Thursday, 26 February 2015

My stay at Bluestone in Narberth Pembrokeshire

After finishing work at 5.00pm we threw a bag into the boot of the car and headed off for our stay at Bluestone in Narberth.  On arrival, check in was clearly marked and there are 4 windows, which, when a window is available it's number lights up for you to move to. We checked in and then we followed the one way system round to find our cabin.  You can't check in before 4.30pm which seems late to me, or if you did want to check in earlier then it would cost you an extra £40, or £60 for early check in and you can choose what of the park you want to stay in.  You can enter the park earlier and use the amenities but just not check in to your accommodation before 4.30pm.  You can park your car outside your cabin until midnight but then you have to take it back to the car park at the main entrance, this is a major negative to me I'm afraid as its a good 10 min steep climb back to the car, and if the weather is bad then basically you are going to get very wet, cold and blown away if the winds are like they are at the moment.  There is a complimentary minibus which you can pick up anywhere around the park or you can hire a buggy but at a cost, I think i'm starting to see a pattern emerging!  My first impression of the park was how big it is and the "village" certainly looks impressive, we intend looking round there tomorrow after work and possibly even dining out.  The accommodation itself is very spacious and open plan and consists of a double and twin room and a wet room. I have to say I have sat on comfier settees and watched bigger TVs, especially when you are left a message on there, and have to go right up to the screen it to be able to read it, the cabin is also starting to show some signs of wear and tear i.e handles missing off furniture,  a ripped paper TV control holder with no leaflets in it also when you use the kettle the steam shoots out of the handle and the cooker isn't brilliant and only contains 1 shelf, apart from that its not bad at all. Some positives are that WiFi is provided free, you can check in online and also the cabin we are in has an interconnecting door so a larger family could all be together, however saying that people have just moved in next door and we are aware they are there as we can hear them. We have also just discovered a sealed bag on the drainer with dishwasher tablets and cloths etc. in which is a nice idea.  I have just woken up after having a good nights sleep, there is a vent round the back of the cabin which has decided to bang in the wind, I didn't hear it in the night but I can definitely hear it while I am lying here having my tea and toast in bed. I'm about to have my shower before getting ready and then I'll need to head off in search of my car, I can hear it's incredibly windy so I just hope the rain stays away! I've just left work and returned back to Bluestone, I walked past parents trying to push pushchairs up the steep hill and could hear a little girl saying "I can't walk any further" and getting very upset. We have just gone exploring around the park and I can honestly say I'm very impressed, the village is lovely with a nice selection of shops and there is a lovely pond just behind. Our bargain buy was a Chinese meal deal reduced in the shop so that's tea sorted!  As we carried on with our walk we headed over and had a drink in the blue lagoon.  Again another lovely place to visit.  I have just looked through the brochure and didn't realise there is so much to do here but yes you've guessed it, at a price. My only main concern with Bluestone is the cost. A week in the summer for 4 costs approximately £1300 but with activities, food and all the extras on top you could be looking at £2000 for a family of 4. Extra prices include things like £17.50 for 45 mins basic maid service and £27.50 for 1 1/2 hours maid service including linen change. I know this isn't unique to Bluestone as other similar places also charge as much, and obviously people are happy to pay it as the park is currently busy.  Overall I can say I have really enjoyed my stay here at Bluestone, the staff are all very friendly and you're never short of things to do. My verdict is park/amenities 10/10 value for money 4/10. Top suggestions: let everyone park outside their cabins and stop charging for extras or lower the main accommodation price.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Let me introduce my fish

