Saturday, 31 August 2013

GCSE emotions

So the results are in!!

As it wasn't that long ago that I was collecting my own GCSEs it was all too familiar feeling of worry and nervousness. In fact as a parent I think the suspense was harder to deal with, maybe because we know the importance of preparing for the future, we can look back and see how the choices we made affect where we are now and for some (myself included) if the opportunity was there we would go back and do things differently.

So as I found out my sons results;
English B
Maths B
History B
Sociology B
French C
Media studies C
Science D

There were a mixture of emotions that I felt that reflected how I felt when I opened my own envelope.

My first thought was how disappointed I was, I mean I know that sounds bad because his results are pretty good, but as I said to him his results are good for an average child and he was never ranked average at school. From a young age, even as a summer baby and being the youngest in his class he was always in the top groups for Literacy and Numeracy and he has always been praised as being 'such a bright boy' by his teachers. His main downfall is how lazy he is, the minute school is over he sees that as his free time to do what he wants (mainly play Xbox games) and so I feel partly responsible that his grades were not better (he was predicted a few As) as I didn't push him with his homework/revision as much as I should have.

At the same time as being disappointed I was also relieved, he had already got into 6th form at his school to study History, Sociology and Government and Politics A levels but if he also wanted do his English A level (which is the most important one as he wants to be a journalist) then he had to get a B or above in his English GCSE... thankfully he did!

Overall I mostly felt proud, for a start he got better grades than I did (5 Cs, 5 Ds and an E) and his dad didn't even do GCSEs as he was expelled from school! He kind of outdid the both of us so it would be irrational for us to complain.

I'm wondering if its wrong to put such high expectations on your children when it comes to exams, on the one hand it shows you believe in them and can encourage them to push themselves but at the same time does it just stress them out and set you all up for disappointment when they don't achieve what you're expecting?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Thorpe park

On our normal trips to the fair I very rarely go on the rides, I'm the one that watches the kids and carries all the bags while everyone else enjoys themselves, so when a friend asked if I wanted to join her and her daughters on a trip to Thorpe park I was quite reluctant. When I was younger I didn't mind being thrown all over the place, legs up in the air at 60mph but as I've got older I've gone off that dizzy/sick feeling and prefer to keep my feet firmly on the ground!

However my girls were quite excited about a girls day out and I didn't want to be a party pooper. It also dawned on me that with them being older I wouldn't have a pushchair to accompany me and nobody to watch on the little teacups, I would actually be free to go on all the big people rides like I was a teenager again... no excuses!

So here is a guide to a few of my favourite rides


This ride travels from 0-80mph in 2.3 seconds and it is seriously not for the faint hearted!After it shoots you from the starting block it reaches a height of 205ft and straight back down again.
The first time we queued for 45mins and the ride took a total of 15 seconds. Yes that's a 45 minute wait for a 15 second ride!! but it was worth the experience and we decided to go back on at the end of the day, luckily we only had a 5 minute wait by then.


Looking at this ride it seemed a bit boring, it went up and then came back down again! From the bottom it didn't even seem very high but the queue wasn't as long as some of the other rides so we decided to try it out. It was quite amusing seeing some of the faces of the people on the ride while we were waiting in the queue and it made you wonder what it was really like. I have to say when you are going up it is a lot higher than it seems and there is a great view of the park from up there! (as there is on a lot of the rides)
Then the countdown begins... and drop!!
It is the most strangest experience ever, you will literally lift out of your seat and it feels as if your stomach is in your mouth, I can only imagine what my face looked like, luckily there was no camera on this one for me to find out as I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight! I must say I did enjoy it but not sure I would EVER go on there again.

Tidal wave

Now you cant visit a theme park without going on a water ride and if you are going to get wet you might as well get soaking wet! You sit in a boat with 11 other people, ride up to the top and back down again, now you expect to get wet on the way down as that's the whole point but the water seems to shower over you forever and you will be soaked right down to your underwear, so much so that when you get off there is a giant drying machine that you can get into! Although this costs an additional £2 but we managed to fit 9 people in there so quite good value. I must say it doesn't dry you off completely but does warm you up a bit!

All in all we had a great day. There are loads of choices to eat but I would bring your own snacks and drinks otherwise it can get expensive.  If you are planning a trip I would get to know the map before you start off because we wasted a lot of time going round in circles looking for rides and there are not many signs to direct you around. Also its worth putting all the bags you don't need into a locker while you are on rides, you can put them to the side of each ride while you are on if you want to keep them with you but as there is so much time standing around its better to not have loads of stuff to carry.

It made a nice change for me to join the kids on the rides but as I still felt a bit sick/dizzy 2 days later I think my theme park days are over (at least until we visit Disneyland) and next time I will sit in the cafe with a coffee and watch all the crazy kids enjoy themselves.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Out of date TV licence

I got a letter through the post last month to remind me that my TV licence was about to expire and I needed to buy a new one, my first thought 'oh yet another thing I have to pay for' and then I got wondering, why do I need to pay for a TV licence? I mean I already pay extortionate prices to be able to have hundreds of channels (which I barely do watch) on my screen already, why am I paying extra just to watch a few BBC channels??

