Monday, 31 October 2016

Why I Let My Daughter Do Halloween

So this post may seem a little controversial, but bear with me. You see for years, I haven't allowed my girls to participate in anything Halloween. Why? Because I am a Christian, albeit not a very good one, but then I don't pretend otherwise. I am real, I am to the point, I mess up and I make wrong decisions, which is precisely why I don't write about it, but, this is an exception, given that Halloween and Christianity generally don't mix.

Anyway, back to the point. when my girls were little, they came to church with me, joined in with the kids work etc. Now they are that little bit older and they have made up their own minds, (thus far) as to what they do and not believe; and for the moment, their decision is that they don't share my faith and do you know something, I'm okay with that.

A Super Sunday Lunch

For some time now, I have been meaning to get my backside down to the lovely Kent Coast, namely Dover for a Sunday Lunch and a catch up with a fabulous young man whom I once had the privilege of working with.

As you know, I did indeed go to Dover recently, but had to rush home after visiting the Castle so didn't make it to the pub, but this weekend, I decided the girls deserved a Back to School treat and given that they both love a roast dinner, we made a reservation at The White Horse.

I am rather good at finding my way to Dover nowadays, well the Castle at least, but I don't really know the area and wasn't entirely sure where The White Horse was located, so I printed off the directions (as a back up) and set the rather dodgy SatNav up. Now to be fair to the SatNav, it does need updating, or better still replacing, but when Dr. BD and I used it last week, she (SatNav lady) wanted me to turn right in the middle of the M2, and couldn't correctly count the exits on any of the roundabouts...need I say more?

We had a relatively clear drive down and found the pub really easily. What I'd not realised was its close proximity to the Castle. Bonus, because as we all know by now, Dover Castle is one of my favourite places to visit and knowing that there's a super friendly pub just around the corner makes it all the more appealing.

I like to be prepared when going somewhere new for the first time so I'd checked about parking when I booked and was advised by the lovely Stuart that parking in the adjacent leisure centre car park is free on a Sunday (it's pay and display otherwise). The pub is located next to the ruins of St. James' Church, which was sadly damaged in World War II. I imagine that during it's lifetime it must have been beautiful, but even now in it's collapsed and ruined state it holds a certain beauty that warranted a couple of photos.

We headed in to the pub, to a warm and friendly welcome from the lovely Stuart. After ordering our drinks we were shown to our table in the wee 'bistro' area. Stuart was super, he made us so welcome, and chatted away to the girls, which they loved.

The Sunday Lunch menu was fabulous. Nice and simple, three choices of main course and four dessert choices. This is perfect, especially if you have indecisive children (or adults) with you. Goodness only knows how much time I have spent waiting for someone to make their mind up when faced with a massive menu. It's very frustrating when you're starving hungry. So a nice concise menu is well and truly welcomed.

Miss. D went for the beef whilst I went for chicken and Miss. L, a child sized chicken dinner. Whilst we waited for our meals to be served we enjoyed some time chatting; well Miss. D and I did, Miss. L was busy playing a game on my phone, her tablet was out of charge.

I won't lie, I was a little concerned when the plates arrived, well, mine and Miss. D's anyway, because there was a lot of food on there and I only have a little appetite. However, it was so delicious I needn't have been concerned. Who am I kidding, I could have done seconds. The beef looked great and must have tasted good, because Miss. D made very short work of it. The chicken was perfectly cooked, it was full of flavour and was still lovely and moist. No dry chicken nor soggy vegetables at The White Horse! The veggies were sheer perfection, with just the right amount of 'crunch' and do not get me started on the gravy which was, to coin a phrase, 'to die for' because it was homemade gravy; you really can tell the difference.

She wasn't happy that I insisted on photographing her dinner!

Miss. L didn't mind having her food photographed.

I must apologise, because the dessert was so scrummy that I clean forgot to take photos, thankfully, I remembered just before Miss. L stuck her spoon into her Sticky Toffee Pudding. I had the same and it was so good, I finished Miss. L's off for her (she only managed half of it). Sadly, Miss. D polished off her apple pie before I got a chance to try it, but it did look good and I may well order it myself next time.

