Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Free From Cakes at Tesco

I noticed that Tesco has some new gluten and wheat free cakes in the Free From section!

Free From Cakes at Tesco
Tesco's Free From range now includes Chocolate and Madeira Celebration Cakes

I'm looking forward to an occasion to try them out.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Links:
Tesco Free From
Coeliac UK

Monday, May 18, 2015

The America Ground in Hastings

Finding out about the America Ground in Hastings.

'The America Ground' painting on Robertson Passage by Jon Cole, Susan Elliott, Pete Thompsett and Benjamin Gough
'The America Ground' painting on Robertson Passage by Jon Cole, Susan Elliott, Pete Thompsett and Benjamin Gough

I've been visiting Hastings, East Sussex since 2007 and spend quite a few days a year playing Crazy Golf there. On my most recent trip for the British Minigolf Championships I stayed in a hotel on the seafront in the old Victorian Town Centre for a change. While walking back on Friday evening I noticed a big painting and a plaque on Robertson Passage with some very interesting history on the area!

'The America Ground' plaque on Robertson Passage in Hastings
'The America Ground' plaque on Robertson Passage in Hastings

The area - formed as a new piece of land after storms hit Hastings in 1287 - was out of the control of Hastings Borough and in 1822 had become home to around 1,000 people. In defiance of action by Hastings Borough to collect taxes and rent, the residents of the area declared themselves independent from Hastings and the 24th US State!

You can read more on the roots of the America Ground on the America Ground Hastings website.

Links:
- America Ground Hastings

Related blog posts:
- Hastings
- Plaque-ing Interesting
- The Piece of Cheese Cottage in Hastings

Jolly Roger Adventure Golf in Skegness

A revisit to the Jolly Roger Adventure Golf courses in Skegness.

Jolly Roger Adventure Golf course on Grand Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire

On Friday 8 May 2015 we revisited the Jolly Roger Adventure Golf courses on the Grand Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

Jolly Roger Adventure Golf course on Grand Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire

The Skull Trail and Treasure Trail courses at the Jolly Roger Adventure Golf were the 237th and 238th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back in May 2011. During our visit this time it was good to see the course still proving popular with visitors to the town.

Jolly Roger Adventure Golf course on Grand Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire

For more photos of the course check out the blog post from our previous visit.

Jolly Roger Adventure Golf course on Grand Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire

The layout is of a similar design and build of the Treasure Island courses in Southsea - where our tour of the UK's courses began back in September 2006.

Related blog posts:
- Jolly Roger Adventure Golf in Skegness (Skull & Treasure Trails)
Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf Courses on the Lincolnshire Coast

BMGA British Minigolf Championships 2015

Minigolf report from the BMGA British Championships in Hastings

On the 16th and 17th May Leagrave minigolfer Richard Gottfried competed in the BMGA British Minigolf Championships on the 18-hole Pirate Adventure Golf course on Hastings seafront.

Richard finished in tied 15th place in the 34-player field having scored rounds of 34, 30, 32, 31, 36, 32, 33, 33 and 33 for a total of 294(-30). In the General Class contest Richard finished in 8th place of 15 players.

Richard said “I’m pleased to have scored par or better in each of the nine-rounds and I made a lot of holes-in-one which was nice.”

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing hole 12 of the Pirate Golf course in Hastings
Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing hole 12 of the Pirate Golf course in Hastings

The BMGA British Championships was won by Oxford's Michael Smith with a score of 253(-71).

In Friday’s Midlands Minigolf Club Doubles contest Richard and team-mate Ruth Burke were runners-up to John Moore and Brenda Smith, with the pair scoring a combined 66 to finish one-shot behind the winners.

For the second year in a row Richard was the winner of the British Championship Hole-in-One Challenge shootout.

Later this season Richard and Emily Gottfried will be competing in the Splash Point Open in Worthing and the World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings.

Seagulls at Hastings Adventure Golf

It didn't take long for the seagulls of Hastings to make a home on the roof of the new advertising trailer at Hastings Adventure Golf!

Seagulls in Hastings
Hastings Adventure Golf is the home of the major tournaments... and a lot of seagulls!

One of the perils of playing minigolf at the seaside are seagulls. If they're not pooing on you or the course, they're after your chips and in the case of some players even their balls!



Hastings Adventure Golf was hosting the BMGA British Minigolf Championships on the Pirate Golf course. Next month the minigolf complex plays host to the WMF World Adventure Golf Masters tournament, while in October the World Crazy Golf Championships take place on the Arnold Palmer course.

Links:
Hastings Adventure Golf website
Hastings Adventure Golf on Facebook
Hastings Adventure Golf on Twitter

Related blog posts:
Hastings
- Seagulls
- Perils of the Seaside #1 - The Seagull
- Seagull Sullies Minigolf Scorecard in Hastings
- Worthing's Splash Point Mini Golf Course Becomes a Temporary Seagull-Free Zone!

