Schrodinger’s Plan

Hello friends. It is an appropriate point in time, I feel, for one of my walkthroughs of our holiday plans. I know that you get bits and bobs each week, but it is inevitable that at certain points in time, you must be afflicted with a detailed breakdown of where we currently sit. So now, just 44 days away from departure, it is that time.

Now, I know I have said that this trip will be “planning light”, but, if you believed that for a second you haven’t been paying attention to my obsessive over thinking, over planning nature all these years. It is not however as detailed as previous years and for that I should be applauded.

So settle in for my current version of the plan. It will be strikingly similar, yet crucially different, to all my other plans over the years, and therefore (almost certainly not) worth the investment of your time.

Day One

This is our travel day, and already we have something new and “interesting” to report. Our flight is not until 2pm in the afternoon, so this negates the need for one of those 3am starts driven by a 10am flight, to find Louise already up and hoovering the ceiling in an attempt to distract herself from the prospect of the flight.

Our taxi to the airport is booked for a very civilised 9am. This means that will be able to fully enjoy the M60 and all of its delights just as rush hour is ending. I am giving us an hour to complete what should be a 30 minute drive, getting to Manchester Airport Terminal 1 at 10am.

By the time we check in and get through security that may be getting on for 10.45 or so, and that means we will be in proper brunch territory at whichever eatery we select.

We land at 7pm local time, so this means we will leave the airport in our fun bus in the dark and therefore our chances of getting lost are at least doubled, despite all of my years of experience of driving over there and our trusty sat nav. It will happen.

With that late arrival and with Freddie probably having fallen asleep in the car on the way to the villa, we are not planning to do our traditional first night meal at The OutBack as it will be too late. Instead, a take away will be ordered whilst some folks unpack and I find the nearest supermarket for a very expensive shop.

Day Two

Who knows what time we will be awake, but what is not in doubt is that we will be going to Magic Kingdom. It appears that there is Early Morning Hours and one of those pay to stay late things planned for that day at this park, but it matters not. Day one means Magic Kingdom and the law must be obeyed.

We have no dining reservations made (see, I can play it fast and loose) and my expectation is that we will be flagging by tea time and we will leave the park for some off site dining around that time.

Day Three

We are off to Typhoon Lagoon. It’s best to get this in earlier in the trip before all the food has destroyed my Adonis like physique. We have always tended to attempt a rest day on day three, but sitting around the pool never seems to work out for us and we find ourselves getting itchy feet in the afternoon and heading out to do something not very rest like. So by doing a water park the aim is to get some rest but also not get bored!

Again, no dining plans are made. I have pencilled in, very lightly, an evening stroll around the Boardwalk, but hey, what will be will be, right?

Day Four

This is my birthday so there’s only one place we’ll be heading. Epcot today, ending with our penultimate viewing of Reflections of Earth. As we know we intend to stay in the park till close, I have reserved us some dining today. After loving it last year, Via Napoli gets the nod at 5.40pm. Assuming we are out of there by seven, that’s the perfect time for my ideal birthday activity, wandering around World Showcase at dusk, with the music, and the torches, soaking it all in before we take our spot for the fireworks.

This is one of THE highlights of any trip. That atmosphere is unique and magical and almost impossible to describe.

Day Five

The way this day currently looks on the plan it may be life threatening. You may find that this part of the plan changes before we go, but currently we seem to have two dining experiences planned that, when attempted on the same day, could be very damaging.

This is a rest day after a long day in Epcot the previous day. Rest days tend to get used for the few breakfasts we like to do, and top of that list is Hash House A Go Go. So if this plan stands we’ll need to be out early, eating as soon as we can to give us any chance for our dinner reservation (we won’t need lunch…probably) at Trail’s End.

That is a deadlier duo than double denim. If anyone can pull it off, we can. We have trained for years to undertake this sort of thing so please don’t try this unless you are similarly experienced.

If we survive, having parked at TTC, and taken the boat over to Fort Wilderness from Magic Kingdom, we will perhaps spend the evening enjoying the park, if we can still walk.

