We had a very exciting Jan 2.
Adrienne was going to drive back to London from Sutton Courtney. She left at 2:00 PM. Plan was for Craig to drive Abigail and I to a half way point on Jan 4 – and Adrienne to pick us up there. Then Abigail’s school is still starting on Jan 5.
I’m leaving Jan 10 – so there would be a week of me taking care of Abigail before and after school – then I fly away.
Best laid plans of mice and men
We go for a lovely tea with friends of Jan and Craig – their son is Abigail’s age and they get on a house afire. So we’re enjoying ourselves when my phone rings. It’s Adrienne (and it’s now 4:00 PM – 2 hours after she left the house). I figure she’s saying – I’m home – but no. The car broke down. Died. Won’t start. Not interested. About 15 minutes away from Sutton Courtney. She thinks she might have put Disel in the gas tank (it takes gas..) – which actually turns out to be wrong – not the problem.
But it’s Jan 2 which is a Sunday – and NOTHING is moving… well, mostly nothing. It will be 2 hours MORE before Tow Truck can come and they have suggested she go back to the house. So we drop kids and other family off at a play ground and go pick up Adrienne.
We make sure she put in proper fuel (she did), and we head back to Sutton Courtney. Then we head back to where we’ve deserted the car. Then we find out that nothing is open near that location, so we sit in the cold car. I’m so cold that I wrap myself in my good coat and lie down on the back seat. Anything to stay warm.
At around 7:00 PM a Truck appears – but it’s not a ‘tow’ truck – it’s a service truck. The driver agrees that it’s not the gas – that the car is dead and needs to be towed.
Another 2 hour wait for a real ‘tow’ truck.
He kindly says – go for dinner – we will call. And we can do a ‘keyless’ tow. So don’t worry about the car – we will get it to Sutton Courtney for you some time tonight.
So where to go. Our first choice says no dice. They have lots of reservations and are running out of food. So they can’t take the risk of disappointing someone who reserved to feed 3 cold and hungry drop ins. Given that it’s Christmas time – this feels somewhat like a Christmas Story.
So we continue down the road to another ‘Gastropub’. These are pubs that have determined that the money lies in food. And it is lovely, and empty. So we go in. There’s a beautiful outdoor eating area – with working heat lamps, but the inside is the real winner. It’s a meat lovers heaven, and the decor is higher antler. Huge massive stuffed heads of various animals adorn the different small sections – but since I’m quite a meat lover – this looks wonderful.
The menu is equally inspiring. A 2 course or 3 course option for 27 or 33 GBP – or you can choose the Sunday Roast. We go for the Roast – Adrienne and I will share the Roast Platter – Craig is going for the Lamb.
We know we’re in trouble when the waiter comes to tell us that they are out of Roast. But they can sub the Lamb in the Roast Platter. We agree, and continue to wait. No bread service, but they do bring hot water – which I definitely need at this point.
The waiter finally appears with our food. Craig’s Roast Lamb is a massive plate with a large hunk of Lamb, some roast potatoes (I think they might have been sitting for hours…), and slivers of fried parsnips.
Our Roast Platter is carried out on a huge wooden carving board – and consists of bowls of the various offerings. There are 2 bowls of the Roast Lamb, plus a bowl of pork belly bites, a smaller bowl of slivered and fried plantains, two really horrid Yorkshire Puddings acting as filler around the roast lamb (oh well) and some interesting veggies that looked rather like carrots and green beans but on the sweet side. The lamb was outstanding.. yummy. So good. And the pork belly bites – well – I do love those and these were great.
I’m feeling better about the restaurant – so we foolishly get inspired by the dessert offerings – and then of course are disappointed – really horrid Rice Pudding (I refused to pay for it – yes – it was that bad) and a mediocre Bread Pudding. Since that was much better than the Rice Pudding, we finished it.
We then headed back to the house – no car yet. So we put everyone to bed – and suddenly heard the tow truck. So dead car is now sitting in the driveway.
Ok – situation – we have dead car in driveway, we are 2 hours drive from London, and there is one functional car among the family. And we are here in Sutton Courtney.
Adrienne does some research – and we decide the best bet is likely to rent a car that we can drive to London – and eventually return here on Saturday to (we hope) pick up the repaired car since there is a lovely car repair place about 10 minutes away.
So… plan for today. Mourn the car, take a walk, eat a lovely dinner – perhaps at the Swan… deal with the rest of this tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day!
Look at it this way, Leslie, it can only get better as the year progreses/. May you remain warm and full for the rest of your encounters through out the year.. May the coming days be much duller but full of laughter and special times with Abigail. Will be in touch with you prior to your departure on the 10th.
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Lovely story,for a Happy New Year hopefully,and a healthy Year for all! Thanks for sharing Leslie. We’re in warm and comfortable condo in sunshine 🌞 and ocean waves enjoying the days with Carol and Eric.,Reisa and Andrei,and Judy. All’s well but virus is keeping us on the quieter mode. Regards and hugs to Adrienne and Abigail. We’ll speak soon. Florida cell 5616460966
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Diesel pump nozzles are designed so that they cannot be inserted into gasoline fueled vehicle tanks so it was easy enough to deduce that her hypothesis was incorrect. As for the meal, yeah, that sounds like a typical UK carvery but without the usual canteen service. I was assured that this style of restaurant was on the wane. Quite possibly, therefore, you might have experienced the last example
Hi – I totally agree – diesel pumps are uniquely different – but my daughter is pregnant and doubts her judgement sometimes. The folks at the service should have known that it wasn’t possible – but maybe under the pressure.. Anyway – turns out the issue is electrical – maybe. The car is still sitting like a dead bug at the service station. As for the restaurant – it wasn’t all bad, and it did look really cute. But I agree – disappointing. Thanks for your comment! Leslie