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Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category

Prague

Our trip to Prague was great.  The flight was slightly delayed but the driver I’d booked on the internet was still waiting in the airport with my name on a board and the name of the hotel.  He drove us directly to the hotel which took about half-an-hour and when we arrived he stopped outside so he could carry our bags to the reception.  The hotel itself was small but had a nice atmosphere.  We were allocated a suite with two bedrooms, a lounging area, a bathroom and separate toilet.  Thankfully it was warm, although during the night it was slightly too warm and we had to open the windows to let a bit of air in.  We ate in the hotel’s restaurant and found we were having trouble with the currency when we expressed shock at the bill, worked it out and discovered that in fact we’d paid about fourteen pounds each.  That included two bottles of wine!  Prague is definitely a cheap place to eat very good quality food.

Terri waiting to cross the road in front of the Powder Tower, just a short distance from our hotel.

Terri waiting to cross the road in front of the Powder Tower, just a short distance from our hotel.

The famous clock in the Old Town Square which attracted huge crowds on the hour.  Personally, I was a little disappointed as I expected it to do more!

The famous clock in the Old Town Square which attracted huge crowds on the hour. Personally, I was a little disappointed as I expected it to do more!

Detail on the clock.  Most statues in Prague are netted like this - perhaps they have trouble with bits falling off.

Detail on the clock. Most statues in Prague are netted like this – perhaps they have trouble with bits falling off.

The Church in the Old Town Square.  You can see how many people were milling around for the markets.

The Church in the Old Town Square. You can see how many people were milling around for the markets.

A view through the entrance tower of the Charles Bridge on a very hazy day.

A view through the entrance tower of the Charles Bridge on a very hazy day.

Photobombed by a seagull!  This is Prague Castle which looks down on the city.

Photobombed by a seagull! This is Prague Castle which looks down on the city.

It wasn't so foggy once at the Castle and this detail is on St Vitus's Cathedral which is sat atop the hill.

It wasn’t so foggy once at the Castle and this detail is on St Vitus’s Cathedral which is sat atop the hill.

Janine and Terri in a lovely restaurant near the Castle.  We had the Goulash special which was three courses for a very reasonable amount of money.

Janine and Terri in a lovely restaurant near the Castle. We had the Goulash special which was three courses for a very reasonable amount of money.

The Old Town Square once night had fallen.  The atmosphere here was lovely.

The Old Town Square once night had fallen. The atmosphere here was lovely.

This was taken at dusk on the way down the funicular railway before we were accosted by armed guards.

This was taken at dusk on the way down the funicular railway before we were accosted by armed guards.

Our last meal before leaving for the airport.  It was outside and we were surrounded by heaters.

Our last meal before leaving for the airport. It was outside and we were surrounded by heaters.

We were very close to the Old Town Square and set out to explore the following day.  Although the weather was cold, there wasn’t any snow and it stayed dry.  Throughout our stay we walked across the Charles Bridge, visited the Castle, saw more than one Christmas market, went to a classical concert in the Clementinum’s Mirrored Chapel, strolled around Wenceslas Square and ate out a lot.

The only bad thing about the break was when we were scammed on the funicular railway and almost arrested by the guards.  Eventually they were ‘happy’ to settle for a fine and although we weren’t too keen on handing it over the alternative sounded much worse.  I think they may have been keeping an eye open for vulnerable tourists as they seemed to leave the groups with men in well alone.  Suffice it to say, if you ever go to Prague make sure you get any public transport tickets stamped at the barrier rather than doing what we did and going through the barrier kindly raised by the ‘helpful’ member of staff who waved us through and told us we needed to hurry.  You need to put your ticket in the barrier machine regardless of whether the barrier is up or down otherwise your ticket isn’t regarded as valid and they will fine you 800 kc!  It works out to be about twenty-five pounds so at the end of the day it isn’t all the world, but we still felt cheated.  The joys of foreign countries and their laws, I suppose.

We had a fantastic time and I can thoroughly recommend the hotel, which was called Hotel Salvator.  The rooms were clean and spacious and in total it cost us about a hundred pounds each for four nights including breakfast so we really couldn’t find fault.

This will undoubtedly be my last post until after Christmas so I hope you all have a good one, see the people you want to see and get the gifts you’re hoping for.  I don’t know what I’m hoping for, but I do know I’ll be seeing people I love especially since both the girls will be home for four days.

