Category Archives: Family

Diet? Me?

In July, the tribe and I went on holiday to Florida where we had a blast. We also scoffed huge quantities of food. Eating in America is an experience that’s for sure.Heart Attack Grill

Portions were enormous and the food itself was smashing. Now I wasn’t exactly slim went we went. I was bloody enormous when we left.

Me. Before and after. Yeah. Right!

Me. Before and after. Yeah. Right! Maybe the one on the right.

A small elephant springs to mind! What’s that? A very large elephant? That’s not very nice is it? What do you mean ‘It’s true’? (I hate it when PIL is looking over my shoulder reading what I’m trying to write and making comments – usually rude and derogatory.) What? Look, when I write in italics it represents my thoughts and you’re not supposed to read my thoughts! Yes I know you’re a woman. Ok so as a woman you can always read a mans thoughts? It helps when they’re on the screen does it? (Will you bugger off and let me does this?) Oh dear. PIL has the hump now. I won’t be seeing her naked any time soon!!!fat-ass

fatarse

Anyway, on our return PIL decided to put me on a diet and it’s not fun. Breakfast is guinea pig food. PIL calls it “Mews Lee” but I think that’s just a posh word that the residents of Chelsea, Shoreditch and Shad Thames use as, due to the plum in their mouths, they can’t say “Guinea Pig Food”. We have two varieties I have to eat.  One of them has lots of seeds in it so that version looks like parrot food. They’re both awful. All my other meals are chicken and pasta and every now and again I can have pasta and chicken for a change. Sometimes, when I’ve been really good I can have spaghetti and chicken and, on occasion, taglaitelle with chicken. It makes a change from pasta but as to whether it’s a pleasant change is open to question! Some days, PIL will add rabbit food to my meal. She calls it “salad”. Must be those people living in Shad Thames again who call it that. However, the upshot of this so called “healthy diet” is that I’ve lost a ton of weight and my trousers don’t fit anymore. That’s all well and good if you’re 18 like my son Greg, wear a baseball cap back to front and are happy with the waistband of your trousers sagging under your arse.bumtrousers2

However, for a middle aged man like me…. Look, I’m middle aged. I am NOT old. I haven’t even got a bus pass yet. (Will you please let me get on with this in peace and quiet?) Where was I? (No, it’s NOT dementia setting in woman. You just made me lose my train of thought). Bloody hell, this is hard work! Anyway, for a middle aged man like me, back to front baseball caps and trousers hanging on the wrong side of my arse is NOT a good look. Hopefully, I’ll get some new clothes for Christmas or, if not, it’s off to the sales for me. I hate shopping.

On that note, from a skinny Dick, have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

Updates.

Well hello. I’ve been gone awhile but before I go into why and up date you on what’s been happening, a quick word for Claudia who, while thinking I’m a dick doesn’t believe I’m Dick Dastardly and not the author of this here blog. It was fun at Battersea wasn’t it girl and really nice to meet your twin sister?

That’s that sorted.

Work.

It has been manic at work over the last few months. We took on a new task and to say it’s cursed is probably an understatement. The internet signal on site is crap, the phone signal is crap, the equipment kept failing but worst of all, some of the staff were just absolutely bloody hopeless.IMG_1718

The work I do comes under a Home Office department and is regulated by them. One of the criteria is the ability to speak, read, write and understand English. Some native-born Brits that came along to work could probably manage one or two of those but all four? Jesus Christ, my bloody dog is more intelligent than some of the people who wanted to work for us. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that my dog’s POO was more intelligent than one or two of the amoeba brained Neanderthals that managed to find their way to site. Some couldn’t even manage that!

YES

YES!

Fortunately, the Boss and I have managed to resolve the equipment, internet and phone problems and we’ve got good blokes working on site now that don’t need to be constantly supervised. I’ve just spent the last week staying up in London working in Battersea Park. We had a task up there last year for the same company and I hope it happens again next October. It’s a blast. Hard and tiring work involving long hours but I was working with a team I put together, they were all guys I had worked with before and they were superb  professionals.

Battersea Park. Looking up towards Albert Gate

Battersea Park. Looking up towards Albert Gate

I like Battersea Park. The River Thames runs along one side, it has a children’s zoo, a pagoda, many beautiful trees and we were blessed with great weather.

