Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Big Chill

Another two off my list!!!!! Numbers 17 & 25
Go to a festival and do some volunteer work.

04-08 July

Managed to kill two birds with one stone here and volunteered in the welfare tent at the Big Chill Festival in Eastnor Deer Park Ledbury. what an amazing time I had... I heard about the chance to o this from a good friend of mine Lynn who has done this before and recommended me for the job. Basically you work up to 16 hrs over the weekend in the welfare tent as a volunteer and then the rest of the time is your own. The tent was, believe me, an eye opener! we were basically there to support the punters with any 'welfare' needs, this ranged from having goods stolen, lost children, lost tents, sanitary goods, sun lotion etc to people that have had way to much beer or drugs and don't basically know where they are. I got a mixed bag I'll tell you but I wasn't there to judge just to help. certainly made me appreciate my children somewhat though and am proud of my parenting skills and the fact they are as they are!

Anyway, like I say, I wasn't there to judge just help and I think/hope I did a good job, it was quite satisfying to be honest knowing I'd helped people in their time of need and looked after them. I think I'd definitely do it again.

the weekend wasn't all work though and I had a great time in my free time, camping with my man (only the second time ever don't forget!) and chilling watching gigs. the atmosphere at a concert was really cool, everybody seemed to be just so chilled and relaxed.

I spent the day with Lynn on Friday and we watched a few new bands and just walked about and chilled, the weather was lovely and we bought flowers for our hair... 'oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair....' Friday night 8 till 12 I was on shift in the tent but at 12 Ken and I grabbed some beers and went for a walk round the arena, watching loads of different bands and generally just chilling (theme of the weekend!)  it was so nice we stayed out till 4am!
Saturday was another busy day albeit a tad wetter, we saw/heard the likes of Jessie J, Calvin Harris, Kanye West and some lesser known bands including one from Manchester who I'd go and see again.
We stayed Sunday till about 10pm watched Robert Plant and drove home, absolutly knackered but happy!

So massive thanks to Lynn for recommending it, I'll be there again next year, I think I may have caught the welfare tent bug!!!!

Chow for now XX

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Update of 'THE LIST'

Create a blog and update at least weekly
on going
Decorate at least 2 of my 10 rooms
Book and pay for my New York trip
Make a pop video
Lip (lie in public places) and take photo’s as evidence in at least 4 cities
Take part in school sports day (Mum's race)
Go to the top of Blackpool tower and walk on the glass floor
Donate to 40 charities
On going
Place a £40 bet by myself
Go to the Cinema on my own
Write 40 handwritten letters to 40 different people
Ride a Bucking Bronco
Fire walking /willow wood
Play for a girls football team and compete in a competition
Lose 40lbs
ha ha
Dance in a big production
Go to a festival
Sit on Santa’s knee wearing an elf outfit (photo evidence required)
Climb Snowdon
Cocktail afternoon or evening  at the top of the Hilton (Manchester)
Have one sober night out a month and put the money (£40) into the New York fund
Have a horse riding lesson
Go veggie for a week
Go camping
Do some volunteer work
Hire a sander and tackle the kitchen floor (with maybe the help of one kind soul)
Sing on my own in a karaoke bar
Sign up for a college course (subject TBC)
Race for life
Give up chocolate for 40 consecutive days
Give up alcohol  for 40 consecutive days
Watch and learn at a cricket match
Ride the Big one in Blackpool alone
Have a clairvoyant evening at home (supposedly haunted house!)  
Skinny dip
Do the splits
Be a month on a naked calendar
Blackpool’s  Passaje Del Terror alone
Learn to change the tyres on a car
Make a scrap book of all the 40 challenges and the fun times had!!??


July continues and the fun times too, having just got over Snowdon, Weds 13th July brought with it the day my baby girl graduated!

