Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Where is the best Crazy Golf course in Dorset?

"Where is the best Crazy Golf course in Dorset?" - That's the question asked on a new promotional leaflet from the team at three Miniature Golf courses in Dorset.

Promotional leaflet for Dorset Mini Golf courses

Promotional leaflet for Dorset Mini Golf courses

Promotional leaflet for Dorset Mini Golf courses

Promotional leaflet for Dorset Mini Golf courses
A photo of Emily playing at Poole Park's Crazy Golf course appears on the leaflet

Promotional leaflet for Dorset Mini Golf courses
There's a photo of me playing a shot on the 12th hole at Poole Park's Crazy Golf course on the leaflet too

Over the years we've visited all three courses (including the course that was previously in Poole Park) and each is quite different. Rather than answering the question I'd suggest giving them all a play.

Poole Park Crazy Golf
Playing Crazy Golf at Poole Park in October 2010

Boscombe Chine Mini Golf
Emily at Boscombe Chine Mini Golf in July 2013

Sandbanks Crazy Golf
Playing at Sandbanks Crazy Golf in June 2009

On our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour we've visited over 570 courses and quite a few in Dorset. Check out my blog post 'Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Dorset' for details of those played between October 2008 and March 2013.

Some of my most viewed videos on my YouTube Channel are from visits to Poole Park. Check out this 'Pro' shot hole-in-one video.

Many thanks to Mick 'The Man' Gisbourne for sending along the new promotional leaflet.

Crazy Golf at Poole Park in Dorset
Playing the old 9-hole Crazy Golf course at Poole Park in October 2009

Putting Green at Poole Park in Dorset
There's also a grass Putting Green at Poole Park

Emily and I aren't the only Minigolfers adorning a promotional leaflet for a course - Paul 'Johnson Paul Johnson' Johnson and Chris 'Who' Harding are in the flyer for the Quest Krazy Golf course at Merry Hill in Dudley!

For locations, contact information, prices and opening times of the Sandbanks, Poole Park and Boscombe Minigolf courses check out the links below.

Links:
- Sandbanks Crazy Golf
- Poole Park Crazy Golf
- Boscombe Mini Golf

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - List and links for all Miniature Golf courses visited to date
- Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Dorset
- Dorset
- Sanbanks
- Poole Park
- Revisit to Poole Park in Dorset - Crazy Golf & Minigolf
- Boscombe
- A great piece of Minigolf ephemera

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #9 - Menu disclaimers

There are a wide-range of disclaimers on food menus and as someone with Coeliac Disease I am always searching for that holy grail line printed on them - "Suitable for Coeliacs".

Coeliac Disease is a life-long autoimmune disease. It's not an allergy, intolerance or faddy diet choice. So it means people with Coeliac Disease must avoid eating gluten and gluten cross-contamination at all costs.

The Quayside in Whitby caters for Coeliacs with Gluten Free fish and chips
How I'd like things to be in more places. This was on the window of the Quayside Fish & Chip Restaurant and Takeaway in Whitby where we had a brilliant gluten free meal

We had a very nice meal at Pierre Le Bistrot in Nottingham earlier this year and I spotted a new dislaimer on the menu there. Warning of the "air-born allergen" that is 'gluten', it read "Please note no gluten-containing ingredients are used in these recipes. However, as gluten is an air-born allergen and it is used in other recipes in our kitchens, we cannot guarantee against contamination. Please feel free to ask us if you would like to know the steps we have taken to minimise cross contamination regarding gluten in our kitchens." The food and service we received was great and looking at the Pierre Le Bistrot website they are 'Proud to be working with Coeliac UK'.

Emily and I have also recently found some places with gluten free options, but upon looking on the menu the only gluten free 'choice' is a bowl of olives!?

There's also a real mix of how places state the allergens on menus. Among those we've seen are:
- Gluten Free
- No Gluten Containing Ingredients
- GF
- G (to denote 'Contains gluten')
- G (to denote 'Gluten Free')
- C (to denote the Coeliac options)

At a restaurant in Newcastle this year we spotted some Allergen Information that said "All dishes are prepared in the same kitchen with risk of gluten exposure, so we do not recommend any dishes for customers with celiac (sic) disease. We ask that customers with gluten sensitivity should exercise judgement before ordering." This basically means - Coeliacs Stay Away!

