Friday, March 06, 2015

Gluten free Mike and Ike sweets

I've recently found out that some Mike and Ike sweets are gluten free. Great news as I have a really sweet tooth.

The Mike and Ike sweets Minion Mix, Jolly Joes, Tangy Twister and Lem and Mel are all gluten free
Some of the gluten free sweets from Mike and Ike

I haven't found many sweets to be gluten free, so it's brilliant to have new sweets from Mike and Ike to try.

Links:
Mike and Ike website
- Mike and Ike on Twitter
- Mike and Ike on Facebook

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac

Gluten free Eggy Bread with Bacon and Cheese

Trying out a new recipe from The Co-operative.

We're always looking for new and interesting things to cook and eat and we really liked the look of the Eggy Bread with Bacon and Cheese dinner idea on a recipe card from The Co-operative.

Gluten free Eggy Bread with Bacon and Cheese
Dinner for last night was from a Co-Op recipe card for eggy bread with bacon and cheese. As a Coeliac we used Genius Gluten Free bread. A very tasty dinner

Check out the recipe for the Eggy Bread with Bacon and Cheese (and lots more ideas for dinner) at the Dinner4tonight website.

Links:
- Dinner4tonight
The Co-operative Food
- Genius Gluten Free

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
- Emily's cooking

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia

This year Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia is 13 to 20 March. 

I recently saw a post on the Coeliac Queensland Facebook page about the upcoming Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia.

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and the only treatment is to adhere to a strict gluten free diet.

Coeliac Australia is aiming to ensure an increase in the number of medical practitioners who are aware of the correct diagnosis procedure and model of care for Coeliac Disease.

While public recognition of Coeliac disease is high, it is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions and awareness of the condition by medical professionals continues to be low.

In the UK Coeliac Awareness Week will run from 11 to 17 May.

This year Coeliac UK's Awareness Week activities will be focusing on changing the current state of diagnosis in the UK.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is the group behind Celiac Awareness Day in the USA, taking place on Sunday 13 September. The NFCA also supports Celiac Awareness Month in May.

Links:
- Coeliac Australia
- Coeliac Queensland website
Coeliac UK
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Coeliac Awareness Week 2015

Related blog posts:
- Coeliac Awareness Week 2015
Minigolfing gluten free in Margate
Funny things about being a Coeliac
Gluten Free
Coeliac

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

World Book Day 2015

World Book Day 2015 is on 5 March.

Since I last blogged about World Book Day I've added some more great books to my collection.

In that post in 2012 I wrote about Nutters With Putters, 10 Courses for 10 Years, the Beginner's Guide to Miniature Golf, Montegue Blister's Strange Games, Wacky Nation, The Underdog, Tilting at Windmills and In Search Of The Tiger: A Golfing Odyssey.

Since then new books within my spheres of interest have included:

- 'Come Home at Once' by avid postcard collector Guy Atkins.

- 'The Year of Reading Dangerously' by Andy Miller (the author of the excellent minigolf book Tilting at Windmills).

- 'Crap Days Out' by Gareth Rubin, with contributions by Jon Parker.

- 'Bushell's Best Bits' by BBC TV's Mike Bushell.

- 'Mini Golf' by photographer Simon Martin.

- 'Seaside Polaroids' by Jon Nicholson.

- ‘The Other Olympics’ by Matt Roebuck.

World Book Day is the biggest annual celebration of books and reading. Check out the World Book Day website for information, FAQs and more.

Although World Book Day takes place on 5 March in the UK and Ireland, most other countries hold World book Day on 23 April each year!

Links:
- World Book Day website
- World Book Day (UK and Ireland) on Facebook
- World Book Day (UK and Ireland) on Twitter
- Miniature Golf in Books on The Crazy Golf Museum website

Related blog posts:
- Books
- World Book Day
- Miniature Golf Books for World Book Day

Monday, March 02, 2015

Minigolf report from the BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings

Double success at the BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings.

The Midlands Minigolf Club at the BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings
The 2015 BMGA British Club Champions, the Midlands Minigolf Club team of Seth Thomas, John Moore, Michael Smith (C) and Richard Gottfried

Leagrave minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried had a successful weekend in Hastings as Richard and his Midlands Minigolf Club team-mates won the BMGA British Club Championships, while Emily and the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club finished in third place.

