Wednesday 27 June 2012

The Big Weekend Part 2

June is a very busy month, not only do Mike and I have our Birthdays this month (9 days apart), close to a dozen of our friends have Birthdays’ too. So a lot of us tend to share nights out rather than taking over every weekend for 5 weeks separately.

This year Mike, our friend Lauren and I had a joint night out planned for the day after Clare and Matt’s reception. I was feeling so tired but invites had all been texted out (we were thinking chilled night in the pub) so I got all glammed up – a lady in red and headed to a local Varsity bar. Being that it was still the Jubilee weekend there were special cocktails and Pimms Jaeger Bombs to test.....

For One Night Only Princess Lynsey

..... and test I did because I only have snapshot memories from about 11pm and I’m told Mike and Siobhan (who was staying over as she was visiting from London) we didn’t arrive home until 3am. Luckily my photo taking obsession meant I filled in my own gaps until I saw my brother who said I do a great Lady GaGa and Cha Cha slide... I wasn’t aware they were even played... *Note to self – Learn your limits*

But the above all said apparently I was a polite, chatty, fun drunkard and I even remembered to take off my make up, brush my teeth and drink a pint of water before I passed out whilst eating a kabab.... oh well - can’t win them all!

The next day I was surprisingly perky and not hung over at all, after an iced coffee and some leftover chicken we headed to our friends Sarah and Steve’s house of a Jubilee BBQ. Their flat and garden were covered in Union Jack bunting, Union Jack themed plates, cupcakes, sweets and decorations – a lovely chilled afternoon with gorgeous food and even better company – If I’d had a hangover it would have been cured! 

Cakes by Kylie

As previously mention there are a lot of Juney’s and after the BBQ we were off to more Birthday drinks this time in honour of our friend Jo. We met up with Jo, her Husband Jon and a few friend for a quiet drink (or 3) and ended up at the scene of the crime from the night before – Varsity. The difference being I remember this night out and I was coherent enough invited Jo to come in on the mass June collective for next year’s celebrations!

The extended Bank Holiday meant my actual Birthday (June 5th) was still a day off for everyone else so Mike’s parents (via Tony my Father in Law landing at Heathrow after a week in the USA) came to visit and took us out to Breakfast at Frankie and Benny’s where I cleared a plate of eggs, bacon and pancakes – stacked and covered in maple syrup (calories don’t count on your Birthday!).

In the afternoon I headed to my Mum and Dad’s for a tea party with them, siblings, my nieces and Nephew. It was a proper kids party with banners, cake, pizza and crisps – a youthful end to my 27th year!

L x

Sunday 24 June 2012

The Big Weekend Part 1

Unfortunately my title is not in reference to the huge Hackney Big Weekend currently rocking London as I write. I’m referring to the first weekend in June. Granted it was Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee but I had my own celebrations!

After Clare’s Hen do there was of course her wedding to the lovely Matt! The wedding was being held at The Manor in Rainham – a hotel restaurant set in the beautiful Essex Countryside - also hidden from most Sat Nav’s as we later found!.

Helen and I had paid for our good friend Lauren to be Clare’s make-up artist - I’d like to think a make-up artist is a girl 2nd best friend after the diamond of course! Lauren also doubled as my transport as Mike couldn’t come (his work schedule was too unpredictable and they couldn’t hold a seat for him at the wedding breakfast).

The Manor was a beautiful little hotel; the staff were helpful and friendly the venue itself was clean, modern and light.

The ceremony was set in the hotel gardens with 25 guests attending, although over cast the rain held off and it was short, incredibly sweet and at points very funny! I was immensely proud to be one of the witnesses on their marriage certificate – forever held in their history.

Time for the speeches, cake cutting and the wedding breakfast – I have to say the latter was where The Manor excelled themselves! I’m a well documented foodie – hence my membership to Weight Watchers and this meal was one of the best I’ve had – a perfect hollandaise sauce over asparagus and poached eggs, individual beef wellington’s that were still slightly pink inside with a rich pate smothered around the meat all packed in a delicious puff pastry case and dessert was a raspberry cheese cake in fruit coulis. The meal was finished with tea’s. Coffee and strawberry’s dipped in white and milk chocolate and decorated to look like tuxedos.

The rest of the day went perfectly.

The Smiths

The next day Clare and Matt held and afternoon reception in Wat Tyler Country Park. They’d hired one of the barns for a very chilled lunch reception. With a small bar, a huge buffet and a P.A system everyone chatted & laughed whilst the children played with bubbles and ate gingerbread men dressed as brides and grooms.

