Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Zombie SWAT Training/Survival

It was the teen's 18th birthday last year and as well as the 'nice' presents that we bought for her, I just had to get her something to remember.  She's not the sort of girl who would enjoy a spa day so I decided to get her an experience like no other - battling zombies in London!  I bought the experience through Red Letter Days.  


Last weekend she went and undertook the mission. I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone who is going to do this so all I'll say is that she said it was brilliant, scary and very intense at times.  It even scared her dad in a couple of places!


The experience takes around 3 1/2 hours to do and 'training' is given on the 'weapons' used.  She said none of the actors broke character even once. From beginning to end you were immersed in the experience.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Destroy someones Amazon rating with their approval

I'm furious.  I have been selling on Amazon for some time now and have never had a problem, up until last month.

A buyer purchased an academic book from me.  I posted it with my usual Certificate of Posting on a Friday.  It was posted 2nd class.  On the Monday morning, effectively given just 1 day to get to the buyer (with no post on a Sunday), the buyer left me bad feedback!  He rated me at '1' saying the book never arrived.


Of course, I assumed therefore that he was clearly an idiot and that Amazon would remove the rating.  I assumed incorrectly - on one count at least!  

I put in a complaint to Amazon to have the rating removed, stating clearly that there was not adequate time allowed for the book to have arrived.  Amazon sent me back a bog standard reply saying the feedback did not breach any of their rules (did not use profanity, did not identify my address).  I was incredulous so sent a further reply, copying the Certificate of Posting I had obtained to prove when I posted it (late afternoon on the Friday).  They came back to me again with the same email.  

So, Amazon allow buyers to put up rating 1 feedback any time they like.  There is no sensible time period that must elapse before such rating is applied.

I contacted the buyer stating that I had a Certificate of Posting and if the item did not turn up, he would receive a refund.  I never heard from him.  My only recourse?  Leave a 'note' on his feedback to explain what happened.  I've asked him to retract the feedback - no claim for item so I assume he has it now, the f**ktard! - but no response to that either.

My rating has now dropped from 100% to 92%.  That's a big drop and has a big impact on an individual as a seller.  I know this myself. Given someone who has 98%+, I'd even pay a bit extra to buy from them than anyone with a lower rating.

Thanks Amazon for effectively stopping me selling now!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Cobham Geocaching Again

We headed out with some more friends today to scoop up a few of the geocaches we didn't get to last time we were in Cobham, and introduce our friends to some of the fun ones we had already found (see the blog piece here).


Deep Cover was the first of the day.  Teen and R (followed closely by pretty much all the children!) shot up the tree when the container was spotted. We had done this one so stood back and watched.  A great start for R's first geocaching adventure.  


We then walked down to Far Out Man.  Despite J and R heading out on the tree, no cache was found.  This is our 2nd fail here.  Goodness know where it is.  We are definitely not going to be able to leave this one without finding it now. It's becoming our nemesis!


It's a Floater was next.  Took a few minutes to locate the cache but we knew what to do as we have one of these near to us. Fortunately we had an empty bottle with us.  Hubby went for the fill and poured some water in. It was pretty yucky.  I had the idea to use an empty crisp packet for the bottom and he refilled the container so the cache was shortly in hand.  Yay!


Walkies was an immediate spot by J.  We were still gazing around.  Down she went with hubby and it became a battle of the sticks to see which one of them could grab it first. Talk about no cooperation *grin*.  J won and soon the cache was down with us.  Such fun.


Yew'll be Stumped was a great find by the youngest cacher today.  We had all looked and moved on when she made the spot.  Great cachers eyes and fab container.


We had a lovely walk back to the car via Opposites Attract, which we thought would be another great one for our friends to try. I'm sure it was even muddier under the bridge today.


All in all, another lovely walk around finding some more interesting caches.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Rockery

We want to make a little rockery by our patio doors as it's a bit of an odd area of the garden where things kind of grow but it doesn't suit high plants. We had agapanthus there but they just looked wrong.

Today we went down to Longacres to pick up some turf for a part of our garden that has now appeared since the neighbour's trees have gone as we want some more grass area.  Really helpful chap in the collection area who loaded in 6 lovely looking pieces.  S then insisted we go and get some lemon drizzle cake so we had a look around.  Typical of Longacres, I carried a small basket and ended up loaded to the eyeballs - wobbling a large pepper plant along - with both of us carrying extra stuff by the time we finished!

I bought some lovely little rockery plants, some marigolds for a burst of colour and some Cuprinol coloured paint for the new shed.  Need the weather to stabilise a bit first to do that - who'd have thought it would be so rotten in August.  


