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My First Fishing Trip

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

The Fishery

My mum’s getting married next week to a lovely man named Ian.

Sometime ago Ian asked me to be his best man, to which I agreed. But what could I do his Stag Do considering he doesn’t drink and nor do I? I thought to myself.

Then I came up with the idea of a fishing trip. Ian likes fishing, as does Neil, my big brother. Besides which, I’ve always said that at least once in my life I’d like to catch a fish, so here was an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone*.

So a few weekends ago, we set off to a fishery somewhere near Morecambe and Lancaster. On arrival we were greeted by the Warden who was in his fifties, had dishevled hair, a beer belly and clothes that looked like they hadn’t been washed in quite sometime.

The Warden staggered towards our car, can of Carling in hand and then stood there swaying. Ian showed him our booking form, but he looked at it as if he either was trying to get it in focus or couldn’t read it. He directed us to the Head Office, instead of Reception where we collected our keys to the static caravan. On the way to our caravan, we saw that the Warden lived just three caravans away.

As I enjoyed a coffee and cigarette on a picnic bench in front of the caravan with Ian, the Warden drove past in a Jeep, giving me an intense stir – the sort I imagine serial killers give to their intended victims. The Warden came to a stop on the road opposite our caravan and continued to stir.

Ian went over to speak to him through the Jeep window. He said in the creepiest tone of voice possible: ‘Do you know who I am?’
‘Yes the Warden.’ Ian replied.
The Warden wound up his window, gave me a long hard stir and then slowly drove off.

During that stir I imagined that he was planning to rape me (after all, I was easily the prettiest on the site and the closest to being a woman), murder me and chop my body into pieces to feed to the fish. This sounds a little dramatic and like I’m trying to make this part of the story funny – but he really did freak me out.

So I called Neil, told him the situation and that he’d better get here before dark. I told him: This is how horror films start! That night we all chatted, played Harry Potter Top Trumps and Superhero Top Trumps, with Neil coming out as the victor.

Later, as the weekend wore on, I became slightly more relaxed about this encounter wih the Warden telling Ian and Neil with a smile: ‘Listen it’s alright for you two. You’re old, either bald or going bald. I’m the jail bait in the static caravan.’

The next day, after a big cooked breakfast was the fishing. I caught the first and by far the biggest with Ian’s kind help. There’s so much innuendo in fishing terminology; I was figuratively rolling on the floor laughing the whole weekend. Phrases like: Keep tight hold of the rod. Bait me up. Owe…what a lovely little tiddler.

Here are some photos from the day’s fishing:


Mother Duck and her Ducklings – But that isn’t what we came for.


Ian & Neil in their fishing gear.


Me in my fishing gear…I hate to say it…but I’m like the Tiger Woods of the Fishing World LOL.


This is exactly how I imagined fishing to be.


The first and biggest fish of the weekend – caught by me with help from Ian.


A close up of the big fish…definitely bigger than a gold fish.


The fish I was most proud of catching. My first fishI caught all by myself. Isn’t it a lovely little ‘tiddler?’

On Sunday, being still in recovery, I was exhausted. So while the boys went out fishing, I took it easy reading The Humans by Matt Haig. It’s an awesome book that I’ll be writing a review on when I’ve finished reading it. In the late afternoon we headed back home.

We all enjoyed the trip so much, that it is to become an annual event. Known in the family as ‘The Annual Fishing Trip.’ I love that the time spent male bonding brings us closer together as a family.

Write soon,


* No birds, fish, ducks or other animals were harmed by Ian, Neil or myself during the trip. However the odd human stranger did push his luck and came very close to being maimed.

