A Buzzard visited our garden, sitting on the fence between the paddock and the garden. As I approached, the bird flew off and sat on the fence further into the paddock. It then flew into the next door field. In the process the Buzzard was mobbed by the Red Kites. A bit of a change, the Red Kites themselves are normally mobbed by the Jackdaws and Rooks.
We had a lovely weekend in Leicester staying with Valerie and Norman, along with Bill and Viv. The visit started off with a chainsaw massacre in the garden with a little bit of pruning. After this hard work, our thirsts were quenched with a couple of pints at The Classroom Real Ale pub. This is a real ale micro pub, twenty minutes walk away, serving some great ales straight from the cask. I was very impressed with the quality of the beer and service. Looking forward to a return visit.
Next day Bill, Norman and I went for a walk along the Grand Union Canal from the Navigation pub to Wistow Rural centre. Lovely day, the canal had a thin layer of ice, and the outward walk was over frozen mud. At Wistow Rural Centre we ate lunch and had a walk around the garden centre. The pictures I have taken are of a model village, notice the campervan. The walk back was a little muddy as the mud had thawed. On the way home we stopped off at a real ale pub called The Cow and Plough for a quick pint.
In the evening we took a taxi into Leicester centre for supper at the Ask Italian restaurant.
On Monday we had a walk at Bradgate Park. A large open deer park with a ruined house, some lovely oak trees. We walked to the top of the hill where the Old John Tower is situated. This 18th Century folly sits on the highest point of the Park and is one of Leicestershire’s most famous landmarks. Lunch nearby in the Jade Tea Rooms. Very reasonable and sizable portions.
On Thursday I traveled to London to visit the Proud Gallery on King’s Road to see an exhibition of photographs of David Bowie. The gallery is a small gallery and had a selection of photographs of Bowie priced from a couple of thousand to over sixty thousand pounds. Needless to say I was not buying.
I also visited the V&A gallery to see their small free exhibition of Glastonbury. The exhibition was not about the music, but the performing arts side of Glastonbury. I took a look at other sections of the V&A and have promised myself another visit.
Ate a late breakfast at an Italian restaurant on King’s Road, seemingly used by builders, which serves a good English breakfast. I ate poached eggs on toast, Eggs Benedict no less, and drank a good coffee.
We had an invitation to see the New Year in with Richard, Andrea, Norman and Valerie. R and I travelled over, stopping off at Hatfield Forest for a soup lunch. The day was miserable, but still there were many out walking dogs and blowing the Christmas cobwebs away.
Arrived mid-afternoon, played a frame of snooker against Richard, but unfortunately I did not uphold the Blasdale honour. We had an excellent meal with lashings of wine and saw the New Year in with a spectacular firework and sparklers.
Next day we all went out for lunch at the Galvin Green Man. A busy gastro pub with contemporary restaurant. Part of the restaurant has a glass roof, which the torrential rain cascaded down. There were some good beers on tap, I drank an Adnams Ghost Ship. After lunch we said our goodbyes to Norman and Valerie, who left for home. We stayed on for another night, and another frame of snooker. This time the frame ended in a draw.
The next day the sun shone and it was a beautiful sunny day. We went for a walk around Littley, saw the wedding venue Leez Priory with gorgeous leaning garden walls. Lunch was at the Compasses which had some excellent beers. Alas I was driving. The pub had masses of community notices, including one for a sewing group called Bitch and Stitch.