Water Ingress

So recently I’ve had a little problem with my car. For some reason and still an unknown reason my car has been letting in water, which pools in the spare wheel well and then splashes through under the back seats and on to the footwell behind the drivers seat.

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I spoke to Ford regarding this issue and they said it was a common known fault of the Ford Focus MKIII. The air vents on the exterior of the vehicle tend to come loose and allow water to build up between the skins of the car which eventually comes into the interior. I looked up what they said it could be and it turns out they’re right. It is a common problem. It’s all over the car forums. I went back to Ford and asked that as they know about the problem and it is a common fault, will Ford pay to rectify the issue. They almost laughed at me on the phone and said it would cost £430 to get sorted. Crap!

Well, as I am not willing to pay £430 at the moment I decided to have a little look about on the internet to see if anyone has put together a video of how to solve the issue. They have!


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Bluebells

As the weather is beautiful right now and we are at the height of the bluebell season I decided that I would grab the camera and head on out to somewhere and see what I could do.

Obviously it’s been a while since I’ve taken any proper photos so this was going to be a whole new thing for me again. Learning how to use my camera properly was the object of the game, so I decided that I would take all photos on manual. This would help me get to know my camera again.

Location of choice was Dene Country Park just on the outskirts of Shipbourne. I arrived there just after 11am and began my journey wandering through the woodland. For the first 15 minutes of my walk I only saw the odd Bluebell. I thought I had missed them. A little while later I was greeted by a sea of purple. It was beautiful.

Sadly the camera can never do justice to Bluebells, but I tried my best. Tell me what you think.

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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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The Food Challenge

Completing a food challenge has been one of the things I have wanted to do for a while now. I didn’t want anything too huge but as with all food challenges there are of a certain size or that wouldn’t be challenges!

A few of us from work decided we would head to a Flaming Grill as they have some cheap challenges. There were four of us in total. I had the 32oz steak and chips and the other boys had a the 24oz burger with chicken, bacon, and chips.

When the plate arrived I lost all confidence in my ability to get through this thing alive. The steak was bigger than the damn plate!

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The boys faces when they got theirs was pretty much the same as mine! The size of their burger! Christ!

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As there was no time limit on the challenge we decided that we would take our time. We didn’t haven’t to be anywhere afterwards. I cut mine up into nice small pieces and worked my way through the steak. After about an hour I had finished the steak and half of the chips. I was reaching my limit.

Thirty minutes of chatter and I decided to pick at the remainder. I finished the chips – this left me with the onions, onion rings, tomato, mushrooms, and peas. The onion rings were easy. Down they went.

Next came the onions and damn they tasted disgusting. They had been sat under the steak the entire time cooking away on the hot plate that it was served on. They were burnt, gooey and tasted like ash and were mixed in with some of the mushrooms. I left those for a while and started on the peas, tomato, and other mushrooms.

I hate mushrooms – I don’t think they even lasted more than a second in my mouth. They were swallowed so quick. The same happened with the tomato. The peas were quite nice though. Everything is gone now except the onions and a few mushrooms.

At this point I look up at the boys and they had got through about half of their meal. Hardly touching their chips and other sides. It looks like I had to do this one on my own.

Each and every bite of the onions and mushrooms made me want to be sick. I was so full my stomach was hurting, and they tasted so gross. Finally after 2 hours and 30 odd minutes of the plates arriving I had finished. I had completed my challenge! I had been victorious. I was a champion! I even got my certificate to prove it!

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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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C.E.R.N.

Visiting C.E.R.N has been one of the things I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I found out recently that they have tours of their facility and ordinary members of the public can request to join them.

After finding out they did tours I naturally got excited. It took me a couple of weeks to find a slot between seeing the kids, work and an availability in the tours. The next challenge was the price of the flight. I thought it was going to be expensive as hell to get a flight over to Geneva, Switzerland. Turns out it wasn’t! Using a website a friend from works introduced me to called Sky Scanner I was able to book a return flight for £42! It makes you wonder how it’s even possible!

I’ve never been on an aeroplane before, so the trip over to Geneva was going to be a completely new experience for me. I was so excited but so scared at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect.

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So this was the plane I was about to get on


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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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Three Peaks – What happened?

As you know I was going to attempt the National UK three peak challenge with several of my colleagues from work. July 4th was the date picked for the challenge, but we decided to head up to Scotland on the 2nd to have some social time drinking and having a look around the local area.

We left from work at 6.30am, which was just after I finished my 12 hour shift. I was quite surprised by the lack of traffic on the journey. We hit the morning rush, but even that wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

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We hit the border of Scotland at 4.20pm after a couple of stops to change drivers / breakfast and fag breaks, and arrived at our chalet shortly after 7pm.

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Our first port of call after checking into the chalet was to find out where the local shop was, and to grab some drinks for the nights entertainment.

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After dinner the drinking games began. I ended up drinking close to three quarters of a litre of vodka, half a bottle of Mikey Finns, and a glass of Disaronno and God only knows what the others drank!

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Needless to say it got very messy. None of us got any sleep until around 6.30pm the next day.
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