So off to sunny Wales we went, Me, My Mum and Dad, Laura and Cameron. What a lovely day and one of the proudest days too! Laura looked awesome in her cap and gown I was bursting with pride. when she went on stage I was torn between taking her photo and clapping her, I let out a little 'yey' a few tears and ended up with a very blurred photo!!!

We went for tea in a Nice little pub just at the side of the Menai Bridge in the sun. perfect ending to a perfect day.

There were more tears in store when I got home, Laura decided to show me the dedication she had made in her dissertation. it read as follows:

'To my Mum, my best friend, for everything she does, I don't know where I'd be without her love, support, encouragement and unwavering belief in me.'

How nice and what a beautiful thing to say! I can't say how much I love my two and the pride grows daily!!!

Two days later it was Cameron's turn... School sports day.
booked the afternoon off and went to watch, the first time in years the school have gone back to the traditional sports day, complete with sack race, egg and spoon race and obstacle course! Cameron came third in the egg and spoon race and Me??? yep I took place in the mums race (No 6 on the list) and came third!!! Go Kathy Go Kathy!!!!

So that's nearly July over.... where on earth is the year going! Still lots of things to do on the list and still having a ball... I'll be back with more tales soon!


Snowdon - Awesome!!!


Week 1
With Snowdon fast approaching we were struggling to prepare in time, we were all kitted out with tents and camping equipment but physically prepared??? God help me!!!

First weekend of July we were invited to Sam and Mark's with Mel and Pete for a BBQ, we had a great time but Pete being the big kid he is, had us all on shots and cocktails so we were both a bit worse for wear the next day. we had no choice however but to carry on regardless of hangover and climb Dovestone to Chew Reservoir. (last chance to make me realise how hard Snowdon was really gonna be!
It was hard believe me and my knee was playing up too (weeks of abuse , dancing, football and more dancing didn't help) so anyway we did it, it was a lovely day and I ached like mad the day after. to say I was dreading Snowdon would be an understatement.


Number 19 off the list and I've got to say this has got to be one of the hardest things I have physically ever done!!!  I hated every minute of that climb!!! But the weekend was ace!

We arrived at the camp site in Bangor on Friday night to be met by Steve and his brother Andy and the rest of the team. Steve works at Mono and is a lovely lad, his Brother Andy is the guy who had the diving accident 5 years ago and is now paralysed from the neck down (see previous posts) The weekend we had agreed to take part in was the Back up Trust's Snowdon Push, basically we were raising money for the trust by carrying Andy in his wheel chair up the highest mountain in England & Wales.  No mean feat! I of course wasn't part of the carrying team as I had a challenge of my own.... getting up the hill!  

So camping is also something I have never actually done,(No 24) so I stood and watched as Ken and Steve set up our tent and had a couple of beers, we all sat round a BBQ and had a really good evening. went to bed around 12.30 conscious of the fact we had to be bright and early the next morning.

Saturday soon came around and to be honest apart from the fact there was a dog a few tents away that liked to bark I actually slept very well and was up for the day ahead........
I'll not lie!! Climbing Snowdon was one of the hardest things I have ever done (did I mention that??) it was physically demanding and mentally hard too. Ken was my rock! if it wasn't for him I don't think I would have got up there, I hated every minute of that climb up there, even the beautiful views could not distract me from the pain and the only time I smiled was when I got to the top... and guess what I did??? yep I LIPPED at the top of Snowdon!! GET ME!!! :)

Coming down was easy! I could have skipped it! oh and the views were ace! Next time I'm getting the train up and running down!!

Seriously though, I have to say what an awesome effort the team made, Andy was in his wheelchair spurring them all on and the lads worked together as team and made Andy's dream work! I was in awe of everyone of them!! half way up the wheel buckled on the chair, this meant they had to physically carry him, now how they did that I will never know, what an amazing bunch of people! Andy has said on record that he hates being called an inspiration, well the whole team deserved that title in my eyes that day! I loved it!

