Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A weekend of gluttony

Breakfast was, as you would expect, magnificent. Although it occurs to me that it might not have been entirely wise to have a full English breakfast a mere three hours before we were due to take The Builder’s parents out for lunch!

We shall have to walk it off. Into Salisbury. Park at the Waitrose car park, and walk along the stream into the city centre. I want to upgrade my phone so I can use it in Japan. I have been researching and find that I need a 3G phone.

In the O2 shop, I asked the boy-in-training if I could have a 3G phone that would work in Japan. Oh, he said. All the new phones are 3G these days. You need a tri-band phone. Actually, I knew that tri-band phones are for America, but that didn’t matter as long as the phone was 3G. He flourished a phone. It looked ok to me. Not as cute as my current one, but had a nice, clear, large screen. Plus I can have it free as part of my contracted upgrade facility. That’ll do. Sorted out the paperwork and wandered off to Lakeland to discover what my life is lacking at the moment. Actually, the visit to Lakeland wasn’t so bad. We just bought some cling film. It was when the lady gave me several catalogues that The Builder went a slightly paler shade of pale!

Off to Nunton, then, to collect Gwen and Mick for lunch in the Yew Tree. Gwen somehow managed to munch her way through an enormous plate of cod, chips and peas. My breakfast hadn’t had anything like enough time to work off. I couldn’t manage all of my cheese ploughman’s. The Builder managed his steak and kidney pie, though, and Mick made a creditable attempt on his cod and chips. Then we trundled them back home and stayed chatting until it became very clear that they (and The Builder), fortified by their large lunches, were ready for their afternoon nap.

The Builder was not allowed to have an afternoon nap. We took ourselves off sightseeing. We drove out through Downton, then around in a big circle, looking at lots of villages and places of interest in The Builder’s life. We found the church where he had first got married, and the house his first father in law had lived in until he died last year. We found the cottage his first wife and her family had lived in as a girl. We found the house where The Builder had lived as a teenager, all down a little track leading nowhere. We also, somewhat to his surprise, found a large-ish farm shop half way down the track. Must investigate it one day. At least The Builder will remember how to get to it. It was a very pretty drive.

Back at Bridge Farm, The Builder was watching the football results. I looked up my phone on the “will-it-work-in-Japan” website, confidently expecting it to say yes. It said NO !!!!!!!!!!! I investigated further. It is neither a 3G phone, nor a tri-band. It is, in fact, a quad band. That, apparently, won’t work in Japan. So I’ve now got a new phone that I didn’t really need on a day to day basis and which I don’t particularly like – and it won’t do the one thing that I specifically asked for :-( And I can’t even take it back because there won’t be time tomorrow. I suppose I could try taking it to the O2 shop in Sheffield and asking if I can upgrade it to the next model – which is 3G.

I did not have a full breakfast on Sunday. I had some cereal, some fruit and a boiled egg. For we were off to Whiteley to visit Jeanette, Matt, Rebecca and Evie and experience suggests that we would be fed a hearty lunch. I can’t, I just can’t eat a hearty breakfast AND a hearty lunch within hours of each other! Then I tried to book a room at Bridge Farm for the weekend of July 5th. Salisbury Cathedral is 750 years old this year and they’re having a big party to celebrate. Over the May Bank Holiday weekend they’re having a medieval fair, which we are coming to, but we’re staying with Barb. On the 5th July, they’re having a Vaughn Williams concert in the cathedral, and I want to go. And Norma has NO VACANCIES :-S It’s not as though the cathedral is going to change the date of the concert for a Saturday when Norma has a free room. We are going to have to stay Somewhere Else!!! We have, however, booked one of the holiday cottages for a week from December 27th. There are spare beds if anyone fancies joining us for some or all of that time. I shall have a hunt for somewhere for July.

In the meantime, we had plenty of time and it was a lovely day, so we set Jenny-the-sat-nav to go to Whiteley avoiding the motorways and had a lovely drive through the countryside and Southampton. And arrived just before midday. Jeanette and Evie were Home Alone. So we had a bit of a natter and a bit of a tickle of the baby, then The Builder and I went to have a cup of tea with Mike and Rosie (Matt’s parents who moved up from the farm in Devon late last year). It was Mike’s 70th yesterday and we had come armed with a present. Then we went back for lunch. Matt and Rebecca had come home and we had roast chicken with loads of vegetables and potatoes and Yorkies, plus apple crumble with custard. I knew I was right not to have a huge breakfast!

Then we had to leave. We were due in Sheffield to meet Tabitha, Freyja and Mark for dinner. So much visiting. So much food. I’m feeling quite fat!

Actually, we had a really good run home so dropped home to put the washing on, play with the cat and do various organising things. We set off to Sheffield. Got half way up the road when I remembered that I hadn’t picked up the map of Chesterfield I was going to give Freyja. Nor had I brought her library book. Or, indeed, Tabitha’s CD. We went back, collected the bits and pieces – and Steve came out to talk to us. So did Marlo. He didn’t know where we were going – but he definitely wanted to come too! I tempted him back inside with kitty treats!

We had dinner in a Turkish restaurant on London Road. We ordered rather too many mixed dips. And I probably didn’t need quite such a large plate of grilled lamb and bread. I’m feeling quite fat now! Tabitha went off to meet a mate at the pub. We took Freyja and Mark back home, regretfully turning down the offer of cake (Freyja makes fantastic cakes – but I had Eaten Enough!) and went home. And went to bed late. It was the first day of British Summer Time, so my body was an hour behind. And full!

I had an real adventure getting home last evening. I was on the evening shift (which was good from the point of view of having gone to bed late the previous evening. The Builder, poor lad, had to get up and trundle off at 7 o’clock after more than a week off). I was coming down the bypass – and found it closed after the Unstone slip road. So I came off and made my way to Wittington. Only to find that the roundabout was blocked off as well. So I went left and went up and up and up and up, thinking that soon I would run across a road leading to where I really wanted to be, or at least to Staveley – which may be dire, but at least I know how to get home from there. I was becoming quite worried because there were no roads leading across. And I didn’t see any signs to Staveley. Just to Eckington, where my colleague Rupert lives. But I don’t suppose he’d have been absolutely delighted to see me at nearly 10 o’clock. And it’s nowhere near Tupton. Eventually I turned around, went back and back and back and back, went all around the houses in Chesterfield and eventually got home at around 10 o’clock. So not much later than usual. I have put Jenny the Sat Nav back into my backpack. She would have been extremely useful trying to find my way around last evening!
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