About Me

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Hi, I'm Lyndsey. I'm a 36 year old Mum from Wales. I have a Masters Degree in Marketing Communications and Public Relations and put it to good use in my work as a freelance Marketing & PR consultant. I also work part time as a fundraising coordinator for a Welsh charity which I absolutely love!! With two jobs, two children, two cats and a handsome man, lets just say I'm a busy lady. 
From 2006-2008, I wrote a column for the Denbighshire Free Press. I was so proud of the feedback I got for this, even the one angry ‘You Suck’ letter to the editor cheered me up no end; it showed that people took notice of what little ol’ me had to say. It’s good to know that people give a rat’s ass either way! So, succumbing to requests from my former fan club (ok, overstating there – readers who had nothing better to do on a Thursday afternoon) under the March 2014 archive you will find a selection of my early Free Press articles. I’d love to hear what you think on any of the subjects raised…you know, rat’s ass either way feedback ;-)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Allergy Show UK

Another 3am on the bog, wrapped in a duvet, clinging onto the sink for dear life as yet another spasm of agony ripped through my stomach.  This led to another 7am of my Son finding me asleep, toilet roll in hand, my head propped up on the loo roll holder.  He used to find it funny, but nowadays I get sympathy as the poor mite has the same food intolerances as me. 

Me & my zits arrive at the show
That's why I decided to visit the Allergy Show in Liverpool's BT Convention Centre last weekend.  Sucking on my cardboard tasting breakfast of cracker things and still sulking from another bagel which had crumbled the second I tried to put 'free from everything including taste' jam on the top.  I was determined to find something edible!

After handing over my free tickets, downloaded hastily from the internet that morning, I walked into my own equivalent of wonderland.  I didn't know which way to go first. Should I follow my nose to where the food waft was wafting from or pop over to the massage chairs (don't care that I can eat them, I got me some achy bones) or even check out the face creams made from who knows what grown from home??  My nose won.

First up, I discovered the Galloway Fudge Company, where I bought some oh so delicious Sicilian Lemon Marshmallows. Lots of flavours of marshmallows and fudge were out for me and Hubby to nibble on, but this flavour won for me. 

Natures Store
Next, I stopped by Nature's Store where I was treated to a pack of white chocolate rice cakes - and they tasted lovely!!  I know, its rare if not impossible to find rice cakes that don't taste like something your mother would slap your hand for eating shouting 'yucky, throw it away'.  These my lovelies however, are yum - taste like chewier milkybars!  My Hubs was given a free packet of milk chocolate ones for the road too.  We were really starting to love this show!


Melody-Claire
Next up, we took a seat at a live cooking showcase and watched mesmerised as these women cooked up lovely dishes from the foods in the gluten free, dairy free, wheat free ranges. I was impressed and did my best to try and remember the recipes.  I've failed though!

A bit further on and a lady from Melody-Claire pulled me over.  She was enquiring about whether I shaved or waxed and I instinctively looked down to see if my legs looked like extras from Planet of the Apes.  She showed her a buffer looking product and asked my man to test it.  Looking most dubious he extended his arm and she performed a kind of 'wax on, wax off' manoeuvre across a hairy patch of arm.  Seconds later, Hubs looked at the shiny bald patch in amazement.  It was quick, painless, seemed effortless and no friction burns appeared.   I handed over £20 for a years supply of buffer things immediately whilst secretly hoping it works on lady'tashe. 

We sampled nitrogen ice-cream, fruity sorbet (not for me though, loathe the taste of real fruit), fajitas, curries and so much more.  Massages from healer-people and heated seat pad thingies. There was precious little that I wasn't excited about.  Hubby, having no allergies or intolerances of his own, found many foods that he would refuse to eat but as I told him, many, many times over - he has had choices and junk food all his life. This stuff is brilliant for me & my intolerant comrades.

There was one particular stand however, where he kept stealing my samples.  The Daura Damm aka, Beer Stand.  What can I say except "WOW". I can never, EVER drink beers without looking like I've either swallowed a football, or am due to give birth imminently.  The aftermath always ends up with 3am duvet!  Gluten-free beer that tastes as good as any German beer (my favourite kind).  Apparently, this stuff is available in Asda, Morrisons, & Waitrose.  I know what's top of my shopping list for Christmas Festivities now Oh, along with Udi's Bagels which I also discovered you can buy from Tesco, & Asda ; am munching 
on a free sample pack of bagels as I write this blog.

