Would Ju-Believe It?

I can’t be sure but I think I heard something about some royal celebration? Did I get that wrong? I turned on the telly and I couldn’t see much about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Queen. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crown, I have bought many of her stamps over the years and I’m sure she brings in a few quid for the country, but I have reached Jubilee fatigue now. If I see one more interview with a “member of the public” recounting a six-second meeting with the Queen a few decades ago I may have to gouge my own eyes out.

None of their “meeting Queenie” stories can top mine of course. In 2012, I had a deep and meaningful encounter with Her Majesty, as you can see here.

There can’t be many folks who can claim the Queen did a driveby on them. This picture was taken from my then office in Manchester. It was during the hipster start-up phase of my career, which mainly involved writing on windows, not selling very much and the owner changing his mind every six minutes. I returned to the comforting monotony of corporate life some six months later.

A lack of respect for the Jubilee this weekend is probably about as popular as my tweeting about Sunlit Uplands, but as much as I wish her well, it’s all got a bit much. I’ve appreciated the four day weekend of course. I’ve had no work to get in the way of puppy minding. It will not shock you to learn that my weekend has involved some mowing, but only on the regular lawn and not the big field. I mowed that for the first time this year three weeks ago and I think I just made it angry. It has grown back with a deep and meaningful vengeance. I may decide to leave it as a nature supporting, wildflower meadow this year. The only trouble with that idea is that Woody’s little legs can’t cope with blades of grass above a couple of inches high and he has very much enjoyed his times on our field so far. I can see another three to four hours with a mower in my not too distant future.

Anyway, away from committing treason, most of my week has been spent outside waiting for Woody to wee. His first few days here were blessed with November-like weather, which was especially pleasant. I struggle to relax with a puppy in the house, treating them as a ticking time bomb, and mentally counting down from the last time he emptied himself. So I tend to be outside with him on the regular.

It is too early to say, but there are signs that he is starting to get the message now and if he’s anywhere close to ready he will immediately wee as he gets outside. Don’t get me wrong, there have been 45-minute battles of will under an umbrella, with him darting to the back door every two seconds and me telling him we aren’t going in until he wees. I’ll let you guess who has won these battles to date.

He sleeps well though. We’ve not had any nights yet where he has cried more than a minute or two before settling down and despite a slightly earlier rise than normal it hasn’t been too bad.

Hades, our newly inherited cat, has settled pretty well too. He’s had the occasional forlorn wailing session but we suspect it is because he still has his bits and bobs and there are two (neutered) female cats in the house. He will be “done” soon. What a welcome to the household! Here he is looking as if he knows what I just typed.

It’s raining again today here in the Costa Del Darwen, so more fun and games with Woody and his weeing. Wishing you a more pleasant Sunday than that!

Till the next time…..

Baldy Bean

Bean is bald. It isn’t something in the water in the Mkingdon household, which is a good thing for Louise and the girls. She has been dispatched for her first ever hair cut yesterday and returned looking like a different dog.

Here’s the before shot….

and the after….

She can be a little highly strung at times so we did warn the groomer beforehand. When Louise picked her up he couldn’t speak more highly of her. Apparently she just stood there wagging her tail at him for the whole experience. We’re clearly doing something wrong.

So after that landmark yesterday afternoon, last night Rebecca reported another to us. At just three months old, Freddie rolled over for the first time last night. Based on the rate at which he is growing, eating and developing I think he might be walking next week. By the time we go to WDW in late August he may be tall enough to ride Big Thunder Mountain.

Speaking of which, had I mentioned we are going to Florida on holiday? I may have. I have mentioned a bit of plan tinkering recently so it is time for a re-share of the current version of the plan. This may and will change still I think, mainly if we can’t the ADRs we want when we want them, but here is the current state of play.

29th August

Travel Day. A ridiculous wake up time to get to the airport far too early. Expensive breakfast, expensive duty free buying, nine hours in a metal tube with a ten month old, a long line at immigration, a big shop at the supermarket and dinner at Outback. That lovely feeling of returning home and the joyous prospect of two weeks stretching out before us.

30th August

Up in the early hours, Magic Kingdom of course. Freddie’s first view of the castle. Lunch at around 10am, some rides, a parade and then dinner at Whispering Canyon.

31st August

My birthday! Some rest in the morning as the second day hits us hard as usual. Mid afternoon eats at Beaches & Cream and then an evening around World Showcase with ROE to end my birthday as should be the law.

1st September

Some more rest in the morning as we will have been out till 10ish the night before and bodies will still be adjusting. Epcot again for a few Fastpasses and hopefully an ADR at Via Napoli.

2nd September

A proper official rest day. It’s Labor Day so parks are to be avoided. Pool, reading, relaxing….for about three hours in the morning then we are off to Citywalk for lunch at Toothsome. A wander around Citywalk and maybe some shopping at a mall to build up an appetite for dinner at Applebees.

3rd September

Enough rest now. A full on day at DHS, including an ADR at The Brown Derby.

4th September

A rest day of sorts, with brunch at Keke’s. We’ll find something to do in the afternoon, or go back to the pool trying to get ourselves hungry for our visit to Cowfish that evening.

5th September

Another full theme park day at DAK. Lunch at S’atuli Canteen and our usual dinner at Yak & Yeti. Depending on energy levels we will either stay for Rivers of Light or head for home and Jellyrolls may be an option for those without young children! If we don’t do it this night we’ll do it another for sure.

6th September

Resting again with maybe a wander around Celebration in the afternoon/early evening. An early dinner at Olive Garden and then the plan is MNSSHP.

7th September

Epcot today. More Fastpasses and doing as many rides as possible before a quick shower and change at the villa before heading off to Teak for some Doughnut Burger goodness.

8th September

Typhoon Lagoon today until the usual late afternoon storm sends us back to the villa. Dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

9th September

Back to DHS today, mopping up stuff we’ve missed and repeating the good stuff. Disney Springs in the evening and a possible dinner at Edison.

10th September

A lazy morning, and a brunch at Hash House a Go Go. Shopping probably at a mall or back to Disney Springs. Should our bodies be able to take it, Bahama Breeze for dinner.

11th September

Last full day and of course that means Magic Kingdom, ending with parades, fireworks and tears.

12th September

Travel day. I will inevitably have to buy a suitcase. Brunch at Toojays before some last minute shopping/browsing before heading to the airport contemplating the horror of the return to normality and work.

13th September

I begin work on the next trip, convincing Louise it is the right thing to do.

Now, there’s a lot of rest in there, which is intentional. With Freddie in mind I need to recognise that the theme park commando approach may not be an option, and getting ready and out in the morning may be more challenging, if that is possible, having had Louise and two girls in tow all these years. If we feel like doing a bit more on some of those days we can, but best to plan sensibly I think.

This compromised approach does not apply to eating. That is still the usual he who dares wins tactic and we’ll be cheating death if we eat everywhere we plan to. Somewhere in that lot we want to try a “snack” at Voodoo Doughnuts too.

It still feels like there is work to do on the plan if I am honest but that’s OK. I’m pretty good at it and there’s time yet. It’s all part of the magic!

Till the next time…..


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