#30 Makeover

I thought this would be one of the easiest to tick off my list but in actual fact it is proving one of the hardest. Since I was 16 I have always had blonde hair (apart from a brief time post baby that we definitely won’t mention!). My hair is pretty versatile in that it can be curly or straight without to much bother, but always blonde, always shoulder length, always BORING.

When I wrote my list I figured a new look for turning 30 was in need, however that requires balls, balls I just don’t seem to have. I looked at stylish pictures of purple and grey colours and fell in love, I found pictures of bobs and pixies that made me get hair envy but when I walked into the hair dressers I came out two sadees darker with a fringe! Not the dramatic make over I was going for. In fact I have since seen a number of friends who haven’t even noticed my hair has changed, that or they are too polite tell me it’s awful.

Anyway I guess this is a step in the right direction and let’s just say that #30 makeover is a work in progress.

11134466_10153389683707697_159830493_n

Terri

xxx

#25 Visit 3 new cities – 1 Glasgow

I haven’t touched my list in months, not great when I only have 8 months left to complete it! However I did manage to visit one of the three new cities back in February, it’s just taken me a month to blog it up.

My husband has family in Scotland and despite being together 13 years we have only been a handful of times. Even when we have visited we seem to stay close to where we are staying, Motherwell. This time, however, I knew I wanted to travel a little further a field and make the effort to visit a new city, tick one of the list, so we picked Glasgow.

Me, my husband and our two boys took the thirty minute drive, (yes it’s only thirty minutes but we had never bothered before, shameful) to Glasgow for the day. Knowing we wanted to keep the boys entertained and also knowing a day of shopping was just not going to cut it, we headed straight to the riverside museum, wow. Not only was this museum amazing but it was free, even better. 11092706_10153360142462697_906503976_n

I am a bit of a geek and I do love a good museum, but I love them even more when they cater for the children. I find that adults and children will take in so much more when they can discover through hands on activities and real exploring. This museum was great for the kids, it had areas where they (and the adults!) could dress up, board a train, fight fires and play a musical instrument. It was brilliant, we had so much fun, and did I mention it was FREE.11086978_10153360142437697_1401970100_n

11099788_10153360142442697_984707635_n

When we left here we walked the 30 paces round the building to another museum, this time a boat! Yep they have turned a boat into a museum, brilliant idea. We climbed a board and my children literally scrubbed the decks, if only I could get them to work like that at home! Then we explored the various rooms and counted several (plastic) rats! I was climbing the ladder to the top deck with my 5 year old when someone underneath who I hadn’t spotted set off the fog horn. I fell off the ladder grabbing for my son in fear, of what I don’t know, for a split second I think I thought we were under attack, that or my son had set off an alarm. Either way my very unladylike scream and fall was enough to have my son in hysterics, apparently it was the highlight of the day. The elderly couple who set off the fog horn apologised in all the right places but I can’t help but think it would have been more meaningful had they not been trying so hard to stifle the giggles.11084380_10153360142432697_801853695_n

Once my heart rate returned to normal we headed back to the car and drove into the city centre, I needed to make sure it could count as a new city. If I am honest Glasgow is like any other city, I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t really this. We had a wonder around some shops and I treated myself to some new trainers. This did cause for embarrassing situation number 2. Now don’t forget my husband’s family are Scottish, I’m used to the Scottish accent and sometimes the odd lingo. In fact I pride myself on being able to hold a full conversation with them these days, even if it has taken 13 years! Anyway the Scottish they speak in Motherwell is different to the Scottish in Glasgow, I swear it must be because when the cashier asked me a simple question she may as well have spoken Japanese. Politely I asked her to repeat herself, again not a clue, and I could feel my face burning as I once again asked her to repeat the question. Luckily for me the cashier thought it was hilarious as my husband jumped in to translate. As I stood there looking dumb all I could think of was the scene from little Britain’s fat fighters, I felt awful. The poor girl only wanted to know if I wanted my receipt in the bag, I bet she wished she just chucked it in by the time I’d finished.

As we hurried out of the sports shop, face down to hide my red cheeks, we headed back to the car with two grumpy boys, then we found heaven. Hamleys toy shop, wow, just wow. I am not sure who enjoyed this more, the kids or I. needless to say I was very jealous when the boys got treated to new toys but I had to leave the giant giraffe behind. I really don’t know why my husband objected to spending £1000’s on a stuffed animal as cute as that!

When the boys eventually peeled me away from the toys we headed back to base, a fantastic day and another adventure crossed off my list. If nothing else this list is helping me make memories with my loved ones.

