Happy Campers

Our mate Neen turned 30 on Friday and like all 30th parties, it had to be memorable. Plus she had our fancy dress and bouncy castle party to compete with. Think she trumped us. We spent the weekend camping in Tenby with a trip to Heatherton adventure park. We know last summer we vowed to never return to west Wales after the welcome we received, but we couldn’t say no to this trip. We haven’t been camping since we were 13 and that was in our aunt’s back garden in Guernsey. There were 14 of us in total. For the first time we got to take our pink Smartcar on a road trip as Ryan would be staying in west Wales to look after his mum who’s hopefully coming out of hospital today. We won. We didn’t tell Ryan, Sarah and Craig we were racing as General Pinkinton only has a top speed of 85 & they would’ve trounced us. But a victory is still a victory.

Meadowfarm camp siteWe got to Meadowfarm camp site and immediately pitched our tent. It’s a great camp site, with stunning views and best of all, a freezer in reception where you can store your ice blocks. That came in very handy, even if the trek up and down the steep hill to reception was a killer. Still, it kept us fit and out of mischief. We’d definitely stay there again. In the excitement of camping, we’d bought camping mats, sleeping bags, air beds, chairs & Ryan bought other equipment. We weren’t going to bother with chairs, but Ryan persuaded us that going camping didn’t mean we had to go feral. It turned out, our 3 man tent did not mean 3 air beds. No, we didn’t check this before setting off. So we spent 2 nights with the 3 of us squished onto 2 single air beds. It’s a good job we’re all friends. After staying up ’til one a.m. then not sleeping all night, we woke at 7 ready for Heatherton. On the hottest day of the year.

The first competition took place on the go-karts. Round one was us, Ryan, Neen and Richard. On the second lap, Cat took a fast corner too fast and spun her kart, much to the delight of the spectators. After managing to turn it and drive through the pits, it was game on. But we lost. As much as we love karting, we seriously suck at it. We’d spent the week watching go-karting videos and studying the racing lines on the Heatherton track so we could win. But when it came to the race, the racing line was forgotten. Neen and Ryan lapped us twice. They are very serious racers. Not entirely sure who won that race, think it was Ryan but they’re both claiming winner’s rights. The second group was Craig, Amy, Rachel (AKA Gibbon), Nici and Zoe.

Next up was the bumper boats. heatherton adventure parkWe watched others do this and it kinda looked boring as they chugged around the water slowly. We all got in the boats and turned them into the bumper boats they were supposed to be. We discovered if you turned the engine all the way to one side, the boat would spin really fast, making the impact into someone else even greater. Think we set a bad example to others because after we got out, everyone started spinning the boats.

body zorbing, Heatherton adventure parkThen we moved on to body zorbing. Last time we did this, we used the adult balls. But they were way too big for us, came down past our knees, which made getting up difficult and they were really heavy. So this time we requested children’s zorbs. Big mistake. They weren’t anywhere near as padded so we felt every impact of hitting the ground, like whiplash. We were up against Neen, Ryan and Zoe. Zoe and Neen are roller derby girls so are very fit and strong. We’re fit and strong for our size, but we’re also very small. Needless to say, us and Neen were the ones on the floor for most of the fight. We couldn’t get Ryan and Zoe down. Even when us and Neen teamed up, we couldn’t get them down. Ryan was the only one could fell Zoe. We trooped out of the arena battered, bruised and barely able to move. Lynx’s back bent the wrong way against the ropes, making her Scoliosis protest vehemently at this abuse. Then Cat’s bad knee went. Despite quickly slapping on the Deep Freeze ice patch and her brace, the damage was done. The pain was so bad she couldn’t walk but with her crutches at home, there was no choice.

pirate golf, Heatherton adventure parkNext it was pirate golf. We split into teams of 3 or 4 and hit the course. Two balls ended up in the water and Amy bravely waded in to fish hers out. Thinking of it, we all should’ve thrown our balls in just so we could escape the blazing sun. Then it was round 2 of go karting. This time, it was serious. It was us, Neen, Zoe, Ryan and Amy. We were determined not to lose this time. But against Neen and Ryan, we didn’t stand a chance. This time, Ryan spun his kart. And we nearly drove into him 😀 Neen won that bout. Turned out, the kart Cat spun was number 7. The kart Ryan spun was also number 7. This now removes driver error from the accidents. We had a faulty kart. After the race, Cat’s ribs were sore on the left, from where the seat was digging in – there was a swelling there. By night time, the swelling had grown to the size of half a golf ball. For the first time ever, her ribs couldn’t be seen beneath her skin.go-karting, Heatherton adventure park

On our way back to the camp site, we spied a woman sitting in the road. We stopped, wondering if she was drunk or had a stone in her shoe but then she heaved herself to the side of the road on her hands and arse so we could pass. Cat got out and went to see if she was ok – she’d gone over on her ankle down a pothole. An ankle she’d previously broken and had surgery on, and her other leg was badly grazed. Luckily Cat had spare ice patches so we put one on her ankle, helped her up and insisted on giving her a lift to the camp site. We dropped her off outside her tent. Did you see that, Karma? We helped someone. Now pay up.

