Warner Weekend 2020

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Yes, it’s that time of year again! We’ve got our annual long weekend planned with our Warner ‘Brothers and Sisters’ – Geoff, Rhonda, Paul and Sue – aka ‘The Northants Nutters‘!

Holme Lacy House

Last year – our first get together – took us to Warner’s Littlecote House, this time, we’re in Herefordshire and staying at Warner’s rather splendid Holme Lacy House.

Click on the map for directions

It’s a Grade I listed mansion, completed in 1674 and was reportedly visited by Charles II. Set in 20 acres of the Wye Valley, it looks and feels massive!) and is one of Herefordshireโ€™s treasures. It’s now managed by Warner’s and offers mid-week/weekend breaks that are great value. There’s also plenty of entertainment provided including Crossbow Shooting, Pitch ‘n’ Putt, Rifles, Swimming, Trivia Quizzes, Tai Chi, Gym and much, much more!

On these sorts of weekends, the evening entertainment is normally themed and this one is no exception. It’s called ‘RE-MIXED’ and stars Jayne Middleton as Annie Lennox and Nicola Marie as Amy Winehouse.

We’d only been to Warner’s once before, and we were therefore all interested in seeing how all of it compared (as last year’s experience was excellent!) ๐Ÿ˜

STOP PRESS

As we counted-down to the weekend, a number of things made us re-consider our plans. First, Rhonda wasn’t feeling too well and eventually wasn’t able to join us – and that counted Geoff out too. Second, the developing Coronavirus pandemic, where things were changing by the minute, meant we were waiting to hear the Press Conference from the PM announcing whether there would be any travel restrictions! In the case of the latter, luckily, no restrictions were announced, so, in the end, the four of us still planned to go! ๐Ÿ˜

Day 1: Friday

We picked up Paul and Sue around 11am and headed off on our two-hour-plus journey to our weekend destination. It was to be made more interesting by some roads being closed nearby – but at least Warner’s had err, warned us in advance!

Well, that was the theory anyway! We managed 99.9% of the journey without incident, only to find that the diversion signs near our destination, were in fact, pointing in the wrong direction!๐Ÿ˜ฎ Cue a few miles of needless driving, exploring the quaint back-roads of Hereford before ending up back where we started! ๐Ÿ˜–
OK, time for ‘Plan B’ where we chose to ignore the diversion signs completely and see how far we’d get, by following the normal signs to Holme Lacy House. It worked a treat! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

1.35pm: We were soon parking, unloading, and then plugging-in Robert for its FREE treat – Warner’s charging for electric cars! A quick review of the dashboard revealed the ‘tank’ was about half empty, and we needed to charge for just 5ยฝ hours! ๐Ÿ˜

After a little bit of confusion on Warner’s part over Geoff and Rhonda’s cancellation, we were soon on our way to our rooms. Room 235 for us with Paul and Sue next door!

First Impressions?

Our first impressions were good ones! It’s a massive hotel (and I do mean massive!) – you almost need a map to get around, and it’s fortunate that they have these on the walls every so often! They’ve even got a cinema!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The Staff are SUPER friendly, very helpful – and there are plenty of them!

Once we’d checked-in, all we needed to do was find our room. It was a bit of a trek, but worth the walk. I’m not sure the signage was the most logical, but we got there in the end ๐Ÿ˜‚

Our room (recently refurbed) was well-appointed and larger than we expected – and contrary to what we’d been told, a free bottle of red wine – a Shiraz – awaited us, kept company by some chocolate cookies and a couple of bags of crisps. Nice touch Warner’s! ๐Ÿค—

2.30pm: Next stop? Register our debit card, confirm our table in the restaurant, and book our events whilst we’re here. Thanks to Sue’s organisational skills, it was easy-peasy, and we all got our own personalised itinerary! ๐Ÿ˜˜

That’s Saturday and Sunday sorted then!