Day Six

This is Labor Day. I always have the fear that this will mean horrendous crowds, but we did DHS on this day last year and it was OK. So, the plan says Animal Kingdom.

Our dining options are again wide open with my expectations that we will go off site, but hey, I am a free spirit, and wherever our whims take us, I’m OK with that…..really.

One thing we are trying to do on this trip is snack. We’ve been watching a few of the Disney Food Blog snack videos and many of them look incredible. So on some days rather than a counter service lunch we may just snack from various places. Look at me, I am the free spirited hippy of WDW planning.

Day Seven

OK so the elephant in the room is Hollywood Studios. Galaxy’s Edge opens the day after we arrive and I have intentionally omitted that park from our plans for as long as possible on this trip. This will be a week or so after the official opening and I have no idea what the park will be like. So this is very much a “toe in the water” suck it and see day. With this in mind, no dining plans have been made in the park and considering we may not even make it into the car park, then we really will just see how today goes.

Day Eight

Look, another water park! It’s another pseudo rest day attempt and a nod that Freddie will absolutely love the water, so we are going to Blizzard Beach for the first time in decades. I honestly think that the last time we went, Rebecca was four and Emily six, and Rebecca got lost in the kid’s slidey bit and we had a horrible few minutes looking for her until we were reunited at the lost kids table where she was colouring in, oblivious to our nervous breakdown. That was sixteen years ago! Not much will have changed then right?

No dining plans again. We shall select our off site option of choice from our sun beds on the day. It *might* be Cowfish, as I have suggested an evening at City Walk. We didn’t get chance to do that one last year so it is a priority this time.

Day Nine

Epcot. I did say that my birthday would be our penultimate viewing of ROE, as I have low expectations of us making it all the way to 9pm on this day, but never say never. No ADRs again. Will this fast and loose madness never end?

The plan has a tentative suggestion of an evening at Animal Kingdom Lodge for a wander around and a look at whatever animals are knocking about. I am currently fighting the urge to book Sanaa. Pray for me.

Day Ten

Our second day at Animal Kingdom. No doubt having failed to get a Flights of Passage FastPass for either day I will be furious and will have to fight the rage so as not to spoil the day. We have an ADR at Yak & Yeti at 6.45pm, with a very loose intention to see if we can get into Rivers Of Light afterwards. We may FastPass it, if it suits our plans, so that we can wander in relatively late.

Day Eleven

This is unusual. Until this week there was absolutely nothing planned for today, so I guess you’d call it a rest day. Going against everything I said about not doing loads of expensive dining, we do now have plans for breakfast.

Freddie is currently obsessed with Despicable Me. The films mesmerise him and with us not doing Universal this year, it seemed a shame to not try to fit something in that would entertain him. So we now have a Breakfast With the Minions character breakfast booked at Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal.

Other than that, I don’t know what we will be doing on this day. I feel unwell!

Day Twelve

What? Another day with no firm plans yet. It’s a disgrace. We do seem to have another character breakfast booked though. Do my words mean nothing? This one is at Chef Mickey’s at the request of Rebecca to give Freddie (yeah right) the chance to meet the main characters amidst of buffet. Who am I to argue?

I’m sure we’ll head to a park afterwards but which one, who knows?

Day Thirteen

We are back at Hollywood Studios, maybe, crowds permitting. No dining plans of course, so this will be a do what we can, take it as it comes day, with a retreat if the crowds are as bad as feared.

Day Fourteen

Our last full day, so of course we are back at Magic Kingdom. Today is a Not So Scary Party so we will be turfed out at 6pm. This is fine on this occasion as we want to end this trip at Epcot watching ROE for the final time. It will be an emotionally charged farewell and will be an emotional affair. Our last night’s can get teary anyway, but this could be a sob fest.

No ADRs booked so we may eat on the way from Magic Kingdom to Epcot.

Day Fifteen

Travel day. No doubt we’ll buy an extra suitcase, eat a huge breakfast and head to the airport after a shopping spree. It’s only natural.

