Monday, July 14, 2008

Super-Sized Frannie

I don’t think I have ever eaten quite as much as I did this last weekend! I think my girth has extended by about three inches, just over the course of the weekend.

We were supposed to be going to visit Joy and Ron in Loxley for Saturday lunch. Joy used to work at the Collegiate Learning Centre on the weekend team until she retired about 18 months ago. I had run into her a few weeks ago and she had invited us for lunch. Excellent. A nice little interlude in the day.

I had assumed soup and a sandwich and a couple of hours gentle chat. Instead, we arrived to sherry and nibblies. Soup. Main course. Dessert. Cheese course. Coffee. Couple of bottles of wine (between us, not each), and the whole afternoon gone. Didn’t leave until nearly 5:00. Was a very pleasant catch up. And absolutely no need for anything else to eat for the rest of the day.

We continued the eating theme on Sunday. Not having realised that Joy was planning an Uber-Sunday lunch on a Saturday, we had booked ourselves a table at the Three Horseshoes at Spitewinter for the Sunday carvery at 1pm. They’ve reorganised it in there since last we were there. It’s very nice. And the food is magnificent. Locally reared meat, beautiful vegetables, ENORMOUS Yorkshire pudding. And we indulged in dessert. The Builder had an apple pie with custard, while I have a sumptuous blueberry pannacotta with a little custard swirl and some proper vanilla ice cream. The views from the Three Horseshoes are equally spectacular. Yesterday it was also very clear. Alas – I had, most unusually for me, left my camera at home.

Before we went for lunch, we had been to the garden centre at Dunston Hall. It took much less time than we had expected to get what we wanted, and we had loads and loads of time to get to the pub. So we asked Jenny-the-Sat-Nav to take us the shortest way. This is nearly always also the longest way in terms of time. As it was in this case. We zigzagged our way across and found some really quite interesting little places. It’s quite fun getting the Sat Nav to do unusual things. You get to see lots of things that you might not ordinarily see.

After lunch we went to Bakewell which, given that it was a beautiful summer Sunday, was unsurprisingly packed with people taking the air and having picnics. We had gone purely for shopping purposes. They have an excellent tool shop in Bakewell that The Builder wanted to visit and I wanted to go to the farmers’ market shop and to the kitchen shop. I was tempted to visit the ladies’ loo before we went back home, but the queue stretched out into the street. I decided that my wee need wasn’t that urgent!

On the way to Bakewell, we turned off and went to visit Caudwell’s mill in Rowsley. I’ve seen the sign to it but have never bothered to go and investigate. We decided to on this occasion because I’ve been looking for some proper pasta flour and haven’t been able to find any. I thought they might have some. Also, that they might sell bread flour in larger quantities than they do in the supermarket. And it was really something of a find. Although the mill no longer grinds its own flour, they do sell lots of different flours from other mills. Including pasta flour. And bread flour in 6 kg bags. Should keep us in bread for a while (though we are eating shop bought bread today). But there’s also a working forge, a jewellers, a glass maker, various other crafty things (and a vegetarian restaurant which we didn’t need to sample) AND a fantastic craft and gift shop full of lovely things that I really couldn’t afford to buy (not because they were expensive; they weren't particularly, but we seem to have spent a great deal of money lately). It’s not that far from the Rowsley shopping outlet so would be an excellent day out for any enthusiastic shoppers who might come to visit.

We spent a bit of time in the garden over the weekend. I’ve picked all the gooseberries and put them in the freezer. And The Builder has put as much glass into the new greenhouse as we have to hand. He’s ordered some more to complete it.

Freyja called at the Learning Centre towards the end of last week to collect some strawberries (I am over-run with strawberries). She works at a law firm not far from the Adsetts Centre. She was not a little surprised to go to a meeting during the week to find cousin Helen there as well. Helen has been doing a post grad law course this year at the University of Sheffield and is now doing a short placement at the firm Freyja works for. Neither knew that the other was going to be there! mind you, Freyja is there most of the time, but Helen didn't know that!

Debby, Steve and Tammy next door left for a two week holiday in Spain at about 4:00 this morning. Danny, their wayward 18-ish year old son has not gone with them. Last year he stayed at home, allegedly on his own. This year, he has been sent to stay with grandma – I think Steve and Debby were quite horrified by the state of the house when they got home last year. His key has been taken off him so he can’t sneak back in while they are away. The Builder and I have a key to their place, though. Steve dropped it off yesterday with the request that we collect their mail, check the house and put the bin out. I think it’s quite funny that *we* are trusted with a key and Daniel is not!! Mind you, we are unlikely to trash their house, nor are we likely to throw fag ends over the fence to accumulate around their back door!

Stella has gone into hospital now, ready for what (Uncle) Peter apparently called her Little Holiday and the rest of us call her by-pass operation, scheduled for tomorrow. It seems that Peter’s most recent chest xrays came back with perky, pink, clear lungs. I wonder if he’s better enough to try going out for lunch again. I must drop him a line to find out.

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