Friday night Mike came over, and we had takeaway chinese and played with Google Earth for a bit and got a fairly early night. Mike had sad news from his mum that his Nan had died in the early hours of that morning, and I was glad to at least be there for him to have a shoulder to cry on.
Saturday we woke fairly early and went into town to do some shopping, looking for something for Mike to wear to the funeral next week. We went through practically every shop selling men's clothes in the grafton centre and not one of them had a shirt which could be called red (apparently it's the colour his Nan would like him to wear). We gave up and watched the Everton v Liverpool match over a nice lunch in the Burleigh Arms. Nice food, big screen, Magners cider, just a shame about the result! Then we headed into town proper to carry on with the shopping and finally managed to find a dark maroony red shirt for quite a hefty price in Austin Reed and with that and our other purchases (a black tie, a couple of tshirts, a front derailleur, a red blouse, some stuff from Lush, a strapless bra and a pair of black jeans) we headed home again.
We ended the afternoon with a rather long nap and then watched Northanger Abbey on DVD - a BBC adaptation and not too bad. Tea came from raiding the freezer and resulted in salmon steaks with dill and lemon juice served with mange tout, cauliflower cheese and yorkshire puds, followed by summer berry crumble and custard. We were going to watch Hackers on video but rjk had set the video to tape something so we ended up watching Bridget Jones' Diary on DVD instead, since Mike hadn't seen it. Nice to be going out with someone who doesn't mind watching romantic comedy :-).
Sunday we woke at a reasonable hour, and after spending an hour fitting Mike's new derailleur (it took us a while to work out how best to adjust it so the chain ran freely) and eating the leftover crumble and custard for breakfast we finally set off nearer 12 than we'd intended on yet another bike ride. We made brief stops at his (to find shorts and trainers and the puncture repair tools/kit) and Sainsbury's (to buy a picnic lunch), then set off north west along the NCN51 towards Huntingdon. We were rather surprised to find we didn't need to stop to rest at all until we got there, though we had a slight pause in Longstanton as we realised the road was closed and ended up going through the tennis club carpark, round the back of the club house and climbing out over a bank to get past the JCB blocking the otherwise perfect looking road. Rather impressed to find 25 miles going so smoothly.
As a result we decided carrying on and going round Graffham water would be perfectly within our capabilities, and that's what we did, stopping at the green in Brampton at about 2:30 to eat our lunch. I struggled a bit from there to the lake, which I found very dispiriting, only realising on the way back how much it had been uphill! The route round the lake itself was mostly offroad, and would have been impossible for me on my old bike. As it was the first section alongside the dam had me feeling very nervy. I just don't like skittery gravel surfaces - having my wheels go sideways freaks me out. The rest of the path wasn't quite so bad though, and I gradually got more used to it, and it was well worth it for the gorgeous views. With the lake reflecting the perfectly clear sky it was an incredible shade of blue. We had a long rest once we'd got all the way round, and then set out home again.
It took rather longer going back than it did coming, and we definitely had very sore bottoms by the time we got back at nearly 8:30pm, having gone nearly 70 miles in total. We finished the day with fish finger sandwiches and Ben and Jerry's icecream before I waved Mike off home and hobbled upstairs for a much-needed shower and bed. A great day out, and a good weekend overall, which I think helped Mike cope with feeling sad about the news.
Today I'm less achy than expected, and have got a fair bit done at work, as well as booking Tuesday and Wednesday off week to accompany Mike to his Nan's funeral. Quiet night in needed tonight!