3.30pm: With everything arranged, we headed for the Lounge – and the opportunity to try out their Gin selection! With three of us settling for a Rhubarb and Ginger (doubles!) and one of us on a large Dry White Wine, the next 75 minutes passed very quickly!๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿฅด

4.45pm: Time for some fresh air and with the alcohol now taking full effect, our next stop was the pitch-and-putt green. Safe to say, it wasn’t a game that played to any of our strengths (but it was great fun!), but with the plummeting temperature, we called it off two-thirds of the way round! ๐Ÿ˜Š (I won! – just sayin’).

5.45pm: Just time for a quick recharge of our batteries, before getting ready for tonight’s meal and entertainment.

7.00pm: But first, nibbles and wine round at ours! We toasted absent friends (especially Geoff and Rhonda) and polished-off the free crisps and a bottle of fizz! ๐Ÿคช

7.45pm: Off to the restaurant for our first evening meal. By choice, we were one of the last group to arrive, and by the time we got there, most tables were on Dessert. It was a good-looking menu but as delicious as it was, it wasn’t quite up to the standard of Littlecote House – the service felt a bit rushed too! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

9.10pm: A quick check to see if the free charge for Robert had completed – it had, and we now had a full tank for the journey home!!! ๐Ÿค—

9.30pm: The highlight of the evening was The Amy Winehouse Tribute Act aka Nicola Marie. She turned out to be a truly fearless performer who was 110% ‘ballsy’ – and just a tiny bit scary (to me anyway!). If she wasn’t really a cock-er-ney, she did a good impression, and when she wasn’t singing, she kept us all entertained with her quips.

From my limited knowledge of the star herself, Nicola was pretty authentic. Whether it was all part of the act or not, she came across as the type of girl your mother never wanted you to meet – but she was strangely alluring in a mockney/Essex kind of way.

As hard as she tried though, she couldn’t get many of us to get up and dance, as the majority of the audience just sat there in their typically British ‘restrained-kinda-way’. (I actually think they weren’t sure what to make of this entertainer). My guess is that the typical Warner guest here is more likely to be a fan of Andy Williams than Amy Winehouse. Having said that though, a flock of red-hatted women who are also here for the weekend saved the day by populating the dance floor where others feared to tread! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

All-in-all then, it was very good entertainment (if you like your women slightly edgy and loud). But But actually, it was just as much fun watching the audience watching her! ๐Ÿ˜

10.45pm: It had been a long day and a boozy one (something we’re not quite used to – yet!). We left Paul and Sue to dance away the evening whilst we headed for the duvet! Another action-packed day tomorrow! Nighty-night! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด


Day 2: Saturday

6.30am: I was ‘up with the lark’ and a strong feeling that I may have slightly overdone it on the alcohol yesterday! (note to self: get into training for this next year!).

Room Facilities

An update on my initial impressions: Actually, the bathroom is a bit dated and the shower/shower head looks like a cheap update from B and Q!

8.30am: Breakfast with our chums. Well, at least I started with something healthy!

…but the lure of the legendary Warner’s Full English was simply too great and I succumbed to the sins of the sausage and its close friends! ๐Ÿค” I guess the justification was that I needed the energy for what was to follow…

10.00am: Ahh, the infamous ‘Warner’s Trivia Quiz’! Clearly, a popular option based on how many of our fellow guests attended. Our Quiz-master did a good job, injecting some humour along the way! And so it began… we started well, lost our mojo a bit in the middle, but did better towards the end. The result? 8ยฝ out of 15… (it was actually quite a toughie!) but we did come a respectable second (beaten by the now famous ‘Red Hatted Women’). Note to self: Perhaps get a red hat!

11.30am: My appointment with the on-site Beautician. Obviously, a large job that required a full site-survey and a quotation due to the scale of the work required! Luckily, they weren’t too busy ๐Ÿ˜Š

3.00pm: My next activity was rifle shooting with Paul. Safe to say that Paul did much better than me, and judging by my target above, the safest place to have been was in the centre of the target! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Worse still, I had FOUR pellets!