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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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Re-Living My Youth: Steps Live

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, History2 Comments

As part of my Christmas presents last year, mum bought me a ticket to see Steps with her, Ian and Jodie. We got into town early and grabbed a bite to eat:

Mum & Ian (1) – with Flash!
Mum & Ian (2) – without Flash.
Me being sophisticated drinking coffee. Later I spend some time peeing while the warm up artists were on. Luckily they were terrible and worth missing.
While Jodie’s off powdering her nose, me & Ian fight over her bag. We stop to pose for a quick photo.
Jodie’s back and posing for a photo with mum.
Mum, Jodie & Ian.
Mum, Me & Ian.
I decide to be cheeky and mess up mum’s & Ian’s hair (forgetting that Ian doesn’t have any). Mum retaliates as a photos taken.

We got to the Arena and took our seats. There were two warm up acts, both of which were shockingly bad.

Ian, Mum & Jodie.
The audience go wild as the Steps logo appears on the screens at either side of the stage.

Five tubes that Steps were rise up and into on their first appearance on stage.
A vault with countdown clock on. The graphic was completely on a back screen.
The vault opens.
Steps appear on stage.
The graphics screen at the back of the stage. The screen lit up, in combination with the lights made getting photos really difficult.
Steps appear on stage. We were treated to a few Steps classics with dance moves using the back screen as a Just Dance type game.
Steps – Dancing & Singing in boxes.
Backing Dancers – Playing with Fire, while Steps sing.

To give you a feel of the hyper-active, excited atmosphere of the audience, I took a short video:

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Then each member of Steps did a solo song. First Lee, singing a mix of a few songs. His performance was excellent, and there were even screams when he ripped open his shirt:

(Lee performing with his shirt open.)

Next was Faye:

(Faye performing.)

‘H’ sang Don’t Stop Believing and did some clever stuff by making it look like he was interacting with the big graphic screen at the back of the stage:

(H performing. With his use of the graphic screen, I struggled to get a good photo.)

Lisa sang next, singing a mix of different songs including her track ‘Lately‘:

(Lisa performing.)

Claire sang her solo last. Claire had put on weight, but looked better for it. Unsuprisingly she sang an opera type song (having been on Popstar to Operastar):

Then it was time for my favorite Steps song: It’s The Way You Make Me Feel. I couldn’t help feel disappointed, rather than just having H singing the male lines of the song both H and Lee sang them. There voices didn’t feel like they became one. I would have preferred just H to sing to be honest. Still the costumes lived up to expectations, see below:

Lee in his mask and suit.
H in is costume. Claire, Faye and Lisa wore corset type costumes. All keeping in the theme of the orignal music video.

H closer, a photo of the side screen.
Steps then went on to sing Love’s Got A Hold On My Heart

Steps stopped to say Thank you’s – mostly to the audience for supporting them. They even posed for a photo:

Then they slowed things down with a few of their ballot type tracks. What amazed me was that the audience sang along, louder than Steps at some points. The audience singing in mass made me aware of how many people related to the words in Step’s songs.

(Steps sitting on the stage singing some of their slower tracks.)

Steps brought back the hyper-active, excited atmosphere of the audience with Stomp and some other songs. Here’s some photos:

Stage for Stomp.
Stage for another song.
Stage for another song.
Steps on Stage performing Dancing Queen.

Then it was time for Steps to take a bow and leave the stage:

For their encore they performed the only track they hadn’t performed so far: Tragedy :

(Leaving the audience on a high.)

For me it was a bit of nostalgia, re-living my teen years. But Steps stated that they were back – so they may well release some new music. I hope they do, I really enjoyed myself and had forgotten how much I enjoy a bit of cheesy pop.

I would like to apologise for quality and size and of the photos. I should have taken my camera rather than used my iPhone, this would have improved the quality of the photos. I’ve also had to significantly reduce the size of the photos to save on disk space (see More Disk Space). But if you’ve not got tickets to see Steps, don’t worry as the tour DVD is available to pre-order here: Steps – The Ultimate Tour Live [DVD]. Also you can order the live concerts on CD here: Steps Live! 2012 [CD].

Blog soon,


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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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