So that’s where we are. Clearly there are gaps to fill, details to add and in some cases days with nothing planned that need to be sorted but it’s broadly there now. FastPass booking is probably the last thing that may drive significant changes and those are available to us in two weeks time.

It is entirely normal and reasonable to block book 12pm out of your work diary so that you can book FastPasses uninterrupted, right?

If you managed to retain any sort of interest to the end of this post, I salute you.

Till the next time……

Mormons, Makeovers & Memories

The recent horror show at work led me to take drastic action last week. On Tuesday I booked Friday and Monday off. My body was telling me I had to. It was also telling me I’m a fat get, but I can only deal with one thing at a time.

The decision was initiated by the fact that on Friday evening Louise and I were going out to watch Book Mormon in Manchester. This was our glorious Christmas present from Emily and we’d been looking forward to it ever since. My commute being what it is, battling my home, to then turn right around and head back to half a mile from where I started seemed silly, so the day off made sense on many levels.

I didn’t do a great deal with it I am pleased to report. It was nice to take a breath, enjoy the nice weather and set off nice and early to avoid rush hour stress.

Our plan was to eat in Manchester pre-show, and despite our first choice being too busy we had a lovely Indian before heading into the show. It was fantastic. This might be the musical for people who may not feel that they like musicals. It isn’t your traditional, boy meets girl, love song driven affair. It is incredibly funny, fast paced, original and of course full of great songs. I think (and don’t quote me on this) it was written by the creators of South Park with the bloke who wrote Avenue Q. From that you may work out it is irreverent and rude, but for me that just makes it better.

I give it five stars and a Freetime thumbs up (ask your Dad).

This week has also seen some significant news coming from WDW. Whatever is going on at Epcot, it’s big. We already know that the entrance area is being rid of those Leave a Legacy things, but it seems the work and transformation also reaches all the way up to Club Cool and the fountain area. Institutions such as Electric Umbrella and Mouse Gear are to be closed, either temporarily or for good perhaps in some cases, and as with all major WDW changes that brings a mix of emotions.

Now, I am old enough to remember standing in front of a monitor in the area beneath Spaceship Earth and talking via video to a cast member to book our meal for later that day at China in World Showcase. That was in the early 80’s I think and that’s probably as good an example as you would need that things do need to change with the times. That blew our collective minds at the time and unless Epcot is going to fully embrace the retro modern motif, then I guess change is inevitable. Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom sort of has that going on, and bearing in mind what Epcot stands for, then with technology having changed so much since 1982 when it opened transformations like these make sense.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had time to read up on what might be coming to Epcot. Honestly, if you are relying on my blog for up to the minute and accurate WDW news then I don’t think you’re doing it right! I’m not sure I’d even class whatever this is as a Disney blog, and I salute those bloggers who are always up the minute on the latest changes, rumours and announcements. I just wish I had more time to read them.

Whatever is on the way will need to be accepted, not that I have a choice, and trust has to be placed in the Imagineers doing all of this. I do appreciate the constant reinvention though. We all pay a lot of money for our time at WDW and it would be easy for them to sit back for a few years and watch that money come in, but they do seem to be constantly investing our hard earned into significant changes and upgrades. Of course, that’s a big driver for footfall. Many folks will go back specifically to see the latest new thing, but, then at times, many more will go to watch something before it vanishes forever.

Reflections of Earth is one of those. That thing has a really special place in our hearts. We’ve watched it on most of my birthdays over the past twenty years of course, but it’s more than that. So our final viewings this year will be a special time. There’s something special also that Freddie will see it with us. He was there last year of course but was too young to take it in. This year, as we say goodbye to it, he will take it in for the first time. The circle of life metaphor doesn’t need making.

Change is constant, time stops for no-one and Emily might still be crying on the flight home after saying goodbye to ROE. WDW is expensive, but very few holidays get you like that and I suppose that’s why we all keep going, right?

Till the next time…..

Yaks, Yetis and Yew Tree

You’ll have had enough work based whinging by now I imagine? Well, on the bright side I retire in about twenty years so not long to go now.

