Thursday, 11 July 2013

Game of Thrones Tour

Everyone seems to be going crazy for Game of Thones.  For weeks this was all I heard, everywhere I went people were saying they were watching it.  I havent seen it so I havent a clue what its all about.  But for my friends I prmoised I would put a link to a tour I found run by Brit Movie tours:

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Canada April 2013

I recently went to Canada and had a great time. My friend and I flew to Toronto where we spent a couple of nights. With only a couple of days we decided to visit the things that interested us. First up was the amazing CN Tower which is an engineering wonder and Toronto must-see attraction. Within a few seconds of being in the lift we were over 1,800ft high and looking out at the spectacular views of Toronto. We didn’t bother with the Sky Pod but I did stand on the glass floor, whereas my friend was too scared!


We went on the tour bus which is pretty good because you can hop on and hop off.  It costs $34.96 and lasts for up to 3 days.  This seemed the perfect solution for us.  They drive you around the whole town stopping at tourist spots such as the CN Tower and Castle Loma.

Castle Loma was one of my favourite places in Toronto. The castle was once owned by Sir Henry Pellatt who was a Canadian financier.  The house is built in a Gothic style and now a museum and landmark open to the public. The castle took three years to build from 1911 – 1914 and cost approximately $3.5 million! 

My favourite room was the conservatory (see below). With marble floors and large gothic style windows and a beautiful Italian stained glass dome in the ceiling it truly was a beautiful room.

The Royal Ontario Museum was pretty impressive.    We went on a guided tour as we didn't have all day which could have easily been spent seeing everything.

 We also walked around the harbour and took in some of the shops and restaurants.  Here we tasted the delights of Cora's for the first time.  More about that later.

Here are some more images of Toronto:

Next up was a short personal (only us) coach trip to Niagara Falls where we stayed one night in the Sheraton hotel:

This was the view from our room:  Pretty impressive right?

WOW is all I think about when remembering my time there.  The bridge in the background of the picture above is called the Rainbow Bridge.  Over the other side is New York which we crossed.  The chap at the hotel said we would be in trouble if we crossed the bridge half way just to stand on UK soil.. This turned out to be a load of rubbish.  We did cross the border and met with some very serious US border men.   We walked around and saw the back of the falls but my camera died. I got one picture of behind the falls and at the border:

I didn't know you could buy an ipad from a vending machine:  This was in the lobby of the hotel.

Our time in Niagra was great, we loved every minute.  We would have liked to stay longer but we were off the next day to Ottawa the capital.  We stayed at the Lord Elgin for 3 nights:

One of my favourite places we visited was Notra-Dame. (below)  I went to the one in Paris some years ago and it left a lasting impression on me.  So when I found out there was one in Ottowa I knew I just had to go.  I wasn't disappointed.

Parliament hill in the background
View from inside the Peace Tower inside the Parliament of Canada

We went on a tour of the main parliamant building (above) but our tour was cut short because of Google!  They were there that day filming for their street view/building view or whatever they are going to call it (Google now plans to film inside some buildings).  We saw inside the library and the peace tower and memorial chamber. But the rest was off limits.  Thanks Google!  I can't even get away from you on holiday!

One of the things that stands out for me on this trip is Cora's. Cora is a Canadian chain of resturants serving breakfast and lunch.  OMG the food was amazing.  My friend Shelley below is a bit of a food junkie and she just loves her food.  Here she ordered a bit too much and couldn't manage it all. The pancake below is what I had a few times over the week.  

Since coming home I have created the same pancake dish (see below).. Trouble is I ended up putting on about 5 pound so I am on a diet now.  I was a little over my target weight before I went so this and all thanks to Cora I am back on my diet!

My version!

All and all the holiday was great. I have more photos to add which I will later.  But if your thinking of visiting Canada I would say GO and make sure you have a couple of days at the falls as one just wasn't enough.

If your planning to go with children this website is great for things to do in canada with kids.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Miracles can happen

I want to tell the world a wonderful miracle which has happened to my family. I heard about the news while I was on a train to Ottawa on my tour of Canada recently.

I was minding my own businesses looking out the window when I received a text message from my brother Wayne.  He told me he had just spoken to his son Kit, my nephew. I screamed and cried with delight, why? Well my brother had been looking for his son Kit for 17 years.

