The 101 Challenge

101 – Find a goat 

When I chose this challenge, I did it with the knowledge that at the end of my road is an animal sanctuary with several goats. Great I thought, this one will be easy. Awkwardly, the goats were shortly removed from the sanctuary and moved somewhere else, making challenge no. 101 actually quite hard. That was until my Sunday School class finished early one day and in an attempt to keep the kids occupied with something, took them to the farm at the back of the school that we meet at. And what should I find there? …..

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101 Challenges Completed: 5

 

 

Life Lately

The Half Term Edition:

Wait What Homework?!

You may have missed us last week (or if you didn’t please just pretend) because we were living it up on half-term which means, I at least, spent all my time avoiding doing half-term homework, sitting around doing nothing and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the whole week, up to the point of Sunday evening when I realised I’d done pretty much none of the 16 pieces of work I’d been set. This led to a secret meltdown out of sight of my parents (who are still under the impression that I’m happily on top of my workload), and an emergency study session this morning during breakfast. I managed to make it to school with the three pieces of work that were set for today (shoddily) completed. How many of those do you think were checked? That’s right. None.

Torquay … T-adventures

There’s nothing better than a bit of awkward alliteration, admit it. Ah and the second one wasn’t even on purpose! I digress. Our family’s annual ‘holiday’ happened last week. I’ve noticed something about holidays as my brothers have left home and my parents have grown older, an that’s that they’re getting shorter and more dull. When we were younger, holidays involved going away for a week or more in caravan, going to beaches and on trains and eating a lot of ice-cream. This holiday consisted of three days in a Travelodge, a National Trust visit, country walks (avoiding the muddy paths of course) to beaches with no sand and a big fat no to any suggestions of trains or cliff trams or ice-cream. I’m sorry if I sound ungrateful, but frankly, none of those things are fun to me. So as a cure for this, I’m forcing Katie to come on holiday with me this summer, whether she likes it or not.

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Awkward Parties

Me, my brothers and sister-in-law, traveled down to London on Saturday for a friend of our’s 40th birthday. Of course, we got there and knew nobody, so our friend’s wife introduced us to his nephew. Unfortunately, the music was so loud that my brothers and I were too far away to hear him, leaving him to chat to my sister-in-law who, also unfortunately, doesn’t actually know the birthday boy at all. Their awkward conversation about why she was actually there was then interrupted by an older, rather eccentric looking man, who immediately dropped an extremely inappropriate sex joke, then left again. Nephew guy then also left and avoided us for the rest of the night.

A New Claim To Fame

The most exciting part of that night is obviously the fact that the Captain of the Cutty Sark was there, and gave me a kiss on the cheek which I will now always refer to as my claim to fame, displacing that time that Jessica Ennis smiled at me across a room. Before you get excited though, the Captain was about 80 and told me I’d have to be 60 years older for him to whisk me away on his boat … which is kinda a good thing I guess …

Hannah

WARNING: This Could Get Emotional …

I’m not really an emotional person, and talking about ‘feelings’ and smooshie stuff (yes, that is a word) is not something that comes naturally, but today will be a special day where I let the inner girl in me take over. Why? Because last Friday was one of my best friend’s and co-writer of this blog’s 18th birthday. That’s right, she’s now officially an adult which is both scary and quite frankly, hilarious.

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Which leads us to the emotional stuff. Katie is a lover of all things emotional, and I’ve already managed to make her cry with one of my presents which I think is an achievement (they were happy tears by the way … I think), so I’m going to attempt to do it again.

First things first, she’s a pretty amazing person. I don’t think I know anyone else who is so genuinely caring about everything. I remember a group of our friends going round to her house one day after school and then finding her crying in her kitchen because one of them was having a bit of a strop and she thought it was all her fault.

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I don’t think I appreciated this quality in her as much as I did last year, when I had to drop out of college because of a virus. The majority of friends stayed in contact for a little while, but after a few months, just stopped calling or texting, while Katie was constantly checking up on me, including me in things and even coming all the way round to my house when I cried to her on the phone. So Katie, for that, I really want to say thank you. Not only for being such a caring, loving friend when I really needed one, but for not giving up on me like everyone else.

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I really feel blessed to have Katie in my life. She’s so different to all of my other school friends, who always seem to be talking about who’s going to get drunk at the weekend, and who’s sleeping with who. She holds high morals, doesn’t get molded into how people expect her to be, and is the only person I can have a conversation about Postman Pat with. She never fails to make me smile every single day, and I can guarantee that in 50 years time, we’ll still meet up and laugh about the time that James fell off his chair when she threw a glue stick at him.

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So Katie, happy birthday, and in 50 years, we better still be doing our Halloween tradition …

(P.S. And Katie, assuming you’ll show this to your mum, hey Mummy Bullock! I love you just as equally and thank you for bringing up such and such an amazing daughter)

Hannah

The Many Disturbing Faces of Katie

H – Last weekend Katie and I went into the city center, mainly to see the new library. Don’t think we’re sad. Though we partly are. People have been going on about how amazing it is so we had to see for ourselves … and visit Primark. And we can report that the ‘people’ are right, it’s pretty damn awesome. And the library’s alright too. P.S. there’s not really a lot of pictures of the library here, we were too busy ‘ahh’ing at it.