Me & George Jones
I was really pleased to meet George Jones, 1990's supermodel and all round gorgeous lady, who has set up Bathing Beauty. A natural skincare company from my nearby hometown of Denbigh.  I complained about how my skin is always a disaster from all my allergy, stress and 'hormonal' issues.  She handed over a sample bar of soap for me to try called Miracle; wow she really did know what I needed!  Then she also told me all about a facial oil called Troubled Skin.  I love that her range is so blunt rather than giving the products airy fairy names!  Well, love this stuff so much that I will be posting my first ever YouTube video about our experience soon.  That's how inspired I was!



Well, with so many exhibitors to mention and a bag load of goodies to try, I can honestly say I'm chuffed to bits that I went to this show!  I am definitely going again next year.  In the meantime, I'm off to bin all my cardboard food - no room for it in my kitchen cupboards anymore.

ps. None of these posts have been sponsored - I'm just really happy to promote them! Realise there 
are a lot of links but hoping you find that helpful. Enjoy x

Monday, 27 October 2014

Dad Dropped Me

My kids are nagging me to go to Alton Towers.  I feel that, at 12 & 10 they are too young. Of course, I was their age when I first went but that is beside the point; as is the fact that my daughter is taller and far more fearless than me.  Whilst pondering how long I can drag this out for before rebellion kicks in and the kids start making DIY rollercoasters out of go-cats and bloody steep hills, I came across this old article from the archives of my Columnist days.  It made me wonder...

My daughter turned six last weekend.  She hoped to have a party at home but the thought of sixteen six-year-olds running riot through my house was too horrifying to contemplate!

This is as scary as it should get!
We opted for Geronimos, Rhyl instead.  With exactly fourteen sleep nights before her birthday, hubs & I  both struck on the idea to buy her birthday gift.  Unfortunately, inspiration hit us on a day when we weren't together.  The lightbulb flashing above my Man's head lit his way to Game Station whereupon he bought her the latest pink Nintendo DS, complete with accessories and three games.

At the same time, in a town several miles away, I was in Claire's Accessories handing over the dosh for my daughter's gift.  My daughter was sat in a tall chair quaking and attempting deep breaths. The gold studs were loaded in the piercing gun and positioned at her ear.

My little girl had requested ear piercing on many occasions in the past, I had been extremely reuctant.  One time, I had let her watch another girl of about the same age have her ears pierced. The girl had slid off the stool and promptly vomited.  Her mother had looked ready to rip my head off when she noticed my broad smile which had involuntarily sat on my face.  Her child's upchuck had given my kid's feet flight, right out of the door.  Unfortunately, now we were back.

EXCITED!!!
Later that day, we were gathered at Geronimos. Hubby was in charge of gathering up the kids and supervising their journeys within the play area.   I was left with the job of introductions between the parents and was gutted to have the adult duties whilst my man was hurtling down slides with the kids!

20 minutes in and someone else's little girl comes flying at me. "Miss, Miss, they're going on the big slide and I'm scared they are gonna get dead" Her mother approaches me, her voice raising in pitch as she demands to now what's going on, why there is no barrier on the drop-slide and did I realise that the kids were all too small for that slide?     

I looked over the barrier and see a mop of brown hair hurtle alarmingly fast in a downwards non-diagonal direction.  "Ann, that was your kid" I yelled as I ran toward an almighty  drop-slide. "OH MY GAAHHHDD, It's MY kid" I freaked out as I saw my 4 year old son sprawled at the bottom; I prayed he had not broken any bones or worse. Racing down the stairs, I called for Hubby to come quick.

That's when my boy jumped up waving his little fists around hollering "Yeah, Yeah, that was well cool!" his face had a scary, hyper expression as if he had eaten 20 packets of Smarties washed down with a bottle of SunnyD.  "Dude, you frightened the life out of me. You could have hurt yourself. What's your Dad going to say when he finds out?"  I rambled as I checked him over.  "Dad knows" my Son laughed and pointed upwards "Dad dropped me"

Party Face Paint All Ready
It was then I became aware that my Son's name was being chanted.  I slung my small Son under my arm and legged it up the stairs to find all the other kids and several Fathers whopping and clapping.
The other Dad's refused to meet my 'You are dead-meat' eyes as Hubby sheepishly informed me that all the other kids had been too scared to go on the drop-slide, whereupon my boy had climbed up and proved them all cowards.

