Lee Mallender

Joined August 2017Living in: United Kingdom
  • Day7

    Popeyes Village

    November 17, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    So our last full day in Malta today. Treated ourselves to a cup of tea in bed first off before getting up and walking to the local shop Blow & Go to get a little pressie for Bobbie as we had bourbons for Max & Izzy and Bobbie doesn’t like them. Upon return we sat in the reception area to wait for the rest of them to come down for breakfast. The weather was ok when we got up but then turned and a storm hit the bay. Torrential downpours and it went very black. As we were sat there, Naomi turned up and was concerned about a man out to sea who was clearly struggling. We told reception then out we went to try and let him know help was coming. The weather was awful and he couldn’t get back on his board. He was out there for about 40 minutes and clinging on to a life buoy. Anyway it settled and he eventually managed to get himself close to the shaw so we left, soaked to the skin and just before the police and the helicopter arrived 🚁🚁 . To say we were soaked was an understatement, so back to the room for a full change before breakfast.

    Not a lot on the list today except we needed to go back to the glass blowing place in Mdina for Naomi. We decided to go on a bit of a mystery ride on the way back and ended up at Popeyes village where the film was filmed many years ago. It was very windy but dry and it looked pretty good. We didn’t go in but you could see it all from the cliff top and a great view of the bay even though it was a bit black ☁️. Again I can remember Granny & Grandad and Aunty Jack and Jerry talking about it when I was younger, nice to see it.

    We returned to the hotel and zipped in for a bit of lunch before all of us descended on the swimming pool for a mess around. Not as warm as it had been but not cold by any means. Another little snack on the way out before heading up to get showered and changed. Early night out tonight as we were booked in the American Diner at 6.30pm for our last dinner of the holiday. It was great, burgers, chicken, ribs and all sorts of delights. As we ate a bit earlier, we had a bit of time before the kids disco at 8.30 so Sharon snd I went to Blow and Go for supplies for the plane and the kids went bowling - Izzy’s prize from the karaoke 🎤 last night. Fortunately for us all, little Izzy Wiz did win !!

    Finally off to the kids disco, quiz and show. The quiz tonight was photos of celebrities as they were younger - you guessed it we were crap at that. The show was “Cabaret”, sad to say we didn’t manage it to the end, we were flagging a bit so when the kids went up to bed, so did we. Gemma, Joe Bobbie Jo & Graham were left. Just back in the room, packing nearly done and kettle on. Early start in the morning as we head off home 🏠.
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  • Day6

    Sliema, Valletta and Mosta

    November 16, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    Well today saw a temporary glitch in the weather. We woke up to grey and very wet weather. We had to set the alarm this morning as we were having a lads trip out back to Valletta. Graham was here back in 1972 and had lots of memories so we took him back to reminisce. Like the other day, we drove to Sliema and caught the ferry across. Unlike the other day, the Sat Nav had us up hill down dale and it was chucking it down. John drove and did us proud. The ferry crossing was a bit choppy and a bit wet, but in true British style we stood upstairs and outside.

    Once at the other side we wandered up to find “Strait Street”, a street Graham remembered from his navy days. It was full of bars back in the day. With the help of a Joseph and Google maps we found it. We looked around and you could see some of the old bar signs and get an idea of what it did look like in the 70’s. He was telling us about a bar he remembered and an old bloke walking past said “Ah the good old days, they messed that all up”. We then moved on to the gardens where we had a beer and lots more memories of where he had been and places he remembered. At 12 O’clock at the harbour, they fire a cannon, this is a historical thing and used to be fired daily so the ships could set their chronometers by it. We watched that with a view over the 3 cities. Next we made our way to “The Pub”. A small English watering hole where Oliver Reed had his last drink. It was very characteristic and full of Navy memorabilia. There were pictures of ships and all the hat name ribbons from them. We found 3 or 4 that Graham had worn (not the actual ones obviously). We then headed back for a spot of lunch and to pick up the ladies and kids. They had had a fun packed morning in the big pool which was freezing if my mind serves me correctly as well as making balloon figures.