We have just finished doing the weekly clean of our tropical fish tank.  We have had the tank for just under a year and I can honestly say we've not been very fortunate with fish, as a lot of them have passed away over this time. We have had some gorgeous fish but we went through a phase where they just weren't surviving and we are pretty certain that a bug or virus must have got into the water.  We then became a bit disheartened with it all but we have decided to give it another go. Fingers crossed and I don't want to speak too soon but upto now things seem to be going pretty well, to the point we now also have a nursery set up in it, yes we have 3 baby balloon mollies that were born approximately 3 weeks ago, we did have 4 but unfortunately 1 did die. So our tank currently consists of 5 neon tetras, 2 silver dollars, 2 adult balloon Mollies and 3 baby mollies which we hope to release into the main tank in a couple of weeks time.  We have decided to build it up again slowly as we don't want to go through loosing fish again like we did before.  Once the babies are established in the main tank then we will look to get something else. I have to be honest and say that there's nothing nicer than putting the light on in the tank in an evening and just watching the fish swim around, it's really rather therapeutic! I would love one day to have a marine tank as I think marine fish are amazing but that won't happen for some time as we really need to know what we're doing with the tropical ones first.  The moral of this story is don't give up on things, like I said we were ready to pack it all in but seeing babies born in the tank has made us more determined than ever to continue with it! 

My weekend!

I couldn't believe it this morning; I opened my eyes, looked at my clock and saw 9.00am staring back at me, talk about a change from yesterday when it was 6.30am! I hadn't had a particularly late night as I was in bed at 10.40pm so the only thing I can put it down to was the warmth and comfort of my Winnie The Pooh pyjamas which I bought from Asda yesterday, my body had obviously decided that on this wet, cold and windy Sunday morning that we were not going to be separated before we needed to be. So what did I get up to last night? Well Gareth and I snuggled up on the settee sharing a pack of white chocolate cookies which we had bought earlier from Sainsbury's, and I must say they were very Moorish. Whilst munching our way through these Gareth rented the Equalizer starring Denzel Washington for £4.49 from iTunes and it was money well spent. Gareth is a massive film fan and he always says that his favourite actor has to be Denzel and I can certainly see why. Unlike Gareth I am not a big film fan but I am getting better, when I first starting going out with him 10 years ago I used to watch films in 5 parts as I kept falling asleep. I am however getting a lot better and I thoroughly enjoyed the film last night, I stayed awake and at no point did I even attempt to go on my Ipad or hudl so the film really did have my 100% undivided attention. I did find it a bit gory at times for me so there were moments when I had to close my eyes or briefly look away from the screen but at no point did this spoil it for me, I just don't like seeing blood and to be fair there was quite a lot of it in this film! The last film I saw Denzel in was The Flight which I also thought was brilliant so yes I am also becoming a big fan of Denzel's, and after seeing him on Graham Norton a while ago he comes across as a person with a great personality and he certainly has great acting skills. Please feel free to suggest other films he has starred in which you think I would enjoy! This morning really is a lazy Sunday morning, but saying that I have had my breakfast, showered, got dressed, done some washing and ironing and I have also started packing for a stay at Bluestone in Narberth which starts tomorrow evening. Gareth has been given the opportunity to stay here for 4 nights. I have never been here but I have heard good reviews and it has been compared to Centre Parcs which again I have never been to due to the cost. My sister has stayed at both Bluestone and Centre Parcs at Longleat and she says that they really are as good as each other so I am really looking forward to my stay. We will finish work at 5.00pm tomorrow evening and then make our way over; it is only 20 minutes away which means we can both still commute to work easily. I love nights away and you don't always need to travel a long distance to experience them, sometimes we forget what beautiful places we have here on our doorstep. However I will keep you posted how I get on at Bluestone! I must get on now as I have a machine full of washing that needs to go on the maiden, I have a fish tank to clean, rehearsals to attend and in between all this I have Sunday lunch at my In Laws to enjoy! Catch up soon! x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Retail Therapy

