Family Weekend

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Roger, Jane and Oliver joined us for the weekend! 😁


The last signs of Summer 2019?

The main event for today was a picnic at Belton House and then a walk around the historic Mansion and Gardens. I think it’s our most oft-visited stately home having been there recently (ish) with with Dennis and Sandra back in May, 2018 and Chris and Gill in July, 2017.

On arrival, the weather was disappointing to say the least (Summer’s not quite over surely???) Oliver was sporting shorts and I was in a short-sleeved shirt. Consequently, both of us were woefully ill-dressed for the conditions – a plummeting temperature followed by rain! β˜” β˜”

1.00pm: However, It didn’t stop us enjoying our picnic though, as we sandwiched ourselves between ‘Robert‘ and the car next door to act as a wind-break! Brrrrr! 😁

1.55pm: I think the c*** weather made us eat more quickly, and we soon made a significant dent in Ann’s extensive picnic.

As soon as we’d cleared up our bits, we headed straight for the House. Word to the wise: Since our previous visit, there’s been one major change here! ALL VISITS ARE NOW TIMED, so it’s not just a case of turning-up and hoping to get in straight away. But, as it happened, it was perfect timing on our part, as there were five slots on the very next admission – the 2.15!

2.10pm: We’re in! 😁

Given our previous visits, from a photo point-of-view, I decided to concentrate on the less well-known/seen pieces on show inside, together with less obvious views of the property and surroundings.

3.05pm: Time for a cuppa, especially as the damp weather from earlier had returned, but this time it was torrential!

A quick, but determined sprint to the nearby tea-shop got us more-or-less to the front of the queue (followed by the rest of mankind) and we were soon seated in the Stables enjoying our cuppa and cake!

3.35pm: Next stop was the Gardens where the weather, perfectly on cue turned from rain to warm sunshine! 😁 At last!


4.00pm: Our final stop was St Peter & St Paul Church aka Belton Church.

Belton Church

4.20pm: A great visit! (again!) 😁. Even the weather didn’t really spoil our visit (even though it looked like it would!). We wandered back to the car and headed south.

Ooo, there’s creative! 😊

All of today’s photos at Belton House (with none of my chat) are HERE

6.15pm: It was a good journey home and we were indoors by 5.45. By 6.15, Ann had laid the table for a yummy table-buffet. All that was left to do was to choose a movie for the evening…

Excellent choice!
Bohemian Rhapsody (courtesy of Sky Store): Even better than I remember it the first time around in the cinema πŸ‘
9.45pm: And what could be better than a good film to finish the evening? The answer? two films! Choice-wise, the consensus was Thor: Ragnarok (in 4k DVD). Although it’s not my favourite from the Marvel stable, it’s still a very good yarn with everyone acting their heart out, helped along by outstanding SFX and a comedic theme (that in spite of all the death and destruction, seemed to work). The day however, eventually got the better of us, and we only got about two-thirds of the way through it – still there was always tomorrow to finish it off!

11.05pm: That’s it! 😴😴😴😴😴 Nighty-night!


A lie-in for me until the unearthly late hour of 7.15 whilst the others slept-on.

9.10am: A little bit of Queen, courtesy of Spotify to get the day started!

9.45am: Breakfast is served – Porridge with Strawberries followed by a Bacon Butty! 😁

10.30am: Jane, Oliver and I watched the rest of Thor: Raganarok, Roger caught up with the Daily Telegraph, whilst Ann put the finishing touches to lunch – this was a real family-foodie weekend, and just how we like it! 😍

12.15pm: Pre-lunch drinkies!

1.00pm: Lunch is served. Roast Chicken with all the bits!

2.30pm: Lunch over! A bit of clearing up followed by a long natter.

whilst listening to something a little more relaxing!

3.45pm: Well, where did that weekend go? It passed really quickly – a great sign of a great time! 😍😍

Bye all, it’s been great to catch-up!

The Vast and the Curious

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Off to the vastness of an iMax screen this evening (courtesy of Cineworld, Rushden Lakes) with Jo and Janet. I’m curious to see if the ‘love-child’ of the mighty Fast and Furious franchise is any good. Step forward then, the imaginatively titled: Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

Petrol-heads Rejoice…

When the first Fast and Furious movie unleashed itself in cinemas back in 2001, even I (as a self-confessed petrol-head) didn’t expect it to capture the hearts, and minds wallets and purses of the general public in the way it did. Almost twenty-years later, and after eight instalments, it’s pulled-in around $10 billion at the Box-office and there’s a ninth movie in the works, a spin-off TV series planned, a Theme Park in America, and even a Live Show to satisfy demand!

Phew! Just shows you how much I know! 😁

So, what of this ‘love-child’? Well, ‘War and Peace’ it isn’t; and I was pretty sure, as with its ‘parents’, I could leave my brain at home, and simply wallow in a wafer-thin plot.

The tongue-twisty title is derived from the names of two of the main characters who’d appeared in previous F&F outings: Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw (Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham). Unlike the movie’s bloodline though, this movie’s been written as an ‘action/spy/comedy’, and so it’ll be interesting to see how the characters interact and whether they can pull-off the change of genre. Comedy is a serious business! 😁

Start your Engines…

4.50pm: We were soon settling-down in the very comfortable i-Max seats (the rows are also slightly raked to take in the added height of the screen). Judging by the number of people in the audience, either we’d missed the rush, or word had got around and we were going to be disappointed! Ooo-err Missus! πŸ™„

Whilst the scenes featuring the cars and bikes will probably be what the movie is remembered for, some big movie names were there to help out! Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby and even Dame Helen Mirren (who’s not known for her action flicks!) acted with conviction.

My plan to ‘travel light’ and leave my brain at home, worked perfectly – it wasn’t needed at all apart from choosing the chocolate and my soft-drink beforehand! The movie was mostly set in and around London with some impressive ‘set-pieces’ involving (you guessed it) multiple vehicle chases.

The promised comedic element was more ‘giggle’ than ‘laugh-out-loud’ and I can’t help but think they could have easily played the movie completely straight without losing any of the narrative structure. Overall, with the film’s script ‘by-the-numbers’, stereotypical characters, over-indulgent violence (with male testosterone on overtime), under-pinned by the ‘down-with-the-yoof’ soundtrack, it all contributed to a wholly predictable 135 minutes of constant mind-numbing action!

7.05pm: Consequently, by the end, we were all exhausted!! πŸ₯±

In other words then, a perfect Sunday afternoon at the flicks and totally in keeping with previous Fast & Furious movies – and it definitely packed more of a punch on the super-clear, large iMax screen.

I’m not sure it’s worthy of a sequel, but as I may have said before: ‘What do I know?‘ πŸ€”

…Oh, and just like another well-known film franchise, stick around for the mid and end credit scenes that set up the next movie in the franchise – Oh joy, another opportunity to enjoy a brain-free afternoon!