20.3.12

Thomas Land {review}

On Sunday, March 11th we all woke up excited.Our visit to Thomas Land was finally here.
Due to it not being peak season only Thomas Land and the zoo were open to the public. We were slightly limited on time, it was only open 10.30 until 2.30 and this is the only negative we had. We simply ran out of time. There was so much to cram into those 4 hours and we felt slightly rushed.
We entered via The Grill Inn and had quite a walk to reach Thomas Land. Walking past closed Drayton Manor Theme Park rides, deserted shops and maintainence works on the pathway didn't give us the desired "magical feeling" we'd hoped for but this disappointment soon left when we reached the rides.

For our first ride we [Charles and I} sat in the carriage of a train [which annoying I can not remember]  and went round and round a few times. It was basic but a lot of fun. We then went on the 'Crazy Bertie Bus' ride, which was actually quite high and fast for children. I expected a few tears from various children, Charles included, but they ALL loved it! Even I found myself smiling away whilst we were on.
We went for a walk after this and at this point Charles and my husband spotted Harolds Heli Tours and queued for around half an hour to get on. It was worth the wait and both had fun! Charles was very excited to have been able to fly a helicopter.
The boys then went on our favourite ride of the whole day. Again, I cannot remember the name of it but it was an extremely fun amd fast boat. Again we thought it would be a bit much for Charles but as he gripped on to us he couldn't help but laugh very loudly, smile and kept shouting that his tummy was going funny,

We then queued at Knapford Station to have a trip on either Thomas or Rosie. We thought we were going to circle the track and end up back where we started, so were pleasantly surprised when we were told we'd reached our stop and ended up at the zoo [which will be reviewed on another post].
If you wish you can get off and wait in the waiting area to board the train again and head back to the station or, as we did, you can get off and explore the zoo. Also here you will find a HUGE play area and the Dino Trail.
As it wasn't peak season there weren't many cafe's or restaurants open, but the one by this stop was. We stopped there for a drink. There was plenty of places to sit but I would recommend possibly taking drinks with you. We queued for a long time just for 3 drinks and heard a few other people complaining over slow staff. We lost around 20 minutes here which, when you only have 4 hours in the first place, isn't ideal.

Near the zoo there is also the Thomas and Friends Exhibition which is worth looking at. Charles loved walking around the outside following the train as at rode around the track.

We walked through the zoo and eventually ended up back in Thomas Land. We again went for a ride on Berties Bus and the boat. This time we also went to Jeremys Flying Academy so Charles could fly a plane. This was another fantastic ride.
Altogether we went on 4 rides [2 of them twice] went for a ride on Thomas, visited the zoo, walked around the Dino Trail and had time to visit the Thomas Land shop.
I wanted to visit the shop because I do like to buy the boys a little something from each place we visit. I was worried that the £7 spending money we had allocated Charles [he'd spent the other £8 the previous day at the Space Centre] wouldn't get us far. I expected the shop to take advantage of parents and overexcited children and be overpriced. This wasn't the case. I had a lot to choose from and found the prices very reasonable.

If you are very lucky then you may spot The Fat Controller and Thin Controller walking around the park. They may even stop and have a chat with you!

We had an amazing day. Suitable for all of the family and will definitely be making a return trip so we can test out the rides we didn't get time to go on and the play area.
I highly recommend Thomas Land and would say it was suitable for children of all ages. Even Harry, at 8 months old, really enjoyed himself.
Combined with a stay at Drayton Manor Hotel it would be the perfect family break.
A week and a half on and Charles still talks about it and asks to go again.

* We were given free tickets to Thomas Land for the purpose of this review.






































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18.3.12

That Voice Inside

Sometimes you can just feel so lost.
Lonely.
Like a shadow of your former self.

People you thought were friends, you thought were family, stab you in the back.
More than once.
Cutting away at the person you were.
The person you are.
Did they ever like you?

Unsettled friendships follow.
Trust is a hard thing, when you expect everyone to just up and leave and forget about you.
Because they do.
Do you ever flick back in their memory?
Maybe. But not enough for them to want to contact you.

Some will only make contact when they're bored.
Or only want to share something in their own lives.
But where were they?
Where were they when you needed them?
Where were they when you wanted them?
Friends don't close doors on others in time of need, only reopening when they are ready.
Its too late.
Too late.

