This year my birthday was heralded with an unwelcome drum roll. A 24 (36 as it turned out) hour stomach bug. Yep, the gift that keeps on giving. So the plan was, as our holiday let cottage was unexpectedly empty, we’d go and have the evening there, go to the beautiful gastro pub up the road and indulge in a gourmet dinner.
Turns out that even writing that sentence yesterday would have caused a lurch to the nearest sanitary ware/bush.
So things had to change. Instead I forced down some dry toast, worked intermittently before eventually loading the car and setting off. Revised plan: call in at posh supermarket for indulgent (but not off-putting) snacks and take a bottle of Champagne.
We were at the posh supermarket. Things were going ok until Johnny France, the ultimate bargain lover, spotted a piece of hot bbq gammon (or something; really don’t care) on offer (we were about the last people in the store). He shoved it in the basket, inside its little sealed bag, we moved on, paid and left.
Once we got going – me at the wheel – he muttered ‘Got to eat this, very hungry’ and opened the bargain bag. All hell broke loose, not to mention something gastric teetering on the brink over on the driver’s side.
Desperate to shut down the instant nausea hit, I buzzed down all the car windows and switched on the air con. ‘It’s bloody freezing’ he grouched as he chomped.
As a treat, although by now it was gone 9pm, on arriving at the Lake District we decided we’d nip into our local pub for an aperitif. We’d just driven past the welcoming twinkle of its lights so, having hefted some stuff into the cottage, we trudged back to avail ourselves of a slice of Cumbrian warmth. As we strode abreast of the pub all the lights were switched off, the doors – we know, we tried them – were already locked.
Things were going so well by now, I thought I might as well get a hint in for my Christmas present. I’ve requested throwing knives; pink ones.