Monday, 28 July 2014

Glastonbury on Tor. The Abbey, The Tor and Where Jesus once Walked

Glastonbury Tor
Let me tell you about Glastonbury and how it's come to be my favourite place in the UK to visit, in case you're looking at the possibility of a UK staycation this Summer. If you follow my blog, chances are you might be a smidgen spiritual, so this will be right up your street. 

Glastonbury Tor is my highlight of Glastonbury. It's run by the National Trust so is a serious place, for ramblers and heritage site followers to go to, as well as a sought after destination for the discerning spiritual hippy! The world and his wife are to be found up there; all with children, dogs or both it would seem. Sadly in 2010 the Holy Thorn Tree was cut down in an act of vandalism. That article mentions Joseph of Arimathea going to Glastonbury but no mention of Jesus. However, there's a film: "And Did Those Feet" all about Jesus' trip to England, including amongst other places: Glastonbury. 

My fascination with Glastonbury does NOT begin or end with the Jesus connection, although it's something I've been aware of for over 20 years. I have celebrated Summer Solstice in Glastonbury several times as a yogi; lots of special memories.

It's not that steep an upward climb, but does have approximately 300 shallow meandering steps, but unfit me, I'll be honest, finds it hard exercise indeed. It's windier and cooler at the top than you'd expect! Bring a rug and picnic, as once you've feasted your eyes on the views you won't want to leave!
View from top of Glastonbury Tor
Did you know?
that the famous song Jerusalem (often held up as England's unofficial National Anthem) is based upon a poem by William Blake, which is all about the fact that Jesus is believed to have set foot on English soil - the first line of the poem is "And Did Those Feet" which lends itself to the name of the movie I mentioned above. The poem was not even called Jerusalem, but rather: "Prelude to Milton". I have heard the hymn Jerusalem countless times over the years, and only just read the lyrics tonight, when researching this post. I almost had my belief by osmosis without understanding why - but I know more now! When I know something to be true at a cellular level, I sometimes don't question it.
Today Glastonbury Abbey presents itself as "traditionally the oldest above-ground Christian church in the world," which according to the legend was built at Joseph's behest to house the Holy Grail, 65 or so years after the death of Jesus.[46]The legend also says that as a child, Jesus had visited Glastonbury along with Joseph. The legend probably was encouraged during the medieval period when religious relics and pilgrimages were profitable business for abbeys. William Blake mentioned the legend in a poem that became a popular hymn, "Jerusalem" (see And did those feet in ancient time). SOURCE: Wikipedia Glastonbury
The entrance to Glastonbury Abbey

This videos below will show you how very beautiful Glastonbury Abbey is:

UK Break Aways has compiled a list of their top 6 weekends away/short breaks. Currently in that list is Weston Super Mare, which is only a 45 minute drive from Glastonbury! They are currently advertising weekend and mid week breaks for August, which are very reasonably priced!

If you enjoyed this post and would also like to blog about your favourite place to visit, then enter UK Break Away's competition here: Win 250 pounds in cash as the top prize. See link for how to enter and details of the other prizes. This post is my entry. Good luck with yours.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My Pamper Afternoon with Wilko

I headed off to Liverpool Street today, and then to Devonshire Square.

You know you're in the City when your surroundings start to look like this:
What I was actually looking for was Devonshire Terrace which was to be the venue for a Wilko Health & Beauty event.
I'll do a dedicated post when it's not 3 a.m. like it is right now, but suffice to say, I had a very chilled afternoon.
My favourite range out of everything I saw was the "Fruits" hence my colourful pic above. The highlight of that range, is the bath you can buy for only 1.50 pounds to store your bath side toiletries in. They come in several colours, just like the range itself and I can't wait to get my hands on one (no there wasn't one in my goodie bag) - fruits bath pink. The "Fruits" products are 1.50 pounds each or three for 3 pounds. A Fruits "bath" full of Fruits products would therefore be a very attractive, very affordable gift.

I'll do a dedicated Wilko beauty post tomorrow, but I just wanted to share what a lovely afternoon I had.

