Six on Saturday 3rd October

I’ve been a bit remiss with keeping up with my blog. I was away last weekend so that’s my excuse. Anyway, here I am for a Six.

I’m going to start with a couple from our trip away. We went to Edinburgh for a few days for my birthday and we had a really great time (more of that on another post somewhen). I thought I’d come back with loads of planty photos because we’d planned a trip to the Botanic Gardens, but, as luck would have it, the day we’d planned that was the only day we had rain! Typical! We decided to do indoor things instead but we were fully booked every other day so had to take a literal rain check on the gardens. Good excuse to go back!

We came across this house in Prince’s Street gardens and I was taken with how pretty it is set in its lovely garden which was blooming with roses and lots of colour. I googled it to see if I could find out anything about the house and it’s the head gardener’s house but was also used in a BBC children’s programme.

On my birthday we’d booked a trip to Loch Ness which was absolutely brilliant. It was a long day, we met the tour at 8am and arrived back in Edinburgh at 8pm, but it was worth it. We stopped at several picturesque places on the way to Loch Ness and back.

Our tour driver was super knowledgeable about all things Scottish and he told us that there came a point when trees were dangerously low in numbers because there was no legislation in place to ensure replanting of trees after felling and it became a critical issue, so now for every tree that’s felled, another has to be planted. However, when this legislation was introduced, most of the trees that were planted weren’t native to Scotland meaning that now Scotland has more non-native trees than native. They were pretty impressive at this stop on our way back to Edinburgh.

This isn’t the best of photographs because I took it from a moving bus but you get the idea. We saw a few restaurants and shops whose entrances were entirely bedecked with beautiful flowers and plants, but this is the only picture I managed to snap. This is in the New Town part of Edinburgh where the architecture isn’t quite as lovely as it is in the Old Town, but the injection of colour really perks the buildings up.

Back home and the garden is in sore need of some tidying, but given the weather today and the upcoming forecast, it’s going to have to stay messy for a while! I have sunflowers which have flopped, wind battered runner beans and straggly pansies.

My ornamental kale is looking beautiful though.

This is hanging off the catio facing outwards in case furry friends nibble it, so we can’t see it unless we go out, but I’m happy just to know it’s there!

My fuchsias are still providing some much needed colour on these dreary days.

I feel that there hasn’t been enough fuchsia love on my blog this summer and I think it may be because they haven’t been as impressive this year, and I think that’s my fault. I must research fuchsia care so that they thrive next year. I have three and they all flowered, but they didn’t get many leaves and they didn’t get bushy like they were originally. Maybe some timely pruning is needed.

I may be slightly cheating with this last photo as it encompasses six in one! The photos may be multiple, but the point is singular.

And that point is, simply, colour! I took all these photos this morning before the rain started and it did make me happy to see all this colour after a week of dreary weather and the prospect of months of it to come.

That’s my Six for the week. As ever, the link to join in or just to read more Sixes is

Four go to Thorpe Park

Are you ready for a revelation that normally makes people look at me in disbelief and go ‘wh-aa-t??’

I’ve never been to Alton Towers.

I went to Drayton Manor a few times as a kid, because it was practically on the doorstep, and I enjoyed it, but I was never bothered enough about rides and all that jazz for my parents to think it worth the money for tickets and travel to go to Alton Towers.

They were right, it wouldn’t have been worth it back then. I suffered from motion sickness, still do a bit, but I’ve grown out of it mostly. Back then though, I didn’t enjoy spinny, upside down type things. It just wasn’t my thing.

However, hubby and I jetted off to Florida for the first time in 2016 and I discovered the wonderful worlds of Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and there was something about the combination of that carefree feeling of being on holiday and the excited atmosphere of the parks that made me throw caution to the wind. I went on pretty much everything and, it turns out, there is an adrenaline junkie in me!


So, when a couple of friends floated the idea of a trip to Thorpe Park, my hand went straight up – me, me, me. I’ll go! It took us ages to actually settle on a date, but the day finally came yesterday and off we all headed excitedly down the M40 at silly o’clock in the morning.

We made good time and we skipped in looking all around us at the mahoosive rollercoasters not long after it opened at 10am. I had a slight internal wobble at this point. What if I was only brave enough to do it when I was thousands of miles away from home when there was no one but my lovely hubby to witness it? There was no need to worry, I was fine.

The queues were really big on most rides, especially the tallest, spinniest ones, but we managed to get on most of the ones we wanted to.

We started with Swarm.