Thankyou to my darling husband for taking me to Glasgow and being my translator. Thankyou to my beautiful boys for not complaining too much at being dragged around a city. Thankyou to our Scottish family for making us feel so welcome.

Terri

xxx

#18 Longest zip wire in the UK

The longest zip wire in the UK was actually the first activity that made the list. So I was super excited that only a few month into the list I was able to complete it. Better yet I was going to have company as my little brother, Kieran, and my mums partner, Chip, were also going to sore through the sky with me. Plus mum was organising it as a Christmas present, reducing some of the financial strains of this list, BONUS.

We set off on the 30th December at 7am, Kieran, my two boys, and I in one car and my mum and Chip in the other. As we made our way to zip world I was getting increasingly nervous, butterflies like eagles were loop the looping around my stomach and by the time we arrived I was seriously questioning my mental stability. Why on earth would anyone choose to throw themselves off a slate mine – wire or not, it’s still a little crazy!

We parked up and had a look around, then made our way to check in leaving my mum to wrangle my 2 and 4 year old boys, when I heard someone shout my name. Now bearing in mind I was miles from home, in an unused quarry with only another 10 people in sight, I seriously thought I was hearing voices. But when I looked over in the direction of the voice I could not believe that an old work college and good friend was stood there with her family, looking equally as nervous as I felt, talk about a small world. After a nice catch up we realised that we would be doing the zip wire together, a truly lovely surprise. Having not seen each other for at least a year I was speechless that Lorraine knew that I was there as part of the list and had been following the updates!

We made our way for the safety briefing and it was just that – brief. I kept thinking “there must be more, you’re about to throw me off a cliff, surely there is more I need to know” but apparently not. Next we had to be weighed, this was probably the most traumatic bit of the whole day, who ever thought it was a good idea to ask people to weigh themselves in front of a room full of strangers needs sacking. Then we geared up into our kits and made the walk to the little zipper.

10917586_10153164150042697_542551606_n

I am not entirely sure why it’s called the little zipper, ok it’s smaller than the main attraction, but it sure aint small! We reached the top, had another brief safety talk and then the first people were strapped in and off they went. This is the point when Kieran said I had gone white and had tears running down my face. I was petrified. Despite having a list full of extreme activities to complete before I turn 30 I am not a true adrenaline junky, infact I am a total wimp. I tried to distract myself by looking out at the view but it didn’t help, firstly all I could here was my youngest crying somewhere in the distance and all I could see was a drop that I would never survive from if I was to fall. Kieran, Chip, Lorraine and her family were all getting more excited, me? I wanted to escape. Kieran and I were called up to the platform and then started to get ready. I glanced at Kieran and he was in position waiting for me, I was going so slow, anything to put this off, I really had made a mistake. I was terrified, but the staff were brilliant and hooked me up regardless of my death grip on the railings, they asked if we were ready, of course I said no, and then the count down began… 3.. 2.. 1 and we flew.

It was breath-taking and heart stopping and utterly amazing.

The view was unreal and I loved it. Then it was over, far too quickly, but that was of course just the taster for the real attraction. As we dismounted I looked over at Kieran and his smile was amazing he had clearly loved it as much as I had. We watched Chip and Lorraine come down next and watching their goofy smiles was brilliant.

Once everyone was finished we got into the back of what I can only describe as a cattle cart. We took a 15 minute bumpy ride up to the top of the slate mine for the main zip. On route a lovely tour guide gave a very informative talk about the history of the mine, the start was fascinating but the higher we got the less I listened and the more nervous I became once again.

As we reached the top the view was outstanding. We were asked to go straight into the wooden hut for yet another safety briefing, infact this was even briefer and went something like “same as before, look for hand signal and enjoy” that was it! I don’t know what else they could of said but “enjoy” didn’t cut it. This time the instructor asked for people with a certain weight to go first, the room was silent, either no one matched the weight or no one wanted to go first, Kieran and I were the latta. Then chip chirped up with “those two are in that bracket, aren’t you guys!” Well gee thanx for that one! And so it came that me and Kieran had to go first.

10928565_10153164149672697_226869865_n

Same as before my brother jumped right into position and was eager to go, even asking if one wire was quicker than the other and bagging himself the quickest, whilst I shook like a leaf and tried to convince myself I wasn’t about to die. Once in I allowed myself to look out at the drop – wow, it was a big drop over water, not so bad I thought, I can swim – ha like that would have helped!

