Happy New Year! I start every year excited about what is to come. I have high hopes that we can make 2018 an exciting and productive year. We took the kids to the fair yesterday and then had a little party in the living room to say goodbye to the old year. Rolando and I stayed up last night to watch the New Years Eve fireworks on the TV and to raise a glass to the year to come.
2017 was, despite a few ups and downs, a good year for us. Here is a little roundup of our family highlights.
Learning to drive
My biggest achievement was passing my driving test and buying my first ever car. For the rest of the year I had to keep pushing myself to drive unfamiliar routes. My biggest achievement was driving from Cambridge to Northampton.
We had an incredible family camping holiday staying on a farm in the New Forest. We also had some really lovely days out to London Zoo, punting in Cambridge, to Brighton, to the Norfolk coast, Duxford Air Museum, Gullivers Land and to centre parcs.
Walk the Moon
I completed the Walk the Moon Challenge this summer – walking a half marathon around London during the night. It was a physical challenge but I felt so proud to finally cross the finish line. It was also a great way to raise money for Breast Cancer causes.
Rolando’s work situation has been quite different in 2017. He has been doing long building site contracts instead of lots of client work. It has given us a lot more stability as he had been working very long hours. It has been great to have more time together as a family and a more predictable income.
Sam and Leo started school in September! It has been a big adjustment for all of us. The boys are settled in well and are starting to make progress reading and writing. I’m excited what they are going to learn over the next year.
Plans for 2018
Our biggest ambition for 2018 is to take the family to Ecuador. The twins have never met their Ecuadorian family and Rolando is desperate to be back in his home country. We are researching routes and prices at the moment. It is going to be expensive but priceless.
Sofia has her first residential trip with school to look forward to in February. In September Sofia will be starting her final year in primary school!
In the busyness of 2017 writing seemed to get a bit lost. I want to give me blog more attention in 2018 and write and post more regularly. I have started writing a book which I am planning to self publish. Watch this space!
Whatever you are planning in 2018 I hope you can make it a happy and fulfilling year for you and yours!
I know it’s only October but the Christmas fairies all over the world are waking up and dusting off their magic wands. The Christmas Fairy likes to get started well in advance. These magical little creatures know there are (at the time of writing) only 10 weeks until the big day. You may not have caught a glimpse of the Christmas fairy but the chances are there is a Christmas fairy at work in your home.
The Christmas fairy makes A LOT of lists.
The Christmas fairy listens out for presents hints throughout the year and tucks them away for future use.
The Christmas fairy remembers Christmas jumper days at school and preschool.
The Christmas Fairy buys and bakes contributions for the school fayre, volunteers to man a stall and buys raffle tickets (generally for prizes she doesn’t even want to win).
The Christmas fairy buys presents for the teachers and teaching assistants and sorts out charity shoe boxes.
The Christmas fairy makes school play costumes and makes sure the youngest elves have learnt their lines (the Christmas fairy might shed some proud tears at the back of the school hall).
The Christmas fairy sorts out several secret Santa gifts.
The Christmas Fairy can be quite particular about how the Christmas tree looks and doesn’t like elves messing up the decorations.
The Christmas fairy does menu planning, reserves the turkey online and does epic food shopping (do not upset the Christmas fairy by eating the Christmas food before the big day).
The Christmas fairy organises who is going where, sources chairs, figures out how to get everyone around the dinner table and sorts out sleeping arrangements (8 people in one tiny house is always a bit of a challenge!).
The Christmas fairy cares about family traditions and makes Christmas eve boxes, buys Christmas pyjamas, hunts down special decorations and downloads Christmas films and playlists.
The Christmas fairy books a visit to the best Santa in the summer – jumping through lots of random hoops in order to bag a ticket to best one (you know who you are Harrods grotto!).
The Christmas Fairy looks up last posting dates for elves living overseas, writes cards, tries to remember every ones addresses and kids names.
The Christmas fairy looks out for special offers and deals to keep the banking pixies happy (the Christmas fairy doesn’t like any sarcasticness about the earliness of the Christmas preparations).
The Christmas fairy buys, wraps and hides the presents, including thinking of ideas for elves that are impossible to buy for.
The Christmas fairy searches in the loft for the elusive Christmas stockings and buys extra little presents to fill them.
