I promise there is something to do with nuts in this post and the PG kind! 🙂
Alright it is best for my reputation, if I have one, which I doubt, to set the scene or mood.
It is just about Christmas. Panic sets in. Husband has time off and must do something extra ordinary with the kids for them to remember. Oh, I remember going to Winter Wonderland years ago, a nice small calm affair, couple of rides, little market to wander around and a hot dog stand.
So I do some research, punch in the name on Google, holy moly, am I looking at the right place or did the web page just go to some themed event in Vegas? No, it is still at our trusty Hyde Park, but oh boy Winter Wonderland has gone up in the world.
I must book something, nothing left but the big wheel ride. I myself having not participate on the ‘proper’ big wheel much to my kids disgust, I must add due to very legit reasons being unable, I book a ticket for this, and a ticket for the arctic experience or whatever it was called another day. Yes I must have been mad, booking for two days, but little did I know then.
So, we prepare, I am totally medicated to the hilt to prepare for such a day, and yes, not social drugs, drugs for medical reasons, honest guvner!
We set out, already hyperactive children are behaving like they just ate an electric eel. Does that give you a good image? The husband who I shall call “Shrek” for purposes of anonymity is trying to give an appearance of calm.
We park at the Park Lane car park. I slow down here a moment. If you have children or a car fanatic, take a visit here, it is like an attraction in itself, honestly. The menagerie of vintage and modern cars the price of a house or two festoon the ground floor. I was hoping after 10 minutes in there we could just go home, I even suggested it “yes the kids are done let’s go!” No chance. It ended with, “omg, don’t touch that car, no I did not mean climb it, get off”. At which point little wrists were grabbed and we trundled down the urine flooded car park tunnels until we met fresh air. I honestly thought there was some kind of leak in the tunnels, of course there was, but not from the sky. I guess you park your Bentley and take a piss in a public area is the new thing to do!
I digress, we managed or I managed the ½ mile walk to the event, the queues had started but moved surprisingly fast.
We were met with a huge talking tree, that to me looked really rather quite menacing. So, I guess we are all a little fraught at this point, well the adults were. I decide, ok let’s go on the wheel first and have a nice experience. We jump the queue and get in to our very own pod or whatever you call it. I have forgotten to mention at this point I do not like small spaces or heights.
So we are going around, very slowly, which is fine for me at least. Looking over the park I see the queue stretching half way across and feel very sorry for those joining late. The children start to moan “it’s boring, I don’t want to be on this anymore”. I just try to ignore them because of course they CAN’T get out at this point and will just have to wait. Little bottoms get off the chair “sit down” I say, they ignore me and discover by shaking their hips they can swing the pod which of course is NOT meant to be swung. It starts to creak. Stress sets in “please stop swinging the pod and sit down” I say. Bottoms sit down then up again, causing a bouncing motion, then a swing. The joy of this takes over and no more listening to mummy goes on.
I exit rather rapidly for such a slow ride; goodness knows what the onlookers thought of me. The relaxing and childhood memory inducing smell of roasted chestnuts hits my nostrils. I smile and feel joyful for a moment. All stress leaving my body.
“Oh please could I have a bag of roasted chestnuts” I ask. My husband being “Shrek” misses the joyful tone of my voice and the smile, wanders to the stall and looks at the price. He says “I am not paying so much money for a bag of crap”. You know it is not like I thought the stall holders harvest the chestnuts lovingly, but nonetheless a frown developed upon my temporary relaxed features and disgust in my voice “that was an unnecessary thing to say and why not stop being such a stooge”.
So I walk off to find the loos which is a task in itself but accomplished. By the time I return, Shrek has indeed bought a bag begrudgingly. Instead of handing them over, he dives in, even though he didn’t want them. Plunges one in to his mouth and starts to gag dramatically and dribble or spit all over the floor, handing me the bag in a rage “this bag is full of bloody rotten chestnuts”. At this stage I don’t even bother to look at the stall holders, but stifle a giggle of sweet revenge and tuck in to the bag with my children. He did in fact manage to get the one and only rotten chestnut I might add, what luck!
So then I suggest Shrek gets a cup of mulled wine, to take away the taste. Of course I really want the mulled wine, but it causes less ‘moments’ to suggest it is for his benefit. It is purchased with no grumbles and I manage to quaff half.
We all wander to the children’s small ride area and assume rides can be unaccompanied. Oh no, parental aid needed on this one. He looks at me, I shrug, “don’t look at me you know I can’t go on” I say. “But I get sick on rides” he says. I shrug again “then you might just have to be sick, go on it’s a kids ride for goodness sake” and give him a shove.
He goes on reluctantly, but I see a smile once it starts off. It finishes off and Shrek wanders off looking slightly drunk and weaves towards the market stalls which is our next destination.
We buy some things; lovely leather bound notebooks that remind me of something a pirate might use on his adventures. We avoid the huge rides that the children look longingly at that upon my glance make me feel slightly or very sick.
My youngest spots a sweet stall. He grabs a lolly. When I say lolly, it is basically a stick with a solid circle of candy, hard candy I might add, the size of a plate. I rush over “no way you must be joking” and place it back in the holder. The stall lady is watching us now. “But but I just wanted to look at it mummy, take a picture of it” I start to feel bad. “Ok if you just want a picture with it that’s ok, go and pose” as I hand it back to him and retreat a few steps with camera ready.
The next few moments were like slow motion. I might mention that Shrek has a big head, bald and shiny and dark, no not green. Over the years it seems to have attracted allot of attention in the form of flying objects and it getting hit. Don’t ask me why, all innocent stuff but nonetheless this has happened.
I am ready to snap. At this moment, Shrek decides to lean forwards and get in on the action. For whatever reason, maybe the attraction of a large, shiny bald head appeared threatening or simply the fact my youngest might have wanted to be the ‘only’ one in the picture, he turned in a split second towards the approaching forehead, turned the lolly on to its side, i.e. not flat and thwacked Shrek right behind the eyebrows with it. My mouth opened in shock, I lunged forwards to grab the weapon from my son and put it back in the holder. No I didn’t buy it, why buy a weapon? Shrek made a noise akin to a small animal being trodden on and reeled back, hand at head rubbing it, the noise then turned to a deep moaning.
I said to my youngest “why on earth did you do that?” He said “I don’t know, it just happened”. Isn’t that the stock phrase used by all children? I think from now on I shall use that phrase.
Shrek said “I am not bloody coming here again”
But returned on Christmas Eve at 10am, it was beautifully quiet and the Arctic experience breath taking, literally it took your breath away it was so bloody cold. Wearing fingerless mittens not a good idea, but the ice sculptures stunning.
Evidence below of frostbitten fingers 🙂
Next year, will we visit again? Probably, just one day, no lollies, of course some chestnuts for ME!
DAY 5: LOVE YOUR THEME of zero to hero challenge
Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you have. Include at least one you would never think of using.
All done and dusted. I tried a few themes, but stuck with the one I already have, a freebie. However, I had to upgrade and pay a years fee to be able to edit it the way I wished, all done, hopefully the changes a pleasing to the eye, I must admit I am a fan of colour.
DAY 6: PUBLISH A POST THAT INCLUDES A NEW ELEMENT
Today’s Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.
You will see in the above post, animated pictures, trying to find a picture of shrek being hit by a lollipop impossible (grins)
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