Phobophobia, The Ventriloquist Nightmare Show at the London Tombs

Last week I had the bizarre pleasure of visiting the opening of the Phobophobia , The Ventriloquist Nightmare show at the London Tombs. I hadn’t been at the tombs before and to be honest I wasn’t sure of what to expect, however, this show has been put together especially for the half term and in particular the run up to Halloween.

Now I love my ‘jump scare’ horror films and to be honest any sort of horror film, as does my teen son, but that does not mean that I wouldn’t be scared. My husband does not ‘do’ horror in any way and looking back I cannot believe I actually got him to go first in our group when we entered!

The evening started with drinks ( which were definitely needed before entering the show) and socialising with large reptiles, so look away now if you do not like snakes……….

This is me after a glass of wine pretending to be brave!

This is me after a glass of wine pretending to be brave!

Everyone had been given a group number when they came in and we ended up in the last group of the night………………..possibly not the greatest thing as our anticipation grew seeing others coming out looking less than calm.

Anyway, when it was our turn we were ‘welcomed’ in by this rather interesting ‘doctor’….


Then after his little welcoming chat where he talked about ‘The Master’ a lot we were left to navigate the route on our own……………………yes that’s when I totally pushed my husband to the front and made him go through first! We only had six of us in total in the group which meant that whenever anything happened, or when someone jumped out or chased us ( I kid you not!) it actually meant we were all affected……………………………….. and take my word for it the fear is definitely contagious.

I could tell you everything that happened but I do think that would ruin the experience. It is all about the not knowing that creates the anticipation and fear. Needless to say, you may come out sweaty, dishevelled and weighing half a stone lighter than before and unable to talk because you have lost your voice by screaming ( or that could have just been me). It is not a 5 minute experience, we tried to work out how long it lasted and we reckoned around 20- 25 minutes in total, which may not sound long but believe me in the dark, with people scaring you and chasing you it is a VERY long time!

We also took our 16 year old son ( who also loves his jump scares) who went round with a young lady we didn’t know clinging to him for safety which he found hilarious. However, I will say now this show is strictly over 16’s and having done it I can see why. It’s intense to say the least and your teen will definitely need to be into this sort of thing before you decide to go.

We all loved it, like I said at the start the fear is contagious, you will definitely be kept on your toes, and it is best not to be claustrophobic either as there is also a short walk  ‘squeeze through’ that could cause your already panicked self to freak the hell out………….just saying.

If this sounds right up your scary street then take a little look at this video they have put together to get a feel for the experience, you can also book tickets here but you will need to be quick as this particular show is only available this week and runs until 31st Oct 2016.

Go on try it if you dare……….


My Slimming world results week 9 and 10

As you may already know I weigh in on a Monday morning ( which is a killer straight after a weekend!) and this can be a good or a bad thing depending on how the weekend has gone.

I have had a very slow few weeks socially so it has had the advantage of me sticking to plan 100% but before lasts weeks weigh in I had a few rough M.E days which saw me in my pj’s on the sofa. I know regardless of me sticking to plan or not if my activity levels drop the so does the weight loss unfortunately. Therefore, it was no great surprise when I maintained my weight from the previous week, expected but still a little disappointing if I am honest. On the up side I won the raffle again!!!! I know……..again! My husband keeps encouraging me to buy the Euromillions ticket now thinking I have the lucky touch. I had my MIL with me that week and she paid for the raffle tickets so it was only fair we split the prize ( as she wouldn’t take both items lol) so it was another fab little microwave jug for me to take home.

This week though I had very high hopes of a decent weight loss. I stuck to the plan 100% (again!) and I even reduced the amount of potato, pasta and rice that I would normally have on my plate substituting them for more speed food. I even resisted any temptations when we visited our son at Uni on Sunday and all went for a meal out. While my MIL went full hog with scampi and chips I opted for a grilled chicken breast and salad ( only because I am so close to the 1 stone target I didn’t want to spoil it on the day before).

So, weigh in morning comes and to be honest I was fairly confident I had managed the 2 lb weight loss I needed to reach my 1 stone………………however, it was not to be and it was only a 1lb loss. To say I was GUTTED was a total understatement. It really feel like I will never get to that 1 stone mark, it is so frustrating to say the least. I had promised myself that if I got to a stone I would treat myself to a lovely piece of cake from my favourite coffee shop…………..that has been put on hold again *sobs*.

