Life, The Universe & Everything

Run Carlos, Run

UPDATE

Hubby successfully completed the Cardiff 10k in 52 minutes 18 seconds. Thanks to everyone who sponsored him, he’s raised about £150 so far, which is great.

In September hubby will be running the Cardiff 10K to raise money for our local Scout Group the 49th Cardiff (1st Rumney).  He would be extremely grateful for any sponsorship he can get and so will all the Beavers, Cubs & Scouts at the group.  Anything raised will go towards hall maintenance and buying equipment for the young people to use.

If you would like to sponsor him you can do so by texting CRSG01 £[enter your amount] to 70070  or if you know us in real life and would rather give cash we have sponsorship forms here.

Thank you.

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Hubby and I went to see Andy Cairns (lead singer of Therapy?) last night in a tiny little club in Cardiff. It was fantastic.

We saw him a while back in the 200 Club in Newport on his last acoustic tour and had a great time, so when we saw he was playing Cardiff, there was no hesitation about seeing him again.

He is such a good entertainer, aswell as a great guitarist and singer, telling lots of funny stories in between the songs.

Hubby and I were right in the front, although the room was so small you wouldn’t have been far away wherever you stood. Haven’t been at the front of a gig for a while, was nice not to have some tall person stood right in front of me.

One of the highlights of the night was when he got James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers) up on stage to sing Die Laughing with him. Amazing!

Hubby did record a short snippet of it, but I can’t upload it here (unless I pay money for a video upgrade apparently).  Anyway there’s a video of the whole song on YouTube.

If he comes to Cardiff again (or anywhere nearby) we’d definitely go again.

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Planes and Boats

It’s been an interesting week in Cardiff this week with the NATO Summit being held at the Celtic Manor in Newport.

Although none of the disruption affected me directly, I don’t often go in to town, it was quite exciting reading all about it in the news. From about Wednesday we started getting a lot of big, military helicopters going over the house, which added to the excitement.

On Friday morning there was a fly-past of various military planes from different countries with the Red Arrows at the back. We were looking out for them all the way to school – they were flying past Cardiff Bay to Newport so we guessed they might go over us. When we got to school, they still hadn’t gone past, but I found out they were running late. Quite a few teachers were outside waiting for them too, but they decided to still ring the bell on time. Just as the Junior children had lined up the first planes appeared! They passed right over the school, it was great hearing all the kids ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ and cheering as each lot of planes appeared. Glad we got to see it.

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As part of the Summit a number of warships came to Cardiff Bay, including HMS Duncan which Prince Charles visited and they held some sort of function on it. We decided to go and have a look at them yesterday (Saturday) as did a lot of other people – it was very busy! Not helped by the big steel fences that were still up around the boats. There was also still a lot of armed police officers wandering around, which the boys found slightly fascinating and worrying.

HMS Duncan is enormous!

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First Day

The boys have all gone back to school today, Dan is now in Year 5, Olly is in Year 3 (first year of Junior school) and Ben has started Reception which means he’s now in all day.

They were all very excited this morning, especially Ben, he’s been asking to go to school for at least a week.

Dan and Olly ran to line up as soon as the bell rang, I didn’t actually see them go in to school. Ben wasn’t starting until 9:15am, but he was the first one in as soon as they opened the door – I didn’t even get a wave.

I love that they’re all so happy and confident about going into school, I would hate it if they were clingy and cried.

Looking forward to hearing about their first day when I pick them up later, sure they’ve all had a fantastic time.

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Few Days In Harrogate

This week we have been visiting hubby’s family in Harrogate. We had a good journey up on Monday and were there by lunchtime. We didn’t do much in the afternoon, just visited the local pub for a quick drink. We sat in the beer garden as we had the dog and children with us, but it was a bit nippy and kept raining.

Tuesday we walked into Harrogate and through to the Valley Gardens. Think we visit this place every time we go to Harrogate, it has a fantastic children’s play area. On the way we spotted this carved tree.

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It had a little door in the bottom of it, which led to lots of imagining who could live there.

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As the Tour De France visited Harrogate and the surrounding area in July there was lots of references to it everywhere. Lots of yellow bikes hanging off buildings, in hedges and leaning against garden walls. Also lots of mini jersey bunting on houses and between trees. It all made the place very colourful.

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After the boys had worn themselves out in the play area and I’d had enough of sitting around in the cold watching them, we headed to the nearby Wetherspoons for lunch. It was really busy in there, but luckily we got a table in the Family Area. All our food came quickly, despite how busy it was, and we all enjoyed what we had. My hot chocolate topped with cream went down particularly well!

Wednesday started with much excitement, watching the boys on Newsround with Dr Who (see my previous post). Then we walked to nearby Starbeck to visit hubby’s nana, stopping off at a play area both going and coming back. The play area is right next to Daleside Brewery and it smelt lovely, just like being in Cardiff when Brains are brewing.

