I had a treat lined up. My chum from university (Sarah) was coming to Oxford from Leeds for the weekend, and she was bringing her bessie mate, Gary. They were due to arrive on Saturday lunchtime, but despite the fact that they had a sat-nav, they still managed to get horribly lost, and arrived quite late.
I opened the front door and greeted them, "you pair of joeys, where've you been?"
"The sat-nav kept taking us the wrong way," Sarah replied, pointing at the offending device.
I picked it up and following a brief examination the problem became clear, "you have got it set to plan a 'walking' route," I said.
"That'll explain why it kept trying to take us down bridle paths," she exclaimed.
They are both teachers, and sometimes I worry about placing Izzy's future in their hands.
Anyway, there wasn't much time for dilly-dallying because we had planned a busy weekend starting with a night at the opera. Oxford is turning me all cultured and if I don't watch out, I could soon be attending afternoon tea dances and eating cucumber sandwiches.
We all jumped into my bling machine and headed off for some pre-theatre dinner. And because I am kinder than Mother Theresa, except that I don't like eating just rice, I have got some photographs for you.
Pic.No.1 We went for dinner at The Trout in Wolvercote. That is Sarah on the left, and Gary on the right. Sarah was both uncharacteristically shy, and flicked me the v's at the same time
Pic.No.2 I must say that the food is always rather scrumptious in The Trout. Gary had scallops and a pint of lager to start [northerner you see]
Pic.No.3 Then we headed off to the New Theatre in Oxford to see the opera
Pic.No.4 We had tickets to see Madama Butterfly and the acronym UNO stands for Ukranian National Opera
I couldn't take any pictures of the performance because if you are caught with a camera, I've heard that the theatre attendants shoot you in the back of the head.
"So what was it like?" I hear you cry.
Well, imagine my chagrin to discover that they were all singing in a weird language.
"What the bloody hell is going on here? They are singing in foreign," I hissed in Gary's ear.
"That's because Puccini was Italian," he whispered back, before adding, "look over there at that electronic sign - you can read the English subtitles."
That was me sorted. Nice one Gary.
But what a woeful tale Madama Butterfly was. Basically, this Japanese bird fell in love with a yank. He got her in the family way and then buggered off back to America without realising. Despite being destitute, the Japanese bird (called Butterfly) remained loyal to him and wouldn't marry anyone else. Meanwhile, back in America, evil yank man was boffing another bird the whole time. He eventually married her, and their travels took them back to Japan. They bumped into Butterfly and the betrayal became apparent. She gave them her son, and then promptly topped herself with a dagger.
All light-hearted family fun. If I was Butterfly I would have got a job shelf-stacking to earn some money. Who knows? She might have even been able to work herself up to be assistant manager.
Sunday 6th May
The bloody sun was out! Holy Mary Mother of God - we dropped to our knees and wept with joy. And then we decided to go into Oxford for a spot of lunch and a wander around.
Pic.No.5 This was Izzy (clutching 'Jingly', her pink bear) inside the Oxford Indoor Market. As you can see, she was delighted to be out and about without her Nintendo DS. She looks like a deprived child from the Eastern Bloc
Pic.No.6 We found a cafe called 'Mortons' inside the indoor market and decided to partake. The food was reasonably priced and freshly cooked, but they botched our order, and my food didn't come out until 10 minutes after everyone elses. I was so mad that I ruthlessly squashed a sachet of butter
Pic.No.7 And now for a bit more of Oxford ..... Gary, Izzy (with Jingly on her head) and Sarah outside the famous Radcliffe Camera building. I don't know why it is called a camera. Proper cameras have suffixes, for example, Radcliffe Camera PT95
Pic.No.8 This is Izzy in the quadrangle of the Bodleian Library. Background info:"If you give me a smile I won't twat your Nintendo with a spade when we get home"
Pic.No.9 Blimey, a moustache and a delicate hand on hip? This deliciously camp fella in the courtyard of the Bodleian Library is the Earl of Pembroke. Apparently he was a Chancellor of the university in the 1600's which was around the time the library was built
Pic.No.10 This was a doorway from one part of the Bodleian Library to another. I have just discovered that there isn't much you can say much about doorways
Pic.No.11 After the Bodleian, we went to Christ Church College with the aim of doing a tour. But the queue was so long, that we gave up and I took this picture of part of the gardens instead. Here you can see black tulips (tres rare dahlink)
Pic.No.12 We decided that wandering around Oxford was thirsty work, so we paid a visit to the famous 13th century 'Turf Tavern' in order to partake in some amber nectar. Recent Oxford students who frequented the Turf Tavern are Bill Clinton, Bob Hawkes, Kylie Minogue and CS Lewis (guess which one I made up)
Pic.No.13 What could be better than a chilled lager on a sunshiney day? After all, you don't want to get too stressed on a bank holiday. And after a lazy day, what is better than going home to a .........
Pic.No.14 Bloody enormous roast dinner ..... cooked by my own fair hands and served up in the kitchen with the woodburner crackling in the background. Followed by ......
Pic.No.15 Watching a couple of DVDs in the living room. Gary and Sarah normally fall asleep by 9.30pm (because they are from up north, they aren't used to daylight) so they did well to keep their eyes open until 11.30pm. I am going to get a t-shirt made for Sarah with "I'm knackered' emblazoned over the front (that's her hiding behind the cushion)
Monday 7th May
All good things must come to an end. And after a big cooked breakfast, Gary and Sarah finally headed home. Because they are teachers, they had lots of homework to mark in readiness for work tomorrow. That's a rubbish part of the job, that is.
I packed them into their car at 11.30am, pointed out the exact direction they needed to head home, and waved goodbye as they haplessly went the opposite way.
Which left me with a free afternoon .......... to do exactly as I pleased.
Pic.No. This is me balancing a tub of table salt on my head
So dahlink, how have you spent the weekend and bank holiday? Have you got up to any shenanigans?