To Devon, with Husband, for a weekend staying at my brother and sister-in-law’s. It was a weekend of hilarious laughter, fabulous food (we tied sister-in-law to the Aga),much wine and great company. Another friend, a Resuscitation Physio, was also staying and she started the laughter as she told us that she had been concerned about her departure time on Friday afternoon, as she had a long drive ahead of her, but since she worked in A&E the timings of her end of day were governed by what patients needed her care. So when she was given a patient a few minutes before she was due to leave she resigned herself to a late departure however when she entered the patient’s cubicle she found he had already passed away so, as she said, “every cloud etc”!!
Our drive down was not without incident as Husband is always so surprised to find other road users though the way he drives it would be advisable for them all to stay home. I was taught, many, many years ago, that before pulling out to overtake you must go through the MSM routine, (mirror, signal, manoeuvre) however my husband gets the order back to front and tends to manoeuvre followed by a look in the mirror and then there is a lot of signalling mostly by other drivers and none of it is very courteous! But we arrived in one piece and spent Saturday at a local point-to-point meeting where my, only just ,12 year old niece was pony racing…..OMG she is fearless, full of guts and gumption especially as she was up against a field of much older kids. We were in the paddock watching her mount when we pondered whether we should offer her a quick slug of the hip flask (sloe gin – which had been brought just to keep the cold at bay) but felt sister-in-law might not be so quick to invite us to stay again and in actual fact we might get one of those dreaded Hostess ‘ATL’ looks (asked to leave!). So sloe gin was kept for us to calm our nerves! We had the odd winner but rather more losers so we came home a touch poorer.
On Sunday we had a walk on the beach pictured, accompanied by 4 dogs, the odd shower, a howling wind but all worth it for the spectacular vista and the hard-earned pint went down a dream afterwards. Back for an amazing lunch (hadn’t allowed sister-in-law on walk!), a slow baked shoulder of lamb, roasted vegetables with a caper vinaigrette, onion sauce, roasties followed by a pear and apple crumble which was mouth-wateringly delicious! I have rushed home to purchase the Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends and Family which provided the lamb and crumble recipes and the roasted veg was a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty (excellent cookbook for vegetarian recipes).
On our return journey, at junction 14 of the M4, there was one of those large digital display message boards with the following message: For Olympic events plan your journey to arrive on time. Surely not necessary in April and with the price of tickets I would imagine that every spectator is planning to be there on time and not drift in when they flash past the finish line? I am beginning to wonder how long it takes to get to Stratford? Then the next sign read: Between junctions 2 & 3 weight restrictions. Now we need to go on a diet, they obviously know about my sister-in-law’s cooking, whilst planning our route to the Olympic Park. And the final sign read: Congestion. Clearly there are already some overweight people on their way which may account for the Hammersmith bridge being down to one lane! I think I am going to go in the opposite direction in July and return to Devon if my brother & his wife will have me. So I am planning my journey now to make sure I arrive on time!