Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Days 28 - 31 - Nottingham again - May 28th

By this time, most of our flitting around the UK was done, so time to just enjoy the City and County.  The weather was still pretty good for the first 3 days anyway, but getting cooler again by Thursday.
Monday and we headed out to Rufford Abbey, a country house in Nottinghamshire where we had a pleasant walk around the lake, though we had to run the gauntlet of the ducks and swans.  Some poor child probably lost his cuddly duck, but we managed to leave it in a prominent and comfortable place.  As always, we had to have a bite to eat and this time after my £3.45 breakfast less than $8NZ, I had spied the most delicious fresh sausage rolls being brought out to the cabinet. Irresistible, so I succumbed!
For the evening, we went to the restaurant (Tree Tops) that was just a few yards away from our old family home and I was supposed to pay, but Dave beat me to it!  The triple dessert platter was a nice way to get three desserts for the price of two and gave us an opportunity to sample them.
Tuesday, after calling on my boyhood pal, Richard (we got the right house this time, as an earlier visit had us confused, as the front of the house had been changed since his Facebook page posting!), we headed to our favourite supermarket (Morrisons) for brunch, then some shopping for essentials such as Colgate toothpaste that was not manufactured in Thailand, socks, mini pork pies etc.
Back home, Dave and I practiced our golf chipping practice on the back lawn with somewhat mixed results and we lost one ball in the undergrowth!
Wednesday and it was a degree or so cooler than of late.  Paula and I headed over to the far side of town to another supermarket and this time, the breakfast was just £2.50!  Not as good as Morrisons, but good value.  I had been looking for a travel alarm as my existing foldaway slim one is onj its last legs and I managed to find one.  Always fascinating to wander around the UK supermarkets and Paula is adamant that she'd not do much cooking if we lived in the UK.  As I do the cooking anyway, I'd certainly have more options.  So much food is either ready prepared or part prepared, that the range is just amazing.  I also noted about 20 plus brands of cider for sale, yet our airlines and criuse ships still seem to overlook the popularity of my favourite tipple.
We headed to the City centre for a Costas coffee and a nothre of their toasted cheese and mushroom sandiches, then had a short walk up the hill to Nottingham Castle (gallery and museum). Having visited it for free since I was a young lad, we were  stunned to find that the City Council had slapped a £5.50 entry fee on since September, so as a means of deterring tourists, this was a real doozy.  Locals can get in for £1, on production of proof of residency, but a 37 year residency in years gone by counts for nothing.  Bad move Nottingham City Council.  A voluntary contribution might gain a few pounds, but a compulsory entrance fee is more than likely to drive tourists away.
For the evening, we combined time with Noah with an excellent takeaway curry with Manu and Stewart, but in this instance, it was quite expensive compared to NZ, where we are now used to a $10 main.  Here it was nearer a £10 main, so twice the price.
My newly acquired, $2 battery operated travel clock ticks...
On a tip from Stewart, Thursday we headed out to IKEA just north of the city.  The weather was distinctly chillier and overcast but with some much needed rain for the garden overnight, a mixed blessing.  Over recent years, IKEA has established itself as an interesting one stop furniture and fittings shop and our first stop (Stewart’s recommendation) was the cafeteria.  Obviously very popular, but not the best breakfast we have had.
However, the shop itself was very interesting with a fair few items that we would have found tempting had we had unlimited luggage facilities.

Tree Tops Hotel - Mapperley

We went on to the Donington race car museum, but weren’t tempted as selling off many original race cars and replacing them with military vehicles, is not a mix that appeals.  On track, it was lunch break for the practice day but as it was 100% motorbikes, no point in hanging around.
Back home and Dave brought us up to date with the family tree computer programme for the maternal side of our family with some of the paternal side.
Back to the Tree Tops again (see last picture) with Richard and wife Sue.  Another enjoyable meal.
Tomorrow, we head to Buxton in Derbyshire, as the UK leg of this trip draws to a close.      

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