Palmers and Bricklayers

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Palmers Reunited

The hottest day of the year so far!

A scorcher of a day, as we headed down to Bromley to catch up with Neil, Debbie, Alfie and Frankie.

Just to make a change, rather than our normal haunt of ASK, at the top of the high-street, we chose The Bricklayers Arms, just a five-minute walk from Bromley South station. Last time we all got together was back in August last year, and it was great to catch-up with everyone’s news.

Food-wise, in my case, it was a bit under-par. Clearly the regular Chef was off today, and in his place, they’d recruited someone who works at the local Crematorium! Let’s just say my chicken-burger was very north of ‘well-done’ and if they cooked enough of them, it would have solved the local pot-hole problem! ๐Ÿ˜•

The Chef’s other job was in a Crematorium!

Luckily, the Dessert was kinder on my teeth! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Better, much better!

2.15pm: Time for goodbyes as we returned to the baking heat outside. A short walk later we were on the platform. Some unlucky timing and picking the wrong platform for the ‘fast’ to Victoria meant we didn’t board until around 3pm. ๐Ÿ˜•

5.20pm: After a very sweaty journey home on the Train, we eventually arrived through the door! But perspiration waits for no-one and by 5.55pm, we were ready for our next jaunt – The Salvation Army’s ‘Concert for Ethiopia’ supporting their work there. We picked-up David and were soon parked, heading for the Kettering Citadel. It was already very busy when we arrived, and initially it was tricky finding three vacant seats – a nice problem to have though!

Concert for Ethiopia

The lack of seats meant tonight was a really well-supported affair – and the two-hour concert didn’t disappoint! For our entertainment: A Junior Brass Band (obviously), a Young Choir, a solo singer – Charlie Green and Kettering’s very own Thomas Fountain on the Cornet. It was all MCed by the Salvation Army’s ever-humourous-and-engaging Jack.

We know Thomas quite well – he played at our Wedding – and we’ve seen him in concert a few times since. With four separate musical pieces, he really made his instrument sing, and is clearly at the ‘top of his game’! In fact, everyone was simply superb in their own way tonight – and the applause confirmed it!

And so did people’s generosity! We’re happy to report that they raised over ยฃ1000 – and that was in addition to the ticket sales.

8.25pm: It all came to an end after the final upbeat number from the Band. As good as it was though, it had been very warm in there and we were glad to get out into the fresh air. We popped into nearby JS to pick up a few bits-and-pieces for tomorrow’s visit to Denis’s (first time EVER that I didn’t complain that the Store was too cold!) – and then headed home.

9.00pm: We sat outside, where the thermometer in the garden was still reading in excess of 30 degrees!

Phew! What a scorcher today! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

Big Boy Bow!

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If it’s Friday night, then for us, it can only mean one thing: stick ’em with the pointy end! Sorry, I do of course mean… outdoor archery practice, courtesy of Kettering Archers.

And what a lovely evening for it! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ann and I continued to refine our technique with the bows we used last time – an 18-pounder for Ann and a 22-pounder for me!

But just to make things more interesting, and by way of a change, I also had a go with a ‘big boy bow’ – a 30-pound longbow! No sights, no arrow guide – and ultimately for me, no feeling in my fingers! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Imagine the Bullworker product, twice the size, half the weight with at least 10 times the difficulty – AND with an arrow connected to it! Boy, that extra poundage made all the difference!, but at least I hit the target! However, the physical strength needed to pull, hold steady, take aim (remember, no sights!) and release, meant I felt like I’d had a serious upper-body workout. For the hour that followed, I had no feeling at all in the two bowstring-fingers on my right hand! ๐Ÿ˜•

But I DO love a challenge, and so it’s more longbow for me next week, plus I’m moving up to a 24-pound standard practice-bow. What a manly pursuit this is!!! Just call me Little Steve* ๐Ÿ˜

*No don’t! ๐Ÿ˜•

Guilty as Charged!

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It’s been a week of experimentation whilst we tried out various Public Chargers for the first time.

Tuesday: Our first public charge (almost!)

