Saturday, 20 April 2013

Lucky Mascot?

I've blogged before about going to the football with my dad but we also used to go to the rugby. We lived right next to the Athletics Ground where Rochdale Hornets used to play and from being tiny my dad would take me round there on a Sunday afternoon. I was rugby obsessed and even though I watch more football these days I still reckon rugby league is the best sport ever to watch as a neutral.

I've not got to a Hornets match since 2006 though. Don't know why really, I suppose I moved out of Rochdale and getting anywhere on a Sunday is a bit of a nightmare. They're still my team though and I always keep an eye on how they're doing. I miss my rugby and keep saying I'm going to get back down to Spotland for a game so I thought putting it on the list would make sure I did.

This challenge has been on my mind this week for a couple of reasons so tomorrow I'm off to the match. The first reason is this awful picture that appeared on facebook last week

It's an absolutely terrible photo but I don't care because it reminds me of good times back when I was a kid. For those of you who don't know - yep, the kid is me and I'm sat on the knee of Aaron Sawyer. He played for Hornets in the 80s and was my first ever hero. The guy was great!!!! He was my favourite ever Hornets player and the reason why Manly are the team I support in Australia. I didn't even know this photo existed until I was tagged in it on facebook last weekend. Brought back great memories and made me want to get back to the rugby - although possibly not sitting on players knees anymore!!

The second reason was the cup draw. We're playing Bradford Bulls. It got me thinking back to the 1990 -1991 season. That was a depressing year. The year before had been great and we'd gone up into the championship. Getting promotion was great, but we weren't really ready for it. We only won one game in that championship season - against Bradford! And yours truly was the mascot - looks like I was a lucky one.

So tomorrow you'll find me down at Spotland, cheering on the Hornets and hoping that just like on October 14th 1990, I'll be the lucky mascot.


Monday, 8 April 2013

On Top of The World

I suppose if you're one of my football-type-mates you'll think this is going to be a blog post about FC United. It isn't sorry - but keep reading and then have a look round. There are a few FC type posts. You could click on the join button too - that would be great ;-)

What I am going to blog about is my trip to Blackpool and more specifically to the top of the tower.Being up there really did feel like I was on top of the world. I could see for miles. Anyway I'd been up it as a kid with my dad but it was on the list of challenges because I'm terrified of heights. And I mean terrified! This is the girl who once had to have the mini baby big wheel stopped because I was crying so much.

The tower has changed a lot since I was 7. I suppose its a long time ago now. Its now the The Blackpool Eye. Looking at the website didn't make me feel any better about going up there, I mean a glass floor 380 feet up just doesn't sound like my idea of fun!

We went over to Blackpool on Saturday dinnertime mainly because Dan was running the Blackpool half-marathon on the Sunday morning. We decided to make a weekend of it as I love Blackpool and it would be a good chance to get another challenge ticked off.

Saturday was just a nice chilling day, wandering around the prom and the piers although every time I looked up at the tower I felt sick. I also managed to get another challenge ticked off when I visited Gypsy Sarah Petulengro and had my fortune told.

I've always been a bit sceptical of stuff like this but interested in it at the same time so it was really interesting to have it done. I thought it would all be a bit vague so you can read what you want into it but she was pretty direct and spot on with a lot of stuff. Still not sure if I believe in it or if it's just lucky guesses and picking up on signals but it was interesting and I believe more now than I did before.

Sunday afternoon was the moment of doom. We'd booked the tickets online ages ago or I'm sure I would have bottled it. My stomach was doing backflips as we walked down towards the tower. All the waiting around didn't help either. Once I got there I just wanted to get in the lift, get to the top and get straight back down again but I had to queue, watch a film and then queue again.

When we finally got in the lift it was made of glass. I hate heights and lifts aren't my strong point either - especially glass ones! Setting off and being able to see all the way down did nothing for the nerves and I grabbed onto the nearest person - luckily it was Dan! Once I got used to it it wasnt too bad though, I was just starting to relax and we were at the top - it only takes 69 seconds.

It wasn't actually as scary as I expected. The proper floor bit was fine but I wasn't too keen on the glass bit. I wanted to go on it but it just didn't feel right. I ended up holding onto a post and backing onto it VERY slowly. I did relax once I'd been up there a bit though, I was walking normally on it and I even managed to look down!!!!

So here we are - on top of the world (well Blackpool!), absolutely terrified but so glad I did it.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Happy Birthday Dan!

Well it's the husbands birthday today. One of my challenges is to make a cake for somebody so today seemed like a good day. I know it doesn't seem like much of a challenge when you look at how baking obsessed I am but when I wrote the list I was hardly doing any baking.

Anyway I've made up for it not being as much of a challenge as some by going completely over the top with it. Dan's a runner and every Saturday morning takes part in parkrun so I thought I'd make some parkrun themed cakes for him to share with all the runners down there.

I started off with cupcakes. I tried to do a grass effect in green buttercream and added the letters DFYB in sugar paste. It stands for Don't forget your barcode and you need to be a parkrunner (or married to one!) to understand the significance. The 100 is for Dan's mate Simon who was completing his 100th parkrun that morning and not an indication of how old Dan is!
Cupcakes are ok but they were never going to feed everyone at parkrun so I decided to make a big layer cake aswell. I've made big cakes before and decorated them but this was my first attempt at fully icing such a big cake. It didn't look as good as I'd hoped but I know what I need to do next time. It seemed to go down well on Saturday morning though and thats the main thing!
I had a complete nightmare with this cake (and the cupcakes!). Friday just wasn't my day in the kitchen at all. If you'd asked me at 10pm on Friday I'd have said I was never going to bake again. It was never gonna last though. I did a bit yesterday and it's been another full on baking day today to produce Dan's birthday afternoon tea - Dotty style!

The butties were a bit of an afterthought so we just ended up with whatever I could find in the fridge - ham and philedelphia. Everyone knows that afernoon tea is all about the cake anyway! And theres a lot of cake - 2 scones each, a cream egg brownie and vanilla chocolate cupcake. And theres even more cake in the kitchen as I had to make them all up in baches of 12.

So there you have it - I made a cake (los of cakes!) for someone. All thats left to say is Happy Birthday Dan!!!