4.00pm: Movie time! Ann and I headed for The Chinese Room on the 1st floor aka the ‘Cinema Room’. RocketMan was showing and it enjoyed a full-house (of around 30 of us!). It was well-produced, and we enjoyed it even more the second time around (having seen it back in July last year).

6.45pm: Slightly earlier than last night, we headed to Paul and Sue’s for Fizz and Nibbles. We’re hoping that by bringing everything forward a tad, we might get better service in the restaurant. We toasted our absent Nutters – Geoff and Rhonda and tried out the veggie crisps (delicious!)

7.25pm: Nice fizz! Now it was off to the restaurant for our second evening meal here. Happy days! Our plan to arrive earlier paid-off. The service was much sharper, and all our courses were delicious (and the mains were hotter!)

9.30pm: We grabbed our reserved seats in The Pavilion for tonight’s entertainment in the shape of Jayne Middleton as Annie Lennox.

A classy act and she certainly sounded like her. Her ‘spot-on’ voice covered pretty much all of Annie Lenox’s hits from her Eurythmics’ days and solo career including:-

  • No More I Love Yous
  • Walking on Broken Glass
  • Talk To Me Like Lovers Do
  • Angel
  • Don’t Ask Me Why?
  • Here Comes The Rain Again
  • Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
  • There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)
  • Who’s That Girl?
  • …and for her encore – Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves

Once again though, the audience (apart from us) seemed to get through it all without showing any emotion at all (apart from the obligatory clapping at the end of each song) – a real shame as it was a well-polished act.

Three changes of outfit plus all Lennox’s big hits made it an excellent performance where once again, just like last night, the ladies in the red hats filled the dance-floor during the encore! ๐Ÿคฉ

10.45pm: It’s been a great day! With plenty to do, with shed-loads of variety, and the food and restaurant service back-on-track – a day to remember. Nighty-night! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด


Day 3: Sunday

8.30am: Breakfast! Today’s conundrum? Could I resist Warner’s sizzling sausage and its close friends? Err, NO!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

10.00am: It was that time again, where we returned to The Pavilion for the daily Trivia Quiz. We had high hopes of improving on yesterday’s score of 8ยฝ (where we came a respectable second).

It wasn’t to be! The winning score was 17 and although we were just three points behind, the standard was high, and we had to settle for 4th place! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

10.15am: Whilst the girls went off to do their thing, Paul and I headed for the snooker-room. Unfortunately, it was already being used, so we headed back to The Pavilion – and the table-tennis err, table. Three games followed, where I was soundly thrashed by Paul!

11.15am: Paul and I acted as spectators to the ‘Name that Tune’ competition. It was very well attended, and the groups certainly knew their stuff. In fact, Lisa the Quiz-Host had them pretty much singing all the answers – they certainly were experts in music from the 50s and 60s ๐Ÿ˜‰

12.30pm: A new activity for Paul and for me was to be Crossbows. Given my success with both Archery and Rifles, I wonder if they’ll even need to re-order any targets after I’ve shot??? ๐Ÿ˜

Crossbows?

I needn’t have worried, as (luckily for my pride) the bad weather stopped the crossbow activity completely! Instead, our Warner’s Host, Ben, offered us a game of snooker followed by a game of Pool. But even with Paul and I teaming up, we still managed to lose both matches to Warner’s!

At least with sport, I’m consistent! ๐Ÿ˜

2.00pm: Paul and I headed for the organised ‘Back-Stage Tour’ – an opportunity to see behind the scenes of how Warner’s provide their entertainment. A fascinating 45 minutes followed, with a chance to see how technology plays its part in providing the music and AV support. We also saw the ‘living quarters’ back-stage and where (and how) everything is stored. Totally fascinating, and for me, probably the highlight of this break.

“Good Evening everybody”…

We finished the Tour by going out on stage to experience how the performers see things as well as how live music is set up and managed. Again, fascinating stuff! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

We weren’t that bad – there was no Round 3 or 4!

3.00pm: After enjoying some success at the two Trivia Quizzes, we felt confident enough to progress to the much grander and larger Pub Quiz! This consisted of three rounds, including one round of pictures (20 questions), one round of true/false (10 questions) and one round of famous catch-phrases (10 questions). This was a ‘Premiรจre League’ type quiz, much harder than the Trivia-types we’d been used to so far. It was well-attended too with 60+ people there.

An hour later, it was all over. We scored a total of 33 (out of a possible 40) which sounds good, but we were beaten into 3rd place. No bottle of Chรขteauneuf-du-Crap nor Cake Voucher for us! ๐Ÿ˜Š

4.00pm: Ann, Sue and Paul planned to go for a walk but the weather had deteriorated, so we all headed back to our rooms.

Surely the strongest-flavoured crisps on the planet??? – Walker’s ‘Cheese and Jalapeรฑo’

6.45pm: And so, for the final time this adventure, Paul and Sue dropped into ours for pre-dinner nibbles.

7.20pm: Off to the restaurant, and our final evening meal here. As usual, it was busy but I’m sad to report that the service was a tad ‘relaxed’ (AGAIN!) and the quality of our food varied (AGAIN!) – from ‘Overdone’ to ‘OK’ to ‘Delicious’. On a more positive note though, I did get my portion sought-after Salted Caramel Ice-Cream! ๐Ÿ˜

9.15pm: Whilst we waited for the main event, we were entertained by the err, Entertainments Manager, David James. An old-style crooner, he had a voice so smooth and natural, you could have spread him on toast and called him ‘Honey’. What talent! ๐Ÿคฉ

9.35pm: Tonight’s entertainment was entitled Abba Fantastic – a set piece that called-on the singing talents of the in-house entertainment team.

Well, they certainly lived up to the name – FANTASTIC!, and unusually for this weekend, the dance-floor started to fill up from the off. They rattled through pretty much every ABBA hit without a pause (literally) and as a result, created a GREAT party atmosphere. Good choreography too, supported by the house-band who played at their funkiest and best!

Their set seemed to be over in a flash (I barely had time to sort out my two left feet!) and the performance was very well appreciated by everyone there. It was a perfect end to the weekend’s entertainment and hat’s off to everyone at Warner’s that put this together.

10.35pm: We lasted to just after 10.30pm, leaving Paul and Sue to wave the flag for the Northants Nutters! zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Day 4: Check-out

beenhere

What Did We Think Of It?

So, what of this weekend? Well, we all enjoyed ourselves, and I guess that’s the main objective. The Warner’s staff are one of the friendliest group of people I think I’ve ever met – nothing is too much trouble and they’ve always got a smile on their face. The food was plentiful, but the quality did vary a bit. Overall, for me, I don’t think it’s up there with our previous Warner adventure at Littlecote House, last year, but it’s close. A special mention must go to ‘Lisa’ part of the day entertainment team – she is a natural ‘people person’ and every time we saw her in action, she managed to fully-engage her various audiences. The House has a beautiful interior and it was a shame that there aren’t tours on the weekend as there are during the week. Would we do Warner’s again? Yes, probably! But maybe not next year, where we’ll explore some the alternatives.

Return to The Saxon Mill

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The Saxon Mill is rapidly becoming our most regular restaurant-of-choice when meeting our friends ‘from the West’ – and today was no exception! (Either there or The Lamport Swan). The last time we met up with ‘the Westerners’ (Ian, Ann, Mags and Alan) for one of our regular three-monthly catch-ups was back in September last year. The observant amongst you will note it was actually SIX months ago! ๐Ÿ™„ We’re so busy being retired, this was the earliest date we could all make it! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Once seated for our 12-noon booking, we were greeted with an abundance of menus! ๐Ÿ˜, but being poor pensioners, we all opted for the fixed-price offer (ยฃ13.50 for two courses, ยฃ17.50 for three!). ๐Ÿ˜‹
Rodriguez (from Mexico) introduced himself as our Server, and he did a good job of looking after us!! ๐Ÿ‘

The food was its normal excellent quality, although it did take them a second try to get my Melting Chocolate Bomb to actually melt! ๐Ÿค”

Never seen the River level this high!

We left around 2.45 and that had given us all plenty of time to catch up with everyone’s news. Next get-together is on Thursday, June 11th at, yes, you guessed it – The Lamport Swan! ๐Ÿ˜‹

Doctor Who โ€“ Series 12, Episode 10 โ€“ โ€œThe Timeless Childrenโ€

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It’s the season finalรฉ and there are a lot of unanswered questions! Hopefully, they’ll all be dealt with in tonight’s extended episode of 65 minutes! ๐Ÿ™„

The Interweb on fire…

Predictably, the Interweb has been on fire this week, full of theories, counter-theories, rumours and counter-rumours about how it’s all going to turn out! But, given that this series so far has been mostly about misdirection, I reckon we’re ALL going to be surprised! ๐Ÿค”

Questions, Questions..!

The unanswered questions keeping us Who-fans awake at night include:
– Who is the other Doctor?
– What exactly happened to Gallifrey?
– What is the significance of ‘The Timeless Child’?
– Who the heck is ‘Brendan’, and how does he fit in with everything else?

In fact, there are so many questions, it’s now gone beyond the drama itself, allowing the show to even poke fun at itself! ๐Ÿ˜ Doctor Who Bingo anyone?

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
ยฉ DoctorWho TV

Referring to Gallifrey, one of the major unanswered questions revolves around this game-changing statement from The Master…

โEverything we were told was a lie. We are not who we think. You or I. The whole existence of our species is built on the lie of the Timeless Childโž

So, we’re just an hour before tonight’s episode, let me set the scene…

SYNOPSIS: The Cybermen are on the march. As the last remaining humans are ruthlessly hunted down, Graham, Ryan and Yaz face a terrifying fight to survive. For the Doctor – trapped and alone – nothing will ever be the same again.
This episode was written by show-runner Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.

I’m watching it live tonight, so here’s my timeline as the episode unfolds…

Here we go…

6.52: We’re off!

6.53: Short pre-credit sequence by way of a recap

6.55: Spot the Cyberman!

6.56: Guided tour planned of a significant location

7.01: The ultimate in donations!

7.03: Tonight’s ‘heart-to-heart’!

7.05: So, not ALL of Gallifrey destroyed then!

7.07: The truth is out there!

7.10: History of Gallifrey time!

7.11: The (Re)Generation Game! (but no Brucie!)

7.14: Humans 1 – Cybermen 0 (briefly!)

7.17: The Master being err, ‘masterful’

7.21: Another regeneration!

7.24: OMG!!!!! Major revelation no.1

7.27: Bet that hurt!

7.29: The Masterโ€ฆ only more-so!

7.31: “Show me the restโ€ฆ”

7.33: Redacted!

7.34: “I kept the bodiesโ€ฆ”

7.35: An interesting mix!

7.37: Step forward ‘The Fam’

7.38: She’s back!!!

7.40: “People need the Doctorโ€ฆ”

7.42: Nice montage!

7.44: “The death of everything is within meโ€ฆ”

7.46: “Sweet dreams, losers..!”

7.48: Just over 10 minutes left, and it all looks pretty bleak!

7.49: “One option left!”

7.50: A mushy moment!

7.51: Yep, still pretty bleak!

7.53: Hold on, things are looking up! (sort of!)

7.54: Nope! It’s all gone bleak again!!

7.55: “Run Doctor!”

7.57: Chameleon Circuit NOT broken then?????

7.58: Didn’t see that one coming!

Wow! It’s over, and I had trouble keeping up! There was certainly plenty going on tonight! All my six brain cells are now working overtime attempting to process it all. Yep, ‘game-changer’ is an understatement. Disappointingly though, I feel that it hasn’t answered all my questions. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

I couldn’t fault the acting though. Both Sacha Dhawan (The Master) and Jodie Whittaker played off each other in the most powerful of ways – it was worth watching, just for that!

