Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Birthday weekend

I've had a really busy weekend and I didn't get a whole lot of sleep, but it was absolutely fantastic! I was also shocked (yet delighted!) to have received exactly 100 birthday messages on my Facebook wall and more via text and email etc - Wow! Thanks everyone!

So back to the weekend, it all started on the Friday night when Amanda, Andy, Carrie, Dave, Helen, Richard and myself all went to the Komedia in Bath to watch the Krater Comedy Club!

The Master of Ceremonies presenting the acts

Amanda and Richard inside Komedia

There were three acts, Tom Deacon, Gareth Berliner and Eddy Brimson and they were all really good! Well, to be completely honest, I thought Tom Deacon was fantastic, but the other two were a bit too crude for my liking, but it was still very enjoyable! Everyone else was laughing loads so I'm sure it was just me!

After that finished Amanda headed off home and the rest of us looked for somewhere to eat and we settled on "The Eastern Eye" which is an Indian restaurant. It was really empty in there (which was probably why our food arrived rather quickly!) and it tasted fantastic.

Eating in "The Eastern Eye"

My chicken Dupiaza

I didn't end up getting home until gone 2am (which is probably about the time the uni students go out these days lol), but I had to get up fairly early to get to my parents the next day.

Saturday morning I went over my parents as planned and enjoyed a really lovely "Toad in the hole". I'm sure that sounds like a very random thing to have, but earlier in the week I'd asked mum if she'd mind doing that as it's something I haven't had in ages (like literally years!) and I do like it and as such.... yay! :)

After this I opened my presents and wow I got loads of great things! My parents bought me a quite a few things, but one of the main ones was a portable Sega Mega Drive console! Yeh I know the Nintendo 3DS is about to come out, but pfft what you really want is some retro 16-bit gaming... namely a portable Sega Mega Drive which is rechargeable, comes with 20 games built in AND... (here's the really cool part) this version has an SD card slot in it so you can copy other games onto it - Fantastic! I'm unsure whether it's an SD or SDHC slot as I haven't tested it enough, but I've got a rather unusual 4GB SD card (usually anything over 2GB is usually SDHC, but this one is, by design, a rather weird one) and it worked just fine so that's more than enough space for every Mega Drive game ever made! :) I copied a few onto it and they worked straight away - result!

Check out my portable Sega Mega Drive console! (and my excited face!)

My mum made a matching cake!

The full list of everything I got (in no particular order) was a bonsai tree, 3D Jigsaw, "Show Down" board game, blood and zombie blood energy drinks, Super Mario sweets in tins (Toad and Star), Astro Boy DVD, Steam Boy DVD, Mega Drive portable console as mentioned above, Rubik's 360 puzzle, Skins DVDs (series 1-4), Inception Bluray, The Hangover Bluray, Let the Right One In Bluray, Tin Tin volume 4 book, Ramses Pyramid Lego game, 5cm per Second DVD, Sanctuary season 1 DVD, Imperial V-Wing Lego kit, Sea Monkeys, Smores Poptarts, smiley cup and saucer set and TONS of retro sweets! Pretty awesome eh? I'm very fortunate to have such great things!

Gail bought me a bonsai tree - Epic!

SOME of the presents I was lucky enough to receive!

After I opened the presents we all sat down and played the new "Show Down" board game and the new Lego game and finally the "Thoughts and Crosses" game that my parents got for Xmas.:

Playing my new "Ramses Pyramid" Lego game

After this I headed off to Lucy and Andy's and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Carys was also there! We all ordered pizzas from Dominos and since we had a 50% off voucher we all ordered large pizzas (to ourselves!) and I went nuts with my one...

£24 pizza... AND ALL MINE!

Well it would have been £24 if not for the 50% off voucher, but unfortunately I only ate half of it as it was so filling! Stuffed crust Dominator with BBQ sauce, jalepenos, pepperoni, ham, meatballs, green peppers and anchovis and OMG I feel hungry just mentioning it! After filling ourselves up on pizza we played on "Wii Party" and then some "Guitar Hero":

Guitar Hero

Then just as I was about to leave a few minutes before midnight, Carys remembered that there was a cake for me so there was an urgent plugging in of candles/lighting in and blowing them out and finally eating a slice JUST before it turned midnight (and no longer my birthday!) :)

I was given another cake - Yay!

