Went back to the Crystal Maze Experience, Manchester
As a child of the eighties, The Crystal Maze was a big deal when I was growing up. My sister and I would watch Richard and co darting around as Mumsey looked on, desperately wishing we could take part ourselves (despite being about 8-years-old at the time).
When The Crystal Maze Experience opened in Manchester last year and I was invited along to the press day, it really was childhood dream come true! I knew that my dad would be equally delighted to have the chance of playing and he celebrated a ‘big’ birthday this year so what better to time to surprise him?
My dad’s idea of hell would be to have a big party, lots of fuss made or a night out so I did some stealth organising and got the family on board. Megan was meant to be coming along but had accidentally booked a holiday after I’d bought the Crystal Maze tickets (idiot) so Lucie’s friend came in her place, along with my friend Claire, uncle, cousin, dad, Lucie and Adam.
We managed to keep the whole thing a secret from my Dad right up until the day, when I gave him a pretty big clue in the form of a fabulous Richard O’Brien card from AlphaFresh. Alongside being very low-key, my dad isn’t a natural leader nor particularly competitive so Adam – who is both of those things – nominated himself as Team Captain.
As we met our Maze Master, Alex (who was bloody brilliant by the way) and the game began, my dad began getting into the swing of things. So much so, that he couldn’t contain his excitement and ended up eagerly volunteering for almost every game, earning himself the nickname ‘Katniss Everdeen’ for the rest of the day #lols
Other highlights included my cousin being an absolute ninja and casually bossing a laser challenge in under a minute, Adam full-on screaming at my dad in frustration during one game (the rest of us were ‘helpfully’ pointing him in the wrong direction to be fair …), Claire’s super maths skills saving us on at least two occasions and Lucie misunderstanding the rules in the Dome, hoarding handfuls of tokens instead of posting them through the letterbox.
Fun was had by all and my lovely dad now has both ‘been there’ and ‘worn the t-shirt’ (literally – he bought one from the gift shop) so that’s another achievement ticked off the family bucket list.
Lack of blog time
My ‘day job’ is my priority (well, that and the kids, obvs) and has been super busy recently. Not that I can complain too much as I’ve been working on some brilliant projects but it has left me feeling more mentally and physically drained than usual.
With my free time consisting of essentials like sleeping and ensuring the kids are fed, it meant that my blog had to take a back seat. If I’m honest, the last thing I wanted to do after a day of writing and filming was to open my laptop and do exactly the same thing at 9pm on a Wednesday night. Normal service shall resume soon!
Attended Manchester Eats Festival, Heaton Park
I do love a good food festival. The very first Manchester Eats Festival was launched in Heaton Park this year, so Adam and I went along to see what it was all about. The sun was shining – an unusual occurrence for Manchester – and we both commented on just how many vendors were there.
Along with interactive classes, celebrity chef demonstrations, lots of freebies from Reds BBQ and kids’ attractions, it wasn’t difficult to spend the whole day there. I’m currently writing a full review so watch this space!
A couple of weekends ago, Adam’s sister and niece came up from London to stay with us. I couldn’t wait to see them both and plan some days out across the North West (it’s not all about gravy, rain, flat caps and whippets up here – well, I guess the first two clichés are pretty accurate!).
The brief for said activities was to ‘keep it chilled and stay out of the city’ so we decided to spend a day at Williamson Park, Lancaster. Adam and I have been there numerous times – one of my sisters got married at the beautiful Ashton Memorial – and we knew that our 7-year-old niece would appreciate the butterfly house, meerkats and wildlife.
Although we did try to avoid the city, our guests were catching a train home from Piccadilly, so we spent a few hours at MSI (Museum of Science and Industry); somewhere that I visited a lot in my own childhood and never get bored of! We even spotted our first Bee in the City statue and have since planned to spend a whole day finding the other 100 that are dotted across Greater Manchester.
How was your July?