I was “darn sarf” for most of the week at Head Office. I was in meetings to kick off one large project whilst literally at the same time overseeing the delivery of another. Relaxing it was not.

Anyway, with one off my plate now, and team members back from holidays, the next few weeks look more tolerable. Wait, is that the countdown home straight I can see just around the next bend? I think it might be. 58 days folks. One more pay day. I can almost smell it.

The car hire balance was paid off on Friday and that’s the last chunk of expense to be paid apart from the spending money. Out of interest, how much spending money should I take for two weeks?

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Ah, the memories of that question being endlessly asked on Disney forums and no doubt still being asked today if I went on any to look.

Summer has arrived, Wimbledon is imminent, as is the Open Golf and these are all welcome tell tales signs that we will shortly be off on our adventures. After 73 weeks of rain, I intend to enjoy the lovely warm weather before autumn starts next week. Bear in mind, that right about now, somewhere in the UK, the John Lewis marketing team are pulling all nighters trying to decide which acoustic maudlin version of a song they are going to play over their Christmas ad this year.

Summer of course also means festival season. Glastonbury is on my telly showing several young folks I don’t recognise talking over music that nobody on stage is actually playing. Mustard have their own festival season as well which lasts over the space of the next two weekends. Today, we are off to Yorkshire to play at the Ravenknowle’s Children’s Gala. We are sharing the billing with Mr Zoot, a children’s entertainer and the Wrenthorpe All Stars. The latter being a majorette troupe and the former a Yew Tree court case waiting to happen. They may not sound all that but both will be better than Janet Jackson was. I believe this gala is similar to Glastonbury in that most of the crowd won’t have heard of us either. Still, if you are in the area, that being Huddersfield, then come along, take lots of illegal drugs and pee in a bottle but don’t throw it at the stage whilst we are on.

Then next weekend, specifically the 7th of July, we are playing at the Tottington Big Day Out. That, it won’t surprise you to learn, is in Tottington. We’ve played this one before and it is a fantastic day out as well as being Big of course. Again, come on down if you’re local. We are on from around 2pm I think. I cannot confirm if Mr Zoot or the Wrenthorpe All Stars will be appearing at that one so you’ll just have to take your chances.

I am still fighting the urge to books ADRs but forgive me, I have done another. One place that we have to eat at, as we rate it so highly, is Yak and Yeti. There’s little competition in Animal Kingdom of course for a sit down do, so it made sense to secure a table. With a party of six, walk ups are harder to come by and if we miss out on this eatery Louise would be very, very upset. It is one of her absolute favourites.

Image result for yak and yeti

So that is done for the 6th of September at 6.45. That’s our second day at DAK, the first being Labor Day. Expecting that day to be busy I suspect we may not last all the way to Rivers Of Light, so on our second visit, we shall eat and see if there is room in Rivers of Light after the meal. I doubt there will be if we rock up at 8.15, but it is what it is. See, I told you this trip is trying to be a more relaxed take it as it comes thing. Look, I know you won’t believe it, and I’m not sure I do, but I’m trying.

Time to go, I have a “festival” (gig in a field) to get to.

Till the next time……

Woody and Wedding Dresses

After the last few weeks where these posts have been more a cry for help than a blog, you might expect me to start once again by whinging about my week at work. Well, you are absolutely spot on. It’s been another relentless tsunami of shite that I don’t wish to repeat but alas the lack of a lottery win means that I will have to.

Friday ended like one of those skids you have in your car in icy weather when you almost crash but somehow manage to avoid any large hard objects, but only just. With heart racing, pulse racing and bearing the battle scars of a war I’d struggle to call a draw, the weekend began.

We were booked to see Toy Story 4 at 7pm, so the transition from work to weekend was a rushed one for us all, and we arrived at Middlebrook (extensive retail park next to Bolton Wanderer’s stadium) again in that car crash, sweat on brow, pulse racing mode, with seconds to spare. There was barely enough time to secure a life threatening amount of Pick n Mix before settling into our ever so posh reclining leather seats.