    This afternoon we ventured to Mosta to see a church ⛪ which Sharons dad had told us about. It was bombed in the Second World War whilst a service was in progress but the bomb never exploded. We were allowed in but there was a funeral in progress at the time, so we went in anyway - I can see Max and Izzy’s teacher when they say we took them to a funeral !! It was a spectacular church based on the pantheon in Rome. You could see in the roof where the bomb came through and the actual bomb was also on show. Quite fascinating. As an added bonus we were able to go down in to the WW2 underground bunker - all good stuff. We had a nightmare drive back as it had gone dark and there had been an accident but we got back just before afternoon snacks closed which was a good job👍

    Dinner in the restaurant at 7.30 before this evenings entertainment which was Karaoke. 2 contestants from our party, Joseph and Izzy. Both were absolutely fantastic and did us proud. A few beers, good chat and a singalong, once again a great nights entertainment.
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  • Day5

    Gozo

    November 15, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    So today saw the arrival of Graham and Bobbie Jo, They landed last night and got to the hotel well after our bedtime. We have still been doing well with the weather, a bit more cloud about today but still lots of sunny intervals and a heathy 24 degrees as we wandered around. So we were all first in the queue for breakfast this morning just as we have been all week - yes we’ve actually been there waiting for them to open. I suppose I’d better add that it’s the late sitting that doesn’t open until 10.00am but still, there you go.

    This morning we decided we were going to Gozo, a short ferry ride across the sea with the terminal not being far from our hotel. We were the fun car, Sharon, Me, Izzy and Bobbie Jo. I’m afraid we accept no responsibility of how the children behave after leaving our care. We had to sing along to frozen, shout “How Do” at random passing people to see if we could get a wave and a burping competition no less !! It was a most interesting journey around Gozo. We headed off in search of some washer woman that Gemma wanted to show us as Granny & Grandad has been there years ago. We drove around for a while, got split up and ended up parking randomly down a side street near a church before meeting Gemma a short while later. We then walked, and walked, oh and walked but still no washer woman !! In the end we had to admit defeat and us three drivers got a taxi back to our cars and then went and picked up the kids and others. We sat in a park in the supermarket car park scoffing ice cream sweets and crisps - it’s how we roll 😂.

    Next stop wax Ramla Bay, a lovely sandy beach where the kids could paddle. As mentioned earlier it was pleasantly warm and all the kids went in the sea, including Sharon. We headed back to the ferry and I became lead drivist, everything was going well until we encountered a closed road, the diversion signs were great until they stopped but we made it back eventually. The obligatory afternoon snacks prevailed, we were good though, tried not to eat too much so we didn’t spoil our tea.

    We made the kids disco tonight which got us a good seat for the show. Joseph and Graham went to watch the football tonight, we stayed for the show. The quiz was movie soundtracks - we were fairly crap as usual. This evenings show was Divas and Legends. Lots of songs from varying people throughout the years, the dancers and singers really are good. I was out of breath watching them !!

    And so the end of another cracking day.
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  • Day4

    Bugibba

    November 14, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    Good evening all. Day 4 of our Malta trip and it’s my birthday today. It seems that we had a couple of casualties last night which resulted in a shaky start to the morning. Joseph and Sharon both calling Hewie on the big white telephone in the night due to over indulgence in the alcohol department. Although I didn’t witness this, I’d love to have seen it, Joseph swam from his bed to the toilet to be sick, proper full on strokes across the floor 😂😂

    Anyway I was up and about around 8 to be met with a grunt which meant said Mrs M needed another half an hour. Again we awoke to a pleasant day, a bit more cloud around but still plenty of sun and still around 22 degrees. We had our usual cuppa on the balcony and I opened my Birthday cards and pressies. After we were advised by our little 5 year old buddy that we needed to do what her and Max wanted to do first instead of the grown ups like we had all week, we met for breakfast in our swimming gear. I was greeted with more cards, and 2 very special home made ones from 2 lovely children Max and Izzy. Breakfast was as good as ever but poor old Joe looked a little peeky 😂.