You can't beat Sticky Toffee Pudding
The lovely Jules came and joined us for a bit after he'd finished off (at least for a wee while) in the kitchen. It was fab to catch up with him, over a nice pot of tea, (tea is so important, don't you think) and reminisce about our days working in a call centre together. It may not have been the best of jobs, but fair to say it was the best of times and the best team I've ever had the privilege of working with.

I am so pleased for Jules and Stuart for taking up the challenge of running The White Horse. They are an amazing couple and are both totally people focused. You cannot fail to feel welcomed by these lovely gents. We enjoyed our visit so much that we will definitely be returning and would highly recommend you visiting too, should you ever find yourself in Dover. You really won't find a friendlier place to relax.

I won't apologise for really plugging this fabulous place (let's face it, if you can't use your blog to big up a friend's fab business, why blog) and, as such, you'll find all their contact details below:

The White Horse
St. James' Street
Dover CT16 1QF

01304 213066

You can also follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Finally, we made our way back to the car, but not before taking a couple more photos of the church next door.

*Please note this review is totally independent and has not been commissioned by The White Horse, I just happen to love these gents.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Sorry...Not Sorry

I have not been good boy this week.

Mummy made me go to see Nanny and that silly puppy, Winnie. I sort of like her now, but she still annoys me sometimes and I no like that she is lives in the house with Nanny and Grandad. I was the only doggy there, I like being only doggy. I don't like sharing.

When we got there I went to find Nanny. She loves me and gives me treats. I found her upstairs, with Winnie, but I was nice to the puppy.

Friday, 28 October 2016

A Visit to Darwin's House - Part 2

You may remember that back in the summer holidays we went to Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, or as it will now be known 'part one'. Anyway, our previous visit was great, but we didn't really get to see much of the house as my girls were getting somewhat frustrated with a large group of children on an organised visit. I decided that whilst the girls were on a long weekend with their dad, I would make a return visit.

This time, I managed to a) not miss the road I should be driving up and b) not sail past the the main car park, both of which made for a good start. Car parked, off we headed to the main entrance (Dr. BD accompanied me, we have joint English Heritage membership now, remember). We showed our card and headed off into the main body of the house.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Visit to Dover Castle

Yes the October half term is well and truly upon us. So where better to go on the first day of the holidays than Dover Castle!

Now, at this point I must confess that I am without children at the moment, they are having a long weekend with their dad, but Dr. BD is spending time with his lovely daughter and has a friend visiting with his children and they were keen to visit Dover Castle. Enter me with my English Heritage Membership, with which I can get all three kids in free of charge. This left just the two gents to pay to get in.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Doggy Delights

I am such a happy doggy this week. Last week I was a worried doggy, but no more. I am a very happy boy.

Last week I thought my people didn't love me and I thought they would eat me, like they did the naughty doggy, but my friend, Martyn (him have a great blog Inside Martyns Thoughts) explained to me that naughty doggy, not really a doggy, but a cake. Apparently, cake is a people food that tastes good. That made me feel much happier and I wagged my tail a bit.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

International Sloth Day 2016

Awww, would you just take a look at that gorgeous, cute, friendly face. How can anyone not love sloths? They are my favourite animal, obviously after our Little Orange Dog. So how happy was I when I noticed that today, 20th October, 2016 is International Sloth Day? Answer, deliriously happy. In honour of the day, I may well take my sloth back pack to work with me. That is how happy I am. You remember the sloth bag? No? Well just for you then...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Directions Please!

What's with the tree lined road picture, you may be asking? That's a very valid comment, which I will endeavour to explain. You see, this is what I think parenting looks like. A long tree lined road, with no map and definitely no SatNav. It's a long journey on an unmarked road that leads to goodness only knows where! 

You get dumped on said road when your bundle of joy arrives and then that's it, you have got to find your own way. Along the way you will find the odd signpost giving you a bit of an idea about what's coming up and preparing you for what you may need, but you have to work out how you're going to manage the journey. You may also encounter (I say you may, you most definitely will) family, friends and complete strangers along the road who will offer you all sorts of advice, some useful, some not so useful and you will have to decide if their directions are worth following. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Little Things

This post is about 'little' things that annoy me, so as random as it may seem, this photo really fits the bill; both 'little' things and Lego man is really 'annoyed'. Anyway, on to the post...

