alphabet dating o is for outdoor concert

Alphabet Dating – O is for Outdoor Concert

I love it when bands and singers from back in the day make a comeback so imagine my excitement when I found out that Craig David would be performing at Rochester Castle Gardens this summer. Normally a venue for the sorts of music your parents listen to, I was excited that I could relive my teenage years out in the fresh air, with a beautiful castle backdrop and no claustrophobic train journey home! Sweet!

The castle itself was built around 1087 and to be honest I thought 2017 was going to be the ruin of it when the bassline dropped (see what I did there?). There was some serious bass. Anyway we packed ourselves a fancy little picnic and found ourselves a nice spot on the grass, not too close to the stage but close enough that we weren’t in the ‘chair section’.

outdoor concert

There were a couple of support acts and then Craig David hit the stage sometime after 9pm. He sang some of his old classics like Rewind and 7 Days, did some of his new tracks and he also performed a few covers. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and Craig himself seemed like such a genuine, humble and nice bloke up on the stage. The big screen showed his face almost like he couldn’t quite believe he was back and singing to a crowd who knew all the words to his songs. The bizarre thing I found was the number of teens and tweens at this concert who weren’t even born when C.D. was at his peak of fame! Made me feel kinda old…. Didn’t stop me from dancing though!

Craig David at Rochester Castle Gardens

We were very fortunate that the weather held out for us. Due to our concert selling out so quickly, they added another date which was two days earlier and the poor souls that attended that one had to stand in torrential rain the entire time! And now you know why us Brits are obsessed with the weather.

Craig David playing an outdoor concert at Rochester Castle Gardens in Kent

I had a great evening and will definitely keep my eye out for any more castle concerts that take my fancy.

Have you ever been to an outdoor concert? Or who would you most like to see make a comeback? If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy some of my other alphabet dates.

Craig David all over your * boing *

Alphabet Dating N is for Nandos and Netflix

Alphabet Dating – N is for Nandos and Netflix

We struggled with coming up with something exciting and blogworthy for ‘N’. But then we remembered that not all alphabet dates have to be as adventurous and expensive as Cuba or as off-beat as Friends Fest or Escape Room.

So N is for Nandos and Netflix. Simple. Affordable.

As I like to eat veggie when I can, I opted for a veggie pitta. To me, Nandos is all about the corn on the cob and chips with perinaise anyway, I am perfectly content without the chicken which probably makes me strange but OMG… perinaise! Yum yum!

Nandos - chips, veggie pitta and corn on the cob

Err yeah so, Nandos is Nandos. Cheap and filling. And I will refrain from referring to it as a ‘Cheeky Nandos’ because that saying annoys me.

And then Netflix. While we’re patiently waiting for Stranger Things to return and we’ve sadly given up on Sense8, I’ve started getting in to Girlboss and you know what, so far I like it. Girlboss stars Britt Robertson and is based on the story of Sophia Amoruso, a rebellious misfit turned real-life Girlboss. Sophia started her own vintage clothing ebay business at the age of 23, which ended up being the beginning of the multi-million dollar fashion empire known as Nasty Gal.

Netflix - Girlboss

Unfortunately, much like many things I enjoy, the show has been discontinued by Netflix. Boo. But still, if I enjoy the rest of the series I might check out Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS for some inspiration.

Of course there are other things you can do on date night for the letter ‘N’ but they’re NSFW so I’ll leave it here. Night night x

Alphabet Dating: L is for Levison Wood

Alphabet Dating – L is for Levison Wood

An evening with Levison Wood

ABCDEFGHIJL… something’s missing?!

Our ‘K’ date should have occurred in February but we went to Costa Rica (which unfortunately begins with a ‘C’ so doesn’t count – I’m not gonna start pulling that Kardashian shit on you) and then March happened along with our ‘L’ date sooooo….. here it is – L is for Levison Wood!

We went to see Mr Wood on his UK tour, giving talks about his various exciting escapades. For those who don’t know who Levison Wood is, he is a British Explorer famous for walking everywhere. But when I say walking, don’t be expecting some gentle National Trust type stroll through the English countryside, oh no, his first television show called Walking the Nile showed him walking the length of the Nile from Rwanda to Egypt, through some quite harsh and dangerous climates.

An evening with Levison Wood

Levison’s second television adventure Walking the Himalayas saw him walking the length of the world’s highest mountain range. While his ‘thing’ is walking everywhere, there was one point on his journey where due to some political unrest of some sort in Nepal, he and some people who were accompanying him on that particular part of the journey ended up having to take a short taxi ride to a nearby village. Ironically, the one time Levison decides to get into a vehicle, it shoots over a cliff and hurtles 150m down a mountain, nearly killing everyone in the car.

Thankfully no one died, although this isn’t the first time tragedy has struck one of Levison’s adventures. During Walking the Nile, he was accompanied at one point of the journey by some journalists. Tragically, an American journalist named Matthew Power died from heatstroke while accompanying Levison in a remote part of Uganda. Reminding us just how dangerous these expeditions can be.

Levison Wood’s most recent adventure saw him Walking the Americas. Starting in Mexico where he met his friend, a Mexican fashion photographer named Alberto, who walked the entire journey with him. And ending triumphantly in Colombia. Me, hubby and my two work friends who also love Lev actually got to meet Alberto on the night. He was incredibly funny and charismatic. I asked him where his favourite place was and he said Nicaragua but Costa Rica was his second favourite. He told me that Nicaragua was alot cheaper than Costa Rica too!

me: * adds Nicaragua to the ever-growing bucket list *

Meeting Alberto from Walking the Americas

We didn’t get to meet Levison himself but we enjoyed listening to him tell his stories, from backpacking along the Silk Road in his youth, to the time he lost his wallet at a theme park and it was returned by post to him from someone in the Army. He wrote back to thank them and then to ask advice on how to get into the army. Because that was how he was going to fulfil his childhood ambition to become an Explorer!

He inspired me by saying that you should take opportunities when you can, because even unpaid jobs can lead to bigger things. For him, this was an unpaid job he took after leaving the army where he delivered a couple of ambulances from London to Malawi for a charity project, which, to cut a long story short, ended up with him landing his first television gig!

At the end of the talk there was a little Q&A session which if you’re curious – his scariest moment was the car crash in Nepal. He was also pretty scared of a situation involving walking into a field where there were landmines in Africa. He wouldn’t tell us where his next adventure was but I know wherever it is, he is there right now as I am writing this. And there is another expedition in the planning for next year which will see Alberto accompany him again. As for Alberto, the thing he missed the most about his everyday life while he was walking the Americas was in actual fact his toilet!!!

See, I told you he was funny 🙂

Now hubby and I are playing a guessing game of where we think Lev might travel to next but I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Walking the... Nile, Himalayas, Americas - what's next?

Alphabet Dating - G Date Ideas

Alphabet Dating – G is for Gigs and Geocaching

So it wasn’t only this blog that took a bit of a back burner over the last month or so, but we stretched our imaginations a bit when it came to Alphabet Dating and the letter ‘G’.

Originally we had considered Go Karting or Go Ape. Not sure what happened with the Go Karting idea but the Go Ape ended up being a girl’s weekend away at Centre Parcs for me where I tackled their Aerial Adventure among other things. I’m adventurous in the ‘jetsetting and exploring’ kinda way, not so much ‘hauling my ass up a tree and trying not to lose my footing’ kinda way.

Zipline at the end of the aerial adventure at Elveden Centre Parcs
I’m the grey dot on the zipline

Of course, Geocaching makes for a perfectly good ‘G’ date and we have done plenty of that over the summer. We’ve even hidden our first cache! If you’re interested in the idea of the world’s largest treasure hunt, then check out my beginners guide to geocaching.

A perfect example of a Geocache

Another suggestion for a ‘G’ date would be to go to a gig. Fortunately for us, we won tickets to see Robbie Williams at the Apple Music Festival which we now deem to be our ‘G’ date. I’ve always quite liked Robbie but never enough to deal with the stresses of buying tickets. I HATE buying concert tickets! You know the whole, will I get a good view? how much?! What’s this extortionate booking fee all about?!

Apple Music Festival 2016 - The Roundhouse in Camden, London

Anyway, the Apple Music Festival took place at The Roundhouse in Camden over a course of several nights (10 or 12 I can’t remember). Each of their selected artists would be performing for one night only. If I’m honest, I had wanted Britney tickets but no such luck. Still Robbie put on an awesome show and I will never forget singing along to ‘Strong’ at the top of my lungs! Robbie even brought his dad out on stage and they did a duet which was cute.  Predictably he opened with ‘Let me entertain you’ and closed with an encore of ‘Angels’ followed by a new track he was promoting, but it all made perfect sense. Oh and incase you were wondering, he didn’t strip to ‘Rock DJ’ but he did show us his tiger pants! Grr!

Robbie Williams gig at The Roundhouse in Camden, London

I gotta say, The Roundhouse was a pretty good venue too. Although it did get quite squashy and there were some annoying people watching the entire experience through their phone screens (see my earlier rant about mobile phones). We did get a pretty good view of The Entertainer himself so all in all a good night and a grrreat ‘G’ date!

We’ve picked up the slack a bit with ‘H’ and ‘I’ so stay tuned folks!

Alphabet dating - E is for Escape Plan. Can you escape the room in less than an hour?

Alphabet Dating – E is for Escape Plan

Escape Plan

I was mega excited about our ‘E’ date because I had a brilliant brainwave to do one of those Escape the Room type thingies. They seem to be popping up all over the place at the moment! I’ve seen it on The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls but ours was nowhere near as fancy as those ones. It was situated in a haunted 300 year old fort though, so there’s that.

Escape Plan at Fort Amherst in Kent, UK
Part of the fort we ‘escaped’ from

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Escape Plan is basically where you are locked in a room for an hour and have to solve puzzles in order to escape the room. Ours was a murder mystery theme where we were told we needed to figure out the name of the killer and then we had to find the key to the door to get out. The room held a maximum of 8 people and as we hadn’t booked the room out to ourselves, our group of 4 was teamed with another group of 4 who had booked the same time as us. They were a nice enough bunch of people but to be honest, 8 people was too many!

The room was very basic with just a chalk outline of a body on the floor, a few odds and ends scattered about the room and then a couple of padlocked boxes. We had to figure out the codes, based on clues in the room, in order to get into the boxes. Unfortunately photography is not permitted so I have nothing to show you how it looked inside and I don’t want to tell you too much detail as I think it would spoil it.

The door to the room which we needed to escape from
The door to the room which we needed to escape from

So… did we get out in time? YES! We got out of the room with literally a minute or two left on the clock. In fairness, the guy running Escape Plan did pop in halfway through and gave us a few hints which I don’t think we would have got without him (or more time) but we did it!

I was really proud of myself for getting a bit of a cryptic clue and unlocking one of the padlocks that no one else really figured out and I would definitely like to try some other versions of this game some time!

Have you ever been to Escape Plan or something similar? What would you do for an E date? Stay tuned for F but in the mean time, hit me up with any ideas for G!

Escape Plan - An alphabet dating idea for E