Monday, 7 November 2011

...And then the banging stopped.

And the mutt was able to breathe a sigh of relief as Guy Fawkes night passed for another year.
(Not that I saw a single 'guy' over the entire weekend - do we still burn those effigies?)

Apparently we can set fireworks off as early (?) as Halloween (a hijacked 'festival' if ever I saw one  - but that's a whole other conversation to have), but as soon as November 6th shows its tired face, the noises stop. How bizarre!

So having spent saturday morning perusing internet sites for replacement automobiles and partially watching Frozen Planet, I jumped into my borrowed car to zip along to the royal land of Tunbridge Wells.

Ah, and what a weekend of frivolities.
I arrived at Miss P-ray's house mere moments before the arrival of Miss Ray-Ray and her reliable friend Tina, who wasn't allowed in the house on account of being a Ka and too wide for the door.
We were greeted warmly by some lovely parents and the gift of homemade toffee apples.

Now - a little secret for you all. Having never liked Halloween, I never had trick or treat candy, never did apple bobbing (until my second year in Exeter), never toilet papered cars or threw eggs at someone's house. And nor had I had a toffee apple. Ever.
Until Saturday night.
P-ray and Mummy P. had been slaving away in the kitchen to produce some high quality homemade toffee which was expertly poured over granny smith apples.

It was these delightful treats that P-ray, Ray-Ray, Mr.S (Ray Ray's chap) and I munched on as we wandered along to the country park for an epic firework display.

Not only did the toffee hinder our attempts at conversation with it's remarkable ability to stick our jaws together, it could also have been sold as ammo. When fired at high speeds, these chunks of hardened toffee had the potential to be deadly. And this is of course, no disrespect to the hard work and labour of two gifted women - but what would those entrepeneurial dragons think of edible weapons. Too much perhaps?

I would like to apologise to anyone who has a toffee shaped dent on the front left wheel arch of their car. I think it was silver car I hit. I would just like to say that it wasn't fired or intentionally thrown. I was displaying it's stickiness to my amigos by demonstrating how it would stay stuck to my leather gloves when it (the toffee) chose to break loose, reaching its terminal velocity of 'very fast' just before it hit your car.

I did inspect the damage. But it seemed fine.

So onto the fireworks. We now have delightfully sticky fingers, and I feel like a small child. We find a perfect spot to observe the fireworks. There were no crowds and no mud. Then we saw the whopping great tree.
A natural explanation for the vacant area around its perimeter.
So we squeezed ourselves amongst the other royal town's residents and watched the longest fireworks display ever, complete with soundtrack.
I say soundtrack - it was two tracks. The first was the Star Wars theme, followed by the ET theme. On repeat. But obviously it's the attempt at a cinematic wonder that counts, and actually it was a bloomin' excellent display.
Thank you Miss P-Ray for paying for my ticket. It was lovely. Until those god awful girls decided to sing Katy Perry at the tops of their voices. Ladies, just because you have the captive audience of a bottle-necked crowd, it does not mean you must take it upon yourselves to entertain them. This rule is even more important if you are unable to pitch notes correctly.
Now I may not be able to sing (at all!), and am therefore an unworthy critic - but I did yell at you to "Shuuuuuuutup" much to the appreciation of my fellow crowd members. You chose to ignore this polite plea for peace.

And with a quick drive back to the Faro residence (via a corner shop for some vino), and it was time to kick back and relax.
Good job we bought the extra bottles, because one just wasn't going to be enough.

Sunday morning.
Awake at 8.30am.
What is this madness?
I may have had a slightly groggy head. Must remember to drink plenty of non alcoholic fluids, adult bodies don't recover aswell as their student counterparts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if ever you visit Tunbridge Wells, perhaps on the off chance, a sporadic drive through, or something more planned - you must pop your head into 'Juliets'.
Now I cannot tell where this is, other than at the bottom of the high street just before The Pantiles.
It is the quaintest little tea room without being twee and O.T.T
Mix matched cups and saucers, odd chairs and tables, and room for twenty-five people, tops! But oh, you must go.
Lovely little homemade breakfasts.
Ray-Ray : Eggs Benedict (without the benedict)
Mr S.: Eggs Benedict (as it should be!)
P-Ray: A big fat bacon sandwich on sourdough. Looked amazing. And even better with a couple of splodges of Heinz.
Me: Why, what should one eat when in a very British little tearoom? American style pancakes with fruit and yoghurt of course!
What a feast.

Mr S. made his excuses and left shortly after, something to do with a hockey game. Personally I think he needed a testosterone fix after a very girly weekend. Can't say I blame him. Female conversation is defintely a polar opposite of Male Banter.
With Mr S. abandoning us in the Royal Town, we resorted to using our legs and mooched back to Chez Faro.
Who knew that Tunbridge Wells was so hilly? Well aside from it's residents of course, who I'm sure are very much accustomed to its steep inclines. I think it was worse because in addition to breakfast we also had to squeeze in  a bit of homemade cake!

Like Exeter, our educational home, the geography of the land actually improves muscle definition, metabolism, lung capacity and weightloss.
Maybe I should move there, if I can't get to the gym!
Thank you ladies (and gent) for a wonderful weekend of autumnal merriment. We must attempt to synchronise those diaries and a get another date March 2012?


Also on another completely separate note, but one that I find quite hilareous due it's perfect display of bad timing.
Last night, I drove to the airport to pick up Miss USA and Sailor Bob. I collected my cargo and began the drive home.
I had been speeding (marginally) on the motorway to get there, because I was (marginally) late.
It was an uneventful journey, until a white car with black markings and blue lights on the roof appeared behind me.
Now, I know that I cannot be the only one who panicks when the Police drive behind me. I overcompensate, by trying to drive perfectly and actually end up driving worse.

Exemplary moment #1
Location: dual carriageway /  me -outside lane/ white car with blue lights - inside lane just behind.
Situation: "Oh poo, wrong lane!"
Dialogue: "Why won't that stupid car go past me so I can move over." "That would be undertaking Amy. And is illegal."

See, even the foreigners (obviously I mean that in the loosest sense of the word) understand driving etiquette and road law. I, however, had the law on my bumper and completely lost my head.
Luckily I didn't lose my cool  ( or what was ever left of it!) I checked all mirrors, and my blind spot, indicated and moved over slowly so as not to cause alarm.
By now the police car has been following me for a little while, and I'm a little concerned that I may have missed a subtle sign from them asking me to pull over.
As I approach the left turn that takes me home I notice two young lads, complete with hooded sweaters standing very suspiciously next to a builder's fence. I saw them. But they didn't see me. Which mean's they didn't see the vehicle I was escorting/ following me (two ways of looking at every story).
They lept over the fence.
Ah the joy. The ignorance and the foolishness. I was lucky enough to see two legs disappear over the top off the fence just as the police car indicated left and pulled over.
"You're nicked son!"
Clearly, he wouldn't have said this, and even if he had I would never have heard - but just for entertainment's value I like to imagine that he did.

I think when I die, I'm going to a bad place for taking an extreme level of satisfaction in this moment.