Most of the places we've found also contain the 'cannot guarantee against cross-contamination' caveat.

On Twitter I recently spotted a tweet from GFreeRadio that highlighted that you have to agree to a couple of disclaimer statements before you can even see the Gluten Free menu at Frankie & Benny's!

Their gluten free menu is 'Accredited by Coeliac UK', but still has the following warning "To reduce the risk of cross contamination from allergens during preparation there are controlled procedures in the kitchen. Every care is taken to avoid any cross contamination when processing a specific allergen free order. We do however work in a kitchen that processes allergenic ingredients and do not have a specific allergen free zone or dedicated fryers. All dishes on this menu are subject to ingredients availability."

As well as the two statements you need to agree to (akin to signing your responsibilities away as if you're about to embark on a Mega Death Chilli Eating Food Challenge off a show like Man V Food) I noticed the line "Wheat and gluten ingredients which are deep fried will use the same fryers in our kitchens as dishes not containing these ingredients - there may be risk of cross contamination which may therefore affect extremely sensitive sufferers." This statement isn't particularly well written. Does it mean that 'normal' diner's gluten and wheat containing food could be cross-contaminated by 'gluten free'!?

Its all a shame really, as many Coeliacs do still like to dine out, have disposal income to actually buy food but have virtually nowhere to safely spend their money!

On the bright side there are some very good restaurants out there and more are opening up to be solely gluten free, such as Vozars in Brixton, 2 Oxford Place in Leeds and the new Nibsy's Coffee Shop in Reading. Its really good to know more places are opening that can cater for the strict gluten free diet required by Coeliacs . And if they help to take away the majority of the anxiety that accompanies any eating experience then that's great too.

Thanks to Patrick at GFreeRadio for pointing out the Frankie & Benny's menu. Check out the GFreeRadio website and Twitter for more details of the informative and entertaining weekly podcast.

Related blog posts:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lutonians break Guinness World Record!

Luton Museum Makers organise successful Guinness World Record Attempt!

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
Hooray we've done it!

The people of Luton turned out for an official Guinness World Record for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats' - and smashed the previous record of 250 people!

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
A sea of straw boaters in Luton's Wardown Park

A grand total of 797 people - mostly Lutonians, with a smattering of people travelling to the town for the event - stood in Wardown Park with straw boater hats firmly fixed on their heads for five minutes as the stewards and official adjudicator made the count.

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
Record breakers #166 & #167 - Richard & Emily Gottfried

Great planning and presentation of the event from the organising team of Luton's Museum Makers.

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
The 'Love Luton' branded Arriva bus went past Wardown Park just before the official count. I wonder what all the people driving along Old Bedford Road thought of the massed ranks of be-hatted people assembled in the park!

Luton has a long tradition of millinery and Wardown Park Musuem houses a collection related to hatmaking, with over 700 hats and materials from the trade.

It was a great event, with entertainment on-stage throughout by Joe Corrigan's Signature Swing Band. It's a brilliant record for the town to hold. Nice weather too.

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
Another feather in his straw boater, helping to set a Guinness World Record in Luton

Over the years Emily and I have been a part of some other Guinness World Record Attempts including HoppingBrussels Sprouts eatingmost people to ‘High Five’ simultaneously, the UK's longest Conga line and the Largest picnic ever in the UK.

Guinness World Record attempt for the 'Largest Gathering of People Wearing Boater Hats'
The record for most straw boaters on the bonce of a Lutonian after the main-event was four

The Museum Makers are a new team consisting of members of the community who are dedicated to saving, cherishing, running and recreating Wardown Park Museum in Luton.

Links:
Museum Makers website
Museum Makers on Twitter
Museum Makers on Facebook
- Guinness World Records
- Video: Luton's Straw Boater Guinness World Record Attempt 2014

Related blog posts:
Luton Museum Makers Aiming To Break World Record
Guinness World Records
- Luton

Lost in translation

We love travelling around the UK and in the last month we've travelled to Scotland and Wales and noticed a lot of dual language signs.

I always really enjoy driving in Wales as you know you're in a foreign country when you see the first ARAF on the road.

ARAF
ARAF

On the doors of the toilets in the games-room of our hotel in Cwmbran there was a confusing situation!

