Chloé’s 11th Birthday

This year I decided to take Chloé to Alton Towers for her birthday. I have taken Ryan previously as he was tall enough to go on all of the rides. Sadly, for Chloé, she wasn’t tall enough for all of the adult rides. She was 6cm too short bless her, however we did spend the entire trip going on all of the other rides.

We had a two-day trip to Alton Towers as one is not enough to get fully around the park and on all of the rides. It is also worth considering if you’re going, to invest in the fast track. This is expensive; however, it does provide a much better experience. When I say expensive, I do mean expensive. I purchased the fast track for myself and Chloé and this cost me £200 for one day!

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Snowdon Summit

Ever since I travelled to Wales in back in February 2015, I have been wanting to go again, but take the kids. Although I went back in July 2015 to do the three peaks challenge, I didn’t really get the opportunity to explore or really enjoy what I was seeing while I was there.

Fast forward to 2018 and I thought it was about time I took the kids around Wales to explore and enjoy what nature offers. August 2018 arrives and I have the kids with me for the summer holidays while they’re off of school.

We stayed in a hotel near Northop Hall for 6 nights, which isn’t too far from Chester and Liverpool. The majority of the holiday was to be spent around Snowdonia National Park which meant a little travelling, but not too much.

We set off from the hotel at around 7am and stopped in Conwy for breakfast at Premier Inn. £9.50 for all 3 of us to have a full English. After breakfast we stopped at Tesco to grab something for later on in the day and to make sure we carried plenty of water with us.

At around 11am we set off down to the Pen-y-Pass car park at the foot of Snowdon arriving shortly after at around 12pm. Upon arrival we found the car park completely full and no spaces available. I went back to Llanberis to check out their park and ride service and found it half way between the two. Upon parking I realised that I didn’t bring any change with me to pay. I found a layby closer to Pen-y-Pass and called for a taxi up to where we were originally going to park.

We finally got all set up and ready to start the trail at around 1pm. I decided to go The Miner’s Tack as that’s the way I took when I did the three peak challenge and it’s a nice walk and there is plenty to see along the way.

The walk started off nice and sunny and as we weren’t just walking to the top we were also exploring this was great. We stopped off at an old building at the end of Llyn Llydaw to have some lunch and have a little play. We left here around 4.30ish and continued on our journey. About another hour passed as we continued up the mountain and the weather took a crappy direction. It started to get foggy and it started to rain. Now this isn’t normal rain, it was extremely fine rain. The type that makes you wet throughout. Yeah ok, not too bad we could deal with that. At this point we were at Glaslyn and though, sod it, we’re almost there so might as well carry on.

About 45 minutes later walking up from Glaslyn the wind decided it wanted to chime in as well. So, there we were walking up the side of this mountain with fog, very fine rain and the occasional gust. We finally managed to reach the summit, thick fog as in can’t see more than about 50m in front of you thick fog, fine rain and gusty wind. Needless to say we raced to the top to touch the sun dial thing got our photos then went down to the visitor centre hoping it was open so we could catch the train down.

Needless to say the damn thing was closed. Everyone had gone and we were all up there by ourselves! Ok, well we stopped outside under a shelter near the entrance and had some refreshments. A couple chocolate bars and drinks. After about 30 minutes of resting we decided that we would make our way down and follow the Llanberis path. That path was covered in sharp slate everywhere you were stepping and was unavoidable, but was safer for the kids. Once we got down into the valley near Llyn Du’r Arddu the rain had stopped, there were no more gusts and the fog had gone. The end of the day was beginning to look a lot brighter. Finally reaching Llanberis at around 9pm that evening. Exhausted and tired, but happy we had all summitted Snowdon we walked around to The Royal Victoria Hotel and asked them if they could call a taxi for us to get back to my car. 25 minutes later, we were in the car changing into warm dry clothes and were heading back to the hotel to sleep.

The way I have described it sounds a lot more dangerous than it really was. I was with the kids at all times and made sure they were safe. We all had a source of communication and I had shown them the way we were going so we were all prepared for any eventuality.


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Alton Towers

It’s now half term and the kids have some time off of school, so they were coming down to mine for just over a week, but first I thought it be good to take Ryan to Alton Towers for the weekend as now he is tall enough to go on all of the rides.

I finished work on the Friday at 6am and moseyed on home and slept until 4pm at which time I got up got showered and packed my things. It’s now 6pm and I’m driving to go and get the boy from his mums. I arrive just after 8pm and was greeted with massive hugs and kisses from both of the kids. I spend about 45 minutes there before heading up the A34 to our destination. 4 long hours later we arrive in Stoke at our hotel. Turned out to be the wrong hotel – I had put the post code for another hotel I was looking at in the Sat Nav. No big deal as the actual hotel was only 5 miles in the direction we just come from.