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H – There it is, the amazing new library that is leaving window cleaners very confused about how they’re going to clean it. We also had to queue to get in it. Yes, that’s right, we queued to get into a library. DSC_1187 DSC_1188 DSC_1189 DSC_1200 DSC_1202 DSC_1207 DSC_1208

K – Not only did we queue to get into the library, we queued to get in the lift in the library. Honestly, it’s a pretty crazy place. The fact that these photos are taken from the top of it. This is no ordinary small village place – its serious stuff.

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K – I didn’t quite realise just how many pictures there were of me and how little there were of the library. I have also realised that this post became mostly about the library. Well to add some variety I ate ice cream that tasted like bubblegum and we visited a Costa inside a clothes shop. Not your regular kind of day. But definitely a good one.

Hannah & Katie

German Bears and Rubber Ducks – Part 2

From one capital city to another. If you’ve read my first post about my summer holiday then you’ll know that I went to Germany for 10 days this August.

I believe we’d only got to Day 3, so this will be a (really rather long) rundown of Day 4-10.

Day 4

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

In Germany, they have this incredible shop full of hundreds of different chocolate combinations. Hence why there is a picture of me next, what I can only assume, are giant chocolate bar replicas.

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Remainders of the Berlin Wall.

Day 5

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At the station, before getting on a train to Munich.

After our final day of sightseeing, the next morning we headed to main station in Berlin, to catch our train to Munich. Over the course of the 6 hour train journey (which we were very nearly late for because the timetable said it left 20 minutes later than it did) I finished An Abundance of Katherines and managed to get some of my summer work from college done. After arriving in Munich, we headed straight to the hotel and out for dinner.

Day 6

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On our first day in Munich we visited the famous Hofbräuhaus which is one of Munich’s oldest bear halls, founded in 1589. My mum and I obviously didn’t have one of their massive 1 litre house beers, but did get to enjoy our soft drinks in beer steins. We also got to meet some of the locals – well some of the slightly tipsy locals shall we say. A German man came to sit next to us on one of the long tables in the beer hall and introduced himself as Pete (very disappointingly un-German). He then continued to talk to us for the next half an hour, playing the game “Guess the English celebrity I’m thinking of” with my parents whilst I got intensely stuck into reading the guide-book – did you know they repainted the roof in 1972?

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On to another trip to Starbucks, no name on my cup at all this time.

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Day 7

We woke up to pouring rain so it was time for Science Museum number 2! No windmills this time, but there was a planetarium. So almost the same… After that we went to the German version of Pizza Hut where they put little Pizza Hut shaped chocolates on our desserts which I found amazing.

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Day 8

You may have heard of Bayern Munich. Well the clue is in the name – their stadium is in Munich, so we went to visit. Not so much a fan of the football, my mum and I decided instead to take pictures of ourselves. We have no idea about this photo either.

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DSC_1359We then headed back into the centre and visited Olympiaturm which is at the Olympic park built for the 1972 Olympics. As you can see we climbed to the top at 955 ft.

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I was taking a photo of the Olympic Stadium and my dad thought it would be hilarious to step into the photo just as I was about to take it. This is the result of that…

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We spent the majority of the day walking around the park and enjoying the beautiful weather. Also, when we had gone back into the centre for dinner I noticed these incredibly creepy mannequins. Seriously…bleughh.

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Day 9

Day 9 took us on another train, to another country. After getting to the station at 9:30 we booked ourselves on a guided tour around Salzburg in Austria. There were 7 people on our tour including us – the other 4 were Americans from Chicago (I just wanted them to keep saying my name because I loved the way they called me ‘Kadie’ instead of Katie).  So we had a tour guide who directed us to our train which took roughly 2 hours to reach the centre of Salzburg.

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Like many other places now, this is a bridge across the river has loads of padlocks locked onto it with people’s names engraved on. Its a tradition that people will write their names on the padlock, lock it onto the bridge and throw the key away into the river below.

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After our tour, the guide gave us some free time to visit anywhere we wanted before catching the train back to Munich. She had told us about a shop that sells handpainted chicken eggs. Intrigued, we went to have a look. They have literally thousands of individually, and beautifully I might add, painted eggs so we bought one as a Christmas decoration.

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Day 10

Our final day of holiday was spent mopping up all the last things we wanted to see in Munich before flying back to Heathrow. I ingeniously named it ‘Moperation’ (a combination of operation and mopping up).  First stop was St. Peter’s Church tower where you can get a brilliant view of the whole city.

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Admittedly, I did take this with a zoom lens but this the Münchner Kindl who is the symbol of Munich.

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Lunch was much needed after our trek up to the top of the tower and around the city so we went to one of the parks that has a massive outdoor beer garden selling food as well as their famous beers. We opted for a stereo typically German meal as it was our last day.

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In the gardens they also have an artificial wave maker in the river that surfing experts are allowed to use. The river has a very strong current making it perfect.

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Then it was onto our last Starbucks of the holiday with a better version of my name than they’d managed to do in England on my cup.

