Sunday, 24 May 2015

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Yesterday (23rd May) J and I went to the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at Wembley Arena. We chose the 3pm performance when we booked which was great.  I also booked parking in advance which is so easy at Wembley.  Traffic was a bit of a nightmare but we arrived and parked as the doors opened.  Off into the Arena to pick up some over priced drinks and a t-shirt for J and we went to take our seats. We were right at the very back (literally backs against the arena wall) and looking straight at the stage almost.  Great view but not too great for photos with the camera unfortunately - I'd have needed a long lens from back there.


I flagged down an ice cream seller - much to J's amusement - and we ate some delicious little tubs just before it all started.

Opening music was "The Good Man?" theme of the Twelfth Doctor and was an excellent opening. Here's my video of it YouTube

The orchestra and solo singer were amazing, as were the choir.

Cyberman
Naturally lots of different monsters appeared but they only circulated around the more expensive floor seating, more's the pity.

A quick 20 minute break giving us time to grab another ice cream and some amazing popcorn and we were off for the second half.


The encore was magnificent and I bet those that left early to beat the traffic were gutted. Final musical piece was the theme tune to Doctor Who through the years reimagined by Murray Gold.  Here's my video of it YouTube.

We left with the crowd and literally just drove straight out of the car park - no queuing at all.  An amazing event. If you're yet to see it, you'll love it!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Pirbright Camp Caching

Girls at school and hubby off today so we decided to have some grown up time. What better to do when we are alone...geocaching!

We headed up to just past Brookwood, near the Pirbright border and parked up by the Basingstoke Canal.  This is just near to the main military camp and we could hear the gun fire from the ranges as we started to walk along.

Me logging lunch
Our first cache was Lunch which immediately made me feel hungry but it was only 10am so not really time to eat the sarnies I'd brought.  A bit of a rummage and when hubby was up a bank, he suddenly noticed the stick-o-flague and we then made the find. I dropped off a TB here too.

Second cache was a bit more of a walk away and was Barge Trip from Hell. I could see why as we approached.  No amount of bailing would help that!  The cache was a tricky little devil. This was mostly because hubby had on shorts and trainers and I had on jeans and FitFlops. Neither combination was ideal to deal with nettles. He got stung on the leg almost immediately so headed off to find a 'geostick' whilst I gingerly looked around, getting stung on the toe in the process.  He came back with half a tree and set to the nettles, finally spotting the cache.  We signed the log and he put it back, trying his best to cover over the beaten geopath we had now left there. This is one for Winter only that's for sure!  The sound of drums going and someone shouting reminded me of 'marching up and down the square' (for any other Python fans out there).


Lock Keeper's Cottage was next and we decided to stop here and have our sandwiches and a drink. It was nice to set on the lock gate arms and just listen to bird song.  Once we'd eaten, we headed off up the road and found the next cache.  It was an easy find but I didn't even open the log bag as it was saturated and rotting.  I photographed it as you can see.  Maintenance log on that one.

Not sure which way to go here.  I suggested the path by the lock keeper's cottage itself but hubby said no, along the road.  He has the instincts of a blind and deaf homing pigeon but I still went the way he suggested. As we got to what seemed to be military training grounds, the GPS swung round into the trees and up we went (well, I sent hubby first and then he spotted the path I had suggested). We found Fill 'er Up quite quickly and then walked off to our next and final one for the day.


Diversion was where the GPS jumped around. Hubby went down to search and poked around every hint object with his geostick. I did the womanly thing of directing from above.  When he said he couldn't find anything and had spotted the road opposite again, I ventured down and found the cache in seconds. Not that I'm competitive or anything like that...oh no.

A nice walk out. It had taken us 2 hours to get to this bit with searching and chatting and a couple of little stop offs to nibble the food and it was a nice 45 minute walk back to the car and home.




Monday, 18 May 2015

Boots Minor Ailments Scheme - Only for Scotland, Northern Ireland some some Northern England Boots?

I'm thoroughly confused.  I've seen the post. I'm sure you've seen the post too but what does it all mean?  It seems that Boots The Chemist offer a 'minor ailments scheme' giving those people who do not have to pay for prescriptions, all sorts of other lotions and potions for free.


Here's the link to the Boots website page - NHS Minor Ailments

Fantastic news I hear you say. Yes, it includes children.  Whoopie - no more buying Calpol for a poorly child with a temperature - I can get it for free. I'm delighted.

But there's a catch....not a single Boots store around me does it. I've phoned over 20 stores getting further and further out and I can't find a single one to help me.  It seems that the problem is where I live.  I'm in Surrey.  As you know, we all have polo ponies and Ferrari's around here.  Yeah, right.

