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Let the celebrations begin…

11 Nov

It isn’t my actual birthday until 19th but I’m celebrating my big five oh with a massive party this weekend. I am SO EXCITED.

So excited, that it’s 5am and instead of being in bed deeply zzzzz-ing, I am babbling (again) from  my bathtub . When I said I’d make it a regular feature of it I really didn’t envisage sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to do it, but , hey, here I am with a glass of milk, blogging in the bath.

I love birthdays anyway. Not for the presents (although they are lovely to receive) but for the connection with friends, the cards and, mostly, the excuse for a celebration…drinks, dancing, laughter and lots of hugging and affirmation of being loved and sharing precious moments. I love reflecting on past years and creating new memories to recount throughout the next.

I also love the build up.

This year we, that’s Hubby and I have been party planning. Last year we had an amazing party for his 60th so decided to use the same format this year for my 50th but with him organising everything bar the food. So we set up an event on FB really early to get everyone in the mood and to give enough notice to those travelling from further afield. . Regular weekly updates and prompts. Two months of bulk cooking and freezing. Arranging accommodation,organising musicians , liaising with the venue. Dress shopping… All a bit like wedding planning with less white silk and no fresh flowers!

And today it began. Sisters and friends from afar have begun to arrive and we’ve had what we like to refer to as a pre party party …..

Anyway, I should now be sound asleep, but like a child waiting for Santa I just cannot calm down enough…. Fortunately no-one else is trying to out-stay-awake-me in order to hang a stocking on my bed post…..

Watch this space for a post hangover review of the weekend ….. Happy birthday to me!!!!

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Party panic…

2 Nov

I’ve woken up stressing.  I have a BIG birthday coming up and a big party planned for it. I am not the slightest bit worried about reaching the end of my 50th year on this planet. I’m also massively excited like a kid waiting for Santa, at the prospects of the party night. I’ll be surrounded by the most wo derful people I have the honour and joy of knowing and am lucky enough to have as friends. It’s overwhelming how many wonderful people I know and love, most surprisingly how many love me back. And they will (mostly) all be here from all over the country to share this moment in time with me in a few days. I’m fit to burst.

HOWEVER…..

HOW THE HELL DO WOMEN COPE ON DON’T TELL THE BRIDE?!?!

I have left Hubby in charge of the details  ie invites, music, venue ,stage; decor ,cake (?)… omg i’ve just realised i’m writing this blog as a subtle (?!?!!!!!) checklist for his good self…. I am truly a control freak!

NO. MY FREAKY OUT NESS is about the catering. The one not so small aspect I have taken control of… but without the involvement in the before, after and logistics.  So have woken in a cold sweat.

1, I don’t think I’ve catered for enough people.  I had planned to cook weekly and freeze ready to finish off on the day but I think there will be far more people at the venue than i’ve prepared food for

2: it’s a hot buffet. I asked Hubby to check it could happen at the venue. It can BUT The venue want me to wait until their restaurant closes.  How and when will I heat all the food and set it out? How can I relax and enjoy the party if we can’t use the kitchen until 9pm. It just won’t work

3. So how much should I interfere in the planning to sort this out or should I assume Hubby has a ‘kitchen team’ who will step up and action everything when the time comes?

3: I mean . There is food in various locations around the village… freezer space on loan. This food needs to rash the same cation be defrosted but some needs to be chilled,some heated and all laid out. How? By whom? I mean. It’s my birthday I plan to be pissed by 9pm not having spent 3 hours in a kitchen

4: and which kitchen if I can’t use the venue one until 9pm. This plan just won’t work

5: what i’m saying is (without wishing to interfere in Hubby’smaster plan) is that the food needs to be MUCH earlier otherwise I can’t partake in the party…

Over to you Hubster. …

 

When in Rome…

14 Jan

mountain bike chariot racing  llanwrtyd wells green events

Ok so we’re not in Rome we’re in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales but you could be forgiven today for being a little confused.  Romans, charioteers, Saturnalia feast, togas…. just another of the weird and wonderful festivals and events we like to enjoy her in our little town in the Welsh heartlands.  A good way to cheer up a dreary Saturday in January

Is this the 9th or 10th, or 11th World Mountain Bike Chariot Racing, I forget, but that’s not important.  Green Events, who run this, also run a multitude of other ‘alternative’ sporting events.  They began 35 years ago with the creation of the Man v Horse v Bike Marathon (now only Man v Horse due to bridleway legislation). Annually this attracts both media and participants from around the globe.