The Christmas fairy makes sure we have boring but necessary things like batteries, sellotape and tin foil.
Most of the Christmas fairy’s work goes unnoticed! The Christmas fairy is fuelled by mince pies and those massive tins of Christmas chocolates. The Christmas fairy does not like hearing house elves saying “why do people get so stressed about Christmas” especially from elves who only buy a maximum 3 presents per year (usually on Christmas eve).
The Christmas fairy will occasionally threaten to give up the role of organising Christmas and get everybody else to do it! (the Christmas Fairy doesn’t really mean it).
Here’s to all the Christmas Fairies – hang in there! You give Christmas it’s sparkle!
I think we are all reeling from last night’s terrorist attack. It feels even more heartbreaking that young people were the target. My heart goes out to the families of those that have been killed. The mums and dads that dropped their excited children off all excited for a big concert who are now facing tragedy. I can’t imagine how scared the kids must have been caught up in total chaos.
How do you talk to your children about terrorism?
I felt it was really important to explain what had happened to Sofia. I didn’t want her to hear the details on the news or from someone else. It was a difficult conversation. Sadly it was not the first time I have had to talk about terrorism with Sofia. How do you make sense of events for an 8 year old when you can’t really understand them yourself. I tried to stick to simple facts and keep it very general. I didn’t tell her that it happened at a concert or that and that children had died.
This is pretty much our conversation.
“Something bad happened in a city in England called Manchester. A bad person did a horrible thing and killed some people. We are feeling really sad about what happened.”
“How did the bad person kill the people?”
“He set off a bomb and there was an explosion. The Emergency Service and lots of other people helped anyone who was hurt.”
“Like in my project (we’d just been doing her homework about the Emergency Services).”
“Remember that this was one bad person who did a horrible thing and there are more good people in the world, like the people who rushed to help. I wanted to tell you so that you didn’t hear anything on the TV and be worried. If you are worried about anything or have any questions you know that you can speak to me.”
I’m holding my kids extra close this evening. and looking for all of the good people in the world.
I feel like we are just getting out of the Christmas and New Year haze. You know that phase when you don’t know what day it is and you spend a lot of time wearing pyjamas! To start off the year we have been having a collective brainstorm about what we want to do as a family in 2017 . I’m not sure if family wish list is the right title. It sounds a bit airy fairy like these things will happen by magic! Maybe I should call these our 2017 plans to make them sound more definite. I was going to call it a bucket list but that made me think of dying!
This year is going to be a big one for us. Sofia will turn 9 in August (how is this possible!). The boys will start school in September! We have loads of ideas of things we would like to do this year. Some of these are fun things and some are more practical. A couple are boring but necessary. I’m sure we will add to our wish list as the year goes on.
Here are the ideas that we have had so far.
Learn to drive (me!)
Decorate the bedrooms
Go to the zoo
Take a family holiday
Get passports for the boys
Learn some origami (me)
Have some date nights (me and Rolando)
Improve our money management
Celebrate our half birthdays
Have a birthday party (Sofia)
Replace our living room carpet (boring but necessary after 3 kids)
Sort out our garden
Have a barbeque party
See a show
Go to the beach
Clear out the loft
Post weekly videos on our YouTube channel
Go punting in Cambridge
Do something meaningful for charity (I need to think about this one a bit further to make it more specific)
Learn how to do handstands and cartwheels (Sofia)
Have friends over for dinner once a month
Do meal planning and try out a new recipe each week
Complete a running challenge (me)
I’ve written out our 2017 family wish list and stuck it on the wall next to our kitchen table. We will see our list every time we eat and it will maybe make us more focused on making these things happen.
Do you make a list of things that you want to do each year? What do you want to do in 2017?
2016 you have been a total roller coaster! I don’t think there has been a year quite like this for a long time! I could write lots about the events that rocked the year but I’m not sure the internet needs more comment about Brexit, the political upheaval that followed, Trump, the terrorist attacks or the many celebrity deaths this year. At times I took a deep breath every time a breaking news alert popped up on my phone! I spent a lot of the year shouting at my TV!
