Mar. 30th, 2010

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I very rarely watch movies, but if I was going to pick one, it'd be something like either The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink or Some Kind of Wonderful, I think. They never fail to make me smile.

le weekend

Mar. 30th, 2010 08:22 pm
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As promised, here's a post about my trip away to the north east. Which, I must say, was stonking!

I flew up on Thursday morning, from Exeter to Newcastle, and we took off and landed on time, which was great. Coming in to land was a tad disconcerting because there was very low cloud and it wasn't until we were practically over the runway that we could see it, but other than that, there were no problems.

I picked up my hire car, which was a Kia Cee'd and which was a really nice car to drive, and then I headed off to Chen's, which I found with no difficulties at all, thanks to the wonder of SatNav! I had a spot of lunch and then did some writing while Chen sorted out some stuff for the show, and then it was time to head off to the hall (I think it was called the Vane Tempest but Chen will correct me if I'm wrong) to watch Chen's crew doing Fame. They did a cracking job, as well - it was really entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit of a lightweight when we got back to Chen's house - I was shattered after having been awake since stupid o'clock and I retired to bed fairly quickly.

On Friday morning I was up and about quite early, and when Chen got up we drove down over the North York Moors to Scarborough. En route I learned that Dracula once lived in Whitby, in a castle there. I don't think he was a local, I think he moved in later in life. It looks a pretty town, I should imagine he liked it there. Anyway, we didn't go into Whitby to do any vampire hunting but we instead headed straight to Scarborough, where we ate a wonderful fish and chips dinner before walking down to the sea front. Chen had been telling me about a haunted house thing, but sadly it was closed so we walked along past the amusement arcades and then walked back along the beach (I dipped my fingers into the sea and it was FREEZING) before then walking along the harbour wall to the lighthouse and back again and then heading back up to the car, via a couple of sweetie shops. The weather had been dry but windy all day, but just as we got back to the car, it started spitting with rain - we were so lucky! Then, on the drive back over the moors, we hit torrential squalls - one just sort of threw itself at the car, it was like someone ewas chucking buckets of water at the windscreen! Crazy weather! The moors looked beautiful though. A bit like certain parts of Dartmoor in places, and more like Exmoor in others. Lots of heather. Lots and lots of heather. I'd love to go back there when it's all in bloom!

On the way home, we fetched Sarah from Middlesbrough as she'd been at work, and then we nipped back to Chen's briefly to get changed before going out and playing a few games of bowls (I was pleasantly surprised to find I can bowl with my acrylic nails!) - I won one, Chen won one, and when it became apparent that either she or I were going to win the third one we turned the rules around so that the lowest score was the winner, and Sarah won that game. After we'd finished there, we nipped over the road into Frankie and Benny's, where we had a really nice meal before heading home.

When we got there, the house had been taken over by small people - Chen's brother (who's a grown up, not a small person) and her three young nephews had arrived. It was a proper houseful and I had a bit of a flip out because I'm so used to peace and quiet (very embarrassing and thanks once again to Chen for being so kind to me), but then I decided to find my happy place and I had a glass of wine whilst watching some stuff on Sky+ in Chen's room. I think I got into bed just before 1.00am and had a really good night's sleep again.

Saturday morning once again dawned dry and so we decided to head over to The Lake District for the day. I'd planned on using the SatNav but Chen's dad poo-pooed that idea and said all we had to do was head down the A1 to Scotch Corner and turn right. He wasn't wrong - it was very easy to find! The road that we drove along from Scotch Corner goes through some amazing countryside (I'm not sure, but could it be the north Pennines?) and I was amazed that not only was there still snow on the top of some of the hills, but they have those snow poles dotted along the road, like the ones we saw in New England! The scenery on that road was stunning, but when we reached The Lake District itself, it was really something else. I'd been there twice before - both times when I was a kid (perhaps 12/13 years old) and of course I didn't appreciate then just how beautiful it is. But it really did take my breath away, and I think there was one point when I was quite literally speechless (a very, very rare occurrence!). We went into Keswick first - such a pretty little town - and we had a mooch around the market and a chocolate shop before finding a little tea room to have a toasted sandwich and some curly fries. We then mooched around a few more gift shops before heading back to the car and then driving down to Bowness, where we just had time to have a play on the 10p machines that push the coins out (I don't know their official name) before getting onto the Swan steamboat, which did a trip up to Ambleside and back. The weather was a little changeable by this point, and it was cold when we were on the journey back, but we stayed on the top deck and entertained the other trippers by singing songs amongst ourselves. And at one point I kind of forgot where I was, and when I spotted a lump sticking up out of the water, I asked in a loud voice, "Is that Nessie?" *blushes* Of course, it wasn't Nessie. I think it was some rocks or something. Bit of a disappointment, that... ;-)

When we got back to the car it was still daylight and so we decided to drive back via the Kirkstone Pass and Ullswater, both of which were just stunning. I'm fairly sure that when I was up there with mum and dad, dad drove us through the Kirkstone Pass - it looked very familiar. And we went past that pub right at the top - was that where those "poor" people got stuck at New Year because of the snow?

We had a smooth trip back and drove straight to Sunderland where we had a lovely meal in Roma. I was tempted to have the "deep fired squid" for my starter but had salmon and prawns instead, and then chicken in a wine and rosemary sauce, followed by cheesecake from their "desert" menu. The food was lovely, the music not so much - Tina Arena's greatest hits on a loop, which was fairly torturous. At one point I tried to escape by going to the loo, but sadly it was piped through to there as well. Tsk.

After we got back to Chen's we sat up in her room and I finished the bottle of wine I'd started the night before whilst watching the end of Chris Moyles' quiz show and then some programme to find a new Dorothy, but after about 15 minutes of that before realising I had a choice between leaving the room and leaving Chen's television intact, or staying and putting my foot through it. I chose the former option and headed off to bed, leaving Chen and Sarah and their bleeding ears behind me. I had thought about entering Dexter into that competition, for him to play Toto, but there is no way on earth I'm letting him have anything to do with those talentless bints.

On Sunday morning I got up in time to get myself packed and ready to go, and then said a reluctant goodbye to Chen before driving back to the airport. I checked the hire car in and had to wait for around an hour to check in, and then immediately headed through security (hideous queues so I was glad I'd gone straight through), and then I only had about half an hour before it was time to board. I saw the little Air Southwest plane landing - bang on time - and then we took off on time and flew via Newquay down to Plymouth. It was very windy and cloudy down in the south west but the flight was really smooth and I wasn't scared at all, which made a nice change.

Mum picked me up from the airport and we came straight home, where I was greeted by a fit again Dexter Dogge, who was very happy to see me, bless him.

And that was my weekend. There will be some photos, but I'm waiting for Chen to sort those before I can post them, as they're all on her camera (hint, hint).

Thanks once again to Chen for an awesome time - can't wait to do it again!!!
currahee: (Default)
  • 06:44 How is it morning already? #
  • 08:29 I got 5 out of 5 on Rob DJ's Monday night pub quiz this morning! Whoop whoop! #
  • 18:21 We were going to have a curry tonight but the chicken hasn't defrosted. So we're having fish & chips instead. And beer. And wine. Major woe! #
  • 18:31 We're being buffeted by a hideous hailstorm. Spring has clearly sprung here in Plymouth... [/sarcasm] #
  • 20:54 Dexter has just farted. It stinks. And he's moved himself away from the smell, the swine! #
  • 21:17 Isn't Ceredigion a wonderful place name! #
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