Then came World Bog Snorkelling, often televised on channels such as Transworld Sport and Eurosport.  Add to these Real Ale Wobbling, Bog Triathlon, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling and, more recently the bi-annual fortnight of World Alternative Games and you have yourself one pretty special place.  You’d probably be surprised then to discover its nestled in the middle of Wales at the bottom of the most rural county and in the UK’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells, population c700, except on event weekends when it might double in size.

So, following Mari Llwyd and the torch lit processions that saw in our New Year, we have just energised 2017 with a spot of charioteering with a difference.  Two mountain bikes joined on a fixed metal T-bar, pulling an oil drum chariot around the grounds of a rural holiday centre.

green events mountain bike chariot racing 2017 llanwrtyd

And, tonight, once the mud is washed off and the tootsies de-thawed, we shall enjoy a Saturnalia feast and toga party in our favourite watering hole, The Neuadd Arms Hotel

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saturnalia roman feast neaudd arms hotel llanwrtyd

Life is a celebration …..

10 Nov

I think I am almost recovered from the crazy shenanigans of last weekend.  What a blast.  What a testament to friendships and family.  John, my hubby (we’ve been happily not married now for 22 years) had his 60th.

what a cake!

what a cake!

 

At this point I must remind everyone that I am much MUCH younger than him.  I may have mentioned it once or twice before.

Friends and family began arriving on Friday, the pre-party party wound up at 2am after much merriment and a little practice drinking.

I, and my amazing friend Kate, had been at the party for a week.  She created the most incredible chocolate overload of a cake ever (plus an extra one for our son for his birthday 4 days later).  Between us we prepared enough food for a hot buffet to feed sixty people.  Wonderful friends from Essex , acquired fireworks (well a 5th of November birthday really does need a display), as they really are the experts in that field having hosted annual displays for god knows how long.  Family and friends began to arrive throughout Saturday in camper vans and cars, so we headed to the pub.

Musicians.  Who knew we knew so many who would generously offer their talent for the longest open mic session know to Llanwrtyd 9pm until 3;30am was filled with jamming and talent and more talent and more variety of great music – we had blues and rock n roll, folk and rock.  Guitars, drums, bass, djembe, harmonica, violin, vocals, percussion. Music, dancing, friends and laughter. A wonderful, wonderful night.

And what does one buy a man of sixty?  It seems alcohol is they way to go!!! We have enough to open an off-licence…. or see us through to Christmas anyway 😉

So, now I’m recovered (recovering), I want simply to tell you all how blessed I am and how loved he is.  So many people.  So much love and laughter.  So much joy and happiness. So much generosity of time and spirit.  So much wonderful community.  We, because of you all; friends new and old; near are far make our community; our world; our life.

I spent some time trying to finish that sentence with another word.  You make our world “good” “joyous” “safe” “happy” “whole” “fulfilled” …all those things and more….but simply, you really do “make our world”, and we love you all for it xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy birthday boy!

Happy birthday boy!

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Blackpool : laughter, live music and looniness

6 Oct

 

Loony Party Conference at Uncle Toms Cabin

Loony Party Conference at Uncle Toms Cabin

Dale Rowles, AKA Leutentant Jaegar Schnitzel... BB Blackdog

Dale Rowles, AKA Lieutenant Jaegar Schnitzel… BB Blackdog

The 32nd Monster Raving Loony Party Conference.  The 2nd in a row in Blackpool and it’s likely to become a regular haunt .  We have the perfect hosts both in our accommodation providers; The New Guilderoy Hotel, owned by Loony members (Baroness Chief Whip Guilderoy and Lord Guilderoy); and our venue, Uncle Toms Cabin where we are we welcomed with open arms by the staff and landlord who blend in, like professional loonies 😉

