Top Ten of Twenty Thirteen

The story of Lofty

When me and Lewis were visiting home from University at the beginning of November, we woke up to find a black cat was hit by a car outside his house and passed away. After asking the houses down their road, we discovered it was stray. Kate and Colin, Lewis’ parents, also informed us that they’d found a dead kitten in their garden the night before, but none of us put two and two together. By the next night, we were back at university, but Kate and Colin heard a very scared little meow whilst they were trying to sleep. After a lot of searching, It turns out the mother cat had somehow got into their loft from the outside and had given birth to two kittens up there. So this little lonely kitten, now named Lofty, had never seen daylight or humans before. Kate and Colin were so caring, and gave him lots of love and food but because they have two golden retrievers and live on a road where quite a few cats have been hit by cars, little lofty now lives at my house, settling in with Bubble, Jimmy and Boots. So we’re all winners, Lofty is now living with three other cats on our farm, and is a very smitten kitten and we now have a fourth cat to add to our cat zoo.

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Birthday Bubble

As my previous post has told you all, I love Bubble as much as I love my entire family. I got him when I was 5 and he’s my absolute world. As far as pets can go, I don’t think I will ever have one that means just as much to me as Bubble does. This year he turned 15 and although that’s old, it’s okay because he’s got at least another 15 years in him, he promised me.

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Unforgettable Florida

This Summer, in June, I was completely spoilt and taken to Florida with the Everett’s as part of Lewis’ 21st birthday present. We got to swim with Dolphins at Discovery Cove, go to Disney Land, Universal, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Islands of Adventure, Wet and Wild, Epcot, Amazing Beaches, Massive Shopping Centres and restaurants which served incredible food (in my sort of portions). I will never, ever forget my time in Florida, and will always be grateful for being taken there, and even more grateful for my boyfriend and his family. I’m a very lucky girl.

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Special Sandbanks

 I have been to Sandbanks once a year since birth, with my Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Great Granny, Great Aunty, Brother, Sister and cousins and each year we have the most amazing year. Sandbanks’ is an incredible place to be and has recently been in the news, as explained in my previous post, but to me it’s more about the memories and traditions that my family have there. And our time in Sandbanks, in 2013, was no different.

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Second Year grades

Whilst in Sandbanks this year I got my grades for second year, which I was extremely happy about! I worked my absolute bum off last year and am so happy I did because I received a 2:1 and that’s what I had hoped for.

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Our special Lily

Valentines day is about the people you love, but unfortunately Janurary 14th in 2013 was the day I had to say goodbye to someone I love dearly. My great granny, Gar, sadly passed away at the end of January last year and valentines day was the day of her funeral. Although it was one of the hardest days of my life, it was one of my most truly memorable moments of the year as it was a day to celebrate her life, to send her off in the way she would want and deserved to be and to show her just how much she meant to us all.

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20 years on

As always, I love to celebrate my birthday with my nearest and dearest, and this year was no different. Some of my friends came from just up the road, and others travelled over 5 hours on a train to be there, and that made me extremely happy. I had an amazing night… Bring on my 21st next year though. Everyone keep August 2nd free 😉

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The two L’s

Although me and Lewis spend a lot of time together due to us living in the same student house, we rarely get a moment when it’s just me and him. So London is our little getaway, and this year we’ve been twice and, as always, both times were very special.

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Fingers Crossed

Getting an interview at UEA for a PGCE in KS2 primary is definitely one of my highlights of 2013. If I get a place I will start in September, and will be on the road to where I want to spend the rest of my life. My heart has always been in teaching, and I know it’s the career I’m destined to be in. I’m due to hear back from UEA within the next two weeks so fingers crossed!

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Together Again

When I was at High School I would see my best friends almost every day, but now being at University I know how much I took that for granted. On Christmas Eve this year me and 5 of my oldest, best friends were reunited after about a year and it was like we were never apart.

