This weekend I travelled to Lincoln for a family get together to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday on 27th April 2012. We’re such a full on, jet setting, globe trotting, busy, busy, busy family that this was the only weekend that we were all free to meet up before 27th April 2013. And to be more accurate we actually visited the Morton family home in Washingborough, a small village three miles east of the city of Lincoln on the lower slopes of the limestone escarpment known as the Lincoln Edge where the River Witham breaks through the Lincoln Edge at the Lincoln Gap.
It’s nice to be able to say though, that I enjoyed a very pleasant, action packed, fun filled thirty six hours away from Wiltshire which included the following items of amazingness:
1) We stopped for rest and provisions at the almost legendary Olive Tree Café in Moreton-in-Marsh on the way to and from Lincoln. On the way there I had some rather delicious scrambled eggs on toast and on the way home I had some rather delicious coffee and walnut cake, washed down on both occasions by lashings (well, a cup) of coffee. Not the healthiest of repasts, I would admit, but too tempting not to be tempted by them. I am, however, delighted to report that I resisted the temptation to pay £3.50 for a jar of rose petal and quince jelly which surely must be categorised as ‘poncy’ when allocating foodstuffs to food groups.
2) My niece loves to travel. She is going to somewhere in New Jersey in a month’s time to work as a football coach (real football that is, not American) and, having already spent a year studying in Australia, has a yearning to see much more of the world and confessed that her favourite part of a Sunday newspaper is the travel section . . . a girl after my own heart! Regrettably, such was the pressure on us all to eat, drink, play Cranium and cut Grandad’s toenails that we didn’t really have time to discuss our itchy feet obsessions and I didn’t want to sound like I was showing off . . . even though I cut said toenails with such remarkable style and panache!
3) My late, great and lovely mother-in-law once won a prize in a cryptic crossword clue writing competition. As my children’s maternal Granny she must have been the original granny to be taught to suck eggs in that old saying of the English language, and compiled her award winning clue as ‘eggs aspirated’ accordingly. What a star she was!
4) The Ibis Hotel, located somewhere on a scruffy industrial estate somewhere in Lincoln, became the first hotel that I have stayed at in my 2012 hotel-staying-at season. Ibis Hotels are cheap, by British standards, and very cheerful. So to enhance the cheerful mood but contradict the cheap qualities of our overnight accommodation, I joined six of the eleven that made up our family team for a couple o’jars o’stout in the bar there and afterwards slept like a log and by that I mean a lump of dead wood rather than a written record of progress. I wonder if, in this modern day of revealing one’s secrets to all and sundry on Sunday on the worldwide web, it would be more accurate to say that I slept like a blog. Ho ho ho!
5) My second born child’s partner travelled to Lincoln for the first time in her life this weekend and met for the first time a whole squad of people who are far too funny for words. I tried to provide her with comfort and support by describing my own terrifying introduction to this family but it seemed to terrify her even more than it had me back in 1985 and even more than she had been already. Ah well, I’m sure she’ll get used to them eventually and now she’s met them once she’ll know which is the best anaesthetic to take with her to the next gathering.
6) The mother of my children spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to convince me that I should write a book about pregnancy and a father’s perspective as most fathers, even today, are useless bastards and they may find the details of my experiences interesting and rewarding. This makes me suspect that perhaps I wasn’t a useless bastard and I will consider her suggestion carefully. I’ve got to get on with some proper writing soon anyway. I’ll simply die if I don’t write some sort of book before I die. So I’d better get the old diaries down from the loft and start editing and embellishing pretty sharpish!
I suppose I’d better say something about football too. Yesterday was Neil Warnock’s first game in charge of Leeds United and we drew 0-0 away to Portsmouth which could have been a lot worse . . . we could have lost or caught the plague or been attacked by space bats. Also, at his seat of learning in far away Preston, my second born child was in good humour this evening as his favoured club, Liverpool, beat Cardiff City in the League Cup Final today to win their first trophy for six years.
I have always referred to my lovely children on here as first born, second born, etc. and I am reluctant to use the real names of any members of my family or of my friends in case they are attacked by attackers, fiddled with by fiddlers, abducted by aliens or harangued by the paparazzi when I become famous. I’ll leave it that way for now if you don’t mind but if I suddenly start using real names in future scribblings it will be because I have become confident that either they can look after themselves or that they have upset me by failing to buy me a jar o’stout when I have requested/deserved one. Apologies to Eddie the Cat, by the way.
I stuffed myself stupid this weekend and I didn’t do any exercise so I now fear that I have gained so much weight that when I get to Peru, if I stand in front of the Andes no one will be able to see them and I’ll have spoilt everybody’s holiday. Tomorrow I will try much harder to be lean and mean.