Another wonderful success of a day – Huge Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Smith (and Jake!)

L x

Friday 22 June 2012

Back To My Adventures

After coming home from Spain, since we did so much, I felt I needed to rest, any fellow Cerebral Palsy and RSD/CRPS (in fact anyone with a long term condition) folks know it doesn’t take much to completely exhaust us. There’s this funny attitude that if we do something fun we must be alright – doesn’t work like that - pain doesn’t stop for the sunshine or a party – in my case I pop I few more (prescribed!!) pills and suffer the consequences, and by consequences I mean more pain, for the next day/week/month.

Anyway whilst I’m not bed bound I’m not resting for long in between my adventures, so three days after landing in Luton from Spain I headed to Suffolk and the Centre Parc’s at Elvenden Forest for my friend Clare’s Hen weekend!

I drove up with my pal Helen and we met with Clare, her Mum Bev, her sister Gemma and her future sister-in-law Sophie.

This was not my first hen night and I doubt it’ll be my last for a long time yet and I’ve come to realise much like and actor or comedian you must know your audience on a hen do, too much filth – you’re a pervert, not enough – you’re a prude! F.Y.I I’m neither!

On this occasion I had only met Mummy Bev once at a kid’s party, Gemma half a dozen times and I had never even met future sister in law Sophie before. So whilst putting together games I had to tread carefully – funny not filthy, amusing not alarming... I was going to have to spend not only three day’s for this hen weekend, with these people, but two day’s for the wedding too. I didn’t want them avoiding me as the smut monster!

Turns out I had nothing to be worried by and there was in fact a little disappointment I hadn’t included the odd naughty question in my Mr and Mrs Quiz (I e-mailed the Husband to be; Matt questions beforehand to answer - questions Clare had to get right - or face... well.. more booze) although Sophie being Matt’s sister was probably grateful!

I love the Elevenden Centre Parc’s it’s accessible, the apartments are clean, spacious and well maintained plus there’s so much to do on site. Although I visited the centre in March 2011, this time - I discovered there is tiny, weeny cute little nightclub called the Forum where the DJ was very fond of auto-mix and every song jumbled into one giant collaboration – and no it wasn’t me just being drunk – the others noticed it too.... okay that’s not a good example either, but at one point LadyGaga was mixed into Jon Bon Jovi which morphed into Kung Fu Fighting!

Clockwise Starting from: Me, Helen, Sophie, Bev, Gem and Clare

Saturday was spent in the huge pool and slides, followed by a leisurely float in a pedalo, a delicious Mexican feast cooked by Sophie and then a four hour trip to the heavenly spa.

The Spa were great about the wheelchair – I’m always worried about tire marks and scuffs in places like this but after falling over and managing to kick the spa wall resulting a week of agony on my last visit, I was taking my chair everywhere!

I have to say there was a point where I was laying outside on a water bed, in my bikini, at 8pm on a warm evening and thought - how very lucky I really am!

L x

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Push Girls

Starting my mission to gain 2,500 readers before my 2 year blogging anniversary I thought I’d look for other disability blogs.... I had some trouble find any that weren’t depressing or abandoned.

I came across Tiffany Carlson who writes a disability blog, Beauty Ability about fashion, dating and general disability issues. Her column on New is witty, honest and funny.

Amongst her articles I saw one called Push Girls Review of Episode 1. Push Girls is a reality TV show that aired in the US earlier this month. It follows four women living in L.A who’s motto is “When you can’t stand up, stand out”. Yup us wheelies have a reality show of our own but with fun and substance.

These reality “stars” aren’t paid to get drunk, sleep around and glue diamonds to their nether regions, they want to show the world you can be fabulous, sexy, fun, dance, love AND be in a wheelchair.

I’m pretty much at ease with my disability, 18 years after I planted my butt upon my first heavy, clonking NHS tank of a wheelchair it can still suck and get I can still, on the odd occasion, get down about it, but a majority of the time I’m upbeat, optimistic and whizzing around in Flossie (wheelchair) or the GoGo (Scooter), but growing up I was lost and very much in need of other disabled role (roll! Hehe!) models.

Young disabled people need these kind of shows to high light that you can have a life, not half hearted attempts at disability in soap operas when they employ awful actors or cut their story lines when they either get criticism or find the story lines too hard to handle and the character moves away or more depressingly – dies!