Earthquake in Ecuador Our year was dominated by the major earthquake that hit my husband’s home town in Ecuador in April. After learning of the earthquake in the early hours of a Sunday morning we had a terrifying wait for news of Rolando’s family. The death toll was around 700 people across the country. We were very lucky that our family and friends were not seriously hurt or killed even though they lost their homes and possessions.
Out of a very bad experience we were incredibly touched by the kindness and concern that people showed us. We set up a fundraising page and raised £1000 for Rolando’s family. Thank you again to everyone who supported our family.
Rio 2016 What an amazing summer of sport 2016 gave us! I absolutely loved the Olympic Games and Paralympics in Rio. It felt like a much needed moment when the country could come together in a positive way. We watched as much sport as we could cheering on team GB. There were so many stand out moments – I love Nicola Adams defending her gold medal and the incredible performance from the GB cycling team. We bought the papers every day and my daughter cut out pictures of our medal winners and made a display of them on our hallway wall. I still don’t want to take it down as it inspires me to look at it.
Camping In the summer we took a family camping trip in Norfolk. We completely lucked out with amazing sunny weather for the whole time that we were away. There were so many standout moments. I loved being outdoors so much with the kids, toasting marshmallows and letting the kids stay up really late.
I loved going to Thetford Forest which had incredible play grounds and a musical trail. We are very grateful to our friends who lent us their tent and camping equipment!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory For a birthday treat I took Sofia for a day out in London to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was incredible! Everything about it was brilliant the staging and special effects and the acting and singing. It made me quite emotional to see the wonder on Sofia’s face as she watched the show.
Blogging highlights I took part in a blogging challenge this year called Blogtober – posting a new blog post every day in October. I really enjoyed it even though it was a bit of a struggle to keep up with.
I also set up a Twins Make Five YouTube channel at the end of this year. To figure out how to use YouTube we took part in Vlogmas. This was a challenge to post a new video every day throughout December. Sofia and I did a Christmas activity everyday and made a video of each one. Wow it was hard work to film and edit everyday! Even so I loved doing this as a project with Sofia and we both got really into it. The only negative is that I just couldn’t keep up posting on the blog at the same time.
If you want to check out any of our videos they are all here.
2017 I’m still mulling over my goals for 2017. I have a tonne of ideas of things that I’d like to do, personally, as a family and for my blog but it is all a bit of a jumble at the moment! I will do a bit of thinking over the next few days and write a post on my 2017 goals shortly.
I hope that 2016 has had some good moments for you and that you have a lot to look forward to in 2017.
Have you noticed that things have been a bit quiet in Twins Make Five land recently. I thought I better explain the radio silence. Every year I get a few days into December and get struck down by December overwhelm! I look at all the stuff in my diary and my lists of things to do. Then I have to take a few deep breaths. I’m quite a spontaneous person and I get a bit stressed out when I’m over scheduled.
So this month I have 3 kids parties, two work celebrations, three carol concerts, 2 Christmas jumper days, the School Christmas Fair, Sofia’s dance show, a trip to London……………………
In a moment of insanity I started repainting the boys bedroom. Then in a second moment of insanity I decided to take part in Vlogmas.
Vlogmas is a YouTube Challenge. The idea is that you post a Christmas related video everyday throughout December. I thought it would be a fun project to do with Sofia. We have a family tradition of doing a Christmas activity so our videos will feature our activity each day. We are 7 videos in and are having loads of fun. It is more time consuming than I thought it would be. It is like a crash course in video making and editing and we are learning loads. Hopefully you will see our videos get more and more professional looking as we head towards Christmas day.
Here is my favourite Vlogmas video so far – when we took the kids to see reindeers.
I think now we are a bit into December I’ve chilled out. After all the Christmas events that we have going on are lovely. I think I just need to live in the moment and take each festive event as it comes – mulled wine will also help!
You might have noticed that the blog posts have been a little bit sporadic lately. I haven’t been taking a complete break from the blog over the summer but with the kids off schools it’s been really hectic. I’ve also been hanging out with the kiddos rather than spending time on social media.
Summer holidays getting so much easier
This is easily the best summer holidays that I’ve had with the 3 kids. The summer holiday after Sofia’s first year of school when the twins were under one year old was so hard. It was just a nightmare trying to give Sofia enough attention while dealing with naps and nappy changing x2! I felt like I wasn’t really keeping anyone happy and I was completely frazzled by the start of the new school year.
