Monday, 12 November 2018

Royal Caribbean Symphony Of The Seas Cruise Review

I have recently got back from a Mediterranean cruise on the Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship  Symphony Of The Seas.  It was brilliant, just awesome! Every aspect of the cruise was brilliant in my eyes however I am biased as I was only really going to see my artwork in situ.  But from a cruising virgin, and a fussy bugger, I found everything from the food, to the staff, facilities just top class.  Had I had younger children they would have been in their element.  I went with my youngest son Leon who's 19 and we just had a blast.  We got the drinks package and turned it into a booze cruise where we partied all night and some how managed to get up early for excursions (well we missed the first one).

I am so going on more cruises as I loved every aspect of it.  The Symphony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world costing over a billion to build apparently.  It has the best Art on there of course.  Actually when the ship first set sail i read a review on trip advisor and it was terrible, its started like this:  "I sailed on the April 14 sailing on Symphony of the Seas and it was one of my worst vacation experiences. I’ll start with the positives: The ship is beautiful. The artwork is beautiful..."  It then ranted on for ages about poor food etc etc.   I found no problems with the ship at all.  But then I went excited to see my sculpture so was in a positive vibe and on cloud nine really.

So here are some pictures.  This is me and Leon on the plane after a 3 hour drive and two hour wait in Gatwick.

We landed in Barcelona and I wasn't expecting much but I was really pleasantly surprised. I have been to many parts of Spain but not Barcelona.  I loved the streets and architechure and would definitely like to go back and spend longer there.  We had one day in Barcelona with one nights sleep in Les Ramblas which was right in the heart of the City. 

There were loads of craft and antique stools which i enjoyed.  I went on a mission to find an old 1920s cigarette case for my eldest son (who is a tommy shelby lookalike). I did fine one in the right era but was I was too tight to buy it.  After some food (spoilt for choice) we decided to walk to the Zoo as it wasn't too far.

The next day we had a transfer to the port.  By this stage I was seriously getting excited.  This is the first full glimpse of the ship as we approached the port.

As we got closer the size of it was becoming more apparent

Not sure I believe those life boats will hold 8 thousand people! 

As soon as we got on board we headed to find our rooms. Our cases weren't there yet and all i could think about was heading to the Spa to see Heidi. (She is named Miss Hydrangea but I call her Heidi for short).  So once we had checked the room out we went off to find the spa.  I already saw on the lift map that the Spa was at the front of the ship on Deck 6.

We entered the ship on Deck 5 where there were lots of shops, pubs, the bionic bar, the Royal Theatre and some cool art:

These two sculptures were being made by Andrew Sinclair at the same time as my flower lady.  I actually helped make these.  My memories are not great as the smell of the resin really got to me in the last week I was there and these are the culprits.   But they looked the part and it was good to spot them.  Andrew made a number of sculptures for the ship so I was on a mission to find them all.

Finding our room was easy and on the door handle were our cards and some info.  This card you use for the door and everything,  all the buying on ship and getting on and off.  The room was compact but had everything we needed, glad to see a hair dryer in the draw.  Only complaint was no kettle and tea bags etc. I couldn't care less about coffee but I do like a tea first thing. 

Dropping some bags off we went off in search of Heidi,  just one deck up to go.  Straight away I walked around the corner and there she was!

I took a small sculpture as this was how Heidi was meant to come out like:

We played crazy golf a few times..

We loved the casino.  Lost a few quid in there but enjoyed every second.

I loved the fact that the room cleaners did this for me.  It made me giggle so much.  I like little touches like this.

Food art:

Pictures from Rome.

Me on the last night seeing Heidi again.  I went to see it most days and dragged people who I told and wanted a picture with me and it.

The cruise went to Marseille in France, Majorca and three Italy locations La Spezia, Rome and Naples.  I totally fell in love with Italy.  I am so going back on a shopping trip.  All the trousers actually fitted me, I was gob smacked!  Being nearly 6ft I struggle with getting trousers and clothes to fit.

Overall the cruise was just amazing.  I so need to run workshops on that ship.  I could of sold tons of flower people if I could have directed them to the shop.

Monday, 19 March 2018

My Son is now a Tommy Shelby Lookalike!

.....and I am his agent!

Ever since Peaky Blinders hit the screens people have been coming up to my son saying how he looks like Tommy Shelby. Soon as he told me (which was not long after the first series was aired) we all watched the show on catch up then on TV as the series aired. Instant fans!  And what a cool character Tommy is.  We could all see see the similarities.

We went on a Peaky Blinders Tour here and I wrote about it here.  He was a hit and everyone started to comment and ask pictures.  As folk were getting off they were thanking us for being there and making it extra special which was a nice feeling. He was actually offered a roll of tour guide by the company as he was such a hit. Myself and everyone has told my son how he should milk it and become a lookalike which is why I created this blog post.  I knew it was a matter of time before someone phoned. He thinks or rather did think it was all a bit cringe (he's not really the dressing up type and thinks it silly).  But after I got a call and I begged him to do it he is glad he did it.  He was a huge hit.  His debut was at this speakeasy blinders pop up bar event in Leicester last Friday and Saturday.  He got so much positive feedback and really enjoyed himself although he did admit it was hard work.

He was bloody brilliant.  He can act and he pulled off the accent well.  Everyone wanted their picture taken with him and he was the star of the event for sure.  He worked with trained actors and they all said he was a natural.  I always thought he was going to be an actor or stunt man because as a toddler he had no fear and if I turned my back he would easily be climbing fences or trees. Looks like acting might be calling first.  He could also be Tommy's stunt double as he knows how to fall and has done a number of martial arts in the past.  Perhaps this is a new career for him, or at least a bit of fun and a way to earn a bit of extra money at the weekends while Peaky's is hot.

I would do it.  If I looked like a celeb or character I would milk it.  We are all working whores really. Everybody sells their body to an extent.  Our bodies are tools to do any job, be it being an engineer or lookalike.   I am an IT and sculpture whore!!!!

Today I had had another call from someone running an event looking for a Tommy lookalike, so I am acting as his agent. Plus my son has also had a call from a real agent, so its all going swimmingly.

So anyone wanting to hire my son for events contact myself on 07813 257386 or visit

He wants to be able to offer more than just being a lookalike. He could just do meet and greet but we are working on possible scenarios which would work well in events. I am off to google 1920s pub games and the like to see if I can come up with ideas.  He just wants to reenact fights and create scenes.  He really got into the acting and the fight scenes in Leicester, they were good.  He has a belt in Aikido and he has trained in Thai Boxing so he is perfect for all that malarkey.  Also he used to work behind a bar so he could always just be Tommy behind the bar of a mock up Garrison pub at an event

Here are some pictures from his debut as a working Tommy Shelby lookalike actor:

Some pictures I took from the evening:

Below with his younger brother who himself makes a damn fine Peaky Blinder!  Currently travelling around Thailand, but when he returns he will join us in this Peaky Blinder madness. I recon I could pull off Polly to be fair... mmm now I am thinking..

Here's me as a very proud mum!