We left at 8.30 and made excellent time despite heavy rain and road works, arriving at our destination at 12.10. Passing the Carvery, there were plenty of spaces in the car park, so we were looking forward to a roast dinner.
Less than twenty minutes later, it was a different story, we couldn’t get into the car park, let alone actually park, so we resorted to Plan B, a trip to Frankie and Benny’s some 6 miles away, which was where we had taken Mum for her 80th birthday (I’ll do a post on that later).
We parked up OK, but before unloading Mum from the car I went in to check on the availability of a table. There were plenty of empty places, but apparently they’d had an accident in the kitchen and lost a lot of food, plus they were short staffed and were expecting 2 large parties within half an hour, so service would be delayed.
Plan C came into effect and we decided to go to a Beefeater establishment, but that had changed hands yet again, and our last experience there had been waiting over 45 minutes for our starter.
Before resorting to old faithful (KFC, which we refer to as rent-a-meal as it can be better than any laxative), we went to a pub where we celebrated paying off our mortgage to find it was now a Carvery, so we knew what to expect and what it would cost.
We had a short wait, but the meal was good, and all three of us had desserts.
As there was no rush in getting Mum home, we thought we’d have a little drive around our old town and give Mum a little outing, even if it meant just a drive.
Maggie remembered the park where we took her twice a day growing up, the fun of running into the sea (yes, nothing so affectionate as a wet dog), and had a lovely time even though it was still pouring with rain!
The town has changed, and it’s a MESS. Building sites everywhere, one way streets and roundabouts, flats that were new 7 years ago now looking neglected, dirty and jaded.
And TRAFFIC, even on busy day where we are now, this was at least three times a bad.
One good thing was that Hubby was able to get the engine oil from the Marina as he hadn’t been able to source it locally. We now have an official supplier for spares and maintaining our engine, and they do Mail Order.
We came back via the new lifting bridge over Poole Harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in Europe, if not the World, now that Sydney Australia has added a man-made bit. When we left, the design on paper had been really fancy, with sails like wings either side.
It was a major disappointment, just a length of concrete, but apparently the ‘sails’ come into force when it goes up. Coo.
We were unanimous in being glad that we no longer lived there, and as for Mum, she had no idea where we were anyway, bless her.
We got back and had a cup of tea, getting on the road home by 4.30, so it was getting dark.
It was another shit journey, with heavy mist and rain in places. We also hit the road works again, but not as bad as we expected.
We split the driving with me getting the motorway run, and the dog fell asleep on the back seat wrapped in Hubby’s coat. She’s exhausted today, thus confirming that she doesn’t travel very well now.
I was glad we had gone down to see Mum though.
She is keeping well though unsteady on her feet, and still has a healthy appetite.
Sadly, it hasn’t registered that we are living on a narrow boat, as she had some idea that it was made of canvas. She couldn’t remember where we took her for her meal last time, though did recall ‘it was very nice’. I gave her a huge cuddle before we left.
Hopefully we shall manage two more visits this year as I intend to try to see her once a month. It’s doubtful she will write and equally doubtful she (or my sister) will phone, but we are closer now, so again the onus will be on me to keep in touch.