Rutland Water – Oakham

Bank Holiday Plans with promise

My sister has enough clothes bags and handbags to be able to compete with Primarni, so for birthdays I tend to get her an activity present, after a year or so being preggars or boob hostage she fancied throwing herself off some inflatables at Aqua Park Rutland, obviously we would be in need of the help from the olds to restrain the life barnacles, love that term (@motherpukka) so decided to book a night in a lodge for us all to enjoy.
I booked way back in May so got a good price and all was going well, well as well as a 2 hr car trip with kids, and bikes attached to the roof can go, needless to say multiple snacks were involved and much bribery. When we got to Rutland I drove past where the sat nav had indicated because, well frankly, it looked to good for us 😬!!!! I still doubted myself when gingerly checking it was ok to leave my car while we went cycling in Rutland. I couldn’t believe my luck we had found an absolute gem in The Barnesdale lodge hotel with staff willing and happy to go to any lengths to make your stay perfect. ( which would come in handy later ) So confident that they were going to let me and my rabble stay in their gorgeous hotel we set across the road to Rutland.

The Hills

Now had it just been me and Andy the hills would not have been a problem but with the boy and his new bike wobbling at speed, tempers frayed very early, especially as I confidently directed us to a dead end …….at the bottom of a very steep hill. On reflection I probably my should have listened more carefully to the receptionist, but I was trying so hard to put on my very best posh face and agreeable mmmm hmmm noises so as to distract them from my ray ban knock offs and chocolate muffin covered top. On the walk back up the hill, tempers frayed even further and Andy’s snapped resulting in a full blown adult tantrum in which he threw his bike on the floor breaking the light and reflector ( this will become significant later) Choice words and After the tenses bike ride ever we met up with my mum and sister who had parked on a much flatter part of the circuit and had already acquired a nifty tandem to continue our jaunt around Rutland, from then on all went quite smoothly, we had a nice bike ride , found some rides for the kids and had a blast on the inflatable @aquaparkrutland.

Aqua Park Rutland

One may have even thrown caution to the wind and her senses and not only wedged her mum-chub into what was obviously a large mans size, soggy wetsuit but, and after much heckling from a group of teenagers, performed a rather epic back-flip off the stunt inflatable much to the joy of my boy who was watching,shouts of “super mum” echoed, his words not mine from the shore, needless to say the smart arsed teens didn’t say anymore or follow in this nearly 40 year olds footsteps ……oushhhh. Andy spent 50 minutes scrambling around like a effervescent teenager, I was impressed this is the man who spends most of his evenings chomping on a chocolate orange watching love island (I converted him) But alas the bacon and egg sandwich and pop he threw into his mouth before racing, coupled with years of broken New Years resolutions proved to much for this recycled teenager, that and a heavy landing from one of the jumps. Doctor Love As Andy got on the bike to head back to the hotel he started to sweat, held his chest and went very pale, I rang my sister to come and pick him up. While I negotiated the hills solo with Ethan and a now sleeping Wilba on the back of my bike. Has that ever happened to you? They go limp, like rag dolls but even the speed bumps and shouting didn’t rouse her. After third car slowed down to judge my poor parenting I decided to walk it and fashioned a rudimentary tether to hold Wilbas helmet head to the back of the seat! Mum of the year seems out of my grasp for 2018! By the time we got back the ambulance had been called, we hadn’t even checked in yet but found ourselves descending on mass with my deaf dad shouting, wet swamp sister and brother in law asking for water to take to Andy in the car park and to put the bikes somewhere as i sweatily carried in a limp Wilba, The Boy limping behind while furiously trying to navigate my deaf dad to our room and calm my stressed mum who had now clocked the sirens of the arriving ambulance.

Barnsdale Lodge and hotel

If I had managed to pull off posh sophistication earlier it had most definitely now gone right out the window. However Carol and everyone at the Barnsdale lodge were pros and were calm, caring and supportive of the situation and throughout the whole stay it really is a must if your going to Rutland. Even just to pop In for afternoon tea as it’s a gorgeous building and grounds with an idyllic courtyard. After 3 hours in the car park Andy had got the all clear and I finally made it to my gorgeous room but by then the kids were starving and we had hoped to go watch the footy and eat at The Grain Store in Oakham which brews it’s own beer. But again this was not to be as they had stopped serving early for the bank holiday ( without advertisement grrr) so we were forced to dine in a sub standard Wetherspoons with an hour time limit (kids out at 9) watching the footy through the window of the near by bar 🙄🙄🙄😬 To make matters worse they had ran out of pizzas,(i’d promised The Boy whatever he wanted given his amazing behavior in the earlier difficult situation) tuna paninis and even ketchup. They have a long way to go to live up to the service and customer care we get in Norfolk Wetherspoons . We left disappointed (I was still hungry) and ready to throw in the towel on this particular Bank holiday B@@llocks up! but not before picking up sausage and chips for Andy ….. I know what your thinking but he wouldn’t eat a salad ! The kids eventually settled and Andy had slept from 6pm only to wake for 15 mins to demolish the chips before going back to sleep. It was then I saw my opportunity to reward myself at the bar, with Andy’s card of course, so a premier wine ordered I was content and swiped Andy’s card ….. only for it to be rejectedby the polite barman (posh lady facade obliterated)and for me to take the walk of shame back to the room and use my own 🙄

The Last Straw

After a sleep I was positive about the new day, breakfast was lovely a bit slow on the coffee and toast replenishment but its a slow pace relaxed hotel so only a slight niggle. We ventured off into Oakham and had a great time at the Oakham Castle a lovely free activity especially geared up for kids, we had a right laugh dressing up and posing for pics. I would highly recommend if your visiting. Then we headed to Gates garden center which was very impressive and boasts a huge restaurants and indoor and outdoor play areas, later than expected (after much perusing of things we cant afford) it was time to return home to Norfolk . Lucy made a comment about my wobbly bike on the roof but after a quick tighten Andy assured me in his manliest voice it was fine. The journey back was long especially as Wilba had hysterically woken from her nap and was trying every trick in the book to escape her car seat so as we neared kings Lynn I quickly shrugged off my paranoia that passers by were staring at us , Andy woke briefly from his nap to tell me I was mad before one lady in Gayton pointed and made eye contact …. I stopped and Andy got out, my bike had indeed fallen horizontal and was full of bush!!!!! , I mean there was like a whole tree 🌲 in there both know kids we’re kicking ten bags of crap out of each other in the back as I scaled the car and attempted to tie the bikes back on the roof while trying to spread my buxom frame to make Minimal damage to our roof . It didn’t hold for long though , the bike that is …cheeky im not that heavy, but this time it had completely broke the bar. We had no bike lock and no where to store the bike coupled with the fact Andy’s bike had no lights or reflectors (remember why hmmmpf) there was only one option. An impromptu evening bike ride somewhere in North Norfolk while Andy took the two Tasmanian devils home ! Thankfully it wasn’t too long before my dad came and rescued me in his van much to his amusement, his first words to me were” I thought i would have had to drive further than than that before I bumped into you, you got quite far “ yeah thanks for the confidence boost dad in my athletic physique….. there’s an Olympiad under this blubber trying to get out 😂 Thankfully though I’m home now and in between the disasters we had a good time with the fam and I I know have the joys of the washing and unpacking the car to deal with before I get up at 5.30 to go to London with both kids solo (Maybe i was dropped as a child)…. what could possibly go wrong? Hope your Bank holiday was more restful than mine. But hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!