I headed home and it was about 1.30am by the time I got in, but unfortunately I didn't get a lot of sleep again as a really early start the next day! I had to get to Helen's for 9am because we were off to... At-Bristol! It's a sciency/engineering thingy, mostly for kids to play with, but just as fascinating for adults! As soon as we got there we went straight into the Planeterium and were treated to a pretty nifty show! After this we walked around the rest of it at our own pace and played with all the different things - Here's my favourite:

Tornado which you could just walk right through - WOW!

It would just swirl around and if you broke it (by walking into it) it just reformed a few moments later... fantastic! There were loads of cool thing with slow motion cameras, somewhere that you could create your own stopmotion (and we did!), tons of things with magnets, somewhere to create giant bubbles and so much more!

Awesome contraption where you could completely control the flow of water!

We managed to connect all the tables together!

After spending quite a few hours in there we walked more into Bristol to find somewhere to eat and although it wasn't an intentional plan, we ended up in... Pizza Hut. Yes a pizza the previous night wasn't enough, I had to have another one! LOL

Walking round Bristol

Another pizza!

This pizza was shared though, I had the meat feast half and Helen had whatever the other half is (I can't remember the exact name). We got the twisty dippy crust thing as that's the best! :)

After this we headed back to mine and spent the rest of the evening watching episodes of "Big Bang Theory" and "A Town Called Eureka".

Very unhealthy weekend, but oh so brilliant! :)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Pizza Hut

So a bit of background information first: Although we don't go climbing as much anymore, Lucy and I still go from time to time and sometimes we go for a McDonalds afterwards (cause we're awesome like that!) :)

So on Sunday Lucy and I said about going climbing today (Monday) and Lucy suggested getting some food too. I said that I wasn't sure McDonalds really qualifies as food, but it is yummy so sure thing! However, she was thinking more like pizza hut than the usual McDonalds so I was like "woo, that's cool!" Normally we go climbing from ~8.30pm to 10pm, but after checking the Pizza Hut opening times they close at 9pm so we were like... "forget climbing and just go to the pizza hut?" :) And so we did - Hurrah! :D We even dragged Lucy's boyfriend Andy along too! (I say dragged because he doesn't like pizza... OMG HOW?!) Hehe sorry Andy :P

Garlic bread with cheese

Large stuffed crust meat feast

Hot toffee apple crumble

Oh and I should probably mention that the pizza above WAS ALL MINE! Muhahaha! :D No I didn't eat it all (good grief!) half of it is in my fridge at the moment ready for reheating tomorrow (cold pizza = eugh!) When I placed my order I was like "You've got boxes right?" and the waitress laughed and said yes so I guess I'm not the only person who intentionally orders extra! :) Yum! :)

And yes, I just wrote a blog post about Pizza Hut... worse yet, you read it! :P

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pancake day

So it's that time of the year again where we all eat pancakes. Please don't ask me why, because I don't know, although I do know it's because of some old thing which dates back hundreds of years about using up old food or something, but yeh.. PANCAKES, that's the important part of this!

As usual I went over my parents house and the pancakes were once again truely epic. I've found that the perfect combination (to me anyway) is putting in lemon juice, sugar, ice cream AND maple syrup and then roll it up like a burrito... :)

My first pancake and all the topping choices!

One of my brother's pancakes (Marshmallow fluff, Nutella and bananas)

My third pancake: Lemon, sugar, ice cream, syrup and Nutella

My mother actually suprised me at once point by putting ORANGE juice on her pancakes (this was after I'd taken the original picture) and I'd never ever thought of that, but after trying it mixed in with the ice cream... not bad! :)

The only sad part is I now have to wait 350 days until the next Pancake day... pooey :(

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Longleat Safari Park

Last weekend Helen came over and we decided we should probably go out and do something, so we decided either Wookey Hole Caves or our usual yearly trip to Longleat. I don't know whether it was just because we were feeling lazy and Longleat isn't very far away, but we've also never been this early in the year so wondered what we'd find... :)

Admittedly the weather wasn't great and there were bursts of rain throughout the day and likewise the temperature didn't really get above 5-6 degrees, but it was still lots of fun! I did look a little out of place in just my shorts-shirt and probably should have wrapped up more, but for the most part I wasn't that cold.

