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Music Monday

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I’m sharing today is my all time favourite song by my hero, David Bowie:

Heroes by David Bowie

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins
Like dolphins can swim

Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh, we can be heroes just for one day

I, I will be King
And you, you will be Queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be heroes just for one day
We can be us just for one day

I, I can remember
(I remember)
Standing by the wall
(By the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads
(Over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall
(Nothing could fall)

And the shame, was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes just for one day

We can be heroes
We can be heroes
We can be heroes just for one day

 
 
 

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One Lovely Blog Award

one-lovely-blogger-award

I was nominated for this award by Fee, at FeeRtheDragon. – Thank you, Fee ❤

I thought it would be fun to take part, so here goes:

1. If you could be an inanimate object, what would you be?

A good book.
I’d be able to bring some joy to someone and keep reality away for a while.

 
2. Where would you like to visit, and why?

America

A: because there’s so much to see and do, and B: because lots of awesome authors live there and hopefully, I’d be able to meet them, buy their books, get them to sign them… and no horrendous postage costs 😉

 
3. If you could be any animal, what would you be?Cookie

A cat…
for no other reason than I like cats

 
4. What was your dream as a child?

Honestly!? I have no idea

 
5. If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, what  would you choose?

Chocolate or cheese?
Cheese or chocolate?
I’ll go with cheese, as there are plenty of different ones to choose from. I’d miss chocolate though.. and cakes… and ice-cream…

 
6. If you could be a color, what color would you choose?

My favourite colour is purple, so yeah, I’d be purple!

 
 
7. Would you rather be rich and unhappy, or poor and happy?

I’d love to mix the two and be rich and happy, wouldn’t most of us?
But given the choices, I think I’ll stay as I am – poor and happy. 🙂

 
8. What is your biggest accomplishment?

My first thought was ‘I don’t feel as though I’ve accomplished much in my life – just muddled on through.’  Thinking about it though, that is my biggest accomplishment – I’m still here and I’m still muddling through!!

 
9. Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?

Not really. If forced to pick something I’d say Pyjamas, I live in my PJ’s (when I’m at home).

 
10. What is your all time favorite song?

Some of the previous questions took some thinking about, but this one is easy.
Heroes by David Bowie

 
And that’s it from me!

I’m not going to tag anyone, but I am going to add some of my own questions below and if you’re reading this and would like to take part, I would love you to either leave a link to your post in the comments, or leave your answers in the comments.

Thank you for reading and thanks again to Fee for nominating me.

  1. If you could invent a new flavour of ice cream, what would it be?
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
  3. Name your favourite book and author?
  4. What would you want to be written on your headstone?
  5. Which fictional character, book or film, would you like to meet?
  6. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
  7. Name one food will you NOT eat
  8. If you were given a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  9. What is your biggest fear?
  10. If you could be a supernatural being (dragon, werewolf, vampire, etc.), what would you be?

Gulliver’s World – Warrington, UK

An update to my rant on May 6th:

Saturday, May 12th

I received a phone call from a member of staff  who said she had a reference number and a hotline number for me so that I could claim my replacement tickets. I explained once again why replacement tickets were no good for me. The reply was that refunds were not being offered, and that she would make a note by my name. I waited for more information as to what would happen next, or what to do, but didn’t get any further information as she hung up – without giving me the reference number or hotline number.

 
Monday, May 14th

I rang ‘Gully’s Hotline’ as that was the only number I could find. I explained the situation and was given an email address and told to explain what had happened.

 
Tuesday, May 15th

Email sent to Gullivers world.

 
Tuesday, May 22nd

Repeat email sent!

 
I sent the email again today (31st May) and also sent a copy of it via the contact form on Gulliver’s World website.

 

Yay I got a reply, however I disagree with a number of points:

1 – First email was sent 15/05/18, which is 16 days ago. (petty I know, but…)
2 – The power was not restored in 35 minutes.
3 – I would be interested to know how the remaining customers were informed, as we were told, rather rudely, that ‘there was no way to inform visitors of what was happening as there was no tannoy system’.
4 – I didn’t receive a reference number or hotline number and have therefore not received any tickets.

 

Dear Lorraine,

Thank you for your recent email communication. As detailed, all customer feedback will be responded to, where appropriate, and within 14 working days of receipt *1. Please accept my apology if you feel my reply is delayed in any way.