Alan "Howlin Laud" Hope announcing the Cabinet Reshuffle

Alan “Howlin Laud” Hope announcing the Cabinet Reshuffle

We also have Tony Davies, Loony Bus Driver who has access to and provides his services for our campaigning tour/ pub crawl ( !).  The open top tour brings extra smiles to many a face and how doesn’t want to spread a little happiness

Comedy Carpet

Comedy Carpet

….and then we have the Firework Festival, Comedy Carpet and magnificent esplanade along the seafront

The weekend was filled with smiles, music and laughter ….and lashings of alcohol.  We were entertained by Loony Bands… The morris dancersB.U.M.S (Border Urban Morris Side)… who include amongst its Loony members, Baron full fat boogie bandVon Magpie Bum , Honey Bum and the Party’s youngest standing candidate, Hugo Shovit.  then there were The Big Fibbers (both Loonies:  Knigel Knapp and Tristian Shout); BB Blackdog (lead singer and founder, Loony member,  Lieutenant Jager Schnitzel); plus we had great music from Loony Sympathisers; both Badaxe (with a personal tribute to our great

The Full Fat Boogie Band

The Full Fat Boogie Band

Leader, Howlin’ Laud Hope) and The Wattingers performed unbelievable “you had to be there” sets.  And let’s not forget the magnificent Full Fat Boogie Band who got us dancing and wearing even more hats with their two sets on our first night.

Three Amigos

Three Amigos

There was a conference bit… the bit where we patted ourselves on our backs for our successes in the Welsh Assembly Elections;  achieving a party first in qualifying for an Election Broadcast. We discussed our standing candidate in David Cameron’s old constituency of Witney ; that will be our very own Mad

Beautiful Blackpool

Beautiful Blackpool

Hatter…wishing him every success on the campaign trail. It was also noted that we are the ONLY political party not in the red… we are solvent and work within our means.  Plus we are about to appear in the Guiness book of World Records as having the longest-serving party leader (17 years ) Howlin’ Laud Hope, who has just beaten the previous record holder, Loony founder , Lord Sutch, to the title.  It is also being considered as to whether he is the longest standing political leader in the world to have been democratically elected.

Yes as ever, Loonies are leading the way!!  Not to mention the colourful double page spread in the Blackpool Gazette.

From the Blackpool Gazette - 4th October 2016

From the Blackpool Gazette – 4th October 2016

 

 

the end of summer….

15 Sep

I had so many blogs I wanted to write in a timely fashion this summer.  But time for timeliness was lost to busy-ness and busy-ness was loss to craziness and a certain amount of chaotic-ness, sleeplessness and general tiredness!

It was a whirlwind summer, one that promised to be longer than most (which it was) but to fit in the extra length, time was most certainly speeded up and the resultant rapidity of activity, organisation and enjoyable experiences blurred into one mass of euphoria and exuberance.

I wanted to write to you about all the gardens I visited.

The vibrant and magestic Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, near Exeter:-

The tranquil and contemplative Burrow Farm Gardens in Axminster:-

…and the hidden gem of Hergest Croft, in Kington, Herefordshire; with its perfect little tea room and plant nursery

I wanted to wax lyrical about the wonderfully wacky two weeks of the World Alternative Games culminating in commentating for the World Bog Snorkelling here in Llanwrtyd Wells.

I wanted, but failed, to fit in participating in any of the adventures of the fortnight – although I wanted to Office Chair Race, Husband Drag, Ditch Run, Pea Shoot, Crazy Shop, Worm Charm, Race Chariots, Wrestle in Gravy, Run Backwards, Cycle Slowly and dress as a Zombie; but the extra activities in town meant extra work for me .

Then there was the fabulous Imp Club National event at Hatton Park World in Warwickshire which involved camping; cars; a rally to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon (fabulous thoroughly recommend it); and strolls along the Grand Union Canal tow path.