As always we started with the Safari park (the plan is to get there for 9.30am to 9.45am so you're near the front when it opens at 10am), but this time they diverted us differently for the Safari entrance... turns out it was completely unneeded and just took us the long route avoiding a village, I'll be going the old way next time! :) We got up too late for breakfast so whilst waiting to go in I bought a flapjack at the shop on the site and felt a bit guilty because later I heard someone talking about how they'd had to get up at 3.30am to get there... ouch. So yeh time to start with some photos!

Wallabies - I think they've spotted us!

Because everyone loves a baby giraffe!

Normally I skip the monkey enclosure, but it's been many years since I went through it so I thought "it's probably not as bad as I remember" and "it's cold, they won't want to be running all over cars"... OH MY GOD I could not have been more wrong. Straight away one of them jumped on my car and then mere seconds later ran up to the roof and you could hear absolutely terrible scratching and tearing noises and I was like OMG what is he doing!?! This was quickly answered when part of the rubber roof/side trim dropped into view in front of my window!

All around us other cars were in similar situations with monkeys attacking windscreen wipers, side mirrors, roof trims were very popular (the road was covered with them) and yeh... I know they warn you about the monkeys, but there's no warning it'll be THIS bad!

So back on the story, the monkey then proceeded to sit on the back window and stared in us with what actually looked like a evil grin on his face! Well I'd had enough of this so pushed the rear wiper and because he was sat on it, he flew off :) Of course this didn't last long and he was straight back on the car staring in at us looking absolutely livid (hanging on from the roof this time, he wasn't going to fall for that again!), but by this point I was already moving and heading to the exit as fast as I can. I didn't want to slow down, but as Helen point out he wasn't going to jump off unless I did so sure enough as we came towards the end I slowed and he dropped off. Phew!

Unfortunately there were nowhere we were allowed to stop the car/get out for ages so I had to wonder what damage there was to my car, but when we got to the Lion enclosure a staff member ran over and said about my roof trimming was hanging off (to which I replied yes, it was the monkeys, but I've not been able to fix it yet as not allowed out the cars!). Thankfully he tucked it back up and said it looks fine now. Sure enough when we finally stopped the car at the end and I inspected the car, considering the noise it was amazing how little damage there actually was. I expected the roof to be scratched to bits, but there wasn't a mark on it. It turns out that the noise was literally him trying to get the roof trim off. Although he has scuffed the ends of both trims (sort of rubberer/plastic mix) this seems pretty minor and because it didn't come off completely it stuck straight back down without a problem either - Phew! I think I got away very lightly, but word of warning DON'T take your car through the monkeys unless you really don't mind any damage...

Thankfully the rest of the Safari was nice and quiet! :)

Monkey actually biting the car in front!

Because of the rain/mud/cold we didn't feed the deer this time, but later in the year we will!

We've NEVER seen the rhinos quite so close before!!

This sign made us laugh as we went into the tiger enclosure, there's a similar sign for the lions.

The tigers really couldn't be bothered with the cars at all.

After the safari park we went into the grounds and it was empty... there's a new "day pass" ticket so it's only valid for the one day, but you can go into each thing as many times as you want and we took advantage of this! The first time was when we went on the simulators (Slot Car Racing or Gorilla Expedition) because normally you have to pick which you want to go on as you're only allowed one and you have to queue up for ages... not this time... we went on both back to back and we were the ONLY PEOPLE in both machines! I couldn't stop laughing it was just crazy how quiet it was. The simulators themselves aren't that great because the screens are really low detail, but they're not very long and they gave us a few laughs! (The funniest bit is on the gorilla expedition one where we've already been "shouted at" by a massive gorilla for being on their territory so our guide then says "Let's see if we can get a little closer?" WTF DUDE?! LOL we'd done it before, but you just knew that wasn't going to end well!

After we "survived" the simulators, we went to the safari boats and this was the only place we had to queue at all day. Normally you have to wait to get to the front, we just had to wait for the BOAT to get back. LOL. When we got to the queue there were ~6 people ahead of us and even 10 minutes later when it arrived, there were still only ~12 people on the boat in total and it's designed for about 80-100!

Watching the meerkats getting a tan, whilst waiting for the boat to come in!

Because we come every year we're very used to the animals they have, so we were both rather shocked when we found there something completely new which neither of us had seen before: Anteaters! They're very strange looking creatures (I'm sure they'd say the same about me!) and were very interesting to watch!


