Saturday, 9 June 2012

Days 25 & 26 - Nottingham again May 25th

With temperatures up to 26 or 27 degrees yesterday, (yes, centigrade...) it was a warm night and neither of us slept particularly well.  We drove into Nottingham itself and headed quite quickly to Costa for a decent (large) coffee and a hot cheese and mushroom sandwich.  We still can’t quite understand why it is that you can get a decent sized coffee in NZ and the UK, but not in France or Italy. We had a pleasant stroll around this traffic free city centre and I couldn’t help but reminisce what it was like 50 or 60 years ago.  There were buses and cars ringing the Old Market Square and now there is nothing more than a modern tram, with buses skirting just parts of the perimeter.  This makes for a diesel fume free city centre and there are always plenty of shoppers around. Best of all, no graffiti...
After adding to my Scalextric slot car model collection, we headed back to base and then out to East Leake, to meet up with long time friends, Pam & Paul and out  for a meal. 
When we were growing up, belly pork was a cheap meal and probably quite unfashionable.  With a fair bit of fat in it, if not cooked well, it isn’t the nicest of cuts, but now some of these cheap cuts have been made fashionable and the slab of belly pork served at the Packe Arms at Hoton, near Loughborough was sublime.  Once again, we were impressed with English pub food and a glass of decent cider just rounded it off to perfection.
After such a good meal and another warm night, I was up at a reasonably early time (for a Saturday) and did some long overdue blogging.  Quite how and why the blog I’d sent from the computer yesterday reached its destination OK, but totally disappeared from the laptop is another cyber mystery. (Three years ago, a whole directory of pics disappeared without trace, and several times, spreadsheets do not seem to have saved updates.)

We went around to Stewart mid morning and then up to Mapperley to the Cheesecake Shop where Paula and I had cheese and tomato on toasted focaccia (and a decent coffee) whilst Noah had the baked potato!  I think his portion was the largest and he made the most of it.  He was in top form singing and playing his version of “Simon says”.  On then to Woodthorpe with an unhappy Noah in the pushchair.  Unhappy? Dad forgot his dummy for his afternoon nap, so paid the price by having to push the chair right to the far end of the park before Noah fell asleep.  When he woke, he dived straight for the bag and was most grumpy until the carton of yoghurt was unearthed!
Back at base, we had a BBQ, making the most of the early summer sun. We tend to forget that for the Brits, getting the weather right for a BBQ and on a Saturday is a rarity, so most make do with a small portable BBQ, gas or charcoal, whilst in NZ, most have opted for a large 6 or 7 burner affair.
Later, we watched the Monaco GP practice and then an old episode of the “Last of the Summer Wine” that neither of us could remember.  It was good to see Compo, Foggy and Clegg on top form. 
Tomorrow, a rare treat with a full day out with Stewart, at Alton Towers theme park.          

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