Not having the time to adjust my brain to leisure mode properly and having missed the 45 minutes of adverts and trailers, the opening moments of the film passed me by a bit as I just wasn’t mentally prepared for what I was about to see.

Soon enough the adrenaline started to subside and the enjoyment of the film kicked in. This will be a spoiler free zone of course so my review will be brief. It’s very good. All the stuff you want in there is present, with jokes that work on many levels, a good story line and of course the heart tugging emotion, and they all come together to make it another film that will entertain families for decades to come.

The emotional bits, I suppose, work best for the likes of our viewing party. The Toy Story quadrology (hey, I may have made that word up, but it works) has been with us as a family as a constant. Sat there with the next generation in the form of Freddie, when Emily started crying her eyes out, at the time when Freddie taking his turn on her knee, it was no surprise. The thing that happens, that I won’t spoil, is a symbol, once again, of time passing, new generations taking over and things often never being the same again. Having swallowed too many sugary snacks, I had to work extra hard to swallow the large lump in my throat.

Freddie, at 18 months old, behaved fantastically. Beyond the occasional “Quack Quack” at the appearance of a duck like toy which made our row chuckle if nobody else, he didn’t make a peep and broadly sat captivated throughout. It augers well for the watching of shows in WDW in 65 days time. Ooh see how I crow bar a countdown update seamlessly into a post.

He was on a massive snack and sugar overdose which helped but that’s how the cinema works, so he deserves all the credit.

Speaking of important family milestones, time passing, and kids growing up. Remember, Rebecca? The little girl you’ve seen in my trip reports over the years….

Well, yesterday Louise and Emily watched her choose her wedding dress. If the themes and motifs of the Toy Story films are ever more accurately mirrored in my life at any other time, I will be amazed.

Yes, yes, I don’t look old enough to be the father of the bride. That’s just my natural athleticism, classic good looks and military grade fitness regime, but it’s happening nonetheless.

I haven’t seen the dress. Rebecca wants me to see it for the first time on the day and that’s fine. Mine and Louise’s job is just to deliver the day she wants. She is delighted with it, and, as the cliche goes, she knew it was the one the moment she tried it on. I had a similar experience last week in Matalan trying on a new pair of jogging pants. Just the bills for those two items were different.

So at the risk of being THAT patronising person who thinks they know it all about parenting, if you are taking your young kids to watch Toy Story 4 anytime soon. Enjoy it. Despite the perpetual exhaustion, financial woes, never ending work and day to day struggles, drink it in. Next week you’ll be planning a wedding and bouncing your grandchild on your knee. That’s great too of course, and I spend every moment in Freddie’s presence with a smile on my face, but just smell the roses of today, take a million photos, write endless trip reports that capture your holidays. Otherwise you’ll blink and miss it.

Here endeth the eyebrow raise inducing faux wisdom.

At the risk of not heeding my own advice, I have to go now and spend the rest of my Sunday fighting the dread of the impending Monday.

Till the next time…….

Binging, Bean and Bonkers Behaviour

Remember when it wasn’t raining? Good times, good times…..

The weather has been a meteorological metaphor for my past week at work. Each raindrop representing some element of my working week that washed away my energy, resilience and will to live.

With no immediate end in sight to the current madness and a diary chock full of things I don’t want to do with people I don’t want to do it with, I am clinging onto sanity by looking at my fridge door on a regular basis. Why? Because that’s where our countdown sits.

Evenings have been a vegetative state of binge watching, with Louise similarly busy, it’s all we can muster. Last week we polished off the new Killing Eve in two nights, caught the first episode of the new series of Handmaid’s Tale and then, whilst surfing around Netflix, Louise chose Dr Foster. We are always on the cutting edge of new releases. I probably wouldn’t have picked it to be honest but it was largely good. The end of series 2 seemed to be a case of the writers losing it a bit and letting the whole thing get away from them, but it was very watchable for the most part.

I was out gigging last night at a wedding in Tottington/Bury and Louise took the opportunity to binge watch all of the current series of Love Island. This has to happen when I’m out of the house otherwise I have to set the TV on fire.

