Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween House of Horrors

We popped out tonight to visit our friends Marc a Jodie tonight at the debut of the Halloween House of Horrors, put on by Day and Night Solutions, James Day is the, what can I say, inventor (?), creator, of the House of Horrors, which has grown over the years, to such an extent that the local pub now gives up their garden to host the extravaganza.

If you have the chance, get down to The Bull Inn Horley, nr. Gatwick, and spend £3 to go round the haunted house, you will not believe the effort that has been put into making it a memorable experience for everybody.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Otter Falls for a Week

It was off down to Devon this week, for a break at Otter Falls near Honiton, Lynne had been hankering for another break as soon as we returned from France, and this was her choice; a place where she can relax and I can fish (keeping out of her way).

So what was the place like?  Well it was very relaxed, the people were nice, the location was exquisite and it definitely deserved a write up here.

The Accommodation
The Lodges are constructed from pine beams, raised off the ground on brick pillars, good insulation, warm and homely. Our Lodge had all the home comforts needed, recently refurbished bathroom with shower/bath, a  well equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, large living/dining area with large widows overlooking the top lake and a log burner in the corner. The Lodges are non-smoking of course, but the veranda was perfect to sit out on and watch the world go by.
The only downsides to the accommodation were the cooker was not that good, therefore difficult to bake with and you have to take a meter reading at the beginning and end of your stay and pay for the electric/gas you have used, an all inclusive rental would have been better, but these were minor niggles.

Walking around the complex, it was well set out with only a few lodges per lake, so you were not tightly packed together, then there were the cottages set out with their own little courtyard, the layout had been well thought out.

The Facilities
Otter Falls was well equipped with entertainment for everyone, my daughter and her boyfriend made good use of the swimming pool, sauna and tennis court but there was also a putting green, table tennis room (small table) and games room with a pool table.

In the evening, there is a bar/bistro on site, the Tickled Trout, with a very good selection of food and a well equipped bar, which is good because Otter Falls is in the middle of nowhere, there is not a lot within walking distance.

Talking of walking, they have thought of those of us with dogs, and created a superb dog walking area behind the lakes, with paths around meadows and woods, making you feel safe letting your pet off the lead.  For those a bit more adventurous, the site is next to public footpaths and bridleways, with beautiful views of the Blackdown Hills, especially watching the sun rise over the ridge.

The Fishing
With three lakes to choose from, there is something for every fisherman here.  The top lakes were stocked with carp, tench, perch etc. whilst the bottom lake is stocked with trout.  I only fished the top lake this week, it was nice to set up and then leave everything on the swim whilst I popped back to the lodge for a cup of tea.
What did I catch... tench mainly, a nice perch, and I did loose to very nice carp (I didn't say I was a good fisherman).  Talking to the locals, dog biscuits and bread seem to be the weapons of choice but I got the best results from pork luncheon meat, boilies seemed to be a waste of time as did sweetcorn.
There are quite a few rules for fishing these lakes and it is well worth checking them out prior to visiting the site.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodwood Revival Sights and Sounds

With all the press and hype I have always wanted to go to the Revival at Goodwood and when my boss told me that he had tickets for the Sunday but had to catch a flight to Switzerland that day, I jumped right in and nabbed them off him in a trice.

Of course it was an expensive decision, the cost of the tickets being only the tip of the iceberg, of course Lynne needed a new frock, a petticoat, shoes, handbag, gloves, the list goes on, even to the point of having to rush into Petworth the evening before, to get stockings - do you know how much stocking cost in Petworth, and the weren't even antique!

Sunday morning dawned with the sun shining, we donned our attire, jumpped into the Rangie and off we went.  I want to thank my good friend who lent me his GRRC badge for the car, that meant we got into the members car park (I didn't realise how useful that would be until later in the day).

The Revival was everything I had expected it to be, the sights, sounds and smells - perfection, we wandered around taking it all in, we did want to meet up with a friend, Kirsty, but whenever we tried to get to the Lavant straights, where she was in the GRRC members area, we were thwarted by the Marshals, hey ho.

