Tiger Toad – Toads Revisited.

Back in June, there was a competition called the ‘Toads Revisited’ as a part of Hull’s City of Culture 2017. I found out about it through my friend, Ellie, who was entering a piece of writing in the competition. On the last day before the deadline, I decided “why not, I’ll enter.” Spoiler alert: I didn’t win. But that’s fine, I wasn’t hopeful. I thought there was no harm in trying. So, since I didn’t win and there is no copyright on my story, I thought I’d publish it here, so it wasn’t a wasted effort. Please enjoy my story about Tiger Toad.

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In the five years since coming to Hull, I did and saw a lot of wonderful things. The people thought I was a celebrity. They would seek me out and take photographs with me. None asked for my autograph though, and I had practiced it so hard. Then, when I went away, they were sad and missed me. But the people of Hull didn’t forget me.

I’m Tiger Toad and I’m five years old. I’ve done so much since you saw me last. This is my favourite moment of my life, it happened in 2014.

‘Where is Roary?’ Steve Bruce said.

Shane Long looked around and shrugged, ‘I haven’t seen him all day.’

‘We can’t have a game without our mascot!’ Steve wasn’t happy.

‘What can we do, we’re the players. We can’t do what Roary does,’ Curtis Davies said.

It was Matty Fryatt who spoke next. He had a great idea.

‘What about Tiger Toad?’ He said.

‘That’s a toad. A toad can’t do a tiger’s job,’ Steve said, shaking his head.

They were in a fix. They had no mascot and the game started in thirty minutes. The team were already in their home uniforms. Their colours matched my skin perfectly.

I had been friends with Matty since he accidentally fell over me once when I was out and about in Hull. It was summer, so he bought me an ice cream and we talked.

He told me all about football and how cool it was to play for Hull City. They were called the Tigers, like me!

Now, I could usually be found in the city centre and my friend Matty knew this. In a moment, he had called me up. I used a local free phone as I had no pockets.

‘Tiger Toad?’ he said, when I answered with a ribbit.

‘It’s me Matty, listen. Roary has gone walkabouts, no one can find him. We need a mascot right away! Are you available?’

I was so excited, I couldn’t control myself. A few onlookers stared until I agreed and hopped to the nearest bus stop. I got on the number one bus and headed down there.

The team were about to go on when I arrived. Steve wanted a tiger and I was the best he could manage. I’d prove that a toad can do what a tiger can.

I waited patiently for my time to shine and when it finally arrived I was so happy.

‘Get out there and rock it, Tiger!’ Steve said as I hopped out.

The crowd went silent and the nerves kicked in. They were expecting Roary, he was always the Hull City mascot, but I hoped they would embrace me. Once my cue and the music started, I danced and I spun. I hipped and I hopped. I got the crowd dancing and singing. I was the best toad mascot the world had ever seen.

When Steve called me off, for the game to restart, I waited near the crowds. I got them excited for the game. They did the Mexican wave and I shimmied along. It was one of the best games of the season. For me it was the highlight of my life. I was electric. I rocked KC Stadium.

Fortunately for the team, Roary was found. I left with a big congratulations and the team even lifted me in the air triumphantly. I was offered the chance to be the understudy mascot for as long as I wanted to. I haven’t had the chance to perform for the Tigers again. But if Roary ever needs a break, I’ll be ready to stop in for another amazing experience.

So that is the story of my greatest day. It happened a year ago now and I still remember the sound of the crowds, cheering and singing along. I’ve done so many more things since too, but what could possibly top a chance to play with the greatest team in England?

Maybe one day I’ll tell you some more of my adventures! Just maybe.

ConGRADulations!

Yes, this can mean only one thing! I am now, officially a graduate! As of July 14th at approximately 5pm, I became a graduate! I know a lot of graduates have written about their experiences and of course I want to tell you all about mine, too. Starting with my expectations, which unsurprisingly very different from the reality.