Away from exciting TV related news, that I know you live for in these blogs, yesterday Rebecca started her wedding dress search. She, Louise and Emily went to a couple of shops where apparently you now need to make appointments. Clearly I am not involved in this process and will not see the selection until the day, but she has not yet found “the one” but did try a few on which she really liked and found it helpful.

The cake has been ordered now and lots of other things are being looked at and selected. It’s full on this wedding lark isn’t it?

During the hurly burly of my working week I got wind of utter madness going down in Orlando. I have to say it did fill me with a bit of horror and dread for what might be in store with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. I didn’t have time to read too much detail of what was going on, but for the opening of what (it seems to me) is the re-theming of a fairly standard roller coaster, folks were waiting over ten hours. Ten. Hours!!

I barely tolerate a flight shorter than that to get to Orlando never mind to ride one thing. Come on folks, have a word with yourselves. Apparently the park had to shut the gates at 10am after reaching capacity, and the queue literally filled the whole park.

I mean, I have a soft spot for this ride already. For those paying attention, it was the announcement of this ride that forced Louise into wanting to go back, (next year) to ride it. Sure, another trip then got shoe horned in this year but still, it has played its part in our Orlando obsession. But, look, just, look….

Look at how happy they look. Ten hours…….ten hours!!

I would go so far as to say, despite all my work related moaning that I probably would rather spend a day at work than queue for anything for ten hours. That is the level of my disdain for this stupidity.

Before I go, I need to mention two occasions of note. The first, as Emily would be upset if I didn’t give it a “shout out”, is Bean’s third birthday. She’s a pain in the arse at times, but can also be a loving, funny ginger nuisance. Happy Birthday Bean.

The other of course is Father’s Day. With both of my daughters having the audacity to be spending this morning out of my house with their respective partners, there was no breakfast in bed and I had to source my own bowl of Shreddies.

Having said that, I live next door to my Dad and I didn’t make him breakfast either so I suppose that’s fair enough. I shall pop round later Dad with a gift that will in no way reflect what you deserve for everything you’ve done for me, Louise and the girls. Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, all of yours and of course to those Dads who aren’t here to receive their gifts in person. Louise’s Dad is in that category so a special mention to him.

Oh, and it’s 72 days folks. I don’t know if I’ll remember to give you a weekly update on that but I hope so!

Till the next time…..

Little Cards Of Joy

We have defeated the 80’s and we are at 79 days folks. FastPass day approaches more quickly than my ulcer and with that in mind a welcome and significant delivery came this week.

These little bits of plastic were a very welcome distraction from a week at work I will long remember and yet wish to forget. It was a busy one.

That photo also demonstrates how dirty my laptop is. That’s a result of spending its three year life with me eating my lunch whilst working. There’s probably a whole sandwich somewhere in that keyboard.

Along with the tickets and their inherent ability to get our FastPasses sorted in a bit came news, well more rumours, of a tiered system at DHS. The theory is that all rides will be Tier 1 and all shows Tier 2 and you will only be able to book one Tier 1 and two Tier 2s. Now, I have my doubts that this is actually going to happen, as rumoured, when Galaxy’s Edge opens, mainly as Disney have already said that there will be no FastPasses for Star Wars stuff, at least initially.

It doesn’t sound great though, especially for those long time visitors who have seen all the shows a lot and prefer to do the rides, but I think this may be a symptom of the fears Disney have over the crowds they are expecting and how to control them.

For us, certainly whilst Freddie is so young (and short) it won’t affect us too much. He (and Tom) are still relative newbies, so doing the shows is fine and many of the rides Freddie can’t do yet. Disney will do what Disney will do, and some of the meltdowns I’ve seen on those very sensible and level headed WDW Facebook groups over this is just another reason why I very rarely contribute to any of them.

This year is very much a bonus, we shouldn’t be going year, so I am going to try and be as sanguine as possible when the time comes to get our FastPasses. I will of course fail and be sat at my keyboard, with war paint on and wild eyes, hammering sandwich riddled keys whilst screaming about how shit the My Disney Experience web site is as it crashes for the seventh time that morning and it’s only ten past seven……

Sorry, I just had a flashback to last year…..

