship starts to develop between Poppy and Sam, as Poppy continues to look for her engagement ring and forward Sam’s calls, text and email messages.

We learn more about Poppy’s life and about her fiancé Magnus. Poppy feels inferior to Magnus’ super-intellectual family, Antony & Wanda Tavish have both had articles published in journals and spend most of their time reading academic literature or debating it. Poppy seems to be a “people pleaser” and doesn’t like the conflict involved with saying “No.” Sometimes it feels like Poppy sees what she wants too and ignores the rest. Although the reader comes to understand the reasons why, early on in the book I felt myself getting frustrated with her because of it. As for Poppy’s men…

Magnus plays an arguably small role within the story. At the beginning of the book his role is bigger and as the story continues it wains. Poppy and he met through her Physiotherapy work. At first he seems OK – a little boring perhaps, but as the book goes on and revelations are made that change what you think about him. Magnus is a serial proposer, who has offered the emerald engagement ring to many women – including the Wedding Planner.

Sam is a executive of White Globe Consulting Group. But there’s ongoing office politics with potentially massive consequences – which is a usual plot line for Kinsella. Poppy can’t help read some of the messages on the phone intended for Sam’s PA. Poppy makes some assumptions based on the texts and emails for Sam about him, most of which turn out to be wrong. Poppy also finds it increasingly frustrating that Sam doesn’t respond to messages she feels important. So she decides to reply to some on his behalf with some funny consequences.

The book brings Poppy and Sam together in the end as you’d expect. The use of text messages to bring them together is interesting and I suppose it fits in to the “modern use of technology.” I would have preferred them to talk, but that’s just me. The book made me laugh, get teary eyed and feel good at the end. Everything that you’d want from a chick-lit book. You can buy I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella on Amazon.

Blog soon,


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By Love & Relationships, ThinkingOne Comment

To me flirting is a subtle art of both verbal and non verbal communication. Usually I flirt with straight women as it’s safe, or when I’m after something (a favour from a friend or work colleague).

Recently I’ve had two men who’ve caught my eye and so I’ve flirted with them. The problem is: when I like a guy I’m not so subtle.

So I got some flirting practice in with these two guys. It didn’t matter as I knew both guys weren’t right for me. The Fascinating Man has a partner & foster kids and the second man was too young.

But during flirting I realised that if it’s through Facebook messaging or the like – you completely loose the tone of voice and body language. This making subtle flirting even more difficult.

I can be Subtle, but it seems I still need to work on being subtle with men I like.

Write soon,


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Book Review: Handling Edna The Unauthorised Biography by Barry Humphries

By Amazon, Books & Authors, History, ReviewsNo Comments
handling-edna-barry-humphries-book-cover Barry Humphries has been with Edna Everage since the very beginning. In Handling Edna: The Unauthorised Biography by Barry Humphries he describes how they met, and the adventure she’s dragged him along for ever since.

Before the book even begins there is a “Note to the Reader” eluding to the fact that some people have come to believe that Barry Humphries and Dame Edna are essentially the same person. Humphries writes that he hopes to shed some light on where this belief came from, so that the reader can make their own decision about what they believe.

The first chapter starts in Moonee Ponds, Australia and describes how Barry and Edna met. Humphries writes in the first person, and throughout the book uses description to indicate the decade and location of events he describes.

Each chapter gives an entertaining and fascinating insight into Barry’s life and career (or lack of), Edna and her family’s life and careers, her rise to stardom (and Barry’s lack of understanding as to why) and the problems that it brought her – all in a chronological order.

A few highlights (in no particular order) include Barry being the warm up act for Dame Edna – for various shows; Edna’s time in Hollywood; Barry’s stint in hospital with alcoholism and Edna being his only visitor; Barry’s love life; Barry’s impersonation of Edna on two occasions – the first for his benefit and the second trying to help her; Edna’s poor mental health – in particular in relation to the death of Norm (her husband).

As the chapters go on, towards the end of the book you start to get a fictional feel to the book especially in the final few chapters. Earlier in the book Barry is handed a letter for Edna by Madge. Madge instructs Barry to only give the letter to Edna when she dies. In the final chapter Madge finally dies in hospital. Barry remembers the letter and it reveals that Edna’s missing daughter Lois was taken by Madge in a moment of madness (which explains why Madge tolerated Edna over the decades). Madge writes that she gave Lois to some old friends to raise as their own, with Lois calling her Auntie Madge. In the hospital, the nurse turns out to be called Lois and is upset as her Auntie Madge has just died.

Having read the book do I believe that Barry Humphries and Edna Everage are the same person? Yes I think they are the same person, but that only makes Humphries even cleverer. The factual parts about Barry’s life are interesting to read, but the fiction about Edna is even more interesting. It not only makes the book very entertaining, but it gives an insight into the psyche of Humphries.

The book was a brilliant read, and as you’d expect from a bibliography it has several glossy photo pages throughout the book. You can buy Handling Edna: The Unauthorised Biography by Barry Humphries on Amazon.

Write soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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