I knew I wouldn't remember what the product Buyers said when I got home, and I knew you may be interested too, so I recorded them, talking passionately about my two favourite ranges there: Kiss and Fruits. See below:

It has to be said though, that their travel range and their suncare range are both superb too. EVERYTHING is SO cheap!!!

Disclosure: I went to a Wilko #WilkoSneakPeek event today at which I got a tour of the beauty ranges, refreshments and a goodie bag. I can't wait to tell you about the ranges I saw. All top quality and such incredibly great value!

Until I write more about the ranges I saw at the event, you can see what Wilko themselves have to say on their own blog: Introducing our new Health & Beauty Ranges.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Play Online Bingo Today

I "suffer" from something called Beginner's Luck. Literally every time I do something for the first time I WIN!

As a child, first game of Monopoly, I won! First game of Game of Life, I won! Now you could say, the adults were seeing that I was new to a game and letting me win, but no, the adults/friends in my life were quite competitive so that was not it.

Add to that the fact that the first time I had a bet, I won too! My step-Dad was betting on the horses, and I went with him. I did a Yankee. It involved betting on 4 or 5 horses. It's like an accumulator isn't it? Or something like that. Well anyway, I only put on a pound and I won 47 pounds, so you can see how good the odds were!

I never ever bet on a horse again, as I am not a gambler and beginner's luck, by its very definition only works the once right?

One thing I have never thrown my hand to is online bingo and I keep meaning to.

Just had a watch of this:

And I am thinking I might pop my online bingo cherry with As you can see they are offering 20 pounds free for new players, subject to terms and conditions (see site). You have to create an account and deposit and play five pounds in order to qualify.

The husband heard me saying to his Mum today, that whenever I pray, I get what I asked for, so he said I should play for a lottery win. I said to him I don't believe it's our destiny to win the lottery - I honestly believe that, but look at the good luck of these folks:

This post was brought to you by Paddy Power, but all wording is my own. I honestly am yet to try online bingo, but will be giving it a go in the very near future.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Planes 2 Fire & Rescue - Review - Gala Screening Leicester Square

We've seen Planes 2 Fire & Rescue today, and loved it. We told you on You Tube recently that we were going, in a: funny video with me, Aaron and his Dusty "Planes" umbrella. Having seen the first Planes film at the cinema, it's always been Dusty that Aaron's talked about ever since.

So today saw us head off very early this morning to Leicester Square which is very dear to my heart as that is where the husband and I did all of our courting in the 80s and 90s, so I love the nostalgia of going back to our cinematic stomping ground.

I saw Muppets Most Wanted there, not that long ago also on a preview, so I wasn't prepared for what I saw on arrival today. There was literally a fire engine and Fire Fighters set up outside the Odeon Leicester Square. Of course, being a blogger, it provided some BEAUTIFUL photo opps!
Once I'd papped the kids, we went inside for the Fun in the Foyer (which was laid on for this preview Gala Screening). There was balloon making and lots going on, with a huge buzz of excitement. My favourite pre-movie activity was the opportunity to stand in front of a "green screen" to get the photo you see at the top of this post. Being that it's Disney they didn't do things by halves. I was given TWO printed copies of the photo, each in folders, on photo paper, right there and then (one for each of the kids: Aaron and his cousin) along with a receipt, which meant I was also able to download the photo. EXCELLENT!

The attention to detail didn't end there though. When we finally made our way to the auditorium (or screen) there were complimentary bottles of water at every seat (given that it was hot and muggy today these went down a treat). In addition to that though there was a packet of Dino Paws and a box of Alphabites cereal on each and every seat (I munched mine like popcorn - yummy).

In the movie, Dusty is no longer competing:
In short, Dusty (Dane Cook) has a busted part that can’t be replaced or repaired. As such, he can’t race. Understandably dejected, he finds himself able to help his old friends by getting certified as a firefighting plane. Source: Forbes Planes 2 review.
Dusty's problem is a broken gear box by the way! This film sees him become a Forest Firefighter, leaving his competitive days behind him.

