Tuesday 23 July 2013

My Cadbury Chocolate Victory Pool Party - Summer 2013 Heat Wave

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  
Social Fabric® Community.  
has been compensated as part of a 
social shopper insights study 
for Collective Bias 
and their client.

We've been having a heat wave. I had to look it up to check if it is heatwave or heat wave, but never mind all that, it is HOT HOT HOT.

heat wave

an air mass of high temperature covering an extended area and moving relatively slowly.
a period of abnormally hot and usually humid weather.

A time to have 
your body in a pool 
your chocolate in the fridge. 
Eating refrigerated chocolate, in a pool, in the sun, is my idea of heaven.

But then, so is, dunking a biscuit, in a cappuccino! Which is what I did whilst I awaited the long arrival of my guests!  Aaron had a couple too as we were waiting for them to arrive to have lunch.

with coffee while waiting for guests to arrive

Anyway, I digress. Back to the beginning of this story.

Once upon a time...

... a hard working lass, who'd worked her butt off for 23 years, and never had a gap year, and even worked through maternity leave (from "home") was made redundant.  Summer 2012.  July to be precise.  Violins please!

In the October, at the last minute, just before the deadline, I decided to do my ET1.  The form that is the beginning of the Employment Tribunal process.  The redundancy consultation had not been done correctly.

It was with a heavy heart as I did it purely for myself, when I knew I had wanted/planned to do it for "everyone".  Anyway if you believe in God, and the power of prayer, and the old saying "what is for you won't pass you" you'll know that things have a habit of working out.

My hearing was a LONG time coming, (like 7 months) but when it did, I met a Solicitor, in the waiting room.  We'd never have spoken but I am a gobby cow chatterbox and to cut a long story short, he came into the Tribunal with me, making himself a "friend of the court" (neither of us could remember the Latin word for that), and (a) got the Judge to agree to postpone my hearing or rather "stay" it to use the official term (b) agreed to represent me (c) agreed to represent everyone.  I couldn't give him my file notes quick enough and off he went on the train. Until we'd meet again.

And that, we recently did!

Thanks to my file, which I'd prepared when I thought I was representing myself, we did not even need to meet in person, prior to my reconvened hearing.  We only needed a couple of emails and a couple of brief phone calls.  Based on everything I'd provided he knew what to do! He added his welcome expertise and job done!

Due to my status in the proceedings, I was allowed to represent everyone despite none of them bringing a claim. To cut a long story short, we won! What is ironic is a lot of them don't even know yet.  So it is a quiet victory for now, but a victory it is nonetheless.

And then my Solicitor took me for a beer two beers, each! Pints! Cold beer on a hot day = delish!  Even before the hearing we had coffee/tea in Cafe Rouge!

I should have got the bar maid to take a photo of us, with our victory smiles but that is his arm LOL.  Wearing a suit on a hot day must be hell!
Anyway, after the beers he had to head off in a rush to get his train "ooop norf" and I was left to get on the sweltering London Underground, which after having spent 5 days in a paddling pool, was not a fun proposition even with victory in hand.

I went home and got Aaron and headed off to meet my friend Siobhan and kids in the park, still wondering how I would celebrate.

It was an easy decision to make.  Hubby had bought a "paddling pool" for Saturday 13th July as that HAD been the hottest day of the year, and I had Siobhan Fiona and the kids coming.  After that, Aaron and I had a total of 5 days in the pool - I simply loved it - quality time with Aaron and the perfect outdoor way to refreshingly cool off.  I also loved spending time with my nieces and nephews last Summer - long time readers will remember all of our many adventures.  So Friday I got on the phone to their Mum, and gave her the choice of Saturday or Sunday to bring them over, for a pool party!  She chose Sunday, which I was thrilled by, as according to bbc.co.uk, the temperatures would be higher, for perfect pool weather.

In 12 years of living here I have NEVER EVER spent this much time in the garden.  But then before I had Aaron I always worked long hours and my home was merely a place to rest my weary head.

So, pool party booked, on Saturday we headed off to do my Asda shop for this post.  We also needed some kiddy stuff that was pool friendly.  Nibbly food and lots of ice poles. 

You can see my Asda shop in my G+ album here.  I didn't get everything, as Aaron was asleep in the car, so I only got what I could afford on my card, and then hubby went to get the nuggets, chips, pizza, ketchup etc etc etc...