Push Girls is a positive spin (I’m full of puns today!) on disability, life and ability to live it to its fullest. I’m just hoping they’ll air the series in the UK or better yet make one here!

L x

Monday 18 June 2012

Spain 2012 Part 5

I know I know, I’ve been slack as always; I’ve been swept off Planet Blog by hen’s do’s, Birthdays, weddings, gigs and rebuilding our destroyed kitchen. Luckily I’m home for at least two months now and only one big occasion a week instead of the 5 I had over the Jubilee weekend (including my own Birthday – grand old ago of 28 now!)

I’ve set myself a challenge; I’ve 14,000 readers in 22 months. I have 7 weeks until this blog is 2 years old! Can’t you believe it? Me neither? Queue re-reading, re-living and no doubt cringing as I look back on some of my rants and ramblings! So to help me get my butt back in gear I want to reach for 16,500 reads by 09/08/12, which means I’ll be writing a lot more so if you’re already sick of me unsubscribe/unfollow/block me now!

Spain 2012 Part 5

Our last day in Spain was warm but with gail force winds (we later spoke to regulars who hadn’t experienced winds like that in 25 years worth of visits) but we braved the flying debris and the sand in our eyes to take a bus to Cambrills - Costa Dorada’s culinary capital according to Trip Advisor and one of our reps said it boasted the small Spanish village charm with white washed houses and a bustling harbour.

Could we find any of that charm? Could we heck! There were only a dozen authentic Spanish villia’s and they weren’t even white and the bustling harbour was dead – probably because of the winds so we'll forgive that one but the town was dead, dead boring. I’m sure there are exquisitely beautiful parts of Cambrills but the kids were getting tired of our fruitless search and the rest of us bar Mum were hungover lol!

We headed back to the hotel and feasted on yet more sea food, anti pasti and fresh locally group fruit and veg – I was definitely going to miss the hotel restaurant!!

Bye Bye Spain! 

We had early nights all round; the coach collecting us to go to the airport was arriving at 6am. When we awoke the winds were still high and incredibly mighty, I did wonder if we’d be able to take off!!

After a slightly bumpy ride home we arrived just in time for the 4 glorious days of British Summer, I do love going away but coming home to pasty white or lobster red fellow English (wo)men makes me happy!

L x

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Spain 2012 Part 4

As we were only an hour away from Barcelona, Steve, Nicola, Kate and Dan took a day trip to the city where they were entertained by street performers, delighted by the markets and wowed by the Gaudi Cathedral. Mike and I decided not to go as the trains from our resort were completely in accessible but he’s promised me a weekend there soon (you’re all my witnesses!)

Mike booked a 24km bike ride on the mountains surrounding our resort aptly named the Downhill Bike Ride; he says the views were amazing and his tour guides Sean and Rob made the whole trip humorous and a must do in Salou.

So while our travellers were out exploring I had lunch with my Mum and the kids followed by a couple of hours in the indoor pool. By this point of the trip Spains’ weather had started to match England’s so a heated pool was just what we needed, in those couple of hours Charley and Koran who I’d hardly seen all week due to their love of the kids club got over their fear of going under water and every two minutes I’d hear “Lynsey....Lynsey.... LYNSEY!!! Watch!!” as they swam and occasionally sank lol!!

Charley - not drowning!
The evening was a quiet affair since most of our group were tired from their days out.

The following day we went back to Aquapolis attempting to get tans and this time trying not to hurt myself; I managed 4 slides before doing so – an incredible feat I think, I whacked my back on the way down a lethal yellow beast this time (such a delicate flower – I know!).

In the evening I was medicated up to the eye balls but we thought it a great idea to go on a night out with our hotel reps!!

After dinner and tarting ourselves up; we headed to Chaplins where we were greeted with cherry shots and Jamie from Channel 4’s Seven Dwarfs who was comparing in the club. I had a little chat with him about the show and his work at Chaplins and found out they’re filming a second series of Seven Dwarfs – cannot wait!

The evenings first drinking game involved Mike, Steve, Dan and a guy who is now known as Random Ginger, with their tops off, pints in their hands when they were told they’d have to lick armpits and kiss each other (pecks!) – I almost choked on my drink at this point! To be fair that was the most tame of the drinking games of the night; I didn’t participate – just took the photo’s muhahahahahahaha <- evil laugh!