Thursday was the only day of the week we’d planned in advance. We’d booked to go to Lightwater Valley So after watching the second part of the boys on Newsround we set off. Again it was a grey and chilly day, we didn’t realise quite how cold it was until we got there.

This was the first time we’d taken any of the kids to a theme park and we were a bit worried that there wouldn’t be much for Ben, but we needn’t have been. We went on pretty much every ride that we could, there was only one that hubby and Dan went on on their own and The Falls of Terror that Ben was too small for, but Dan, Olly and Hubby went on it. We all went on the other water ride, Wild River Rapids, twice, which meant we spent most of the day with wet bums! Ben loved every ride that he went on, that few centimetres over a metre tall made all the difference. There was a good number of smaller children’s rides too.

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After we’d been on all the rides we headed towards The Angry Birds Land, which is basically a play area with Angry Birds themed climbing frames. There’s also an Angry Birds Space part which is indoors and it’s quite dark. A good place to have a rest and let the kids run around.

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Next to Angry Birds is a Birds of Prey Centre and we timed it just right to catch one of the flying displays. They got two owls out, a little one and a really big one, sorry can’t remember what breeds they were. The handlers walked around the area telling us all about them and getting them to fly over our heads, had to duck quite a few times. Unfortunately it did start raining while we were sat there and we were frozen, so afterwards we let the boys have another run around in the play area and another go on a couple of the nearby small rides. Dan, Olly and I had another go on the Skyrider, which is the chair swings on long chains which go round and actually go really high. It’s one of my favourite rides.

We had a fantastic day and the boys are still talking about it, we will definitely try and go again in the future.

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Friday, we watched the final part of the boys on Newsround (it’s been an exciting week and the clips are on the Newsround website) and then it was time to head home.

Dr Who on Newsround

We’ve had a bit of an exciting start to the morning, we were all up early to watch Dan & Olly on Newsround. You can watch the clip on Newsround’s website here

They were filmed a few weeks ago on the day of the Dr Who premiere in Cardiff. They got to have a good look around the TARDIS, fiddling with the buttons and levers. Then as you can see from the clip, in walked Peter Capaldi! They all asked him a question. Apparently he’s a very nice man.

There’s a bit more being shown on Newsround on Thursday and Friday. Then I think it’s all being shown on Saturday. It’s quite strange seeing your children on telly, think the boys were going to explode when they saw themselves.

It was a fantastic experience for them. Thank you Newsround.

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Tredegar House

A few years ago the National Trust took over ownership of Tredegar House & Gardens in Newport (it was previously owned by Newport Council). Since they took over my parents have been working there as volunteers and really enjoy it.

They were working today, so as it looked like it would be dry this morning, I decided to borrow mum’s car and go and visit.

We had a wander through the gardens first and they had deck chairs and games out on the lawn.

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Then on to the stables where they have some toy horses that the children can ride.

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We headed into the House and looking out of the windows it looked like we’d timed it just right – it was pouring down! We didn’t look at everything as we have been a few times before, but I can highly recommend all the rooms. They are so ornate, it’s amazing. In one of the rooms there are some games set up on the table which you can play, Dan and Olly had a quick game of draughts. There’s also a big dressing up box, with a few wigs, which Dan enjoyed having a rummage through.

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They also all had a play in the shadow puppet theatre, Ben and Olly seemed to particularly enjoy that one.

As it was still raining we had a quick look around upstairs. This time one of the rooms was set up as a school room, with a display of photos of when Tredegar House was a school. The other rooms are set up as they would’ve been in the 1920’s when it was still used as a home.

We made our way back downstairs and into the kitchen, which of course is huge! They had a few bowls of crushed spices which you can stir around. Dan was having a good sniff of everything.

Back outside it was still raining and it was starting to thunder. The boys still wanted to run around in the park and go to the play area, Dan had been carrying his football the whole time. They pretty soon gave in to the fact that it was a bit wet and cold and we all decided to go back to the car.

An enjoyable few hours and I would highly recommend a visit.

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Is seems Danny didn’t lose his enthusiasm for cooking overnight.

He got up and made me jam on toast and a pot of tea for all of us. Unfortunately as he can’t pour the teapot, he had to drag hubby out of bed to do it. He then brought me my toast and a cup of tea on tray. My first breakfast in bed from him! Why did it have to be at 7am though? *yawn*

During the morning we made Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Not really any cooking involved apart from melting the chocolate. It’s spent the day in the fridge. We haven’t tried any yet, but it looks yummy.

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After an outing to the park this afternoon (and a soaking in a sudden downpour while walking home), we made pizza. It’s in the oven as I type and it smells delicious.

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Both recipes came from The Usbourne Cookbook for Boys, which I bought from Amazon ages ago. I’ve made a few of the things in there. Dan has now read it cover to cover and is fancying making the curry next. Can’t wait!

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