Gluteen free?

While in Hastings for the British Minigolf Championships some of my friends and minigolf rivals kindly let me know that Trattoria Italiana on Pelham Crescent on the seafront had gluten free options.

When I went for a look I noticed a funny typo on the menu board!

Gluteen free options in Hastings
Gluteen free!

My friend Marion spotted it too. She also asked if Gluteen was some sort of sub-category in the world of Coeliac Disease?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and so appears in a lot of food and drink. If people with Coeliac Disease ingest gluten it causes the body's immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine. For more information about Coeliac Disease visit the Coeliac UK website.

I often see Gluten spelled 'Gluton'.

Last week was Coeliac Awareness Week in the UK, while this week it's Coeliac Awareness Week in New Zealand. The whole of May is Celiac Awareness Month in the USA and Canada.

During Coeliac Awareness Week I was once again minigolfing gluten free. Last year I played in the BMGA British Minigolf Championships at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent. Check out my blog about the experience.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Links:
Coeliac UK

Thursday, May 14, 2015

National Miniature Golf Day Tournament 2015

Report from the 2015 National Miniature Golf Day Championship in Skegness.

Playing Crazy Golf on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
Playing a classic Crazy Golf Windmill hole at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course on North Parade

The Saturday of our Skegness Seaside Weekender happened to be the same day as National Miniature Golf Day - so what better way to celebrate it than by playing five minigolf courses in the UK's top spot for the game.

Playing Crazy Golf on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
Seth Thomas at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness

Skegness currently has 110 miniature golf holes spread over ten Crazy, Mini, Adventure, Putting and Pitch & Putt courses! The most of any town in the UK.

Playing Crazy Golf on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
Having a round on the country's first-ever Crazy Golf course

Our competition to celebrate the day for minigolf saw us play the two Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf courses on North Parade, Pebble Beach Adventure Golf at the Pleasure Beach, England's first-ever Crazy Golf course on South Parade and the Gold Mine Adventure Golf course at the Pleasure Beach.

Playing Adventure Golf on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
Chris Jones teeing-off at the Gold Mine Adventure Golf at the Pleasure Beach

Results of the 2015 National Miniature Golf Day Championship:
1. Brad Shepherd = 102
2. Alan Norman = 103
3. Seth Thomas = 104
4. Richard Gottfried = 106
5. Emily Gottfried = 112
6. Chris Jones = 116
7. John Moore = DNS & DNF, but played 18-holes
8. Peter Jones = DNS & DNF, but played 12-holes

Playing Adventure Golf on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
National Miniature Golf Day Champion Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd playing the Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course in Skegness

The National Miniature Golf Day Championship made-up four of the five rounds of the two-day Skegness Minigolf Championship that saw ten players take part.

National Miniature Golf Day is a quasi-official holiday that began in the USA. It takes place on the second Saturday in May each year.

If you missed National Miniature Golf Day this year don't worry. There's another 'Mini Golf Day' coming up - Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st of September, which this year falls on a Monday!

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

Holiday on the Buses Reunion Mini Golf Competition in Skegness

Report and results from the Holiday on the Buses Reunion Mini Golf Competition in Skegness.

Mini Golf at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
The competitors watch Alan 'Stormin' Norman play hole 2

On the last day of our holiday weekender in Skegness, Lincolnshire we visited the Arnold Palmer Putting Courses on North Parade to complete the two-day Skegness Minigolf Championship. The one-round played on the 18-hole Grass Putting course was also a chance to play the Holiday on the Buses Reunion Mini Golf Competition with local competitors Eric Huckle and Steven Huckle.

Mini Golf players at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
The Mini Golf players in Skegness, from l-r Steven Huckle, Richard Gottfried, Emily Gottfried, Eric Huckle, Alan Norman, Brad Shepherd, Seth Thomas, Chris Jones

Mini Golf at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Brad lining up a shot as Steve plays the previous hole

In September last year we competed in 'The Butler Cup' On The Buses Fan Club Crazy Golf Tournament on the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Minigolf course in Prestatyn, Wales, and we'd planned to meet-up with our friends from the fan club when next in Skegness. In the Prestatyn event Emily had won the 'Pro' category, with Eric winning the 'Am' title.

Mini Golf at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Emily teeing-off at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course

The results of the Holiday on the Buses Reunion Mini Golf Competition 2015 were:
1. Richard Gottfried = 42(+6)
2. Alan Norman = 45(+9)
2. Brad Shepherd = 45(+9)
4. Chris Jones = 46(+10)
4. Seth Thomas = 46(+10)
6. Emily Gottfried = 49(+13)
7. Eric Huckle = 58(+22)
8. Steven Huckle = 74(+38)

Alan playing hole 14

It was a great fun event on a marvellous minigolf Putting course. We're looking forward to visiting Skegness again in the future.