    After testing the outdoor pool for temperature, the global decision was made that it was Baltic and we’d use the inside one despite Max and Izzy paddling and Izzy going full on in to the outdoor one. Again another hour or so just messing about and playing which was good fun.

    We gave John a day off the driving today and we took John and Naomi, Aunty Gemma took the kids. We went off to Bugibba. Again a lovely place and very special as we saw where Aunty Jack had been scattered. We spent a bit of time walking on the rocks and the prom around there and Izzy and Max were told to look for the sparkly bits in the sea as they were Aunty Jack. Really lovely and a lovely way for us all to remember her. We walked up to the town and looked in a few shops and stopped for a refuel and a drink in the square. Gemma was telling us that’s where they took my grandma and grandad some years ago. I remember them going but I never went as I wanted to stop at home on my own. I was 17 so that would have been some 28 years ago. As we walked back to the car, John and Joe spotted doughnut shop and went in for one, I declined. However when they came back out and showed them us, I changed my mind, they were fabulous big and really inviting so I had a custard one and Sharon had a couple of doughnut bites.

    As we got back to the hotel, we went and had a spot of lunch. Wasn’t hungry but it’s obligatory when you’re all inclusive. We were back first but thats cos Aunty Gemma had taken the kids to Golden Bay beach for an ice cream, I’m sure it’s because we won the race back so she had to call off somewhere 😂😂. Anyway, an afternoon nana nap before meeting for dinner this evening. A bit later tonight as we were booked in the Brazilian restaurant for my birthday. It was fab, meat meat and more meat. I got a bottle of Cointreau as a pressie presented to me by Izzy and had a cake too courtesy of Sharon. The food in this hotel is fab.

    Finally we went to watch the show but as we were a bit late in, it was standing room only. Again another good show. A fabulous day all round yet again and thanks to everyone who made it so lovely, cousins, 2nd cousins and all the texts and Facebook messages.
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  • Day3

    Sliema and Valletta

    November 13, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    Another beautiful morning here in Malta, not a cloud in the sky and a lovely 24 degrees. We started the morning off with a lovely cuppa on the balcony. We haven’t got a sea or a pool view but they did change us from being in the lay by at the side of the road to a field view high up so it’s nice and quiet. We went down to the nerve centre en route to breakfast (Naomi’s room) before heading off for Sliema. We took Gemma and Joe today in our car and we’re thrilled when John pulled out first - we just followed him👍. The plan was to drive to Sliema then get the boat across to Valletta.

    It’s a bustling busy harbour, and some spectacular scenery. We sailed across in the lovely sunshine before disembarking at Valletta. A brief walk up as what only can be described as cardiac hill with lots of shops and lovely viewpoints before stopping at the top. Half way up Max was set a challenge by Joseph, run up loads of steps for 10 euros, a bit of a family tradition and I have to say he did it spectacularly. Obviously Uncle Joseph had to tag along to show him who was boss but Max is certainly a front runner for the future and Uncle Joseph paid up. Such a lot to see as we carried on, beautiful waterfalls and stunning panoramic views. We stopped at the top for a cup of tea and a fag (minus the fag in honour of our sadly missed and much loved Aunty Jack). We were very lucky with the weather, absolutely beautiful. Our descent was very relaxed and we just ambled back to the ferry stopping now and again for a look at shops and all sorts of interesting places. Upon arrival at Sliema we stopped of at BK for snacks for Max & Joseph before departing back to our hotel. Once again John zipped out in front - however he took what can only be described as a wrong turn and my Jane guided us back nicely to our hotel. Well when I say nicely, she prefers fields to by passes but still landed before Team Naomi 😂😂.