Gulliver’s as a company will not authorise any form of refund for the brief power cut we encountered. The power cut was not a direct result of Gulliver’s, we were not the only business or resident who sadly suffered a temporary loss to the power supply. Gulliver’s took more than adequate steps to restore the power to our Theme Park, this was done within 35 minutes *2 of the power cut taking place. We extended our opening hours by 30 minutes to allow our customers to use the rides and facilities. Sadly, a small amount of customers chose to leave before we could give them this information *3.

Gulliver’s as a company operated in full accordance of our terms and conditions of entrance during your visit. With this in mind, we will not authorise any form of refund for the power cut we encountered.

The tickets of which have been given to you *4 are solely as a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience caused.

Lorraine, I am sorry if my email is not as expected, however, Gulliver’s will not authorise a refund for your visit.

Kind Regards

P*** D*****
Guest Services Duty Manager
Gulliver’s Theme Parks
Warrington, Matlock Bath & Milton Keynes

Sunrise over Snowdon

snowdon

Snowdon Summer Sunrise Guided Walk Information

Not only is climbing Snowdon a great challenge, but tackling it in the dark is even more impressive. It will be a fantastic morning and watching the sunrise from the summit is a breath-taking sight (as long as the weather is good, we’re keeping everything crossed!).

The walk will start at 1.00am and we ask you to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure (12.45am). The sunrise is at 4.48am allowing a 3 hour window to get to the summit. The expected finish time will be around 8am, but this will obviously depend on the speed of your group and weather conditions.

What you need to bring:

The weather in Snowdonia can rapidly change. You can be basking in the sun, dripping wet in torrential rain and freezing cold in strong winds, all within a few hours. Below is what you should wear and bring with you.
Essential:

  • Head torch.

This is extremely important. Please also bring spare batteries and I would also recommend a small hand torch. There are many types and brands of head torch, and prices vary dramatically, but you can get a good one for around £30.

  • Walking boots

Good quality that are comfortable and previously broken in. Attempting a long mountain walk with brand new boots will lead to very painful feet and ankles. Ensure you’ve had a few long walks in your boots so that they are broken into adequately.

  • Walking socks

Comfortable walking socks. Thicker isn’t always better. Try socks out with your boots and get the perfect fit. If you are buying new boots from an outdoors retailer, ask for advice on socks too.

  • Waterproofs

It rains a lot in Wales!

  • Rucksack/daysack

Large enough to carry your supplies. 10-25 litres are generally a good size.
Again, with all kit, try and test it prior to the walk to ensure it’s comfortable

Other clothing:

Comfort and warmth is key. You will get colder the higher you go so plan for this.

  • Loose fitting trousers or stretchy leggings/hiking tights.
  • Loose t-shirt that will wick away sweat.
  • Mid-layer such as a fleece jacket/jumper or a softshell jacket. Also, carry an extra warm top in your bag.
  • Shell jacket and trousers (waterproofs) ideally windproof.
  • Hat and gloves (in a waterproof bag). Even in the summer the temperature can rapidly drop.

Training and fitness:

This route is not technically difficult, but the amount of walking in terms of distance and time will certainly be challenging, not to mention the hundreds of metres of ascent. Getting out in your boots a few weeks before the event is essential. You don’t need to be tackling big mountains but walking for as long as you can help condition your body. If you can add a few hills to your walks, then that’s even better. Long country walks, minimum 2-3 hours, is a good way to prepare.

Go for long weekend walks, starting off with short distances, and gradually building up the distances. Starts with 2-3 miles walks and aim to be increasing this weekly.

Also, try to focus on ‘time on your feet’. This is similar to marathon training where you don’t have to focus on distance but focus on time. Get accustomed to walking for 4-5 hours.

Hills! If you can factor in some hills, then you will quickly improve your leg strength and stamina. The more hills the better. Even if you find just one, try and walk up and down it several times. If you are a member of a gym try increasing the incline on the treadmill and walking at a brisk pace.

Two weeks before the event find a day to have a trial run in your gear. Find some hills if you can, wear all your gear, carry your pack and get comfortable walking with everything you will take with you.

My Checklist:

  • Head torch (& hand torch)   check
  • Walking boots   check
  • Walking socks   check
  • Waterproofs   check
  • Daysack   check
  • Stretchy leggings   check
  • Loose t-shirt   check
  • Fleece jacket & fleece jumper   check
  • Waterproof & windproof jacket and trousers   check
  • Hat & gloves   check

My training and fitness:

I try to get out twice a week for long walks. I do one on my own, with headphones and music, and one with my daughter, Zoe.

I always wear my walking boots (with my walking socks) to ‘break them in’, although they have been comfortable from the start. I haven’t worn the waterproofs as there hasn’t been the need, also, because I’m not tall, the trousers need taking up and I haven’t got round to it yet!