Sunday morning, we woke feeling like we’d lost a fight with Megazord. We got home at 6pm and all 3 cats flocked to us. Mum hadn’t really seen them all weekend. They knew when their slaves were home and crowded round with untrue tales of starvation and being left alone. They seem to think we’re the only ones who live at Casa Raven. Today we’re still sore and stiff. And tonight we have an hour of zumba with extra half hour of toning. This is going to hurt…Heatherton adventure park

Gimpic Funland

This weekend, as an extended celebration of Ryan’s birthday, we went to stay with his mum in Pembrokeshire. She’d planned a weekend of fun and we had no idea what it was so dressed accordingly for anything. PVC and chains. You can’t go wrong with that. Well…the chains might not have been a great idea but nobody died so it worked out ok. Turned out, the fun was to take place in Heatherton Adventure Park, which will hereby be known as Gimpic Funland.  Yes they had most of the events we’d done for the Summer Gimpics – archery, shooting and as a substitute for sumo wrestling, they had body zorbing. So this summer, we will return with other Gimpians and take over the park.

Heatherton, Gimpics

note the oversized overalls

First up was go-karting. Ryan was at a distinct advantage, having watched F1 all his life so he knew about things like race line and cornering, and he plays a lot of racing games. We were going for fun, taking tight corners and using the corners to their maximum curvyness, trying to see if the karts would tip like our Renault 4s. They don’t. First up though – the overalls. We could’ve both fitted inside them and had room for cake. We were like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man after he’d been burst. Not cool. We had to have cut off ones that billowed like sails as we walked. Then we saw the carts. Every adult who used them had their knees bent right up. We estimated the gap between the pedal and the seat was our leg length fully extended.Heatherton, go-karting, Gimpics We were right. In fact, we had to sit forwards on the seat to be able to press the pedals down. But we refused to use children’s carts. It is demeaning enough being us. So Ryan lapped us and Cat came within inches of running him off the road as a result of this.

Heatherton, Gimpics

filthy land lubbers

The next event was Pirate pitch and putt. The course was amazing, with streams, cannons and a shipwrecked boat. We each got a hole in one, much to our surprise because we gave crap a bad name out there. And in keeping with the pirate theme, swore like sailors all the way around the course. Yes there were children there. No we’re not sorry. Pirates don’t apologise.

Following this was lunch then archery. We used the adult bows. Big mistake. They were bigger than us. We’re not kidding. We’re 5’1. The bows were 5’4 long. Heatherton, archery, GimpicsPride refused to allow us to use the children’s bows. Though actually, the guy running it didn’t even suggest it.  And we didn’t have our glasses with us so focusing on the 30ft distance to the target was…challenging. There were 10ft targets but children and pussies used those. Lynx who was terrible in practise, won with 14 points. Cat who was good in practise lost with a crappy 3 points. Not only were the bows comically oversized, they were heavy, so by the time it came to the actual shooting, our arms were shaking with the effort. Clearly we needed more Red Bull.

Heatherton, body zorbing, GimpicsThe next event was body zorbing. This was the most dangerous, fun event of the day. Basically, the top half of your body is in a big inflatable ball, leaving your legs free to run. And the object is to slam into each other and knock each other over. One problem – he gave us adult zorbs. Everyone else’s zorbs came down to below their arses. Ours came down to our knees. So when we were down, we couldn’t get back up. And these things were heavy. We could barely walk in them. Imagine being trapped inside a big medicine ball. That was us. We bounced and rolled like pros. Kids were waiting to come in but the guy refused to let them in with us three, we were that dangerous.  It was like having our own special Gimpic ring. And we were the only 3 going around the go-kart track. It’s like they knew this was a preliminary Gimpics. Cat picked up injury to her bad knee, bruising the old operation scars but you can’t have the Gimpics without injury.

We then moved on to pistol shooting. The tiny targets at 20ft away proved impossible to see without our glasses. And no one told us how to aim the damn thing. For people who’ve never fired guns, we didn’t know you had to line the sight up with the gap at the back of the gun. Ryan only decided to tell us halfway through. So we were embarrassingly crap. Cat hit the target 11 times, scoring 23 points, Lynx hit it 16 times, scoring 38 points and Ryan hit it 23 times, scoring 52.

We’re going to have to get into training for the Summer Gimpics, maybe do more weight training to compensate for the heavy equipment. They also had water zorbing there but we ran out of credits, but we can see that being a fun Gimpic event. But they really need to have equipment designed for small adults. For a start, they need women’s overalls for the go-karting and they need slightly smaller bows for the archery. We’re too big for most kid stuff and frankly, as adults, having to use child equipment is demeaning. They need in between sizes, like for adolescents. Ryan’s mum is the same height as us so would have the same problem. There are tiny women out there people and we demand proper size equipment.

We spent the evening in Tenby – for those who don’t know about the fun time we spent in Tenby last time with chavs shouting out how appreciative they were of our uniqueness, you can read about it here. Last night they were just as welcoming. One guy muttered ‘Goths’ as we walked past. We were so grateful, all these years we couldn’t work out why we dress like we do and this guy has opened our eyes. Thank you, kind man, we’re no longer ignorant. Someone else said “are they going to a funeral?” No. We wear skirts and dress smart for funerals. The rest of the people just gawped. We got a smile from a young, good looking policeman but it was probably out of sympathetic pity for the welcome we were about to receive. We will make it our mission to avoid Tenby in future. They’re just not ready for us.

This summer, the Gimpics will be going to Heatherton. So lock away your kids. This is going to get dangerous.