10928804_10153164149312697_1853306220_n

3 2 1 we were off. This one was so much faster from the start, you went over the slate mine for a second or two and then it all opened up and you were over the water, it was truly majestic. That split second of the land opening up to reveal the water was the most incredible sight and the best image from the whole experience. If felt as if you were truly flying, I honestly don’t think a human could feel any closer to flight than that.

On the incline up from the water the wind seemed to catch me a little and I went out to the side, this really worried me as I thought I was about to come loose especially as I could see Kieran hurtling forward in a straight line at some speed. Needless to say I didn’t fall off and before I knew it it was over. I couldn’t get the smile from my face it was the most amazing experience ever – pure adrenaline with a dash of magic.

10887895_10153112628782697_25001900_n

We watched everyone else come in and land, and like myself, many people on the right wire said it had gone sideways and worried them a little, but I guess that just adds to the excitement of the day.

Chip hired a camera and we have since watched the footage, amazing. I was dubious about what he would actually be able to capture but I am really please he did now as it was like reliving it and I was able to show the kids what mummy could see the day she learnt to fly.

The guys at the centre say you can sign up for a free video of you flight, unfortunately none of us have received this yet so I am unable to review it, but fingers crossed it will be pretty amazing.

Being able to share the experience with friends and family made this even more special. Thankyou mum for the opportunity to tick another adventurer of the list. Thankyou to Kieran and Chip for coming with me and sharing in this amazing experience – the one in the cave next? And thankyou to Lorraine for unintentionally joining me on this journey and making me smile J

If you want some more information on where we went click here

#3 Eat in a celebrity restaurant -Marco Pierre White

#3 Eat in a celebrity chef restaurant

When I added this to the list I didn’t have a particular chef or restaurant in mind, any would do, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Surely these restaurants can’t be that much better than ordinary restaurants, I mean there basically just named after a chef who has managed to get his/her mug on the TV – they don’t even do the cooking! But like I said previously I like celebrities and I like food so it made the list.

For my 29th birthday my husband surprised me by taking me to a celebrity chef restaurant, the Marco Pierre White at the Double Tree in Chester. When he told me I was so excited, but totally freaked out as I had nothing suitable to wear and no time to buy a new dress – such a girl! I eventually settled on a little black dress and classic black heals.

We arrived at the hotel and followed the signs round to the restaurant, I must admit I was a little nervous as wasn’t sure I was “posh enough” for this restaurant but we were greeted by staff who either didn’t question our “posh” rating, or were too polite to say, showing us straight to the table. The first thing we noticed about the restaurant was the décor, very elegant in blacks and greys with half the wall covered in a mirror making it seem a lot larger than it was. There was also a huge, rather disturbing, image of Marco Pierre White looking slightly demonic with a knife in hand on the wall – no forgetting whose restaurant you’re in that’s for sure. We were seated on the first table entering the restaurant and I must admit I felt a bit on the edge, unable to soak up the atmosphere of the place and also very cold from the open doorway leading into the hotel.

Our waitress was very polite and supplied us with two menus, the main one and a Christmas one, everything sounded amazing I couldn’t make a decision I wanted to try everything. We finally chose (after sending the waitress away three times!) a crab cake and a smoked salmon starter, followed by sea bass and risotto for me and steak for my husband, a cheese cake and cheese board to finish, along with a bottle of Rose.

10845956_10153045522592697_7179830121946992541_n 10805813_10153045522472697_1093893183604800185_n

We enjoyed our wine, and child free conversation, whilst waiting for our food. The starters were amazing, the best smoked salmon dish I think I have ever tasted, absolutely lovely. Then came the mains, I don’t eat beef but my husband assures me that this was the nicest steak ever “melt in the mouth” and I must admit there was a lot of it, none of this three peas for £300 rubbish, they were both decent portions by anyone’s standards. I was expecting a small amount of sea bass but I had two big pieces as well as several prawns throughout the risotto it was utterly exquisite, I’m no foodie but I can tell you that the sea bass was cooked to perfection. Crispy on side and soft and full of flavour on the other. I also pinched an onion ring off my husband’s plate (I did warn you I wasn’t posh) and it was so light and melt in your mouth, no grease at all – amazing. By this point I think it’s safe to say we were both in food heaven and absolutely did not need desert, but when in Rome and all that. Anyway it was probably a good thing we were full by this point as in all honesty the cheese cake was a bit of a disappointment. I love cheese cake and order it wherever I can so maybe my expectations were just too high, but this was more like a chocolate mousse with a strong creamy milk taste to it, not to my liking I’m afraid, but it definitely did not ruin our night.