Eight teams from five of the UK’s miniature golf clubs competed in the national championship played on the 18-hole Pirate Adventure Golf course on Hastings seafront. The Midlands Minigolf Club won the title after achieving an undefeated run in the day’s five matches.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing the 15th hole in the final of the BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings
Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing the 15th hole in the final of the BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings

In the group stage the Midlands team, consisting of Richard, Seth Thomas, John Moore and captained by Michael Smith, defeated the Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club, the Kent Minigolf Club Hurricanes and the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club. In the semi-final the team beat defending and four-time champions the Kent Minigolf Club.

They then faced the Sussex Wasps Mini Golf Club in the final, and emerged champions with a 5&3 win.

Richard said “It’s brilliant to win the BMGA British Club Championships. We played well all-day and were focussed, so to get the result is great. The British Club title was the first I won on the BMGA Tour back in 2008, so to become a two-time national champion with the MMGC is extra special. Well done to Emily and the CEMGC in winning the bronze medal too.”

The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club was captained by Mark Wood, with Emily lining-up alongside Chris Wood and Adrian Amey for the event. In the group stage the team beat the Kent Hurricanes, drew with Planet Hastings and lost to the Midlands. In the semi-finals it took a sudden-death play-off to separate the CEMGC and the Sussex Wasps, but at the seventh extra-hole the CEMGC were defeated.

Emily Gottfried playing the 6th hole of the Pirate Golf course in Hastings during the sudden-death play-off against the Sussex Wasps
Emily Gottfried playing the 6th hole of the Pirate Golf course in Hastings during the sudden-death play-off against the Sussex Wasps

In the third/fourth place play-off match the CEMGC upset the Kent Minigolf Club Spitfires with a 3&2 victory to claim the bronze.

The CEMGC at the BMGA British Minigolf Club Championships in Hastings
The bronze medal winning Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club team of Chris Wood, Adrian Amey, Emily Gottfried and Mark Wood (C)

Emily said “I’m really pleased to achieve the bronze medal with my team-mates from the CEMGC. We were determined to do well and played strongly all day, even going to a seventh-extra hole in the play-off with the Wasps, which we unfortunately lost. However we re-grouped for the third-fourth place play-off to sprint to the podium over the defending champions. ”

Later this month Richard and Emily will be competing in the Midlands Open competition at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge, Solihull.

Links:
Midlands Minigolf Club on Facebook
Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club on Facebook
British Minigolf Association
- Hastings Adventure Golf
Tournament report from the British Minigolf Association - Midlands Minigolf Club take the honours as they win the 2015 Club Championship in Hastings
- Round by round results from the tournament on the BMGA website

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Midlands Minigolf Club win British Club Championships

Midlands Minigolf Club win the 2015 BMGA British Club Championships in Hastings.

The new BMGA British Club Champions - the Midlands Minigolf Club. From l-r Seth Thomas, John Moore, Michael Smith (C), Richard Gottfried
The new BMGA British Club Champions - the Midlands Minigolf Club. From l-r Seth Thomas, John Moore, Michael Smith (C), Richard Gottfried

The national minigolf team championships was contested on the Pirate Golf course in Hastings, East Sussex on Sunday 1 March with the Midlands Minigolf Club winning the final against the Sussex Wasps Mini Golf Club. The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club was third after defeating the Kent Minigolf Club. Eight teams were in action in the tournament.

The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club team of Chris Wood, Adrian Amey, Emily Gottfried and Mark Wood (C)
The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club team of Chris Wood, Adrian Amey, Emily Gottfried and Mark Wood (C)

Full results and report.

Links:
- Midlands Minigolf Club on Facebook
- Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club on Facebook
- British Minigolf Association
Tournament report from the British Minigolf Association - Midlands Minigolf Club take the honours as they win the 2015 Club Championship in Hastings
Round by round results from the tournament on the BMGA website

Happy British Pie Week

2 to 8 March 2015 is officially British Pie Week!

To celebrate the national week for pies I'd like to give a shout out to Voakes Free From Pies. I'm a BIG fan of their 'Special Pie'.

Voakes Free From gluten free Special Pie
I first tasted the excellent gluten free products from Voakes Free From at a food fayre organised by the Beds & Mid Herts Coeliac UK Group at a food fayre in Biggleswade. The pork pies were great, but the Special Pie was delicious. If you're a meat eating Coeliac I highly recommend it

Check out the Voakes Free From website for more information on how the free from gluten side of their business began and to see more about the product range and availability.

Finger's crossed Emily will make me a pie to celebrate British Pie Week.

A Pork & Mushroom Pie made with Genius Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry. It was a little crumbly, but tasted great
Emily is a great cook and always experimenting and creating new gluten free meals for me. It's not easy being a Coeliac and having to adhere to a strict life-long gluten free diet. This was a pork and mushroom pie Emily made using Shortcrust Pastry from Genius Gluten Free. It was lush

This year Coeliac UK's Awareness Week is taking place from 11 to 17 May. Read more on my blog post about it.