We stopped for lunch in the Butlins Ballroom, what an experience that was, a band was playing blues and swing, then a set of dancers joined the floor, the first lady had the perfect dress for jive (from my point of view), lovely stockings, suspenders and a thong, it was a shame I didn't have the camera handy at that point.

Another walk round after lunch, then the heavens opened, just a shower? No - full torrent, we were soaked within a couple of minutes, now you know why it was good to be parked in the members car park.  So it was a wet end to a brilliant day, disappointed... Nah, this has to be done again.

Well done to Goodwood, for all the effort they had put in to making this a brilliant event, well done to all those people who had dressed the part, if Lynne is anything to go by, at a fair cost... and well done to the drivers, pit crews, marshals etc. for making a day I will be talking about for weeks to come.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Balloon Festival Wisborough Green

I love my drive home from work on the second Friday of September because I know it is the start of the Balloon Festival at Wisbourough Green, it is going to be a treat of colour and sound. As soon as I get through Billingshurst, I start seeing these wonderful contraptions floating in the distance and my foot pushes the pedal a little further down.

Coming round the corner into Wisborough Green, you are presented with the sight of about 10 hot air balloons, in various stages in inflation on the green, people are everywere, children and adults alike are staring up at these great multicoloured structures in awe.

The Festival is a charity event, where the balloonists give their time for free and even the gas is provided for free, rides are cheaper than normal but still 80 to 100 pounds, so they make a lot of money from the event for Chase a worthwhile Children's Hospice . They normally run flights on the Friday eveneing, Sataturday morning and evening and Sunday mornings, and with excess of twenty balloons taking to the air it is relativly easy to book a ride on one.

There is a downside, the weather, it has to be just right. I was told by an enthusiast this year, that they would probably not be doing any oother lauches this weekend as the weather is deteriorating, but looking out of the window this morning, it seems calm, so I hope they have managed another lauch.

This festival is well worth the visit, it is always run on the second weekend of September and is always worth a visit.

Monday, September 5, 2011

People showing the contents of their handbags?

There seems to be a lot of people doing videos on YouTube going through their handbags - amazing.
I think what really is amazing is how many girls want to do a YouTube video and they choose this subject as the 1st run - check out a few of them below, they all seem to be pretty dull, but I suppose they take the interesting stuff out 1st....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pens in handbags

OK - so as a man I totally agree, we never have a pen on us, we ALWAYS turn to our partners and say "have you got a pen on you", and after much scrabbling about in their handbags, one is produced.

Saying that though, why oh why, do you have so many non working pens kicking about in the bottom of your bags? and when you do produce said writing impliment, why is it a novelty item?

There must be something in the female genome, that insists they have multiple novilty pens, either in disturbing shapes or with cuddly bears on the top - even at school the girls had 'fluffy' pencil cases, filled with multicolored pens and pencils, whereas I had a pencil and a pen....

Chantel's handbag, at the Wisborough Fete yesterday, produced a litre of Martini and a Pig Pen (there must be some kind of pun in there...).

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wisborough Green's Got Talent 2011

Well the Football Club surpassed themselves this year in more ways than one, with the Wisborough Green's Got Talent show in the marquee on the Green.

The Marquee is always set up prior to the August Bank holiday weekend, so that it is ready for the fair on the Bank Holiday Monday, on the Saturday it is used for a flower show I believe, but the Friday night it stands empty.
This year it was decided to hold a talent show, running along the lines of Britain's Got Talent, organised by Sasha and Craig, it was a brave endevour, but it paid off with over 320 tickets sold to the event. The support from the community was immense, from organising the acts, setting up the marquee, providing the food, providing the bar, lighting, sound... I could go on, but just to say, considering it was the first time this event had been run, it all seemed to go very smoothly.

I will mention something about the food, as there were some comments I heard about the quality, but considering they were catering for 350 people, in an outside mess kitchen, I was really impressed - the kitchen guys worked really hard and I loved the curry - what do you expect for a tenner!