As we don't have the rockery stones yet, I decided to smash up one of my broken pots and make a kind of crazy paved area around the plants for now. Doesn't look too bad I think.  We just need to go and select some rockery stones soon and build this area up properly, but it's a start.

Only disappointing part of our day?  Longacres only had small lemon drizzle cakes, not big ones...tsk.

Friday, 18 August 2017

6 year old with a Baker's Cyst

We were out geocaching last weekend, climbing up and down hills, getting our wellies sucked off by mud and generally having fun for around 3 hours with friends.  That evening, we were due round our friends for a BBQ and my youngest, who is 6, changed from her leggings into shorts and off we went.  The girls went out to play when we got there and it was then that my friend asked what was wrong with N's leg.  We had no idea and looked and saw a huge lump behind her left knee!

N's left knee - leg straight - showing the Baker's Cyst
As you can imagine, we were really worried about it.  It wasn't bothering her at all but I wasn't leaving anything to chance and we headed to our local walk-in centre to get it checked.  N was very upset as she was worried about what would happen in hospital but with some reassurance, she calmed down a little.  The nurses were wonderful with her and not worried.  They said it was probably a Baker's Cyst, also known as a Popliteal Cyst.  Not so common in children as in adults apparently.  However, they decided to phone the paediatric doctors at our main hospital as it had come up so quickly and they also wanted to rule out DVT (deep-vein thrombosis), whilst they sorted out an ice pack for it and suggested she take Ibuprofen to help with the swelling.

The doctors at our main hospital asked to see us, so we drove straight there (hubby and other daughter were still at the BBQ as it seemed daft for us all to go).  We were seen within 5 minutes by the triage nurse and less than 10 minutes later, we were in seeing the paediatric doctor.  After a chat to N and myself, she had a look at it.  She suggested it may have been there for some time, but I am positive it had come up that day.  N has a habit of wandering around the house in her underwear so her legs are on display a lot and I'm absolutely positive I'd have noticed something the size of a golf ball sticking out the back of her leg!

Still somewhat visible when knee bent a little
The doctor went off and consulted with another doctor (more senior I assumed by the way her spoke). He came in and chatted to us and then switched off the lights and looked at the cyst with a light, pointing out the fluid in it.  He said that it looked like a Baker's Cyst but it had probably been there some time to get to that size. Again, I disagreed as we would have noticed that.  He checked her pulse down her leg and said it was all fine.  They went off to chat some more, having spoken briefly to me about an x-ray.

A few minutes later the first doctor was back with N's discharge forms.  I questioned the x-ray but it had been decided as she wasn't in pain, to phone my doctor on Monday and ask them to arrange for an ultrasound scan, which I duly did and we're now waiting for.

Having done some reading on this type of cyst, they can take from months to years to go away and have a relatively high chance of reoccurring.  There's some information on Baker's Cysts in pediatric patients here.

I have to say that the cyst doesn't bother N at all, but if I'm honest, it bothers me.  It looks very big on her tiny leg and I really want them to do something about it - drain it maybe.  I guess we'll have to see what the doctor suggests after the ultrasound is done. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A walk around Winkworth Arboretum

Despite the pouring rain last night, the weather looked a bit less bleak today and so we headed off to Winkworth Arboretum for a walk around.  Very quiet in the car park and felt like we were almost on our own the whole route we took.  








This is such a lovely place but, oh my goodness, you need some energy to get up and down those hills if you take the red route around.





Bit slippery for tree climbing today but the girls still had fun. Finished off with a yummy scone, cream and jam and a cup of hot chocolate for me.  The usual Victoria sponge for the girls. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Pirate Golf

We had recently won a voucher for a family game of golf up at Hoebridge Golf Club's Mr Mulligan's Pirate Golf.  This morning we decided to try it out.  Nice and quiet there so we walked straight on and started playing.


This is a great little game for children and we had lots of laughs as our golf balls disappeared into the water.  They have little 'rafts' that you pull yourself across to reach holes as well, which the girls thought were great.


Some of the holes are really good fun.  One you had to go around a wheel, another you had to go into a pirate ship and find your golf balls in the dark to get them into the hole.


We also opted to go to the high area for one hole which was good.



The final hole is literally that.  Quite an easy shot into a hole and your golf ball disappears.  This clearly prevents you from deciding to go round again.  It's not cheap but then again, for £26 for a family of 4, it's a great bit of entertainment for an hour or so.  The girls verdict - can we come again?