Weeks and months before the dreaded day, I imagined how it would turn out. I’d of course be in excellent shape after spending so long working out. My legs, which would be on show in some gorgeous dress would be so beautifully toned and tanned (from my recent holiday) that I’d be the envy of everyone. I’d be wearing a well fitting dress that showed my flat stomach, another benefit of my work out regime. I would wear flats, this was always going to happen as I’m literally the clumsiest person ever.

I’d wake up early on the day the get in some last minute crunches and leg lifts, to really improve my figure, I’d style my hair beautifully, my make up would be flawless and I’d for once feel fantastic with how I looked and everyone would agree. My parents would be so civil the entire day and I’d be the centre of attention (for once in my family). We’d take so many photographs all over Hull and my family would come to support me. Then during the ceremony I’d walk across the stage proudly, my parents cheering in the audience. I’d fist bump the air, like a protagonist in an 80s movie and the day would be amazing.

In reality, the day was a little different. I was not super toned in either my legs or abs. Despite trying my hardest with working out, life can get in the way and I didn’t reach my body goal. My dress was not amazing, it was beautiful. I won’t deny that, it was pretty and girly and hugged my figure well, however it wasn’t the iconic dress I have envisioned in my expectations of the day. The little tan I had from my recent holiday was long gone and  I was left to do as I always do for special events. Yes, I faked it up with a little instant tan. At least it looked real! I did wear flats, I did not fall. (This is my shining moment of the day, not falling.)

Me, my mum, sister, brother and his girlfriend.

I did wake up early to get in a last minute workout. I did style my hair some what beautifully – it was straight, but it looked nice, I enjoyed it. My makeup, although not flawless, was better than I had ever had it. I was the centre of attention for the whole one minute I walked across that stage, but in that one minute, I rocked that damn stage I did not fist bump nor was I cheered on by my parents, but at least they clapped.

In the end, the day was a good one. I graduated. The sun was out and my family turned up to support me. We went out for a family meal afterwards, and as anyone with a large family can tell you, that is difficult! We managed it without serious arguments, which is always a shocking achievement.

I didn’t graduate with a first, or even a high 2.1. But I graduated. Something, four years ago I couldn’t imagine doing. Heck, six months ago I even doubted myself. I didn’t fall. As someone who literally falls over while walking on a flat surface, this was a big accomplishment. I spent three years, mostly working my butt off to graduate with some kind of degree. I spent three years, twenty-one thousand pounds tuition and God knows how many tears to finally wear a black cap and gown. It was not the day I wanted it to be. But damn it, it was glorious!

Graduation book, throwing the cap and my name in lights.

Thank you for visiting my Rooftop.

HAPPY GRADUATION TO ALL GRADUATING STUDENTS AROUND THE WORLD!

WE DID IT!

*I know this is a little late, it’s being sitting in my drafts while I helped my mum, brother and brother’s girlfriend get rid to go to America. 😐

Faith in Humanity: RESTORED.

At this point in my life, everyone is becoming aware of the problems that myself and my family have faced since December 2012. I don’t want to get into it too much, but basically my brother was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). The cancer was located in his neck and his treatment worked amazingly. Unfortunately, he developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma around the same time. The hospital did not test his second/new tumour which was located in his chest. So they treated him for the original diagnosis, which was obviously unsuccessful. He has now been through three sessions of NHS chemotherapy, and for the NHL it hasn’t been good.

On December 23rd 2014, we were told there was nothing more that could be done to save him and at 23 years old he was told he could fight, but they thought it was best for him to give up. Long story short, is that we didn’t give up. We looked at alternative methods and he landed a spot on a medical trial in Oxford this Spring, which was great. After a few bad weeks, it started to go really well. Until it didn’t.

As you know, I went away to America for a holiday, but a week before I left we got the news his cancer had spread to his lung and he was removed from his trial. I naturally offered to stay, but my parents insisted I should go, that I needed the break after all my hard work at University. However, while over in Houston, Texas, myself and my uncle had long discussions about my brother and ended up starting a connection with MD Anderson, a cancer hospital in Houston. It’s one of the best hospitals in the world, and they seem very positive about my brothers chances.

