Saturday started quite early due to another thunder storm followed by some hard core snoring by 30%. I headed down stairs to start the day gently with coffee and, after an hour or so, made a start on putting the house in to some semblance of order … It seemed churlish to leave the house in a complete state of disarray as 30%'s parents would be dog and house sitting.
Most of the morning was spent tidying and preparing to leave apart from a brief interlude when "Bob from Wolverhampton" arrived to collect a couple of items that he had acquired via eBay. As midday approached we were ready to leave and headed off down the road. The first leg of the journey was the matter of a few miles to the Oak at Upton Snodsbury where we stopped for a light lunch. We then plugged B&C's* post code in to the Range Rover's Sat Nav unit and let it take over navigation duties.
As we neared Worcester I expected to be directed on to the M5 but the route selected was cross country. 30% and I were gifted with empty roads and fantastic views of rural Worcestershire, Shropshire and Cheshire as we headed towards our destination of Hoole near Chester.
It was a delight to see C&B after such a long time and conversation came easily was we chatted about work and home life. The later afternoon sun was glorious so we decided to take a walk in to Chester to take in a couple of views of the city. Miss Pickle** was put on the lead and we headed down part of the National Cycle Network that lead to our first halt at a canal side pub. We paused for refreshments before heading in to Chester proper and walking a section of the City Walls. This part of the walk gave us views of the Cathedral and Chester's famous Eastgate Clock. We descended from the walls and walked along a short length of the River Dee before partaking of further refreshment at another canal side pub.
We arrive back at C&B's house around seven and decided that a bottle of champagne was a good idea as we needed something to do until our restaurant reservation approached. At about eight thirty we headed down in to Hoole and arrived at an award winning Indian Restaurant selected by C for our evening meal. The food and company was lovely and a great time was had by all. On the walk home a swift one was drank at a reasonably quiet bar before we headed home.
Once back at C&B's the spirits and wine were broken out and I think we eventually retired at around four in the morning.
Sunday apparently dawned but I was not aware of this. I had fallen asleep as soon as my head had hit the pillow and the next thing I knew was 30% calling me to wakefulness at half past ten. I felt amazingly chipper considering the amount of booze consumed over yesterday's twelve hour session and wandered downstairs to see Miss Pickle charging around the kitchen and feet of a rather dishevelled C.
C and I took MissP out for a quick walk whilst B and 30% sorted out some coffee and then we all sat in the scorching morning sun waiting for the caffeine to take effect. Eventually it was time for us to leave as C&B needed to hit the road and head up to Ayrshire for a week's holiday. We threw our stuff in to the car and, again, let it decide on the route home.
Once again the car decided to go cross country and we settled down to take in the views.*** We assumed that we would be taking the same route home but this time the car decided that we needed to check out the delights of rural Staffordshire. A light lunch was taken at a pub called The Bell but don't ask me where the hell it was. All I can say is that we were both starving having been enticed to pull off the main road on two occasions by signs advertising Pubs with restaurants only to find that both of them had closed down!
Lunch was a simple but superb Burger and then it was back in to the car for the final leg home which featured Wolverhampton, the A449, Kingswinford and Stourbridge. We arrived home shortly after three and after an enthusiastic welcome by T&M we both settled down to catch up on some sleep. We woke shortly before six and did little else apart from eat a light supper and vegetate on the sofa until bed time.
We had had a lovely weekend away with some fine company and really must get a reciprocal event arranged soon.
---* "C" wanted to know whether he could pick his own alias for the Journal and was concerned to learn that was not going to happen. He was further dismayed when we broached the touchy subject of his passing resemblance to a young Noel Edmonds and warned that could be the foundation for his moniker in the Journal. "B" was also wary that she might end up being referred to as "Blobby" so I think that the decision to go with simple, sequential initials is evidence of my magnanimity.
** Their lovely but very reserved "rescue" Springer Spaniel
*** The car is more comfortable than the average living room sofa, has acres of glass giving fantastic views and the automatic gear box makes it the most stress free drive I have ever encountered.