First stop (on Tuesday) was Rushden Lakes where there are 7 chargers (5 x 7.2w + 2 x 22w, all shiny new) – and better still, they’re all free! Pity then, that I was guilty of not RTFM, because after plugging-in and going shopping, we returned an hour or so later to find that Robert had not charged at all! ๐Ÿ˜• I’d forgotten to take the car off off-peak charging. Doh!! ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ‘Ž

Friday: Our second Charge (success!)

Roll on Friday, where, on the way to Bishop’s Stortford, I dropped into Birchanger Green Services (M11, junction 8) in search of their two charging stations. What made these slightly different was that all Ecotricity’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and therefore my conscience was as clear as the Charging Stations’ parking bays! ๐Ÿ˜Š. There were three plugs on offer per Charger (although they all looked a bit battle-scarred and un-loved) of which two of the three, in theory, suited the e-Niro.

So, me being me, I chose the biggest plug on show, meaning it was a rapid type (a CCS Combo pushing 50kW, since you asked). These generally aren’t free, but at ‘only’ 30p per kWh, it’s still a cheap way to ‘fill-up’. I plugged-in and the App on my phone – and the Charger’s screen – confirmed the car was charging (after I remembered to switch off off-peak charging! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

40-or-so minutes later, Robert was fully juiced – Mission accomplished!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ. Around 50 miles had cost me just ยฃ4.50!

Joseph – And the Pub of Many Burgers

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We headed for Kilworth Theatre today to see their latest outdoor production
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


Running from 26th May until 5th July 2019, this production was back by popular demand. Given the track record here, we knew we were in for a treat!

Starring Jacob Fisher in the titular role; Carole Stennett (Narrator); Matthew McKenna (The Pharaoh) and Craig Armstrong (Jacob/Potiphar) with supporting cast: Rhianne Alleyne; Alexander Archer; William Atkinson; Ashley Birchall; Nicholas Collier; Hywel Dowsell; Nia Jermin; George Lyons; Owen McHugh; Ben Oliver; Matt Overfield; Marianne Phillips; Holly Prentice; Molly Rees Howe; Billy Roberts; Heather Scott-Martin and Lashane Williams

We picked-up Jo, Janet and Carol and enjoyed a hassle-free journey there. Thirty-five minutes later we were soon in our seats at the Bar ordering our drinks!

“Just the one to quench our thirst…”

As always with Kilworth, it was very well supported, and I think I only saw a few empty seats.

Well supported!
The Stage was set…

It turned out to be a really good performance – great songs (of course!) and great energy from all concerned – maybe a few too many sprogs in the production for my taste though! ๐Ÿ˜ The resident Orchestra were outstanding – as they always are! Boy! George Dyer and his eleven-strong band of musicians certainly knew how to belt out a tune!


Next stop was the oft-visited Tollemache Arms in Harrington.

The Tollemache Arms, Harrington

We were early, but they were able to seat us straight-away!

Madames who Munch!

Collectively, we opted for Shared Platters to start…

Shared Platters

…and then we all did our own thing. Jo and Janet chose the Fish & Chips, Carol, the Sea-Bass and Ann, the Roast Chicken…

A Burger too far…

I chose their ‘Red Lion’ Burger – a monster of a creation, featuring TWO burgers plus about every other filling known to man including cheese, bacon, gherkins, tomato and lettuce. I can see now why the guy on the adjacent table capitulated halfway through and left with his as a takeaway! None of us could manage Dessert… not even Teas or Coffees… and that’s a first (for me!) ๐Ÿ˜

We dropped the Girls back at J & J’s and we spent the evening admiring the Garden and enjoying a rather large G&T each! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

Da Da Daaaa..!

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Just imagine being part of
Jeff Wayne’s 1978 Album “Musical Version of The War of the Worlds”…

Well, imagine no longer!

Book Tickets HERE

1.30pm: We’re off…

Jo and I left Kettering in plenty of time heading for this unique experience in London. Our expectations were high, as we’d both read (and heard) some excellent reviews. Our destination was to be just another ordinary looking building in London (actually The Old Metal Exchange) located in Leadenhall Street, where Jeff Wayne, in conjunction with immersive theatre company dotdotdot, and Director, Carl Guyenmette, had collaborated to create a truly ground-breaking form of entertainment.