Now you’re updated, this is why my faith in humanity has been restored. There are always those random acts of kindness that you read about or even witness and you think: “wow, that is amazing. That’ll stay with me forever.” I’ve rarely witnessed these moments, although I’ve read about plenty before. My restoring moment, was watching as my mum made a gofundme page, to raise moment via generous donations. And all last night and this morning, I watched as people I knew and more amazingly people I didn’t know add in amounts from £5 to even an amazing £400 donation. In seventeen hours there have been eighty-five donations, resulting in over £2000! That is more than we can imagine in such a short space.

We will be hosting events, which a lot of people are happily getting involved with. I can’t thank everyone enough. Whether they have shared the site, our story, offered to help or donated money to the cause. I’ll be keeping this updated with all the news and charity events. If you have any ideas that could raise some money for the cause, we’d welcome any suggestions!

If you’d like to donate you can find the page here, but will be having plenty of events in Hull throughout the upcoming months. http://www.gofundme.com/yytvyk

Thank you for visiting my Rooftop!

Whisking around.

My brother-in-law’s sister recently joined Pampered Chef, which I can’t really explain in any other way than it is a cooking utensils company that has nationwide ‘hosts’ who hold parties where they cook food and explain certain gadgets in an attempt to sell them. Basically, like any Ann Summer’s night/party that almost every British female (over the age of 18) has attended at some point.

I wasn’t that keen on attending, mainly because I can feel a little intimidated at functions like this. I did end up attending with my mum, passing up free food is not in my DNA! There were a lot of interesting things that were sold, really cool gadgets. I did want a lot of the utensils, but my bank account was screaming at me to not touch it again… ever… for the rest of my life. (Ooops.) However, between myself and my mum we did buy a couple of products. Handy kitchen tools that’d make cooking so much easier and a lot more fun.

Now, I don’t have the catalogue here with me, so I am not sure of the official names. One thing we purchased was a food chopper/cutter. It’s so hard to explain, but I will post pictures/a review when it arrives. It can basically crush up anything into tiny pieces. Fruit, Vegetables, ONIONS (no tears!) and as displayed for us… BISCUITS. Yes, this was one of the few items displayed at the party, as my brother-in-law’s sister made a mint chocolate cheesecake for us.

There was also a raffle at the party, three to be exact but I only entered two. One was for a balloon whisk, which we watched being used. It fully whipped double cream in a matter of seconds, in front of our very eyes! Now if you’ve ever whisked anything in your life, you know that you risk having your arm amputated due to overuse. It’s the only time I can relate to a man… ANYWAY, for once in my life, I actually won something! I won the whisk. I’m really excited. I’ll be making my famous lemon cheesecake when it arrives and hopefully won’t have to ice my arm afterwards.

On top of my raffle win, me and my mum spent over £45 and was treated to a free gift. We picked a melon baller, although it can do other fruit related things, I really wanted to make melon balls… because it just sounds like so much fun. Who doesn’t want to eat TINY melon balls!?

After the party, we had a mini BBQ which was nice. The sun made a short-lived appearance before it started raining, thundering and lightening. I am not a fan of the latter and was in the house in a shot. I am like a child when it comes to thunder and lightening, I hate it. But despite the bad weather, it was still a very nice day.

Thanks to Rachel for the invitation and her husband for the very burnt food at the BBQ. It was edible, at least! Just in case anybody was curious about the mint chocolate cheesecake, it was delicious and not too minty, although I must admit, I do prefer my lemon version. If anyone (in Hull) is interested in having a Pampered Chef party or even looking into it, feel free to contact me and I will get the information for you.

Thanks for visiting my Rooftop!

The traveller returns.

Yes, I have returned from my three week vacation and I’ll be the first to admit, I am not happy to be back. Although England has been having unseasonably…. sorry unnaturally warm weather as of late. Now I know I promised this holiday posts weeks ago and even did a lot of preparation for them while in America, but honestly the scenery, the weather, the whole ‘America’ feel that came with everyday. The idea of dragging myself away from the sun, the drinks and yes, the very handsome men was impossible.

