Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday 25th September 2016

Good morning.

Or good afternoon, or evening.

It is three months to Christmas, which, isn't long. But the weather is still warm, warm enough to believe it is still summer, even if it is dark before half seven now. The year gets older, eben if it doesn't seem like it, well, until evening comes and we can sit out on the patio, marveling at the majesty of creation in the heavens above.

But I am getting ahead of myself, because before that, we must lie in med like slugabeds until very near seven in the morning. I was in bed so late, Scully came back up and sat on my legs, meowing loudly, demanding breafast. Then, when I try to get out of bed, she refuses to move.

Situation normal.

We get up, make coffee and feed the cats. I settle down to watch the football, which is nice, especially with the girds busy on the feeders outside the window. Man Utd beat Leicester, Arse beat Chelsea, Liverpool thrash Hull. And so on.

I make bacon butties for breakfast and watch the rest of the football, by then the sun was abroad, and it was about time I did some stuff. But before going out, there was a second Christmas cake to make; mixing the sugar and butter, pouring in the eggs, folding in the flour and fruit. Twenty minutes and it was in the oven, slowly cooking.

Which meant I could go into Folkestone for a hair cut.

I could have waited a week, but then who knows what I would rather be doing next weekend? So I drive into Dover, up Military Hill and onto the A20 to Folkestone, finding the only parking space free near the barbers. Folkestone is already busy, as people are about, looking for breakfast or even eating it.

The chair is free in the barbers, so I go in, and my graying hair is shorn, making me feel cooler. I look in the record shop for something inspiring; but they did not have the first Public Service Broadcasting record, and the new Yello record dies not come out until next Friday. I save my pennies and walk out empty handed.

Back to the car and out of town, up to Capel and along old Folkestone Road into Dover, where I am stuck behind a learner driver and a line of cars. It would have been quicker to tackle the roadworks along Townwall Street. Up Castle Street and then past the National Trust place, round the hairpins bends and along the clifftop road back home.

The afternoon passes quietly. Jools is working in the garden, and i prepare the steak for dinner and keep an eye on the cake still baking. It smelled glorious. West Ham are on the radio, playing badly to be spanked by Southampton. Still, gotta laugh.

I cook dinner, and it is everything the dinner at the Smugglers on Monday wasn't. I know how to cook a decent steak and I can't deny. I sample a glass or three of one of the new wines I brought back from Belgium last month, and I can confirm it passes muster.

A couple of hours later, my case is packed, and I am ready for a week away. Jools is watching The Man Who Would be King, and it is heading towards its sad finale.

I'll see you all on Friday.

Saturday 24th September 2016

And at the weekend, Jelltex and Jools did rest. Or we did this week anyway. The last two weekends have been either Open House or the Heritage Weekend, and we were pretty busy, going to churches, snapping them and so on. And with next week being a return to the frozen north, I felt like staying at home, not taking to many pictures. I say that, there is always the temptation to go to take shots, but in the end, the chores we had meant that staying home was just as attractive.

There was shopping to do, I dropped Jools off at Tesco and I went to the butcher in Preston, a trip which would take about an hour, if they did not engage me in conversation too much that is.

It still feels like summer, but with the harvest safely in, and the fields all ready for either the winter crop or for next years to be sowed, the countryside had a brown tinge, but above were clear skies once again.

The boys were in good form, Paul hopeful of a Chelsea victory later in the day, when he would escape his mother-in-law and hide in the pub. He would be disappointed if he did go, as The Arse thrashed Chelski 3-0, and should have had double that. I buys steak, pies, crown of lamb, sausages, burgers; the usual really. And a quater of a wheel of cheese as Paul would not shut up about what a good bargain at four quid it was. Ok, you win.

As I pulled up back at Tesco, Jools was coming out with a trolley laden with stuff, we transfer that to the boot and go home for breakfast, then prepare to do the big jobs: beer and cake.

It has been some years now since we did some home brew, but me mate Shags' efforts have inspired me, so the plan was to make a Christmas Ale; just a Norfolk Nog kit with added allspice really, but it should be good in three months.

We sterilise the kit, boil water, then mix the wort, add the spice and yeast; stir for 5 minutes and then put the lid on. Simple.

We should bottle it next week, and have 40 bottles of strong Christmas Ale.

