Thrapston – Let’s make our own spa day!

It’s May, it’s raining, it’s miserable….

The economy is gloomy, and we needed cheering up, so what did we do?  We organised a little spa day…on the cheap!!

We’re all members of the Gym at the Nene Centre (one month – trial membership currently £40).  So our first stop on this drizzly Saturday morning was to the centre where we had booked a Badminton Court.  We all got rather competitive, even though we weren’t that sure of the rules!

An hour of mixed doubles later, we were ready for our swim.  So just a hop across the coffee area, we were in the changing rooms and ready for swimming.

An hour of, well not exactly strenuous swimming…. we were all getting ready for some lunch.  Now, this is where you need to use your imagination a little, as if we were in a spa we may have donned our fluffy robes and wandered off to lunch, we did consider all walking through Thrapston in our dressing gowns but thought we may be arrested so…

We all jumped in our car, fully dried and dressed, hair and makeup re-done after swimming and drove to The Bridge Hotel.

Where each week-day and Saturday they run a buffet lunch – 12-2.

After filling up on fine food and drink, our spa day was almost complete.  Except we wished to stretch our legs and take a stroll.

So off we went to the local garden centre for a stroll around.  Our fish tank is also ready for its occupants this week too, and so five Neon Tetras, five XRay Tetras and five Guppys were taken home safely on our laps.

Sitting at home that evening, relaxing and just listening to the lapping water in the aquarium we felt as chilled as any expensive spa day!!


  • Badminton – Free as we are Gym member
  • Swim – Free – as above
  • The Bridge Hotel Buffet – £6 per head plus drinks
  • Fish – around £25

Not bad for cheering us all up on a rainy day!!  And much cheaper than The Santuary!


Take your Turkey on a Trip….

Britmums ( a blogging community for anyone who doesn’t know) is hosting a Lean on Turkey recipe competition, so I thought we’d enter.  So here is my entry for BritMums Lean on Turkey competition, sponsored by

We are rather partial to Turkey in this family as:

  • It’s often on Special Offer in our local Co-Op
  • Turkey is high in protein and essential for growth and repair, as part of a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Nearly all protein found in turkey meat can therefore be used to maintain the function and health of our body cells.
  • Cooked turkey contains 34g of protein per 100g, which is nearly 3/4 of an adult’s recommended daily allowance.
  • Turkey offers as much protein as roast beef but without as many calories or grams of saturated fat.
  • Compared with other meats, turkey breast has the lowest saturated fat level at less than 1g per 100g (4oz) portion, compared with other mainstream meats.
  • Turkey travels well in packed lunches when out and about in the local area exploring!


So yummy facts over, here’s a yummy recipe too….

The Backyard Tourist’s Sticky Turkey Pieces

The Sticky Turkey Pieces can be eaten at home, hot with a few chips or rice.  Or leave them to cool, add them to a Tupperware box with some salad to take as a sweet and sticky packed lunch (don’t forget some hand wipes though!)

This is no hard and fast recipe, go with dollops and dashes, taste along the way and ensure it’s as sticky or as spicy as you want…

Make the sauce – in a dish combine – a good squirt of tomato ketchup, two tablespoons of golden syrup, two tablespoons of vinegar, two of dark soy sauce, then a big dash of Worcestershire Sauce.

Add a teaspoon (to taste) of chilli powder, half a teaspoon of ground ginger and a teaspoon of mixed herbs.  Give it a good mix!

To a hot pan add some oil and lightly fry off some chopped garlic and a bit of fresh chopped ginger if you have any.  Add the cubed turkey to brown off.  Pour the cooking sauce you’ve just made all over.

It will begin life all a bit runny, don’t panic.  Cover and cook through until Turkey is well cooked, then remove lid – cook for a further ten minutes or so, until the sauce begins to thicken, it should have a sticky, thick consistency – a little like the sauce you get with Chinese Duck and pancakes.

That’s it!  All ready – either eat immediately, well let it cool a little first!! Or pack up when completely cold with salad for your explorers packed lunch!

We’re off to the gym!

 Eeeks, Hubby is really quite fit…I really am not.  I used to be, I let it slide.  Oh how I regret letting it slide!!  In 2008/9 I would get up at 6am, drive to the gym and work out for an hour before heading off to work, I would cycle in the evening and even took part in a Lands End to John O’Groats bike ride for the Toy Trust Charity.

Alas, I am now two stone overweight, unfit and fed up about it.

In Thrapston, there is the Nene Centre; two weeks ago we had a tour.  They have a lovely swimming pool, which was nearly empty (hurrah!) – a small but really well equipped gym (with Power Plates I cannot wait to try!) plus Badminton courts, various classes and a coffee shop with cakes….which I really need to avoid.

Classes include: Aerobics, Aqua Fit, Aqua Zumba, Cardio Kick, Tai Chi, Boxercise, 20 2020, Super Circuits, Pilates, Yoga, Spin and loads more!!

The Nene Centre is currently running an Olympic Promotion where you can ‘try out’ the centre for £70 for 3 months (working out at £23.33 per month gym membership – now where do you find that!?).  All classes, gym, swim and booking courts is all covered in that one fee.

On Sunday, Hubby and I are booked in at 10am for our induction, ie the team member letting us know how to use all the machines, nervous…am I?  Yes…  I’ve not been in a gym for around two years! 

I shall be buying some nice cover-all tracksuit trousers and a baggy T Shirt to hide any bingo wings…..  but secretly hoping in 3 months to be in a crop top and tight shorts, showing off my toned biceps….  (I can dream!)

So wish us both luck and think of us on Sunday!



The Nene Centre, Cedar Drive, Thrapston, NN14 4JY

Telephone: 01832 734090

Olympic Promotion £70 for 3 months  ~ Taster Promotion £30 for one month

PAYG £5.30 per session

Or to join the gym as a member:

£40 joining fee plus 39.00 per month (no commitment)

Or 12 months commitment is £29.95/month

There are various joint memberships, swim only memberships, family membership packages which are all on display at the centre.

Hamerton Park – our local zoo

Not everyone can boast a local zoo, but Hamerton Park really is just a hop, skip and a jump away!

Over in Sawtry nr Peterborough, we’ve visited twice now.  I just adore the Pigmy Goats and would smuggle one home in my coat if I could.  JPG loves the tigers and we have spent hours chasing back and forth around their enclosure to get a better look.  Last time we were there the two tigers had a stand up fight – that was amazing!

Getting to Hamerton Park is simples!

The start of spring means there are a lot of new mums at the Park at the moment; some animals are old hands and have seen it all before, but some are having their first babies and the zoo keeps a careful eye kept on them.

All mums are special of course, so Hamerton Park are offering a special deal for your special mum on Mother’s Day.  Take mum to the Park on Sunday 18th March for a discounted entry price of £6.50 for all mums!!

The petting zoo is great even for adults!

Baby wallabies are one of the sure signs that spring is coming.  The small Parma Wallabies can have young at any time of year, but the zoo’s Bennett’s Wallaby babies dont show their noses out of the pouches until around March.  Several can be seen this spring.  The first donkey foal of the year is a lovely American Mammoth jenny foal, the first female to be born here to this endangered breed they imported from Texas.  A Poitou Donkey is due soon too, and very pregnant foxes and lemurs means the early spring really is here.

The zoo does a huge amount of work for endangered species, and all the animals have the very best care and attention,  It’s a great day out for young, old and even very young as the enclosures all have low windows for better viewing.

I adore the Pygmy Goats


Hamerton Zoo Park,Hamerton, Nr Sawtry, Cambs, PE28 5RE
Phone: 01832 293362

Fun for everyone!