As he was telling me this, he was hunched over the slide and in his hands were the hands of another child.  The kids in the background were goading "Drop, Drop, Drop". The other Dads looked shamefaced as they saw their respective partners stood behind me, hands on hips. 

Turns out that only my Son & the neighbours twins had the guts to go on the slide.  As the party was drawing to a close, I was relieved that the event had passed without injuries or complaints.  A good time was had by all.

When the attendants brought out the party bags, I asked my friend if she would mind handing them out for me.  There was something I needed to do.  I grabbed Hubs by the scruff and marched him off...

"Drop, Drop, Drop" yelled the kids as my feet dangling, eyes squeezed tightly shut and both mine and Hub's knuckles white. "ARRGGHHHHHH.....That was WELL COOL!!"

So, that was six years ago.  Since then we have been to Gulliver's World, Camelot, Aqua Jungle in Egypt, Siam Park in Tenerife, PortAventura in Spain and to the Fun Palace in Caernarfon which has even more scary drop-slides.  So, why am I so reluctant to take them to Alton Towers?  Is it the worry that my Son is still too small for most of the rides? Is it that I still haven't recovered from my utter terror on the BlackHole over a decade ago? I guess the nearest thing to the truth is that, with each passing year...there's a good chance that I'm turning into a chicken and I'm feeling just too damn old to be dragged onto rides which make me lose my stomach, bladder and lunch all at once!

Geronimos is located in Rhyl Funpalace.  Click this link for more info Geronimos

Monday, 20 October 2014

Animal Birthing - Beautiful or Ick?

The Blonde clan have recently become addicted to PogDogs (Paul O'Grady at Battersea Dogs home), Supervet and various other animal rescue programmes. As we coo, ahhh and aww at the various little animals in need of love, our cat Sandy is usually nearby for cuddles and an expression of miffed'ness (usual expression to be honest) on her furry face.  It reminds me that the kids have not always found fuzzy animals quite so cute.  Digging out an old column from the archives, I found a prime example.  Read on peeps...


Yum, tasty Kitten haha,,
The beauty of nature has been revealed to my children in all its glory this week. Their response was "Urgh, Gross" I could not chastise too much since my outburst was "Arghh Noooo, not on my new carpet"  The cat gave birth regardless.
Sandy, our cat, had been getting a bit fat.  The tom cats had finally stopped wailing outside our windows night and day.  I now understand what people mean when they say 'cats chorus' and at the same time was soo tempted to find out about the sound people describe as 'strangled cat' at 5am. poor Sandy just didn't seem to know what to do with herself. She was hungry yet she wasn't, she wanted in but would hesitate at the door. Basically, she was being a pain in the furry butt.!

Bank Holiday weekend, and my little family and I were lying in the hallway playing dominoes and enjoying the smell and feel of our new carpet, when Sandy waddled past.  Her backside was at eyelevel to us all and we looked at each other in bewilderment.

"Sandy is doing a poo - throw her out quick" my daughter yelled.  The cat dived behind me and then set off to find a birthing place, leaving ick trails in her wake.  Ten minutes later and Sandy seemed to have decided that this was not something that she wanted to do alone.

Practising for her newborns
We could see her tummy grinding and contracting. My husband started to stroke her back firmly and it really seemed to help her.  I was torn between feeling really proud of him being so sensitive to Sandy and absolute sickening jealousy that this cat was getting all the attention and support from my man that I never got both times that I had given birth; ok, with extreme amounts of medical intervention each time he never really had a chance but that is beside the point - huh!

My attempts at following the cat with a towel were fruitless as were my son's attempts to spray Oxy Carpet Magic stuff on every stain  Then, the first kitten began to make her appearance.

"Why is her baby coming out of her bum"?  my son asked, his head cocked to one side.  Thankfully, I did not have to answer this question as it was quickly replaced by another one.  The first born plopped onto my soft, bouncy, beautiful & expensive carpet in a mass of goo and guts.  Whereupon, Sandy turned and began to lick her baby clean. Cries of "Mum, is she eating her baby?" and "urgh,, that's gross"! filled what I assume should have been a beautiful moment.

My lovely carpet *sigh*
Some days later, my cousin also gave birth, thankfully in a hospital and not in my hallway though.  Her son was born naturally and both mother and baby were doing well.  I took my kids in to the hospital to visit them.  As my daughter bounded up to my cousin's bed, arms laden with presents and homemade cards, my son approached carefully and unusually quietly.