Meanwhile there was still work. I was busy managing five other people’s garden’s ( I love these jobs). I had my own house than needed painting and some extra shifts in our local caffi.  Mum and Dad wanted (and did) visit.  Our B&B proved extra popular this summer with both new and repeat visitors.  fitting in a hectic self employment based multitude of work activities alongside a heavy social schedule has been both incredibly exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.  There are people I love who I have not seen or spoken to in the last 8 weeks….  forgive me until October, I will be back.  …and events i didn’t fit in (sadly) especially the Pink Car Rally which is fabulous fun and for a great cause… next year….

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And then I wanted to share with you all the fun of our long planned , end of summer party where we dressed the entire garden as an enchanted landscape themed for Alice in Wonderland; complete with appearing and disappearing Cheshire cat grins; card guards, tea party and lawn croquet….


I was seriously keen to play the Proud Mum and rave about the excellent achievements of my son and his friends who all sat in nervous anticipation of their A level results until they could finally relax and revel in their exceptional successes this summer  – how proud am I to know them all.

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I was determined to discuss with you the trials and tribulations; nerves and nausea caused to these teens in the preparing and planning for their next chapter… for many it’s this weeks move into their university halls.  Sick with excitement, doubt, fear and anticipation; worry about making new friends; living away from home; learning in a new way; taking responsibility for their own finances.  I drop Jason at his halls tomorrow.  As I type this (or in between paragraphs ) I’m preparing his ‘final supper’; his favourite meal; one he feels he’s unlikely to ever eat again…. well, at least until he comes home for his dad’s 60th; or the Christmas holidays… or in fact any weekend or weekday evening he wishes!!!! So it’s Thursday and I’m preparing a Sunday roast with all the trimmings and my mum’s very indulgent rice pudding recipe.  I sense a heart warming afternoon, playing board-games, having a good old laugh and possibly a few tears (mainly mine); probably a sleepless night and then tomorrow a drive to Cardiff.    I plan to be the ‘cool mum’ the one who offers ‘just the right amount’ of support/detachment/emotion/comment… I plan to leave with a hug and a smile and let him get on with it…. we all know what they say about the best laid plans.

Anyway, this shall begin my last weekend of summer and I plan to write an addendum next week…. stay in touch people… and why not tell me about your summer.

Stargazing and Dancing at Solarsphere…

11 Aug

This weekend in Builth Wells, Powys, at Penmaenau Farm & Camping is a little known and quite fabulous music festival.  Coupled with astronomy and located in a designated Dark Skies area  this little event has a timetable of great music, largely from unsigned bands , and knowledgeable, entertaining speakers from the astronomy arena. It’s Solarsphere. I went last year.  It was brilliant.  I’m going again this year.

The atmosphere was easy-going and friendly.  There was absolutely no trouble at all.  The shower and toilet facilities are fantastic.  There’s a bar but campers are also welcome to bring their own just not into the event section.  Loads of people bring along really really large telescopes.  It’s really family friendly; workshops for adults and kids, stalls (I’ll have a range of cards and skyscape art with me), great and inspiring FREE talks to attend, loads of varied music and children’s entertainment. Kids under 13 get in free with accompanying adults and a 3 day/night pass is only £45 (£20 for 13-16 year olds)  Bargain.

solarsphere program 2016

solarspher program 2

creativitiy through ‘blue sky thinking’ … and copious amounts of beer / wine

22 Apr

So tonight I went along to the weekly builders pint having missed 3 Fridays.  I was SO EXCITED at the idea of an early evening Friday night drink

It’s now midnightish.. I’ve had 5 (i think) large glasses of very easy to quaff malbec.. so i just might be a bit tiddly.  However, i feel i can safely say that our time in our second living room (AKA Neuadd Arms Hotel) was time well spent

After an evening of banter, political debate, drinking; laughter and Loony planning we have discovered the following.  By ‘WE’  that would be me AKA ” Lady Lily the Pink’, my partner “Me’ , Viscount Gaffer, and my ‘minder / cameraman ‘ Me, Reverend Backline Defrocked)

We have a cunning plan

The Welsh Assembly Elections take place on 5th May

The Neuadd Arms Hotel is the spiritual home of Screaming Lord Sutch, and Loony H/Q for Brecon and Radnorshire

There are Mid and West Wales Loonies standing in the Welsh Assembly for a Regional seat, led by Lady Lily the Pink

Loony H/Q , AKA, The Neuadd Armsd Hotel needs a post election party on Saturday 7th May

Call it  “Satisfaction with Every Election”

Invite everyone to wear headgear

Brew a Heart of Wales Election Beer… suggested names:-

  1. Barley Believable
  2. Hoppy to Beer Here
  3. Ale-Ected
  4. Malty Membeer
  5. Sutch A Good I-Beer
  6. Polls-A-Psrty
  7. Thirst Past The Post
  8. R U A Count?
  9. Not Ale Ected
  10. What’s Your Pint?

