Monday, 15 December 2014

What I did on my day off

The McBaby and I met for the first time nearly three years ago and in those 1092 days, he and I have only spent one night apart. Until this weekend when MrM took the McBaby down to see his parents. I seized the opportunity to catch up on some work, some reading, some drinking with friends and some using of the complimentary gym pass I was given for gorgeous Audley Inglewood.

In reality, I only did the lazing around in the gym bit. Arriving at Inglewood still retains its majestic splendour even though I seem to be here a couple of times a week and it's fast becoming my second home. The place just looks stunning on a day like today with its white walls contrasting with the pure blue sky.

I headed for the gym and am delighted that the run of exemplary customer service continued here too.

And as I had the pool to myself, I stayed in it swimming up and down for an hour and a half, most of the time fantasising that I was in my very own pool. It's the cleanest, sleekest pool I've ever been in and I have never felt so relaxed. I reluctantly got out and went for a long walk around the town before the day took a much more unhealthy direction.

So, I'm glad to say that I didn't miss my "baby" too much; all it takes is a day out in five-star surroundings to take my mind off him....

The Advent Calendar

This just doesn't get old. Day 15, and we're having the same conversation every day. Note that the pic above is just a Christmsssy one that made me laugh, not the actual advent calendar...

Me: Shall we open your advent calendar?

McBaby: yes please

Me: What is it today?

McBaby: It's chocolate! (in surprised voice).

Me: That's right, it's chocolate. And what's the picture on the chocolate?

McBaby: It's an elephant.

Reminds me of this: Ruud Gullit sitting on a shed:


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Nelson's Diner

I've got to have passed this place on the A339 near Kingsclere between Newbury and Basingstoke thousands of times and have always wanted to stop by; the McBaby and I finally decided it was time to visit and made a dedicated trip. I'm now kicking myself for all of the missed opportunities - this place is a treasure trove!

The outside is a bit unloved but inside, it's full of character with a 50s theme, reminding me of watching repeats of Happy Days while waiting for our tea as youngsters. I was a bit gutted that I didn't get a cheer and around of applause when we went in like the Fonz used to but perhaps I'd jumped the shark at that point. The welcome and service was great and most of the customers in there seemed to be regulars.

The McBaby had a "small" hob nob milkshake which was enormous and he lapped up every bit of it. I had a teacake and a latte (the McBaby didn't really want to share his milkshake) and it was extremely reasonably priced.

We'll definitely be back.

Thursday, 4 December 2014


If you were the staff member in Tesco who was innocently sitting on their chair today before your seat plummeted to the ground suddenly, leaving you peeking over the top of your till, I must apologise on behalf of the McBaby who managed to press the button on your chair in the time it took me to pay for our shopping.

I also apologise for my helpless laughter - not very helpful, I know....


Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Cruel Sea

It was Big Mac's birthday this week, so we all headed to Poole for a meal at the Cruel Sea, a splendid fish restaurant named after the Nicholas Monsarrat novel about his wartime experience in the North Atlantic.

The restaurant opened in 2013 and is a whole lot more welcoming than the choppy waters of the Atlantic. The kitchen is open so you can see the chef prepare your tapas dishes, the staff were friendly and patient, and the atmosphere is relaxed. We tried garlic butter prawns, a bowl of cod fillet and prawn bisque with prawns and mussels, Poole rock oysters and Cornish sprats. The three young boys devoured plates and plates of potatoes and bread, served with hummus, tzatziki and butternut squash.

This is a story of the Battle of the Atlantic, the story of the ocean, two ships, and a handful of men. The men are the heroes; the heroines the ships. The only villain is the sea, the cruel sea that man has made more cruel.

In a welcome and thoughtful touch, the staff brought out Big Mac's lemon posset dessert with a candle and singing Happy Birthday - we didn't even ask them to do this. They were extremely relaxed about the youngsters, even when McNephew kept asking for ice-cream. After being told they didn't have any, he suggested ways in which they could make more room in the freezer for it.

Apparently Big Mac saw a programme about Ben Fogle which included mention of the Cruel Sea, so I'm grateful to both of them for the recommendation- we'll be back!
5 Bank Chambers | Penn Hill Avenue, Poole BH14 9NB