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As I mentioned briefly in my last post, Ryan celebrated his birthday at the weekend and we went out for a meal to celebrate.

The meal was at Beefeater which has just opened up in our home town, with a big steak and grill menu. I had duck patรจ, hunter’s chicken and a mississipii mud pie, Ryan had a beef and pork kofta, beef burger and a cookie dough sundae, dad had a king prawn cocktail (his favourite starter), a gammon steak and a sundae and mum had mushrooms, a baked seabass and her favourite, banoffee pie for dessert. 

My starter was perfect, I really enjoyed it and would definitely try it again in the future. This was my first time trying a patรฉ other than chicken liver. My main was a little over cooked, unfortunately but the triple cooked chips it was served with were very crispy. Just how I like them. ๐Ÿ™‚ My dessert was really good, very sweet and it did get a bit sickly. I couldn’t eat it all.

Between starters and desserts Ryan opened his present from my parents – a bottle of one of his favourite rums.

After the meal I presented Ryan with his birthday cake, we didn’t eat it at the restaurant as we were all too full! But Ryan and I had some the day after, with a little sing song of ‘Happy Birthday’ while he blew out the candles and I gave my parents some to try yesterday. 

The cake itself was red velvet with cream cheese frosting and designed to look like the logo from DC’s The Flash which is Ryan’s favourite comic book superhero. This was my first time trying out both a red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting and both came out great. The cake was / is (there’s a little left over) very more-ish.


Ryan loved the DC Justice League candles on the cake. ๐Ÿ™‚ 


The recipe I used was <a href=”http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/21332/easy-red-velvet-cake.aspx”>easy red velvet cake</a> from <a href=”http://allrecipes.co.uk”>All Recipes.co.uk</a>.

I modified the receipe for a smaller cake (using two cake tins instead of three) and changed the frosting slightly to use lemon rather than vanilla. I liked the citrus flavour it gave the frosting. 

For the cream cheese frosting

225g cream cheese

110g butter, softened

450g icing sugar

1 or 2 teaspoons lemon extract

Method 

225g cream cheese

110g butter, softened

450g icing sugar

1 or 2 teaspoons lemon extract

To decorate 

Yellow rolling icing 

Chocolate or black coloured icing pen 

Method 

Roll out the yellow icing and cut out a lightening bolt shape. 

Place the lightening bolt on the frosted circle.

Outline the circle and lightening bolt with your icing pen.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚



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A lot has happened since I last wrote, I went to my first Lego show at the Steam Museum in Swindon and saw a Lego robot wars fight. All the Lego models on display were custom designs, no kits in sight. I was amazed by the size of the show and the models themselves. 

One of my favourites!

Another first for me was crewing at Gloucester Comic con, my first time crewing at any convention. It was a great experience. Tiring, yes but I have a lot of fond memories and got to see what things were like from the otherside… I would definitely crew again in future.

View from the balcony

I met Tom Fletcher (of Mcfly) at a book signing for copies of his new book the Christmas-saurus, they gave us giant crumpets as gifts (a theme in the book), we had photos with Tom and I got to spend time with my sister and get to know her partners family a little bit. 

Ryan celebrated his birthday (yesterday in fact) – we went out for a meal at a new restaurant that opened up in town and I baked him a cake (more on that soon). The weekend before we went to Thorpe Park for their Fright Night event and on Tuesday we’re going to see Josh Widdecombe’s comedy show.

Fright Night was a lot of fun. We went with two friends or ours and although we didn’t get to do on the rides as much as we’d hoped to (or as much as we got to last year), we did get to go on all but one of them. There were constant ride issues or break downs the whole time we were there, the weather (heavy rain in the morning) played a part in that.

Swarm ride

One of the highlights of Fright Night are the scare mazes which are mostly filmed after horror movies and this year we got to go around all 5 of them. Also the opportunity to go on the rides in the dark – we only managed one night ride this year which was Stealth which is 205ft in the air, reaches 4.5 G-force and goes 0-80mph in less than 2 seconds. I love the ride!

Stealth

The mazes this year were Cabin in the Woods (which is still one of my favourites), The Big Top (a maze full of undead clowns), Saw: Alive, Blair Witch and Platform 15 which was new for this year and involved a haunted railroad. It was my favourite maze this year.

Unfortunately to keep things secret and not to spoil it for other attendees you’re not permitted to take photos or videos inside the scare mazes, so I took photos of the outside  (mostly sign posts like the one above).

We did have a professional photo taken at the beginning of Saw: Alive, which I bought a copy of – see below. ๐Ÿ™‚

The only disappointing part of the Fright Night events are some attenders causing trouble and even starting fights! It may put us off attending again in future.

Later on this month and coming in to November we have some family activities planned and some run up to Christmas traditions.

October is one of my favourite times of year. I love <a href=”http://chimmyville.co.uk/hello-autumn/”>Autumn. Sunsets, leaves changing colour, cooler weather, “fall fashion” and of course Halloween. 

For Halloween this year my parents, Ryan and I are going to a local Halloween party as characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is sure to be a good night. Ryan drew the short straw and will be Frank N Ferter for the evening. 

We’re also planning on attending a fireworks display this year which will be my first one since leaving college (in 2006) – 10 years ago!

What are some of your favourite things to do this time of year? Any family traditions?



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Last year I spoke about an annual modelling show that my family and I attend in Kent; Euro Militaire. I also mentioned I’d been going more or less every year since I was 6 or 7… but I’ve actually be going since I was 5, as my mum corrected me throughout the weekend. She also reminded me that the first time I came here I was carrying around a Gizmo cuddly toy (from Gremlins).

Dad is working hard on a steam punk tank to enter into the show and had hoped to have it ready for next year’s competition (2017), but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will be ready until the following year due to the amount of work content involved and the intricate details.

The model is a steam powered tank based on an MKIV and designed as if it was a working tank in the Victorian era. I really like the concept and look forward to seeing it completed; below are a few in progress photos of the bottom of the vehicle. It is scratch built with some components turned on his lathe.

This year’s competition entries were lower than previous years but the standard has gone up and my dad has serious competition in the fantasy scratch build class (like the model below).

There were also new classes introduced this year for maritime and aviation.

The show was down on traders this year too, in my opinion, but there were some familiar faces back this year that hadn’t attended last year. The traders offer a wide range of products across the hobby such as kits, paints, bases, glues, work bench equipment etc.

There was no raffle this year, that I saw, but there was an auction raising money for The British Legion. There were less military displays too but there were some modelling clubs in attendance who brought their models (not for the competition) for you to have a look at.

Here are a few of my favourites (from the competition room) โ€“ click on each to see the full size image.

 

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The ‘Best in Show’ winner

Besides the model show we also met up with some familiar faces and a family friend who we met at our first show. I did a bit of retail therapy and we took a walk down the old high street to the harbour to see how it had changed (there was some development work going on last year).

We took a ride in the Leas Cliff Lift from the harbour and sea front back up to the hall.

The information centre & tracks going up the hill

The Leas Cliff Lift opened in 1885 and is a means to transport the public up and down the cliff. The cart at the bottom of the track fills with water white the cart at top empties its tank; the weight of the two carts cause the heavier cart to be lifted up the cliff.

View from the bottom cart

The weather wasn’t great on Saturday ย – rainy and a bit chilly – but was lovely and sunny on Sunday. Funnily, this is the first time I can recall it raining at the show, usually it’s dry but still chilly. I’m glad I packed my coat and boots!

View of The Channel