Tag Archive | Birthday

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.


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!


2 Cards – 2 cakes

My grandson and grand-daughter celebrated their 8th and 11th birthdays last week. I often make their birthday cakes (with varying degrees of success/failure) and I usually go along with whatever theme they choose, or match them with their presents and cards.


Dreydon chose a nerf gun for his present so I thought a target would be a fitting idea for both the card and cake.

And yes, he did use them both for target practice, though he was limited to one shot only at the cake!


Shanice wanted (and got) a jacket for her birthday – not really an inspiring theme for cards and cake!


However, she is into unicorns (isn’t everyone) so that’s what I went with.



Tiger Card



One of my grandsons turned 14 this month and I find making cards for teenage boys quite difficult. Well, not actually making the card, but coming up with the idea.

After much searching and debating, I settled on this tiger, which I drew, then cut out of black paper with my scan ‘n’ cut (quicker than doing it by hand).
I stuck some white paper behind the eye cutouts and pink behind the nose, then stuck it on some orange paper and trimmed the edges. the whole thing was glued to some folded white card and a coloured happy birthday peel-off added, plus a couple of green jewels for the eyes.

Birthday Cards – Flowers & owls

Flower Card


  • Cut, scored and folded the card.
  • Added backing paper and edging peel-offs.
  • Die cut flowers, leaves and swirls.
  • Stuck to card along with some pearls and a happy birthday peel off


Owl Card


  • Embossed card with bark embossing folder
  • Cut, scored and folded the card.
  • Added backing paper.
  • Cut out balloons, bow and owl pieces.
  • Assembled and embellished owls with gems & sequins.
  • Assembled bow.
  • Stuck everything to card
  • Added dark card behind the ‘hole’



Two Easy Birthday Cards


The Robot:

A few circles, squares and rectangles stuck onto layered card
with a ‘2’ and some googly eyes to finish it off.


Happy Birthday Jared


Strips of coloured card with the letters cut out and the ends trimmed.
Add some ribbon and ‘jewels’, write Happy Birthday and that’s it.

Simples! 😉


Card Makes

Thanks to a snarky comment that dented, even further, my non-existent confidence a few months ago, I stopped posting my card & craft makes on my blog.
I have now got past that… it’s my blog and I’ll post what I want.

Don’t like my posts? Don’t look at them!!

These are cards I’ve made over the past few months.



The one above was for my parents anniversary

and the one below was for my Dad, on Fathers Day.




An anniversary card (above) for my hubby,

and a wedding card (below) for my brother-in-law & his new wife!




Closed ↑
A Push n Pull card for my daughter’s birthday.
Open ↓



Next up are a few parchment cards…


 …and finally

a couple of random ones!



Bound to Blackwood by Sharon Lipman

The award nominated paranormal romance, Bound to Blackwood is celebrating its first birthday!

What does this mean for you? Well author, Sharon Lipman is offering you the chance to win a signed copy of the book, as well as some amazing House Blackwood swag!


Think all vampires are the same? 
House Blackwood begs to differ!


Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King?
Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life. Acting first and thinking second is what’s saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured. Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn. The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature’s call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don’t, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls.


Want a copy right now? Bound to Blackwood is available free via Kindle Unlimited.

You might also like to read this blog post, explaining why the author chose to publish Bound to Blackwood on November 1st.

Want to learn more about the characters? Take the quiz and discover which Bound to Blackwood character you are!



Thorn stepped out from the shadow of the Huguenot Protestant Church in Soho Square. The stench of Fallen hung heavy in the air, making the bile rise in his throat. But what made him nauseous was the delicate scent of Lena’s blood that rode the air with that of the Fallen.
Flashing across the small park, he found her.
His first thought was to go to her, but as he rushed towards her, he realised she wasn’t alone. Lena cradled the human to her as the air around them hummed and crackled. Thorn’s jaw went slack as the realisation of what he was seeing hit him.
The faint green glow of the human’s soul shifted and shimmered as Lena’s power forced it back, moulding it, shaping it. Binding it. The pale green shone more brightly as Lena worked, the air becoming more dense as the spring greens turned into a deep emerald.
Lena’s raven hair whipped across her face and her eyes glowed a vibrant sea-green as she forced the woman’s soul back to her body. A great roar echoed around the park, and for a moment, the air stood still before a blinding light made Thorn shield his eyes. And then it was gone.
Thorn heard the woman’s heartbeat kick-start as her soul found home again.
Lena released her vice-like grip on the woman and fell backwards. Thorn caught her before her head could hit the ground. She was ghostly pale as Thorn cradled her against his chest, her breathing shallow. The exertion of holding the human soul showed in the sheen of sweat across her brow, and Thorn winced at the bruising on her cheek bone.
“For the love of all that is holy, Lena! What the hell were you thinking?”
Lena’s black eyes fluttered open and stared up at him in disgust. Even injured, with her powers severely depleted, Lena’s contempt for him was tangible. “No one should hold dominion over another’s soul,” she spat back at him.
Thorn closed his eyes. So she knew. In that moment, he realised he’d convinced himself that she hadn’t really seen through him that night in her bedroom. That she’d just rejected him because she didn’t want him, even told himself that it would all be fine. The look on Lena’s face told him otherwise.
As if on cue, the delicious scent of her blood became overwhelming. Thorn gritted his teeth as exotic spices assaulted him. It was almost overpowering.
“You need to get away from me.”

The Author:

A huge fan of the paranormal romance genre, Sharon Lipman started writing in her teens. It wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she found a story she was desperate to share. House Blackwood was born and Bound to Blackwood is her debut novel.

She was born in west London and grew up in leafy Surrey in south-east England. A lover of all things British, except the weather, she now lives in Almeria, southern Spain with her husband and an ever growing collection of dogs.


Keep in touch with the author:

The Giveaway:

Sharon Lipman is giving away a signed copy of Bound to Blackwood, as well as some exclusive House Blackwood swag. To be in with a chance of winning, enter the Rafflecopter.

The giveaway ends November 15th


a Rafflecopter giveaway