He tentatively climbed up on the bed and cuddled my cousin, his eyes full if concern.  "Does your bum hurt"? he asked her.  She roared with laughter and looked to me for an explanation.

I have to wonder, how do you explain to children about all nature's beauty and wondrous magic when so much of it is hidden in Ick?  It is easy to show a child a butterfly or a bumblebee in a flower-filled garden and have them understand what beauty is.  How do you compare that to a snake swallowing a mouse whole or a tiger feeding a deer to it's cubs and especially, a life being born from a bum?

It is all nature and fascinating in its splendour but who are we kidding when we call it beautiful? The kids don't buy that line!  Sometimes nature is just Ick!  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Meningitis - a Fatal Instinct

Have you ever ignored your gut instinct? I admit, this is something that I have done a lot. My gut has issued various warnings in the past, which I have not acted on as common sense usually won the mental debate. The day I brushed off 'Mother's Instinct' however, threatened to be fatal.

My poorly angel & Rascal
It was a typical Saturday morning, I was rushing to get myself ready for work and my then two year old daughter, ready to stay at Grandma's house.  As I was washing her breakfast-encrusted face, I noticed about five red spots on her cheek.  Being my usual neurotic self, I got out a glass and pressed it to her little face; the spots did not disappear.

I was slightly alarmed but my baby was not unwell, she was fully recovered from a recent chest infection and showed no other symptoms that would lead me to the conclusion of Meningitis.  I took her to Grandma's house and mentioned the spots to her.  She agreed that they seemed nothing to worry about but promised to take my toddler to the pharmacist, just to put my mind at rest.  I left for work with a nagging but seemingly unjustified feeling of unease.

The bank where I worked back then, was always hectic on a Saturday, and as I cashed up the till at the end of my three hour shift, it occurred to me that Grandma had not called to tell me what the pharmacist had said.  No news is good news, I assumed.

Recovering
Then the phone rang.

My husband was at the hospital with my little girl.  the pharmacist had suggested that Grandma took her to the A&E department, just to be on the safe side.  By the time they arrived there 20 minutes later, , my daughter had spots on her face, neck and chest.  The doctors saw her immediately and took her straight to a private room on the children's ward. By this time, her entire body was covered in spots.  Drugs to combat Meningitis were administered while Grandma had looked on in horror.

While my Husband explained to me what was happening, I felt an icy rage overwhelm me.  The anger I felt at not being called immediately, that my husband was called long before I was battled with the crippling guilt that I had not followed my gut instinct and taken her to A&E myself as soon as I had put the glass down that morning. Most of all though, I felt so utterly fearful for my cherished daughter.

I abandoned my till and ran out the door.  With gritted teeth and tears streaming, I arrived at the hospital in law-breaking time.  As I arrived on the ward, a passing nurse knew instantly from my expression whose mother I must be and sympathetically led me to my little one.

There she was, sat on Daddy's knee, her little arms round his neck like a vice and big frightened eyes darting round the room.  As I reached for her, I was shocked at how hot and red her soft skin was and how she had gone from a healthy-looking child to this in under four hours.

My baby & me
Her treatment lasted for five days, which we spent in isolation in that small hospital room.  It awoke me to the realisation that we had been so very lucky.  Meningitis takes hold incredibly fast and as parents, we have to act even faster!  That means not ignoring the warning symptoms or your instinct.  sometimes, our inner alert system can quite literally be a life-saver.

Children with viral Meningitis usually recover fully in about two weeks, but bacterial Meningitis proves fatal in about one in twenty cases.  The symptoms of bacterial and viral Meningitis are similar, however bacterial Meningitis tends to develop much more rapidly, and can cause serious illness within a few hours.

The Warning Signs

Symptoms of Meningitis, which are likely to appear in young children are:

     - Fever
     - In Meningococcal Meningitis, a distinctive rash of flat, reddish-purple lesions varying in size from pinheads to large patches that do not fade when pressed.
     - Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
     - Drowsiness or restlessness and high-pitched crying

Older children may, in addition, have the characteristic symptoms of Meningitis in adults, which are:

     - Dislike of bright lights
     - Severe headache and an extremely stiff neck, particularly when bending the head forwards.

