Well now. That was a lovely weekend. Just by way of a change, it included lots of food, wine and pottering about!
We dropped into Salisbury after breakfast on Saturday, to visit the farmers’ market, which runs as part of the ordinary market. Got lots of very yummy things and had a lovely wander about. Then we called into Waitrose before heading out to The Builder’s parents place. Happily, they are both well, although Gwen has a sore eye and Mick has to have a cataract operation this week. Otherwise, all was well, so we ambled off to the Yew Tree with them for lunch.
Note to self: It is a Bad Plan to have a “starter” bowl of fish soup at the Yew Tree if you are then intending to have a main course. The “starter” bowl of soup is bigger than the bowl I use for soup when it *is* my lunch! Made it difficult to do justice to my tempura vegetables when they arrived! I have a feeling that even The Builder struggled to finish his scampi after his “starter” bowl of tomato soup. Gwen and Mick didn’t even try. They had steak and kidney pies and just nibbled at them. No desserts for us!!!
We took them back and stayed chatting until it became clear that they really quite fancied their afternoon naps. It was a bit early to return to the B&B so we headed out for a mooch in the forest, along roads I hadn’t been on before. It wasn’t entirely ideal weather for mooching about, being grey and gloomy(though nothing like as gloomy as Friday had been!) but the forest was certainly atmospheric!
While we were out and about, a cow came ambling across the road, as they do. Then another one. And then another one. And then *loads* of cows all came ambling across the road. Big ones and little ones. Brown ones and “saddleback” ones (like the ones we saw last time near Berwick St John, the belted Galloways) in black and grey this time. And all the cows were in their fluffy winter coats and looked very cuddly. I assume they were going for their evening feed, although we did run across a ute, a little way further along, which was offloading cow feed. The cows, alas, had gone in the other direction. So many cows!! We saw horses too. But no deer.
Another picnic in the bedroom, and a nice early night. And I slept the sleep of the Just - no strange dreams such as I had had on Friday night!
Sunday was Jeanette’s 40th birthday so we headed down to Whiteley to visit, wish her birthday greetings and hand over her present. We stayed for two or three hours, drinking tea, watching meerkats on the telly, chatting and playing with the baby. Then at around 2pm we headed off. Shopping to do, doncha know. It’s nearly Christmas so there is lots to do. Must mosey on.
And we did go shopping. Really, we did. I needed more Christmas cards and some table presents for Boxing Day. Then we might perhaps have just found ourselves wandering into Frankie and Bennies (an American style burger bar). Oh look. There’s Pip (The Builder’s first wife and Jeanette’s mother) and Tom. And – who’d have thought it? There are Mike and Rosie, Matt’s parents. And who should coincidentally wander in but Ian (The Builder’s son and Jeanette’s brother) and Donna and their daughters. And there was even an old friend of Jeanette’s in there too. What an amazing coincidence! Except, I don’t think Jeanette believed for a second that it was a coincidence when she turned up with Matt, Rebecca and Evie about 20 minutes later to find us all at a long table, decorated with balloons, perusing the menu!!! Grin! Was surprisingly nice food for a burger bar.
We were intending to stay for dessert and then to go back to the house with people for the cake. Was happily looking at the dessert menu when my phone rang. I might not have answered it, except it was The Builder’s parents number. “Hello?” said I. “Hello,” said Gwen. “Who’s that?” A bit surprised, for it was, after all, my phone that she had rung, I told her who it was. “Who?” said she. Sigh! Eventually she worked out who I was (I think she couldn’t hear all that well. It was quite noisy in the restaurant). It seemed that she had some Christmas presents which had been left with her and which she had forgotten to give to us when we were there on Saturday. Nothing for it, really, but to abandon the party and head back to Salisbury to collect the parcels. We didn't want to do that too much later as it added about an hour to the trip home.
Parcels safely collected we headed back to Tupton, where we found the cat sat on the side of the settee staring out the window watching for us. I wonder if he had heard the car. He was certainly absolutely delighted to see us. He tried to convince me that he hadn't been fed a single crumb since we had left last Monday. Really? Then where are all of the tins of cat food we'd left? What has happened to your biscuit barrel? And where are all the cat treats?!?!?!?!?
Was a bit of a shock coming back to work on Monday. Fortunately, I was on the evening duty so didn't need to rush. It was a horrible shock this morning when the alarm rang and I actually had to get up! Fortunately, there's only tomorrow and then I'm on holiday again!!! Though I can't sleep in on Thursday. We are going to the airport to collect Julia on Monday morning.
The Vixen has a poorly windscreen. We were heading into Sheffield this morning along the Dronfield bypass when a car whooshed past and threw up a stone, taking a sizeable chunk out of the windscreen. A repairing man is coming on Thursday