10686661_10153045522362697_7843315650002480763_n 10846041_10153045522157697_6839739835894141034_n 10857870_10153045522097697_6171129158005166047_n

When I added this to the list I wanted to know if celebrity chefs could actually cook, well as far as Marco Pierre White is concerned, HELL YEAH he can cook (he just needs crank the heating up a bit). I would highly recommend a meal at this restaurant, the food is out of this world – just wear an extra cardigan and avoid the cheese cake.

I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thankyou to hubby for helping me (and paying for me) to complete #3. I had the best night ever made even better by having you handsome devil for company.

Love you more than you love me

Terri

xxxx

Birthday update

So yesterday was my 29th birthday, the last year of my 20’s and I still haven’t worked out how I got so old so fast. Anyway, it also means that yesterday marked the one year countdown to complete my 30 things before 30 mission. I have exactly 12 months left to complete 23 things eeek.

A couple of these activities are getting closer to being completed, so at least that’s a bonus. A couple of weeks ago I left my part time job at Wrexham Carers Service and my team mates got me a voucher for white water rafting as a leaving present. I was so overwhelmed at their generosity and thoughtfulness that for once I was momentarily speechless. One of the worries of being able to complete my list in time is how much everything will cost, so having this one as a gift is a huge help. I am saving the voucher till it warms up a little and then I will going to white water active in Llangollen, I am super excited. Once it is complete I will share a review and pictures for you all to see (if I survive). I must admit I have had a little peek at the course and it looks beautiful, whether I can keep my eyes open for the duration to enjoy it though is another matter.

Like I said yesterday was my 29th birthday and my husband had told me he had a surprise planned for me, to wear comfy clothes and flat shoes and be ready for half 11. At 11:15 I walked in to our bedroom to find him sat on our bed staring at his phone looking utterly devastated, I was really worried. I asked if he was ok and he just handed me the phone, I was too scared to read it as I thought someone had been hurt but to my relief it wasn’t anything that serious. Instead it was a text message from three sisters race course telling us not to set off as due to adverse weather conditions the driving experience needed to be cancelled. Driving experience – that was my surprise –wow! I was genuinely surprised and so excited, until I remembered it had also said cancelled. My husband was gutted his surprise had been ruined. We were also a bit confused as the weather in Chester was fine, surely it couldn’t be that much worse in Wigan. He rang and they explained it was due to ice on the track from the previous night, better to be safe than sorry, but still disappointing. However it does mean that I also have that booked, paid for and ready to enjoy in the New Year. The husband did good, in fact, the husband did amazing as he also had another surprise for me, a meal at a celebrity restaurant, the Marco Pierre White in Chester. Thankfully this wasn’t cancelled and you can read all about our experience in the next blog……..

#15 Giving Blood

Giving blood is one of those things I have said I would do, but never actually got round to it. A friend from work was recently asked to do some promotional work for the blood team and she was telling me how once you have received a blood transfusion you are no longer able to donate your own blood. This got me thinking – would I accept blood for myself or my children? Hell yeah, hook us up and save our lives no questions asked. Well in that case isn’t it only fair that I bank a couple of pints now in case we ever need any? Seen as though once you have used the kind donations of others you are unable to repay the favour. So it made the list, and I’m pleased to say that I completed it within two months of starting this.

First thing I needed to do was google “how to give blood?.” www.giveblood.co.uk is a very comprehensive site explains EVERYTHING and I really mean everything. I registered and picked my location, then my time and received email confirmation for my appointment the following day. The nerves were kicking in and despite many of my friends saying they would complete this list with me I had no takers for this appointment (their holding off for the girlie holiday I think). Luckily my mum came to my rescue and booked herself in for her first time too.

The following day I met my mum at the community centre and I walked over to the blood van – except you couldn’t get on. Now in hindsight I realise how utterly daft my idea of giving blood was but I genuinely thought you bored the van, sat in a chair, gave a little blood and jumped back off! Apparently not. Instead I was told to go into the community centre where I was greeted by a sea of faces. I spotted my mum and made a bee line for her. I couldn’t believe what I sore next. It was like a scene from a make shift hospital after a disaster, or at least what I imagine that would look like. There was hospital style beds all in a circle in the middle of the room, a couple of make shift desks at various points, some cubicles to one side and a mini café area at the back. And to think I thought all this could happen on a truck!