It is so much easier to take the 3 kids out on my own now the boys are a bit older. They are not quite as kamikaze as they were when they were toddlers. Is there anything more stressful than two small children running in opposite directions towards different hazards! I’ve done so many lightning fast calculations of which kid to save – the one heading towards the road or the one teetering on the top of a ridiculously high climbing frame. I think the health and safety types call it a dynamic risk assessment!
Fun in the sun
The weather has been really kind to us so we have enjoyed lots of relaxing picnics in the park and spent lots of time running around outside. It is so much easier to keep the kids occupied when the sun is shining and we can just head to the park or hang out in the garden. We’ve done so much walking – wandering along the country paths around our village and playing Pokemon Go (I’m sure that this game has got more kids walking than any public health campaign). I’ve found that we don’t need really big fancy days out to have fun.
Big days out
We did have some big days out throughout the 6 week break. I took Sofia to London for her birthday to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (my one word review -= AMAZING!).
I took the kids to see Finding Dory at the cinema (also amazing!) We all had a brilliant day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo with some great friends. I can’t recommend Whipsnade enough. We saw so many amazing animals and even caught the elephants walking along trunk to tail along the road.
Our family camping trip was also a big highlight of the summer. I have treated the kids to quite a few lunches out at our favourite cafes and we’ve all eaten so much ice cream.
Loving the Olympics
We completely loved the Rio Olympics. I let Sofia stay up to watch the diving whenever it was on in the evenings. Me and Rolando did get up in the middle of the night to watch Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt. I may have gone a bit crazy with team GB merchandise in Aldi (a t-shirt for each of us, a swim suit and shorts for Sofia and a baseball cap). Our medal success made me feel so proud to be British especially after a bit of a turbulent year for our country. Sofia and I have made a collage of photos of the team GB medal winners and have posted it on the wall along our stairway. It is our little way of keeping the magic of Rio alive. Thank you team GB for giving us so much joy!
No morning rush
One thing I have not missed is school run stress. We’ve had some nice lazy mornings not having to rush to get ready (not that the boys believe in lie ins). We have also been quite lax with bedtimes as well.
The last week
I can’t believe that we only have a week until school starts again. I still feel like there is a few things that we want to cram into these final days of the holidays – a trip to the Botanic Gardens and celebrate our annual pirate day. Sofia also needs two more trips to the library to complete her Summer Reading Challenge. Luckily we were able to get most of Sofia’s uniform supplies in Sainsbury today (I will get the last few bits online) so not too much left to organise. I also need to do the dreaded back to school trip to get Sofia some new school shoes (why have I left it so late?!). Taking 3 kids school shoe shopping can be a bit torturous but I’m going to try and save time by booking a slot online.
Back to school
I will miss spending so much time with the kids when they head back to school. Although I’d be lying if I wasn’t looking forward to the first day that I have to myself once term starts again. I’m torn between catching up on life admin and housework and catching up on sleep.
How has your summer holiday been? Will you be breathing a sigh of relief when terms starts again? or feel a bit sad that the summer has come to an end?
Wow July absolutely whizzed by. Who am I kidding every month whizzes by. It was the end of the school year which is always very hectic. I can’t believe that Sofia has finished year 3 already. Here are the highlights of our month.
Cinema Trip – Finding Dory
I took the kids to see the new Disney/Pixar film the day that it came out. This was the first time I’ve taken my 3 kids to the cinema on my own which made it extra special. I was a bit nervous that one of the kids would need a wee or get scared in the middle of the film which would have been a logistical challenge. I was really proud of how smoothly the trip went. I had a glass of wine to congratulate myself once the kids were in bed!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
This is an annual event where different Shakespeare plays are staged in the gardens of the Cambridge Colleges. I went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream with some friends from work. It was performed in the beautiful gardens of Kings College. They are not normally open to the public so it was a real treat to see them. It was a really good version of the play – I liked the quirky steam punk touches to the fairies.