But, I am back to reality. With the recent results being revealed from University (I passed, thank goodness), I now have a lot more time on my hands to dedicate to you guys. I will be completing a three week long update of my entire vacation, although for my own fun (and because some things are best kept a secret) I won’t be indulging every single piece of holiday trivia.

I’ll also be throwing up some random posts for my own entertainment. I have to keep this fun, remember! Even the natural psychologist (or nosy parker) in me will be writing on a few social experiments that I have been looking into in my everyday life. This won’t be an award winning experiment, but it’ll definitely be an interesting read!

Those are my plans for the next month. With a day or two off for graduation (July 14th), because everyone will be hanging up those photos and I do not want to look like I just crawled out from under a rock.

I hope you stick around and enjoy my rooftop view.

One Week Down.

So it’s been over a week since I started my “no sugar challenge” and I’m pretty impressed with my willpower so far. On Tuesday I was babysitting my nieces and my brother was watching a movie with us, with his girlfriend. And generous little me let them all have some chocolate while they watched the movie (I say let because it was my chocolate, but I’m sure if my brother had wanted some and had some he would have eaten that too).

I’m sat there, watching them each chocolate and watching the movie and I had to be sooooo strong to not have a little bite. But I was good and didn’t touch it! That’s probably not impressive for most people, but I have such a sweet tooth and sugar is my kind of heroin.

I wish I could say that something positive had happened for my health, but so far nothing. Actually I got sick yesterday and I’m still really sick today. I’m hoping when I finally get over this flu (like illness) I’ll see some positive results of the week without sugar! I really suggest you try it if you consume a lot of sugary products.

I will be honest and admit I haven’t been super strict. Yes I still haven’t touched any pop/fizzy drinks, no chocolate or sweets. I’ve been sure that there is no ADDED sugar into anything I eat. But it’s difficult to find something that is completely free of sugar, as I mentioned in my previous post. I’m sure after this my teeth with my stronger, I’ll feel better in myself and my addiction to sugar will be significantly lowered… or so I hope.

Keep checking back for my “no sugar challenge” updates!

Thanks for visiting my Rooftop!

A little notice: I now don’t finish University until May 26th, thankfully my University have given me some extensions to help me out. But I’ll be going on my holiday June 3rd, so get ready for my Rooftop to turn into a temporary Travel Blog!

I want that red velvet, I want that sugar sweet.

Unfortunately all sugary items are off my shopping list. Yes, I have almost completed my first week of the “No Sugar Challenge” somewhat successfully.

I will admit, that finding foods (any foods) without some sugar in, is practically impossible. For example today, after days of not having any kind of tasty treat after my tea (because I’m like a five year old and need a yummy reward for eating up all my greens) I decided to search for “sugar free jelly”. I’ll tell you right now, don’t waste your time. I COULD NOT FIND ANY, ANYWHERE! I went in about five different shops and nothing. I ended up with Sugar Free “shortbread” styled biscuits. They aren’t as good as normal shortbread or even biscuits, but considering it’s sugar free, I’ll take that as a win.

What I am most proud of, is that since starting this challenge officially on Wednesday 6th May, I haven’t touched one soda/fizzy drink. I’ve only had natural fruit juices, milk, water or cordial (which is sugar free). I’ve even gone so far as to ATTEMPT to drink green tea. It is not to my liking, but I’ll keep trying it. I’m about 3/50 teabags in, so lets finish this sucker.

Unfortunately, despite the lack of sugar, I have yet to curb my appetite. I have been snacking more due to assessment stress, which makes me more stressed. Trying to workout is like trying to lose your virginity at Bible Camp…. I would imagine.

I’ll hopefully see some more results from this challenge this next week. On the plus side I’m looking forward to my Graze box! It’ll be here tomorrow, I’m just hoping they don’t send anything with sugar in. At least if they do, my mum will be happy!

Thanks for visiting my Rooftop!