She persuaded me by promising that; "we'll only do fun stuff and you won't have to lift a single sofa."
"You're not belming me are you?" I asked suspiciously.
"Nope, truly. We will not be doing any work," she assured me.
Marvellous. And with that in mind, I lobbed some luggage into my jalopy, shoehorned Naughty George into the boot (or 'trunk' if you are foreign), and set the Sat-Nav for Anstey. All systems were go.
Pic.No.1 That's my jalopy. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive to Anstey, with Naughty George honking and guffing the entire duration of the journey. I nearly barfed
Finally I arrived at her house in Leicestershire.
We greeted each other, and I quickly ascertained that even though she had lived there for three whole weeks, she had no plans to move. Abso-bloody-lutely amazing given that if I had to assign her a nickname it would be STM - 'super-transient-moose'.
"I thought we could spend the day visiting Leicester," she said when I asked her what the plan was.
"Leicester?" I asked incredulously, "what is that famous for, except cheese?"
"It's got good shops .... ?" she proffered hesitantly.
"You are taking me bloody shopping aren't you?" I said suspiciously, looking at her sideways (N.B. I don't like shopping unless the object has an engine).
"It's only shopping if you buy something," she pointed out, "otherwise it'll be browsing."
"You git, that's bloody semantics," I admonished, before resignedly adding, "ok, let's go to Leicester. To be fair I haven't been there before."
Jane grinned at me before bounding to the car.
And because I am kinder than 'Mild Green Fairy Liquid', I have got some pictures for you.
Without further ado ......................... please let me introduce ......................... Leicester! (a city I had never wanted to visit, but which ended up performing remarkably well in the entertainment stakes).
Pic.No.2 Leicester had more historic buildings than I expected
Pic.No.3 This was a fountain situated in a gorgeous sunny square just off a main road with some comedy running statues in the foreground
Pic.No.4 Look there is a 'Poundtastic' shop in the background and it was the first one we encountered. My heart sank - it's never a good omen for quality shops. That is Jane pushing Mitchell in the pram
Pic.No.5 But luckily my fears weren't founded - the sun was out and it being in Leicester felt like being abroad because of the large mix of difference ethnicities - it was totally exoctic man. This is the entrance to Leicester's famous market
Pic.No.6 Oops those two people probably thought I was photographing them which is why they are staring at me. I hate it when that happens
Pic.No.7 Inside Leicester market. And another bird giving me strange looks for taking photographs of grapes. I just loved the explosion of colour
Pic.No.8 Hey everybody, come and see how good looking I am! This is me outside a fabric stall in Leicester market. It's vibranter than a kaleidoscope
Pic.No.9 The time was pushing 1.30pm and we were getting hungry. Lucky that we stumbled across this market stall then - it was called Top Nosh, and it specialised in 'chicken tikka kebabs' freshly cooked to order
Pic.No.10 This is what I look like when I am waiting for a kebab
Pic.No.11 This is what Jane looks like when she is waiting for a kebab
Pic.No.12 This is what Mitchell looks like when he doesn't give a shit about kebabs
Pic.No.13 This is my freshly cooked 'double chicken tikka kebab with mint and chilli sauce and extra salad'. If I had a choice between boffing Brad Pitt or scoffing that kebab, Brad would be going home in a taxi every time. It was sex in a chapati
Pic.No.14 Right next door to the Top Nosh stall was a Bird of Prey exhibition. With real birds mind, not those stuffed moth-eaten types
Pic.No.15 There were two owly-type birds, but the best thing was the chick underneath their perch that looked a little worse for wear. Remember. Chicks and vodka do not mix
Pic.No.16 There was a bloody great eagle type thing sat on it's perch too
Pic.No.17 You put your left claw in, your right claw out ..... do the hokey cokey and shake it all about
After lunch, we left the market and ambled over to the Moroccan part of Leicester. Basically the Moroccan quarter constitutes a whole street devoted to eastern fayre. It was like being transported abroad.
Pic.No.18 A view of the Moroccan market. It was heart-warmingly lively
Pic.No.19 All the stores were like mini-souks with traditional moroccan products. Basically if it wasn't for tagine's and leather slippers, Morocco's GDP would be in the doldrums
Pic.No.20 A smiley lady in one of the Moroccan stalls. I have been to Morocco I have. But I wasn't that keen on it - I was constantly hassled by hawkers, and there were bits of dead chicken in the street
Vid. No.1 Looky here! Some random blokes playing pan-pipes in a Leicester square
Pic.No.21 This is Mitch scoffing a blueberry muffin. Poor chap had just woken up and was a bit dazed
Pic.No.22 And then the improbably happened. My cousin Jane persauded me to have my eyebrows threaded (bloody hurt) and dyed. This is me in the stylist's chair. Jane said I looked like Burt Reynolds
All I know is that we had to walk all the way back to the car with my eyes red and swollen. I looked like a bloomin' boxer. You will be happy to learn that it did eventually dye (ha ha!) down a bit, and looked ok I suppose.
So that was my day out in Leicester - a place that performed way better than it's reputation. In fact I would definitely go there again.
Have you been there? And what the blazes are you up to this weekend dahlink?