Sunday, March 01, 2015


‘The Weekend…’ as they say, ‘starts here!’

This weekend was one of the busiest ‘socials’ for, us for a long while (ohh, the stress!). So, not a great time, to be trying to stick to my Lent regime - but I managed it!
Smile with tongue out

The weekend started early on Friday night, where we met up with Paul & Sue together with Geoff & Rhonda. The last time Paul, Geoff and I were in the same room, at the same time, would have been when we were all Training Managers ‘back in the day’ - in the 80s. Quite a reunion of training talent!

Our venue of choice tonight was The Hare at Loddington, where we’ve been a few times before, and where (luckily, for hearty eaters like us) ‘portion control’ is not a priority!

A generous Starter!

Teryaki Chicken!
Fab Food at The Hare, Loddington

It was great catching-up with everyone’s news. It had been such a long time since us three ex-Training Managers had seen each other together as a group, we had a lot of catching-up to do, and we’re already looking at repeating the exercise later in the Summer. The Hare did us proud, and in spite of how busy they were when we arrived, the service was spot-on, and the food, as good as we remember it! Yummy!

Nicki and her beau, Richard, joined us just before 9am, and we drove over to Leicester. First stop was Fenwick’s to pick up the elusive teaspoons for our cutlery set and then onto Tarratt, the Jewellers, to ‘sign-on-the-line for the design of my bespoke ‘30 year anniversary’ ring to complement Ann’s

Leicester calls...
Tarratt, the Jewellers, in Leicester

A Mockup of my new Ring

Then it was on to HighCross for the rest of the morning for a good ol’ fashioned shop-til-you-drop experience. And it seems, the rest of Leicestershire had the same idea, if the queue for the car-park was anything to go by! Ann, with Nicki’s help, managed to bag a couple of dresses, whilst Richard and I kept well away and did our own thing!

HighCross Heaving!

After a few hours, it was time for a nibble, and although most of our favourite haunts were busy with wait-times for tables, we did manage to get in at Cafe Rouge, without any problem. Another opportunity to be a little smug, as I successfully navigated my way round the menu without compromising my Lent List! Then, it was back home for a chill-out before Nicki and Richard headed home.

A slightly later start today, as we headed for Nick and Celina’s for lunch - and our first opportunity to see their new place in Market Overton. Weather-wise, it was a gorgeous day when we left around 11 - a bright blue sky and dry (that makes a change!!!). A perfect opportunity then, to blow the dust of the XKR, and take it for a spin.

A great route for the car...
The A6003 - vroom vroom!

The Cat - Our XKR

…and what a spin it was. We took the most direct route to Nick and Celina’s - the A6003 - and it was a brilliant road to put the car through its paces. A gentle mix of curves and straights, with some stunning scenery - and even the potential for slipping into ‘hooligan mode’ (I didn’t!) on a long straight stretch, where you could see for miles ahead, incorporating a steep decline and then an equally steep incline - oooo, the temptation, to let rip!

In the next life, I'm coming back as a cat!
Another Cat - Mr Jinks approves!

Fifty minutes later, we were deep in Rutland, and approaching Nick and Celina’s new home. For privacy reasons, I won’t reveal the details here, but it was nothing sort of stunning! A lovely property with views across the countryside, in all directions, as far as the eye can see! Gorgeous!! Their cat - Mr Jinks - was already settled in! The only downside (for me!) was an internet speed of just 0.2 Mb/sec - welcome to ‘rural’ Rutland!!

In preparation for my Lent restrictions, Celina and Nick had met the challenge head-on, and crafted a three-courser that steered me clear of all my ‘naughty stuff’ - brilliant! Thanks guys!! And as we rested our dessert spoons, I was feeling stuffed and chuffed in equal measure!

We left about 4.30, where by now, the weather had deteriorated to more familiar scenes - rain, rain, cold, rain, cold and rain! Time to take it a little easy in the car with rear-wheel drive and lots of horses.

Phew! It’s been a busy weekend (in a good way), great to catch-up with friends, and to enjoy the all-too-brief good weather. I’m dreading the daily weigh-in on Monday morning - I feel a few pounds has permanently found a new home!!

Winking smile