Sofia and I are having loads of fun playing Pokemon Go. It has got us walking miles – we got a medal yesterday for walking 10km. We’ve also been to landmarks that I hadn’t noticed before. If we have a bit of free time in the afternoon I take the kids on a Pokemon hunt walk round our local area. We love catching a new type of Pokemon or figuring out a new feature of the game. I’ve seen a bit of Pokemon shaming on social media. Seriously! Lighten up people, it’s great fun and gets you out and about.
This is such a great app! You take one of your photos and turn it into a work of art. You can choose lots of different styles from famous paintings. I could spend hours playing with different affects. I love this picture of Leo in the style of an oil painting.
Fishing in the river
This is a bit of a random pick. I’ve always thought that fishing was a bit sad. However we decided to buy some fishing nets and have a go. We headed to our local river to see if we could catch some little fish. We brought a big plastic tub to fill with water to put them in. This turned out to be way more fun than I had expected. We spent ages dipping our nets into the water. No fish were harmed during this activity!
Things we are looking forward to in August…………
The kids are off school/pre school until September so August will be a really busy month with the kids. I think I’ll be exhausted by the end of the month.
We are going to take a little family camping trip next week. It will be our first time doing proper camping. We have been glamping with the kids once before but never done real camping with them. A friend has very kindly lent us a massive tent to use and lots of camping equipment. Fingers crossed the weather is kind!
Rio 2016 Olympics
I love, love, love the Olympics! I’ve blogged before about why I love the Olympics. I’m so excited for the Games in Rio. I’m writing this post while waiting for the Olympic Opening Ceremony to kick off this evening. I think the Olympics could be the boost that we need amid such a difficult year. I’m totally willing on team GB.
Sofia’s 8th Birthday
Oh my gosh how is my baby girl turning 8 years old tomorrow?! Sofia is so excited for her birthday – she has been counting down for weeks. I feel a bit emotional at how quickly Sofia is growing up. At the same time I’m really proud to see the person she is becoming. We have some fun things planned for her special day. We are Kicking off with pancakes for breakfast and presents before a trip to London.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I am so excited to be taking Sofia to see the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London tomorrow as a birthday treat. The clips I’ve seen of the show look mind blowing! This is just as much of a treat for me as it is for Sofia.
What have you got planned for August? I’d love to know your plans. You can drop me a line in the comments section below.
It’s my blog’s first birthday! I’ve been tapping away on my laptop for one whole year. I’ve written posts over sharing my family life, doing a bit of ranting and occasionally posting things that are vaguely helpful!
A new challenge
When I set up my blog last year I was in a bit of a rut. I needing a new challenge and it seemed like blogging was something that I could squeeze in around looking after my kiddos and working. Little did I know how much time was involved in running a blog. There have been some total highs. The highlights being posts that have really resonated with people. I’ve had some very heartfelt comments that have made my day. I feel amazing when people tell me my post inspired them to do something or go somewhere that I had recommended. There have also been some lows. These mainly involve me getting very frustrated and confused with the technical aspects of running a blog. It is also quite disheartening when I’ve spent a long time writing a post that has totally bombed.
In love with writing
I’ve always loved writing and my blog gives me the opportunity to write consistently and regularly, slowly perfecting my writing style. I’m having fun playing with new ideas and experimenting with different types of post.
There is way more to running a blog than writing good blog posts (taking and editing pictures, promoting your work and trying to maximise it’s chance of being found in a google search, working on your site stats). There is pretty much an endless list of things that you can do! I sometimes feel like I don’t have enough time to make my blog the best that it can be but I just do what I can when I can.
The best discovery I’ve had since starting twins make five is the brilliant blogging community. I’ve found it to be way more collaborative then competitive. I’ve had tonnes of help and advice over the past year. I’ve made some great buddies through my blog. People who started as online friends who have crossed over into being proper mates that I have met in real life!
The other highlights of my first year as a blogger were the two blog conferences that I attended (Blogfest 2015 and BML 2016). I heard some inspiring speakers at both of these events and had a chance to meet lots of other bloggers and friends too.
I am constantly inspired and informed by reading other peoples blogs. I’ve read posts that have made me cry, made me think and made me splut out my coffee laughing. I’ve tried out lots of things that I have seen in other peoples how to posts.
Things I’ve learnt
I love how my blog constantly challenges me to learn new things and I love that it is constantly throwing up new things to get to grips with.