Next up was making the first of our two Christmas cakes. It is three months to the big event, and like spouts, need preparing and cooking well in advance. At least with a mixer it is easier than in days of domestic science class, so I mix the butter and sugar then add the eggs, fold in the flour and finally the fruit and booze, which had been sitting in the same bowl for some hours, so the fruit will be nice and boozy.

Then begins four and a half hours slow cooking, which will fill the house with fine smells.

And that really is it; the afternoon was spent listening to football: Norwich went top of the league after beating Burton 3-1, which is the only result that really matters.

We have insalata caprese for dinner, along with more of the cheese and chuntney bread, which we dipped in the balsamic vinegar/olive oil mix once we had eaten the cheese and tomatoes.

On TV was an odd thing: BBC gave the controls of BBC to to; Kieth Richards, who talked in a rather Rowley Birkin kind of way, things which seemed to pop into his head, then folllowed a TV show, or some clips, or a rare Johnny Cash documentary from the 1960s. It was headspinning stuff, but Spike Milligan in Q8, inbetween the mumbles and clouds of smoke, it was rather good. There's more tonight, including a showing of The Man who Would be King.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Friday 23rd September 2016

Jools and I both had the day off, and so what to do? My initial plan was to go to Birmingham to look at the new, new New Street station, take some pictures and the such. This wasn't the only reason, the other one being that I wanted to travel on the line from Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street, as they still have locomotive hauled services. Now I am sure for most of you this means diddly squat, but for folks like me, OK spotters, the chance to ride behind a loco and ride in wonderful Mk3 carriages was very tempting indeed. And buying our tickets in advance meant that we only paid £75 for the return trip.

Saying that, we had booked particular trains to travel on, so in theory limiting when we could travel. But when I looked at the tickets, the out portion had to be used on the 24th, but the return within the following month. And despite this the ticket said that it could not be used on all trains, but then failed to tell us which trains we could use it on. That we traveled on the 06:08 service from Martin Mill, and this most clearly is a peak service. What I'm saying is that none of the above makes sense, and if someone who knows something about tickets and railways is confused what chance does the casual passenger have?

But I digress.

We had to be up for five, and out of the house by ten to six to make it to Martin Mill for ten past and our train to London.

It is still nearly dark at that time, the days of standing on the platform watching a sunrise will have to wait for another year. In fact the 22nd marked the autumnal equinox, so the days are now shorter than the nights, and it is now dark before eight in the evenings. But there was light in the sky, a little anyway. The train is more than half empty, we get to choose a seat at a table round at a window, but looking outside we just saw reflections of ourselves looking back.

But as we trundle through the Kentish landscape to Ashford and Ebbsfleet, day dawns and mists rise from damp grounds, creating hauntingly beautiful landscapes. But we are now traveling at at least 125 mph, so there is no chance for photos, just sit back to enjoy the views. Or I would have, if it were not for the return for the allergies.

This was not unexpected; I have had bad attacks these last five years, or at least when I making note in my blogs. I have no idea what it is about this time of year I am allergic too, or if it an accumilation of the years irritants. But on the train, breathing in recirculated air, I was struggling. But once out of the train at St Pancras and walking to the tube station, my breathing was as clear a bell. No idea what is going on.

Marylebone At least traveling away from The City meant the tube was comfortable for the short run to Baker Street, we then do down into the bowels of the earth to pick up a Bakerloo train one stop to Marylebone.

Marylbone is a small station for a terminal, and apart from a few others waiting for news on platforms for our departures, it was quiet. And then a commuter train came in and disgorged hundreds of passengers ensuring the concourse is busy until they all go down to the tube or other exits, and calmness returns.

Much to my disappointment, our train is not loco hauled, but is four DMUs joined together for an eight car set. But it does mean there was much room for all who wanted to ride.

Marylebone Jools had bought bagels and a coffee for the ride, so as we ate, the train engines roared into life and we pulled out of the staion, into the long tunnel that took us out to Hamstead and the leafy suburbs. We were rattling along as such a rate, I could not see the names of the stations we passed through.

In and out of tunnels, from darkness to bright sunshine, and was very pleasant indeed. At least for me, for whom nothing is more enjoyable than looking out of the railway carriage window as the countryside flashes by.

The frst stop was Banbury, after passing through what the BBC used to call The Home Counties, all rolling countryside, deep shades of green, and all of it looking so glorious still in its summer colours.

168 216 We get off at the second stop, Leamington Spa, it is a fine station still bearing the branding of the old Great Western Railway; seats, awnings and all coloured brown and cream.

It was half nine, although we had eaten 90 minutes before, we felt some more coffee and maybe a slice of cake was needed. After struggling to find the way to the town centre, we cross a main road and soon see the large parish church rising, and I know from the maps I had looked at, that the tourist information office lay just the other side.

Royal Leamington Spa It was closed, but in the old Pump Room building, there was a cafe offering coffee and huge slices of coffee and walnut cake. We order bot. Each, and sit at a rickety table outside and savour the moist cake.

I suppose one of the most painful things we will remember about our visit, were the number of people sleeping in shop doorways. A town so apparently well off, and yet we counted at least five homeless people. Speaking to a Big Issue seller, the council refuses to accept that there is a homeless problem in the town; official figures show none. And yet......

Royal Leamington Spa This is in a stark contrast to the fine Regency town, which we had came for after all. Past the church, the town hall and to the main Regency part of town, smart buildings all occupied by fashionable brands and high street favourites. And yet it didn't seem to be that busy. As shopping is not our thing, unless it is for beads or records, we just look in the windows and laugh at the "fashions", most of which as far as the shoes are concerned, might render the wearer crippled.

Royal Leamington Spa We walk to the top of The Parade, then turning back down and walking back down the other side. We retire to the park beside the river., and watch as children feed the ducks and pigeons. It is fun, as it people watching, and of course, it is free. We spend a good half hour sitting on the bench, until we walked over the bridge to the parish church.

And then what? Well, Jools needed a hair cut, and there was a shop nearby, and they could squeeze her in. What should I do? Oh yeah, go to the pub. It is a Weatherspoons, which makes me feel dirty, but it is cheap and I can people watch again. And is interesting as most drinkers know each other and pass the time of day as they wait at the bar.

Royal Leamington Spa Jools comes back, hair looking tidy, so we have another drink and some nachos. And watch more people. A spotty herbert apparently does a drug deal on his phone, then goes out to meet a guy on a bike to pay for what he ordered. We overhear him talking in another call, swearing in quite an advanced way.

At one we walk back to the station to catch the train back home. There are a few people waiting too, and when our train arrives, we have nowhere to sit. But being the loco-hauled train I hoped for, there were seats in the vestibule, so we sit there, and even have windows to look out of.

At Banbury a seat becomes free, so we move there and settle back to watch the afternoon roll by as we speed towards London. The ride is so smooth, my eyes drop and I snooze on and off. Jools is already snoring gently.

68 008 We arrive in Lodnon and find that rush hour was beginning early. After a short trip to Baker Street, we have to fight to get on a train to Kings Cross, but we do make it.

We have half an hour to get to our train, and so on the way Jools goes into M&S for some drink and some pistachio cookies to munch on. I go to grab a seat, so we will be comfortable on the last leg home. It is full as we pull out, and I have some git sitting next to me who insists on taking the whole table on which to read his free newspaper. But being British it would be bad form to say anything, so I don't.

The train empties as we stop at each station, and so we can stretch out as we still struggle to stay awake. From our seat we can see over the Channel where the water is the most wonderful shade of blue, and the cliffs of Cap Gris Nez as clear as if they were a handful of miles away, not the 23 or so they really are.

We get the glimpses of Dover in the later afternoon sun as the train climbs out of Buckland, then into Guston Tunnel before the train then cruises to Martin Mill. We were back. And from there its a simple run up the hill, crossing Deal Road, to home where the cats were waiting, asking where the heck we had got to. We were 5 whole minutes late for their dinner. Jools goes out for dinner, fish and chips, so we eat as darkness fell,a nd the food was so hot and fresh, it tastes like manner from heaven. Which is it, really.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Thursday 22nd September 2016

One of the reasons for wanting time off, is to catch up on my church project. Thing is, orchids hijack everything from April to September, so the churches have to wait. There is the Heritage Weekend of ciurse on the 2nd weekend of the month, and I suppose that got be back into the church saddle as it were.

Now I could have saved all the shots I took for GWUKs, but that would have made this blog very dull, and as they are talking so long to guess that last batch I posted, they can't have these.