For more information and advice, click here to visit the Meningitis Now website.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Tenerife. Day 4. Boobies

Nice boobies, Icky boobies, Rude boobies, Old boobies, Fake boobies, WTF boobies & wibbly, wobbly man moobies; my Son has seen them all now.

As someone who routinely checks the rudie rating on all films and games ( Yes, I said games, flamin Xbox) I have managed to maintain my own innocence in thinking that my little boy had never seen the nipples of naughty ladies and never would until I released the parental password on the internet, currently scheduled for his 18th birthday.  I was happy in my naivety. Life was good!  Well, all that's gone tits up now. Thanks a bunch Tenerife.

As soon as we stepped off the plane and wandered past the newspaper stands, blatant boobies were on the cover of the magazines, making Zoo & FHM look PG rated in comparison.  My daughter's eyebrows shot up into her hairline and I hustled them both off quickly.

We arrived at the hotel and dragged our luggage to our room, via the pool area.  Ladies who probably last breast-fed over 50 years ago, sat on sun-loungers, dripping in oil, their bikini bras redundant. My Son looked on in fascination rather than rapture, a perplexed expression indicated that he had questions brewing, and a finger getting ready to point. I hustled him off quickly. Thank you prune boobies.

In the hotel, we were all settled and waiting for our daughter to spend the obligatory hour on her hair.  Son flipped on the TV and immediately the Spanish channels flashed up boobs. Son giggled "Turn it over?" Nod. More giggles "Turn it over again?" Nod. Hysterical laughter "Turn it off?" Stern nod.

That night we went to the nearby Chinese restaurant. We ordered a buffet each and marvelled at all the new foods that my kids tried.  Daughter likes sushi - who knew; since she don't eat fish at home?  At the end of the meal, the waiter brought over 3 shot glasses and filled them with some peachy liqueur stuff.  He was quite selective as he placed the glasses down. One for me, one for hubby and one for...daughter. I was confused.  She gave me a smug grin "He thinks I'm 18"  I looked dumbfounded at my 12 year old, who happens to be taller than me, and realised she was right.  I made a mental note to hide her make up for the rest of the holiday.

Hubby bowed his head down and picked up his glass ready to throw it back when he stopped suddenly, peered in closer to the glass, then closer again. "Lynz, look...am I hallucinating?"  I looked into the glass.  Oh. My. Gawd... The bottom of the glass had a very rude lady doing very rude things to her lady bits.  Chuckling, Hubby drank up and the un-lady-like lady disappeared.  I looked into my glass and suppressed a smirk as I handed the glass to Hubs. A very happy man was playing solo inside my glass.  Oh, the number of jokes I could have made if the kids were out of earshot.

A strange squeak from across the table made me spin round to see my daughter practically using her glass as an eye-bath.  "Mines got a carrot" she exclaimed.  As I examined the carrot, you know, for parental responsibility purposes, I failed to notice that my Son had surreptitiously swiped Hubby's glass and refilled it with water.  Hello rude boobies.


Next day, we went to the beach. Lovely volcanic sand adorned with lots of bathers on top.  It was like a boobies and bums festival. This day was the day I gave up on innocence for my former innocents, thanks to a very, very old couple, both in thong'd swimwear and no tops, who stopped to chat to each other. My kids and I stopped digging the moat for our sandcastle in astonishment that their two crotches were at eyelevel, at almost eyelash tickling distance away, until they turned around, giving us a detailed view of their curling crack hair tangled around their thongs.  This sight, I believe, would make even Dr Pixie's nose wrinkle.

That night, I looked at my own boobies in the mirror and felt disappointed. Lovely brown (ok, red) colour with a shocking white triangle on each knocker.  Truth is, I am as guilty of beach-boobies as the rest of them, and its fab!  Just not when I've got the kids with me or other peoples children are around.  If we were in Britain and I let my baps air then
social services would be called!  Am I being prudish or do the rules of flashing simply not apply when abroad?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tenerife. Day 3. Karaoke Night

I'm so jealous of my Hubby.  He got to sing karaoke with the King. The audience loved it!

We had decided that Saturday night was to be the late night party night.  The kids were all for it, my man & I were all geared up for it, by 5.30pm we had found the perfect venue and by 5.40, we were all knackered.

A day at the beach in the sweltering heat, followed by tapas and sangria meant that we were all yawning by early evening but determined not to let each other down.