Oh dear
From Chaplins we went to four other pubs/clubs called; Christy’s Irish Bar, Kiss, Bus Stop and 007 – where Mike started another conga line which this time headed out of the club and I, at one point was left on my tod waiting for them all to come back!!

In the moment.....
Being typically English we had chips on the way home and I was tucked in bed by 2am.

L x

Sunday 3 June 2012

Spain 2012 Part 3

As part of our package in Spain we had unlimited entry into the water park next door called Aquapolis. With numerous pools, tons of slides, waterfalls, fountains and kids toys, not to mention the dolphins and seal enclosure it’s a fun place to be!

The pools were initially freezing, but once you got used to them you were fine, most of the slides have a lot of stairs to get to top so I avoided those to play with my nieces in the kids pool but what did I do? Fell over in 20 inches of water, bruising, my arm, hips and breaking a toe (crushing my dignity at the same time with a major wedgie implanting itself firmly where the sun doesn’t shine!).

So after de-wedgie-ing myself I sat by pool side munching on pain medication whilst watching the others swam, slipped, slid and most importantly not killing themselves!

R-L: Mike, Dan, Steve & Kate
(Saving ourselves a fortune having the Aquapolis in our package was slightly marred when each of our sun loungers were 5 euro’s each and lockers were 9 Euros each so be warned!)

Mike, Steven, Nicola, Kate, Dan and I had booked ourselves tickets to the House of Illusions, a spectacular magic show that had me completely speechless and dumbfounded.

When we arrived the hostess’ told us that if we each paid an extra 5 Euro’s we had a front row table with unlimited champagne, beer and wine; well, it would have been rude not to! Plus if you ask your taxi driver for a receipt from Estival Park everyone gets a free drink on arrival – boozy bonus!

Going into the venue we were greeted by Matt Wright – I think possibly one of the best magicians I have ever seen (including those on TV). Whilst waiting to go into the main room he treated us to a session of close up magic. I can’t even begin explain the tricks to you, I suppose that’s the point!!

Along with Matt Wright we saw David Taylor, Matthew Fraser, Dan Allam, Luke Cook and Glenn Bonnar doing some of the most amazing tricks we had all seen including;

My brother being called up and come on to by a gay Wizard Puppet who proceed to read his and Kate’s minds.

A woman being cut in half but there was no box or saws only lasers across middle then suddenly her legs were on one side of the stage and her unfazed head and body were on the other!

Matt Fraser hammered a nail into his nose!

And at one point there was a lady floating mid air!

I don’t want to give too much away in case any of you are lucky enough to go see this truly spectacular show (so no pictures – sorry!) it’s well worth every penny and I would go back a million times to try work out how it’s all done!

Back at the Hotel....

After the show we got a taxi back to the hotel where the hotel night club was still open; I can’t work out if the staff loved or hated us when we have the entire club do a conga line and a huge (Mike lead) gathering of the Cha Cha slide!

Very much worse for wear (sometimes I’m thankful for my wheelchair!) we got into bed around 4am!
L x

Saturday 2 June 2012

Spain 2012 Part 2

On day two of our holiday Charley and Koran were dying to go to the kids club where today’s theme was pirates (I think the rest of us wanted to join in too, sadly the club was for 12yrs and under, although my 22yr old sister might just have passed for that!) the rest of us took a lovely accessible bus to the town of Tarragona.

Tarragona is south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, famous for the Roman ruins held under the care of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and it’s beautiful cathedral.
Tarragona Cathedral

We.... ok I, took a lot of photo’s in Tarragona as there a beautiful authentic Spanish buildings and houses surrounding the cathedral, although Mike and Steve were more amazed that you could buy all the flavours of Cheeto’s from a shop there – it’s like travelling with monkeys.

Streets of Tarragona
Collecting our wannabe Pirates from kids club we headed for dinner where I feasted on sea snails, octopus and shell fish; my nieces and nephews are so good with their food they happily tried octopus tentacle salad and loved it!

We took the kids to the onsite disco where they boogied to their hearts content, as did us adults doing an action perfect rendition of the Superman song you know the one; sneeze, ring the bell, kiss.............SUPERMAN!

Once my Mum and the kids had gone to bed we headed to park 2 (we were staying in No. 1) were we saw a frickin awesome cover band called Reservoir Rocks; queue an evening of green cocktails, Beatles/Kings of Leon/Rolling Stones etc covers and some hot moved from us lot! The night ended with Dan in a huge terracotta pot... as you do! 

Dan in a Pot

L x