Word of the week: All go!

OK, I know that's two words but it really has been all go here, so I'm spoiling myself and going with it.

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We finished decorating our spare room in time for our guests last weekend, and we even got the rest of the house sorted too - you know how it is, you decorate one room and the whole house is in chaos! Here's a sneak peak at the finished room and I'll share more soon.

OUR NEWLY DECORATED SPARE ROOM

OUR NEWLY DECORATED SPARE ROOM

Then there was also the small matter of preparing the food - MOH made a baked cheesecake with a blueberry topping for dessert and I tackled a Chocolate Stout Bundt cake complete with mascarpone icing, incase we got peckish, which to be honest there was very little chance of. Both were successes, but did nothing to help our waistlines. 

CHOCOLATE STOUT BUNDT CAKE

CHOCOLATE STOUT BUNDT CAKE

Sadly the barbecue we'd hoped to be able to hold didn't happen and was replaced with a slow cooked Tuscan beef stew - a sign that autumn is definitely on its way. I think the Tuscan element was the bottle of Chianti it cooked in!

Then after waving goodbye to our guests Sunday morning we dashed over to the allotment to see what was ready to harvest. Quite a bit it turned out - and I'm sure there's more waiting for me there right now too.

THE HARVEST FROM OUR ALLOTMENT

THE HARVEST FROM OUR ALLOTMENT

Then it was time to load the bikes onto the car and head up to Norfolk for a few days. We hoped to clock up some cycling miles but the typical Bank Holiday weather put paid to that, for a day at least. Monday was spent checking the weather forecast and with Series 2 of Lost. Thankfully the weather improved on Tuesday and there were plenty of blue skies and a bit of sun for our cycle to North Creake and its Abbey.

Buoyed by our success we put together an altogether more elaborate plan for the next day. MOH would set out a little before me and get a good ride under his belt at his usual pace, not being slowed by me - however much enjoyable that may be!  And I would navigate my way straight to Houghton Hall which borders the Sandringham Estate.  

All was going well for me and then clunk. 

And it was a clunk that didn't sound good. Even to me. 

It didn't bode well.

I quite quickly worked out that my chain had come off but struggled to get it back on, partly because of the chain cover my bike has and partly because I didn't really know what I was doing to start with. I knew that I was less than four miles from my destination but that was about it. Hmmmnn.  A call to MOH, but no answer of course. So I decided to start walking as well, it couldn't be that far...

Then my phone rang and it was MOH saying he'd got there and was he in the right place. To be honest I had no idea I still wasn't there. I told him about my chain and he naturally wanted to know where I was. Erm, not sure...  But he knew which direction I was coming from and made an educated guess as to which road I'd be on and it wasn't long before he was cycling towards me as my knight in shining armour (or a cycling helmet at least!)

He too struggled to get my chain back on, and wasn't helped by the rain that decided to start. And then it tipped it down. We managed to move under some trees and take some cover but it was one of those local heavy showers they'd forecast. Just what we needed!  But with renewed effort (there's nothing like getting out of a downpour to concentrate your mind) and removing the chain cover, between us we managed it.  And I've never been more grateful for the wet wipes I stuffed into a plastic bag and stored in my basket.

With the chain fixed we cycled onto Houghton Hall, I'd "broken down" within sight of it so it wasn't too much further. We made use of the warm Tea Room to dry off a little and were thankful their radiators were on low.  A hot sausage roll and a cup of tea helped and then we were off to explore the grounds, the house and some amazing light installations. My favourite was, I think the slate lake - but it's a tough choice!

THE SLATE LAKE AT HOUGHTON HALL, NORFOLK

THE SLATE LAKE AT HOUGHTON HALL, NORFOLK

And of course once we'd finished it was time to cycle home. With my bike behaving itself we made it back without incident, well apart from the slight shower that encouraged us to pedal just that little bit faster. 

What a day!

Then yesterday there was time for running some errands and stopping off at the garden centre to pick up some Japanese Anemones - the plant for September, before driving back to London.

And it doesn't stop there, this afternoon I'm off to Elstree for BlogStock, so hopefully I'll see some familiar faces there - come and say hello if you see me first.

 

The Reading Residence