When the TV licence was first introduced there was basically 1 channel to watch - the BBC, so you were paying to watch 100% of the TV channels!
Now however there are around 200 channels and if you include all the news, international, gaming, shopping and adult channels that's probably another 200 bringing it to 400 channels. Compare this to the amount of BBC stations; there are 8 in total (not including the radio) that amounts to 2% of the channels available!!

There are thousands of people being taken to court every week for evading the £145.50 charge of an annual licence (or £49 for a black and white licence, but who really has one of those nowadays?) So I ask myself, shouldn't we really have a choice of whether we want to pay the fee? Should we opt in to subscribe to the BBC like we do to the movie channels? I mean personally the only thing I watch religiously on the BBC is Eastenders and we all know that's the most miserable thing on there and they would be doing me a favour if they took it away from me!

Or on the other hand how about they just put adverts on like they do on every other channel, it gives us that 3 minute break to run to the loo, make a cup of tea or raid the cupboards for chocolate (OK, maybe that's not a good idea) and compared to the advert breaks I had to recently endure while in Spain our ones are nothing. The programmes cut off mid sentence and '6 minutes' appears on the screen (in Spanish) to indicate that you now have to watch 6 minutes of adverts then after the programme returns for 2 minutes it pops up again saying '7 minutes' now that's probably why they have siestas in the afternoon, out of boredom from sitting through all the TV adverts!

If the choice was yours what would you choose?:
TV licence

Friday, 16 August 2013

Estepona 2013

So we made it to Spain on my kids first holiday abroad and we made it back again... in one piece!

The holiday was very relaxing and not quite as stressful as I thought it would be. We had a lovely apartment with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and balconies that seemed to be coming out of everywhere! The views were lovely and sitting out there for breakfast, lunch and dinner meant I got a lovely tan... see I am good at multi-tasking!

There were SEVEN swimming pools so you can guess where we spent most of our time, although considering when I was younger I would compete with my big bro to see who could swim the most lengths of the pool, the most I did was 62 lengths, yes you read right, that's 62 lengths! I can barely do 1 length now without panting and getting out to recover on the sun lounger.

On the negative side the resort was quite far from the town and we had to take taxis to actually get anywhere of interest and the resort itself didn't provide any entertainment for the children which meant I had to constantly keep them amused. Surprisingly there were quite a few English speaking TV channels so in between trips to the beach and the pool I managed 5 minutes of peace by sitting them in front of the Disney channel. (Just like being at home)

On one of our trips to the beach we decided to try out the fast food in Spain (you have to always compare it to home) We wanted to go to McDs but it was a mile down the road from the town centre so we went into Burger King instead. I can confirm that it was just as good, if not better than ours or maybe I was just really hungry at the time!!

Enjoying Burger king

 During the holiday I managed a few glasses of vino and to read myself through a whole Jodi Picoult novel so that was me sorted! I think next year though we will stay in miserable sunny Britain for our hols and maybe book a cottage in Cornwall.

Oh and I get to tick off another thing to do from my Bucket list which was to take my children abroad :)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Holidays are meant to be peaceful..

... well mine is just stressing me out and we haven't even left the country yet!

I'm hoping that when we leave for Spain on Wednesday that we are going to have a fab holiday, it will be the children's first trip abroad and I've been planning on taking them for years but it just hasn't happened.

I saved up because I thought these days a holiday overseas isn't much more expensive than one in this country and thought it would be worth that bit extra just for the aeroplane ride.

So first of all I booked the holiday because I thought if I didn't then I would just change my mind and we wouldn't end up going, then I got the email to say I had to book transfers because I hadn't added those on. Who would've thought it would be over £200 just to make a trip from the airport to the apartment!?!

Of course you cant travel abroad without passports and as only 3 out of 6 of us had them I had to send off for those. The man got his friend to fill out the forms and luckily we used the passport check and send service because first thing the photos, which we had taken by a photographer in the photo printing shop had been done wrong and we had to go back to have them redone, then the forms were filled out wrong... by him, not me! Then the picture was not signed properly so all in all it was 3 trips back to the post office and a long delay in getting those passports! Such a delay that we still haven't got 1 of them back and we are travelling in 5 days!!

I don't understand how my sons passport was sent back within a week of me applying for it and even though they have had my daughters for 6 weeks I've been told that if I want to get it back by Tuesday it will cost me another £78 *cross face*

As well as all these costs I have to calculate for fares to the airport, travel insurance and food while were there - why didn't I just book all inclusive?? and of course all the children need new summer clothes as they are just growing waaay too quick!

It's not just all about the money because as we know there is always those added extras that everybody has to deal with but I have been looking up about the resort we are staying at and all the most recent reviews are really bad :( First they are saying you have to drive as the beach is very close but not accessible unless you drive as its on the other side of a big motorway and the shops are 2 miles away and that's fine if you are driving but to have to walk it and carry bags back I can see its just going to be a pain. Then somebody else said their apartment was burgled while they were out and the staff didn't seem too surprised as if its a regular occurrence.

I know I shouldn't be pessimistic but when travelling with the whole family it is all really stressful and I want them to have a good time (and not starve while they're there!) So hopefully I wont regret booking our holiday and won't think about all the other things I could have spent the money on and places we could have visited and day trips we could have gone on, no I will be on the blog in a couple of weeks posting all the pictures and telling you what a great time we have had...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...