Previously I made a list of my 'Happy Things', but I am no Saint and I do have a list of  things that annoy me too; we all do, don't we? Some of the things that annoy me most are those little things that don't really matter, but for some reason make my blood boil.

Monday, 17 October 2016

My Doggy Doubts

I know I am not supposed to use Mum's laptop without asking, but I am not a happy dog. It has not been a good week. I am sad. I don't think my family love me anymore, they keep leaving me.

All of last week, Mummy went out. She never goes out. Why did she leave me? She said to me that she had to go and will be back soon, but I don't know how long soon is. I think it might be two episodes of Hawaii 5 O, because that is what she leaves on for me. Mummy thinks I like to have the TV on to keep me company, but I just want to sleep.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Running Crazy!

I've been rather quiet this week, or at least I think I have, you may well have been enjoying a break from my random musings. However, it has been anything but a quiet week. It has been a totally bonkers, crazy, busy week with me feeling like I've spent the entire time running around like a mad woman; hence the running track, I have not embarked on a new fitness regime, just in case the title of the post had given you that impression.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Birthday Girl!

Yesterday was my baby girl's birthday. I've said it before I know, but the time really has just flown by. I clearly remember looking at this tiny little person and wondering what she might look like when she got a bit older. Well, now she is 11 and she is beginning to look grown up.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

International Day of the Girl 2016

My girls! I love them to bits. They are my daughters, my friends, my world and I'll do whatever I can to support, encourage and  help them become amazing young women.

They have a lot. A lot of love, a lot of friends, a lot of stuff (although they probably don't think so), and a lot of opportunities. As girls living in UK in the 21st Century, the world is their oyster, but not all girls have the opportunities that they do.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A Chilly Weekend

Oh my goodness, it has been chilly this weekend. I have to confess that on not one, but two occasions I have resorted to putting the heating on, not for long, but it has been on all the same. I have just used it to take the chill out of the air before turning it off again and snuggling on the sofa with Max curled up on my feet (which is where he is currently sat, as I type).

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Review of bakerdays Letter Box Cake

bakerdays landscape logo

Well, the lovely people at bakerdays were kind enough to let us devour, sorry, I mean review one of their very scrumptious cakes. I am rather fond of cake, as is Dr. BD and both the girls, so it really hasn't been a chore at all!

Friday, 7 October 2016

My Happy Things

Life is sometimes a bit of an uphill struggle isn't it? Sometimes, you just don't feel like smiling, sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees, so to speak. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our daily routines that we forget to stop and look around us. Sometimes, we lose focus. When I'm feeling snowed under or consumed by life's busyness (is that a word? I don't know, but I like it) I force myself to look for all the positives in the situation and then I start to feel a little lighter. However, there are some things that never fail to make me feel happy and so for my own benefit (how selfish of me to use my blog to my own ends) I present to you...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

World Teacher's Day

I realise that it's rather late in the day to be posting this, but I am a bit behind today, added to which I wasn't planning on writing a post to celebrate World Teacher's Day; not I might add because I don't value our teachers, I really do, but until this morning, I had no idea that there was such a day. However, having now discovered that said day does exist, and given what I witnessed today, it would be wrong not to join in the celebrations.

Monday, 3 October 2016

An Emergency Shopping Trip

Before we go any further, this is not as fun as it sounds. Yes, ladies, I know that the title contains the word 'shopping', but trust me the emphasis here is on the word, 'emergency'.

So, what on earth, you may ask, was the emergency? A very valid question, indeed,

Sunday, 2 October 2016

A Busy Weekend!

Well, it has been a busy weekend! I almost need a break to recover from it, but that's a good thing, because it's been a fun weekend!

Miss. L and I started our weekend by playing fetch in the park with Max. He wasn't really too sure what he was supposed to do, but he got there eventually, after a little tutoring from Miss. L...

So, Max, I throw the ball, you chase it, bring it back and then we start again, OK?