My brother and his wife (Kits mother) split up when he was a toddler.  I think Kit was aged 3 or 4 when he taken to New Zealand with his mother never to be seen again. Wayne has spent thousands of pounds on private investigators trying to locate his son without luck.  Years past and I think my brother had almost given up hope but then he got a message from a friend telling him that a Kit Clayton was living in Great Yarmouth UK.  Wayne went on facebook and added him, within minutes Kit had accepted his friend request and it wasn't long before the pair spoke for the first time. They met for the first time last weekend and this is the very first picture of them together.  It brings a lump to my throat every time I see this picture:

Kit thought he was all alone in the world, except for his loving partner Jasmin and her family. He has had a rough start in life which I wont go into, but its all good now. And I thought I had it bad!  He now knows he has a lot of family in this country all dieing to meet him. The final jigsaw piece is in place.  I always thought he would return but when his 18th birthday came and went I too thought it would never happen.

Apparently two days before Wayne had found him, Kit had contacted Jeremy Kyle.  Glad that didn't transpire!  It seems Kit had also been looking for him for a few years when he found his dads name on his birth certificate.  He had added a few Wayne Clayton's on Facebook, but sadly none were my brother. 

I am sooooo happy for them both. I have never been so emotional and happy for someone else in my whole life.  I knew I was sensitive but this really knocked me for six!  I couldn't imagine loosing one of my boys so how they are coping is beyond me.  You can see the bond they have just by looking at that picture.  I can't wait to meet my nephew and for him to meet my sons, his cousins, Shannon and Leon.  He is 3 weeks older than my eldest son Shannon and I konw they are going to get on just great.  It really is a miracle, stuff that movies are made off.

The power of Facebook is just truly amazing.   I know so many people that slag of this social network, even though they like to have a nose and read peoples posts and complain about how people post random statuses. Well  if they don't like it they don't have to be apart of it.. But they wont leave it because they are too nosy and like to have a reason moan at all the people who get enjoyment from it. It's a powerful medium as this story just goes to show. I want to say thanks Facebook, you made a miracle happen and without it, it might never have happened.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Back at Slimming World

I am back at Slimming World as all the food I ate over Easter and my holiday to Canada has had its toll!  I brought back some recipes for pancakes and waffles which I have been eating them every day  since my trip.  Now they are a no no! :-(

It will be interesting to see how I get on this time because now I am doing Thai boxing twice a week.  Before when I lost over 2 stone I did no exercise at all and the average weekly weight loss was 1.8 pounds a week. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Thai Boxing

For the last few months I have been going to my local Thai Boxing club run by Kru Matt Kendall.  It kills me every time I go but afterwards I feel great.  As I go to the women's club its more fitness based than technical which is fine for me at the moment.  I may move up to the more technical classes as my fitness improves. The women's sessions involve a lot of different exercises, some days we use weights, some days we use the punch bags, sometimes you run about playing tag, but each session involves a good few hundred (or as many as you can do) of crunches and sit ups and pad work (punching and kicking).  Each week there is a new exercise introduced so you never get bored. You learn how to punch and kick and general Thai boxing techniques.  It is quite addictive and a great stress reliever. I imagine the pads are Google (well Google of late since they improved their algorithm!).

Those that want to try Telford Thai Boxing can print the voucher below for two weeks completely free.  Just right click the image, click "save image as" then save it somewhere and then print it out.. If you want a hardcore work out then this is for you.  But don't let that put you off.  It really is good fun and everyone is very friendly.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Do you believe in God?

 If you believe in God then its like saying you believe in an imaginary friend.  Because that's all it is.  There is no proof and there never will be.  All there is is what there is..

I have been listening to the news about gay marriage and people quoting the Bible!  Why oh why are people believing in a story which dates back thousands of years?  Is everyone that naive?   I can't believe we as the human race haven't evolved as much as we should have.