It’s not difficult to add in some hills, it would be harder to avoid them round here… I live on one. lol  Having said that, some of my longer walks have been along the canal, which is flat.

When I go out with Zoe, we always walk up to Williamson Park, which is at the top of a long hill. We add a climb up the stairs (one of these days I’ll remember to count how many stairs there are) of the Ashton Memorial, before having a rest and then making the return journey. Zoe also lives on a hill!!

 

Oh! Nearly forgot to say…
I stopped smoking on Monday, so hopefully, I’ll be able to walk up all these hills, at a decent pace, without gasping for breath!!

 

 

Sunrise over Snowdon

Wordless Wednesday

 

Sunrise over Snowdon

 

Gulliver’s World – Warrington, UK

I had scheduled an update on my Sunrise over Snowdon trip for today. However, I am postponing that because today I need to rant!

Yesterday was my daughter, Zoe’s, birthday and after struggling for a few days to think of somewhere to go or something to do, we made a spur of the moment decision to travel to Warrington and visit Gulliver’s World.

Best Family Day Out in Cheshire

With over 80 rides, attractions and shows to see each day, Gulliver’s World guarantees you one of the best family days out in the UK. Gulliver’s World is the perfect theme park for children.

We’re a family run theme park, specially designed for families with children aged between 2 and 13 years of age. Our age-appropriate rides and attractions undoubtedly make Gulliver’s one of the best days out for toddlers and older children in the North West. Older kids will love the excitement of the dodgems, log flumes and tree-tops swings; while the younger ones can play around in the Clown School!

We pride ourselves on giving you one of the best value-for-money fun days out in the UK and it’s worth following Gulliver’s on Facebook and subscribing for our special offers!

*From their website

We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, so after just over an hour by train and taxi, (with the kids trying to guess where we were going) and approx £70 lighter in our pocket, we arrived at Gulliver’s World at 11am, just half an hour after it opened. There weren’t long queues to gain entry, so we paid our £74 entry fee (2 adults & 2 children) and we were in. We were all excited and looking forward to our day, as we hadn’t been before.

Having paid at the entrance we had ‘paper tickets’ and were directed in through a gate off to the side of the main entrance which I thought was a bit strange. As a ‘bonus’, however, it was Princess and Pirates day and my grandkids got treasure bags containing a couple of coins and gems which they were told they could trade with princesses and pirates to get better treasure and at the end of the day they could trade that in for prizes. Sounds good doesn’t it… except that except for the princesses at the entrance who gave them the bags, we didn’t see another princess or pirate during our visit!!

My first impression was that it looked old and tired, and could do with a lick of paint and a bit of TLC.

We wandered through the Entrance Plaza and into Wonderland, where we joined a short queue for the Mad Hatters Tea Party (spinning teacups) while we waited the kids went into the Maze of Cards – a small wooden maze, with no cards! The Mad Hatters Tea Party was fun although I did get a bit queasy from the spinning, lol! From there we went on the Fire Engine Ride and then on into Western World where we joined the queue for Apache Falls (water ride).

While we were in the queue the ride broke down, we waited while they got it running again and after around half an hour we got our turn. It was a great ride, we laughed and got soaked. Unfortunately, this was the highlight of the day!!

There didn’t appear to be much going on in Gully’s Cartoon Studios, but we decided to stop and have lunch at Gully’s Grill. The average price for a burger/chicken burger with fries and a drink was £7 (overpriced but expected in a theme park).

After eating we moved on to Smuggler’s Wharf and the Antelope Wooden Coaster. My grandson and I are not fans of coasters so neither of us were too upset to find that the ride had broken down, although it was a huge disappointment for my daughter and grand-daughter. We decided to come back later and went to stand in line for the Pirate Ship, only to discover that that wasn’t running either. It was then that another visitor told us that there had been a power cut!

We wandered around, past visitors in still queueing for rides that weren’t working, past ride attendants who were just standing around, not talking to the visitors, past staff members who weren’t telling visitors that there was a problem. We eventually found a staff member who would talk to us, and he told us there had been a power cut, that some of the rides at the other side of the park were working ‘at that time’ and that they were working on it, but he had no idea how long it would take or whether they could get everything up and running. He didn’t have a radio or any way of contacting anyone to get any updates! He also told us they had no tannoy system and were, therefore, unable to let everyone know what was happening.

