Family Weekend

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

Saturday

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! ☔ ☔

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!

Beautiful!
Ditto!

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 👍
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!

Sunday

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!

Swan Bake

Reading time: 2 minutes...The Swan at Lamport
It was off to The Lamport Swan tonight to catch-up with Mags. Unusually, this time, we were without Ian, our partner-in-crime, as he’s recuperating. However, Mags’ hubby, Alan joined us for the first time and more than evened-up the numbers.

The last time we were here was in November 2016 for lunch, as part of my extended 60th Birthday celebrations. The difference this time was that the place was heaving! Judging by the number of Aston Martins in the car-park, it looked like that the swollen numbers was mainly down to a car enthusiasts’ meeting of some kind.

Mags and Alan were already there and after some quick ‘hellos’, we were soon getting down to the serious business of studying the menu and ordering our drinks.

Cloudy Cider on Draught – I’ve not had one of these for a while!
The Menu’s had a makeover since our last visit, and it all looked very imaginative… and ALL very tempting! Julie was our effervescent and enthusiastic Waiter and she did a great job given that the place was probably the busiest I’d ever seen it.
Smile
In the end, I settled for…

Baked Halloumi Chips

Thai Green Curry


Mini Chocolate Brownie
We did all our individual choices justice and had pretty much clean plates all round – it had all been super-yummy! The only difficult part of the evening was with our chats – straining to hear each other over the noise from the table next-door. No, not the Aston Martin group, but a foursome of ladies obviously practising for Foghorn-of-the-Year. Yeesh! what a racket!!
Confused smile
Towards the end of the evening, Mags came up with a brilliant suggestion for our future get-togethers. For all the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve always met in the evening, but now that we’re all working fewer hours (very few in some cases!), why not meet up at lunchtime? Well, it certainly makes sense, so ‘watch this space!’.
With the bill paid, we said our goodbyes, carefully manoeuvring around the posh cars in the car-park and then heading for home. We were home by 9.30, so just time to digest our meal and catch-up with the ever-expanding list of TV programmes accumulating on Sky Q.
It’s a busy life!!
Smile