Meet Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris is my tv Grandad and I have always wanted to meet him. The opportunity presented itself when I was browsing the internet one lunch time and for some reason ended up on the Walker Art Gallery website. Now I don’t buy into the whole fate thing but there was some freaky stuff going on that day. Firstly, it’s nt a regular thing for me to go on art gallery websites and to happen upon it two days before a rare Rolf Harris signing event was a pretty happy coincidence.

Thankfully I was free on the Saturday when the event was to be held but I knew there would be a lot of waiting around and didn’t really fancy doing that on my own (although I was prepared to if necessary). My first call was to my mum, a fellow Rolf fan, but unfortunately she was booked in to have a pilates induction session. None of my friends were either available or interested in meeting Rolf (weirdos) so it looked like I was going on my lonesome, oh well, I’d meet some new friends in the queue. But then my mum rang me back, she had rearranged her induction as she couldn’t miss out on Rolf and she thought it would be more fun if I didn’t have to go on my own (how ace is she?!).

On Saturday morning we set off early to get the train to Liverpool. We grabbed a hot beverage and some breakfast at Liverpool Lime Street and headed to the gallery where a large queue had already formed. The queue was full of every kind of person, young, old, famillies, singletons, it would seem Rolf doesn’t have a ‘typical’ fan. The queue was pretty big and I was starting to worry we wouldn’t get in but some officials came out to sell exhibition brochures (Rolf had an exhibition on at the gallery) and they said that we should be ok to get in.

The line moved quite slowly once the doors opened and everyone was let in. Whilst no one enjoys queuing, mum and I felt quite reasssured that Rolf was giving everyone a good amount of time. The queue went through the gallery (not including Rolf’s exhibition) so there was lots to see while we waited and we made small talk with a lovely lady, Ann, who was behind us in the queue.

Just before lunchtime we made it into the room Rolf was in! There were about 20 people in front of us no but we would definitely be getting to meet Rolf…right after he took a lunch break (he was 82 at the time and had been signing and smiling for the camera for quite some time already so he deserved a break). It wasn’t long till he was back and I started getting nervous, I was actually going to meet Rolf Harris, what would I say???

Just before it was our turn to see Rolf a lady asked what we would like signed. I had to choose between my CD cover or my exhibition book and I went with the latter in the end since CDs might become obsolete.

When it was our turn we stepped up to Rolf’s table and he said hello, asked our names etc and signed our books. I was a little starstruck and didn’t really know what to say! We had our photos taken (yes, mum has her eyes shut but she swears the photographer did that on purpose) and as we were thanking Rolf and saying goodbye he said to me, ‘Do you know you’ve got stripes on your t-shirt?’ Obviously I did know so all I could reply with was ‘Yes, I wore it specially’ I felt a little lame with my response.

Mum, Rolf & Me

This year I ticked off another Rolf goal, to see him perform live. He doesn’t tour much and having not been to Glastonbury I’ve not really had the opportunity to see Rolf do what he does best, until now.

My aunty mentioned in passing that Rolf was playing at Bristol’s Hippodrome and I immediately went online and purchased tickets in the third row from the stage!!!! And in May my mum and I headed to Bristol for a fun-filled family weekend.

We were worried that with everything going on in the papers (I don’t want to get into it here) Rolf might cancel but being the true professional he is, Mr Harris didn’t disappoint. As he came on stage he got a standing ovation and it was clear to see what that meant to him. Even I got a slight lump in my throat and everyone knows I’m unemotional and dead inside! The whole night was amazing, he sang all the classics, I was particularly looking forward to ‘Two Little Boys’ and he sang it beautifully. He played the accordion, Jews harp, didgereedoo and Aborigini beating sticks. He painted Ayers Rock, regaled us with many stories and snippets of knowledge and hiffed and haa-ed along the way. It was everything I hoped it would be and more, I just wish it hadn’t had to end!

We left the theatre in high spirits but somehow mum and I had lost my Aunty Sam. We were looking for her when we were distracted by a light and a camerman, and yep, there was my Aunty being interviewd by Australian TV so of course mum and I ran over and joined her. After a short interview which, thanks to the beverages consumed, probably didn’t make the most sense, I facebooked my cousin who lives in Oz to tell him to keep an eye out for us on the telly and low and behold the next day I got a message to say we’d been on the flipping news Down Under! Thankfully they’d cut most of our interview out and there was just a snippet of my Aunty saying ‘He’s a legend’ and my mum sounding extremely Northern saying ‘bloody brilliant’. I couldn’t have put it better myself!

On the telly!

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Ride a Segway

Ever since I first saw a Segway I wanted to try one out and I was gutted when I found out you couldn’t ride them in the streets in England. I was, however, overjoyed when I was in my Groupon phase and found a Segway experience. I immediately snapped up two, one for me and one for my mum.

It was a bit of a trek to get to the place and we got stuck in traffic which Dad thought was just super(!) but we eventually got there. Once we’d signed our rights away and were kitted out in the super sexy safety gear, we were ready to roll.

Suited up

We were shown the basics and sent off around a slalom course to get to grips with the Segways. Then we moved onto an obstacle course in the trees. They had us going up and down see-saws, over bridges and down hills. I really enjoyed it and was suprised at how much you can actually do on a Segway.

Total pro

Then it was time to open up the beasts and see how fast they could go. We headed down a field as speedily as we could, which is actually surprisingly quick and I’m not surprised they don’t allow Segways on the roads over here, motorised scooters are dangerous enough!