Apparently the local Boots stores have been inundated with people now asking for this service and where do they sign up. Nowhere it seems if you live in the South of England.

I have a friend who lives in Scotland who has used it and one who used it in Winchester (as close to me as I can find who does it).  Other than that, nada.

So, I would now like to know EXACTLY where gets this service if I'm not in Scotland or Northern Ireland (or Winchester).  Boots are incredibly reluctant to say so on their website.  So, come on Boots, where can I find and sign up to this around the Surrey area?  I've tweeted to ask so I'm hoping they will reply.

I would love to hear from readers as to where you have found a Boots that operates this scheme so let's get a list compiled of where they are shall we?  I'm sure us parents of young children and babies would love some free Sudocrem or Nurofen to help our ailing purses!


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Knotty Green Geocaching

Yes, it's that time again.  Time to meet the bestie - G - chat, put the world to rights and, of course, geocache!  We parked up by Knotty Green - Green Box and had an immediate find, although I was the wrong side of the fence (me being on the wrong side will feature quite a bit on our caching adventure today).  Off we go across the fields to the next one, reminding ourselves not to chat too much this time and actually look at the GPS instead of walking right past everything as is our norm.

G and I - A lovely walk
KG - Whipass Bottom was next and hubby phoned just after we'd found the cache to tell me how well he was getting on with the patio in the garden. A quick facetime call with the girls who said hi to the bestie and we signed the log.  Why on earth do people hang poo bags on trees?  Do they think some poor fool will come along and collect them? If you've collected the poo and bagged it, why not dispose of it at home or in a dog poo bin instead of leaving it hanging from shubbery? Some people!

Away we went across the field to KG - Peggs Wood.  We spent way too long here trying to find the cache and eventually, after about 20 minutes of being prickled and glad we'd worn long trousers to avoid being stung too, we gave up and logged a DNF.

KG - Just a Tree was a nice easy find but again we were glad of long trousers, socks and boots to be able to trample the pricklers.

KG - A Little Challenge was just that - trying to squeeze our names onto the logbook that was. It was full but I just managed to squeeze MC onto it for Team Madcats which we used when logs were full up instead of both signing. No spare logs today due to change from handbag to rucksack so couldn't help here.

KG - The Grange was next and was a quick find for us both.  KG - The Grange Again was one that gave us both a few prickles. I was on the wrong side at first but we both soon spotted it.  Trouble is, there are suspects both sides and we all know what GPS is like around trees (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

KG - A Nice Tree had a good view over the valleys and we took a TB from here to help it on its journey.  As I'm off with hubby for some more caching in the next few weeks, we decided I'd keep it.

KG - Stump was next. I had to climb over the tree because this time we were both on the wrong side.  I'm a bit achy today so getting my leg over was hard work (not like that!).  G said that if I didn't make it back, she would leave food and water whilst she goes for help.  Fortunately, I made it but I'm feeling distinctly knackered at the moment. I definitely need more exercise.  At this point we spotted this lovely bluebell wood.


We were going to turn right here and hoover up a few more of the KG caches but having started our way down the path, there had been so much tree felling and the caterpillar tracks were so muddy and hard going, we decided not to bother, so turned round and headed back the way we originally planned.  Had the going not been so tough, we'd have definitely gone for it so we'll have to come back and pick these up some other time.

KG - Great Luckings was next on our hit list.  We had a bit of a search here and then suddenly I saw a pile of rock-o-flague and knew where it was.  Handy that.  KG - Great Beard's Wood had more rock-o-flague but it still took a while for us to find the right location before making the spot.  GPS bouncing around a bit under the trees.  Pathway muddy and bloody hard going with all the ruts.  Hoping this bit doesn't last too long.


KG - Inside Beard's Wood was a DNF for us as it seemed the hiding place had been felled and the same applied to KG - In Plain View which was anything but. The view was very plain. Very, very plain...no tree in fact.  KG - Marrod's Bottom was an easy spot and we were glad to be leaving the rutty path. My feet were aching and even G in her walking boots was finding it a bit of a hard trek. No joggers around here (unsurprisingly) although we'd seen plenty through the fields.

KG - Stoned was tiring. Despite nattering away as we went, we were both slowing down both verbally and in speed by the time we reached the top of the hill.  #600 was next for G and would be the point we stopped for a short breather.


KG - Polish was #600 for G. Quite a milestone.  We did wonder if it was Polish or polish.  It was polish (did you follow that?)  The cache was a quick find.  We sat down and celebrated with Pom Bears, grapes and mini gingerbread men, washed down with Vimto cordial and fizzy water. Rock 'n' roll huh?  We seem to have left quite the impression here as you can see *grin*


KG - Fallen was exactly where we first looked but we didn't look hard enough. After some wandering about we triangulated our two phones and came back to where we had started and there it was!  In the distance we could hear an ice cream van.  Now we want ice cream!  KG - Sandal's Wood Stub was a quick find.  The woodland ice cream van was luring us in but where was it?  Would it come any closer?

