Life in Lockdown: Seaside Visit

Life in Lockdown: Seaside Visit

It’s June. Time has flown by for me. With the glorious heatwave we’ve been having in the UK, I decided to head on down to Southsea last Thursday. I wanted a little break away from home & my local area. Honestly, it felt like there was no pandemic. Everyone had come down for the same reason as me. To enjoy the beach in the glorious sunshine.

Social distancing is a struggle when you can’t control everybody’s movements. Okay, it was nice to see people with smiles on their faces. Plus some were social distancing with their friends & families. But I think it’s crazy to forget that the coronavirus is still out there. It’s not going to go away in a hurry.

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A short walk along the seafront

Seeing the sea for the first time in several weeks gave me a good boost. I love living near the sea – especially when the weather is a glorious as it has been. It almost gave me a sense of peace. Well, when I took the time to forget about the mass crowds around me. Maybe there was some hope on the horizon (or in the literal sense, the Isle of Wight).

First stop was to walk by Clarence Pier. I wish it was open but as always, the rides were sat there. Waiting for the day they can open safely. Looked behind me and it was a surprise to see the local mini-golf was open. Yes, there were signs everywhere informing everyone of social distancing. All golf clubs & golf balls were sanitized. Staff members had masks & gloves. Screens were added to the till point.

It was surreal but I almost felt a sense of acceptance that this would be the ‘new’ normal. God, I hate that expression. But it’s somewhat true.

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With my new fitness regime, I wanted to get a good walk in. So my plan of action was to walk from Clarence Pier to South Parade Pier. And loop back down to Clarence Pier again. A good solid 4.5km(ish) walk in my eyes. Walking past runners, cyclists, walkers, party-goers, it was nice to take in the fresh sea breeze.

A couple of hours was all I needed to boost my spirits before I headed home. I did spot some new rides over at South Parade Pier – including a ‘new’ wacky worm cred & pirate ship. I can’t be sure if this is a new +1 for me since there’s been so many rotations of wacky worm coasters on the pier over the last few years. If anyone does know if this is a new cred for the pier, do let me know!

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I never thought 2020 would turn into a key part of history but here we are living it. Who knows what will happen in a months time? 3 months time? Or even 6 months time? I hope that we’re somewhat prepared for what is to come. Whatever that may be.

Hope you are all staying safe. Much love. xoxo

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Life in Lockdown: 1st April 2020

Life in Lockdown: 1st April 2020

Well, the last few weeks have been a crazy time, hasn’t it? I know I haven’t written any blog posts for the past 3 weeks, and I’m going to be honest, I haven’t felt like writing anything. The whole COVID-19 situation has really shaken up all our routines. With my blog focused on travel, this will be on hold and I’ll be writing updates about my general day to day life and fitness regimes. Provided I get the motivation to write anything each week that is.

I miss travelling and having the freedom to see my boyfriend and close friends whenever I want to. All I want to do is get in my car and go for a long drive to see the people I care about. I’m incredibly grateful for having my family around to support me and keeping me sane. It’s certainly going to be the new normal for the time being but I’m trying my best to remain positive. We can’t control this situation but we can control how we deal with it.

So, how’s life been for me?

I’m still working but from home. Yes, I’m in a very fortunate position amongst the crowd of people around me who are key workers, been made redundant etc. However, I do feel for those who are unable to work from home. You are all troopers and you will get through this. So effectively my Monday to Friday routine between 8am to 4.30pm has remained unchanged other than my work location. Getting used to working from the kitchen table whilst using Microsoft Teams to keep in contact with my work colleagues where I can.

life update working from home

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to start exercising again. I had some dumbbells sitting on the floor in my bedroom so I thought I’d give these style workouts a go. You know what? I’m enjoying this way more than pushing myself to do any kind of running or excessive cardio. My aim was to do at least 3 workouts per week of at least 45 mins to 1 hour. I’ve now increased that to 5 workouts per week however have started to introduce HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts into the mix. I have lost some weight over the last 4 weeks so it’s certainly more motivation to keep going.