Battersea Park looking towards Chelsea Bridge at about 0800

Battersea Park looking towards Chelsea Bridge at about 0800

I now have a few days off and have every intention of doing the absolute minimum possible although PIL may have a different view on that! A little light gardening may be about my lot. I will be writing separately about the progress taking place in our front garden.20150919_154811

 

Beard

Bearded-Ostrich--90763

Yep. Still got it. Nowadays though I keep it under control with regular trims to keep it neat and tidy. Clit, PILs beaver, stills makes regular visits and it’s a delight when she comes. It can get a bit messy though as she’s a bit of a wild animal when she gets excited!

Dog

Dexter is still a bonkers dog. We had to put a mail box on the wall by the front door because he kept eating the post (and occasionally the post mans finger tips). He adores going walkies out in the boonies and I love taking him. He burns off energy at a tremendous rate while I get some peace and quiet so that I can put my head back together.

It's hard work going walkies

It’s hard work going walkies

Family

More news is breaking as I write on the family front so I’ll write about PIL, Ed, Greg and CJ once I’ve had all the up dates on that front.

Greg, Ed & CJ with Dexter

Greg, Ed & CJ with Dexter

Well peeps. I hope that this post has found you all fit and well. I will be writing again real soon with an update on the garden and possibly details on the progress in the House of Chaos.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

 

One Down, Plenty More To Go.

20150904_084333

20150904_112117

20150904_074518

My sister Boo is a very efficient person. She and her husband have to be. They own a small holding with a great many animals to care for.20150904_082538

20150904_082909

20150904_082749

So when I arrived in Wales to look after their place I was given a great many important instructions. So, for instance, I know where the chocolate cake is.

The care and feeding of all the animals was carefully explained to me. The clucks and ducks get fed twice a day. One type of food in the morning and another in the afternoon. I know where all the bedding materials are, what to do with the eggs once they are collected, when the bin men come and how to divvy up the general rubbish with the recycling and what bags each go in.20150904_112504

20150904_112608

I know what to do with the crops in the poly tunnel, how often to water and what type of watering (deep root at present).20150904_112421

20150904_112431

However, Boo failed to give me one important piece of information and misled me on another. The misinformation first. She told me the battery powering the electric fence had no power left. Wrong! As I discovered when I brushed against the crotch high electric fence and received an electric shock to a part of my anatomy that no man should have shocked. Made my eyes water!20150904_084321

The information she forgot to give me was what the bloody hell do you do with a dead chicken?

When I let them out this morning one of them stayed in the hen house, so I gave it a poke and said;

“Oi you lazy bugger. Time to rise and shine.”

It stayed put. So I picked it up to discover rigor mortis had set in.

“Oh bugger!” was my first thought. Then I thought,

“What the fuck do I do with it now?”

Couldn’t eat it cos it wasn’t an eating chicken and I didn’t really fancy plucking, gutting and decapitating it. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to bury the damned things as it may be against the law as the carcass might pollute the water. I couldn’t just chuck it in one of the fields for the Kites and crows to eat. Well I could but the neighbours might get pissed about it. So what to do? I scratched my head. I scratched it again. I thought about it long and hard and after 3 or 4 seconds of thinking hard thoughts I put the carcass in a carrier bag, dumped it in the bin and let the bin men take it. They came today. Problem solved. I just hope any other critters that decide to snuff it do so in their sleep on a thursday night so they can go in the rubbish the next day. Unless its a bloody horse!20150904_084208

I think the bin men might notice if I binned a whole horse. Crikey, this farming lark is difficult. Decisions, decisions.

Time to go feed the animals again, water the crops, scratch Chalkys chest and throw his balls around the fields for him to chase.20150903_113235

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

It’s Only Me

I have absent from the blogging world for a little while and I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I posted anything since returning from my holidays. I’ve knocked out a couple since then in the mista…

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I’ve just realised what I have written! “Knocked out a couple”…..? What must you be thinking of me? That I sit in front of my screen having a Jodrell while waiting for inspiration to strike? Hahahahaha.

Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank

Rest assured that I don’t. You’ll have to take my word for it though.

Work has been manic since my return and we have a new task that has been proving to be a bit of a nightmare. I always love it when my boss phones up and says;

“Houston. We have a problem, don’t you”!!!

My Boss

My Boss

It always means that the soft brown stuff has hit the fan and it’s heading in my general direction.