It was a great, fun activity and I was really glad I got to share it with my mum. I’m not sure I’d do the same thing again as once you’ve ridden a Segway in a field I think you’ve kind of ridden them all. I would love to do a Segway tour on holiday, I’m sure they did one in Italy on Coach Trip, maybe that should go on The List…

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Learn to pull a pint

In every generation of my mum’s side of the family the women have all been barmaids…apart from me. I thought I was getting a bit old for a career change and I was starting to come to terms with the fact that I would never achieve my lifelong goal of pulling the perfect pint. That was until I was sat on a stool at the bar of a local pub, waiting for the quiz to start and chatting to the manager who happened to mention that they were looking for someone to work three little hours on a Sunday evening…I think you can see where this is going.

I did an hour of training, went on holiday for a week then returned to my first shift. I’ll admit I was pretty scared, drunk men an be mean, but I got through it and now I’m a total pro and every pint I pour is, as we say at the pub ‘showroom’ (as if!!!).

I have now been a barmaid for over a year and a half. I initially took the job to get me out of the flat on a Sunday. When you live on your own its too easy to get wrapped up in your little bubble forget there is an outside world so having to leave the house makes me get up and get dressed.

As with any job, I don’t always look forward to going to work (particularly after a heavy Saturday night) but I have had some fantastic times thanks to my job at the pub. I’ve met some interesting people and made some amazing friends who I have so much fun with. I love that I can go into the pub on my own and there is always someone I can chat to and I’ve kept the family tradition going.

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Go to a festival

I always wanted to go to a festival but was never sure which was right for me. Glastonbury looked a bit too big, Download a bit too trendy and Bestival a bit too dancey. So when my bosses came back from Latitude raving about it I thought I should have a look.


Well, it looked pretty good…music…comedy…cabaret…poetry…food…drink…it had it all, even multi-coloured sheep! So in 2011 a group of six of us from work packed up into a couple of cars and headed daaaaaaaannn saaaaaath (that’s down south in case you were wondering).

I had decided that I didn’t want to be faffing about putting a tent up with poles and all that so I bought a lovely little pop-up tent (little being the operative word). I was pretty chuffed with my tent when it took all of 2 minutes to put up. I just had to pump up my mattress and I was ready, beer in hand, mocking my friends who were still struggling with their accomodation!

The festival was fantastic. I loved that there was such a mix of things to see and it wasn’t a huge place with millions of people. I’m quite independent and I wanted to make the most of my experience so I made sure I saw everything I wanted to see, even if it meant going to things on my own. Thankfully I felt more than comfortable walking about on my lonesome, particularly when no one bothered to get out of bed on a rainy morning for a 10am live performance of Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Yummy Yorky pud wrap

Yummy Yorky pud wrap

So, what were my highlights???

  • Seeing Jon Richardson in the comedy tent
  • Watching the Vaccines and dancing like a loon with my boss
  • Rocking out (on my own) to the Eels
  • Going on a secret mission in the forest with my bestie DW
  • Watching Frisky and Mannish (on the recommendation of another bestie, Lunlet)
  • Yorkshire pudding wraps (AMAZING!)
  • Sharing dipping marshmallows with DW
  • The view from the top of the helter skelter
  • Getting a bargain ex-Army jumper in the style of my beloved Grandad
  • Finding the best present I have ever bought my mum, her favourite victorian-style parasol/umbrella
  • Wearing wellies and squelching in the mud
Squelchy mud

Squelchy mud

What wasn’t so fantastic?

  • Realising that although my tent was a dream to put up and pack away, it definitely wasn’t a two-man tent and probably wasn’t designed for a 5’11” person to sleep in for 4 nights
  • The achey legs I got because I purposely walked through all of the muddiest bits just because squelching in mud is fun
  • The 7+ hour drives there and back, particulary the way home when everyone else fell asleep
  • Bombay Bicycle Club – a total letdown
  • Not being able to find anywhere that does the amazing yorkshire pudding wraps (the search continues)
The view from the helter skelter

The view from the helter skelter

I can thoroughly recommend Latitude as a festival to go to, I think it’s particularly good for a festival newbie as it is a lovely size and there is so much going on. I had an amazing time, despite having chronic tonsillitis and I would definitely go back again if the line up was good.

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365 days and counting

Today is my 29th birthday!

‘That’s not very special’, I hear you cry. So why have I chosen today to get back into blogging? Because today is my one year countdown to my 30th birthday and there is A LOT to do in the next 12 months!

Lately I’ve been trying to do more fun things and saying yes to doing stuff as much as I can. With that in mind I sat down and made a list of things I would like to do and as I have a habit of procrastinating I’ve set myself the deadline of my 30th birthday to try and do them all.

I’ve restarted the blog so I can keep track of everything and hopefully not let things slip by the wayside. Those who know me may notice that I’ve already done some of the things on my list but I wanted to include them as they are things I have always wanted to do in my (and I need some things to start writing about!). It’s not a huge list but I’m open to any suggestions to add to it!


  • Go to a festival
  • Learn to pull a pint
  • Ride a Segway
  • Meet Rolf Harris
  • Get waxed
  • Run 5km without dying
  • Go to the Grand National
  • Try on wedding dresses
  • Learn to ride a unicycle
  • Learn to juggle
  • Watch England RUFC play live
  • Learn to iceskate backwards
  • Have a sleepover with my nephews
  • Finish my big craft project (it’s a present so it’s a big hush hush)
  • Have a crafty Christmas
  • Stick to a budget
  • Learn to sew and make myself an item of clothing
  • Ride a pedalo

So, there’s my list, feel free to put forward any suggestions. Over the next year (well, I started in June really cause I was too excited to wait!) I’ll be attempting to tick them all off and basically make the most of my (mostly) responsibility free life!

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