Saturday night brought with it the joy of public showers (",) NICE!! and my camping experience was complete!!! we also had a Push Ball where the trust presented the winning teams with awards, Our team won an award for the most money raised, get this... there were 16 teams in total and up to that night between them they had raised £50,000!! amazing! even more amazing was that our team raised a quarter of that!! over £12,000.....

An experience I will never forget and a what a pleasure and privilege to have been part of the team!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Where does the time go......

Where indeed does the time go? OMG I'll be 40 before I know it and that means I don't have much longer to complete my challenges!!

Another busy month, but hey I am having a ball!!! They say life begins at 40 well I tell you what I'm living mine to the full now so god knows what I'm gonna do when it begins!! (",)

Quick update on the month of June:

Week 1
I had a little bit of a woman's op on the1st of June, nothing major and all OK, but I stupidly (as I do) didn't listen to the nurse when she said rest a few days! I went to Castleton with Ken and the kids and went up and down the many steps of the Blue John Mine and then foolishly attempted to climb some bl00dy hill opposite (mam tor or something??) I was conscious that Snowdon wasn't far off and I needed some practice, what I didn't think about was what the nurse had said and ended up in agony... anyway we live and learn and after a weekend of rest I was back to normal (as normal as can be!!)    
 Was Ken's birthday too so we had a trip to Go Outdoors for new boots and I started to get a bit giddy about Snowdon.

Week 2
 I took Ken to the comedy store for his birthday treat and  we had a great night, it was the Edinburgh previews and although there was one good comedian I have to confess I fell asleep during the second act!! not a good sign eh?? had a few more drinks after and really enjoyed the night.
That weekend brought with it my mate Shelley's 40th party, was a really good night with some great company, a chance to introduce Ken to the dancing girls too and because I'd organised Leeds and helped with the buffet, Shelley bought me a beautiful bracelet and some flowers.

Week 3
Show time, number 16 on the list. Taking part in the 'Nicholson Academy's Next Generation' show at the Royal Northern College of Music, was ace!! I have been dancing since I was 3 and have always loved the buzz of the stage, (yes I know I am a show off!! ) but dancing with these girls is always such a laugh, we all get on really well and can quite easily take the mick out of each other without offending. Igot a bit giddy on the dress rehearsal and had a tad too much of my special water, ended up slurring my words before my 3rd dance! Wasn't good and spent the rest of the afternoon sobering up before the evening performance. The shows were great and even Ken enjoyed himself! (so he says!)       

Week 4
From tap shoes to football boots!! Number 14 on the list, play in a girls football team. It was the Mono annual football tournament and I captained the ladies team, was a great day with a lot of laughs! we didn't win needless to say. Can't imagine we'd ever beat 6 blokes teams, although I did show a few goalie skills and won a prize for the most saved goals in one match and Melly one player of the tournament after being voted player of the match the most. was a great day but not sure I could do it again... we'll see...... 
Sunday was supposed to be a last minute attempt to get some walking in before Snowdon, needless to say we were both aching after the football and decided a walk round Daisy nook after tea would have to make do instead!

So that was June, bring on July with Snowdon, graduation and sports day!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Snowdon Push

Just a quick one to let you all know about plans for No19 on the list!!! :)  

As part of my list of 40 things to do in my 40th year, I have volunteered to climb Snowdon and being the sort of person I am I didn’t just want to climb it and that be it, I wanted to do it in style!!!

So I have agreed to take part in the ‘The Snowdon Push’ for the Backup Trust. The Backup Trust is a registered charity that provides aid to people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries and organise specialised events which help people with disabilities to achieve personal goals.

A colleague of mine has a brother, Andy, who 6 years ago broke his neck in a diving accident in Goa, leaving him with no movement from the neck down. With the help of The Backup Trust Andy has been able to get back some of the adrenaline buzz he has so dearly missed since his rugby and travelling days.

The ‘Snowdon Push’ is an annual event, involving friends and family of Andy’s pushing/carrying him in his wheel chair up Snowdon racing against other teams with people in similar positions. The event is sponsored with all donations going to The Back Up trust. Last year Andy’s team raised £8,995.75 smashing their £3,000 target, this year the aim is to raise £10,000.

The Backup Trust has helped Andy complete numerous goals including:-

Going sailing on his own, taking part in The Great North Run and the Manchester 10k, He is also a keen skier and has played a pivotal role in lots of other fundraising events for various other charities.

Andy is currently playing the part of Steve Kelly in Emmerdale, (Jackson’s mate) this role highlights Andy’s positive and outgoing outlook on life, and has made him somewhat of a local hero.

I am sure you will agree he truly is an inspiration to many!!

Please see the link below for more details of this fantastic charity.

If you would like to sponsor me and the team you can do so by either visiting our team website below or via the traditional manner of a paper sponsor form.

Please give as generously as you can and know that your kindness is much appreciated.

Much love and wish me luck....I think I’m gonna need it (“,) !!!!
Kathy XX

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Me Again, late to blog as always!!!


Another crazy few weeks have gone by! where does the time go??? I can't believe what I get up to these days, so busy its untrue! We tried to book a lie in the other day, looking like some time in August maybe!! :)

Anyway, here's the goss of whats been happening since I last blogged.

29/4 - 02/05 The big 'outing'
The weekend of the Royal wedding was an eventful one, watched it and weeped like any girl at a wedding and then had a BBQ at mothers (in the wind!) with a few scoops and had a really nice relaxing day. On the Saturday we started rehearsals for the upcoming 'next generation' show being held at Royal Northern college of music on 18/19th June, (big plug there!) it was great to see how all the little ones have grown and how much they have progressed since the last show, got to have a sneaky peek at the other dances and got a tad excited at how the show will turn out.

Saturday night we went to one of many 40th Parties we will be attending this year, this one was for a girl from work. Now the thing is nobody at work knew (note I say knew) about me and my fella seeing each other, yes we do work together, so this was also the night of us 'coming out' we knew of a couple of the guests that were attending but not about the one who would eventually 'out' us at work. Don't get me wrong, its not an issue us seeing one another and not really a problem that people at work knew, we just wanted to leave it as long as possible and try to avoid being the works gossip. This of course was not to be! By Tuesday morning (Monday was bank holiday!) the world of Mono were aware that I am seeing Mr Ken Ball and that I had indeed touched his bottom at the bar! (Harlot!) There were mixed reactions and a lot of "no ways" and "how did you manage to keep it a secret so long",  but on the whole the news was taken quite well and I apparently have made a good catch!! :)  A while before the news broke at work, I had already created the Ken Ball Appreciation Society (KBAS) due to the fact that whenever I had told the secret to friends they all went on about how much they loved him! (",). Anyway so there it was out in the open.

That weekend was quite an eventful one for me actually, there was the work 'outing' and I also met Ken's family for the first time too, was a tad nervous to be fair but all seemed OK in the end...( I think they liked me?? LOL)
We went for a bike ride with Lizzie his daughter on the Monday, I think Ken was actually out to kill me! we did the Hadfield trail, 6 miles along lovely scenic views... sounds nice??? AGAINST THE WIND!!! not so nice! :( anyway I somehow survived and made it to the end and to be honest the ride back was well worth it!         

06/05- 08/5 York
The following weekend brought with it Katie's hen weekend in York, what a ball! We rented a 5 bed town house in York for 10 of us and had such a fab weekend! Friday night we met at Erika's (Katie's big sis) and a minibus collected us and drove us to the house, once there we had a slumber party with pizza's, cakes etc... and a karaoke session! The Lowe sisters are ace singers and absolutely fantastic hosts and I had such a good night I didn't want to go to bed!

Saturday we woke to a wonderful cooked breakfast made by Sarah, (another sister) and then ventured into York for the afternoon, a few beers on the riverside, a bit of shopping, a lot of LIPPing and then back to the house for cream teas and champagne on the patio at 5pm. (heaven!!)