My feedback on the movie:
  1. At Sunday dinner today with my cousin and her husband after the film, I remarked to them how kids' films are normally full of adult humour that goes over the head of the kids, while making it fun for parents to accompany kids to the cinema. I remarked that this was lacking, but that I shouldn't complain, as my niece and son LOVED the film and THAT is what's important. (Yes I did hear one joke though: "She left me for a hybrid. I didn’t hear it coming." BOOM BOOM.
  2. I also remarked that the film was relatively short (it's only 80 minutes). With children's concentration spans, this is not necessarily a bad thing and was just perfect for us today.
  3. Finally I commented that there was nothing alarming or scary in there, even the fire scenes did not distress my son (4 years old) or niece (6 years old). Aaron jumped a couple of times, but only due to bangs and loud noises as we were literally in the front row.
  4. I wasn't confident enough in my film reviewing skills to mention the above three points in this review, however, having done some research online, the Forbes review of Planes 2, confirms and includes all three of "my" points above.
  5. Did you know the first Planes movie was intended to go straight to DVD? I am so glad they have made it into a movie franchise instead. This second film is an improvement on the first (which we loved) which is so often NOT the case with sequels.
  6. Incidentally the Forbes review also states "but it cares enough to give audiences of all sizes a real story told with restraint and intelligence along with some beautiful animation to go with it". 
  7. There's a lot more to this statement than the Forbes review covers. The fire scenes took 2.5 years to get right AND the Director went out to meet real fire fighters so that their story could be authentically told. This was VERY important to the Director as he explains here: "putting their lives on the line everyday for strangers" which is why the movie's strapline is

When others fly out, heroes fly in!

Large scale fires, like we see so accurately depicted in the movie, sadly do happen in real life, in the States.

The Director told us today how he brought REAL Firefighters together to watch a screening of the movie. This touched my heart and fascinated me, so I did not rest till I found reference to it online. It makes an interesting read:

So enough of my ramblings, you can watch the official UK trailer here (with your kiddies):

By the way, the film is 3D, which works really well for the stunning landscapes and scenery. It took Aaron about 10 minutes before he had the guts to watch the film with the glasses on, but then he was hooked. So bring your glasses if you have them from other 3D movies:
The film has its own website so head over there for pictures (that illustrate the stunning animation present in the movie), activities, games, a list of the characters and so much more.

Disclosure: I saw the film today. I was not given any other incentive, other than the movie and refreshments. All opinions above are my own except where clearly indicated, and I remain very honest.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

7 Things Nobody Tells You About Potty or Toilet Training

  1. It doesn't just require them to be ready, you need to be ready too! We lost a year due to this, and cost a year in nappies (trained at 3 instead of age 2).
  2. When they have accidents their SHOES get wet too! Aaron hadn't had an accident in 3 months but due to helping a friend with a house move, he could see that I couldn't go inside to the loo with him so he didn't even ask. His canvas high tops got wet and I had a chance of clothes, but not socks and socks. He was so uncomfortable in them, we had to get an "expensive" taxi home. That was a lesson I never forgot but it never happened again.
  3. Being out of nappies doesn't mean being out of nappies. NIGHT TIME is the problem! Especially if they still have milk at night. See point 7.
  4. Being able to do a wee in the toilet/potty doesn't mean a poo will be anywhere near as easy! He point blank used to refuse to do a poo in a loo and we used to sometimes spend an hour in there. This took weeks not days to resolve.
  5. Being out and about and needing a toilet turns out not to be a big deal - they can hold it for a short while.
  6. It is not just a physical process it is just as much a mental one. Bladder control takes time, even when they do get their head around it. What I mean here is, in the early days he once did a wee 7 times in one hour. It was like he either needed to learn bladder control or just get his head around holding it. This took a few days, so I would do the training when you can stay at home for a few days, at least 3 or 4.
  7. PULL UPS are too DAMN expensive!!!!! To get round this I used Lidl ones, which I think are 2.99 pounds for a pack of 18. The market leader ones are just far too dear when you are using them every night, i.e. you could spend as much as 15 or 20 pounds a month on just those.