After filling in our forms and drinking the mandatory orange squash we sat in the waiting area, well, waiting I guess. At this point I noticed there were some seasoned blood donors, those that knew the drill and had brought a book with them. My mum was called first and then I followed. I was taken to a cubicle by a lovely man called Mat who explained all about the procedure, went over the safety questions with me and tested the iron in my blood. I must admit there was a small part of me that was hoping my blood would be rejected, especially as I was now starring head on at a room full of people with tubes and bags of blood everywhere – surely they didn’t need mine as well.

But no my iron levels were fine and the vampire like staff were eager to take my blood, so now it was time for a little more waiting. Again mum was up first so I watched as they hooked her up and drained her dry (well one pint dry at least). Mum seemed to be coping fine so I felt a bit better when my name was called. I hoped onto the bed whilst a lovely lady explained the procedure to me and tried her best to put my mind at rest. She did everything with precision and speed and before I knew it I was watching the tube turn red. After a few minutes my machine beeped and another lovely lady came over and explained the blood flow was slowing down – see even my blood didn’t want to do this, but she held it in place and in no time at all I was done. By this point mum had joined me and was making sure I was ok – which I was. I was then showed to the café area and given some juice and biscuits, the best bit! I felt a little shaky in my legs but this was probably down to my nerves more than the loss of blood, and I felt really proud that maybe, just maybe, my blood could be used to help someone else. Although nerve wracking and a bit daunting the whole experience was a good one. I will definitely be donating again in 16 weeks (if they will have me) and hopefully next time I will take a few more friends along too.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my mum for helping me complete number 15 on my list.

I also want to say a huge thankyou to the blood donor team that were working at Frodsham on 19th November 2014, evening session. Every single member of staff was professional, informative, friendly and reassuring. Our blood is so valuable and can be used to save lives – please think about donating yours. For more information please go to

http://www.blood.co.uk/index.aspx

#27 Volunteering

On Saturday 15th November 2014 I volunteered in Asda as a bag packer, helping to raise funds for Wrexham carers service. Here’s how it went:

I had arranged to be at ASDA for 10am, the husband was working so my mother in law kindly said she would have my boys for me. Everything was set and I was ready to go until I got a call saying she was lost and would be another 20 minutes. Now I wouldn’t normally mind – after all I wasn’t getting paid, but I had ALL the collection buckets and passes in the boot of my car, no one would be able to start until I arrived. Once again it felt like this mission was doomed, lets face it I have already had to postpone climb a mountain and give blood! Anyway my mother in law arrived at 9:20, smoking, flapping and apologising and I literally threw the children in her direction, barked a couple of instructions about the location of nappies and spare keys and hit the motorway at a silly speed.

I arrived late! Luckily no one noticed (or at least didn’t comment) and I managed to get everything inside with a little help from fellow volunteers. Once we arrived we were given the rules and regulations of bag packing. I seriously underestimated how intense this was going to be and was trying my best to remember all the rules-

don’t leave the bucket unattended at any times

if a customer declines the offer of bag packing step away from the till (preferably without bumping straight into the trolley of another customer).

and several more.

We picked our tills and off we went, all giggling nervously as we approached complete strangers and asked if we could fondle their perishables! I must admit it wasn’t going that well at first, everyone wanted to do their own packing – I think I must have a clumsy face that screams “I will drop your eggs and squash your bread”. Then the checkout lady started to talk to me, I wasn’t sure if this was allowed and was getting a little nervous as I tried to recall the rules, but she was absolutely lovely and totally understood the cause we were raising money for. Then everything changed, the checkout lady was asking the customers on my behalf, telling them all about what we were doing and how lovely and good at packing I was (ha). She was like the best warm up act ever. Once it got to me asking them they were more than happy to let me balance their beans on top of their eggs AND make a donation for my efforts. I think this is the point I must of got a bit too confident with my packing abilities as I got a little telling off from one lady who said I had packed far too many bottles of beer in one carry a bag – whoops. After this it went a little quiet again and I was able to nip off to take some pictures of the happy bag packers.

At 12 the second lot of volunteers turned up allowing us to leave them to it (after giving them the rules of course). I had a fabulous time meeting new people and helping (or hindering) with peoples packing, it was also fun seeing what people were buying lol, and I would definitely do it again.

The aim of the bag packing was of course to raise funds for Wrexham carers service, however what was more important on the day was our ability to raise awareness of what help is available in Wrexham for carers, and being able to speak directly to some carers who had never heard of us. Hopefully some of those people will now be able to access the help they need.

I’m not sure how much money we raised for Wrexham carers service but once I have a figure I will update you all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that helped with the bag packing and all the customers who donated money, and of course to the ASDA staff for allowing us to take over their till area.

10810_753426628071649_1548991247259925971_n