lnr: (Default)

Having a fab weekend so far:

  • Day off on Friday, pottering round the village shops and baking
  • Em and mum and dad came to stay on Friday night - proper birthday tea with cake and scones - stayed up late talking
  • Waved Em off early on Saturday to get back for John's Tae Kwon Do 4th Dan grading (he passed)
  • Lovely day pottering about with mum and dad - Audley End house shut, Mountfitchet Castle shut - but Thaxted and Saffron Walden both very pretty to drive through. Takeaway curry for tea
  • Sunday morning visited the craft market in Stapleford and then off to the King William IV in Heydon for lunch, and another lovely drive back in the sunshine
  • Waved mum and dad off home - but they've just texted to say we won the raffle at the craft fair - they'll have to post us the ticket to go pick up their prize

It's been very chilled out, very well fed, and with lots of lovely company. Brilliant! And it's not even my birthday til tomorrow so there's more left to come :)

lnr: (xmas 2004)

We had a lovely weekend away for my birthday, staying in Culloden Tower in Richmond - an 18th century folly converted into a holiday cottage by the Landmark Trust. Mum and Dad treated us to the weekend's stay, and very kindly let Mike and I have the double bedroom on the top floor: I don't think the 66 steps between it and the bathroom had anything to do with it. It was a fantastic place to stay, with stunning views from the rooftop across to Richmond Castle and down to the river. And to top it off Steph, Dave, Oliver and Isobel came to visit us on the Saturday, and we had a proper birthday tea, and then they stayed over nearby so we all visited the Castle together the next day before Em and John came over for lunch on Sunday. Couldn't ask for a nicer time. At some point I *will* upload the photos.

Since it's now (some time) after my birthday it's permitted to start thinking about Christmas - so Mike and I have had the day off today to go and do our Christmas shopping. The plan was to hit the shops after a late breakfast, and then have a proper afternoon tea, and after much research we were planning to head to the Doubletree hotel. They don't do afternoon tea until after 3 though, and at 1:45 were were done with the shopping already, and decided we couldn't wait that long, so in the end we went to Patisserie Valerie - who don't do an afternoon tea, but do have a great club sandwich (for Mike), a rather tasty croque madame (for me) and a double chocolate gateaux and a mixed berry tart (shared). We'll just have to have our afternoon tea another time! Barring one parcel which is supposedly "out for delivery" right now, and one which is due to arrive tomorrow I think that's the shopping pretty much done though - hurray!

Definitely looking forward to Christmas with Mike's family, and then New Year with mine celebrating my dad's 60th - it's going to be fun.


Jan. 8th, 2011 10:41 pm
lnr: (Default)

So... the last thing I really posted about was my parathyroid all clear (hurrah). Since then I've been busy, but I'll briefly summarise. Click through each photo for the rest of the album.

On my birthday (a Friday) we went out for dinner with Becky and Stuart and then went to see the latest Harry Potter film, which was great fun. Sadly we couldn't stop out for a drink afterwards as we had to get an early train to Burton-on-Trent for the wedding of Mike's cousin Stephen and Anna. It was lovely to see lots of Mike's family again so soon after our wedding: Chris and Margaret (Stephen's mum and dad) were particularly smug that it was now their turn to be proud parents of the groom. I love weddings, and this was no exception: lovely ceremony, gorgeous dress, a nice meal and then speeches, *loads* of dancing with a real band, and an excellent buffet.

Since we were in the region anyway Mike decided his birthday present to me was a bit of a holiday in the Peak district, so his Mum and Dad kindly gave us a lift to Buxton on the Sunday (very kind, since it turns out to be a very awkward journey to do by train, all those hills in the way). We pottered round the town on Sunday afternoon and went to see Show of Hands at the Opera House - which was great fun but made us feel very young :) On Monday we got a bus into the middle of nowhere (the bus driver kindly dropped us even though there was no stop) and went for an 8 mile walk along the Roaches to Lud's Church. Considering the time of year we were lucky there were only a few very muddy bits, and the weather smiled on us far more than we deserved, it was brilliant! And then on Tuesday we visited Poole's Cavern (a show cave dating from Victorian times) and Solomon's Temple (a folly on the hill above the town). It was a lovely few days away and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

In mid-December we managed another picturesque weekend away, this time in Yorkshire. We went to visit my mum and dad, and Mike's parents joined us there too. We had a Saturday out in the Dales, visiting the Strid near Bolton Abbey, having a fantastic lunch in Burnsall, and then driving up over the tops, past the last of the snow, and down through Malham. Fantastic. And on the Sunday we were joined by my sisters and John, Dave and Oliver for a big family not-quite-Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and trifle! It doesn't match getting to see them at Christmas itself but it was definitely a highlight.

And then of course there was Christmas proper. This year we spent it in the Forest of Dean with Mike's parents, and were joined by Pete and Val and Val's mum Hermine late on Boxing Day. It was another lovely break with lots of food (it wouldn't be Christmas otherwise) and lots of long walks in the snow and time watching the birds in the garden: Mike and I bought ourselves a good pair of binoculars and a bird watching scope for Christmas and enjoyed making the most of them.

Since we got back we've mostly had a quiet time - except for one lovely evening hosted by Clare. We've been shopping and spent our wedding presents in the sales - new cutlery, crockery, bedding and other odds and ends for round the home. And today we defrosted the freezer - we know how to live :) It may not be a very exciting start to 2011 but it's a happy one, and we're looking forward to the rest of the year.

lnr: (Default)

I'm hopeless about writing about things as they happen, but there've been a few things this week that have been ace enough I want to make a note of them.

Tuesday night was the night of the Leonids meteor shower. The peak was supposed to be around 2am, but no way were we going to stay up that late. So after dinner we wrapped up warm and headed out up the hill to Gog Magog down with binoculars and a blanket. It was clouding up a little, and we only saw three meteors between us, but it was still a lovely evening, and so nice to be up there on our own in the dark. The wind was funny though: cycling up the hill was much easier than usual and instead of free-wheeling back down at a vast pace we actually had to pedal! Fab.

Thursday was my birthday, and I had a lovely day. Opening presents in bed is always fun, even if you only have 10-15 minutes before Mike really has to get up and leave for work. Dropping the lid of a le creuset paninni press/grill thing on your leg is not recommended, even with a duvet for padding. Mike made me laugh by buying me a pack of four lovely field mushrooms as a treat. A strange present, but very romantic coming from someone who really doesn't like them. I had most of them for tea, along with a nice steak slightly overcooked in the grill thing (a present from mum and dad). I got lots of lovely things from other people too: I'm very lucky. And it was even a nice day at work :)

We saved going out for Saturday night, with a brief stop in HMV to buy the part of my present from Mike which was inconveniently only released on Friday - Super Mario World for the Wii! A half of Old Rosie in the Mill was followed by dinner at Loch Fyne, where we had the most enormous seafood platter in the world (or so it seemed) complete with a whole crab and a whole lobster. An utter treat, and we were stuffed by the end, so we didn't stay for pudding but went home again on the bus (such style!) and spent the rest of the evening playing Mario. And we played quite a bit more on Sunday - today I have a slight case of Nintendo thumb, and struggle to peel a clementine at coffee time.

Off to the Dentist after lunch, which I'm not really looking forward to, but hopefully it should all just be routine. And then on Wednesday afternoon we're off to the Register Office to give our Notices of Marriage, an appointment for which Mike had to take time off work. They're too busy at the weekend doing weddings :) And on Friday we'll have been officially going out for four years. Brilliant. Did I mention how lucky I am :)


Nov. 24th, 2008 11:24 am
lnr: (balloon)

Dur, forgot to mention that in the meantime I've been and gone and had another birthday last Wednesday. Mike told me to take the day off work, so I got to stay up late on a school night, have a nice lie-in on my birthday itself, followed by breakfast in bed (bacon and egg buttie, pain-au-chocolat, coffee, orange juice) and some reading. Then a gentle afternoon with lots of laughter playing wii music (which was his present to me), out to the chinese in the village for dinner, and home in time to watch next week's Heroes before bed. It was a lovely day, and I even got out of our monthly Infrastructure Group meeting.

I'd decided not to have a big party this year, especially since we were suppose to have a housewarming a couple of weeks back, but I think David's hoping to rope me and Mobbsy into a 100th birthday (33 1/3 each) sometime in March.


Nov. 26th, 2007 02:52 pm
lnr: (Default)

Fantastic weekend in lists.


  • Curry at the Saffron for Mike's colleague Louise's leaving do
  • Followed by drinks at pub


  • Nice lie in and lunch before travelling to London
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Nice walk through London
  • Lovely hotel room to stay in


  • More lie in
  • Fab hotel breakfast
  • Long walk along Thames to St Pauls
  • Ride on London Eye
  • Visit Tate Modern and look at crack in turbine hall floor
  • Posh burgers for dinner
  • Brixton for the Black Crusade: Shadows Fall, Arch Enemy, Dragonforce, Trivium and Machine Head.


  • Still the weekend!
  • Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast
  • Home by 12:15, with the rest of the afternoon off before Pizza

It's been really really good, and would have been even better if my feel weren't so sore by the end of the gig. Machine Head were fucking awesome, hadn't realised how much of their stuff I knew, and they play it really well and had a great atmosphere. And it's fab to only have to go home 3 stops on the tube! The gig was booked for ages, but the rest of the weekend was my birthday present from Mike, for which many thanks are due.

lnr: (Default)

I'm not going to try and play catch-up, mostly because I simply can't remember anything particularly exciting of late. At least until this weekend. Emily and John have finished decorating their room, so the guest room is now available for the first time, and they invited me to stay, to coincide with my birthday, or at least the nearest weekend to it.

So we arrived on Friday night to find that Steph and Dave were also staying the night, though on the living room floor. A nice curry from the local takeaway and lots of chatting and drinking ensued, with children in need on the telly as background, and us getting to bed around 1:30am.

Saturday Emily had to work, and John had taekwondo, family and football, so Steph and Dave took us off to spend the day out and about, but not before we'd had danish pastries and crumpets for breakfast. Being in Hull, and Mike not having seen it before the first stop was... The Humber Bridge. We didn't go over it in the end, as I'd thought to toll might be a bit expensive for just driving across and back, but in retrospect maybe that was a mistake. However we did walk down from the visitor area under the bridge and down to the shore, which was briskly windy and rather cool, in both senses, especially impressive when the sun came out. Then we walked back up through the trees of the country park, which was rather lovely, and kept us nice and sheltered. Then we headed into Hull and spent 45 minutes trying to get parked. Here we had time for lunch and a bit of pottering, and looking at some historic ruins, before heading over to the shiny new St Stephens shopping centre to find Mum and Dad buying shoes in Em's shop. Well OK, mum buying shoes. Steph then joined in, while I popped into New Look to find a top - it's nice to be in one that actually stocks the Inspire plus-size range. Then the six of us headed over to a rather nice pub called the White Hart for nice beer, before heading back to Em's.

Mum, dad, Steph and Dave headed off to check into a hotel for the night, while Em and John tried not to panic about the oven not working. Thankfully it eventually got up to temperature, allowing us to have a lovely 3 course dinner. Steph and Dave provided a starter of cold meat and assorted anti-pasto with bread and salad, Em and John proceeded to stuff us with chicken and bacon cooked with cherry tomatoes, along with broccoli, spuds and butternut squash (hint, you can roast it with the skin on, and then either eat the skin or remove it while eating, which is much easier than trying to remove before cooking, and hadn't occurred to any of us but John). Then we needed something of a break before we cracked open the champagne and cerise liqueur and tucked into the tiramisu, all courtesy of mum and dad. It was another lovely evening sat around talking.

Sunday morning they all came back for a big cooked breakfast at about 11, leaving me just time to finish off my French Harry Potter before I had to get up, and then they insisted I open my presents a day early, since otherwise they wouldn't get to see what I thought. So now I have some lovely artwork on the wall in the living room (though I doubt that will be its final home), a gorgeous lamp sitting by the stereo, a fab clock made from a CD with a picture of a VW campervan, and a huge box of dark chocolates. We barely had time for all the food to go down before it was time to head out yet again to the Pipe and Glass pub in South Dalton (http://www.pipeandglass.co.uk/), for a 3 o'clock Sunday Lunch. The website has menus which are rather out of date but can give you an idea of just how good the food is. I had the hare, pork and fois gras terrine to start with, served with toast, pease pudding and a sail of air dried ham. Followed by a lamb casserole with rosemary dumplings and carrots cooked in local honey. And finished with a fabulous warm plum and almond tart with eggnog ice cream. And then they even brought us truffles with our coffee. We could barely move by the time we left at around 6, but it was utterly utterly wonderful. And just a shame they didn't have space for us to sit in the bar for a bit before we ate. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

When we got back to Em's again everyone else had to get off, to get home and get a reasonable night's sleep, but we sat up watching telly for a while, including Top Gear which had an item featuring not only the Humber Bridge but the Alfa Romeo 159, which happens to be my dad's shiny new car, in rather an impressive coincidence. It was strange seeing James May down on the beach in the exact spot we'd walked past only the previous day, in the car we'd just been driving in. We didn't have room for dinner, just a very large gin and some pringles, before we bid them goodnight and thanks for having us. Sadly while Emily had booked the week off work she ended up having to work on Monday after all, for the induction of a new team leader, which was definitely a shame.

So in the end my birthday itself featured a lie-in, a long journey, a lazy afternoon geeking, and a lazy evening watching TV and eating fish and chips. Very quiet, but lovely nonetheless. And today I got chocolates in the post from Janet, and couldn't be happier, noting it's also now 2 years since Mike and I went on our first date. Yay!


Nov. 19th, 2005 03:28 am
lnr: (deely-boppers)

I'm thirty!

Thanks to those who've sent birthday wishes. And thanks to Mike, Jenny and Florian (and Laura, Silvie and thingyFletcher) for a great night out. Good beer and chat in the pub. Bad beer and dancing in the Kambar. A very modern indie set, then a fun punky heavier bit, and ending very retro with The Stones, The Doors and The Beatles. And a complete stranger went home with my phone number on his arm in Jenny's eyeliner. All in all an absolutely excellent night out. And a great day to look forward to tomorrow.


lnr: (southpark)

As a birthday treat I am going to see this at 15:30 on Saturday at the Arts Cinema in Cambridge. It's general seating, so do feel free to come and join us.


Oct. 20th, 2005 10:58 pm
lnr: (armadillo!)

First batch of party invites went out. Sorry if you got several copies: some of the bounces I got weren't clear which addresses were affected, so I ended up resending. Twice. Embarrassing. Equally sorry if you've not got an invitation. Space is limited and we couldn't invite everyone we wanted to. This makes it even more important that you RSVP: if you can't make it we can invite someone else, and knowing who definitely can come makes it much easier to keep track of how much space is left.

BRMC review seems a little negative in retrospect: they really were excellent. I wasn't having the best of days which possibly didn't help though. Not really having the best of weeks. Still just sad and tired mostly. And the sad truth is there's no-one I can really talk to about it properly. Either you're Mike, you have your own worries, or I don't feel close enough to you. Not that there's much to say.

Work and life continue anyway. iPod man has a new silly project: http://www.bornonthesameday.co.uk/. And he's promised me a birthday present (up to the value of 50p). Harry Potter arrived, and was devoured last night and earlier this evening. And next week is Whitby to look forward to, looks like we'll be room sharing with David which should be entertaining. Though he doesn't get the top bunk :-P Yeah, stuff. Oh yeah and it turns out there are some people from my High School who also have livejournal. Though they were mostly born after I started there which is a bit disconcerting.

lnr: (window)

Change of date: our birthday party will be on the 26th not the 19th of November. I'm sorry I won't be able to invite you all.

I feel really bad about stealing August's birthday though, which rather takes the fun out of it somewhat. [Edit: he's a star and has offered to switch to the 19th, *hugs*]

FWIW my plans for the foreseeable are:

     2005-10-05       Editors, Junction 
     2005-10-12       Magic Numbers, Junction 
     2005-10-15       uk.misc meat Oxford 
     2005-10-18       BRMC, Junction 
     2005-10-27       Cam -> Whitby 
     2005-11-01       Whitby -> Cam 
     2005-11-05       My parents visiting 
     2005-11-12       Visit Kitty 
     2005-11-19       August's birthday Party chez Hermitage 
     2005-11-22       Terry Reid, Junction 
     2005-11-26       90th Birthday party with ajm and djsd 
     2005-12-03       Vicky's official birthday party 

lnr: (cake)

Can't promise to invite you all, since we're not sure what size venue we'll have, but I'll be having a joint birthday party with Mobbsy and David on 19th November. Should involve at least a dancefloor and some good beer. We're still faffing though :-)

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