Saturday night we dressed in 70's gear and went on the river cruise, it was ace! A fab night was had by all including the bride to be who happened to throw up UP the stairs in a nightclub around about midnight! Needless to say we were all back in our PJ's by 12.30 relaxing and enjoying each others company!

14/05-15/05 Leeds

Another weekend later and there I was packing my bags and sodding off again!! This time to Leeds to celebrate one of my best mates 40th and also knock a few things off the list! including my final Lipp in my 4th city, (No 5)  a pop video (No 4) and karaoke on my own (27)!!

Saturday Morning, there we were drinking champagne on the train with our Black hoodies on and our goody bags given to us by Shelley (birthday girl) I had organised this one so felt the need to make sure everything went just right! I had given everybody instruction packs as to who they were sharing with, an itinerary of the weekend and of course their teams. Ha ha, we basically split into 4 teams of 5 and I set a list of challenges for every team to complete. Ttotally broke the ice for those that didn't really know anybody and got the party started in style.

Saturday afternoon, we made the pop video, OMG what fun!! I would recommend that to any group of girls who are up for a laugh, we had a BALL! We had pre chosen Blondie's One way or Another and the choreographer came up with some great routines to suit us all, if the finished product is as good as it looked when we were making it it will be awesome!!!

Saturday night we dressed as gangsters and went full swing to the OK Karaoke bar, we had teams songs, group songs and of course my very own solo!!! I sang Black eyed peas, tonights gonna be a good night! I actually think I danced more than I sang but nevertheless I was up there on my own giving it my all!!!

Another fantastic weekend away with such fab friends.

If the last few months have shown me nothing else they have proved to me what a great bunch of friends I have, I am privileged enough to have a lot of friends and in fact on the three weekends away that I have been on none of them were with the same people, that shows either two things, I am a popular lady with fab friends who love to party or I will indeed attend the opening of an envelope!!! ha ha

Anyway, I digress, Sunday we carried on with the laughter on the train home and finished our weekend together reminding each other of the many silly things we had got up to!

Sunday afternoon, I met Ken in Manchester as he had just completed the 10K Greater Manchester run in 54 mins... was gutted I wasn't there to see him finish but did give him a big hug to show him how proud I was. That night we went for an Italian to celebrate and I had to remind him that all though he might have run 10k and lost a few pounds I still had 40lbs to lose and really must get on with it!!! :(     

21-22May - Triathlon
This weekend was another busy one albeit somewhat more relaxed and sober than the previous two!  A party for Cameron for his cousin Enya's 4th birthday saw us up and out at 10am Saturday, there we were with no lie in again, running around bizzy bouncers and having a great time, Saturday afternoon I had dance rehearsals and Saturday night I chilled at Ken's whilst Laura and Cameron had a take away and Dr Who evening.

Sunday we were up nice an early and got set to watch Ken in the cheshire triathlon, we took Lizzie with us and lots of home made banners and flags to cheer him on. Our flags all had KBAS (see previously mentioned) and Lizzie provided whistles, 2 kids with whistles and a deep K B A S chant did not bode well with the organiser let me tell you!!! Anyway, Ken did the triathlon in 1hr 4mins and 10 seconds, a fantastic achievement if you ask me! He came 19th out of 74 and was only 10 minutes behind the guy that came 1st!!! Seriously couldn't tell him how proud I was!!!!! This of course deserved another celebratory meal and off we went for an Indian (40lbs before January?? what do we reckon!!)

So here we are another weekend fast approaching, and yes its full of plans!!! out with Ken, out with the girls, a walk up Dovestones and a trip to Bangor to bring my princess home from uni.....I'm sure I'll fill you all in soon!!!

Anyway, that was May!!! lets see what the month of June brings... Birthdays, parties, Dance show and the Mono football tournament. look out June here I come!

Thanks for reading I know it was a long one and yes if I blogged more they wouldn't be!!!
Take care