KG - Netherlands nearly had us 'stumped'. No idea what the clue was about as don't recall anything here to suggest clogs or tulips...or have I got that wrong?  Anyway, we found it quite quickly having realised we'd walked past it.  The trees were creaking and it seemed so were we.

KG - Copperfields we didn't bother with as there had been plenty of DNFs here so we had a cursory glance when the GPS said we were at GZ but nought, so we just walked on to KG - Ledborough which was a quick spot by G whilst I looked at the wrong side having apparently gone deaf when she read the clue.

Our final for the day was KG - Assheton Road where we happily fumbled around trying to find a magnetic cache on a wooden fence - DOH! - then re-read the clue, retraced our steps and laid hands on...prickles...then the cache.

This was a lovely circuit with some gorgeous scenery and plenty of good sized cache containers for swaps. All a bit damp but that's the great British weather for you.

To finish our day we headed off to The Royal Standard of England to have a drink and I had that elusive ice cream (we never did find the ice cream van).  The barman liked my t-shirt and we chatted a bit about Steampunk which was nice and G had been there before dancing with her Morris group which was fab so he asked about that too.  We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed our drinks.  Both needing to visit the ladies prior to leaving and driving home we went to get up. I'm sure the people in the garden wondered what was wrong with us as we both groaned and made 'old lady' noises trying to get out of our seats then half limped, half staggered across the garden into the pub.  I really must get some cod liver oil capsules!  We had walked for 4 1/2 hours though so getting started again after stopping wasn't easy.  If it's any consolation, I creaked out of the car when I got home too.  I need a bath...

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Friends

We met at post-natal classes when our children were a few weeks old.  We've been friends ever since. Today these two lovely ladies came over and the children all played in the garden while we caught up for a couple of hours. It was wonderful.


It's not always easy to keep up with friends with how busy we all are but even to meet once every 6 months is just lovely.  Even then, it's like we've not been apart long and we just catching up on what's been going on in each other's lives.  A great afternoon.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Beat the school rush

I know I may be a bit early in my thinking but I've decided to buy some school clothes for N and S already.  You see N is starting 'big school' in September. Oh my goodness...where has the time gone?

I remember the run around before S started. In the early August, I thought I'd go and get some uniform and PE kit for her. I was shocked at how hard it was to find age 5 uniform items!  Seems everyone had the same idea as me and had cleared the shelves in most stores that stock it. I finally found some jogging tops and bottoms in M&S and blue polo shirts.  Skirts were hard to find.  I ended up with Sainsburys ones whilst I ordered proper ones from M&S.

This time, I decided to 'plan ahead' - seriously ahead!  I have already got most of N's school uniform.  In fact the only thing I don't have is said blue polo shirt but as that's worn once a week for PE, she can have S's old ones and I've bought some new ones for S instead.  I'm off next month to pick up some new school cardigans for S as the local school supplier has a sale on. May as well take advantage of 10% off hadn't it.  As for the rest of N's uniform, most is new (well, she can't start at a new school in *all* of her sister's old uniform can she) and the rest is hand-me-down from S.  I've even ordered black, thick tights.  Yes, I know, sounds bonkers but again, they were so hard to find in age 5 before.

As I said, I still can't believe my littlest is starting school. My eldest, on the other hand, will be starting 6th form in September.  I think I'm entitled to a little 'eeek' over that.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Election Time - Vote Sith, get Muppet?

I have little to say. I'm not inspired.  I've been pleased that the Tories have managed to cut the deficit we had when Labour left (with Gordon Brown selling our gold reserves for almost nothing as a final middle finger to this country) but nothing much else has been good.  A coalition government is not a government. How can anyone do anything when one hand is always tied behind your back (and having its fingernails extracted with a pair of pliers!).  The LibDems are nothing.  Why they have even bothered to run is beyond me.  UKIP - some bizarre policies but I kind of like Farage.  I liked Screaming Lord Such too though so don't read too much into that statement.

I'd vote for him...
I hope, whatever happens, there is a majority.  The thought of another coalition worries me. The thought of a coalition between Labour and SNP fills me with the kind of dread that the White Walkers breaking through the wall would.  I think I'd rather be 'blue eyed' than have anyone in Scotland tell me what I can do and what taxes I should pay.  I'll stop at this point or I will begin a hefty rant.

...but I'm worried we'll end with him!
I've voted.  I think it was more of a protest vote.  I did want to vote Sith but no-one was on my polling card with that option. I fear I may just end up with a muppet!