So much for not wanting to wake up early this morning, I heard my son leave for work at 6.30am and then that was it, yes I was awake! Isn't it funny how 6.30am on a weekday you are just feeling so tired that you can't possibly think about getting up for work, and yet 6.30am on a weekend has a totally different meaning. By 9.20am I was fed, watered, showered and changed and my husband and I left for Trostre Retail Park in Llanelli. It was a great journey there and we arrived at 10.10am. The car park was already pretty full, but in all fairness Trostre has over 2000 parking spaces and the good thing is that they are free! The sun was shining although there was a cold wind but that didn't bother us as the shops were lovely and warm. We started one end of the shops at BHS and made our way round to the other end where you finish with Tesco Extra. We called in most shops, not all of them as some are specialist ones such as EE and Thompsons Holiday, although it was tempting to call in and book a holiday, I think that's why we carried on walking past! I was surprised at the number of shops still selling off some remainder of Christmas items, Boots had some gift sets 1/2 price and BHS had a display of Christmas bits and pieces that were left over. I have to say there were some good sales on, especially in BHS and Debenhams. It was also nice to see all the summer clothes and shoes are now out, it makes you feel good especially with the sun shining as well. We also called into Pets At Home whilst we were there as we have a tropical fish tank so we went to look at the fish, I must say there were some lovely ones there but we felt that an hours journey home was too much for them so we will call into our local store in Haverfordwest. My husband loves going into Pets At Home as he loves looking at the "furry animals" I must say there was a rather scruffy looking grey guinea pig which we did fall in love with. Regarding spending I was very good, I did treat myself to some Winnie the Pooh pyjamas from Asda which were £13, and I also bought some cards from Card Factory and also a box of 40 walkers crisps on offer for £4 in Tesco's. The final thing I bought was 3 Karcher wash and wax sachets £4.60 each for my pressure washer from B&Q! I can honestly say that in my head I spent an awful lot more! It was then time for lunch, the one advantage of Trostre is that there are plenty of places to eat, we decided to opt for KFC and we shared a Family bucket which we thoroughly enjoyed, at first it didn't look like you got a lot, but we were wrong as we certainly were both full by the end of it. After spending 3 hours at Trostre we were then ready to head home as we didn't want to get caught up in the Scarlets rugby match traffic. We arrived home safe and sound at 2.30pm after having a lovely time at Trostre, a quick clean of the house and then it was time to nip to Sainsburys in Tenby and get a few bits that we needed. I have to say I am a Tesco shopper usually but Sainsburys sent me 4 weeks of vouchers where if I spend £30 I get £6 off, an offer too good to miss. Heading to the checkout is one of those moments where you are thinking "have I done it, have I reached £30" well the answer was yes, as I reached just over £33 so with the £6 off I only had to pay just over £27 so the voucher was worth having! I have got 3 more weeks of vouchers to use and then at the end of it I have a voucher to get an extra 500 Nectar points, I have no idea how much they are worth but they have to be worth having I'm sure! So then it was time to head back home and unpack the shopping, my husband Gareth is cooking me tea while I catch up with writing my blog. Tonight I think we are just going to crash out and watch a film. Plans for tomorrow include cleaning the fish tank, ironing, Sunday lunch at my In Laws and then rehearsals. We are both members of our local amateur dramatic society and in May we are performing Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gareth is the main male lead and I source the props as well as being secretary. Its through this society my husband and I got got together, Gareth was playing the part of the Pirate King in Pirates Of Penzance but I will tell you this story another time as I have to go now as my tea is ready. Its been lovely catching up with you and I'll be back again soon. x

Friday, 20 February 2015

It's nearly my Birthday!

A week on Monday is the 2nd March, this is an important date to me as it's my Birthday! Yes that's right a week on Monday will see me turn 39. It's quite sad in a way because I seem to have already bypassed this year and I'm already planning a party for my 40th which I'm hoping to have at the hotel where I had my wedding reception 8 years ago. When someone asks you if its a special one, the answer is always yes as every birthday to me is a special one. As to regards what I would like this year for a present, I have decided to ask for money so I can get a cd hifi player for the lounge.  I have seen the one I want, it's an LG CM3330 I have to be honest and say I never used to consider buying LG appliances but recently it's my favourite make, hence I have an LG phone, TV and blu Ray player, it's even got to the point that if my husband and I are looking to buy something electrical we ask "do LG make and sell it!"  The CM3330 has been discontinued but I have managed to find one which was being sold by a third party seller on Amazon and I had it delivered last week, I'm being very good too as I'm not going to open it and set it up before my Birthday, although I have to be honest and every so often I think about opening it but no I will wait! 

