Well having watched most of my money go down the drain at Bechers Brook on Saturday afternoon, I made my way down to Brighton on Saturday evening to collect Lisa for an all expenses paid fortnight in Shotley Gate. We were aiming to leave Brighton at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, but it's actually quite difficult to get ready when there are two teenage girls taking their clothes off and doing cartwheels in their bras on the grass outside. Lisa assured me it's not an everyday occurrence, so we had to make the most of it. And besides, one of them was quite gymnastically talented.
But after a bit of gyrating in thongs (them, not us), we finally made it out of Lisa's front door at 3:30, took the lift down to the ground floor, and stepped out into the lobby where six policeman were in the process of pinning a woman face down to the floor, and trussing her up like a pig at a hog roast. She, meanwhile, was busy assuring them at a high volume that they'd never take her alive, which seemed a little optimistic to me, but to be honest I was more concerned about how I was going to get Lisa's suitcase past without wheeling it over her face.
But anyway, the nicest thing about our stroll through a war zone was that one of the policemen recognised Lisa and cheerfully said hello. Well I think he said hello. I couldn't actually hear anything over the screaming.
Anyhoo, our departure from Lisa's road was delayed by the major police presence, and the local resident being carried out by her wrists and ankles, and chucked head first into a van, but at least it demonstrated why property prices in the area are so high - who wouldn't want to live in such an exciting neighbourhood? We did eventually get away though, and journeyed north to Essex, where we dropped in on my brother, sister-in-law, and most importantly my niece, whose birthday we'd missed by 24 hours. But we spent an enjoyable evening playing with virtual Petz on the computer, with Lisa and I doing our best to pretend we were enjoying it as much as my niece. A plan which backfired a bit when my niece saw how much Lisa loved the game, and immediately promised to buy her a copy for her birthday.
From there we went to my parents' at Chelmsford, where we're currently spending a couple of nights on a bed with two mattresses. Yesterday we visited the Freeport Shopping Village at Braintree which features a Next Clearance Store (for Lisa) and a Cadburys Factory Shop (for me). Lisa bought some half price jeans, and I got embarrassingly excited at the discovery that you can buy a sack of Cadbury Flake offcuts for £2.99.
So having filled up on chocolate we ended up at the White Hart in Chelmsford for dinner, where I made friends against my will with a middle-aged woman at the bar who wouldn't leave me alone, and insisted on telling me about a friend of hers who'd never forgiven her for not turning up at a party. I eventually got rid of her, only to be accused of pushing into the queue by a five year old boy with a whiny voice. I could have slapped him. But frankly I was more annoyed with the waitress who forgot my garlic bread. So I slapped her instead.