Luckily, we got our second wind by 10pm. Having swigged down enough Red Bull to keep me sparky-eyed till sunrise, I was all set for my stage debut.  The kids had submitted a bunch of tunes to the compere dude which they hoped I could pull off and then sat deliberating for ages over a showstopper of their own.

As expected though, Hubs was a flat refusal. I was already amazed that my son was choosing a song for himself so I figured that one miracle was enough for one holiday, and left Hubby be.  I found out later however that it was actually bribery with a new football top from Hubby rather than a miraculous recovery from 10 years of shyness.

"Lets have Lyndsey on the stage, woo yeah".  Up I strutted, opened my face and belted out a Pink classic.  From the cheers, I deduced that I'd done a good job.  The next chick on stage asked how she was supposed to be able to follow that & I hid my smug grin inside my vodka glass.

A few songs later and us publics were evicted from the stage, to make way for the King.  His poster depicted Elvis surrounded by topless beauties and I don't know who looked more disappointed by their absence, my son or Elvis himself.  He opened with some fab, heavily dodgy accented rendition of Suspicious Minds then followed with a bunch of 'jokes' which could have earned him a severe case of microphone wedgie; particularly after branding a lovely scouse family 'benefit streeters'.  



Finally, bounding off stage, he grabbed the nearest friendly face (Hubby's) and dragged him onto the stage.  Elvis wrapped half a chimp's face round my man's mush and then launched into one of the dodgiest songs of all time - Blurred Lines.  

I watched with initial horror until I realised that my man with relief that my fella was a bit drunk.  He was laughing, as far as I could tell from behind the mask, and I suppose the crotch thrust dance was a bit of a giveaway too.  
Hubby stepped off stage to a massive round of applause, whistles and whoops. Show stealer; he completely stole my thunder!

After Elvis had left the building, it was my daughter's turn. She sang so sweetly that the audience were "Aahhh"ing in no time.  Another thunder stealer!  My Son decided that a footy shirt just wasn't worth it and tore up his Eminem submission.

The rest of the night was a blur of dancing, more singing and a haunting flashback of me on stage with a bunch of bearded Spice Girls.  Only in Tenerife eh!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Day 2. Tenerife. Sunburn

 
Lets talk sunburn. Oww Mutha F*#’!!##N OUCH!

In order to save £160 on taking suitcases on our RyanAir flight to the Canary Islands, I bought us some funky, cabin -sized cases from GroupOn & we rammed a weeks worth of clothing & shoes, books and laptops into each,deciding to buy toiletries etc from the supermarket when we arrived. Simples!

Yes, our trip over was heaps easier & less hassled but the worries of lost luggage was magnified since the overhead lockers were a complete catalogue of GroupOn’s finest. Obviously, everyone else resented paying outrageous suitcase fees too. Bummer!


We arrived to cloudy skies, having brought the Welsh weather with us, so we decided to buy the sunscreen in the morning. Rookie mistake you are thinking but No, we were all still lilly white the next day. We bought a recognised brand that cost double the Euros of Spanish branded products, then trotted back to our hotel pool.

Now here is what I wish I’d known pre-flight...sun lotions from abroad are PANTS! Water-proof? Factor 50? Recommended by skin cancer specialists? My Backside! Naked, I looked like a lobster in a white bikini. By the end of our first full day in Tenerife, we were unable to hug each other without a serenade of “oww” “Ohhh” and “arghhh”

So here we were on day two in Siam Park, a beautiful aqua adventure park. Littered with beautiful women resembling Dora the Explorer’s sexy (and almost naked) older sisters. Hubby & Son did their best to have a sneaky, make sure Mum’s not looking, ogle (Fail. Lesson. Mum knows all, sees all, remembers all). My daughter managed to pull off the lobster look with the utmost glamour. Then there was me. Festering on a sun-lounger in a one-piece cossie, crispy skinned and grateful for the rain that was piddling on me, whilst my family whizzed past me on water-slides so scary that I would likely cry if I tried them.

Ok, I admit it. I started to feel a bit insecure. Ten years ago, I’d have looked just as glamorous and been just as fearless but truthfully, I sat sulking, I felt Middle Aged. Yes, I know that at 36 I’m supposed to be past all that insecurity crap, appreciate that my body has created life, accept the coming of age gracefully yatter yatter yatter. Well I am not that evolved I’m afraid. My thoughts were as shallow as the nearby toddler pool.

