Not too bad a start to this journey, as my first train is the one I’d normally catch to work anyway. Connections all work seamlessly well, at Truro, Birmingham and Crewe (am therefore not at all surprised when made to pay for this good fortune on way home again). See what appear to be two emus in a field outside Bodmin.
Met by Ceri at the station and ring owners of the flat. They are there to meet us when our taxi arrives and let us in. The flat is far nicer than I’d dared hope, if entirely decorated in shades of orange and brown. Still, it’s reasonably tasteful as far as these things go. Although I’d have been more impressed if they could have stretched to stocking the fridge with so much as a pint of milk. I vaguely note the well stocked fruitbowl, and think that perhaps they’re not all bad after all.
We venture out along the canal (past peculiar wooden tentacle-porn sculpture, the meaning of which will elude us all weekend) and go to Tescos. The buying of fruit is discussed, at which point I remark on the greengrocery already provided, although adding that it looked a bit manky.
Back at the flat, laden with essentials (wine, pizza, muffins) we settle in to watch the telly (Top Gear - St Tropez boat/Ferrari race) and relax. It is at this point Ceri breaks the news to me that the fruit in the bowl is, in fact, all plastic.
…I knew that.
Saturday 18th April
Saturday dawns bright and sunny, and we head into town. We do the cathedral (ooh, nice cloisters missus), although it is £4 to get in, causing Ceri to exclaim loudly “Jesus Christ!” in front of the passing vicar and ladies on the desk. Creating a good impression: we’re doing it wrong.
Wander through town afterwards, where I am duly impressed by the beautiful timber framing and also the variety and insanity levels of the various street performers. Musical inability rubs shoulders with religious nutcasery and the production of worrying balloon animals. And this was before we’d seen the comedy Frenchmen.
We inspected the remains of the Roman amphitheatre (never a sword around when you need one) and walked down to the river and then around the city walls to the castle (the existence of which had apparently managed to escape Ceri till now).
Back into the town centre, where we acquire some chips and lie on the grass outside the cathedral, slashing random passers by.
This evening we watch the first four episodes of Oz and James Bonk For Britain (specific episode or features selection is precluded by the fact we can’t find the dvd remote. In fact, I don’t find it until five minutes before I leave on Monday morning, carefully placed next to the stereo) and then Britain’s Got Talent.
Sunday 19th April
Today we meet up with clarkiegirl, who is officially lovely, and comes over to join us for lunch. We go to a pub (I think it was the Frog and Nightingale) by the canal and sit outside as the weather is still lovely and hot. The food wasn’t the best, but the beer was pretty good. Possibly I got the best of this deal, as the only one drinking…
We wander through town to the river again after lunch, and have an ice-cream while watching the boats going up and down the river (including the family with engine failure who had to be rescued and the entire family in a single pedalo making one small boy do all the pedalling).
Bookshops are also visited, where clarkiegirl buys on my recommendation the first books of two of my favourite series (Eek. Still hoping you like them!) and I buy Piers’ new book (am disloyally amused to realise the price reduction sticker has been carefully positioned over his face) and also another book that I later realise has only rung up on the till as 1p! (Thought it seemed cheap, but kept my mouth shut until safely outside. Should have been seven quid).
Once clarkiegirl has headed off, we promptly fall asleep on the bed. Oops.
Ceri has to go home later this evening as she has work in the morning, and we walk back into town through the really warm evening to where she’s being picked up. Walk back a different route to suss out my path to the station, only to discover the road I was planning on doesn’t appear to exist.
Later, back in the flat, I watch James May’s Big Ideas on Dave. “Strap on chopper” indeed.
Monday 20th April
Time for a bacon sandwich before finishing packing and cleaning up. Halfway to Birmingham I have a nasty suspicion I was supposed to text the owners when I left. Oops.
Walk to the station in 15 minutes, get an earlier train to Crewe and then an earlier connection to Birmingham. This is where it all falls apart, and I have to wait for 90 minutes for the delayed connection. Consequently miss the Plymouth connection and have to wait an extra hour there too. Finally get home about 7.15pm, having left the flat at 9am. Zzzzz….
Still, a bally good weekend, and I want to do it again now plz!
[pics to come]