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Friday, November 23, 2012

Blidworth and babies.

On Sunday afternoon we headed out to Nicole's baby shower, ever so slightly worse for wear - which we were getting used to on this holiday. Of course we were late so we ended up sat centre of the garden in the midst of all the mum's and babies. I felt like a museum object, to be sized up and discussed, and I knew Gareth didn't want to leave me as he was clutching onto my hand. I knew I'd be fine though - a few of the girls, in particular Caroline, were really making an effort to be friendly and I think another few were just hungover and didn't care who I was! I got into the spirit playing with the babies and the games Katie had arranged for the shower. There was yummy food laid out too so I perched by the table and assuaged my hangover with some pork pies and chocolate lollipops :) I did manage to be the biggest baby there though when I ran around the garden wildly after spotting  a queen bee!
After the boys arrived back from the pub Gareth and I left to check into a nearby hotel, Cockliffe House. This time it was a proper boutique hotel, set out in the countryside with each room uniquely decorated. We had a quick nap and showers before David picked us up to go back to theirs for dinner. It was BBQ night back at David and Nicole's with Tony, Caroline and Bella who were staying. Charlie got his pressie from Gareth and we were all entertained by the flashing lights and siren sounds of the fire engine. Gareth had told me about food at this house and they didn't disappoint, even with bbq I had a few helpings! Caroline and I had a few glasses of wine and good chats, getting to know each other a little better whilst I played silly games with baby Bella on my knee. It was such a homely atmosphere and a lovely change after the pub crawl the night before. Gareth took Charlie up for a bed time story and the rest of us settled in to watch The Olympic's Closing Ceremony.  We all got in the spirit, critiquing the acts and secretly loving the Spice Girls reunion. It was an awesome show. Soon it got late and Gareth and I decided to head back to the hotel with plans to meet with the girls, Tony and the children next day (poor David had work). He was quiet but I knew that me being in that house with all his old friends would have brought back memories and maybe been a little awkward for him.
Breakfast was a quiet fare, unusually for us, although the food was delicious and it was a beautiful summer's morning, the bees populating the lavender bushes outside. I was glad to hear we had a few hours before meeting up with the others as I needed a post-brekkie snooze!
Mid-morning we headed for Southwell, another town in Nottingham. It was about time Gareth and I had injected more culture into our trip so he took me to Southwell Minister, a cathedral church and the site of Christian worship for over 1000 years. Neither of us are big church people but it was still interesting to wander around and seep in the history. Nearby we found the others in the playground; although Caroline seemed to enjoy the kiddie rides as much as the other children.
We tried to get into a few places Nicole recommended for lunch but it was a busy day so we ended up at the Saracen's Head, which suited us all fine. I took Charlie out to watch the traffic - he was fascinated by the buses, and we got a few waves from bus drivers, delighting Charlie. We then had to say goodbye to Caroline, Tony and Bella as they had a long drive ahead to get back to Spilsby. Gareth and I strolled around Southwell a little more and when the rain, which had long threatened, came down we went back to Cockliffe House.
It was back to Nicole and David's for dinner that night and Gareth seemed much more relaxed. We'd had a chat and I knew it was weird for him to have me around when Beki had been there for so long. I was happy that it wasn't treated like the elephant in the room and everyone was open enough to talk about her and wonderful memories. It seemed we'd worn our visitors out so Gareth and I once again retired back to Cockliffe for a shared bottle of wine and a bath -  a wonderful way to end a lovely few days in Nottingham.

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