    Once back it was straight down to eat, I could get used to this all inclusive lark, a couple of beers to wash down the lunch. Then off to the pool with the kids. Had a good old catchup with my new little mate Izzy in the (not so) hot tub. It’s been pointed out to us by our 5 year old team member (said new mate) Isabella that for the last 2 days we’ve done what mummy wants to do first meaning that it’s getting late by the time what Isabella wants to do comes around and it’s nearly dark. So she’s put her foot down and we are swimming first in the morning, doing what Izzy wants to do first rather than what mummy wants, which seems only fair. I can’t really seem to find an argument so breakfast in swimmers in the morning it is.

    A quick up to the room, shower then straight out for tea, I was a little concerned at the lack of a Nanna nap this afternoon but seemed to power through it. We were right on queue for the kids disco at 8.30 and no quiz tonight. Izzy and Max were sent back off stage with all the other children with the instruction of coming back with an adult. We thought it fitting to send Sharon, she thought we said she needed a camera so off she went 😂😂. This evenings entertainment was Phil, playing his guitar (or as our Gem pointed out his Aldi guitar cos the end was missing). He was actually very good. Had a good old sing song and bet Joseph a shot he wouldn’t dance with a few grannies but he proved us wrong. Switched from lager to Vodka tonight but they seem to mix the vodka and coke 50/50 so that zipped us along a bit. You know you’re getting old when you have to ask Max if he’s heard of Mylie Cyrus, when he said yes we had to explain that the song being sung was by her dad !!

    So another fantastic day, not laughed so much in ages. Until tomorrow, goodnight. Ps it’s now my birthday but I’m knackered so until tomorrow 👍
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  • Day2

    Mdina

    November 12, 2018 in Malta ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

    So first full day today. Didn’t crawl out of our pit too early so a nice leisurely start to the day. A beautiful day outside, 24 degrees and lovely sunshine when we got up.

    We met for breakfast and then set about a visit to Mdina. Gemma in her purple people eater and John and me in white little Bean can type vehicles. These cars are little go-karts, have very little in the way of clutches, only go up hills in first gear and you have to thrash the knackers of them to go anywhere. But great fun. We hurtled out of the hotel, us at the back like something out of the Italian job 👍. The roads around here really are poor, windy, full of potholes and give you no clue where you are, but John did a cracking job of getting us there. Joseph was wanging a go pro out of the window filming as we zipped along, can’t say I’m certain we’ll still be in possession of that by the end of the holiday.

    Having never been here before I have to say it was lovely. Very old and very interesting. We walked around the silent city stopping off at the park for an ice cream and a play. We then moved on to Mdina Glass to see the glass being made. We passed the old Mdina town 3 times following our Gemma but we did get there eventually. It was very fascinating and there was lots of things in the shop. Our Naomi is like me, we were getting peckish so as we are all inclusive we were off back to the hotel as the food is free!! Well why wouldn’t you? A bit of a change of plan for the trip back, every man for himself. Gem & Joe went one way, John and me another but we lost John 10 minutes in. Happy to report we were first back 🙂🚗.

    A spot of lunch, a beer and then we went off to the pool with the kids. It was lovely, all of us in there playing and messing about before finishing off in the (not so) hot tub. It was pointed out that afternoon snacks were being served so burger and a beer it was before going off for a nana nap.

    The kids disco is a nightly event which we attended before taking part in the quiz. We didn’t win but we didn’t fair too badly, 13 out of 15. Team name tonight was Dotty Dalmatians - Naomi likes Dalmatians and there was a Disney film about them, and we were a bit dotty !!Tonight’s theme for the show and the quiz was Disney. Izzy was glued to the stage and once again it was very good entertainment. First day of a great week.
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  • Day1

    Mellieha

    November 11, 2018 in Malta ⋅ 🌧 63 °F

    So today saw us bound for Malta. A bit different for us as we are going with our cousins and we will see where Aunty Jack liked it so much which we are looking forward too.

