Friday 8 August 2008

Balloon Fiesta, Black Cat, Birthday, Blackpool

Around 7.30pm tonight, all the neighbourhood dogs went mental. We couldn't work out why, until Mr Z slipped outside and counted 17 balloons going over the hills. We're on the route out of Bristol, because they often land on the rugby pitch, and according to my friend Parpy Jo's boyfriend, the wind usually blows this way, so balloons are quite common, but not in such large numbers. We got busy with the camera.

The mitten remained unimpressed by the whole thing.
After being snarled at by a squirrel on the fence last week, she has been a bit more cautious than normal.

We had a feline visitor last week, in the form of a black kitten, wearing a collar and bell, but starved almost into submission. She appeared at Mr Z's workplace and scarfed down 5 packets of kitten food and a whole carton of kitty milk in the space of 24 hours. We moved her into our spare bedroom while we considered what to do. She had no chip, and after 5 days there were no posters up locally, and no cats reported missing with the local Post Offices or vets, so we rehomed her with a friend of Mr Z's colleague. I became quite attached to her in the short space of time she was here - she was really very friendly (as opposed to completely ignoring me for 90% of the time, like Tilly does) and had most unusual paws - she had extra toes, so her front paws looked like real mittens. She would have stolen the name from Tilly.

The new owners took her to the vet today. Turns out she's about 6. She was teeny! She can't have eaten in weeks. I hope her old owners don't pine for her too much.

I had a good 30th birthday on Tuesday. I spent the day in Bath with Mother Hand: we went to Wagamama's and then walked around getting soaked, sat outside in the drizzle and had coffee, and then eventually went and sat in my car to keep dry. Then in the evening, I went to Waga's AGAIN (love) with aforementioned friend Parpy Jo, and then we went and drank cocktails in Brown's. I love Brown's. I love that they have happy hour cocktails all night, every weeknight, too.

Blackpool was also superfun.

We stayed in a very clean, quiet and reasonably priced B&B way up the beach, past the north pier, which was the perfect location: right by the tram, within 10 minutes of town, but far, far away from the rambunctious hen and stag parties out screeching in the streets late into the night.

We spent Saturday at the Pleasure Beach, in the surprising sun (the weather was pretty miserable before and after, and I ended up quite sunburnt - again). We went on all the decent rides - Mr Z was less than impressed with the Big One, which gave him a pain in the neck, but we both really enjoyed Infusion, which we took this picture next to. It had a pool underneath it with koi carp in. Very strange! I managed to film part of the Big One the second time I went on it, to the admiration of the girls in front of me....but the camera footage would make anybody sick, I think.

I have decided I much prefer the Pleasure Beach to Alton Towers. It's slightly cheaper - especially when you consider you can leave and come back again and there are actually places to eat and drink within walking distance; the queues are much shorter (last trip to AT we made it onto 5 rides for the whole day, and that included the chair-o-planes); everything's closer together so you get more time on the actual rides; and I think I even like the rollercoasters better, especially now Infusion is there - it's like a taller, faster version of Nemesis. Plus there's Valhalla, which has to be the funnest log flume ever. This time round, I grinned at the guy vaccuuming the water out of the cars and he bumped us to the front of the carriage so we got first-rate seats ... and absolutely soaked. We were wearing ponchos, but they did not protect us from the wave that swept over the front of the car and drenched our feet. Next time, I will take a spare pair of shoes away with me: I ended up drying them with a hairdryer so I could go out in them that night.

I remember the first time I went on Valhalla, with Jen and Richard. Richard terrified the people sitting behind him by turning around and yelling, "SIT BACK!" at them in the middle of the dark bit. It still makes me giggle.

After the Pleasure Beach, we walked on the real beach and Mr Z took lots of pictures, and then went out to eat in a nice restaurant where I ate more fish than I do in the whole of the rest of the year put together - and none of it battered, either. All-in-all, it was a great birthday weekend treat and Mr Z retouched the picture I posted 2 entries ago and had it blown up and framed for me to put on the wall of my snug.

Long entry! Lots of pictures.

One final thing - I cast on today for the aforementioned uniquitous Drops jacket. It's my Ravelympics project, and I hope to get it finished by the 24th August as a result of this. At the moment Im slightly concerned my gauge is off, but I need to put a few more rows on before I can remeasure. I should have a go at that now. I cast on whilst watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Very spectacular! I decided I liked the handbags the British female athletes were wearing, but my favourite outfits were the Hungarians' and the Swedes'. I don't know if commenting on the outfits is really in the spirit of the games, but oh well.

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