Deep in my sulk, gingerly slathering the Spanish branded after-sun lotion which I'd brought in the coolbox, I indulged in my 'are my face-cheeks as wide & wobbly as my ass-cheeks' self-defeatist mood. A bunch of British lads were acting rowdy on the river nearby, drunken banter so loud it was impossible to keep a full frump sentence coherent in my head. Basically, they were pissing me off!  I looked across and could see they were making the universal gestures of 'head between the boobies snufflling' and I looked around for a nearby Dolly Parton on a pogo stick.  Nope.  It was either me or moob-man across the way. 

 Annoyed, I looked back and they boys grinned and blew me kisses; pity kisses I assumed.  Well, they could shove em where...."Wow Mum,  working the beach look, you look gorgeous"  I eyed my daughter as she bounded over to me, dripping wet from some scary-assed slide. Her frazzled skin looked painful but she still somehow managed to smile without making her sun-blisters weep.  The rain, drizzling onto her face, made the after-sun I was applying, drip into her eyes yet she still grinned and said "Come on Mum. It's not as much fun without you". 
 
Damn. Slapped with the mum-guilts, this kid knew how to work me.  She suddenly burst into a fit of giggles ad pointed across the river to a woman who had slipped through her rubber-ring and got her bum wedged, feet and arms flailing in an attempt to gain some control.  I laughed too and hoped that I karma would not deliver me the same fate in retribution.  "Ok angelcakes, Lets do it"
 
One hour later. Curse the crap sunscreen.  I left half my poor, red skin stuck to my inflatable rubber-ring.  That's when I decided.  Next hols, I'm taking the Ambre Solaire with me, in a special GroupOn of its own.  Owww... 
 
To see what Siam Park in Costa Adeje has to offer, click here.  Highly recommend. My family & I had a fab time. Its worth getting a two park ticket which allows you access to Siam Park & Loro Parque which is an incredible zoo, along with bus travel. Two day ticket gets you a discounted rate.
 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Tenerife. Part 1. Drowning

My Son and I have the same look on our faces when we are drowning, apparently.

As Hubby and Daughter zoom past us with grace, speed and chlorine'less nostrils, my Son and I do a desperate doggie paddle to mid-way & then splutter, snort & choke on the 'Show Off's' waves, trying to avoid being kicked in the face as they overtake.

Today though, we are prepared. We have our secret weapons of goggles, wetsuits and an 'Up Yours' attitude.  Now we are invincible!

Here we are on our first day in Tenerife. First day of the holidays and according to the locals, its the first day of crap weather, but we are Brits & not just any Brits, but Welsh Brits.  That means we are double hard buggers & a lack of sunshine and warmth does not get in the way of us getting into our swimming cossies & dunking ourselves into freezing pools!  I tell my kids this as I slather their 'Mums talking pants' expressions in factor 50, then shove them reluctantly towards the pool.

There we were, the four of us stood, arms crossed around our shivering bodies, dipping blue toes into the arctic water.  Aware the locals were watching us amused, Hubby does what all ex-squaddies do.  With all the exhibitionist , crowd pleasing dramatics he could display, he dives Tom Daley style into water cold enough to freeze a penguins pecker.  Unfortunately for the kids, they inherited my bloody-mindedness DNA; we will never be beaten or look like wimps. Ever!  In we plop. Bbrrrr....
 

SHOW OFF!!!
So as FlashSplash and Mermaid do their thing, me and my little dude do ours.  What only we know however, is that we have been practising for months at our local pool.  "Come on you two, you swim like Grannies" yells my ex-daughter, earning herself a mutinous look from the swarms of sun-wrinkled, leather-skinned grannies who are flopping over nearby balconies.  My boy and I adopt an instinctive 'Guns at Sundown' stance (allowing for a little water-wobbling), snap on the goggles, Ziiiipp up the wetsuit and from somewhere in the distance, a lone cowboy whistles (hey, my story, I'm sticking to it)


"Lets do it" and were off like rockets.  Our arms were like windmills in a hurricane, our legs kicking up a tsunami, tidal waving everyone in our path. Until that is, we were 3/4 of the way across and realised we were in the deep-end.  OMG, Snort, Choke, Splutter, we clung onto each other for grim death, literally drowning each other until Hubby, who's big feet could still touch the floor, came over and laughingly rescued us.

Ok, it was day one.  You should have seen us by day five.