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Monday, May 02, 2011

So, Amelie, how would you rate the Tea Rooms at the Salvation Army's Hadleigh Training Centre..?

Perfect Ten
Personally I'd knock a point off for not giving her a plate with that pig sandwich, but each to their own. At least the table looks clean.

Anyhoo, I think I've recovered from a mild case of foot & mouth disease, so to get back to the shaggy goat story, my brother suggested that we all head off to Hadleigh on Saturday afternoon for some lunch at the Salvation Army. Naturally I was expecting soup served from the back of a van, but it turned out to be a café staffed by people with special needs. Thereby making it virtually indistinguishable from most branches of KFC. Interestingly, they did serve soup, but it was Cream of Lettuce, so you'd need to be homeless and starving to want it.

In the end, we opted for sandwiches (because they'd sold out of everything else), which gave me the chance to try some piri-piri chicken so hot I thought I'd have to attend a burns unit for dessert.

From there, we headed outside to the Rare Breeds Farm, where they charge you £2.50 to get in, stamp your hand to prove you've paid, and then put up signs everywhere telling you to wash your hands after touching each animal. By the time we'd gone halfway round, we looked like we'd snuck in without paying. But that aside, it was very good. Personally I like my meat well-done, but the rare breeds on display were still pretty appetising, and Amelie seemed to like them...

Having stuffed a few animals, we headed uphill to the willow maze, where we split into two teams for a race to the centre. With logical thinking and a keen sense of direction vital to success, I naturally did everything I could to avoid having Lisa on my team, but after a short argument I was informed that this is what the wedding vows meant by "for worse", so I was forced to accept my fate and take her with me.

Obviously we lost. Mainly because Amelie was on the other side, and could squeeze through the holes in the hedge. Here she is leading her team to victory...

Am Mazing
I call that photo 'Am Mazing'. And it was thirty seconds after taking it that she slipped through another hole and completely disappeared from view. It's hard to describe the panic you feel as a parent when you're separated from your two-year-old in a maze. 'Minimal' is the word I'd use, but Lisa would beg to differ. Fortunately, having spent a manic minute running up and down dead-ends and shouting for our daughter, I heard a small voice saying "I think I'm a little bit lost".

To my surprise, it turned out not to be Lisa, and within seconds we were reunited with Amelie. She looked like she'd been pulled through a hedge backwards, but that was mainly because she had.

From there we stroked a shaggy sheep, choked a chicken, and saw some poo and piglets, before finishing up at the play-castle, which was a bit of an after-fort. We eventually left at five-fifteen, a quarter of an hour after they closed, and headed to the beach at Westcliff...

That's my brother in the bottom right hand corner, offering some words of comfort to a local down-and-out. Or my sister-in-law, as she's also known.

Our main reason for heading seaward was to go to Rossi's ice cream parlour, a place I last visited in 2007. And I'm glad I've got that link to prove it. We all know that the US government's microwave mind-control tests are causing TV presenters' brains to melt down, but I'm beginning to think the same thing is happening with this blog. A few days ago, our friend 'C' refused to believe she'd ever been to the theatre with me, and now my brother's going just as mental.

As we walked down the cliff steps to Rossi's, I reminisced about the last time we'd done it, and how we'd strolled along to Adventure Island, been on a rollercoaster, and then walked down the pier. To which my brother responded that he hadn't been to Adventure Island for about ten years, and that if I had, I definitely hadn't done it with him. I'm beginning to think everyone's blocking me out of their memory like I'm some kind of mental trauma.

Give it three years and he won't remember this either...

Which is probably just as well.


Dave said...

Lisa wanted to come to a party today.  I think you were jolly mean to to bring her.

Phil's Mum said...

As I said a few days ago, you're the only one who can prove you don't have alzheimers.  And should YOU be on the back or the front of that last photo?

Dave said...

'Not to', not 'to to'.  That's what ballet dancers wear.