Woo hoo....I finally got to meet the wee lad Jasper! Oh, and Ratty too, as it happens lol
Jasper has a new chew-toy. The ear lasted seconds!
Ratty and Mr Ratty furnished me with a wonderful lunch, and then it was on the road again to Billy's
Family Rhomboid. Lovely, all of them. And, a hooge bag of piggy-related goodies for the onward journey.
Chez Abs in Welsh Wales....gorgeous and peacful.
Woo-hoo. Billy's bacon for breakfast....what can I say, apart from mmmmmmmmmm!
So, after leaving Abs, a pootle back up the M4 for the coffee and cake rendezvous with Mam.
Family Miniog - coffee and cake stop on Sunday morning, and what a lovely bit of cake it was too.
Running a bit behind time at this point because, for whatever reason, the Fat Nav decided that single track roads via Merthr Tydfil and the A40 was a better scheme than M4/A34...grrr!
But I made it to Tackley and had a most excellent lunch with ejt1974 and her lovely crowd. 'A' was having a little snooze so I didn't get to meet him but Baby 'B' was up and doing.
Wee lad....all gurgly smiles and gorgeous blue eyes
From ejt, a bit of 'cross country' over to the M40 and then a dalliance with the M6 clag around Birmingham to KFC at Walsall. Not too far from one of my childhood haunts - my grandparents lived in Soluhull, so the Midlands is familiar territory.
Yay.....cuppa with our Danks, who is lovely. The Teashop and the Friday Fives are in safe hands, folks!
Then, it was a run into the night over to Eco's place. All was going so well until I got over the border near Shrewsbury and onto the road to Welshpool and that's when the fun started. Rain, fog and plenty of wevvers, and then ten miles to go, there was a bit of an accident I had to negotiate, so I landed up at Chez Eeks at just after 8.30pm.
Eco hand-crafted a wonderful three-course spread and by the time we'd finished nattering, munching and supping it was gone 1am! Up and doing by 7.30 though, and after a 'Full Welsh'...a tour of the homestead
Eco lives out in the middle of nowhere. But, it's a flippin' gorgeous middle of nowhere!
Dawn over Eco's. I was woken up by the sound of one of the four 'furry alarm clocks' barking, but the sunrise was worth it. Breakfast was almost as good as tea!
Young Eco and Mrs Eco. Both absolutely lovely, and he's every bit as jovial and 'cheeky' in real-life as he is in the Bar.
Eco's toy shed!
So from Welsh Wales, up to Lancashire, where, 5pm, give or take, I landed at Two's place. Piddly McWiddling down in Colne...coming down in stair-rods it was.
So.....Two. I managed to capture him on SD card posing with his favourite vac. I'll leave it to you to decide which one is the vac and which one is Two. Laydeeeees.....don't all swoon at once.
I met Spud and 'Dave The Cat' too, and enjoyed a delicious slice of pumpkin pie and a cuppa. I'd hoped to post from his place yesterday and I was just about to hit 'submit' when the battery died....so, sorry to keep y'all waiting!
So, after a random night at a friend's house in North Yorksire, it was a bit of head-down hard driving up to Scotland, where I landed at Pod Manor.
Now, I really hope that Pod isn't going to kill me, but I'm going to post this pic anyway. She's a bit anti-mugshot...
Wur Poddy, who is lovelier than a lovely thing. Sorry folks....Pod asked me to pull her other picture, so I have.
Astrid parked outside Poddy's. Troll stood guard against the wee coos.
Today, we all went to lunch in Perth where we met up with Seileasdar.
Wee Kenny Pod, Seils and Poddy.
After lunch, another 200 mile plus bit of motoring, back over the border into England and down to County Durham just in time for tea with HM and her girls....oh, and Cracker
Heading South to Notts. Two stops there. Lunch with Saponaria and an overnight stop with SenseofJoy.
A question I have often asked myself. If Ty-Phoo put the T in Britain, who put the BEEP! in Scunthorpe...?! I lost Fat Nav shortly after here, so had to manually navigate to Sap's place. Fortunately, she'd given me verbal directions so I was fine.
Our Saps has olives growing in her little greenhouse. Our TF got quite excited! She's also really into fruit so has all sorts of wonderous bounty growing in the garden. Preserves and chutneys abound, as does some home-brew she's working on for Christmas. She too can 'bring out the Panasonic breadmaker'!
Saponaria - aka Nadia. She is to horticulture and fruit-growing what Billy is to things porcine. And she's lovely with it. A great afternoon.
So at tea-time, a short hop over to the other side of Nottinham for a meal and an overnight with SoJ.
A lovely chilli followed by crumble, and a relax and a natter in front of her Clearview....I'm jealous - my Aarow doesn't begin to compare! Woken this morning to the clucking of the chickens :o)
The lovely SoJ (Rachel) and hubby John. Notice the 'GTM' inspirational poster on the kitchen wall! Bless....they've been entertaining overseas visitors all week so SoJ has had a frenetic week, but still managed to fit in a leg on The Grand Tour. Lovely to finally meet her.
So out of the East Middlands and over to Norfolk, via Lincolnshire. I've never been to Lincs before so I took a slow pootle over to Skegness for a look-see and then followed the route round The Wash into Norfolk. This leg of the Tour happened to coincide with Himself's birthday so we had a bit of a celebration involving a rather humungous chocolate cake. Bronze is a diamond, and Steve and the smalls are lovely too.
The 'Blowing out of Candles ceremony', as is traditional at such occasions. Nia, James, Matthew and Izy are all gorgeous (ok, they are as lively as a barrel full of monkeys!) but poor Izy (aka Little man) wasn't feeling too great and is all bunged up with snot and a bit grizzly so he kept poor Bronze up until very late, but we had a yummy steak, salad and tattie dinner and plenty of opportunity to have a good natter. Great. The evening might also have involved a few bottles of ale...hic!
We went out in search of a hill....and found one, so we all climbed up it, just for gag value!
Well, TF and I departed Norfolk this morning and headed back down to the 'smoke' and into London.
The last stop on the Tour was to Muswell Hill in North London, for a pub-lunch meet with JadedGreen. A very good run down through Swaffham, down the A11/M11 and past Stansted Airport and down to the North Circular. Then it all went a bit slow. The last three miles took me 25 minutes and I eventually got so fed up with the crawl along the A406 that I just hit the 'I feel lucky' button on the Fat-Nav. Five minutes later, I landed outside the Maid of Muswell pub. A couple of cheeky halves and a delicious traditional Fish'n'Chip lunch with JG and her hubby rounded off the tour a treat. Delicious.
A charming couple and good lunch-companions were JadedGreen (Caroline) and her husband (Tim). When I left there after a very enjoyable couple of hours, I had one more very brief stop before I hit the road home to the Toolshed.