It was noticeable, as my daughter, the kids and I sat to discuss what to do, that many of the visitors were still wandering from ride to ride completely in the dark. As we made the decision that we might as well leave and see if we could get a refund, yet another member of staff wandered aimlessly by, again not talking to any of the visitors, and my daughter commented as much. At that point, he rounded on us and brusquely said: “If you ask, I’ll tell you!”

After trying to explain to him, that maybe they should be talking to people and not waiting to be asked, the whole ‘conversation’ went downhill, our frustration and his rude manner led to an argument. At one point he asked, as they had no tannoy, whether we thought he should walk around shouting to let people know, and when our reply was “yes” he stated that it didn’t work that way, but couldn’t tell how it did work. He upset my daughter, which obviously upset my grandkids, but he was too busy being rude and berating her to notice.

We made our way back to the entrance where there were a number of staff members and a plenty of other disappointed visitors. My daughter and the kids left the park while I waited to talk to someone. The member of staff I spoke to was pleasant and apologised for the problem… the first apology we’d had! She explained that we couldn’t get a refund there and then because the tills weren’t working but asked me to leave my name and phone number. What she couldn’t tell me, was whether we would get a full refund, a partial refund or tickets for another visit, but agreed that tickets would not be appropriate and was sure that under those circumstances a refund would be offered.

I await their phone call and will let you know. I’m fairly sure, however, that the cost of our journey won’t be refunded!

I left the park to find  Zoe having a panic attack, and my grandkids trying to comfort her. Thanks for that Gulliver’s World – you could have prevented that by letting us know, early on, what was happening.

No matter what I am doing or where I am if something happens and no-ones communicating my anxiety is gonna take over. – Zoe

As you can see, my daughter’s birthday treat didn’t turn out as expected. I was frustrated and angry, my daughter was distraught and my grandkids were upset and disappointed.

Gulliver’s World could be a good place to visit, but it is severely let down by it’s lacklustre (and just plain rude) staff members and customer service.
As I thought about it later, it occurred to me that not having a system in place where they can contact the whole park is outdated and ridiculous…

How many children get distracted and wander off or lose sight of their parents?

“It’s a scenario that happens hundreds of times a day at amusement parks all across the world. You’re walking along with your family or group, young child in hand, but when you look down a minute later, alas, he or she is gone!”

How do they put a call out that a child is missing, or that one has been found?

How do they evacuate the place if there is an emergency?

Some reviews on yesterday’s fiasco at Gulliver’s World from tripadvisor.uk

Powercut – tiring day

The day started well with the extra pirate involvement to engage the kids. However this was short lived when we started seeing rides stopping in dangerous locations and guests being helped to safety. There had been a power cut.

We too experienced being evacuated from a ride which was disappointing.

The worse part of the day was the lack of communicating due to some staff not having radios and were unaware of what rides were in operation. We therefore spent most of our day traveling amoungst crowds of guests having been told a ride or area was in operation only to arrive to a closed ride.
This then meant that the rides that were functional were experiencing very long wait times.

Horrendous

I would not go back in a hurry, we got there at 11 which was all good, cost just under £100 for 2adults and 3 kids which was fine only to get on the park and realise there is a power cut after walking round for a bit we decided to go for lunch just as the electric come back on after lunch we went on 2 rides by this point the electric had gone back off! At this point we are not happy. We go to find staff to ask what’s going on and all we got was they are coming back on now go to the other end of the park (we had a 2&3 year old with us who by this point were tired and hot! When we got to reception we were approached by a very rude member of staff called Paul who was shouting at us and to basically go home as we were not getting a money back! Absolutely appalling if you ask me! Quick enough to take your money but when something goes wrong it’s not there fault!

Power cuts frequently stopped rides

A terrible day out due to power cuts stopping rides. Big queues with no communication. You frequently saw rides stuck with in the air with frightened families awaiting rescue.
I have contacted them but the respose was I should hear back within fourteen days; not good enough!

Sunrise over Snowdon

I woke up this morning feeling excited, anxious, and wondering if I’d lost my mind! Why?

Well…

Yesterday, while looking for directions and train times to Wales, for my youngest daughter, I impulsively decided to join her on her trip!

Sooo…

On the evening of 22nd June, Zoe and I will be traveling to Llanberis, Wales.
We will meet our guide and the rest of the group just after midnight and then walk up to the top of Snowdon to watch the sunrise.

I’m looking forward to the experience, but worried that I’m not going to make it.

I can walk for miles (at my own pace), but have never done anything like this before.

I have 8 weeks to get everything I need and to get myself fit enough to make it to the top and back!

I will try to keep you updated on my progress over the next few weeks, and will post here after June 23rd (when I’ve recovered) and, hopefully, let you know we made it!