Sunday, July 02, 2006

One hundred and forty miles in a mobile sauna

Sunday morning finds us holding a meeting on the grass outside Hunters’ Lodge, putting the last pieces of the Festival ops stuff to bed as we watch waves of people walk up to the racecourse for the annual Race for Life.

Nine of us then head up to the Rising Sun at 12.30pm for a lovely farewell lunch al fresco.

Leaving at just after 3.30pm (it was a leisurely lunch!) R and I head off in beautiful sunshine. However, as we head into the West Midlands the weather breaks and we drive incredibly slowly through some of the heaviest rain I have ever experienced anywhere in the world, accompanied by a spectacular electric storm. The combination of high temperatures, high humidity and having to have the heater blasting the windscreen to keep visibility, leave us ready to reach for the birch twigs.

We make it back to Manchester in about 3 hours, but then spend the next 20 minutes trapped in the car at the foot of R’s block of apartments, whilst some unseen hand throws large buckets of water at us.

Eventually R rings the lovely M, to beg she come down with an umbrella. M arrives at the car with waterproofs but no brolly, a disagreement commences about how many umbrellas they own and where they may be found. As the puddles threaten to rise above the car door sill, I suggest they might want to defer this discussion to later!

Tired, but satisfied after an excellent weekend, I make it home. Signs of potential migraine are increasing despite having taken medication enroute, so I crash out and a couple of hours sleep sees it off.

Sadly however this means I have to turn down two potential social options, curry with P&S and the party at T’s I’d really hoped to make.

Another time.


sally said...

what a bummer of a journey! We did ours in under three hours, with the car roof down, (In hot sun, sorry..)at about 90 mph which makes it very noisy and windy (so bad for the hair..that's my excuse.....) and DC seeming to be falling asleep and driving fairly erratically... very relaxing, I don't think....

Rob said...

Ouch, I just missed the rain. Literally just. I walked in through the front door and by the time I got to the back of the house the garden was already under half an inch of water. Hope the car dries out soon.

Kathryn said...

Have things changed radically at the Rising Sun, or was it the company rather than the food that made lunch a postive experience???
Sorry your journey home was so grim, and the dreaded migraine lurked too.
hugs x

Sarah said...

Hunter's Lodge? I used to have a paper round which included delivering papers there!

1 i z said...

K - the food was ok actually, bordering on quite good. No disasters and they've removed the rubber duck (sorry I mean breast of duck that just happend to be as tough as old boots and needed a steak knife).

Plus the manager was super lovely to us, especially when one of our party asked if the cheesecake was homemade, which he assured us it was. However, when the order went to the kitchen, the chef said "what cheesecake, there's no cheesecake on the menu". So he came back to the table and said "where did you get the cheesecake option from?" to which the reply was "I don't know, but apparently it's homemade...".

On the Sunday when i rang up to reserve a table, at first he said that he could only reserve a table inside (they don't reserve outside apparently), but then as we talked and he realised who we were ("is the cheesecake ready yet?"), he generously broke the rules and saved us an ace spot on the verandah. Lovely man.

1 i z said...

Woah Sarah - that's hard core!

Did they like only want certain papers on certain days depending on how they felt (regardless of any written confirmation received re the order)? Or seal the letterbox if you were 1 minute late with the paper? Or claim they'd never heard of you or "these paper things of which you speak" when it came time to settle the account?

Sarah said...

As far as I remember, they had more papers than could ever have been necessary and didn't tip at christmas. Heinous crimes against paper-delivery operatives...