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Now to solve the mystery of the Rubber Ducks part of the title…

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Katie

Life Lessons: Keep An Eye Out For Horse Poo

Last weekend, my brother and I headed to London to visit some family friends of ours in Greenwich. After an annoyingly long train journey in the ‘quiet’ carriage (it was NOT quiet. Two strangers sitting behind us had an extremely loud two-hour conversation, where everyone in the carriage learned the girl’s entire life history. Did you know she spent a year in Ethiopia and her dad’s directed a Bollywood movie? More worryingly, she swapped Facebook details with this guy. She was 17. He was 38. Don’t do that. Sorry that was a long bracket. Maybe go and re-read the start of the sentence so the next bit makes sense.), a tube journey with two very excited Americans, a swerving bus and a short walk/run in the rain, we arrived at our friend’s house and sat gossiping over tea. They’ve just bought a new house so we were forced to run out in the rain and complete darkness to see the ‘potential’ of the house – the garden. It was dark. We saw nothing.

On the Saturday afternoon, Luke and I headed out into central London for what turned out to essentially be a really long walk. We started off with a trip to Chipotle, a Mexican fast food place that has only two shops in the UK, both of which are in London. We headed to the one on Baker Street and although Luke says that they’re not as good as the are in America, they were still pretty damn awesome.
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This guy was hilarious. We were watching the inspection of the guards and as they paraded out the last three accidentally walked straight through a massive pile of freshly laid horse poo. This poor solider had to run up and clean it off their boots. Ew. DSCN4219 DSCN4225 DSCN4234 DSCN4244 DSCN4253

Bonus points if you can spot the snail below. DSCN4259 DSCN4265 DSCN4281 DSCN4286

It wasn’t until I got home and showed my mum this picture that I realised that this originally said ‘be yourself’ and someone’s just rubbed out letters so it says ‘be our elf’. I thought they were advertising for a Christmas job … (also, by ‘I realised’ I mean ‘my mum pointed out to me’.)DSCN4296
Hannah

Moseley Old Hall

To celebrate my one (almost) whole week off work before going back to college, I convinced my parents we should have a day out. So of course, they took me to a National Trust. They do love their old houses.

We actually started the day off in Ikea. There’s nothing better than going to Ikea purely to have breakfast. What’s more sad was that my mum and I had been for breakfast there the previous Saturday too.

This is my dad’s I’m-so-excited-we’ve-just-been-in-Ikea face:

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And my mama’s:
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And finally, a we’re-now-really-excited-to-go-to-a-national-trust-property face:
DSCN4023DSCN4033DSCN4039DSCN4040DSCN4062DSCN4052Moseley Old Hall is well-known for being the hiding place of King Charles II while he has on the run after being defeated at the battle of Worcester in 1651. Hidden down a priest hole, he wasn’t discovered by searching soldiers and was able to be smuggled to the coast dressed as a servant. Also, Moseley Old Hall is not in Moseley. It’s by Wolverhampton but that was never explained.
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After wandering round the gardens we were given a tour of the house by a woman dressed as a maid. I think that was for atmosphere but a little weird as everyone else working there were in normal modern clothes. Maybe she just likes to dress up?DSCN4086The leaflet we were given said that Moseley Old Hall has ‘the best scones in the world’. So we went to try it out in the tea room afterwards, and can report that this is a lie. They’ve just put silly ingredients in them like poppy and ginger to make them all fancy.

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I think this was a what-did-we-think-of-the-scones face picture, though it could have just been that my mum kept asking me to make a nicer face.DSCN4115DSCN4120
To finish off the excitement of the day we went to visit my grandparents. In true stereotypical fashion the women sat in the kitchen and talked about washing, and the men sat in the living room, … not talking. Thankfully I’d had the sense to bring a book, but my poor dad had to try and make conversation with his father-in-law, mainly about quiz shows, with a lot of very long pauses. 

Hannah

My week in photos #9

So the time has come to change around the format of the Sunday week in photos post. The reason being that now I have a proper grown-up job, the majority of my days are spent staring at walls of files and posters that state that “It’s a laugh a minute in Pensions”. I think that’s meant to be humourous in some way but I don’t see it.

Anyway, the new format will basically be photos of anything more exciting and not related to work.

Summer has finally arrived, and personally, I reckon everything looks better in the sun. You notice things that you wouldn’t normally notice.  I took these photos after having my breakfast sat outside, and being attacked by a variety of insects.

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I also managed to collect together enough hairgrips to make this hairstyle secure enough public. It then went on a nice little trip to get some takeaway Nandos and eat it in a dark room with The Wedding Singer. I always forget how much I love that film. Also, that dark room was in a house which wasn’t mine and also didn’t belong to the two other people I was with. It was a little weird.

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We also made wedding decorations at that awkward sleepover at someone else’s house. Here’s the stash so far. There’s about 20 large ones and countless other sizes and I have no idea what we’re going with them after the wedding.

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Except this one. This one. The people who live in the house we were stealing have two cats. When we came down in the morning, the cats had left us a lovely present all over one. Ugh.

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And by this time in two weeks, I’ll have a sister-in-law!

Hannah