As for the acts, well again, locals had put a lot of effort into providing some 'class' entertainment for the guests, this ranged from solo artists, bands, comic cover troupes, and air guitarist and a magician - there was something for everyone - well done to all the performers.
As to the winners, well it was almost a forgone conclusion that the Football Team were going to win, with their spoof of Bohemian Rhapsody, but a close second and third were the Flatly Team and the Black Pig Band.

A good night out for a tenner - the question is, what are they going to do next year?  Can a second Talent Competition be run?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Pharmacy in a Handbag

I cannot believe how many pharmacutical products you girls trolley around with you, this is the contents of A's bag on Saturday night (she was a tad tipsy so didn't worry abut me and Bob, her boyfriend, tipping it out onto the bench).  There were HRT pills, sleeping pills, nicotine sweets, ohh and mouth fresheners, I am surprised we did not find any horse pills.
I was also a bit confused about the multi charging adapter for the car, why not just leave it in the car???
And another thing, why carry around old train tickets, receipts and empty sunglasses cases, this is all superfluous stuff, find a bin!

Strawberry Vodka

I love summer, the warmth, the green, the sun, strawberries and cream...  I love this recipe because it lets you remember those heady summer evenings in the chill of winter when the snow is on the ground.
You can choose when you want to make this vodka, either at the beginning of summer when the 'pick your own' farms open up or at the end of summer when the fruit is cheap in the shops...

1ltr Vodka (Iuse the cheapest as you are flavoring it anyway)
800g fruit
280g sugar (trial and error to see what you like)

DemiJohn - you can pick these up from boot sale, neighbours etc. - or use another big jar thing...
Kitchen knife
Coffee filters

The modus operandi is sooo easy, just cut the fruit up into small enough pieces to fit into your container, pour in the sugar and pour in the vodka, fit the bung and give it a shake to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
For the first two to three weeks give it a shake, then you can reduce the agitation to one a week.  I tend to leave it in the DemiJohn for as long as possible, but 3 months is a good start.

When you are ready to bottle it off, I re-use the bottles the vodka came in, sticking a funnel in the top, then a filter in the funnel, just pour the liquid through.  You will go through a lot of filters, as the strawberries tend to mush up a lot.

I also keep an eye out for decanters when going round junk shops etc. as a decanter of home made strawberry vodka makes a very pretty Christmas present.

You can double up the ingredients if you have more fruit (I usually knock up batches of 2.25 lts i.e. 3 bottles of vodka).
You can also use different fruits and spirits, I also make Blackberry Brandy and Sloe Gin, hopefully I will also try raspberry vodka this year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Range Rover Radio Fixed

Having a Range Rover P38 HSE, the sound system is a Harmon Kardon system, this is lovely, comprising of a head unit, amplifiers in each door, a sub base and 6 CD changer in the boot - the sound is really impressive.

The problem with this is if the head unit goes wrong (and they do), there is not a lot you can do apart from fixing it.  You cannot nip down to the local car accessory shop and buy a new head unit, because you would have to re-wire the doors and boot.
Mine started switching off, then back on again, the display went dim, and eventually it stopped working all together.

So the option I chose was to get Clarion to repair the unit.  They usually advertise on ebay, but you can also phone them direct on 01285 861 861.  The process was really easy, you send them the unit, once they have received it, they phone you and tell you how much it will cost, you give them your debit card details, they repair the unit and send it back.  The cost was £80 plus I also got them to add on an AUX cable for an extra £20.  So for £100, I now have a refurbish head unit, they even put a new display on it and removed the code, so that I do not have to remember that anymore.

Once I got the head unit back, I drilled a hole in the base of the tray, to bring out the AUX cable, plugged everything back in and Bob's your Uncle, a working sound system again.

The AUX in works really well, just plug the MP3 player in and if the head unit is set to radio it automatically switched to the MP3 player - cool.  So I think the 6 CD changer in the boot is rather redundant now...

I can heartily recommend Clarion, there customer service was very impressive, well done guys.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keep brain cells in your handbag?

A National Sales Manager keeps a brain cell in her handbag, it was presented to her by her Sales Team, they thought she obvoiusly needed at least one!