Anyway, that aside I did intend writing about the progress, or lack of it, in my garden but I’m in Wales for the next few days looking after my sisters smallholding

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

and all her critters and crops.

There are three horses,20150902_113751

20150902_113725

a dozen ducks,20150902_113333

a large, indeterminate number of chickens (they’re always scuttling about making it impossible for me to count them)

This chicken is called "Mrs Bogbrush"

This chicken is called “Mrs Bogbrush”

20150902_113411

and a labrador called Chalky

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

along with a semi feral cat called Morgan.

Morgan

Morgan

Plus all kinds of fruit and vegetables to take care of.

By the time Boo and her husband Gupta get back from their holidays, I suspect there may be slightly fewer animals to deal with!

It’s lovely here and it’s been some years since I’ve been in this part of the world and it was really pleasant to be driving along and recognising village names from back in the day when I was in Wales most weekends for canoe races.QuentinBonnetainAction

I might just take a wander down to some of them for a look-see and remember my long-lost youth. In the meantime though, I’m busy feeding animals, clearing out hen houses, shovelling up horse muck and picking raspberries, strawberries, aubergines and that kind of stuff. It’s bloody brilliant!

Boo and Gupta live on the edge of a small village not far from the coast. All the locals seem to be called by their job names as their real surnames are all Jones. Or it might be Evans or Jenkins or some other Welsh surname. So the bloke who delivers logs for the wood burners that everyone has is called Dickie Log, the school cook is Betty Cook, the carpenter is called Dai Saer (Saer being Welsh for Carpenter) and his wife is called Betty Dai Saer. The landlady of  the local pub, The Commercial Inn, is run by a lady called Betty Commercial. There’s another bloke called Dai Buns who may be a baker but may not and the guy who keeps all the roadside hedges trimmed is called Eaun Hedge!!! The local farmer is called John Ty Mawr (Ty Mawr is Welsh for Home Farm) and so it goes on. Boo and Gupta are called Boo and Gupta Wyndarra because the name of their smallholding is Wyndarra! Wyndarra being Australian but that’s just like my sister to put a spanner in the works! Apparently, most of the women (of a certain age) are named Betty as that was the name of the midwife who delivered them all. Electricity arrived in the village in 1963 and some of the inhabitants here remember revising for their school exams by candle light! The Interweb is unbelievably slow and it is taking me bloody ages to download the photographs I’ve taken but do you know what? I think it fantastic here. Boo and Gupta (so-called because of his love of curry. Also known as “Stink” when he’s had a curry!) dreamt about having this life for many, many years and they achieved it 6 years ago and I envy them. It’s not easy but it is plain to see that they are living the dream.1926889_654140781288958_206925591_n

I have to go give the clucks their afternoon feed now, so on with my wellies (I brought them along in case I found any stray sheep!) and off into the fields, the fresh air, the rain and the wind to feed the animals and think some thoughts.

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto

Graduation

Last Tuesday PIL and I made our way to the University of East Anglia near Norwich for our eldest sons graduation ceremony. He graduated with a BSc in Business Management. He put a huge amount of effort both at school and while at Uni into getting that degree and I think he deserves it. Both PIL and I are immensely proud of him and what he has achieved. (We’re immensely proud of all three of our children). The ceremony itself was more formal that I expected with much doffing of hats and tugging of forelocks. Afterwards we all went into Norwich city centre for lunch at a restaurant our son had booked. A new era begins for him now.

I really don’t have the words to describe just how proud we both are. They say a picture paints a thousand words. So here’s a million words worth of photos we took during the day.

Just before the Graduation Ceremony

Just before the Graduation Ceremony

A very, very proud mum.

A very, very proud mum.

Waiting his turn.

Waiting his turn.

Going up to shake hands with the Chancellor

Going up to shake hands with the Chancellor

Degree in hand

Degree in hand

Ellgrad8

With two of his mates afterwards waiting for the group photograph

With two of his mates afterwards waiting for the group photograph

I would love to know what the girl behind was saying!

I would love to know what the girl behind was saying!

Ellgrad15

Ellgrad12

Ellgrad16

Ellgrad1

Ellgrad17

Gowns off at last!

Gowns off at last!

Our son

Our son

Have a great day.