Make up some Lily the Pink Cocktails

  1. Pick – a – lily
  2. Totally Pinkled
  3. Pink of a Number
  4. Pink as a Newt
  5. The Missing Pink
  6. Lily of the Lavvy
  7. Stinky Pinky Minky Drinky in the Sinky
  8. Lily Lay
  9. Pink Fluffer ( prosecco, marshmallow, angus stura bitters… that pin gin shit…, vodka, umbrella, ribena to taste)
  10. Pinko Commi Fag (vodka, newcastle brown, fresh strawberry and a sparkler… and a spliff_
  11. Lady Flamingo (any drink with a pink feather in it)
  12. Kissing the Pink (strawberry milkshake, vodka, raspberry liqueur, fresh strawberry)

Non-Alcoholic Cocktils

1 Virgin Lily (glass of water)

2. Virgin on the Ridiculous (blackcurrant cordial and water, ice to taste)

And that, my friends , is how three drunken minds on a Friday night work

Lindsay, get to it…  Despite the drink, celebrating and promoting The Monster Raving Loony Party in the Welsh Assembly Election is a great idea for Loony H/Q Brecknockshire

Let’s PARTAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Loonies are alive and well and may well be walking amongst you….

9 Feb
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Rosette for our tour bus

It was mentioned on Question Time last week that the Monster Raving Loony Party is no more and its colourful addition to British politics was perhaps even ‘missed’.

I would like to assure Isobel Oakeshot and collegues that we are not only alive but conga-ing our way into British , and at the moment, Welsh politics with flamoyant leg kicks and an abundance of candidates and members.

vote loonyThis May we Loonies will be standing at least 25 candidates in the 5 regions of Wales for the Welsh Assembly Elections 2016.  Myself included.  Yes, Lady Lily the Pink of Brecknockshire will be one of several representing constituents in the Mid and West Wales area… In fact this Saturday (13th Feb from about 10am) we are meeting at The Senedd for a spot of party political broadcast filming and welcome interested members of the public to come and shake a top hat in our general direction, talk policy and generally add a bit of banter to our procedings.

Look out for us.

loonies

Don’t think. Vote Pink…..

13 Jan

After all the political madness of 2015 that has followed us into 2016, its time to take a stand…

There’s a South Walian tradition at Christmas time of the Mari Lwyd… part of the tradition involves the knocking on doors and exchanging of rhyming insults (folk singing or wassailing)

As Official Monster Raving Loony Party Candidate, Lady Lily the Pink, I shall be standing for Mid and West Wales in the Welsh Assembly Elections 2016

You can look back at some of my loony and political posts here amongst my rose-tinted ramblings, should you feel so inclined….

But, as an opening gambit and in advance of the party filming taking place here in Llanwrtyd Wells this weekend, I thought it fitting to continue the rhyming tradition…

So…

Let’s drink a drink……

here it is, I’m not much of a poet…
 

“Don’t Think, Vote Pink” by Lady lil

 

Losing LibDem Rog was such a shock

to a Tory fool we can only mock

Fed up with seeing too much Blue

and MPs not present and without a clue

Don your top hat and pour a drink

for in Mid & West Wales there’s Lily the Pink

Disclaimer: This blog post represents the views of her Ladyship, Lady Lily the Pink and her more serious alter ego, Bernice Benton , and may or may not have any bearing or relation to the opinions of the Monster Raving Loony Party or the individuals I like to think I am representing. I speak for me , as me , and through me…. maybe some of my thoughts and opinions work for you too…