    It was a very early start, alarm set for 2.30am and on the road to Birmingham airport for a 7am flight ✈️. Gemma and Joseph we’re also flying from Birmingham but Naomi, John, Maxwell and Isabella flew from Leeds, same take of time so the race was on. Just over a 3 hour flight and we made it just a couple of minutes before Team Naomi. It was so close that they walked in the arrivals lounge at virtually the same time.

    Weather was warm but a bit grey. However upon leaving the arrivals lounge and heading across the open car park to pick up the hire car 🚗, it absolutely threw it down. We got a proper soaking. We picked up our bean can for the week and headed across Malta, bound for the Seabank resort at Mellieha. It’s fair to say we’d have been better of with a dinghy than a car but there you go. Sat Nav had the arse on and wouldn’t talk to us but we battled through and found our way all landing at a similar time. As we couldn’t get in our room until 3, and due to the inclement weather, it seemed only fitting to go to the bar and test out the all inclusive. Yeah, Carlsberg on tap did nicely. The hotel is nice and right by the sea, we went for a little walk up the prom after the rain had stopped.

    After we had got in our room and unpacked etc we met for dinner. Lots of choice and we could all sit together, before heading off to the kids disco at 8.30. The kids had a good old run around and it was quite busy. Lager still free. We entered the quiz, Naomi being the writer in our behalf. It was quite difficult, we cheated and used google but still lost !! The entertainment came on about 9.30, lots of dancers. They were extremely good and were on for quite a long time and were very entertaining. Switched over to Vodka in the absence of Cointreau before retiring after a very long day at about 11.
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  • Oct28

    28th October 2018

    October 28, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 46 °F

    So, today saw my last required visit. Since a couple of weeks ago, the fence plinths and posts have been dug out and put in, the panels have arrived and all bar one were dropped in. We went last week and fetched all the remaining tools and ladders home as Sharons Antara was swapped this weekend so we carted everything home in that. That car has served us very well, it’s been an extremely versatile and reliable work truck for the last year. Anyway, that left us a few jobs today which we have polished off and are happy with.

    The clocks went back last night so ideally means an extra hour in bed. Just meant I was up an hour earlier. I got a few little jobs done at home early on and then we went to Snackattack when Sharon got up for a nice big breakfast. It’s official, they do the bestest breakfast as they will do me chips with it 👍.

    We came back and loaded the car up, tried to run through all the jobs in my head as so not to forget any tools. My dad and I went up at 10.00am and were pleasantly surprised to see most of the fence panels dropped in, something we thought we would have to do. We did have one to put in which needed cutting down. We cut the plinth down with a brick cutter and then sawed the panel down. Took a bit of buggering about but we got it in and level and it looks great.

    Next we moved on to fitting the original temporary front door that JB fitted over a year ago to get access in to the house. Its been all over that door but it’s final resting place will be the coal house round the back. We removed the rotten wooden door and then marked up the wall with the new door. It was a couple of inches wider than the existing hole so again the brick cutter was put in to action. The cutter didn’t cut deep enough but was good enough to get us a start and we chisel’d the rest out. We managed to get a really nice fit, again a bit of messing about but we got it in. Screwed and plugged it up, put some wooden packers above and that was that. It could do with a bit of white plastic to cover the packers, but it’s fully functional and lockable which again is a good job done.

    Next we needed to extend an earth cable and put an earth bonding strip on the gas meter. A tiny job that I was going to do ages ago but never really got around to. No dramas there, done and fixed the crap job the gas company did fitting the meter box whilst we were at it. We removed that and refitted it correctly.

    Finally we connected up the pressure relief valve on the boiler. It was sort of connected but only in situ as we were worried about soldering that close to the circuit boards. After taking a bit of advice we were told to try a compression fitting. Unfortunately we weren’t able to fit it as we couldn’t get the grips in to tighten it. So we nipped off to B&Q and bought a push fit, fitted a treat. It’s one of those pipes on the boiler that will only ever get used if there is s fault, so hopefully never but will be fine if there is now.