I still think the train is the worst attraction, Helen loved it though! :)

Obligatory shot of the maze, I'm glad to say I can still remember the route
and we got to the centre in under 3 minutes! (walking, not running!)

The Parrot show has moved, but it's still the same and still fun to watch!

Finally another picture of the meerkats!


Saturday, 5 March 2011

So that's what it looks like...

On Tuesday I went to the dentist to have one of my molar teeth pulled out. This tooth had been giving me various problems since June 2008 and it's had a filling and a root canal (followed by another filling), but an abscess was still been forming under the tooth. So in January I told my dentist that I'd had enough of it and that I just wanted it out and he scheduled me in for a March 1st appointment.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I'd never had a tooth pulled out, but I figured it'd be pretty much clamp and pull... and it was. He confirmed it with me a few times if I was sure this was what I wanted and possibly if I saw a specialist it might still be saved (although he said it'd cost £500-600 and no guarantee still), but it's outside of my "smile range" and frankly I've just had enough of it. He does all his appointments in 10 minute blocks which means it actually took 11 appointment to do the root canal so as you can imagine... it was just starting to drive me nuts having to keep going back to the dentist. As far as I'm concerned the root canal was the attempt to save it and that didn't work.

The actual extraction was really straight forward, after he was sure it was what I wanted he squirted something truely horrible tasting into my mouth and then I think he injected my gums twice. I'm not quite sure how many times he injected them because it was so fast and I was too busy recoiling from the truely horrible taste of this spray stuff! I've never had the injection before simply because I was told that it'll leave you drooling for hours and as such when I've had the fillings/root canal in the past I've just put up with it... and I won't be getting the injection again either if I can help it! I swear 15 minutes of pain is worth it to not have your face feeling dead for 6-8 hours :S I didn't want it this time either, but he insisted there was no way he was pulling it out without it - Pah!

So he handed me a pair of safety glasses, to which I joked "Cool, is it going to be in 3D?", but sadly that joke was wasted and he didn't smile and just said "No, sorry" (He didn't ever explain the glasses, but I assume they were so when he was pulling the tooth out if he slipped and whacked me in the face my eyes would be safe). To say the actual extraction was quick is putting it mildly. I think he had two tools and he grabbed on somehow, there was some wiggling, some hard tugging and less than 30 seconds from starting, it was out. For me the weirdest part was as it knocked my other teeth on the way out (as you'll see the roots are much bigger than I expected!). So are you ready for a gross photo? :)

Yep that's my tooth and yes I kept it! I asked before he started if I could keep it, although that did get some rather weird looks from him, the nurse and the receptionist! I guess it's just not something most people ask for, but as I said to them: "It's been with me for a long time!" I've actually cleaned it up loads since he gave it to me too, he pulled it out and pretty much dropped it straight into a bag. There was bloody and fleshy pulp all round in, in fact there wasn't even a gap between the two roots, I've had to clean all that out! :P

The filling broke away when he pulled it out, although I've pushed it back together, the filling was rather large and if you look at the left side you can see just how much of the tooth was actually a filling! As mentioned above, the roots were considerably larger than I expected and for some reason I also expected there to be four roots (not 2 wide ones), but I think it's rather fascinating.

I felt nauseous the first day, although that wasn't actually the tooth, it was the injection/spray thing! Before he'd even pulled it out I felt rather sick and that wasn't helped by tasting blood all day after he'd pulled it out and my jaw ached all day, but thankfully that passed. I followed their instructions as best I could (salt water tastes nasty!) and by day 2 the hole/blood clot it was visibly much smaller and by day 3 you could see the gums starting to reform. As of today (Sunday), there's still visible tissue damage, but I'm really happy with how fast it's healing up and at this rate I think it'll be all healed over within a few days. It's not causing me any problems at all now either as although I didn't eat at all for the first 2 days and I only have a pasta bake on day 3, since day 4 I've just been eating normally and not had any issue (salt water cleaning afterwards of course). So yeh, what I'm trying to say is, if you ever have to get a tooth pulled out for whatever reason, don't worry about it, it's really very straight forward and the recovery won't take long :)

Plus it is the WEIRDEST sensation when you stick your tongue in the gap... yeh I just thought I'd end on that :)