Exercising has been an escape for me. It’s 1 hour of my mind focusing on strengthening my body whilst improving my own health. A bit ironic given the current circumstances but it does seem to be helping (in my mind at least). I’m not invincible so who knows when COVID-19 may decide to hit me. I guess this is what I hate. Not knowing when it could strike me or my own family members. Especially with my Mum being a key worker at our local Supermarket. The unknown is well and truly here for the time being.

life update fitness dumbbells

From my workouts to healthy eating. I was quite worried about doing mindless snacking whilst working from home. In the office, I like to have a couple of snacks with me – mostly fruit but a little sugary treat every now and again doesn’t hurt. However, by some miracle, I’m not snacking as much as I used to. Why? I have no idea. However should I need to have a quick pick-me-up, I’ve got a couple of bags of almonds & mixed dried fruits to keep my satisfied. And yes, I do still have chocolate but that’s the last resort if you know what I mean. *wink*

Since the UK lockdown last Monday, the Government have said we can go out for exercise once a day, whether that’s a walk, run or cycle. As long as we comply with the social distancing measures, it’s been nice to get out of the house and take a walk around my local area. I always make sure I keep my distance from people, crossing the road if necessary. From what I can see around my area, people do seem to be observing the social distancing rules which is great to see. Hopefully, this lockdown can be lifted over the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed, ey?

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Of course, this lockdown has meant I can’t see my boyfriend, Jared. We’re in a long-distance relationship, roughly 1-hour drive from each other. We live with our families and have high-risk people in our households. This means it’s incredibly risky to see one another (physically at least). However, the joys of technology have allowed us to be able to FaceTime every day. It’s been a real pick-me-up and I’ve tried to be the rock in our relationship for Jared. I hate seeing people I love struggle through a situation they can’t control, and I can’t be there to help them.

And that is my life in a nutshell at the moment. When I’m not working or exercising, I’ve been using my spare time to play some Animal Crossing: New Horizons on my Switch – those tarantulas are a pain in the arse but I’ve managed to catch one now! Alongside this, I’ve been playing Smurf’s Village (thanks to Jared!), Candy Crush Saga, Tetris etc on my phone. I’m also currently looking at starting my scrapbooks which were Christmas presents. Certainly, the perfect time to start them once I’ve managed to sort through the photos I want to have printed. Sometimes you need to look closer to home to find new things to keep you entertained.

I hope you are all well and staying safe. Sending my love to you all and just a small reminder that we will get through this together.

Much love xoxoxo

LOTTIE TRAVELS

2019 Review | My Highs and Lows

2019 Review | My Highs and Lows

Christmas is fast approaching, and 2020 not far behind. It’s a good time for me to write up a 2019 review, highlighting the highs and lows. It’s been a rollercoaster year for me. I’m hoping for a more positive year in 2020. Fingers crossed I can make that happen!

Like a rollercoaster, the beginning of the year started off with hope and positivity through my work and general life. I felt ready to take on the year head first. First of all I wanted to continue to gain more experience within Marketing. Secondly I had some great holidays booked to Europe which always gives you motivation to go to work, right? It was shaping up to be a great year from start to finish. Then Summer came around and I lost my motivation. Through my job, my life and I felt rather helpless over my general health. This left me neglecting my blog, the people who’ve stood by me all the way and who I am as a person. This probably explains why I ended up very ill between October and November. Crazy how stress & general illness can get to you.

I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I wondered where I was heading from a 27 year old to a 28 year old. It’s so easy to get scooped up into other people’s lives and think, why am I not where they are: moved out of the parents house, married with my soul mate, enjoying lots of holidays, earning a reasonable salary based on my age & gaining more work experience? Consequently I’m now ending the year taking on the mistakes I have made. I’m learning from them and trying to fight my way back to where I was at the start of 2019. I’m ready for whatever 2020 throws at me and to embrace a better version of me (with the addition of hearing aids!).

Aside from my self reflection & low points, there’s been some key memories from 2019 that has made this year a jolly good one…

2019 review highs and lows heide park horizon

Favourite Theme Park: There’s been a lot of theme parks I have stumbled into this year, both revisited and brand new for me. It’s been one hell of an adventure and I’d love to hope that 2020 will be in a similar vein – even if its one major trip abroad, I will be happy. So which theme park was my favourite from this year? It has to be Heide Park. The park is certainly one of the prettiest parks I have visited under the Merlin portfolio, a lot of beautiful scenery around and the lake gives some great views of a coaster horizon. Plus, there’s Colossos & Flug Der Damonen which were fab in my eyes. If you are heading to Hamburg, make sure to tag on a day trip or two to Heide Park.

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Favourite Rollercoaster: Well… I’ve gained well over 100 new creds this year, and a few have been some pretty solid coasters. So which one was my all time favourite? Zadra. It has to be Zadra for me. There is not a single ride I have ridden that compares to it. It was phenomenal to ride. The airtime wasn’t painful compared to Untamed. The sheer speed from start to finish was pretty damn impressive – and it maintained this throughout the day, even to the point it was incredibly fast. Anybody who is going to Energylandia in 2020 are in for a treat.