I'm enjoying the lead up to my birthday, last night we went to our local Chinese Dragon Palace to celebrate Chinese New Year, we had a brilliant night, the food, service and entertainment was 1st class, we really couldn't fault any of it.  The Chinese dragon dance was spectacular and well worth seeing.  I admired the way he made it around the tables without knocking anything over! I can honestly say we have never had a bad meal here, you're guaranteed good food and service every time.

Tomorrow I'm off to Trostre shopping centre in Llanelli with my husband.  We haven't been for ages so I'm really looking forward to it. It's a really great shopping centre with lots of top names including BHS, Lakeland, Card Factory, M&s and Tesco's to name but a few but they are all the shops I love visiting! And with my birthday approaching I feel a bit of retail therapy coming on.  We won't be having an early start as I feel the need for a lie in but then again we won't leave it too late as there is a rugby match happening tomorrow between the local team The Scarletts and Munster and the ground is directly opposite the shopping centre so you can imagine what the traffic will be like. 

Im going to call it a day now as it's been a busy week in work and I'm now feeling tired, so I'll leave it now and get a good nights sleep so I'm refreshed for my shopping trip tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow night to let you know how I got on.  My pre birthday celebrations will continue next week including a stay in Bluestone which I've got to look forward to! #excitingtimes x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

What it's like to be a GP receptionist

I have been a GP receptionist for 11 1/2 years at the same surgery. We have approximately 8500 patients and 6 GP's, 2 male and 4 female. It's quite a challenging job and certainly has its ups and downs. I have decided to start a blog about my life as a receptionist as I believe there are many people out there who will be able to relate to a lot of things I say. Life in a GP surgery is pretty much the same anywhere in the UK as proven when you watch the programme currently on tv called GP's life behind closed doors. When watching it you find yourself laughing and saying "we have patients just like that." So sit back and enjoy my ramblings as a receptionist and I promise not to name names!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

People's behaviour

I can honestly say that I am appalled by some people's behaviour.  It can either be something that someone says or something that someone does, things which spring to mind include the state people leave holiday homes, hotels rooms, B&B's etc.  What gives someone the right to walk out of somewhere and leave it in a dirty disgusting condition? I have cleaned holiday homes for a number of years and on the whole people do respect them and leave them tidy, but unfortunately on the other hand I have seen how some people leave them. The question you ask yourself is "are their own homes like this?" Another issue is the comments people leave on social media, I have just been looking at Twitter and a company asked a simple question, which just required a simple straight forward answer, but no, the comments being left by people are appalling, they are related to the company, not the question asked, which still doesn't excuse the replies which are being left. I don't know if these people think they are big and clever but in my eyes they are far from that. Some people think that the louder and ruder they are in life, the more they achieve. I work in a GP's surgery and I can assure you that the ruder someone is too me, the less helpful I am to them. It is a form of bullying and people think they can bully their way through life. Another example is when you go abroad and some Brits think it's funny to give foreigners a hard time and often in their own country, I've experienced things abroad in the past and I can honestly say I've been ashamed to admit I'm British. Litter is another major issue, what do people think rubbish bins were designed for? There is nothing clever in just dropping rubbish wherever you feel the urge, and the sad thing is that these people are bringing children up to witness their behaviour, which then leads to them thinking that this is the correct way to behave.
So come on the British people who behave in this appalling manner, clean up your act, you're not looked upon as funny, clever or big, I can assure you that the rest of the British population and other countries look upon you with pity and think "thank goodness I'm not like you!"