If we can get on some stuff, and maybe benefit from the DHS crowds by bagging Pandora related rides, which we couldn’t last year, then all will be well. What will be will be……well, I almost believed that myself.

So 49 days till FastPass fun and games. I’m at the stage where I’m looking for ways to make the holiday seem closer than it is. For example, there are only two more pay days until we leave. See, it’s sooooo close.

In less frivolous news, Louise endured a trip to A&E during last week. The pain levels she was experiencing led to suspicion of a stone of some variety. X-rays, prodding and tests of all her liquids over many hours seemed to rule that out and a follow up visit to out patients a couple of days later confirmed that. As welcome as that news was it didn’t really explain the root cause, but she’s slowly getting better, and should be back at work tomorrow.

She is of course now on trial, having to prove her fitness to travel to Florida without the need to visit our friends at Centracare. As much as our Platinum reward card comes in handy, its to be avoided if we can.

Till the next time……

Freddie, Football and Fatigue

This will be rushed and make less sense than usual. I know that sounds like a challenge but I am on Freddie duties this weekend so my typing time is restricted. Louise is out working so he has been entrusted to me and me alone. My parenting memory muscles are being tested along with my stamina.

Supervising little humans is literally a full time role as this weekend has reminded me. The fact that I did my step target yesterday without leaving the house other than a walk to the local shop demonstrates the physical exertions of making sure he hasn’t got his fingers in something he shouldn’t.

He’s been good though, as he always is. He is ever pleasant, tantrum free ( so far) and a joy to be around. There’s a reason I had kids in my twenties though. I had more energy then!

I have of course fulfilled my duties as Grandparent to spoil him and feed him stuff his Mum and Dad might not. Here he is enjoying his Scooby Do gingerbread biscuit.

It has been a manic week all round. Work has been a million mile an hour maelstrom full of pressure, problem and pricks and then I was out gigging on Friday night over in Bispham, which meant a very late night, followed by an early start on Saturday as Freddie duties commenced.

Louise arrived home just after six, giving me just enough time to walk the dogs before settling in for the football. Now, typically I avoid blogging about a few things that I feel strongly about and football is one of them. The easiest way to stop either of my readers from turning up each week would be to wang on about my favourite team. Same goes for Brexit.

You probably know that I support Liverpool so last night was kind of a big deal. It’s been a terrific season but the thought of ending it with nothing tangible to show was not a good one and I was, as I always am before big games, anxious, edgy and knowing I wouldn’t actually enjoy the game itself until the result was beyond doubt.

The game itself was awful, and with Liverpool holding a slender 1-0 lead from the first minute, the game was on a knife edge for the next 86 minutes and it was not an enjoyable experience. Then, in the 87th minute a second goal brought sweet relief and a grown man to his feet in the living room, shaking his fists at the TV. If you get football, that won’t sound tragic but if you don’t then of course it will and I don’t mind either way. It’s best I don’t tell you about how emotional I got at the final whistle. It cannot be explained if it needs explaining to you.

If you have no idea what the game was, just know that winning the European Cup for the 6th time is a big deal and the pleasure almost equalled the relief felt as the cup was hoisted aloft by the players.

I retired to bed just before midnight preparing myself for day two of Freddie fun. He’s currently crawling through his pop up tunnel thing on our living room floor. It isn’t clear it is a floor at the moment as it cannot be seen for toys. If it ever stops raining we shall head out to the park for some swing action but the forecast does not look great.

This evening will be spent relaxing for sure, readying myself for another five days of mayhem at work. A casual glance at my diary for the week confirms it is chock full of meetings I don’t want to go to, people I don’t want to deal with and more work than I know can be fit into the amount of time available. It pays for the holidays I suppose.

OK, I have to go and see what Freddie has been doing outside on the road for the last half an hour. That’s a joke Rebecca!

Till the next time…..