How to run a website
None of the technical stuff comes easily to me. I’m slowly getting my head around running a WordPress Website. My blog looked really rough and ready when I first started out. There are still a lot of things I want to do to refine the design but it’s come a long way.
I use an online graphic design programme called Canva to try and am slowly getting better at making pretty images for my blog. I’ve got a lot still to learn and I’m enjoying the process.
Twitter was a total mystery to me before I started my blog. I’m gobsmacked that my blog now has 1800 twitter followers. I had no idea of twitter etiquette in the early days. I committed every twitter faux par going!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Okay I’m still a bit of an SEO novice but I feel like I have got to grips with the basic ideas of making your website show up in peoples search results. I wrote a review of Zootropolis that is read by people every day by people who find it via a search engine.
How to edit video
I’m having so much fun with this at the moment making videos that I call “Our day in 60 seconds.” They are such a nice snap shot of our families days and I know I will love looking back on them when my kids are older. I’ve just been loading them on my blogs Facebook page at the moment but I’m thinking of how I can make videos more of a feature on the blog.
My year in page views
Checking my blog stats is a bit of an obsession. Although the stats are not all important it is great when a post gets loads of views when it is first published.
Here is a round up of my blog’s year in numbers
Number of posts published: 131 (not including this one!)
Total number of comments: 1249
Top 3 most viewed posts (I’m not surprised that these are all posts relating to twins)
My husband bought my blog a birthday cake so I’ll be having that with some wine this evening in celebration. My first year of blogging has gone so fast – I’m excited to see what the second year has in store!
I love, love, love the Olympics! It’s bordering on obsession. It’s less than a month until the start of the Rio Olympics and I’m already looking forward to my next Olympic fix.
My earliest Olympic memories are watching Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996). During the Olympics in Athens in 2004 I was doing temping jobs having returned from travelling. I turned down offers of work to maximise my Olympic viewing opportunities.
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 were held a couple of weeks after Sofia was born. I remember crying my eyes out watching a little girl singing during the opening ceremony. I watched a lot of the events through the haze of night feeds. Maybe it was the effect of all the hormones and sleeplessness – I remember being so overcome when a man from Togo won his country’s first ever Olympic medal (Benjamin Boukpeti in the slalom kayak to be exact!)
I was completely over the moon when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics. I was heavily pregnant with the twins during the 2012 Games so again very hormonal and emotional. My husband and I auditioned and were selected to perform in the opening ceremony. I was so sad that I had to drop out as I couldn’t keep up with the rehearsal schedule (I’ve written previously about our Olympic experience Olympics, Danny Boyle, Pregnancy and Grief). I was really lucky to visit the Olympic stadium to see the technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony. It was thrilling. I have such amazing memories of London 2012. It felt like the Olympics brought the country came together in such a positive way. There were so many stand out moments including the amazing achievements including those of Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah. I was on such a high long after the closing ceremony.
One of the things that is so special about the Olympics is the way it celebrates talent, hard work and physical and mental determination. Our modern culture has a lots of people who are famous for no real reason (I’m thinking the Kardashians and the endless reality TV stars). There is a lot of style over substance around these days. I love how the Olympics is the complete opposite of this. None of the hype or talking matters it is all about pure performance, the triumph of the fastest, the most skilled, the strongest. You can’t fake it. The difference between winning and losing is often only fractions of a second. I think it is great for our kids to see the dedication of the Olympic competitors – they are inspirational for all the right reasons.
The Olympics is full of some amazing stories. Tiny nations succeeding against the odds and who doesn’t love a triumphant underdog? Competitors who come back from near defeats to pull off unlikely victories. There are moments of drama and feats of individual effort and amazing team work. I watch as much of the coverage as I can. I find myself getting captivated by sports I’ve never seen before (or even heard of). I love how there is so much variety and I always get hooked on the most random events. I love seeing the high emotion of it all from the concentration of competition to people bursting with pride or shedding a tear on the podium.
I know that there are a lot of social and political difficulties in Brazil at the moment and that the run up to the 2016 games have been challenging. I really hope that things come together for the worlds greatest sporting event.
If anyone needs me between 05 August and 21 August I’ll be at home glued to the canoe slalom and crying over the synchronised swimming!