Monthly Archives: July 2008

Tall ships

Years and years ago I worked on a tall ship during my summer holidays as a volunteer helping out with corporate team building events. Here is one of the tall ships in Liverpool at the moment….

So I thought it would be good to show Caitlin and Noah some tall ships since they had come to Liverpool.  I expected to take them on a few ships and let them look at some more.  I was amazed with how much there was to do for kids!!  First of all Caitlin made a badge and got a free rain hat…

…then we wandered a bit further and she made a peacock worm hair clip, while Noah made a peacock worm pencil topper!

It was seriously windy and so we had to take the hat off as we headed off around the ships.

Along the way we did more colouring, nearly got blown away and then went on board the Roald Amundsen ship from Germany.  Noah checked the anchor was down properly so we didn’t blow away….

And then Noah rang the bell while Caitlin checked out the engine..of course…engines being her favourite thing!

We then headed up to the compass and captains wheel.  Caitlin and Amy made sure we were going to the right place….

And Grandad and Noah double checked!!!

There was loads more stuff to do but we ran out of time, so we headed home via the “Lambananas”… They are the lamb crossed with a banana equivalent of the cows in Manchester!

And Noah found the Manchester “Lambanana”….

There are 120 Lambanana’s to spot and we saw about 30 today….  We did miss Zebu the ship I went on because it wasn’t listed in the guide.  Apparently it is a permanent feature outside the Maritime Museum so we’ll have to go back and see that another time!


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Charlie and Lola

Today we’ve been to the Manchester Art Gallery to see the Charlie and Lola exhibition.  I think it was a bit wasted on Caitlin and Noah since neither of them have ever seen or heard of Charlie and Lola….  There were things to play with though like the desk with a phone….

And the set of the kitchen…..

Caitlin posed with Lola even though she had no idea who she was!

There was also a set of Lola’s bed with some headphones playing her music…

We were just about done with Charlie and Lola and were about to go downstairs to the interactive floor when the alarms started going off!  Then big shutters came down to separate the room meaning we were now trapped!  Even though before the alarm staff were everywhere making sure you didn’t scribble in the original manuscripts etc, they seemed to have vanished!!!!  There was one door open which led to a spiral staircase so we figured we needed to go down there!!!  So loads of prams and kids headed down 3 floors to the basement exit!!!  When we got to the bottom and everyone was out we were told we could go back in around the front, so I guess it was a practice! After 3 floors with a double pram and a loose Caitlin we just headed home….  We’ll have to go back again another time…

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House for sale!!

So we have just had our first valuation done and it seems our house is worth £210,000.  Next step is the very scary prospect of selling it!  So if anyone would like to buy our house for around £210K please let us know!  Here is a little guided tour of us all cleaned up and ready to show!!!

Lets start with the infamous bathroom….  It does look good and this pic doesn’t really do it justice (no wide angle lens!!)

The following the house round… next is our bedroom…

Then is Caitlin (and Noah’s) room…

Then is Noah’s old room….

Downstairs we have the kitchen….

Which leads around to the dining room…

Which leads to one living room…

And the last room is the other living room….

And thats it…our freshly decorated and reasonably clean house!!!!!!!!!


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Avon Park

This weekend was the British Mini Showdown!  Its an event to find the fastest mini in Britain…  We go every year but because I was on my course yesterday I only went down today, which was good because Richard got soaked and freezing camping in the torrential rain!!!!!!!!  The weather did clear up for today and we all got the usual Avon Park sunburn!!!

There were loads of minis racing down the drag strip including our friend Marc!  He managed to do the 1/4 mile in 16.03 seconds!!!  Which is pretty quick for his class.  He has a 1400cc rover engine in his mini.  We couldn’t convince him to take it down again to try to beat the 16sec barrier but I’m sure if he had he’d have done it!  Here he is on the fireup lane waiting for his turn….

And here he is on the starting line… (he is the red mini with black boot and white bonnet)  Marc is all about speed not looks!

Also racing was this yellow mini which was the fastest of the day with a time of 9.9 secs and a top speed of 145mph over 1/4 mile!!!!!!!!!  Its got a 6L Chevvy engine with nitrous….  oooo we’d like one of those!!!

One of the drag racing teams had made a cooool BBQ…

And here is a beetle that Caitlin would have loved.  We think we’re going to take them next year, they will love the racing…

Shed racing is a car owned by Richards friend, I really like his car because it is really rough and all about driving not polishing!!

And lastly a pic of a burnout by one of the drag cars…..

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Urbis lightbulb moment!

When we went to Urbis back at the beginning of June (twice!) we saw the Matthew Williamson exhibition.  Both me and Linda had no clue who he was… Alex knew…  Anyway it turns out I may not know who he is but Caitlin has one of his tops!!!

The blue one above!!  And very nice it is too!!

Anyway the kids are at Nanny’s house and Richard has gone camping (more fool him in this torrential rain!!!!!!!!) so thats all the blogging I have!


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Mortgage free!!!!!

I’ve just had my redundancy payment through and so we have now officially paid off our mortgage!!!!!!!  Just need to get everything sorted now so we can get ourselves a new one ha ha!!  Feels very strange to say that we completely own our house…..


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On Monday 30th June straight after my last day at work Caitlin and Noah arrived home from Nanny and Grandads armed with birthday presents for me!! I got a bread maker, books, money and sweets!! Then after speedy opening it was time to head for the airport to go to Bulgaria….

We flew late at night and both were asleep as we queued for check in. Then they took the prams and both were awake again!!! Noah wasn’t happy about this and so cried for the first few hours of the flight. There were lots of groups at the airport and on our flight and seated all around us was a group of 72 post A-level holiday makers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were really nice though and didn’t seem to mind Noah’s protests! We arrived at 7am and so headed straight off for a sleep!!!!!!

Later on Tuesday afternoon we headed off for the pool…. Neither of them swim at home so it was quite weird for Noah, but he liked it after he had got used to the coolish water.

In the evening it was time to pay a visit to the disco….

To be honest it was way too crowded and too hot so not really a big hit….

On Wednesday morning we were woken up to the sounds of vomiting!!!!!! First of all Caitlin at 5am, shortly followed by Noah a few hours behind. So we set up a sick bay cinema….

By the afternoon they were well enough to venture out onto the balcony to check out how close the sea was….which was very!!!!!! Our hotel was on the beach….

In the evening we ventured out to the bar…

On the Thursday we went for a wander along to the BBQ at the other end of the complex. Our hotel was the furthest inhabited point on Sunny Beach and as you walked back to the main entrance of the complex it was towards (but by no stretch of the imagination close to – think £30 taxi) Sunny Beach main resort.

That is our hotel behind everyone… After lunch we went to the beach…

Our hotel led straight onto the beach, as you can see the steps behind Noah lead upto the bar. We couldn’t have been closer to the beach without it being in our room! The sand was really fine and clean and we had a great time playing in it. We built a sand mini…

Then we splashed in the sea….

And then Caitlin and Noah took turns going out in the sea with Richard…

At the end of our section of beach was a jetty this pic shows just how at the end of Sunny Beach we were…

Then in the evening we went for drinks (of course!!)

Of an evening Caitlin was sleeping in a pull out bed. We were interested to see how she was in a bed…all week she didn’t get out of bed once and even in the mornings she just sat there talking to Noah until we called her over…. Think we’ll definitely be swapping her cot into a bed in time for her birthday….

Our all inclusive covered use of the waterpark so on Friday we headed over there. The water was icy cold and Noah refused to go in! Caitlin went in for a while but the goosebumps and complaints meant we didn’t stay long… But look at all the slides we missed out on….

After warming up we went for a BBQ lunch and spent the rest of the day in the pool!

Then on Saturday morning….it was Richards turn to be ill!!!!!!! He’s blaming the BBQ even though he ate the same as all of us, well apart from some weird sausages! So the rest of us went to the play area….

There was also a power cut on the Saturday which lasted most of the day, so there were limited drinks (although still draught beer which we have no idea who that worked???) and limited food. Richard wasn’t eating so it didn’t bother him, but I think me and Caitlin missed the chips!

For the rest of the afternoon we took it easy and just lazed about. We tried to get postcards and presents but Bulgaria (or maybe just our hotel) was extortionately expensive!!!!!!! Bulgaria is supposed to be cheap but as an example 9 postcards home cost us £10, 4 drinks cost someone we spoke to £25 there’s no way we would have paid that!!, the hotel charged people £140 to keep the room on for a late check out (again we DID NOT pay that! we just sat in the bar!), our bucket and spade set cost £7.50 etc!!!! In the evening Richard was pretty much better so we went down to the bar area where Caitlin and Noah made a friend, a girl called Mia….

They took it in turns to be pushed in the pram by Mia and push the other pram…

On Sunday we went swimming in the pool in the morning with our new found friend….

Then in the afternoon we paid another visit to the beach to take our “holiday photo”. Every beach holiday we go on we try to take a picture of the place and date in the sand…. It was quite hard here because the sand was so fine we had to go right to the sea to do it and it kept getting washed away!!

We also made Caitlin into a sand mermaid…

And Noah ventured off alone…

In the evening we tried to get a nice picture of Caitlin and Noah together but Noah just kept running off….

Eventually with a bit of bribing with haribos….

And a nice one of Richard and Caitlin

Monday was a VERY long day!! Our pick up for our flight was at 2.15am on the Tuesday but we had to checkout of our room at midday on the Monday so we had 14 hours to kill….  As I said earlier we could have ahd a late check out for the princley sum of £140, but considering the entire holiday for all 4 of us (flights, hotel, food, drink and transfers) only cost £200 that seemed a little steep….so to the bar it was!

First of all we had our last swim…

Caitlin flying through the air…..

Noah wasn’t quite as good at flying as he wouldn’t let go….

After all of that it was time for a sleep…

Loads of flies kept landing on Noah but he didn’t seem to care…yuk!!!!!!!!

One of the highlights of the holiday for Caitlin was the fact she could go and get herself a drink…  She must have drunk at least 20 glasses of water a day, if not more!!!!!!!!!  She was the most hydrated child in the place!

Here she is taking Kaloo, he most trasured posession to get some more water…

Finally 2.30 came and we were collected, only to discover there was a 3.5 hr delay on our flight…  So Noah went outside to watch the planes take off and land….

And that was it!!  Bulgaria!!!  We had a good time and the hotel was really close to the beach but we don’t think we’d go again!  Although lots of people had it worse than us… We got picked up from the other hotel at the far end of the complex and while we were waiting we heard some horror stories!  We knew the other end of the complex was no where near as good as our end BUT… a 14 yr old girl got left behind – how her parents (or the rep!!!) didn’t notice she wasn’t on the coach I don’t know!), also some families had to share their rooms with 2 other families as the hotel was over booked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The hotel although good was the least inclusive all inclusive we have ever been to!

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