Tuesday, 28 June 2016

March meetings

I was going to include some more zoo pics, but am so behind I decide against it.
We drove into the town centre, and found somewhere for lunch, then afterwards booked in at the hotel where we were to spend the night. It was cheaper than the place in Chester, smaller, and nicer, and quieter, despite the proximity to the M6. Then we drove on to a  nearby town, where were going to meet up with a friend whom I hadn't seen for about 40 years, we lost touch about 32 years ago,and I had always wondered why she stopped writing. I managed to track her down on the internet about 4 years ago.
When we arrived, her husband was about to go out, to a prior engagement. She greeted me with a hug, which was nice, we went indoors, and sat chatting. we reminisced about the old days, she produced some old pictures,and we marvelled how young and slim we were. I had always regarded her as my first Christian friend, but as we talked she revealed why she no longer went to church, quite a heartbreaking tale really. However she has remained in touch with other folk we knew in those days, who are believers, so she is not totally anti.
We had arranged to meet our Son and family back at our hotel, for a meal, as they had some vouchers to use. We were running late and the traffic was bad, so our Son helpfully devised us a different route. We had eaten there after Son's graduation, but it has changed hands and the menu is totally different. I ended up having lamb again, we took it in turns to hold Elise during the meal, then the family had to leave as it was past Ethan's bedtime.The bed was a tad more comfortable than the previous hotel,and I managed to sleep even if it wasn't all night.
After breakfast, we drove to our Son's home and had more cuddles with the baby. Husband fixed the bike carrier to the car, and loaded his new bike back up. Son helped, as he was still on paternity leave.
Later we set off for home, and had a reasonable journey.
The next week I had a mix up over a prescription which the Dr forgot to sign,so had 2 trips to pharmacies. Then the tooth with the crown, which could not be saved, was giving me problems, so I visited the dentist and had it removed, which left me feeling sorry for myself. We had trouble with our credit card provider, when they inexplicably sent our payment back to us, claimed we were late paying and added interest and  a late payment charge. I eventually sorted it out and got the charge removed, but they had blamed our bank. I closed that credit card, they had stopped the cash back, and had transferred it to an american express card, which they had sent us, unasked, and which we never used. I opened  a card with our bank, which does give cash back, and is easier to pay online.
I had my first bike rode for about 4 months, about 3 miles, and immediately felt better.
This year my birthday was on Good Friday, so it was church in the morning, a walk after lunch. the family came round for cake and candles, and we later went for a meal in a nearby village. It was all very nice with prompt service. Scallops, sea bass, then creme brulee for me, sticky toffee pudding for him. Sadly I had to put my pjs on when I got home as my skirt became too tight.
Our car insurance quote was way too high, so I went online again, got a much better deal, and another meerkat to boot. Simples

Monday, 6 June 2016

More Chester pics

More Chester pics:

sign from a clock in the cathedral

Baby elephant

Part of the Islands project


Penguin seen in observation pool

Sunday, 5 June 2016

March musings

On the Sunday evening at the hotel,we had sandwiches via room service. They were quite substantial and filling, but there was a hefty charge to deliver them. I asked husband if he minded watching 'Call the Midwife' live, so we did that, then left the room TV on. Something followed that had Tom Hollander and Hugh Laurie in it, but we couldn't make head or tail of it so switched it off. I later heard it was hugely popular. Something about a Manager, I think.
We went to bed, but there still seemed to be a lot of noise, and all of the doors seemed to close with a bang. Not the best night's sleep we've ever had. Next morning we found breakfast was in the Conservatory, which seemed to have a plastic outer wall, and there was quite draught round the ankles. I was disappointed to see that it was all self service. The decaff was in sachets, and I had to just add hot water. For the price we were paying I had expected table service at least for the cooked part.
Breakfast over, we headed off to the City Centre,and parked on a car park our Son had shown us last summer. It is however now more expensive to park there. Husband wanted to visit the bike shop, where our Son had bought a bike whilst at uni. Husband had been saving up for a while. I headed for M&S. I was so cold that I bought a scarf,and 2 pairs of thick tights! During those 2 days in Chester, we had the works. Sun, rain, hail, wind sleet and snow, but not all at once I hasten to add.
I met up with husband again, and we set off, up the steps by the Eastgate, and on to the walls starting off going towards the Northgate.  It was interesting to see how much has changed since I lived there. Husband isn't keen on steps,and by the time we got round to the river, he decided it was lunchtime.
We couldn't find anywhere in the Groves,so went back to a small place at the bottom of Bridge Street.
Replete, husband headed off to try the bike they had been assembling for him, and I wandered around before meeting him. We had decided to go to the Cathedral, I hadn't been there for years, I had forgotten how massive it was inside, of course it was originally part monastery, there were a lot of monks in old Chester, and some of the streets echo this, such as White Friars, and Black Friars. We didn't see it all, were feeling somewhat footsore, my back ached from the hotel bed, so we in the made our way to the small cafe, and had a drink before leaving. I walked slowly back to the car, and husband headed to the bike shop to pay, with a promise to collect the bike on the Wednesday.
King Charles' tower

Race course or Roodee

Dee Bridge, the hand bridge

 Dinner that evening was in the Conservatory part of the Restaurant. It was quite chilly in there, rain slid relentlessly down the plastic wall, The meal was reasonable, but I forgot to take notes of what we ate.
The next day we were off to Chester Zoo. I had donned thick tights under trousers,and wore the new scarf and gloves, which I had remembered to pack. The entrance is not in the same place as I remember it from years ago, but we found our way around using the map provided. there were a couple of parties of school children, and quite a few other visitors, despite the cold. We used the monorail, and some self steering boats, round the new 'Islands' project, However there were bits that we couldn't find our way to, and I was left wondering if they still had any tigers. Later I discovered they were in a bit we couldn't fathom out how to reach. We had lunch in one of the small cafes, and resumed our wanderings, then decide we could walk no further, and headed back to the car. My fitbug recorded over 13,000 steps that day.
For dinner we had booked the Marco Pierre White restaurant, in the main building, which was once taken over by Western Command, after being a private residence.
There was only salmon as a choice for fish, so I ended up having lamb for my mains. The food was quite good, well presented, but the waitress could have done with a bit more training. 'You're' welcome' sounds much better than 'No problem' in response to thanks!
Next morning we checked out soon after breakfast, more sleet and snow,and drove into the City, where husband fixed the bike rack on the car, and collected his shiny new bike. Then we drove to Sandbach, let ourselves in Son's house, as they had an appointment. Had a quick drink, petted Tom for a while, and unloaded the bike and left it at Son's house.
Will post some zoo pictures separately. I will also catch up on the rest of March.