Merry Christmas.

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On Sunday we went out for lunch as a family.  The girls and Carl came home and dad treated us all to a carvery at The Friendly Spirit in Cannington.  The atmosphere and food were both excellent.  Kate bought us headwear to get us into the Christmas mood and we really enjoyed the afternoon.  She’d already been warned that the odds of getting Steve or Gordon to wear something on their heads were fairly slender so she didn’t bother to buy them any, which was just as well since they both thought it was silly!  Bah, humbug.

l have since found another use for my antlers so from everyone at the farm, have a very Merry Christmas and l’ll catch up with you afterwards.

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This is Jacqueline and honestly, she didn’t mind!

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Le Corsaire

For my birthday a few weeks ago Terri bought me a ticket to see a ballet called Le Corsaire at the Bristol Hippodrome.  She and some of her co-workers had arranged to go and thought it would be nice if I went too.  We went to Bristol in the afternoon and did a little bit of shopping, had a late lunch/early tea in Cabot Circus then made our way back to the Hippodrome where we met a friend who was taking her parents to see it.  We went to the Colston Hall for a glass of wine in their cosy bar then walked around the corner to the Hippodrome.

As Terri has now pointed out, that’s probably ruined future trips to see ballet.  It was truly superb!  It was performed by the English National Ballet with a live orchestra which was all very exciting and we enjoyed it so much.  This is only the second ballet I’ve ever been to, the first being Coppelia at the Weston Playhouse on a noisy, too-small stage which resulted in the dancers occasionally leaping into scenery whilst sounding like a herd of elephants – not their fault at all, but disappointing all the same.  The stage at the Hippodrome is much larger and certainly quieter, but the music was rousing and the dancers just so talented.  It was a wonderful present.

On a different note, I just came in from working outside to find one of our cats dragging tonight’s tea (steak) off the cupboard!  We usually defrost stuff by keeping it in the microwave but Gordon rarely follows the rules and often leaves it beside the Aga where he’s convinced it defrosts quicker.  I’m sure it does too although I’m slightly worried about the bacteria growth of such warmth.  Hopefully he will now realise that nothing is safe if left on the cupboard, especially after Scamp had a little lick of our best t-bone steak!  Fortunately it was still inside the plastic bag, but I suspect it wouldn’t have been for much longer if I hadn’t come in at that stage.  I consider this one of the worst things about it being so cold outside: all the cats refuse to leave the house and lie about making everything hairy.

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Monday 9 September 2013

That seemed like a very quick month but I’ve been busy with real things rather than virtual so please excuse my absence.

Our heifers and cows have started to calve again after their ‘summer break’.  So far we’ve had four heifers calve with two live girls, one live boy and a female calf that died followed quickly by the mother who damaged her back severely during the calving.  We actually had to call the vet to help us get the calf out, but we’d already fished the mother out the ditch that morning.  It’s always tragic when this happens and takes a while to get over.  This morning one of our older ladies gave birth to dead female twins but we’re hoping that’s all the bad stuff over for the season.  Sadly, I doubt it will be.  On the whole the heifers who’ve recently joined the herd have been well-behaved in the milking parlour but there are a couple who have yet to stand still.  Whilst milking yesterday I was kicked in the arm and it became black and stiff during the night.  The bruise has followed my veins so it looks like I have a strange map on the inside of my forearm!

Since I last wrote I’ve had a little jaunt to St Ives in Cornwall with a small group of female friends.  We went during a particularly hot spell and I managed to burn my shoulders again.  I really am rubbish with sun protection which is why I simply prefer to stay in the shade, but on this occasion I went on a boat trip.  This is a big step for me, especially since I get travel sick very quickly.  I took a tablet and was fine until we reached the rocky outcrop in the sea where there were supposed to be seals, but the guy in charge informed us after we’d got there that they’re usually out feeding at high-tide, so we bobbed around on the waves trying to spot them in the water.  There were only a couple, but unfortunately the bobbing about finished me off so I took another tablet then fought nausea all the way home.

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I did manage to catch a photo of this one though.  I think he might be asleep although he could just be resting his eyes!  The sun was very bright after all.

A couple of times I took myself off on my own to wander around the beach while my friends went swimming – in the sea!!  I don’t do swimming at the best of times and although the water was clear it definitely looked cold.  I had my camera so that was me happy for a couple of hours.