2019 review highs and lows longleat house

Favourite Visitor Attraction: Away from theme parks, I’m an avid traveller so I enjoy exploring an array of visitor attractions around the UK. From Moors Valley Country Park to Longleat Safari Park, I’ve explored some pretty cool places. I’m hoping to go exploring even more in 2020. So my favourite place to visit was Longleat for their Festival of Light event. It was a magical experience to see all the lanterns and explore the Safari Park – always a plus when you’ve get the chance to see Amur Tigers, Lions, Wolves & more.

2019 review highs and lows meeting john wardley

Favourite Memory: Meeting John Wardley will forever be my absolute favourite memory from this year. I fangirled a lot. I can now tick this moment off my lifetime bucket list. You know that list of celebrities you’d love to meet. It was a fantastic opportunity to have chat with him about his passion for rollercoasters. He was a truly humble and inspirational guy to so many people in the theme park community.

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Favourite Musical: Rock of Ages was a true delight to watch. The film has always been a guilty pleasure of mine so as soon as I saw it was heading to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, I had to buy tickets. It had the jokes & gags to get me belly laughing. Likewise the actors & actresses singing ability were incredible. If it comes back on tour, I’d happily watch it again, and I think you should too.

What have been your highs and lows of 2019?

What has been your favourite memory from this year?

Any new theme parks or rollercoasters you’ve ridden that’s been a tick of the bucket list?

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

 

3 misconceptions about my hearing loss

3 misconceptions about my hearing loss

3 misconceptions hearing loss

A bit of a different topic on the blog tonight – away from all the travel and theme park talk! I didn’t think I would have the confidence to write about this subject on my blog. Honestly, I don’t want to hide something is a part of my identity. After a few hospital visits this year, I’ve come to learn more about where my hearing loss has come from and how to deal with it. So I want to debunk 3 misconceptions about my hearing loss.

A short history into my hearing loss…

I’ve always been diagnosed with High-Frequency Hearing Loss since birth. From this, I would say my childhood was somewhat difficult. I misunderstood the world around me & had a wide variety of friendship fall-outs. I was bullied for the way I talked and coming across as dumb in a variety of subjects at school. It’s amazing how one psychologist told my parents I wouldn’t make it past Year 2 at mainstream school. Well, here I am. At 27 (almost 28) years old with a career in Marketing. I’ve achieved a 2:1 degree, 3 A-Levels and 10 GCSE’s!

After several hospital appointments and an MRI scan, I’ve been diagnosed with a genetic disorder, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. The nerves in my inner ear are damaged therefore the signals to my brain can’t function properly to help me hear at a normal range. Simply put, my inner ear anatomy has developed differently to everyone else. In turn, this has affected hearing in both ears. It is more high frequencies that I struggle with. So mainly softer sounds, whispers, female voices & conversations in an environment with a lot of background noise. However, I can continue to live my life as normal.

Even though various audiologists told me hearing aids won’t help me, it’s quite the opposite! So, in fact, I’ll be getting a pair in due course. My disability, whilst hidden, has provided me with a lot of challenges. Especially when it comes to people perceiving me. In particular, there are 3 misconceptions about me and my hearing loss that I want to debunk. I don’t want the world to treat me any differently. I’d like them to have more of an understanding of the struggles that I contend with on a daily basis. Believe me, my hearing can be great one day and then terrible the next.

Misconception #1: I’m ignorant

Whilst I’m sure there are people who probably don’t assume this about me but in the past I have found people can have a full-blown chat with me and I won’t even realise they are talking to me – this is particularly prevalent when I’m at work completing a project. I am not ignoring you or coming across as being rude, generally if there’s a lot of background noise and your voice is on the quiet side, I will struggle to hear you. The only way I’d be able to focus is via lip reading. Yes, you might need to grab my attention more. Trust me, it’s better than assuming I’m ignoring you. I will apologise if I don’t hear you at first glance – just be patient and I will catch up.

Misconception #2: Distance myself from others

This sort of fits in with my social anxiety. Sometimes I find it difficult to get involved in conversations. Particularly when I can’t hear everybody in the convo with lots of background noise etc. I don’t want to be that person who has to ask people to repeat themselves. Whether that is because I’m too shy to ask or I’m feeling overwhelmed by a social situation. I don’t want people to assume I don’t want to be involved with their group conversations. I just find it difficult coping with social situations as a whole. Add in my added hearing loss, it makes it more of a challenge. A little bit of patience goes a long way to helping me out.