Visit the Coeliac UK website for more information about Coeliac Disease and the gluten free diet.

Links:
- British Pie Week website
- Voakes Free From website
- Genius Gluten Free
- Coeliac UK

Related blog posts:
Gluten free
Coeliac
- Mince Pies
- Emily's Cooking
- Genius Gluten Free

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crazy Golf on South Parade in Skegness

The Crazy Golf course on Skegness' South Parade is facing closure.

The sign on the prom for 'The Original Crazy Golf' on South Parade in Skegness
The sign on the prom for 'The Original Crazy Golf' on South Parade in Skegness

Back in the summer of 2011 Emily and I embarked on a mammoth road trip along the Lincolnshire coast. We played a lot of minigolf and visited a number of courses.

Hole 1 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 1 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness

One of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour visits took us to the Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness. Unfortunately when we visited the course wasn't open, and didn't look like it had been in a while.

Hole 6 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
The rocket on hole 6

Hole 8 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 8 of the Skegness Crazy Golf course

Hole 12 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 12 of the South Parade minigolf course layout

Since that visit the course has reopened and has had a bit of a refresh. However, it is under threat of closure and a petition has been set-up to help save it from being turned into a car park. Great spot by the team at Putterfingers.

The Crazy Golf course on South Parade is one of the world's oldest locations to play minigolf and is believed to be the site of England's first course. Set-up in the 1920's the date of its establishment varies from 1922 to 1927. It truly is a piece of living minigolf history. And one I hope is not consigned to history.

Crazy Golf in Skegness
How I looked in 2011 when I was unable to play Crazy Golf at the course. I'd look this grumpy again if the course was closed for good

When we visited Camber Sands in 2010 we found the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course had been dug up to make way for a Car Park. On our return last year it was a patch of dusty ground. Such a shame.

We're planning a return trip to Skegness this year and hopefully we'll get a chance to play on the country's first course.

Skegness is something of a mecca for miniature golf. On our visit to the seaside resort we managed to visit and/or play a grand total of twelve Crazy Golf, Minigolf, Adventure Golf, Mini Golf and Putting courses.

On our travels we've been to 589 courses to date and we've played the first two Miniature Golf courses in the world!

The first miniature golf is still in existence and has been playable since 1867. The Himalayas Putting course is at St Andrews in Scotland and is well worth a visit.

The first Pitch & Putt mini golf course is in Southsea, Hampshire and was opened in 1914. Again, it's still there today and is a tricky layout.

For more on the history of Mini Golf check out The Crazy Golf Museum and the extract from Nutters with Putters.

Related blog posts:
Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf Courses on the Lincolnshire Coast

Links:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gluten free breakfast GfMuffin

A gluten free breakfast treat.

As someone with Coeliac Disease I'm not necessarily bombarded with advertising via mass media, but I do get taunted/haunted/annoyed when I see adverts, posters, billboards etc. for food and drink that is not gluten free.

One advert in particular has caught my eye over the last few weeks. The marketing campaign by a well known fast food chain has posters for their breakfast item on the way to the platform at St Pancras station so I see it fairly often.

I haven't had a fast food breakfast muffin for many years so decided to make my own.

A gluten free sausage and egg breakfast muffin and hash brown on the side. Next time I'll be adding a slice of cheese too
A gluten free sausage and egg breakfast muffin and hash brown on the side. Next time I'll be adding a slice of cheese too

Living on a strict gluten free diet isn't always easy. While the actual eating of only gluten free food is relatively easy, but finding the ingredients and products you fancy eating can be a bit more difficult. So, in addition to not being able to buy a breakfast muffin from a takeaway, I also had to shop around to find the component parts.

The breakfast muffins took a while to find. I have had the Livwell English Muffins before, but looking in my local supermarkets this time I could only find them in Sainsbury's.

We were looking around for gluten free sausages/squares/patties/sausage meat to use as a filling and while in Tesco Emily spotted the new Fair & Square 97% Pork sausage squares from Heck Food. A nice addition to their range.

For a potato-based side it had to be McCain Hash Browns. They are gluten free and a stock item in our freezer.

Links
- Heck 
- Livwell
- McCain

Related blog posts:
- Gluten free
- Coeliac

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Darts and Skittles at the Jolly Drayman in Gravesend

Playing some darts at the Jolly Drayman Pub in Gravesend.