Our group is a really friendly one and everyone is really supportive so when it came to my turn to talk everyone was chipping in with ideas. After all the chat I have some SAS sheets from the group leader to help me make sure I am following the plan right plus I have decided to give the EESP a try for this week. So today is day 2 of that plan and it seems to be going well, with the extra HexB and the fact I had already cut down on the carbs last week means that cutting out any pasta/rice or potatoes shouldn’t be a major issue.

I have set a 2 lb loss for this weeks target, I will have to try and be active most days ( which is easier said than done with having M.E- but I will try) and my head is totally in the zone to get that loss as I would still love to lose another 1/2 stone before Christmas if I can.

So please, send ALL your lucky vibes my way I am in desperate need for next week’s weigh in!


My tips on preparing your teen for University

My eldest baby left us on 12th September this year to start his university adventures. I didn’t want to write about it straight away ( or before) as my head was literally all over the place with a huge mixture of emotions. Yes I was unbelievably proud of him, but I was, as most mum’s would be, absolutely terrified that he wasn’t going to cope! It was so hard to leave him there on his joining weekend although we are lucky enough to be relatively close enough to go there for a day visit- which we did the next day to take him for a final family meal before leaving him properly.


Almost a month into his new independent life and I am super pleased to say that he is not only coping very well but he is also loving his new found freedom. He has done several weekly shops now ( he loves the fact that he has an Aldi near him) and also done a few clothes washes too…………….this probably amazes me the most. He has also got himself a part time promotions job as well so is now earning a few extra pounds here and there to boost his weekly spending amount.

We had discussed the importance for him to maybe look for a part time job to subsidise his money as we as parents are not in a position financially to heavily subsidise him on a weekly or monthly basis. He is a sensible boy money wise as both my boys have been taught to save for the more expensive things that they have wanted over the years, but they also are shrewd enough to buy dvd’s/ older video games pre-owned from places like CEX and Game to make their money go further.

When my son initially discussed going to uni my husband and I did worry hugely about the financial side of things until it was explained at one of the uni talks that he could apply for possible bursary and loans etc that were means tested. Thankfully my son fell within that particular category however, I know other parents have had to look at other methods of supporting their child such as personal loans, savings and even equity release in order to support and subsidise their teen as necessary.

In a very short period of time I have come to realise that:

  • they will not starve!
  • they will eventually find the launderette
  • they will learn very quickly that their money does NOT last
  • they will cope because they have too

So here is a few of my top tips that you can help prepare your teen for living away at uni

*Teach them a few simple dishes to cook. My son is a very plain eater but he could at least cook pizza, cook eggs and bacon, cook chicken breasts properly and make sure he wasn’t going to get food poisoning!

*show them which of their clothes can go into the washing machine together and that their precious white t-shirt does not go in with their black jeans.

*one of the best things we did when setting up his student account was to keep his normal current account open so he could agree a weekly amount he could transfer on a weekly Standing Order from his student loan account into his current account. That way he has an agreed weekly amount he needs to manage on without the fear of dipping into his loan unnecessarily and whittling away at the money without realising.

*get them used to normal security measures ie: make sure before they go away they are used to always taking house keys with them everywhere-even if you are going to be home when they get in. If they are used to always taking their keys when  going out they stand less chance of losing/ forgetting to take keys when they are at uni…………..sounds silly but uni’s charge the students a fortune to replace lost keys!!

*take them with you when buying all their essentials to take with them, that way they know exactly what they have with them and they don’t waste money buying things when they get to uni that they already have tucked away in a cupboard!

* teach them to self medicate when they feel unwell. My boys have been doing this since their early teens and have a very sensible approach to over the counter medications. They know how and when they can take things like paracetamol/ ibruprofen and how often, cough mixture, hayfever tablets etc. YOU WOULD BE VERY SURPRISED HOW MANY TEENS DO NOT KNOW THE BASICS!

I could go on but those are a at least a few of the basic necessities to getting your teen ready for their independent uni adventure. If you have boys they will tell you that they wont be calling everyday, but what they don’t realise that they will find themselves texting you to check things about the cooking, the washing machines, their food shopping without actually realising that they are doing it………………………………………so do not fret THEY WILL KEEP IN TOUCH!

My Slimming World results week 7 and 8

I thought I would catch you up on my last few weeks of my slimming world journey.

As you may know I weigh in on a Monday morning (which can be an absolute killer for food mishaps over the weekend). Last week I knew I had been really good on the lead up to my weigh in, but strangely I was still nervous ( what is it with my bloody nerves on a Monday morning!) Anyway, very happily I lost 2 1/2lbs which I was overjoyed about. I think anyone on the plan will openly love anything over a 2lb loss any week. I had also had a very busy week where I had something going on everyday which kept me moving ( although that pushes me to my limit illness-wise).

I have learned from staying at the class each week for the ‘chat’ that when going out to eat etc, it is better to be prepared by knowing what’s on the menu and plan what you are going to have before you go. I think this has worked for me in some respects as with another trip with friends to one of those dasdardly ice cream places……..however, I looked up the menu and decided I would opt for the fresh strawberries but have Nutella with it but separately on the side so I could be in control of how much of it I ate. I also wanted a couple of G+T’s afterwards so knew if I was careful with the pudding  I could still stay within my syns for that day.

Week 8 saw a reduction in my activity levels due to my illness, so I dd have a slower week which does have an affect on weight loss amounts. So, even though I had been on track with my food all week I ‘only’ had a 1lb loss. I know I shouldn’t say ‘only’ but sometimes you can loose track of how much that actually is and that it is at least going in the right direction.

That loss takes me to 12lb in total since early August which I am so pleased about overall. I would love to get my 1 stone mark this week but I really don’t think I will so I will be happy again with another 1lb if I can. Obviously if I do get the 1 stone next Monday I will be shouting it from the rooftops so you will know about it……………………… warned!

I have also tried a new recipe off the website which was amazing and will become one of my favourites from now on:

bacon and mushroom crustless quiche..........LUSH

bacon and mushroom crustless quiche……….LUSH

Also this week I went back to my sewing class on Tuesday evening and two different people commented and asked if I had lost weight………..which was, to be honest, the best thing so far this week- a real confidence boost when others notice and comment on it.

Wish me luck for next weigh in day.


Slimming World results week 5 and 6

After my +1lb gain the previous week after my cousins wedding blow out I got straight back on track. It’s amazing how just that single gain can totally focus you back to the plan!

I decided in my head that I really wanted to get past the 1/2 stone mark this week and had planned to stick rigidly to the plan and even cut down on the ‘free’ pasta/ potatoes and rice with meals and substitute them with things like carrot chips, cauliflower rice ( which is my new favourite thing by the way) and more speedy free veg.

THis is a HUGE bowl of cauli rice mixed with corgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with 'free' ham on the top!

This is a HUGE bowl of cauliflower rice mixed with courgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with ‘free’ ham on the top!

I was also able to keep my syns to a bare minimum by filling up on free food instead. The strictness paid off and I had a fabulous 3lb loss! I will be honest and say it gives you a massive boost  when you have a loss like that and it definitely spurs you on for the next week. This loss also took me over my 1/2 stone mark and made my weight loss ( for me anyway) something that I can definitely do, if that makes sense.


From that weigh in day on the Monday I then managed to come down with the throat infection my eldest had before he started uni! So a full weeks course of antibiotics were prescribed but for at least 3 days I couldn’t eat properly. Effectively you would think this would be fabulous for weight loss, however I had to rely on the ‘free’ foods that were easy to eat but filling, so I stuck with mashed bananas and pots of yogurt. This meant no speed food at all for these few days and then a day or two of eating cautiously while my throat recovered. I definitely relied on the free foods and didn’t have enough speed in my diet. I also wasn’t able to drink as much as I normally would as anything cold would really sting my throat and warm drinks seemed to help, which meant I drank much more tea and coffee.

I was a little nervous today at weigh in and although I wasn’t overly happy with a 1/2 lb loss it was still a loss, so going in the right direction at least.

To make up for it though I won the weekly raffle…………again and came away with some fab goodies that will definitely come in handy.


Now it’s onward and upwards for next week. I have set myself a target of 1 1/2 lb to get back on track…………………………so wish me luck as I have my son’s 16th birthday on Friday and we are going out for a curry!!