Marriage is an old fashioned concept which was invented when life expectancy was just 40.  As we live twice that long the whole concept does not work. If you wait until you are about 40 before you get married you might stand a chance. In my parents era, women were taught to be housewives at school and expected to find a husband in their teens - this means spending the next 60 years with the same person. Sod that! I am so glad I was born in the 70's.  50% of marriages end in divorce.  The whole concept of marriage needs to be brought into the 21st century and that means for gays also.  If couples want to commit to each other they should be allowed regardless of what sex they or their partners are. I don't think you need a piece of paper and a church to do this, but if people want too then why shouldn't they be allowed.

I know I have some radical views and don't conform.  I don't believe in marriage under a church as such because I don't believe in God. If I ever meet anyone who I would want to stay with for the rest of my life I will just do that.  I will not be having any ceromony to prove it or show the rest of the world.  For me to stay with someone will be proof enough. But the odds are slim as the thought terrifies me.  I only feel secure when I am on my own doing my own thing in my own way.  That's my right and if people don't like it, that's their problem.

I am a Christian only because my parents Christened me.  I had no say in it, I was a baby.  But I have grown to not believe in any religion and to learn that religion is the cause of all problems in the world.  I did not impose any religion on my children which were born out of wedlock.  I am giving them their own choice on what they want to believe in. And if they have any common sense they certainly won't believe in any form of God and follow any religion.

Zeitgeist is far more believable than any religion and it makes perfect sense.   It is an eye opening movie on the symbolism found in Religion and its foundation based on ancient philosophies of Astrology.

Monday, 28 January 2013

My dear old friend Claire-Barrett-Smith is venturing out on the internet with her textile work.  She is a great artist and a talented teacher.  You can view here work here:


Monday, 21 January 2013

SEA LIFE Blackpool

Blackpool is the fourth largest populated town in England. It is a sea side borough situated on the coast of Irish Sea. The people of England like to spend their summer in the coast of Blackpool. The seven mile long coast line and its sea life offers the visitors a cool feast during summer. Hence it is called as coastal hamlet.

Sea Life Centre
Sea Life centre in the Blackpool is one of the famous tourist spot to be visited by everyone. There are wide varieties of marine creatures in the Sea Life centre. This aquarium is located near the Centre Pier on Promenade. It hosts many rare marine species like the sea horse, slender pipefish, bow - mouth guitar shark and many more. The sea life centre in Blackpool attracts a large number of tourists around the world especially for its tunnel walk and the interactive rock pool experience.

Walk – Through Shark Tank
The special feature of this Sea Life centre is the walk – through shark tank. This tank consists of various types of fishes and sharks like the ray shark and bow – mouth guitar shark. The tank has got a walking passage in between which makes us feel very close to the sharks. This would be an amazing experience for the marine admirers. A sense of fear would be there in every one’s mind while going through the sharks. One can spot the blunt – nosed sharks swim across while moving through the tunnel and have a great feel around them.

Interactive Rockpool
A safe rockpool is created with mild and harmless marine creatures like crab, starfish, sea squirt and other shelled creatures. This is also called as a touch pool. The visitors are allowed to touch and hold the crabs in their hands. There will be guides to help the visitors in holding crabs without being nipped. Touching the live star fish would be a great joy for the visitors. The visitors can also feed these creatures. They can watch the little creatures moving and feeding.

Ollie, the Octopus
The Blackpool’s Sea Life Centre has got a famous octopus named Ollie. This Ollie has got a lot of fans. Visitors come to the aquarium just to meet this octopus. Ollie is very friendly with the visitors and children especially. It has got unique feeding habits and makes its home very decorative. The way it moves around the water attracts the visitors’ attention. One can know more about Ollie, its feeding habits, its history and its life style while making a visit to Sea Life centre in Blackpool. Spending time with this octopus would be more fun.

Sea – View Cafe
Relaxing after these wonderful and interactive sessions is what would be in the minds of every visitor. Sea Life provides the visitors with a sea – view cafe to spend their leisure time. One can have snack and drink in this cafe while having the view of the sea wonders nearby. Leisure gazing of the marine beauty is possible in our cafe while one can fill their tummy too.
The Sea Life Blackpool offers more fun such as the soft play area for the kids and many events and shows are conducted by the authorities to spread the information about sea life. There would be demonstrations throughout the day about the feeding of various marine lives. 

If like me you live in the Midlands, there is a SEA LIFE center in Birmingham which is perfect if you are looking for kids things to do in the midlands.