    I dropped one ever so tiny goolie, I’d moved the condensate pipe out of the way to connect the valve, I forgot to reconnect it. Gemma had a bath and the boiler cupboard got a free wash !! 2 second job to fix so Sharon and I popped back up this afternoon to sort it.

    And that my friends is it. The garden at the back is going to be rotivated next weekend, Paul and his team will then level it and seed it which will transform it.
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  • Sep30

    30th September 2018

    September 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 55 °F

    A very busy but productive weekend this weekend. The twins (Kian & Ethan) our adopted nephews came along to help us on Saturday. The plan was to remove a small tree 🌲 at the bottom of the garden and make a start on digging the holes out for the fence posts. It was a beautiful day, so we went to Sharons work early, picked up the trailer and then the boys before calling at B&Q and loading up with 15 bags of postcrete. We then set off for Langold. Prior to our arrival, Uncle Spok snd Gemma has organised me some fence posts and plinths and had taken some time off work on Friday to collect them using Gemma’s work van. That was a massive help and not very easy work I wouldn’t have thought. Spok has also collected 5 railway sleepers if got for Gemma a few weeks ago ready for the front garden which she is tidying up.

    As we arrived on Saturday we decided that really the first job was to remove the tree from the bottom of the garden. Spok’s petrol chainsaw was fired up and off we went. The small tree was actually a lot bigger than we thought. Ethan took a big shine to the chainsaw but to be honest was actually quite responsible whilst using it. The challenge we had was that the tree was so out of control it leaned massively over 2 neighbours adjoining gardens and we couldn’t risk it falling in there. After much messing about to try and get a rope which we failed at, we enlisted the help of an old hose pipe. We doubled it up, wrapped it round the top side of the tree, the dots pulled towards them and I cut it. Bingo down she came. We then set about cutting all the branches up in to small pieces and building a bonfire.

    Spok came up in the afternoon to help. We tidied up and made a start getting the first hole dug out in the corner for the first 2 fence posts. I’d bought a petrol auger which is basically s drill with an engine on it to dig the holes. Man was that a beast. It was fab but definitely needed 2 people to operate it as if it hit s rock (of which there are hundreds) it jars and you basically know what it feels like to become s helicopter blade !! Spok snd I managed to get the first hole dug and first two post concreted in. It was cracking on by this time so we decided to get all the fence posts and plinths carried round the back. That was a killer, we had to enlist the help of Joe as the twins had had enough by that time. It was very physical, demanding work but a good job done.

    On Sunday, it was just Spok and me. Again very hard graft but we managed to dig all the holes out along the back snd concrete the posts and plinths in to place. We don’t have the panels as yet, but it will look so different once they are in place. I really couldn’t have done it without Spok this weekend, his help was invaluable. It’s fair to day, I ached a bit Sunday night, I dropped a dance plinth on my knee which has a massive bruise and my arms are black and blue, but a good start to a hard job.
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  • Day8

    Cruise Information

    September 8, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 61 °F

    Well back safe and sound after a fantastic week aboard Sapphire Princess. Thanks to all who followed us around and for all the comments. Below are some facts about the ship. Until next time............

    Cruise : 7 - Days Scandinavia
    Ship : Sapphire Princess
    Captain : Paolo Ravera
    Ship Tonnage : 115,875
    Length : 288.33 meters
    Breadth : 37.50 meters
    Max no of passengers: 3100
    Max no of crew: 1060
    Ship delivery date: May 2004

    Southampton to Zeebrugge 171.15 miles
    Zeebrugge to Copenhagen 722.2 miles
    Copenhagen to Skagen 172.5 miles
    Skagen to Oslo 106.95 miles
    Oslo to Southampton 841.8 miles

    Total miles since Southampton 2015
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