 

More Dick soon.

auto

Post Holiday Post

I don’t know about you but I find that within ten minutes of returning to work, it’s like I’ve never been away! Having said that, the memories remain and what memories they are. We had a fantastic time in Florida. We did all the things we wanted to do although they weren’t necessarily the things we thought we would do and we didn’t do some of the things we intended to. That’s the nature of our holidays. We make plans and change them.

We’ve been a number of times before but despite that, returning to the Theme parks was no great hardship. We enjoy them immensely. All you need to remember is that it is likely to be hot and that you will walk many, many miles, so comfy footwear is a must.kids@harrypotter

PIL, CJ and I watched Ed and Greg playing golf and were full of admiration at how they were prepared to demonstrate to all and sundry just how monumentally bad they were.

image4

Having said that, they were both far better than the rest of us by a long way. At least they could hit the ball! They spent a lot of time searching for their balls, they hit houses, they may have hit a car or two, they plainly enjoyed playing from bunkers and from in amongst the trees.Elltreegolf

Both of them blamed their miscued shots on their selection of the wrong bat to hit the ball with and they both had an absolute blast!Elliott for par

During our travels around the course we found large numbers of balls lost by other players which made them feel a bit better about their own efforts. This feel good factor was increased by coming under attack from wayward golf balls from other golfers while we were lounging around our pool. On our last day, before going to the airport, we all played a round of crazy golf. PIL got a hole in one while I got hit by a ball fired off by someone on another part of the course.

We ate huge quantities of food. All of it was fantastic, the portions were enormous and we were given doggy boxes to take home what we couldn’t eat.The whole tribe eating again

At Animal Kingdom, we had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.

The Rainforest Cafe

The Rainforest Cafe

At Magic Kingdom, we managed to get an early lunch at the Crystal Palace. At Universal we stuffed our faces at NBA City. At the Florida Mall we went to The Cheesecake Factory to eat. We stuffed our faces at a different place every day and every place was excellent. We drank Butter Beer at Harry Potter World and it was disgusting.wwohp-butterbeer

We got told off at one place because Ed had forgotten his I.D. so PIL ordered a beer on his behalf and we got caught. You have to be 21 to drink alcohol in the US and while Ed is 22, he still got asked for ID and it’s taken very seriously there. No ID, no alcohol! Oddly enough PIL and I never got asked for ID! Apart from beer and donuts, we also got food in so that we had meals at home too although I’m not too sure what “Turkey Bacon” is. Be prepared to put on weight although not as much as you think because of all the walking you do getting around the theme parks and shopping malls. Places like the Cheesecake Factory, Rainforest cafe and Crystal Palace are very popular so expect a wait if you haven’t booked a table in advance.

All the parks, whether they be theme parks or water parks get busy from early in the morning so ensure you get there in plenty of time so you can either get a good spot or beat some of the queues.BombBay2

tribeatmagic

We purchased express passes for Universal and Disney. They don’t apply at Harry Potter World but work well in the rest of Universal.

Harry Potter World

Harry Potter World

image3

Not so good at Disney though as you are limited to the number of rides you can go on and it’s at specified times only that you have to book. Everyone of them is great fun though. We did have a bit of an issue at Universal with “technical problems” causing delays on some of the rides. We waited for ages to get on the Hogwarts ride because of this. We were stood under that bloody talking hat for a long time and every three minutes it would start its speech:

“You are about to start your journey…..”image2

We bloody weren’t! If I’d had a gun, I’d have shot the damned thing! A thousand people driven potty at Harry Potter World!

There are absolutely loads of things to do and every one of them is designed to part you from your money! However, it’s all worthwhile and we loved it.

Shopping is a breeze too. We took the minimum of clothes and bought loads more out there but with so many outlet centres, it worked out quite cheap to buy clothes and stuff. PIL got a beautiful Michael Kors handbag for a fraction of the cost back in the UK. Mind you they did have a sale on which saved another 40%. And yes, in a very short length of time, she has lost her house keys, car keys, phone and tablet somewhere in the depths of that bag as well as her make up bag, purse and $6 in change.

We stayed in a fantastic house with it’s own swimming pool so if we didn’t feel like going anywhere, we could just stay at home and slob out in the pool area. Just be aware that the wildlife like living there too!

Sam the Snake

Sam the Snake

Lizards are there in abundance and so are snakes as we discovered on a couple of occasions. Plus there are all kinds of weird insects. (Well, weird to us).

