Busy weekend.


More updated adventure trips on the right.

Most of the summer trips have now been completed, and I’m in between that and some international trips in October and November.

It’s at this time of year that I concentrate on what I call adventures at home… I’ve decided to write about that, and try to capture what goes on during a typical weekend.

Nikki and I dont usually see that much of each other during weekday evenings (unless were on holiday). We normally set aside the entire weekend that starts as soon as I’m off the train on Friday evening.

On this occasion, Nikki was meeting her friend Caroline, so I used the time at home to finish off some jobs.

I’m trying to finish off my house ready for my Barbecue. Lots of friends and family I don’t see often are coming, and the day promises more than a few surprises.

I seem to do little else than organising, tidying and DIY at the moment, but I know when I eventually put up the “Weltevreden” sign it will all be worth it.

One thing I did find time to do, was make a Jamie Oliver recipe, Beef & Guinness pie.

I knew I’d been overdoing it, when I sat down at 10:30, drifted off to sleep and woke again at midnight.


So, I had an extra hour in bed on Saturday and I was up at 9.

The sun was out, and I always say, on a sunny day, there’s nowhere more beautiful than Chester.

I start by spending 45 minutes relaxing in the park.


I popped by the Chester Model Shop, where Paul and the lads had been beavering away to restore my Hornby train.

Superb job complete, I picked up my train, shake hands, pay them and then on my way.

I haven’t put a picture of the train up yet, the whole “action” is going to be launched at my Barbecue in about 2 weeks.


I found a nice pub, and did 2 hours more study for our trip to Burma and Laos.

After this, I headed over to Chester Museum to attend the Chester Globetrotters meeting. There were 2 interesting talks about Bhutan and Africa.

I was compering this time and I thought the event went really well.

I’ve recently taken over the running of the mailing list for Globetrotters, so was able to demo a system called mailchimp which I think will offer significant improvements.

A few drinks in the Eagle with the Globetrotters crew (a highly knowledgable group, I love to “trawl” information about places over a pint) and then we leave  to have dinner at Moules a go go.

A pleasant meal, service was good, but I can’t help thinking their new restaurant lacks the atmosphere of the old one.

We have a couple of drinks in Urbano 32, probably my favourite place to go out in Chester.

My drinking tastes have changed over time. It was said by Tom, formerly of Corks Out that it was better to drink less wine of a higher quality.

I do that, but I’ve also stolen the concept and use it for beer.

Instead of 7 or 8 pints of Carling or Fosters, I now drink 3 or 4 pints of either Peroni, Moretti (both Italian) or Asahi from Japan. They serve pints of cold Moretti here and I have 3 frosty cold pints to finish off the day.


We’ve got plans for the afternoon, but in the morning, there’s time for a catch up and for Nikki and I to synchronise our calendars (we normally do this on a Friday evening in Nikki’s open plan kitchen but for this project, my converted loft office is the venue).

We’ve planned and booked a weekend visiting Bletchley park and the National Museum of computing in about 6 weeks. While booking, I saw that Cats was being shown at the Milton Keynes theatre on Saturday night. I was initially very keen, but the cheapest seats I could find were £50 so it will have to be the cinema instead 🙂


I was delighted to see that Sir Chris Bonington is giving a talk at Glydwr University in Wrexham.

How could I possibly miss that?


And just to show the diversity of my interests, I’ve booked to go and see Two pence to cross the Mersey and a talk by Jordan Belfort (the actual person featured in the Wolf of Wallstreet).


Sometimes I like to “package up” a trip I know I’m not going to do for a while.

That way, when I do have time I can just pick it up and organise things really quickly.

One such trip, is Hadrian’s wall in Cumbria. Opening in in 2003, it was the first time a person could walk its full length in almost 2000 years.

Last year I worked out how many days, chopped up the route and picked places to stay, worked out the train logistics (one to Newcastle, one back from Carlisle) and a company to transfer bags.

We’ve decided to go in Easter next year, so we were able to book and organise everything in less than 20 minutes, as hard work had been done in advance.

I’m going to be writing up a plan for friends from the Chester and District Walking Group to join us, I hope to have it emailed out by the end of the week.


With all the work done, and a bath full of coffee drunk, it was time to head out.

We had some wine at Corks Out (they have a very clever vending machine there, which means you can try all different kinds of wine).

We introduce ourselves to the new manager, who seems distracted (that’s the nice way of saying he wasn’t interested in talking to us 🙁

Chester’s original theatre closed several years ago. A new theatre called Storyhouse is nearing completion and will provide a world class venue (and in the nicest way, better do, for the money its costing).

What I didn’t realise was a small studio theatre has opened in the basement of the old theatre. A retelling of the 39 steps, with 4 actors who between them play 130 characters.

It had everything I love about theatre. Genuine charisma and improvisation. No special effects: a box, 3 chairs and a plastic wheel becomes a car with 4 passengers.

Some of the off the wall humour was hilarious including a scene with a street light and picture frames as improvised windows.

Only showing for another week, if you get the chance, definitely go and see it.


In a jovial and reflective mood, we head back to Corks Out and have 3 different glasses of wine.

We’re getting hungry now. A restaurant we’ve eaten at many times at Cheshire Oaks has opened a venue in Chester near the Abode hotel.

The Miller & Carter steak house has only been open a week and were determined to try out.

The staff are quite young and very enthusiastic. The food and wine excellent, the end of a fab day.

Nikki and I walk back to my house. She picks up her bike, we kiss goodbye and she pedals off into the night.

Once home, she texts me to say she’s ok. I set my alarm, drift off to sleep and another fab weekend is over.

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