I never knew brain cells looked like that but apparently they do, even the pink color.

You can read my other posts on the contents of handbags.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Security in a handbag

This lady has the right kind of security in her handbag, although I think she may be a tad ambitious in her expectations....

I can even see the Amber Leaf tobacco to the left for the post coital smoke...

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Super Mummy's Blog on her handbag contents

My List of the Contents of my Handbag

It’s Monday, which means it’s a working day, which in turn means I’m guaranteed to find a vast number of oddities in my handbag.  I do tend to change my handbag on Fridays when I go out with the kids, but over the last few months my work bag, change bag and weekend bag have all appeared to morph into one.
A quick handbag audit has thus revealed the following:
  1. My purse. Which is a good thing, otherwise I wouldn’t be buying yet more blue milk at Tesco on the way home from work. Or lunch. Or I guess the three teas from Starbucks that I’ll likely need to get me through the afternoon.
  2. My nearly-done-hope-to-get-some-more-for-my-birthday bottle of Lola by Marc Jacobs
  3. A grey plastic horse that LMB got free with his CBeebies magazine.  It winds up and gallops and everything!
  4. A squished clementine and 6 raisins. At least three of them regurgitated. Though not by me, I must add.
  5. Car keys.
  6. Our camera, which I took to the cinema yesterday. Yes, the cinema. But Super Daddy said no taking photos allowed. Though LPP and I were stealth and did manage to sneak in a cheeky photo beside the massive Toy Story cardboard cut-outs whilst Super Daddy queued for popcorn.
  7. Four birthday candles.
  8. A plastic spoon.
  9. An empty tube of hand cream.
  10. A mini pot of Sudocrem.
  11. Three biros.
  12. A Bob the Builder pull up.
  13. My hairbrush. Complete with missing handle.
  14. My diary.
  15. A half eaten pack of mints.
  16. A hastily scribbled list which reads, “Fancy Dress Day 28th July, Family Fun Day 28th August, Nursery closed 2nd August.”  I’m glad there was a nursery reference on that one, otherwise I may have come to the office on the 28th dressed as Wilma from the Flintstones.
And that’s it.
Which begs the question…”Where is my phone?”
I suspect I’ll find that in LMBs washing basket later!

Intimate Wipes

What the hell are intimate cleaning wipes for?

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

Fanny spray

Toe glitter and fanny spray found in Tania’s handbag.

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

Quote from a HR Director

A lady’s handbag is a different concept, full of essential and practical items,let me start you off……piece of Lava from Vesuvius, security pass to underground carpark in Brussels(oops), half a bottle of cava and a toy pistol.

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

What's in a handbag

A good friend of mine gave me the idea for this little blog, as she has (unfortunately) split up from her partner and is left with a ‘man drawer’ in her kitchen that needs to be cleared out, so the questions about what do I do with 3 packets of plasterboard screws would appear on Facebook.
A woman’s handbag has always been a ‘no go’ area for men, don’t ask me why, I have never gone there.  Now I feel empowered enough to brave that journey, go against taboo and venture into a voyage of discovery.
As Captain Kirk said, “to go where no man has gone before”, I will make that voyage and report back; I can foresee many dangers on this trip into the unknown, from physical (broken fingers, handbag battery etc.) to the psychological perils, as yet to be ascertained. 
Wish me luck my friends…

Read my other posts on the contents of handbags

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Le Bugue

Went to Le Bugue today, Tuesdays is market day in Le Bugue, it was heaving with people looking round the multitude of market stalls, noise and smells everywhere.  We parked just outside the town near the Aquarium and Crazy Golf, we walked along the river to the bridge, up some steps and into the centre of town, the views along the river were stunning.  I took about two hours to get round the market, it really does encompass the whole town, then a quick cup of coffee and a dash for the car as it started raining.
Le Bugue is well worth a visit on a Tuesday morning.

Bastille in Montignac

Bastille is on July 14th - every year, and for the past two years we have traveled to Montignac to be part of the celebrations.  We have friends who live near the town (Dave and Jenny), last year their daughter, Vicky, invited us down, we loved it so much we decided to make our vacation in Montignac this year.

The roads in the town are closed, stalls are erected, and groups of dancers/musicians troupe around the town, dancing in front of bars for the public, they all wear traditional dress and the music/dancing is authentic, it is lovely to see.

In the evening, we descend upon a restaurant opposite the municipal car park for a meal and the odd carafe of Rose wine, then at eleven pm all the lights in town are extinguished and the best firework display I have ever seen is set off by the Pompier from the car park, it is truly amazing.

Montignac on the 14th July is well worth a visit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Les Granges - Montignac

It is day two of our vacation, and we are staying at Les Granges in Montgnac.  David the owner is really helpful, and he keeps the grounds looking lovely, I felt quite guilty watching him trim the hedges this morning whilst I was sipping coffee and smoking.  David is also quite knowledgeable about the town, events and what is going on in the locality.

The accommodation is really clean, well equipped and in a quite part of the town, just a few minutes walk from the town center, it is only day two of our vacation, so we have not explored very much, but Montignac is really pretty, especially around Bastille day, as they have paper flowers covering all the roads in the center of town.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kirdford Village Store Birthday Bash

What a perfect day for the Village Store's 1st birthday - they put on a great celebration with stalls from the local producers, a treasure hunt, Bollywood dancing and a tug of war competition.

We rocked up at about midday, and the celebrations were in full swing, the hog was on the spit, the stands were up and the treasure hunt was doing good business - kids were running all over the village looking for their clues, desperate to win the ice cream for the summer prize.

The stalls included:
Cupfins - with lovely cup cakes and other delicacies
Quails Eggs - a stall dedicated to quails eggs, I forgot to go and have a tester...
Blooms2 Florist - Marion had done a beautiful set of arrangements, although she was battling against the heat.
The Trug Man with his section of Trugs and walking sticks - I did like the walking sticks, some very traditional ideas there.
And a handbag stall and a stall specialising in chopping boards made from locally sourced timber.
The Strawberries and Cream stall was a tad quiet, but I was sure business would pick up after everybody had had their Hog Roast lunch.

Around 12:30 Bollywood music started drifting across the green, so we wandered over to see what was occurring; a dance instructor had gathered a crowd and was teaching Bollywood style dancing (I was wondering where the music was coming from, then realised a black Freelander was parked nearby with all the windows open).
It was all very energetic, with lots of hips and arms all over the place, too much for me, I had to go and have an ice cream to cool down.
I did notice that one lad had joined in, well done Dylan, I won't put the photo up though, perhaps keep it for a special occasion, like your wedding...

At last came the thing we (at least I) had been waiting for...  The Hog Roast was ready!
David and Tracy from Bridgefoot Meadows had been up since 4am, preparing the hog roast for the event, I had been keeping a careful eye on their stall, as I was, to put it frankly, bloomin' starving.  I saw movement and the hog was off the spit and being prepared for carving. I couldn't believe it, the queue had already started before I got there, did they not know how hungry I was?
Anyway, the rolls, filled with tender pork and crackling, cooked to perfection, were delicious and well worth the wait.  Vicky Cole had already 'bagsied' the ears for her dog Rolo, (she has more front than Brighton) so Alec was left with the tail for his springer Archie, who polished it off in about 30 seconds.  I couldn't believe how quickly a pig can disappear, David and Tracy must be magicians!

So with a pig bun in my hand, trying to scoff it as quickly as possible, I was press ganged into the Tug Of War!  I am still not sure how this happened.
We were split into teams of four by the adjudicator, Matt Starling the Sussex Strongman. I, being of the larger build was placed as anchor man, but it was no good, our opposing side were just better, plus they were wearing shoes, I was barefoot - that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.  After the exertion, the only thing I could do is bid farewell and nip to the local for a well deserved pint!
It was a great day, Sue, Josef and the team from the Kirdford Village Stores put on some brilliant entertainment that was enjoyed by everyone who attended - well done.