Is there any point trying to make other friends?
To go through the same again.
To have to explain your "problems".
To face rejection again.
To continuously want to shout at yet another person and say:
"What about my boys?
You don't want to make an effort with me, but what about my boys? They're supposed to be special to you too.
What about Charles? Friendships excluded from him because you can't be bothered.
Because you don't want to put the effort in.
Take, take, take.
I thought you were different."

Why do you try and help?
They never listen.
Your voice is nothing. Your opinions mean nothing.
You can see what's happening. You can see what they are doing.
You try to tell but your words float in the air.
Too light to make it to the persons ears.

Crumbling.
Sometimes its feels like something inside is crumbling.
Collapsing.
No structure. No support.
We all need structure. Support.
Beams to stop us falling.
To stop us crashing to the ground.

Just a bit of time.
Just talk to me.
Just listen to what I have to say.
Just want to be in my company.
Ask how I am and want to listen.
Want to have a conversation with me.
Want to know about me.

Make me feel like me.

Slam.

Another door closed.

Creek.

Another door closing.

All noises so familiar.
All noises too familiar.

Yet it hurts everytime.
Slam.
Creek.
Everytime.
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10.3.12

Chocolate Slab {recipe}

It's my husbands birthday today!
As a stay at home mum/housewife money is tight. I want to spoil him with lots of presents but its simply not doable.
We're away this weekend, I've paid for it using my child allowance which I've saved a little each month. I wanted to give my husband some presents to unwrap and one of his favourite things in the world is....chocolate.
I could go to the shops and buy bars or boxes of chocolates.
But that's too easy.
What says I love you more than chocolates...homemade chocolates! Thats what!

Ingredients
300g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Mini marshmallows*
Almonds*
Chopped hazelnuts*
*You can use any toppings you want.

First melt down the dark and milk chocolate. I placed mine in a glass bowl over the top of a saucepan filled with water and simmering on the hob.
Once the chocolate is melted, take a baking tray, cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and then spread your chocolate mixture around the sheet. I found it easier to use a ladel to pour and spread the chocolate onto the sheet, rather than pouring it straight from the bowl.
Once you are happy with that start adding your topping.
I first added the mini marshmallows then the hazelnuts and almonds.
Once the chocolate is covered place it in the fridge for around an hour to an hour and a half [or until it has set].
You can either than serve the chocolate as one big slab or do as I have done and break it into smaller pieces and place in a gift box.
Of course you can always make smaller slabs when pouring out the chocolate on to the greaseproof paper.

Mmmmmm.
Easy and delicious!


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1.3.12

Holkham, Norfolk.

On Sunday we decided, last minute, to go to the Norfolk Coast for a picnic and a run around.
We'd left it too late to make up a picnic so we popped to the garage and grabbed some sandwiches and snacks whilst filling up the car.
We wanted to visit Wells but then decided to try somewhere new and instead ventured to Holkham.
The villages and towns we drive through on the way to Holkham are amazing. I always look at the houses and dream of owning one and living in one of these towns......some day I will.

We arrived at the parking spot. We had to pay for parking but had a limited amount of change but thankfully the machines accepted card.
We parked the car and sat and ate our picnic. The views across the North Norfolk countryside and coast were amazing, I could've just sat in the car looking at the views all afternoon. It was so relaxing.
But we had a boy who wanted to go for a walk and kick his football!
We packed up the picnic, placed Harry in the pushchair, clicked the Boomerein onto my husband and Charles and off we went.
There was a short walk along a somewhat busy lane until we went through the gate onto the public walkway.
There was then the option to walk three different ways. We went straight ahead and reached the beach, via a woodland area, within no time at all.
Charles and my husband went on a Gruffalo and big bad mouse hunt in the woodland whilst I sat and fed Harry. There are plenty of benches around obviously placed to accommodate breastfeeding mummys rest tired feet and take in the surroundings.
Once we reached the end of the wooden walkway there was a steep slope down onto the beach.
I stay at the top of the slope and, once again, fed Harry whilst my husband and Charles explored the muddy seaside. Charles had lots of fun splashing [and falling] in puddles left over from the sea.

Our visit was short-lived as Charles got too much water in his wellies and ended up sat in Harrys pushchair. Harry was grumpy and only wanted to be cuddled so it was a good for both of them.
We'll be visiting another day in the year and will pack spare wellies, and take the sling with us. And spending a lot more time there than the couple of hours which we did.
There's so much to do, walking for miles along the coastline, playing football, flying kites, building sandcastles, exploring and digging for treasure, perfect for a day out!





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