We arrived at the proper hotel just after midnight. Checked in and headed to our room. I go in and there are two single beds. I stand there scratching my head thinking “I’m pretty sure I booked a family room”. We went back down stairs to reception and they changed our room to a double as they didn’t have any more family rooms left. It means sharing the bed with Ryan, but that wasn’t a problem. He snores just as much as I do!

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We were up at 7.30am the next morning and headed off to the nearest Premier Inn hotel as they do some cracking breakfasts. We filled up on grub and then headed off to Alton Towers arriving just after 10.30. We entered the park after the 15 minute walk from the car park and headed straight to our first ride.

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Wonders of technology

A while ago my daughter came across a YouTube channel called Art For Kids Hub that essentially teaches kids how to draw, and it does this in a very positive, friendly and relatable way that anyone of any age is able to follow.

The show looks to be hosted by a professional artist with his children. He teaches them step by step how to draw characters such as Mario, or a Minion, or a dinosaur. He is very patient and promotes the fact that even if a drawing is not that great it’s ok because this is all about practicing, and becoming better.

This evening I wanted to spend time with my daughter and partake in a subject that she enjoys – drawing. What better way to do this than to sit on FaceTime, and both watch the same video together all the while following the instructions.

Admittedly I’m no good at drawing, but I am willing to give anything a go just to spend time with my children even if it is by using FaceTime.

I took several shots of our drawings (mine are the smaller inset photo as these are screenshots of FaceTime), and have posted them below along with a video from Art For Kids Hub.

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Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid


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Christmas 2015

Earlier in the year I had agreed with the kids mum that they could come to mine for Christmas this year. I picked them up on the 18th of December. They were due to go back home on the 30th.

Everyone wanted to go out for dinner on Christmas day, and I was going to stay at home with the kids as it would have been just me and them, and cook for us. I was really looking forward to this. Unsurprisingly they all changed their mind. I ended up cooking for 10 people, which wasn’t the greatest decision I had ever made.

I don’t know the exact amount of money I spent on the kids this year, but I am definitely sure they had more than enough. Having only spoke to them the other day, they still haven’t had been able to play with all of their toys properly yet!

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I only just finished wrapping the presents an hour before I picked the kids up from their mums.

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I didn’t have any Christmas stockings for them, so had to go and buy some. I checked several shops and only Morrisons had them! They feel well put together, and only cost me £3 each. That’s what I call a bargain!

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Ryans 10!

My son is now 10 years old! His birthday was on the 14th, but I had to see him the weekend before. This was a good thing as I found something that Ryan would enjoy so much.

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Ryan is heavily into beatboxing. He watches hours upon hours of videos on youtube of various artists performing their talent. What better gift could I get him than to take him to the Championships?
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Day at the beach

It’s summer and its nice and hot. What is there better to do than to go to the beach? Thats exactly what we did. We packed our stuff and headed down to Camber Sands.

Unfortunately at the time of going to the beach Operation Stack was on which closed the majority of the M20 and caused chaos with the traffic in the local areas. We decided to go through Maidstone and down the A229 and then onto the A21 to Hastings heading to Camber from the West. It took a little longer to get there, but it was much more desirable taking that route than being stuck in hour upon hours of traffic!

We arrived just after 2pm at which time the parking becomes half price, so thats a bonus! We parked up and unpacked the car. I lathered up the kids with sunscreen and headed up the huge sand dunes over to the beach. We spent the next couple of hours playing about in the ocean.

We had loads of fun!

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The Eden Project

Last year when I had the kids with me we visited the Eden Project in Cornwall. At the time I didn’t realise but I bought annual passes. I don’t think it cost that much more than a regular ticket to be perfectly honest, so thats why I probably didn’t notice.

Anyway, we decided to visit again this year. We had a good time down there and as hey had the dinosaur expedition on again, we definitely had to go and visit. Below are a few photos we took while there.

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Legoland

It’s that time of year again when I get to have a couple of weeks with the kids, and I intend to make the most of it. I have decided to buy them annual passes for merlin attractions which will get us into all the best theme parks around the UK.

We started our trip with Legoland, and we had the weather on our side which was a major bonus! As anyone with any form of sense should know if you visit a theme park then you better have the extra money to pay for fast track (in the case of Legoland its known as a Qbot).

I have included the videos and photos I took while we were there. Check them out below.


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Fathers Day

It’s already been a while since I last saw my two, so Fathers Day was just the opportunity to make sure I had the time off of work and go spend time with the kids.

I set off relatively early from home and made my way down to Winchester to pick the kids up for the day and take them out for some quality father, son, and daughter time.

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