Anyway, the endless wonderful sunny autumn goes on day after day, for the most part. And Thursday was supposed to be cloudy, but it seems the weather had other ideas, and the sun burned the clouds off, and we were left with another wonderful late morning and afternoon of wonderful warm and sunny weather.

I had to drop Jools off in town so she could take the bus to work, leaving me with the day to call my own. In fact, it looked like rain first thing, as dawn stretched over the eastern horizon, but as I drove back home, the sun rose all red and angry, and I remember thinking it would be the only glimpse of it that day. How wrong I was.

I left at eight, when there was full daylight, and drove to Barham on the last Ghost hunt of the season. As I have written before, it was always going to be the longest of long shots, but a walk in the woods at the beginning of autumn was never going to be a waste. I park in the clearing and take the bridleway up through the coppiced areas before climbing up into the main part of the wood.

I check on the Violet Helleborines, all gone to seed now, but still clearly orchids. I walk along the southern escarpment, ankle deep in leaves, a keen eye looking out for anything unusual. At one point I saw something different, and went to investigate, only to find it a slim trunk snapped off, so looking like a spike of an orchid.

Oh well, always next year.

I walk back to the car, put on the radio and look in John Vigar's book, then cross reference with the A-Z and decide on Headcorn: a friend had been there and did some great shots of some Kentish cottages. So, I set off for Folkestone, and then up the motorway to Ashford.

Now, let me tell you, driving along the highways and byways of Kent, on a fine autumnal morning, with the radio playing cool tunes, is a thing of great pleasure, even if Jools was at work, so I was alone. What I could do was do as I pleased, so when I saw a spire, I drove towards it, and came to one of the most remarkable churches i have been to in quite some time.

High Haldon is a stone and flint church, but with a wooden octagonal tower base and shingles top and spire. Inside it was like a garage or shed, except for the bell ropes hanging down. I was greeted by a volunteer mowing the churchyard. He drives 20 miles to do this, and to look after the war memorial at 82 years old, because he Dad is on the memorial, and he wants it to look its best. He tells me about the church, and says I will enjoy it. He wasn't wrong.

St Mary the Virgin, High Halden, Kent I go round with a smile on my face, taking shots, and generally enjoying myself. But it is that porch-cum-entrance that is remarkable.

I drive on and once again am diverted by the name of another village: I had seen I was within 5 miles of Sissinghurst, but decide not to go without Jools, instead I drive to Frittenden, as I think it sounded like it should be in Norfolk. I drive through the village, and find the church, either Victorian or so heavily restored there is previous little left of the original. But it is open, and is nice in its Gothic revival. I am taken with it, and my interest is piqued what may be a charnel house at the edge of the churchyard, surely not?

Ss. Peter and Paul, Headcorn, Kent I don't know, but now my aim was on Headcorn, which was just 3 miles away. Headorn is a main station on the old line to London from Dover, and I should have know it would be more than a village. But, once I had found the church and found a place to park, I found that the area around it was a delight, all Kentish cottages and houses, clapboarded and peg-tiled. And all the gardens still a riot of summer colour. I visit the church, take my shots, but with the town being so busy, I thought I might find somewhere nice for lunch.

I look at John Vigars book again, and decide that Ulcombe sounded nice, in a West Country kind of way. Like a few other churches, it is perched on the edge of the north downs, overlooking the plain I had just driven up from, the village pub looked like it had been closed for a couple of years, but the church was fine, and was open too.

It had several medieval wall paintings, or fragments of anyway, scattered around the church, and the face of one arch still had its painted chevrons still showing colour after half a millennium.

Ss. Peter and Paul, Headcorn, Kent One more church, just along the ridge, and I was so used to churches being open, it came as a shock to find the inner door locked. I tried several times, and looked on the notice boards, but could find no details of a key holder. The hamlet had just a handful of houses, but no one seemed to be interested in what I was doing.

I went back to the car and drive back to the main road, where, on the way to Ashford I knew there was a petrol station. I could have gone to Lenham I suppose, but I left my church list at home, and as the number now nears 300 I can't be sure which ones I have and haven't seen inside. That for another day anyway.

I refuel and pick up something to munch on the way for lunch, taking the A20 into Ashford then onto the motorway and what should have been a clear run home. But, thanks to an accident between Folkestone and Dover, I have to go up the Elham valley then into Dover and home along the cliff road, where, depsite the recent rain, France was lost in a misty haze. But I was home.

I put on the radio to listen to the interview with Chris Barrie, as the new series of Red Dwarf is due to begin. I have not seen a series since 6, maybe i should catch up. But Chris sounded good and revealed he was the voice of Ronald Reagan on Two Tribes, which the boys also played.

Jools tried a new way home, bus to Sandling, then the train home. She got back at 18:20, about half an hour later than if she had driven, so not too bad, and dinner was nearly ready for her too, just the pork steaks to cook and pop the potatoes into fry.

I have lost heart with I Robot, just don't find it engaging, so Jools will watch it next week when I'm away. There just doesn't seem to be any time in the evenings to watch it, what with writing blogs, editing photos and sitting on the patio watching the stars and passing planes. Its a full life for sure.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wednesday 21st September 2016

Up at half five, and then I turn downt he chance to have the car for the day, deciding instead to go for a long walk along the cliffs to Kingsdown.

An autumnal walk Due to the knee-deep mud in the Dip, I had to go down and up Station Road before cutting up through the village.

An autumnal walk The bales still have yet to be collected, making me think I could have spent an extra half hour in bed that Sunday morning last month when I scrambled up early to snap them after the harvester had finished.

Through the village, passing by a few friendly locals, then turning off down a little-used path, cutting across the edge of fields towards the cliffs.

An autumnal walk The house in the village that used to have Autumn Lady's Tresses in the front garden, have now lost them thanks to the new owner likes to mow his lawn so much. What wouldn't I give for orchids in my garden?

But there are still some at the monument, most have gone to seed but a handful have a partial spike still in flower.

An autumnal walk Ad then there is the cliffs. Are the cliffs. Whatever.

Down below, the remainder of an old cliff fall was turning green as the sea reclaimed what was hers. I pass a few people on the path, but not amny. We are all looking for various parts of nature's world. Have I seen any rare bids I am asked. No, just looking for butterflies is my reply

An autumnal walk I walked down along the cliffs to Kingsdown, looking for butterflies, especially Long Tailed Blues, but saw a couple of Small Coppers and a single Red Admiral, and that was it.

But a walk is never wasted, and the cool morning gave way to a warm morning, and hot afternoon.

An autumnal walk I am passed by a troupe of three horses and riders as I walk along the cycle track; it is hot, the horses swish their tails and the riders make small talk. I stand to one side and let them past, so I could snap them really.

I turned for home, walking back over the farmland, past fields that had been spread with much and now ploughed, back to the village where i bought lunch from the shop.

Back home in tome for lunch. Foolishly I have a beer too, this means I take to the sofa and snooze the afternoon through. I seem to have done nothing with my day off, but enjoyed it very much.

There is dinner to make; boiled chicken with rice. Which seems very bland, but it is rather good.

Take some chicken thighs. Remove the skin and place into a pan of water, season then bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour. In another pan fry two chopped onions, a pack of bacon, and fry enough rice for two people in the remaining oil/fat. Add all ingredients into a pan, bring to the boil, simmer until the rice is cooked and there is no excess fluid. It is rather wonderful, and I eat more than I should, as does Jools, but even still there is enough left over for her to take to work the next day.

Another day has passed, we sit on the patio again, cloud covering half the sky, but it is warm enough. I sip the left over wine from the bottle opened, and another day has passed.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tuesday 20th September 2016

Second day of my planned week off, and I am preparing to log in again. It must mean that I love my job. Or something. Or it could be just that my boss asked very nicely.

Whatever the reason, I am up at half five with it being just about still night. Te cats are happy, and Jools is taking the opportunity to go into work early to catch up.

Jools leaves and so leaves me with an empty coffee pot and the thought of never getting to the point when I could actually take some time off. At least the weather was helping, in total disregard to whatever the weatherman said about warm September days, it was raining heavily outside. So it was nice to sit at the table and ehar the rain pouring outside, doing the garden good. Or at least that what I was thinking.

Walk to the Dip I checked the internet speed; 12 mbs, which meant that something like Netflix should be possible now, although upload speed had yet to improve.

So I began work, and battled to put of fires. I was losing the will to live to be honest.