The Verdict?

โญโญโญ

What a roller-coaster of an episode. I loved it, probably right up to the final 10 minutes where I assumed that everything would neatly come together, and all the cumulative questions from this series would be answered. It didn’t! So, maybe I’d blinked, but I just didn’t pick-up on the ‘big reveals’ to the unanswered questions – and as a result, I was left with a great sense of DIS-satisfaction. ๐Ÿค”

It must have been me, because on the ‘net, immediately afterwards, loads of fans were going wild about how this episode had resolved things – so I’d obviously missed something! In fact, pretty much everyone thought it was an unforgettable culmination to the series even though the unthinkable had happened – Who canon rewritten! It was certainly a very complex storyline and whereas in previous episodes, I’d criticised this season’s writing for its ‘over-simplistic plots’, THIS ONE felt like we were back to the Steven Moffat‘s days of impenetrable Who-plot-lines! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Anyway, I’m going to watch this episode again, to see if it makes more sense second time around! ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

What Next?

At the end of the credits, we were teased with the above – no trailer – just this single frame! My guess is that it’ll be shown at Christmas or on New Year’s Day, 2021.

Series Summary

But what of the series as a whole? For what it’s worth, I’ve found this – JW’s second series as our titular hero – more consistent, more enjoyable and more ‘Who-like’ – it was certainly a lot darker. JW’s first series had already proved that she owned the role, but the writing was often overly-simplistic and a bit ‘soap-opera’ in style for me. And don’t get me started on the excess of ‘companions’.

I’ve always enjoyed Who more when the stories were dark (or darker) and therefore this time around, the series ticked a lot more boxes for me. I enjoyed the majority of the episodes except for the abysmal Orphan 55, mostly because of its finger-wagging message about our role in looking after the planet. Overall though, my biggest criticism is that this final episode didn’t really wrap things up – and I’m slightly irritated that I’m going to need to watch it again, and listen more closely to make sense of it all. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Update: Tuesday, 3rd March
I watched the episode again and I’m pleased to say, most of it now makes sense! ๐Ÿ˜ Not sure I fully ‘get’ the ‘Brendan’ sub-story, but I’ll live with that!

First Visit – Salvatore Ristorante Italiano

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Bev and Julie recommended we take a trip over to Finedon to sample the delights of Salvatore Ristorante Italiano. It opened in May, 2019, but we’d not heard of it.

We picked-up our dining-chums just after 7.10pm for our 7.30 booking and battled though the pouring rain heading for nearby Finedon. If the restaurant was to turn out to be as good as our friends’ previous recommendation (Frank’s Pizzas in Kettering), then we were in for a treat! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹

As we arrived, the area felt immediately familiar! Salvatore’s was on the site of (the now defunct) Lovejoy’s where we’d enjoyed a meal with David and Valerie back in 2008.

Clearly, Lovejoy’s hadn’t survived, but on entering, we noticed the interior hadn’t changed too much! It still looked like someone’s lounge with all the rooms knocked through! We were soon seated and studying the extensive menu. All 100% Italian!

With our choices made, we caught up with everyone’s news, whilst the food was being prepared. It was worth the wait, as when it arrived, it looked ‘properly home-made’. It all tasted delicious, and we weren’t to be disappointed! ๐Ÿ˜

All-in-all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – friendly staff, a not-too-noisy environment with an authentic Italian menu offering generous portions! (My calzone was about the size of Corby!) ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

And to round off the evening perfectly, we were treated to a free glass of limoncello! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was very wallet-friendly too! – Starters x4 + Starters-as-Mains x2 + Mains x2 + Desserts x2 + Alcoholic drinks came to ยฃ96 including the tip. I have a feeling we’ll be back before too long! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Doctor Who โ€“ Series 12, Episode 9 โ€“ โ€œAscension of the Cybermenโ€

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The penultimate episode for this series – and it’s a two-parter! There’s been plenty of anticipation online for this one, so it was a bit of a bummer that I wasn’t able to watch it live – I’m writing this, the day after, having successfully avoided any spoilers online. ๐Ÿค”

SYNOPSIS: It’s the aftermath of the Great CyberWar. The Doctor and friends arrive in the far future intent on protecting the last of the human race from the deadly Cybermen. But, in the face of such a relentless enemy, has the Doctor put her best friends at risk? What terrors lie hiding in the depths of space? And what, where or who, is Ko Sharmus?
This episode was written by showrunner, Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.

โญโญโญโญโญ

We’re off! It’s a good start! To say this episode moved ‘at pace’ would be an understatement! Not even time to pop to the loo. It was certainly an action-packed episode from start to finish, and it had me on the edge of my seat (but nowhere near the back of the sofa) from the off!

And, just when this series didn’t need any more unanswered questions (the Internet is still on fire from previous episodes that referenced ‘The Timeless Child‘ and the not insignificant appearance of another Doctor) – we had a curious parallel storyline going on that appeared to have nothing to do with the main narrative! I still have no idea as to how this minisode, set in Ireland, fits into the bigger picture, but it will obviously become clear by the end of next week’s final episode.

Best cliff-hanger ever too! ๐Ÿ˜œ

VERDICT: For me, that was probably the best episode of the series – maybe even the whole of JW’s tenure so far. It all felt very ‘Who’, and for once, the companions the ‘fam’ all had a significant role to play. I haven’t said this in a while, but, I’m really looking forward to next week’s (extended) episode! ๐Ÿ˜

Doctor Who โ€“ Series 12, Episode 8 โ€“ โ€œThe Haunting of Villa Diodatiโ€

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Another pre-credit sequence – after last week’s, that’s two in a row! ๐Ÿ‘

SYNOPSIS:
Lake Geneva, 1816. Lord Byron and the Shelleys prepare for a night telling ghost stories, but their villa proves to have ghostly presences all its own.
This episode was written by (newcomer to Who) Maxine Alderton.

โญโญโญโญ

A great story tonight with an unusual mix of light humour and genuine suspense. Structurally, a perfect three-act affair with a nail-biting climax! ๐Ÿ˜€

For once, the story didn’t feel too preachy, nor the abundance of companions, too many! With an old established foe returning to create havoc, who (without giving too much away with what’s to come) links perfectly with next week’s penultimate two-parter.

If I had just one criticism, the character Mary Shelley’s initial encounter with said foe, could have been dwelled-on a bit longer – it was all a bit underplayed for something that was to shape the future of Shelley, as an author.

VERDICT: A superb episode that set the scene perfectly for the forthcoming final two episodes of this latest series. Good acting all round, with just the right amount of SFX and CGI. There’s a lot to wrap up in what’s to come, but after seeing tonight’s, I’ve got a renewed confidence in that it’ll all come together very nicely. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Valentine Meal 2020 โฃ

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The Attic Restaurant, Lutterworth


It’s Valentine’s Day!! Usually, either I cook the meal, Ann cooks the meal, or we share cooking duties with David and Valerie and get together as a foursome.

So, with cards, flowers and gifts on display, by way of a change for this special day, the four of us left our kitchens behind and headed off to The Attic Restaurant in Lutterworth for lunch! ๐Ÿ˜. David and Valerie had already eaten there on more than a few occasions, so we knew we were in for a treat!

Apart from the howling gale in the car-park, it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. The service was spot-on, and the food delicious! We were seated with a great view across the Golf Course and looking at the weather conditions, we agreed we were definitely in the better place! It was still blowing a gale outside and it looked pretty cold too judging by the number of beanies being worn by the brave golfers!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The Menu impressed us! I opted for the Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup followed by the Braised Short Rib of Beef (definitely melt-in-the-mouth!)