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

Link:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gluten Free Week at M&S

It's great to see M&S celebrating 'Gluten Free Week' in the Luton Mall branch.

Gluten Free products at Marks and Spencer
M&S's Gluten Free Week is running parallel to Coeliac Awareness Week - 11th to 17th May 2015

As I purchased so much of the gluten free 'Made Without Wheat' range (the gluten free beer was on offer and a chocolate loaf was reduced) the man serving me asked "What's the occasion?", so I told him about Coeliac Disease (albeit not ALL the gory details) and Coeliac Awareness Week.

Gluten Free products at Marks and Spencer
Much of this gluten free beer, and one of those cakes, is now residing in my fridge and cupboard

Check out the Coeliac UK website for more information on Coeliac Disease. For Coeliac Awareness Week 2015 Coeliac UK is running a diagnosis campaign called 'Is it Coeliac Disease?'.

I'm a big fan of M&S and the gluten free food and drink they stock - not only in the Made Without Wheat section but across many of the other lines in store. More often than not I'll find something new they are doing that is gluten free, which makes shopping a treat not a chore.

The links below have more info on other Coeliac/Celiac days, weeks, and months - there are quite a few special days in May!

Related blog posts:

Links:
Marks & Spencer website
Marks & Spencer Made Without Wheat page
Link to a product list of M&S products that DO NOT contain GLUTEN
Coeliac UK website
- Is it Coeliac Disease? online assessment from Coeliac UK
- The Mall Luton website

Skegness Minigolf Championship 2015

Report from the Skegness Minigolf Weekender.

The Crazy Mini Golfers in Skegness from l-r Seth Thomas, Brad Shepherd, Emily Gottfried, Richard Gottfried, Alan Norman, Chris Jones, Peter Jones
The Crazy Mini Golfers in Skegness

Over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of May 2015 we headed to Skegness in Lincolnshire for a seaside outing full of traditional British seaside fun and games.

Four Jolly Fishermen in Bracing Skegness
Four Jolly Fishermen in Bracing Skegness

Part of the trip involved the Skegness Minigolf Championship that saw ten players compete across five-rounds on five courses in the town.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Emily playing one of the hardest holes on the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course

Starting at the Arnold Palmer Putting Courses on Saturday 9th May (which also happened to be National Miniature Golf Day) six of the competitors lined-up on the 18-hole Crazy Golf course.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Alan playing the classic Windmill hole

During round one John 'Big Al' Moore arrived to take over on scoring duties and was ready to compete in round two.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Alan putting on hole 6. The Big Wheel is especially tricky if you don't plan your tee-shot properly. As Chris found out

Brad Shepherd had scored a very good two over par 38 in the first round to take the lead. There was a three-way tie for second place with Emily Gottfried, Richard Gottfried and Seth Thomas all scoring 42. Alan Norman was one-shot further back on 43, with Chris Jones shooting a 45.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Richard playing the Rocket Ship hole

After winning a free game on the lucky last hole, tournament leader Brad led out the groups on the 9-hole Crazy Golf course.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Brad about to Ring The Bell on the Lucky Last Hole

Brad and his winnings

Following the second round there was a tie for first place, with Brad and Seth on 62. Emily was one-shot back on 63.

Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Skegness
Seth putting

The grass Putting course at the Arnold Palmer centre would be the final course played in the tournament on the Sunday, so the players then made their way along the prom to course number three - the Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course.

Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course in Skegness
John Moore making a cameo appearance on the Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course

Once again seven players teed-off, with Brad just about arriving in time to play having been waylaid en route between the North Parade and the Pleasure Beach.

Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course in Skegness
Chris playing the tough last hole

The 9-hole Pebble Beach Adventure Golf saw some more close scores and Brad was able to extend his lead by one-shot having scored par. Seth remained in second place after a 19, with Emily, Alan and Richard all scoring 20. John and Chris had disappointing rounds of 24 and 25 respectively.

Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course in Skegness
Richard at Pebble Beach

With a break scheduled, the group played the two shooting shacks in the Pleasure Beach before part of the contingent headed to the town's charity shops, while others went to play some Bingo and have a spot of lunch.

Skegness Pleasure Beach Shooting Gallery
A face full of manky water at the Faulty Repair Shop shooting shack at the Pleasure Beach

Skegness Pleasure Beach Shooting Gallery
The Hill Billy shooting shack fun

Emily with her one and a half wins worth of Bingo prizes - a cheese knife and a building block type toy kit
Emily with her one and a half wins worth of Bingo prizes - a cheese knife and a building block type toy kit

During the break in play the group was joined by Rhyl's #1 minigolfer Peter 'The Crazy Aced Assassin' Jones who warmed-up for the next round proper in an impromptu Aces Competition on the Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade.

The Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
The Crazy Aced Assassin scoring an Ace

The event saw four-players play the 12-hole course using an 11-Wood that Chris had bought in a charity shop as the course was not open (it hadn't been open on the Friday either. It was however open on the Sunday).

The Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
A well struck shot from Seth manages to hit Brad

The tied winners of the Aces contest were Peter and Richard who both scored one hole-in-one. In a play-off on hole two Richard managed to score another ace to take the overall victory. Alan and Chris finished in tied second-place after regulation play.

The Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
Richard managing to get the ball through the dolphin

With John's stay in Skegness a short one as he had an athletics meeting to attend in Coventry, seven-players continued to the Gold Mine Adventure Golf course at the Pleasure Beach for round four.

Gold Mine Adventure Golf in Skegness
Seth putting at the Gold Mine

The Gold Mine would prove a happier hunting ground for Alan and Richard as they tied for the half-win after scoring rounds of 19 on the 9-hole layout.

Gold Mine Adventure Golf in Skegness
Richard playing his second shot through a pipe

Brad once again held onto the lead by one-shot from Alan, with Seth a shot further back having scored a 23 at the Gold Mine. Peter Jones scored a 25, with Chris scoring 25, while Emily hit a 29.

Gold Mine Adventure Golf in Skegness
Alan playing at the Gold Mine Adventure Golf course

At the end of day one the rankings were:
1. Brad Shepherd = 102
2. Alan Norman = 103
3. Seth Thomas = 104
4. Richard Gottfried = 106
5. Emily Gottfried = 112
6. Chris Jones = 116
7. John Moore = DNS & DNF, but played 18-holes
8. Peter Jones = DNS & DNF, but played 12-holes
Note: These results were also the final rankings of the 2015 National Miniature Golf Day Championship.

After a great night out in Skegness the players awoke ready to play the final of the Skegness Championship. The first round of day two was planned to take place at the Lost World Adventure Park on North Parade. However this was cancelled as the theme park was found to have closed down! The final 18-holes would be played out on the grass Putting course at the Arnold Palmer Putting Centre.

Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness
Seth teeing-off on hole 2 of the Arnold Palmer Putting Course

Joining the six players left standing were local competitors Eric Huckle, the 2014 Butler Cup Champion, and Steven Huckle. The round would also constitute the Holiday on the Buses Reunion Mini Golf Competition.

Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness
Brad putting

In the Mini Golf Putting course round Richard won with a score of 42. Brad and Alan tied for second-place with rounds of 45. Chris and Seth both hit 46, with Emily on 49. Eric scored 58 and Steven shot a 74.

The podium of the Skegness Minigolf Championship, from l-r Richard Gottfried, Alan Norman, Brad Shepherd, Seth Thomas
The podium of the Skegness Minigolf Championship

The overall event went to the wire, with Brad managing to hold off a late challenge from Richard, while Alan narrowly missed forcing a play-off, as Seth's challenge slipped on the grass playing surface.

Brad receives the Skegness Minigolf Championship trophy from reigning Holiday on the Buses Butler Cup Champion Eric Huckle
Brad receives the Skegness Minigolf Championship trophy from reigning Holiday on the Buses Butler Cup Champion Eric Huckle

The final Skegness Minigolf Championship results were:
1. Brad Shepherd = 38+24+18+22+45 = 147
2. Alan Norman = 43+21+20+19+45 = 148
2. Richard Gottfried = 42+25+20+19+42 = 148
3. Seth Thomas = 42+20+19+23+46 = 150
4. Emily Gottfried = 42+21+20+29+49 = 161
5. Chris Jones = 45+19+25+27+46 = 162
6. John Moore = DNS & DNF, but played 18-holes scoring 48
6. Eric Huckle = DNS but played 18-holes scoring 58
6. Steven Huckle = DNS but played 18-holes scoring 74
7. Peter Jones = DNS & DNF, but played 12-holes scoring 25

The Crazy Mini Golfers at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course, from l-r Steven Huckle, Richard Gottfried, Emily Gottfried, Eric Huckle, Alan Norman, Brad Shepherd, Seth Thomas, Chris Jones
The Crazy Mini Golfers at the Arnold Palmer Putting Course

All of the players agreed the seaside resort was a marvellous place for a weekend away. With plenty of things to see and do, great places to eat and drink, and a nice pier and beach.

Emily and Seth cleaned up at the Arabian Camel Derby on Skegness Pier
Emily and Seth cleaned up at the Arabian Camel Derby on Skegness Pier

Richard and the Skegness Pier mascot
Richard and another mascot

Skegness is the town with the most miniature golf courses in the UK - with a current count of 110-holes, spread over ten Crazy, Mini, Adventure, Putting and Pitch & Putt courses!

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