Toileting abroad
Toileting abroad

It didn't help that neither of us could remember which symbol (depicted on the dragon tails) was the right one for male/female!? I suppose blue is quite obviously the men's lavvy.

Rather unhelpfully when I contacted my personal Welsh to English translation service by text I received a reply of "Men and Women". It took a second text to clarify the correct way round! Thank goodness neither of us had to go at the time.

After Araf (for 'Slow') and Allan (pronounced "Achlan", the Welsh word for 'Out' as in an exit) I like seeing signs for Canol y dref.

A brown sign pointing to Crickhowell's Canol y dref
A brown sign pointing to Crickhowell's Canol y dref

We enjoyed our visits to Abergavenny (Y Fenni) and Crickhowell (Crug Hywel) and while in Builth Wells (Llanfair ym Muallt) we took a snap of Emily's new favourite Welsh words.

A Welsh Bus Stop in Builth Wells
A Welsh Bus Stop in Builth Wells

Back in 2009 we went on a brilliant roadtrip around the Welsh coast and visited some great places - including Tenby, which in Welsh has a great name - Dinbych-y-pysgod - which means little town of the fishes / little fortress of the fish.

Check out our blog post about English to Welsh translations for Mini and Crazy Golf that we spotted on the trip.

This time we were in Wales for the World Alternative Games (Gemau Byd Arallddewisol) in Llanwrtyd Wells (Llanwrtyd). At the Games we ran the Finger Jousting (Ymwan Bys) Championships, played Portaputt (Portaputt) and competed in the World of Grip (Byd Gafael).

We're looking forward to many more roadtrips around the UK.

Related blog posts:
Wales
Minigolf etc. - English to Welsh translations
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour list of courses visited and played

Friday, August 15, 2014

World Finger Jousting Championships at World Alternative Games 2014

Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, UK, 10 August 2014 - Competitors from five countries competed in the World Finger Jousting Championships at the World Alternative Games in Wales. Sara Galvao of Portugal and Denis Taylor of Russia crowned as new world champions.

The 2014 World Finger Jousting Championship competitors
The 2014 World Finger Jousting Championship competitors

On Sunday, 10 August 2014 the official World Finger Jousting Championships were hosted by the World Alternative Games 2014 and sanctioned by the sport's governing body, the World Finger Jousting Federation (WFJF). The tournament took place in Britain's smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales.

Split into two categories - Male and Female – the competition was once again a truly international affair with competitors hailing from Russia, Portugal, New Zealand, Wales, and England. Players competed in a round-robin format played to a six-point victory, or a time-limit, over three quick-fire, 30-second rounds of finger jousting action.

Finger jousting – known as Ymwan Bys in the Welsh language – is a sport where two consenting players square off in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right) index finger before the opposing player can. The competitors must keep their right hands locked in an arm wrestling fashion and not use their legs or latent (left) arm in an offensive manner. The competitors are known as jousters, and the act of touching the other person's body with the index finger is known as lancing.

Tazzy Cadman (ENG) and Jasmine Reah (WAL) Finger Jousting in Llanwrtyd Wells
Tazzy Cadman (ENG) and Jasmine Reah (WAL) Finger Jousting in Llanwrtyd Wells

The day of the tournament saw ex-Hurricane Bertha land on the British Isles, but that didn't put off the hardy competitors at the World Alternative Games, with outdoor events including worm charming, a space hopper race, and egg throwing taking place outside.

During the morning a number of exhibition matches and preliminary contests took place to whet the appetite for the afternoon's major tournament. A number of local competitors lined-up to take on the tournament referee and the WFJF's British Consul, "Squire" Richard Gottfried, in a mixture of Quick Play and Point Play Rules matches.

Rhodri Haines (WAL) vs Marc Broughton (ENG) at the World Alternative Games 2014
Rhodri Haines (WAL) vs Marc Broughton (ENG) at the World Alternative Games 2014

The afternoon saw competitors able to head indoors to the Victoria Hall (Neuadd Fictoria) which was home to the World of Grip, the Portaputt Crazy Golf course and the stage for the World Finger Jousting Championships.

To read the full tournament results, report and to see more photos of the event please visit the World Finger Jousting Federation website.

Portaputt at the World Alternative Games

Playing Portaputt Crazy Golf at the World Alternative Games.

The Portaputt Mini Golf course at the World Alternative Games
The Portaputt Crazy Golf course at the World Alternative Games

While in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales to organise the Finger Jousting Championships at the 2014 World Alternative Games Emily and I had the chance to play the 8-hole layout that Cwmbran-based business Portaputt had brought to the Games for people to have a go on.

Emily on the third hole of the Portaputt course set-up in the Victoria Hall (Neuadd Fictoria) in Llanwrtyd Wells
Emily on the third hole of the Portaputt course set-up in the Victoria Hall (Neuadd Fictoria) in Llanwrtyd Wells 

The Portaputt course became the 344th course played and 577th visited overall on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Putting on Portaputt

We enjoyed playing the course and thought the some of the rules the Kukielka family have come up with for Portaputt, such as the tee-off points for replacing the ball after missed first shots, are very good and aid faster - and less frustrating - play for both children and adults.

The World Alternative Games 2014 consist of over 60 sport and recreation events held during a festival of fun and games in Llanwrtyd Wells. Check out the events listing and Games brochure on the World Alternative Games website for more information.

For more information about Portaputt Crazy Golf check out the Portaputt website.

Links:
- Portaputt website
World Alternative Games website

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
World Alternative Games
Wales
Minigolf etc. - English to Welsh translations

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Archery in Cwmbran

Playing in a mini 'backyard' Archery contest in Cwmbran.

It has become a great tradition on visits to our friends, the Kukielka family, in Cwmbran, Wales that we compete against each other in a sporting contest of some sort.

Over the years we've played Crazy-, Mini- & Adventure Golf, as well as Petanque/BoulesFinger JoustingDarts and Table Tennis.

For 2014 it was to be Archery!

With a board set-up and a BBQ on the go I took the opportunity to get in some praccy as the last time (and one of the first times) I'd picked up a bow was while playing Archery Tag in Guildford in April last year.

Richard arching in Cwmbran
Richard arching in Cwmbran

A random draw was made to decide the playing order for the six archers. I was drawn to be first, followed by Seve, Cindy, Emily, Jas and Leo.

Having a quick search online to find the official rules of Archery and the points scoring system we opted for the 5 Zone ('GNAS') method where you score by colour - White equaling 1 point, Black 3, Blue 5, Red 7 and Gold 9.

Archery rules
In both the 5 Zone and 10 Zone ('World Archery') scoring methods an arrow that is touching a line separating zones (known as a 'line cutter'), scores the value of the higher scoring zone

It was originally planned for each player to have ten arrows, but with two arrows getting lost over the fence during practice and the light fading it was decided to have eight each rather than breaking up play by retrieving already fired arrows from the target.

The very model of an Archer - Jas Kukielka
The very model of an Archer - Jas Kukielka

I managed to score a 7 with my first arrow before missing the target with my next two shots, but then hit two 5's in a row and a 1 and a 7 to finish for a total score of 25.

A high score, but not a lot of grouping going on!
A highish score, but not a lot of grouping going on!

Next up was Seve - victor in the 2009 Boules tournament and 2011 Table Tennis contest - who scored a 1, 3 and 3 for a total of 7.

Seve was not the 'Best in the World' at Archery
Seve was not the 'Best in the World' at Archery

Cindy was next up and scored an impressive 11 points and landed every arrow at least somewhere on the board, even if they didn't all score.

Not an arrow on the ground when Cindy's around
Not an arrow on the ground when Cindy's around

Emily was fourth to fire and the less said about her go the better as she scored 0.

No caption required
No caption required

Jas was the penultimate player to step up to the mark, but apart from a purple patch in the middle of his go, scored a lot of misses to finish on 15 points. Still good enough for second-place.

Silver medalist Jas
Silver medalist Jas

The last great hope to topple me and surpas the clubhouse lead was Leo - 2010 Darts Champion - but it was not to be, as he managed to score 1 point. Much to the chagrin of Emily who was hoping for some sort of repechage play-off for last-place.

Receiving the coveted Gold medal from Jas
Receiving the coveted Gold medal from Jas

To win by such a big margin I must of been channeling the spirit of San Marino's top Archer - Emanuele Guidi - who I met at the London 2012 Olympic Games!

A great fun evening with a BBQ and some great gluten free Fish & Chips from the Fairwater Fish Bar in Coed Eva too. If we had a garden I'd certainly think about getting some Archery gear.

Who knows what the next Kukielka-Gottfried sporting contest will be...

Related blog posts:
- Playing Archery Tag in Guildford
- Cwmbran

Link:
- Website of Archery GB - the governing body for the sport of archery in Great Britain and Northern Ireland

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games

Entering the World of Grip!

While organising the World Finger Jousting Championships at the World Alternative Games in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales I had a go at the sport of Grip.

The World of Grip were at the Games and hosted a variety of events, including one aimed at newcomers.

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
The World of Grip medals at the World Alternative Games

In the First-Timers Class there were eleven competitors and I finished in 9th place overall, picking up a 5th place finish in the first event - the Half a Penny Hold!

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
Event 1 - the Half a Penny hold - literally holding a weight by half a penny sized disc using only your thumb and forefinger. I managed to hold 10kg for 6 seconds

In event 2 - Shallow Hub - I was 10th and in the third and final event - PickAxe Lever to Rear - I was 9th.

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
Event 2 - the Shallow Hub - like holding a very large and heavy jar by the lid using only the tips of your fingers and thumb. I recorded a lift of 9kg for 14 seconds

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
Event 3 - the PickAxe Lever to Rear hold - you had to keep the lever steady so as not to knock a small ball off of the middle of the lever. I managed to lift and hold 2.4kg for 11 seconds

My very first go at World of Grip saw me lift a weight for 19 seconds, but this was outscored by my 6 second lift of 10kg in the Half a Penny discipline.

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
The World Alternative Games Corinthian medal for competing in the World of Grip

There were also some pro events and a number of world records were broken at the event! Check out David Horne's World of Grip website and the World of Grip Facebook page for more info and results.

World of Grip at the World Alternative Games
The pro Grip athletes in action at the final event of the day - the Braced Snapping Steel Bar - a twenty minute event where the competitors have to snap a steel bar!

The World of Grip contest was another in the long-line of hand and finger sports I've competed in that have included Finger Jousting, Arm Champs (video game Arm Wrestling), Thumb Wrestling and Rock Paper Scissors.

The World Alternative Games 2014 is a multi-sport event with over 60 sport and recreation contest held during the festival of fun and games in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales.

Related blog posts:
- World Alternative Games
- Behold...

Links:
- David Horne's World of Grip website
- World of Grip's Facebook page
Results of the 2014 World Alternative Games – World of Grip contest
- Results of the World of Grip contest on the World Alternative Games website
- World Alternative Games

Lots of gluten free goodies

Yesterday I got a bunch of great gluten free stuff.

The team at Delicious Alchemy kindly sent me a box of their gluten free goodies to use and  review, I found a great reduction on some Triple Chocolate Chip Biscuits by Farmhouse Biscuits in Asda (only 61p a box, so like an extreme coupon-er I bought eleven boxes) and received a £10 'Burgers for Nothing & Chips for Free' voucher from Celia Lager to use at Gourmet Burger Kitchen!

The team at Delicious Alchemy kindly sent me a box of their gluten free goodies to review, I found a great reduction on some Triple Chocolate Chip Biscuits by Farmhouse Biscuits in Asda (only 61p a box) and received a £10 'Burgers for Nothing & Chips for Free!' voucher from Celia Lager to use at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Gluten free biscuits, Delicious Alchemy goodies and a £10 voucher to spend on burgers :-)

Looking forward to scoffing it all.

Links:
- Delicious Alchemy
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen
- Farmhouse Biscuits
- Celia Lager

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

A visit to the Crazy Golf course in Falkirk's Callendar Park.

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

The final of the fourteen Miniature Golf courses we visited on our holiday in Scotland was at Callendar Park in Falkirk. The course became the 576th visited overall and the 233rd unplayed course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Unfortunately as we visited after spending the day out in Glasgow it was closed when we arrived. It looked like a good layout and similar to courses we've played in Motspur Park in London, Wimbledon Park and Wythenshawe Park in Manchester.

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

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Crazy Golf at Callendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland

You can follow the Brown Signs to Callendar House and the park too.

Follow the Brown Signs to Callendar House and the park

Follow the Brown Signs to Callendar House and the park

Link:
- Falkirk Community Trust - Callendar Park website

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - List and links for all Miniature Golf courses visited to date
Scotland