I took this photo of what I thought was a sandpiper, but it could be a bird called a turnstone according to my book.

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The smell jogged so many memories of my childhood when we used to go to the seaside regularly.  This was the most pungent.

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The smell of wet seaweed!

It was such beautiful weather that we walked around in the evening in just t-shirts and jeans.

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Squirrel

Monday 12 August 2013

It’s OK, I know I’ve been gone for ages, but it isn’t because I gave up on the computer.  I’ve decided I actually quite like Windows 8 even though my older (and really, really favourite) programs won’t run on it.  The reason I delayed upgrading was because I’d heard so many bad things about it, but now having used it for a while it seems as simple as any of the other versions.

Last week I went on a picnic with a group of friends I’ve known since school.  One of my friends is the ‘organiser’ and usually picks somewhere quite interesting, and this time we went to a place I haven’t been to since I was at school!  We expected it to be busy as there are picnic tables and barbeque areas, but apart from a group of young girls in posh frocks we were all alone.  I took my camera along for the ride – well, when don’t I? – and managed to ‘catch’ this squirrel.  I know he’s not red and grey squirrels are supposed to be ‘the enemy’ but he’s still cute.

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Saturday 16 February 2012

Are you humming the song now?

I’m still waiting for my back to become less painful.  Last night we went out for a meal with my father, his partner, my sister and her husband and by the end of the meal I had trouble standing again.  I feel about a hundred and fifty.  My sister suggested perhaps I should find some form of exercise to ease it – well, I think I found that this morning with the milking.  It hurt like mad when I started but after reaching under cows for an hour I was starting to limber up.  Once I stopped it stiffened again so unless I make milking a full-time occupation I think I’ll just have to carry on waiting for it to improve on it’s own.  A visit to the doctors has been suggested, but they’ll probably just tell me it’s muscular and to take ibuprofen combined with painkillers so there’s not much point as that’s what I’m doing already.

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Catch Up

Thursday 14 February 2013

Firstly, Happy Valentine’s Day.  There, I’ve said it.  I was determined I wasn’t going to, but wherever I’ve looked on the web today there it’s been: hearts, roses, cupcakes (when did that become romantic?) and various cutesy fluffy things.  We ‘did’ our Valentine’s Day yesterday as Gordon was convinced that every restaurant in the vicinity would be fully booked today and he’s probably right.  We went out for a meal, ate too much, he complained that his steak was definitely not rare as requested and we came home again for coffee.  I think next year we may even give it a miss altogether.  If there was a Valentine’s Day equivalent of ‘Bah, Humbug’ we might just use it.

I’ve had a blood test and apparently my thyroid results are ‘borderline’ which means I have to have another one in three months.  I had a letter from the doctor which explained absolutely nothing so rang the surgery for clarification but they were unable to help although they did give me the option of a doctor ringing me back.  I’m assuming if it’s a problem they’d want to see me sooner than in three months.  It might explain why I’ve been so forgetful lately though – or could that just be old-age?

I put my back out last Saturday (another old-age related thing I suspect) and have been walking around like Max Wall since then.  The pain has travelled up my back during the week and yesterday I could barely stand although the pain disappeared when I was sat down.  Today it’s easier so I’m hoping that by the weekend I’ll be back to normal.  My sister and I went to Cheltenham on Monday (with the aid of strong painkillers for me) to meet the girls for lunch.  It was so good to see them again and we also met Nellie, Alex’s ten-week-old kitten that Alex is training to ‘fetch’.  She’s like a dog, tearing off down the hallway after a ball, bringing it back in her mouth and dropping it for Alex to throw again.  If the ball isn’t picked up straight away she even taps it closer with her paw!  She’s very sweet.

We’ve had a couple more calves, one last week (a bull calf) and one this morning (a heifer).  I hurt my back feeding the bull calf but it wasn’t his fault as I twisted it climbing into the pen.  The heifer is called Tiny after her mother and we’re calling the bull Junior as his mother is June.  He’ll probably stay here to be reared for beef and to keep Felix company when he’s a bit older and needs to be separated from the heifers.  We also sent a steer off for slaughter this week and are expecting the meat back in about three weeks.  As usual we have very mixed feelings about this, especially since this chap was an orphan so was bucket-fed from the very beginning, but at least we’ll know what we’re eating!

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