On a recent trip to Gravesend, Kent we visited the Jolly Drayman pub that's a short walk from the town centre. It's well worth a visit.

Darts at the Jolly Drayman pub in Gravesend, Kent
We played a fair few games of darts at the Jolly Drayman. Luckily I didn't score under eleven in our matches. The pub has a nice, spacious and bright darts area. You can also buy darts, flights and spares there. I was undefeated in my games of 301 against Brad Shepherd and Seth Thomas so treated myself to some new flights

Pub skittles table at the Jolly Drayman pub in Gravesend, Kent
As we were leaving the pub we spotted a skittles table! I'll definitely try and give it a play in my next visit to Gravesend

I've played a few different types of pub skittles, including the rare London Skittles. In 2012 we played Northamptonshire Skittles on a table that was a little wider, but shorter than the one in the lobby of the Jolly Drayman.

Related blog posts:
- Gravesend
Pub games

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some new minigolf kit from Fun-Sports

Updating my putter for the 2015 minigolf sport season.

A new putter rubber and a fancy looking ball 'picker upper' ready to add to my Fun-Sports Minigolf Sport Putter ready for the new season
A new putter rubber and a fancy looking ball 'picker upper' ready to add to my Fun-Sports Minigolf Sport Putter ready for the new season

Link:
- Fun-Sports website
- Fun-Sports on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Crazy about Mini Golf Balls
- UK Mini Golf Competitions in 2015
- “Mr October” on a Minigolf Calendar!
- New (Minigolf) Balls Please
- What's in a Minigolf Kitbag?

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend

Playing some Bar Billiards at the Three Daws in Gravesend.

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
Playing some Bar Billiards in Gravesend

I added another Bar Billiards table played and pub visited while in Gravesend, Kent as Brad, Seth and I headed to the Three Daws pub.

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
Seth taking advice/ignoring the local knowledge from Brad

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
The table was a bit on the wobbly side. And a bit wonky! It certainly made for an interesting three-player match. I won with a score of 780. Seth was second on 400, while hometown player Brad scored 330

Related blog posts:
Pub
Gravesend
Pub games

Links:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bar Billiards and Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne

Playing some Darts and Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne.

Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
Brad Shepherd playing some Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn at Luddesdowne

I do enjoy playing pub games, and ever since my mate Brad Shepherd introduced me to the sport of Bar Billiards, via the Indoor League, I've looked to play as many tables as I can find.

On a recent trip to Gravesend we made the short journey to the village of Luddesdowne - between Meopham and Cobham - to visit The Cock Inn to see the traditional pub games there.

Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
Brad and I had a cracking game of Bar Billiards. Having not played in a while we got off to a bit of a slow start, but Brad then took the lead, only for me to mount a comeback (curtailed by a break wipeout), followed by another fightback to eventually win 990 to 810

Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
There's also a 'standard' dartboard at The Cock Inn...

Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
...as well as three examples of variant dartboards! This was the first time I'd seen a London Fives, Yorkshire Board or a Manchester Log-End Board in the flesh. Brilliant to see

Shove Ha'penny at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne, Kent
There was also a Shove Ha'penny slate at the pub. I've played on a wooden board, but never seen the game on a slate before

Check out the Patrick Chaplin (aka Dr Darts) website for more on the history of the dartboard.

Related blog posts:

Links:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

A revisit to the Mini Golf course in Gravesend's Woodlands Park.

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Back in February 2009 we visited Gravesend and had a play of the abandoned Crazy Golf course in Woodlands Park. Six years on and I was in town again and had to have a look at the course.

Nothing much had changed.

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent in February 2009
The course on 28 February 2009

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent in February 2015
As the course looked on Valentines Day 2015

The course is still in an abandoned, derelict state, but surprisingly the felt and frame of the 18-hole layout still looks to be in a pretty decent condition.

Richard Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
At another unplayable course on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Interestingly when you look beyond the existing holes you can see the foundations of the course that was originally there. It looks like the course used to be similar to some of the Beton and Eternit courses more often found in continental Europe.

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

My guide for the day was Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd who had a walk round the course and reminisced about some of the holes-in-one he scored on the miniature golf course when he was a lad.

Local tour guide Brad Shepherd shares some minigolf stories as we walk the Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course in Gravesend, Kent
Local lad Brad showed me around the Crazy Golf course

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Local tour guide Brad Shepherd shares some minigolf stories as we walk the Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Richard Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
  
Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
 
Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

The Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course was the 79th played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Related blog posts:
Minigolf Course Visit No. 79 - Woodlands Park, Gravesend
Hole...in...one
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour