Posted by: glenswatman | May 12, 2015

20150105-10 Visit from friends and an outing on the Broads

FRIDAY 1 MAY 2015 – With visitors arriving tomorrow we have a good tidy up and clean. Anne & Nigel join us for an evening of Canasta with them against us. Although our skill pulls us through the games are very competitive. Jean calls and says the she and Arf are interested in joining us on a possible cruise next month to Israel and Beirut, once the price reaches my target we will get booked.

SATURDAY 2 MAY – After a quick shopping trip I spend the day monitoring and comparing the cruise prices. Last weekend Thompsons were offering it cheaper and with loads of cabins still left I have a hunch they have upped the price for bank holiday weekend so will sit it out. Keith & Sandra arrive late afternoon. Once they are settled in we have dinner then head over to the clubhouse for the evening with a live band. It’s much quieter than it used to be but we enjoy ourselves and have lots of dances as they pay mostly the kind of music we like.

SUNDAY 3 MAY – Having had a long journey yesterday Keith & Sandra and happy to relax and do very little. After a pulled pork lunch Sandra & I visit Taverham Garden Centre for a browse.

MONDAY 4 MAY – It’s Sandra’s birthday and a lovely morning. We sit out having our drinks and whilst she opens her many cards. Keith has offered to take Sandra out wherever she wants and our first stop is the National Trust property of Blickling Hall. With over 1000 cars in the overflow car parks we are lucky it is a large property and gardens so doesn’t feel crowded. We stroll the gardens encountering an area called a “sitooterie” (Scottish for a summer house of gazebo). Sandra and I take a quick walk through the house before meeting up again. Sandra’s fleeting idea of going for a dip in the ocean is quelled as we are almost blown away by the gale force wind at Cley. Keith treats us all to a celebratory birthday meal in the restaurant at Wensum Country Club. With a table overlooking the first hole of the golf course we have a wonderful view down the valley to enhance our delicious meal.

TUESDAY 5 MAY – I’ve booked us in for lunch at the Debut training restaurant at Norwich College. As you go through the doors you change from being in a college to a nice restaurant. A 3 course meal with coffee runs to £10 and although lacking a little finesse overall it is an excellent experience and we would go again. Keith & Sandra head off to pick up their boat for a week on the broads whilst we return home. It is a really windy day so I make the most of it by doing more washing including the £1 leather jacket which seems to come out really well in spite of a label saying “specialist cleaning only”.

WEDNESDAY 5 MAY – We intercept Keith & Sandra at Acle Bridge and quickly board their boat Shimmering Light. Heading towards Great Yarmouth the area is mainly reedy making for interesting bird spotting. This time they have a boat with two reclining arm chairs in the front and it is lovely sitting by the front sloping window soaking up the sun (between clouds). Return to Acle and moor up for a light lunch as the downpours start. It’s been a pleasant outing but we both agree that we had our fix of boating on the broads last year.

THURSDAY 7 MAY – In the afternoon we drive to Kings Lynn to visit ex Merryhill friends Stella & Ian. We sit in the conservatory chatting before enjoying a dip in their hot tub. In Kings Lynn main square we use our Tastecard to get 2 for 1 at Prezzo. Good value with the card but not at full price in our opinion. Nearby is The Corn Exchange where we have tickets for the “Magic of Motown” show (£22.50). We’re only 4 rows from the front so have a great view of the stage. Interestingly we are amongst the youngest in the audience! The group of 4 men and 3 women put on a fantastic show morphing into different Motown stars during their rendition of 36 different songs. It’s brilliant and glancing at Steve he either has a grin on his face or his eyes closed with his head bobbing from side to side. The grand finale is the Jackson 5 with one of the women dressed as a young Michael Jackson. At the end everyone is up from their seats dancing. It’s been a fantastic night with the icing on the cake the city of Kings Lynn illuminations. Key buildings are floodlit with animations and it’s excellent.

FRIDAY 8 MAY – At the Doctor’s I have my blood taken for celiac testing and an HRT check. Everything is fine but there is a campaign in England to get people off it. The nurse admits there is varied opinion whether people should be on HRT for 3, 5 or 10 years. She agrees it would be sensible for me to stay on it a little longer whilst I sort out a few other problems first. Initially it is hot enough to sit out and enjoy the warmth but rain and wind soon prevail. Dominic calls round with a tool and shocks the contacts on the car passenger door solenoid which releases the lock. We can now use the passenger door manually and if he comes across a new control panel cheaply in the future we have the option of central locking again. He won’t take any payment but settles for me cooking him a meal in the future. Evening Canasta at Anne & Nigel’s with some more competitive games but they still don’t manage to beat us.

SATURDAY 9 MAY – The Merrymakers have organised a surprise birthday party for Will in the clubhouse. We’ve been asked to take along a plate of food so I dig out some of the frozen scones from the coffee morning to take. It’s a great night with Tony & Dave putting on a disco and asking for everyone’s’ favourite song so they can play it. We get plenty of exercise with our dancing over the 5 hours.

SUNDAY 10 MAY – En route to Sheffield we visit Brownhills motorhome dealers in Newark. Disappointingly they only have one left hand drive vehicle in stock and deal mainly in Auto Trail and Rapido. Even in the £70000+ price bracket there is nothing that takes our fancy in terms of layout and we would still be making compromises. Nearby SMC have lots of European models but again nothing to tick the boxes. We would like one with a fixed low down bed (but not hemmed in making Steve feel claustrophobic) and that’s before we start on the wish list of a large fridge/freezer, light and airy lounge, left hand drive and standard European model. Something will surely have to go but how much kind of depends on what deal we get. Near Sheffield Jean & Arf are house-sitting for their son John & Wife Kath at their house with stables and field in Greenmoor. Haven’t seen them since last September and they have been away all winter touring Portugal and Spain in their motorhome so lots to hear about. Like us they are battling a few medical problems so that also has to be put to rights. We’re also looking to go on a Thomson Spirit cruise to Israel and Palestine night month and they are going to join us so we look at excursion options. Jean & Arf try to eat a “Paleo” (caveman) diet which really suits us well and the evening meal of pork casserole served with vegetables and turnip and pumpkin mash is delicious but the icing on the cake is the home made pavlova with raspberries and fresh cream. Round of the evening with the funny movie “What we did on holiday” with Billy Connolly, for a change a light hearted look at someone who dies of cancer.


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