A lads’ lunch today! I picked up Geoff B (a colleague from my Sainsbury days) in Irthlingborough and we headed off towards the sleepy village of Swinford - and The Chequers Pub. I haven’t seen Geoff for almost a gazillion years, and the drive to the Pub gave us chance to catch-up with each other’s news from the past 15 years!
In fact, we would have had chance to catch-up with a lot more because the Sat-Nav developed a nervous breakdown and actually took us away from the Pub just when we were within a mile of it! Combine this setback with my legendary lack-of-sense-of-direction, and the 20 minute journey took closer to an hour! Still, on a positive note, it gave me an opportunity to show-off the car to Geoff around the sleepy lanes of ‘old’ Northamptonshire. taking in Welford, Husbands Bosworth, Kilworth, err, Husbands Bosworth (again), the M1, and then finally, Swinford, the car performed like a dream around the twisty-turny bits, making even me look like a good driver!!! - Even after owning it for a month, I still can’t get over the sheer acceleration of the XKR - it’s just mind-blowing!
Finally, we arrived at The Chequers Pub and met Ralph in the Beer Garden, as he’d arrived ahead of us. We perused the menu for something ‘pubby’. It didn’t take us long to decide: steak for Ralph and burgers for Geoff and for me. I’m not sure what’s happening to the weather round here, but one minute it was ‘sit-outside-and-enjoy-the-Summer’, and the next, it was freezing, so, Inside or out was the next dilemma. We decided to brave the elements and eat outside.
As it turned out, it was a good thing we did, otherwise we probably would have missed a pretty unique event! Thirty minutes into the meal, there was a loud explosion, sounding like it was coming from the direction of the A14. Seconds later, an air-ambulance flew overhead, and a stream of ambulances and fire engines screamed through the village. According to the Landlord, someone in the village had tried to blow themselves up!!!
As you do!
With all the excitement, we took a look outside the Pub, to see what we could see. The Air-ambulance was now flying away, but the Fire crews were sealing off the roads. We quickly settled the bill and headed for our cars in case they closed the village off completely (for whatever reason).
The journey back was much more straightforward, and I was soon dropping Geoff back off at his 25 minutes later.
It was a great get together, and we’re going to do it all again (without the getting lost part and the explosion, of course!)