* Roll forward to Sunday *

The pic above is me having a coffee and biscuit while we waited, as they were VERY late.  They arrived just after 4 p.m. but that was perfect as the temperature was at its peak from 4 till 7 p.m. that day, and the sun only comes round our side of the garden from 3 p.m. onwards, so I did not mind that they were late, and it gave me time to chill after doing loads of housework, which is not easy in the heat we've been having.

Aaron and I had already eaten the Praline Fingers on Saturday :-) errrr in the car #gluttony! ;-)

Praline Fingers
Yes that is a pound sign you just about see there!!!

Come Sunday, the pool was ready for 1 p.m. as I thought that's when they'd arrive. When I was having my (above photographed) cappuccino he asked me to put his "costume" on - mine was already on. We went outside to check if it was full and to bring in the hose, and we ended up hopping right in!  It was hard to resist to be honest.

And finally they arrived.  When they arrived we were actually IN the water, which made them all laugh. The older children were OVER THE MOON to see that it wasn't your ordinary ankle dipper paddling pool :-) On Monday I actually discovered that I can fill it even more, so the below is not even it at its maximum capacity! Oh shucks I will have to have them round again ;-)

Nobody is mentioning food yet, but I get them a platter of stuff to keep their energy up while I put lunch in the oven - they haven't had lunch yet either.

Crispy Chocolatey Cereal and not to be confused with Crunchie

After many days of it only being Aaron and I in the pool, seeing him have fun with his cousins was so very heart warming to say the least.

There were  lots of tears all round at home time.

After all the excitement they calm down and chill.  Maybe it's the chocolate effect!

I am in the kitchen getting the below ready and notice behind me, out of the side of my eye, that one by one by one, they have come in and plonked themselves in front of the telly.

Only the adults remain outside.  By this time hubby has joined us too.

So it is a kiddy sitting room lunch while the adults (minus me) chill outside.

Would you believe that in addition to the above they had two large pizzas between the four of them. I didn't manage to get photos of that as I was running around like a blue arse fly, so was glad that I got that pool time with Aaron before they arrived, and as you can see below, I DO get to go in the pool later again. I am not one of those adults who just watches the kids have fun! Far too hot for that, and anyway I am like Peter Pan and have not yet grown up despite having turned 40 ;-)

When they all went in one by one, luckily they had the good sense to leave their wet muddly sandals at the door - kids CAN be sensible some times :-)

They do however drop their towels wherever they happen to land:

I was so happy when they didn't stay inside in front of the telly.

Once lunch was done they were all excited to get back outside and back in the pool, and given that the sitting room was quite cool (not in the sun at this point) I was surprised they wanted to go back out, but dead happy about it, as Winter is the time to be inside!

Finally once everyone had a full tummy and were well hydrated with drinks and ice poles, Mummy could get in the pool - yay! With my favourite little people! 

Summer 2013 heat wave

Despite the heat, chocolate is perfect as it gives you a portable boost, that is just perfect as long as it is chilled and eaten quick - yummy:

Because Mum loves chocolate


Surrounding myself in people - my favourite little people in this instance - is my way to celebrate in style.  The water and the sun were welcome guests.  The previous weekend the pool seemed too large, but you know what, when you fill it full of people, it's just right.  Just like my victory; the more the better!

Like the song goes, "one is the loneliest number that you'll ever meet"...

Chocolate in the sun is perfect if it has come from the fridge.  Guests mean it doesn't have time to melt - ha ha!  I was a little too stingy with that platter of chocolate above, but it means I have loads left in the fridge so have been having a nibble every day for days now #ooops!

So thank you Cadbury, thank you Asda, and thank you Collective Bias for helping me to celebrate!!!

By the way pool lovers, ahoy, it does get deeper still as I discovered on Monday:


  1. Wow that pool looks fabulous, I want one! Good news about the tribunal. Mich x

    1. Only 39 pounds from B&Q and worth every penny Mich xx

  2. How lovely, Pool and Chocolate! You can't go wrong with that! :) x

  3. Awww, I love these pictures. It's so much fun to play in a giant paddling pool!. I need to find us one of these.

  4. such a super pool! Congratulations on winning your case too!

    1. I would recommend it to everyone. Why should adults sit and watch? They can cool off too if they get one this big. We got ours for 39 pounds from B&Q - hubby put it on the credit card but it was worth EVERY penny xxx

  5. That pool is great. Although no outdoor tap/hose means it would take us alot of trips to the kitchen with buckets to fill it if we had one that size!

  6. Looks lik a great day, i would love a pool but none in stock anywhere a the mo,



Drop me a line, and I will visit you right back - as soon as I get chance. Thanks for your comment.