It ain’t cheap but my advise to anyone is to go. You will have the time of your life and have great memories (and a gazillion photos) to remind you of one of the best times you ever had.

PIL organised the whole thing and she did an excellent job of it.image1

It’s no wonder I wish she wasn’t my ex wife! Thanks PIL, we all had a great time thanks to you and we all love you to bits.

Thanks mum. I had a great time. I love you.xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a great time. I love you.xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a fantastic holiday. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a fantastic holiday. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had an awesome time. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had an awesome time. I love you xxxx

Thanks PIL. I had a stupendous time. I love you xxxx

Thanks PIL. I had a stupendous time. I love you xxxx

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

Home Again

We’re home.deflated-balloon-628x363-628x330

Boo.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

auto

Stitched Up Good and Proper.

Before I start on today’s post there are a couple of things that I’ve forgotten to write about in previous posts and I feel it necessary to cover these particular aspects of our holiday.

First of all, if you go to the Harry Potter part of Universal, be aware that Butter Beer tastes like…well, shit really! I have no idea what shit tastes like but if I was to take a guess then I would say shit tastes like Butter Beer or, if you prefer, what I said originally – Butter Beer tastes like shit.wwohp-butterbeer

All five of us tried it and the more profane of us concluded that it does indeed taste like shit while the females of the tribe declared their disgust for it in a slightly more lady like manner:

“Bloody disgusting.” said PIL.

“Foul, disgusting stuff.” said CJ.

“Tastes like shit.” said Ed.

“Ed!” said PIL

“Yeah. Tastes like shit.” said Greg

“Greg!” said PIL

“Fuckin’ horrible.” I said

“Dick!” said PIL

“Dad!” said CJ.

“Ok. Sorry.” I said. “Still tastes like shit though!”

“Dad!” said CJ

“Dad’s right.” said Ed. “It’s fuckin’ horrible.”

“Ed!” said PIL

“Ed!” said CJ

Anyway, as you can see, we didn’t like it. 5 out of 5 considered it foul. You may think differently but I would suggest that you buy ONE SMALL Butter Beer and try that before investing a shit load of money for a drink that in my opinion, tastes like shit.

Secondly, if you go to Typhoon Lagoon take your own music (phone or iPod) and good head phones . Unless you are a huge fan of 60s California surfing songs that blare out on a continuous loop that repeats every 2 hours, you will go nuts within hours because that’s all that’s played and you can only listen to “Daddy taking the T.Bird away” so many times.typoonlagoon

I wholeheartedly recommend both these places as tremendous fun and not to be missed but just be aware of what I’ve said here.

Today I started the day with another 1.2 mile run. This time CJ came with me as the lazy toad known as Greg was fast akip in his pit still. After breakfast and showers we headed off to Wet n’ Wild. We’ve never been here before so weren’t sure what to expect. We were not disappointed though. It was smashing. There were lots of water rides that the kids went on straight away while PIL and I sorted out the loungers and chairs and made like Germans by covering everything with towels. After about an hour the kids came back and started telling us about the rides they’d been on. They harped on about this ride called the H2O Disco ride and said it was great fun.Wet-N-Wild-Water-World-54698-735x400

“Dad. You really must have a go. It’s got really loud 1970s disco music playing the whole way down. You’ll love it(!!!!!)”

Eventually I agreed to have a go. Ed said he wasn’t going this time round as he wanted to top up his tan. He said it with a huge smile on his face. Greg and CJ were beaming too. ( I should have guessed something was afoot). So off we went and joined the end of the queue for this allegedly fantastic ride.

“So what happens?” I asked

“OH Dad it’s great. You get in this 4 person rubber ring thing and shoot off down the slide. Some of the time it’s in a dark tunnel thing and then it’s outside then it goes back inside the tunnel and finishes off in the pool. It’s great. You’ll love it.”

“Yeah Dad, and all the way down they play disco music really loudly.”

“But I don’t like disco music.” I said

“That’s ok Dad. It doesn’t matter. They only play it loud so no one can hear you screaming.”

“What?”

“Never mind Dad. We’re there now.”

“No” I responded. “What’s this about not hearing you scream?”

Whereupon the guard at the top of the ride gestured us forward ready to take our places in the rubber ring thingy.

“Right Dad. You stand on the number 1. We’ll stand on 3 and 4. That way the weight is evened out.”