Lunchtime came and went, and just when it seems that all would always go wrong, the planets aligned, and just before a meeting I called, it was green lights all across the board. So, we had the meeting, agreed the outcomes. I wrote the minutes and that was that. I set my out of mail message and switched the computer off. So the week off, now shortened to three days, could no begin.

Walk to the Dip To celebrate, I went for a walk.

I had it in mind to go to Kingsdown to look for the Long Tailed Blues, late in the afternoon with the sun now out, it what ambitious. Some might say foolhardy. I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my camera and locked the door.

What was clear, even walking across the fields was that the rain had made the ground soft, but still the fields looked dry. I lived in hope of seeing other butterflies, especially at the copse, but apart from a couple of Large Whites, there was little life on the wing. And no blues.

Walk to the Dip Past the pig's copse, where the piglets are now huge, and apparently hungry. I looked in and they made a healf harted attempt to turn the ground over, but they looked pretty well fed as it was. I walked on.

Down the Dip, also known as Norway Drove, past where there should have been lots of chickens scrabbling around in the undergrowth of Fleet House, but there was no sound. Maybe the fox has called again. There were sheep in the paddock, and pretty warm looking sheep too, sheltering under the trees out of the sun, as their fleeces had grown well over summer. They eyed me with suspicion, and with good reasn as I knew the taste of mint sauce, and they knew it.

Walk to the Dip Down at the bottom of the dip there was a mud bath. Not just a mud bath, but a pond covering the track, and the avoiding path so overgrown there was no way past. I thought about it for a moment and turned for home. I told myself i would do more tomorrow, even believing it myself.

I made a pint of squash once home, sat in the shade of the living room and listened on catch up to Radcliffe and Maconie as they interviewed Yello because they have a new album out, and are preparing for their first ever live dates! To top it off, it seems that Boris Blank and Dieter Meier share a house together, in their late 60s. Can you imagine that? Anyway, the apir are wonderful, and have great Swiss-German accents, and thew record, Toy, sounds wonderful. Here is the lead single, Limbo:

The afternoon ends and the sun drops low in the sky to the west. We have leftover aubergine and pasta salad, so no cooking for me to do, just remember to get the food out of the fridge an hour before eating, to allow the flavours to be released. And this time I used fresh basil as well as the flavoured cottage cheese. Another triumph for Jelltex it has to be said.

We watched the second episode of I Robot, still not sure, but it kept us quiet.

Then Norwich were playing Everton in the League Cup, a place we never win, so imagine the pleasant surprise when City ran out 2-0 winners, and so the beginning of what feels like a cup run.

It is now getting dark by seven, and fully dark before eight. The year surges on, and although it may still feel like summer during the day, night comes all to soon now, but it does mean more time sitting out on the patio, at least whilst it is warm enough.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Monday 19th September 2016

In a perfect world I should be on my first day of a week off. As it is not a perfect world, I have to work.

At least not getting up to that London, catching a plane and flying to either Denmark or Belgium working, but not being outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

Saying that, as Jools is holding the fort whilst her boss is off, she has to be in work really early, so we are up and about at half five in the morning, and I'm working at the dining room table at seven. Early enough. Heck, I even delay watching the football from the previous evening until "later", when I finish work.

Its not a good day outside, I tell myself, so am satisfied with being indoors, listening to the radio and working away. It happens.

And to make matters worse, its our wedding anniversary, but we're both working, so it don't matter that much. But it does mean I am in when Mum calls to wish us well. Which was nice.

And then my boss asks me to work Tuesday too, which I can't refuse, really. So, same place, same time?

Apart from the anniversary, today was when we switched to fibre broadband, with Sky promising up to 40mbs, which I aughed at, and she said would be the top speed, not the like, actual speed. But anything would be better than the .5 we had up to that point. I a told that I just unplug the old router, and pop the new one in, and it would do the rest.

Can't be that easy, could it?

Well, it was, only we saw little improvement, but we were getting nearly 1 meg upload, and download. The upload speed already double what we had before.

Jools came home, tried the internet, opened the card from Mum and got ready to go out. I mean we could have walked into the village, but in the end Jools said she would drive, then we would be back home even quicker. So, we drive to the Smugglers in the village.

The food is good, we have Mexican starters and then steak for mains. Although I have to say, the steak not a patch on mine, but it came with a Riojas sauce which was OK. We had wine, and then when we came back I had a whisky or two whilst looking at old videos on You Tube.