It includes live performance, multi-sensory elements, immersive technologies (VR and AR), Holograms and Full-Dome Planetariums (naturally!) to recreate an authentic Victorian England at the time of HG Wells’ 1898 novel.

Phew! I’m exhausted already! ๐Ÿ˜

Introduction by Director Carl Guyenette

Jeff Wayne’s two-disc debut album was released on 9 June, 1978. A concept album, rock-opera in style, featured the voice of Richard Burton (in the UK version and Anthony Quinn, Teรณfilo Martรญnez, and Curd Jรผrgens across the water) together with the singing talents of Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues), Chris Thompson (of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band), Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzy), Julie Covington (of Evita and Rock Follies), and David Essex (Evita, The China Plates). The Album went on to become the 32nd best-seller of all-time in the UK and spawned a number of remix Albums and a ‘New Generation’ studio-production in 2011. And not just Albums, Jeff Wayne went on to produce a Live Tour, contribute to a Video Game and created a Music-DVD based on the source material.

5:15pm: Let the games begin…

We arrived in good time, and once inside exterior and interior contrast became obvious – cue: one martial Fighting Machine, front and centre! After checking-in and depositing our valuables in the provided lockers, we settled down in the themed Bar waiting for our pre-booked the 5.20 ‘performance’.

On the dot of 5.20, blue smoke was pumped from the ceiling indicating that ‘Group Blue’ (us!) should assemble. From that point, we’d been reminded that photography wasn’t allowed, so we snapped our last selfie and with our nine new BFFs, we nervously took up our positions…

Although the reviews online had all been very positive, there was very little detail about what we were actually about to experience – so I guess that added to the heightened thrill and anticipation of it all. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ. I’m going to maintain that tradition – NO Spoiler Alert – and keep it all ‘very general’ about what followed…

Official Trailer

7.15pm: The Verdict

For the next two hours, we were frightened, excited, confused and gob-smacked – and we’ve both worked in food-retail! If jaw-dropping was an Olympic sport, we’d have been in top spot on the podium! Our motley crew had held hands, slid down slides, climbed through holes in walls, confessed our sins, watched a whole Army Battalion wiped out by a Martian heat-ray, taken a boat -trip along the Thames, flown in a hot-air balloon, and sung a song to raise our spirits.

For some, it was maybe just another Friday-night in London… but for us, it had been something much more than the sum of its parts… Fantastic, just fantastic!

Every one of our senses had been engaged from the very start – a truly immersive experience! Wow! ๐Ÿ˜Š

7.25: Oooooo Laaa!

From the incredible level of imagination and attention-to-detail that had gone into the story-boarding, the set design and the costumes, it had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and I don’t say that too often!! We both agreed it had been a thoroughly entertaining evening, with the thrill-level completely off the scale! We think we’re unlikely to experience anything quite so engaging any time soon, and couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home. We found it impossible to identify a ‘best bit’ – as it ALL was! Congratulations to all those who made this happen!

Go see before all the tickets are sold and ends its limited run! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

If you fancy some of the same, book your tickets HERE

Saxon Mill – The Return

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Today was a welcome return to The Saxon Mill Gastropub in nearby Warwick.
Last time we were here (back in July last year) was for the same reason – Lunch with friends!

The Saxon Mill, Warwick

Tea for Three

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We picked up Helen, and headed to the ever-reliable Beckworth’s for one of their Afternoon Teas! Yumminess predicted! ๐Ÿ˜

Yumminess exceeded!

The food and service didn’t disappoint, and judging by the fact that the rest of Northamptonshire were also there, others were equally impressed!

Helen and Ann

Afterwards, we took a look round their Garden Centre and chose one of their excellent Hanging Baskets…

We dropped Helen back to hers just after 4.15 and after a quick tour round her garden, we headed for home. Perfect timing then, as the heavens opened, and the rain returned! ๐Ÿ˜’

Can we have some sunshine please? It is June after all!