Misconception #3: I’m deafer than I actually am

This one is probably the most prevalent in my life. Understandably with any kind of hearing loss, nobody knows how much I can hear, apart from myself. Shouting at the top of your voice is not necessary. Speak as normal unless I ask you to speak up slightly if I cannot hear what you are saying. My hearing loss, in particular, is fairly mild therefore I can still hear at a good range but require a bit of assistance with softer sounds and background noise. One more thing, please don’t get put off if I’m lip reading. It’s something I do rely on at times to understand a conversation. There’s nothing in your teeth or on your lips, I promise!

Hopefully, this has given you a little more insight into my own personal hearing loss. Maybe you have a friend or family member with hearing loss, or suffers from the same genetic disorder I have, feel free to ask me any questions – I won’t bite! Just remember that we’re all human. We should all be treated equally.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

The many faces of rollercoaster riders

The many faces of rollercoaster riders
the many faces of rollercoaster ridersSource

I don’t quite know why this idea came into my head. Simply from compiling an email for work that I decided this would be a good blog post to write up. Random, I know! However it got me thinking about those times where I people watch when queuing up for a coaster. Even as a theme park enthusiast, you can’t deny that you’ll have many faces of rollercoaster riders.

Facial expressions of on-ride photos say a lot about how good or bad a rollercoaster is. Sometimes it’s oh so fun to just have a laugh and make whatever stupid face you like. Life is too short to be serious. Unless that is the look you are going for? Who am I to judge? Anyway, let’s delve into some of the many faces that are pulled from a wide variety of rollercoaster riders. Side note: I have no actual photos so emoji faces will represent the faces I’ve seen.

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HAPPY SMILES

Whilst there are different variations of smiles, this is probably the most recognised face you will see. You might find this one on a variety of coaster types including B&M, Intamin, Mack, maybe a Gerstlauer – I said maybe! The bigger the smile, I find the enjoyment levels of a certain ride will give you a good indicator as to how good that ride is – B&M’s make me very happy so of course, I will make the biggest smile I can. SAY CHEESE!

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FUNNY FACE

Are people: Sticking their tongue out? Cross-eyed? Pulling their mouth in weird directions? What can I say, there’s many different ways people will pull funny faces. This one I love to partake in when I’m feeling silly. More so if it’s a fun kiddie cred because it’s always fun to show up the parents who look at you as if to say ‘You’re a frigging adult without a child, why are you even doing this ride?!’ Who even cares Karen? If I want to be a big kid and get myself a +1, whilst pulling a funny face to the camera, that’s what I’ll do!

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LAUGHTER OR CRY LAUGHTER

Possibly my favourite face I love to see, especially when it comes to kids! You can’t help but feel giddy inside when that sheer terror of rides on a kid’s face is completely wiped away into a big fat smile of laughter. Laughter is contagious as you say. You can’t help but share this joy with everyone around you. Sometimes this face can turn into a real cackle. Especially on kiddie creds and attractions that have you howling with laughter!

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FEAR MIXED WITH NAUSEA

I may not have experienced this personally, but you know that moment when you’re on a ride? More often on a flat ride, and there’s that person you can’t help but have a little look at? You see the fear in their eyes. They’re not too sure what to expect. Then the ride begins to spin and they start to have that sense of regret. Before long they’re looking a little green and you’re starting to think, ‘Shit, I do not want them to vom on me!’ You know that moment? Whilst it is amusing (sorry, not sorry!), you won’t be having the last laugh if they vom – GROSS!

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PAIN

If you have ever been on a Zamperla Volare… my sincere condolences! If you haven’t been on a Zamperla Volare… don’t do it to yourself! That pain facial expression will show you why you should always question your life choice to get that +1 on a Volare coaster. Of course, riding coasters in the rain or experiencing a painful flat ride will also make you want to scrunch your face up. That on-ride photo will show just how much pain and regret is being inflicted on yourself. Trying to smile? Don’t try to fake it, the on-ride photo never lies.

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MR (OR MRS) SERIOUS

Last but not least, Mr or Mrs Serious face. You know? That person who either has the perfect poker face or they just simply refuse to smile whilst on rides. I sometimes wonder why you would want to pull a serious face. What ever happened to just posing or making silly faces? So you can have a laugh with it all. Why would you even go to a theme park just so you can be serious? You can do that at your 9 to 5 job! Only time I would be serious is if a ride was dull or boring. Or if I agreed with my pals to pull a serious face for an on-ride photo.

So the next time you’re at a theme park, take a little moment to just people watch. Just observe what faces people are pulling. There’s so many faces rollercoaster riders make that you can’t help but chuckle to yourself. Maybe you can relate to them at one point?

What’s your favourite rollercoaster/theme park face you like to pull?

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo