Monday, 5 November 2012

What A Swell Party That Was

We headed down to Southport on Saturday for the first time since we sold the house in July. We met my mum and my sister Julie briefly for a coffee but the main purpose of our visit was to go to our old friend and colleague Liz Clayton's 50th birthday party. Liz is a female Michael Palin - the word that everyone associates with her is "nice"-  so it was hardly surprising that a huge crowd attended to wish her well. She and her family put on a super spread for us and a great time was had by all.

It was good to see old Instanta colleagues Max. Isla, Rebekah, Tony and Peter.

As well as Phil and Craig and a few more who managed to escape my camera. We didn't talk about the business a lot but it was interesting to catch a few snippets about what life is now like in the company after the Brassey era.

We stayed at the Vincent on Lord St on Saturday night (thanks Nick for negotiating a very good price for us). We used to eat there a lot when we lived in Southport but never had need to stay. I have to say that it's very good. Attentive and friendly staff, a beautifully fitted and comfortable (if a bit dark) bedroom and nice attention to detail - plenty of towels, toiletries and (nice touch) a Nespresso machine. With a decent breakfast thrown in it was an impressive stopover.

On the road on Sunday morning the omens were good with the Howgill Fells looking beautiful as we sped up the M6 in the autumn sunshine. After a great meal and good night's sleep at The Black Swan in Ravenstonedale where we are staying for a few nights, we awoke to thick fog but Google told us that Ullswater was going to be sunny.

And Google was dead right. We headed to Glenridding for the 11.10 steamer to Howtown and walked back the six miles amongst some of the most glorious scenery in Britain. Forgive all the photos but it was a spectacularly good day weather wise (we'd taken the sensible precaution of wrapping up well against the cold) and I can't remember seeing Ullswater looking better. There were quite a few cameramen around with all the gear. They must have taken some glorious scenes. Looking forward to another two nights here at the Black Swan before we head down to Ribchester to meet Mark and Nita from the excellent Workhouse Marketing.