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I’m grateful for everything 2013 brought to me, and everyone that was a part of it. 2013 was a memorable year for me, and I hope 2014 is just the same! I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

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You don’t need fairies to experience magic

Yesterday I had the most magical day of my life and I’m going to try my best to put it into words for you but I have a feeling it isn’t going to do it much justice.

We’ve been in Florida 11 days now and although every day has been absolutely incredible, deep down we’ve all been waiting for today. At 7.30am we arrived at Discovery Cove where we were given our snorkel, wet suit and the time of our dolphin swim, 12.10.

Whilst we were tucking into our unlimited breakfast buffet we decided that we would begin by taking the rapids through the aviary, otter and mandarin habitats which allowed you to be within a metre of all these animals, pet and feed them.

We then headed over to the ‘Great Reef’, which was a man-made coral reef covering 2.5 acres of land, home to 10,000 different fish, stingrays and sharks including 125 different species.

So we put our snorkel and goggles on and dived straight in. Well, we tiptoed in very slowly, easing our bodies into the cold water, trying so carefully not to get in the way of any fish. But I soon learnt that the fish were ready for me and soon darted out of the way.

And down I went, gazing deep into the reef, absolutely mesmerised by what was below, around and on top of me. Suddenly being cold was no longer an issue and it was just me and the fish, amazed at the flashes of colour and the variety of species and shapes. As I floated in a dream-like state, I watched the fish live their lives in their schools, delving into the reefs grottos and crevices, un-phased by my company. And then a pair of massive bloody stingray’s were heading towards me and the grace I had been carrying soon turned into a mess of screaming and splashing. I kicked as fast as I could, until me and my embarrassed face were washed up to shore.

And then I looked at the time and It was time to go down to the dolphin pool, the pool where it would be just us, the trainer and a dolphin… We were also teamed with a family from Texas but lets forget about them.

Soon we were introduced to Thelma, a beautiful dolphin who we were going to spend the next 30 minutes with. Thelma was a 20 year old mother to 4, who had lived her whole life at Discovery Cove.

For centuries, mankind have often referred to dolphins as ‘the angels of the sea’, and I was about to see just how perfectly they suited that description. Thelma glided over to us, popped her tail above water level and gave us a welcoming wave. All 9 of us, including Thelma, were soon smiling from ear to ear.

Our time began by the trainer telling us a little about Thelma, where she would respond so humanlike with nods, shakes, waves and squeaks. The trainer would shout “shark!”, and Thelma would squeal and cower. He would twist his wrist in a certain manner and Thelma would glide away about 10 metres to surprise us all with a perfected back flip. The nicest thing about it was that she was so willing to do it, with a few fish fed to her throughout, Thelma was the happiest thing.

Next we were able to have our photo taken with her, where she would kiss us and smile alongside us for a photo. She then took us separately for a ride where we held onto each of her fins and she would, so delicately, glide us through the water where it was so clear how protective she was of us. One of the younger boys from the Texas family accidentally let go and Thelma, with no hesitation or command, quickly turned around and picked him up again, this brought a tear to my eye.

I was worried that holding onto their fins would cause discomfort to her and mentioned this to the trainer who soon assured me that Thelma was quite happy to partake and that if any of the 46 dolphins at Discovery Cove don’t want to do anything, they won’t, and the trainers allow this and simply just use another dolphin.

After a few more photos and tricks our 30 minutes had very quickly come to an end, well they do say that time flies when you’re having fun.

What amazes me the most about dolphins is the emotions they can make you feel. Thelma was full of grace, with a loving and protective nature. Everything she did, she did with elegance and a smile, and it seemed that nothing could dampen her mood.

I’ll never forget the poise, pride and grin that Thelma had about her, and I will never forget my day at Discovery Cove. That 30 minutes of my life comes on par with my Australian Skydive, and I insist that if anyone is planning on a day with Dolphins, they should pursue it at Discovery Cove, Orlando. It needs no hesitation, I can promise you will have one of, if not ‘the’, best experience of your life.

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