“Cheeky bugger” I thought. “Why is the guard smiling like he’s just toked a whole spliff on his own?”

We got on. Then the ground suddenly disappeared from below us and we shot off somewhere. I was facing back up the ride throughout and a) had no idea what was happening until it happened to me, b) all I could see was Greg and CJ laughing their heads off and c) I was probably screaming like a girl but due to the VERY loud 1970s disco music, I couldn’t be sure.BombBay2

Finally, after what felt like an hour or so we ended up in the pool at the end of this ridiculous water slide thing. The kids were wetting themselves with laughter. I was so exhausted from all the screaming I’d screamed that they had to help me out of the pool and escort me back to PIL and Ed. PIL had a huge grin on her face so it was fairly obvious that Ed had told her what was going to happen. The buggers had conspired on the way back earlier to stitch me up like a kipper and they had. There I was thinking that PIL and I had succeeded as parents in bringing up three civilised human beans. Wrong!

Today is our last full day in Florida as we catch the evening flight back to the UK tomorrow. Ed, Greg and I are finishing off the beer before going to bed. PIL has drunk the last of the wine and gone to bed.

We have had a truly wonderful time. We will return again soon. Next time though, we may not have all the kids with us. Ed is 22 now, finished Uni and about to start work. He may decide that he wants to holiday elsewhere with other people. We shall see. Greg is 18. He’s about to start Uni. Who knows what he will decide. CJ will come with us though as she’s still not old enough to holiday alone. I hope that our kids will all join us on holiday again. PIL and I love having them around. They are great company (somewhat annoying at times though) and both PIL, CJ and I will miss them.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

auto

There’s a Snake in my Pool!

Monday:

Another one of my favourite places. Magic Kingdom.tribeatmagic

We love it here. There is always so much going on. We took the ferry boat over. Forewarned by SDG we walked straight past “It’s a Small World” but still ended up either singing or humming that bloody song 30 seconds after walking past. We continued humming it intermittently for the rest of the day and the day after. And because SDG is naughty and has reminded me of it over the past couple of days, I’m still humming it now! PIL and I didn’t go on the Cup and Saucer ride as we’d planned but we had plenty of others to go on. Probably our favourite is the Buzz Lightyear one.Buzz Lightyear

We went on this ride three or four times during the day.

Greg looking smug with CJ  photo-bombing.

Greg looking smug with CJ photo-bombing.

Greg, as with all the other similar kinds of rides, came away with the highest score every time. Smug little bugger. We had tried to book lunch at the Crystal Palace but all the times got booked up before we had the chance. We took pot luck and rocked up anyway and after a 30 minute wait, we were in. This is an all you can eat buffet place. A mistake for all of us as none of us has any self control in these circumstances. The great thing about this place though is that Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore wander around so you can have your photo taken with them.

Kids and Tigger

The kids loved it. PIL got a huge hug from Tigger.mumandtigger

All in all another fantastic day full of fun and food! As you can see though, it’s jolly hard work wandering around Disney theme parks and keeping your 100% highest score record on the Buzz Lightyear ride.

Enjoying yourself is such hard work.

Enjoying yourself is such hard work.

We got back home and jumped into the pool for yet more volleyball antics and for me to be berated once again for being rubbish. (They forget that an awful amount of effort is required to move the amount of blubber that I carry around these days.)

Tuesday:

Not a day of rest but I went for another short run at the start of the day. Once again, Greg joined me. By the time we’re leaving for home I may well be able to run the whole distance. After breakfast, we jumped in the massive vehicle and drove off to Typhoon Lagoon.typhoon_lagoon_03

We arrived just as it opened so we found ourselves a nice spot and settled in for the day. The kids went on some of the rides they have here but spent most of their time in the main pool where they let loose a big wave on a regular basis. Today it seemed to be every 3 or 4 minutes. Everyone in the pool is there for the big wave and they know it’s coming and yet when it does, they all scream! I spent a good while in there too but got hit by a massively obese fat woman and it bloody hurt, so rather than smack her in the mouth I decided to catch some rays instead. I am nothing if not a gentleman. The kids did some snorkelling in the shark pool. They took the GoPro camera with them. Ed only nearly drowned twice using it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While we were there a huge thunderstorm arrived. The park authorities announced that all the rides were closed, everyone should get out of the water and take shelter. So we did and then the heavens opened! Some people left but we decided to stay as it cost a shed load of money and we were determined to get our moneys worth! Soon the sun came out again, we found ourselves another spot and spent another few hours burning to a crisp as us Brits tend to do whenever the sun comes out. Apart from a hot dog we didn’t eat all day and waited until we got home before cooking ourselves a meal for a very pleasant change.

Wednesday:

Greg still hasn’t found a 76ers shirt and to be honest, I’m still looking for a “Hare Jordan” tee shirt in my size. (Under Armour also do a fantastic sleeveless hoodie that I was looking for in my size too.) We’d had two days of parks and it is unbelievably tiring to lounge around all day in a water park so we decided to shop again. This time we went to the Florida Mall. we’d not been here before and as it had a great many sports shops we were hopeful of finding what we were after. All the while we were there, PIL was shopping on line! The Next sale had started back in the UK and she was NOT going to miss out on bargains from her favourite store! I have no idea what she got but it may have included a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, several lights and even some clothes. We walked into a multitude of shops, possibly as many as 20,000. Well, that’s what it felt like. None carried a 76ers shirt. Greg is now going to wait until later in the year when the new season starts to get a new shirt on line. We couldn’t find the sleeveless hoodie from UA either. However, Ed, Greg, CJ and PIL did buy a great many other items of clothing. I found a “Hare Jordan” tee in my size!!!

My Hare Jordan tee

My Hare Jordan tee

For lunch we went to the food hall in the mall and demolished several chickens and very scrummy they were too.e0202b80222d3c2a221fa59d2fa1431c

After going into several shops we had already been in earlier we decided to depart and go home. When we got back, no one felt particularly hungry which, thinking about it, is hardly surprising. None of us has eaten so much in such a short time. After an hour of relaxing we decided to punish me again and play some more volletball in the pool. Greg, while preparing the pool, ie taking all the lilos, beach balls and sundry other junk out of the pool, flicked something or other and a snake fell out into the pool. Panic reigned again although I have to say Greg was a lot better this time. He scooped the snake out of the pool and kept it close by while I went and got a bag to put it in.

Sam the Snake

Sam the Snake

We let Sam out in some shrubs outside the pool area and then went off to check what kind of snake he is. He has a red belly so I had a slight concern Sam might be poisonous. Turns out Sam is a harmless Florida Ring Necked Snake. We had just got ourselves back in the pool when PIL moved a seat to sit on and watch. And what should drop off the chair? Another bloody snake! It was another Ring Neck so we chucked it out in the shrubs with the others. We decided this one was female and called her Sally. The bio on these snakes did say that if you find one, it’s likely you will find more.ringnecksnakewhole463_000

After checking all the pool furniture several times until PIL was happy that no more snakes were hiding there, we got back in the pool. Whereupon CJ looked into the filter section on the pool wall to see yet another snake wriggling around and joining us in the pool. Simone the Snake was taken out of the pool and put in the shrubs with all the others. We have been to this part of Florida several times over the years and we have never seen a snake before. Lizards yes but never any snakes (although I have seen them out on the Golf course but kept quiet about it).ringnecksnakeheadagainstafinger463

Eventually, it all settled down and we had a good hour in the pool playing volleyball. I was utter crap again apparently.

It’s off to Wet n’ Wild tomorrow. Another water park where we can get wet, scorch our skin and chill out. I’ll be going for a run first though.

Have a great day. We’ve had loads.

More Dick soon.

auto

Ye Gods. I Have Stretch Marks!

 

Saturday:

Today we visit one of my favourite places: Animal Kingdom.

Rhino

hippo

Gorilla

Added to which is a visit to The Rainforest Cafe for lunch!Rainforest1

I really do like Animal Kingdom. PIL and the kids do too. Travelling around the park in a truck on a pretend safari is great fun. You can get very close to the animals. In fact, this time we were within 10 feet of a rhino, a fantastic experience. There are lions, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, hippos and all kinds of deer and antelope. Once you’ve done that, you can wander around different parts of the park to see other animals. PIL has a particular soft spot for gorillas and once again we were fortunate to get close to a female and its baby albeit behind a glass screen and further on we saw a number of males. In another area we saw tigers, although they were some distance away. It was fantastic and we had a great time. Lunch was booked at the Rainforest Cafe and once again the food was great and the portions stupendous. The skin around my tummy is feeling quite tight now.

After eating far too much again I decided an afternoon nap was in order

After eating far too much again I decided an afternoon nap was in order

We got back to the house tired and still stuffed with food but we managed to jump into the pool for a game of volleyball where I was, once again, berated by Greg for being rubbish.

Sunday:

All these theme parks are bloody exhausting so once again we had a day off. Once again I went for a run although I was joined by Greg this time.

Jesus. Running is hard work!

Jesus. Running is hard work!

I suspect that PIL may have had a word and suggested he volunteer to come with me in case I had a coronary. This time I ran a bit further and walked a bit less although the overall distance was the same. Greg finished as fresh as a daisy while I was a sweaty, dishevelled, breathless mess.

“Come on Dad! It’s all down hill now.”

Fuck off” I thought as speech was impossible.

“Nearly there now Dad. Probably about 300 metres to go.”

Fuck off” I thought again as I was still unable to speak, breath and run at the same time.

“Here we go Dad. Only seven more houses to go.”

My thought processes had ended  round the corner and I was on autopilot so thought nothing at all but I made it back.

We showered and guess what? We went shopping again but before we did, we had a mess around in the pool and spent some time catching some rays. While I was doing my imitation of a beached whale PIL called out to me:

“Er. Can you come here for a moment? Like now!”

So I struggled to an upright position and walked over to the house and there, standing on the arm of a sofa was PIL. On the floor, inside the house was a snake! The kids,hearing us talking, came to join us and immediately leapt onto the sofa with PIL. Now I don’t have a problem with snakes. In fact, as a child I used to keep snakes, lizards, frogs and toads but they were British snakes and we only have one poisonous snake and I know what that looks like. We’re in the United States and there are many venomous snakes here, none of which I recognise. I persuaded Ed and Greg to get off the sofa and get me one of the many shopping bags we had or a shoe box so that I could capture Sid the Snake and chuck him outside where he could slide off and live happily ever after.

Sid the Snake

Sid the Snake

Sid was soon placed in a very posh Michael Kors bag and then put into some shrubs outside where hopefully he met Sandra the Snake, they married, had hundreds of baby snakes and lived happily ever after. Greg has a mate who is into snakes in a big way so we checked with him and Googled snakes. Turned out Sid is a Garter snake and completely harmless.

Sid the Garter snake

Sid the Garter snake

Strict instructions from PIL were issued: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LEAVE THE PATIO DOORS OPEN.

We left and went shopping. Greg is desperate to find a Philadelphia 76ers NBA vest.

Photo courtesy of: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo courtesy of: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

None of the sports shops seem to stock it. They stock all the other NBA shirts plus all the college shirts but not the 76ers. Greg says it’s because they’re crap which, in turn, is why he follows them! Odd logic but sound in his mind I’m sure.

We returned home again without a 76ers shirt once again. We had a meal while we were out and had gone to the Publix supermarket to buy more essentials – beer and donuts again. As the rest of the family unloaded the massive vehicle, I went and opened the front door and as I returned to help bring the shopping in, I had an overwhelming desire to indulge in my sister Boos favourite pastime and for no reason whatsoever I fell over! (Actually, I stumbled on the path and went down like a sack of poo). The impact was impressive. While I was down on the deck PIL made an observation:

“You need to cut back on your food intake. You have stretch marks!” (Offering me absolutely no assistance in my efforts to get vertical again.)

“Nonsense.” I replied while desperately trying to regain my feet and look to see if I really do have stretch marks.

“I merely have a stripey tan effect in the region of my stomach caused by an almighty overhang. I could do with a hand here.”

“Whatever. Looks like stretch marks to me you fat bastard. You look like a bloody turtle on its back” (Still offering no assistance.)turtle1

“Charming. I’ll have you know that mountaineers live in fear of that overhang and a great deal of good (and not so good) food and gallons of beer have been consumed to achieve that effect.”turtle

“That’s as maybe but you still have stretch marks. No more donuts for you Sonny Jim.”

By this time I had assumed a more or less upright position and decided to keep quiet. There is no photographic evidence that I can show you as a) it’s far too disgusting and b) it’s far too gloomy down there.

It’s Magic Kingdom tomorrow, so we have an early start and after having a few beers we went to bed after another great and very full day.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto