We're off to France next week for a well earned holiday (okay I know that we always seem to be on holiday but we haven't had a real vacation abroad for several years).So it was time to top up my summer wardrobe before setting off. Sadly there's a dearth of men's clothes shops in Framlingham so we headed down to London for a couple of days. I tend to only shop for clothes two or three times each year so we took an empty suitcase with us to save struggling around the city with carrier bags on our second day.
I'm not over keen on traipsing around a lot of shops so we headed for Selfridges - thank heavens for Ted Baker: their clothes fit me, I know their sizes and they are fashionable without being too young for the older bloke. The helpful young assistant must have seen his sales targets coming within reach as he brought me shirts, t-shirts,trousers, shorts and jumpers over a frenetic hour and I liked and agreed to take almost all. With the back of the planned shopping broken in that short time, we were able to take a leisurely lunch in the Selfridges wine bar and spend the rest of the afternoon looking for the few extras on the list. I managed to buy a couple of jackets, a scarf and some shoes before heading to John Lewis for a dinner suit and some undies and to M&S for some t-shirts for cycling and swimming shorts for the hols.
Thanks to Trivago we got a good deal at Flemings Mayfair which was handy for the shops. The room was fine and the service was very friendly but I wouldn't have been happy paying full price as the dinner, whilst a reasonable meal, took so long in arriving that we asked to have the dessert course in the room plus two complementary glasses of wine and the removal of the discretionary 12.5% service charge. I'm a very reluctant complainer but booking a table for 7.15 and eating your starter at 8.20 is far from the perfect dining experience.
Since I last blogged we managed to help our neighbour get to Ipswich to visit his wife who is in a care home and isn't well enough to return to Framlingham at the moment. He's in his late eighties and hadn't stepped over the doorstep for a couple of years due to his own poor health so the journey was a worry for him. After the minor struggle of getting him into the car, I'm pleased to say that the trip went well and we will hopefully be able to repeat the visit again when we are back from France and now that he has found that he is able to go outside perhaps we will be able to wheel him into town for a coffee one day.
We also experienced the Framlingham Gala for the first time. Our son Paul and granddaughter Catherine came to stay for the weekend and I'm pleased to say that the weather held up for the event. After a tasty lunch at The Lemon Tree we watched the colourful procession pass up towards the Pageant Field.
It was great to have family visit us for the weekend and to have plenty to do.
Catherine managed to hook a duck at the funfair.
The funfair was quiet when we went but she enjoyed half a dozen rides before we had a look around the castle.
We'll miss seeing the family while we're in France but before we head there we've got the Opera In The Barn at Crows Hall (above) tomorrow. I had to buy a new dinner suit for this event as my old suit (worn just once) was bought before I dieted - the weather forecast is reasonable so we should have a pleasant evening.
In between all the activity I've been working on finalising my novel for self publishing. Thanks to a lot of help from Caroline at Red Button, it's all edited and formatted and now I just have to put it onto Amazon (and wait for the one star reviews).