That feeling of a sudden rush of adrenaline washed over me straight away. Awesome, it really makes you feel alive. This ride takes you up to almost 100km/h and you experience G forces of 4.5. It’s the UK’s first winged rollercoaster. In practical terms this means your legs are dangling in mid air. You have an uncontrollable urge to swing your feet. I loved this one. It reminded me of the Hulk coaster in Orlando’s Islands of Adventure (which is probably my favourite all time rollercoaster).

Next we headed off to Stealth.

378CCF73-7E8C-4682-92A0-F57E86CE4A05This one catapults you forward and then straight up, twisting as you go. The whole ride probably only lasts about twenty seconds, but wow, what a twenty seconds! You reach 80mph in 1.9 seconds! That’s just a bit quick! I actually had a bit of a pressure headache for a few minutes after this one, presumably from the force of the air.

After this we decided to take it easy for a while and we zoomed around on the dodgems crashing into each other and laughing hysterically, and we went on the Tetley Teacups where the lads spun us round and round.


I love the fact that they’re Tetley Teacups. They even had the voice of this one from the advert counting down to the start.


We decided on one more ride before lunch. This one wasn’t a rollercoaster.


It’s called Detonator: Bombs Away. You’re taken up to the top of the tower, 100ft in the air. The view was amazing. Thorpe Park isn’t far from Heathrow and I could see the planes from the top. Just as I was thinking, it’s a bit chilly up here, we suddenly dropped. You freefall for 35m reaching 50mph. There are some massive magnets at the bottom that essentially catch you!

Next up was Nemesis Inferno. I thought Nemesis was at Alton Towers but it turns out this is a sister ride. This is the only one that I don’t think I’d go on again. I felt as giddy as a love struck teenager after this one, but not in a good way! We did, however, ride this one about half an hour after lunch, so maybe that was the problem. We also had a cornetto in the queue. The estimated queue time was seventy minutes, so when we got to an ice cream stand after we’d been in the queue for half an hour we thought it’d be safe to indulge. Little did we realise but we were almost at the end of the queue. Whoops!


Nemesis had 750m of twisting track which you cover at up to 50mph and there were two corkscrews (or that’s what it felt like anyway) straight after each other. Bleurgh! Still an adrenaline shot though.

We decided to head for the park’s current signature ride next – Saw the ride. The world’s first horror movie rollercoaster. I was fully intending to sit this one out after the twists and turns of Nemesis but the queue was a million miles long and by the time we got to the front I was feeling completely back to normal and there was no way I was going to forego it after standing in the queue for so long. It must’ve been an hour and a half at least! I’m so glad I went on because it was also very similar to the feeling of the Hulk so I loved it. 9532C0D8-029E-4C64-A15C-E5968D23B7DA

The first section is indoors in the dark (but not pitch black, you can still see) and when you emerge it’s onwards and upwards, literally. In the pic above you go up the right hand side and then zoom down what they call a beyond vertical drop from a height of 100ft. Awesome!

There wasn’t much time left after this because the queue took sooooo long so we headed for the Walking Dead: the ride. This was the only really scary one! It had live actors trying to kill you! I almost wrote literally then, but of course they aren’t literally trying to kill you, but it’s easy to get caught up in it when there’s a zombie reaching out for you with bloodied hands! The first section that you walk (or run in some people’s case) to reach the actual coaster was in near darkness with zombie noises and loud bangs and screams and was pretty freaky. The actual coaster wasn’t too aggressive and the bits that were supposed to be scary were quite lo-tech but I now realise that’s to lull you into a false sense of security because when you get off, you follow the signs through ‘the cafeteria’ to the exit, and this is where the actors try to get you. I didnt take any photos of this one – think I was too relieved that I escaped with my life to remember photography!

The final ride of the day was Rush. This is a swing, seating thirty two passengers at a time. You’re swung back and forth up to 75 feet at up to 50mph. When you’re at the top of the swing facing down, you suddenly become very aware that the only thing stopping you hurtling down 75ft to a concrete floor is the bar across your waist. Think we were all quite relieved to get off this one, even though that feeling of rushing through the air is extraordinarily exhilarating.

I dread to think what happens to your internal organs when you’re being flipped and flung around the sky. It’s probably best not to ask!

My fitbit has thrown up some interesting heart rate stats though.

On the left you can see Friday, which was a normal day at work with no sudden inclines, acceleration or upside downness, and on the right is Saturday which had all of the aforementioned!

Look at all those peaks on Saturday. I had two hours and forty seven minutes at fat burning rate on Saturday as well as opposed to one hour and nine minutes on Friday.