I think I've missed my calling and I should have been an American tour guide. Clearly I can construct an itinerary to die for.
What a weekend we've just had.
We left Bury on Saturday about 9 am after tidying the house, cleaning ourselves and packing an overnight bag. This, in itself, is an achievement for people who don't usually get up until nine.
Off we go to Wolverhampton where we collect a dolls house table. After a bit of a kerfuffle and a couple of panic moments we manage to fit it in the boot of our (now tiny) car. Off we go to Bracknell, stopping en route, around 1 pm, to eat our packed lunch. Oh yes, I forgot to mention I packed that before we left at the crack our dawn - well, the crack of our dawn.
Somewhere around 3 pm in leafy Berkshire we collected the new (to me) dolls house. Another wiggle and jiggle and in it goes into the boot. Now we are off, back up (almost) the way we came, to Cheltenham for our overnight stay. Before even going to the Motel we had to do a little divert to a garden centre to buy a strawberry pot to match the one I bought there last summer. Not only is it a great price - huge and only £16.99 - but it is a very particular shape and colour and I can't get one to match anywhere at home. The Motel experience was a bit odd really in that we'd booked a room in Briarfields which is the caravan site where we've stayed a few times when we've visited Pam and Ken. We were a bit peeved that someone was actually on our pitch which we felt should simply be left in memory of us with perhaps a little plaque or something. So yes, a bit strange coming and going to a bedroom. We have a standing joke Ken and I, that wherever we stay our room is always upstairs and as far down a corridor as it is possible to go. No change there then. Lugging cases to these rooms is bad enough; this trip I also wanted Ken to lug my dolls house to the room as I wanted to measure it for the show the next day. Now, which is the more crackpot - me for thinking that was a good idea, or Ken for doing it? So we had a bit of a breather for an hour or so and then went to see Pam and Ken and had the usual lovely dinner (and visit) at their house. We said we'd meet for breakfast at 8 am the next day.
8 am on Sunday and we arrive at The Harvester to find P & K already there, which was, in truth, a lovely surprise as we can't imagine getting up at that time on a Sunday - apparently people do! We had a great breakfast with them and by nine o'clock we are off again.
This time we went to Stafford for a Dolls House Fair. (If you want to see the stuff I bought etc you'll need to look at the photo album - link in the column on the right) I had a terrific time culling over 90 stalls and Ken killed some time in the car park and then went on to meet Richard for lunch in Eccleshall (more driving). He got back to pick me up at around 2.30 pm but I had just sat down to lunch. That is a very rough description of what I'd sat down to eat - chicken pie and chips - the pie was full of a sort of salty wallpaper paste and I can only assume they boil their chips! Any way, I promised Ken I would be very quick but I needed to go back in and check out something before we left so we got away about 3.45 pm.
Even then our day wasn't over as we needed to get petrol, shop for food and check out our friends' house (they are away for a month). Eventually we were home. After emptying the, by now, packed to the gunnels car and having put all the stuff away we could finally collapse at home with a cuppa. Deep joy. A lot achieved and all pleasurable. Can't speak for the driver - 470 miles round trip! (Yes I know, my American readers won't be impressed by this number - you need to drive in the UK to understand what it means!)