In my last post, I alluded to a chum that I met up with during the Christmas holidays. But because I am evil like Fu Manchu the yellow peril, I teased you and didn't say who it was. So today is the big reveal .......
Oh yes, I met up with my chum, Clare (and not to forget her husband, Jody who has also braved the UK winter).
You know who Clare is - blonde, gobby, cooks
good great food, hates ironing (i.e. always gets me to do hers), and likes shouting if I am too laissez faire about getting to the airport on time. And she has such long nails on her hands that she types all goofy. And randomly, she has (and always has had), a propensity to fall over a lot. I am forever scooping her up off pavements. She falls over that often that she doesn't get embarrassed about it any more.
"Hang on a cotton-pickin' minute, I thought Clare lived in bloody Florida," I hear you cry.
She does indeed live in Florida, but luckily for me, she flew to the the UK for a week over the Christmas period. And we had arranged for me and Izzy to drive down to her parents' house in Worcestershire, so that we could spend the day together.
Unfortunately, I arrived a bit late (2 hours actually) because I had accidentally set my Sat-Nav to 'shortest' route, instead of 'quickest'. So most of my 91.2 mile journey consisted of single-track lanes through the Cotswolds.
It was a bit annoying to say the least, and when I telephoned Clare to explain what had happened, she exclaimed, "jeez, why are you such a total joey, even when it comes to the simplest of tasks?" It might be me, but I suspected that there was a bit of a dig hidden in that statement.
Anyway, because I am kinder than a leper with a begging bowl (except that I don't have any digits hanging off), I have got some photographs for you .............................
Pic.No.3 It's Clare my chum. I met her at her parent's house in Hallow, Worcestershire. It was weird seeing her out of Florida and wearing warm clothing
When I finally arrived in Hallow and knocked upon the front door of Clare's parent's house, I was greeted by everyone shouting "the Northerner is here."
As the front door opened to reveal Clare and her family, I burst in and did a couple of victory laps around the hallway, before handing a beautifully potted Poinsettia plant to the lady of the house (that'll be Sue - Clare's mum).
Now, I don't know how I managed it, but during the victory laps, I had managed to detach the Poinsettia flowers from their roots. So when I presented the plant to Sue, the cellophane in which the plant was wrapped, just creaked and bent forwards, depositing the stalks and flowers at Sue's feet ...... and leaving me just holding the residual pot like a dick.
"Do you want the pot as well?" I asked her, handing it over.
Mean while, Clare, Jody (Clare's husband), and Simon (Clare's brother) sympathetically supported my predicament by laughing their bloody heads off, whilst Clare's mother and father just regarded me in a bemused fashion.
Once she had recovered, Clare rescued the situation by turning to me and asking, "lunch out dahlink?"
And so back to our photographs ..................
Pic.No.4 We decided to have lunch at Clare's local pub, 'The Crown Inn' in a village called Hallow. Clare had told me about their tasty Christmas lunches and I was really looking forward to it. Imagine my anguish when the waitress said that all Christms lunch's had to be pre-ordered.
I was mad. Never before had it been necessary to telephone a restaurant to pre-order something that was on the menu. So I made do with steak pie instead, but because I was psyched up for turkey and trimmings, I was biased against it.
Pic.No.5 Izzy had taken her Shamu whale to the pub. Because you never know when a killer whale might come in handy
Pic.No.6 The inside of The Crown Inn, Hallow, Worcestershire. This is the interior of a typical English pub
Pic.No.7 Clare bought us some wine because she is a bad influence, and then she did a toast, "here's to 20 years of friendship," she said. I thought she was belming, but yep, we met at University in 1991. We were two of four girls on an engineering course with 180 blokes. It was marvellous, especially as the other two girls had the nicknames, 'Goat' and 'Pan Face'. I don't like this picture because I look a bit like a burns' victim
Pic.No.8 After lunch, we headed into the ancient town of Worcester and parked in a car-park next to Worcester cathedral. It was built between 1084 and 1504. Bloody hell, I could build the thing quicker than that using a knife and fork
Pic.No.9 After the cathedral we headed to Friar Street which is a street full of Tudor (1500's ) buildings and shops
Pic.No.10 Some of the tudor buildings were extremely wonky
Pic.No.11 Whilst we were on Friar Street, Clare said she wanted to pop in a see her friend, Anja Potze, who owned a jewellery shop on the street
Pic.No.12 When we entered the shop, this lovely person came up to me and said, "I know you, I read your blog." Bloody hell! How weird was that? She was called Sue. And Izzy bizarrely and suddenly went all quiet and shy and just stared around with unblinking big eyes a bit like a lizard
Pic.No.13 It's always fab meeting up with new bloggy chums, so I promised to include her picture in a post. As well as the picture above, here we have (from left); Clare, Anja Potze, and Sue
Guess what, Sue let me try on a diamond ring that they had in the shop and it was worth £23,000 (USD $35,889). Oh yes, Anja owns a posh jeweller's shop. But Clare said it made my fingers look like pork sausages. And can you believe it, Anja also had a pair of ear-rings on display which cost £69,000 (USD $107,669). If you have an urge to buy them for me, please do. I will happily be your bitch.
After spending the rest of the afternoon in Worcester eating cake and doing a bit of shopping, it was back to Clare's parents house for a some food.
Clare's mum is absolutely ace, and she had put on a right spread for us.
Pic.No.14 This is Clare and her brother Simon, vying for pole position at the buffet. They didn't realise that I was towards the rear, employing the Concentration of Effort Principle to beat them to the pizza slices
Pic.No.15 Izzy wasn't interested in the food at all because Clare and her husband Jody, had just handed her a Barbie doll as a Christmas present. So I ate all her pizza slices
Pic.No.16 This is Clare's brother again, and he is being watched by Izzy's killer whale who is randomly hanging over the top of the door. An interesting fact about Simon is that he is a ex-Olympic athlete. He competed in the Sydney olympics and when I watched it on TV, I saw Clare in the audience
All in all, it was a marvellous day with Clare, and I was sad when Izzy and I had to head off back to Oxford at 9.30pm. but don't worry, this time I managed to select ' fastest' route on my sat-nav so it only took 1 hour and 30 minutes.
And the very next day, Clare and Jody jetted off back to Florida. It was all over terribly quickly.
So dahlink - how is your week going? Today was bloody horrible here in Oxford. It rained all day, and the wind blew my umbrella inside out, so I had to do that geeky shaking thing to get it the right way round.