At last! A bit of sunshine in this country that has lasted longer than 20 minutes. And for once we saw it coming. So, we did what we did last year and invited those Australians we met in Iceland up for the weekend. Turns out Bruce was organising a prestigious cycling event nearby. Skippy was more than happy to put in some time outside the M25.
So, what to do? First up, we took them to one of our favourite pubs in the area: The Yew Tree in Bunbury. The plan was to sit in a pub full of English people and watch the Wallabies teach the British Lions a lesson in rugby. Didn’t quite go to plan. I’m apparently expected to be upset about this but frankly I never really care. Why? Because it’s fucking sport. Not only do I have barely more than a fleeting interest at the best of times, but it’s SPORT. There is always another game, competition or year to play again. It’s nice to win but really, it doesn’t matter. It ain’t worth getting upset about. And so we respectfully clapped the Lions victory and got to drinking (except me, I was driving).
Since Bruce had to get back to work, Skippy and I were free to amuse ourselves. I had asked Skippy what she fancied doing while she was in Cheshire and she said she was up for literally anything. Especially after 4 pints.
So I took her to Chester, because people love all that Tudor-y shit. But it was only a fleeting visit because we had somewhere better to be: Go Ape. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a tree-top adventure course. There are several of them around the country. The one at Delamere Forest has the smallest signage in the world, so it took us 30 minutes to park anywhere near it. Having driven in circles swearing at ourselves for that long it was a bit disappointing that the attraction was lacking a toilet. Our choices were to hike back to some visitor centre thus delaying our assault on the course or ‘be at one with nature’. Nature won. We were given a comprehensive safety briefing, and thankfully no breathalyser. I’m not certain it’s a good idea to let someone take charge of their own safety 3 stories above ground after 4 ciders, but never the less, Skippy was vertical enough to seem competent. So we got going.
In fact, we zipped through the course so fast we overtook people in the group which started half an hour before us. Turns out Skippy and I were fearless, if not terribly coordinated.
Skippy mastered the art of the zip line so that she (and after some instruction, me) always ended up facing forward and therefore upright and free of wood chips in our arse cracks.
We returned home for a BBQ that went long into the night and marvelled at the excellent job The Husband did on the patio.
Sunday and Bruce was back at his event doing whatever he does for a living. Skippy is an accomplished horsewoman and it being a nice day we went for a hack at my favourite riding school. We saddled up and got going with a small group, but unfortunately one of the horses decided 100m into the hack to head back to the stables while the rider struggled to maintain any control of the beast. The horse and rider were returned to the group only for it to happen again. We were rather hoping to split the group into two (those who can ride and those who quite clearly have not ever seen a horse before in their lives) but alas, the plucky young lad assured us that he was okay. Here’s Skippy killing time on her mount.
A few canters and several fast trots later we gave the horses back and took a look around at the ponies. This is Molly. No I don’t know what type of horse or how high, and I don’t care. She’s just a gorgeous horse. Please, no ‘why the long face’ comments please.
After all that activity, we got a hunger on. And I had a brain fart on the way back and pulled into a cute little village called Great Budworth. Managed to get a park right out front, which was nice.
Never one to miss a photo op herself, Skippy pulls a daft pose and we set to eating a lovely cheese board and a slice of banoffee pie.
A little stroll round the village, still wearing our jodhpurs and riding boots, and it was time to head home.
And that’s what went down in Cheshire this weekend. Next weekend I’ll show you what happens when you apply boatloads of booze to parents. It’s going to irresponsible at best, illegal at worst.