Saturday was Mike's birthday, so we went away for the weekend to visit his parents, catch up with some friends, and generally have a nice time.
Friday evening was spent travelling, since it's about 4.5 hours to Lydney station at the best of times. We only had time for a cuppa and a chat before bed, though since 3 of us were still up at Midnight Gina and I sang Mike Happy Birthday. We had a bit of a lie-in on Saturday, and then Mike and I went for a long walk around the woods and lanes and fields near their house, where I took lots of photos (click through for rest):
After that we had a quiet afternoon with books sitting in the conservatory and the garden before Rae and Adam joined us for a piece of birthday cake and then drove us into Chepstow to meet Mike's old schoolmate Phil for a night out. We had a nice walk down from the carpark past the castle for a pint in the Three Tuns, which has a lovely view of the castle from the garden. Then we headed back up the hill again for food at Mythos - which does excellent greek food and cocktails. Mike and I shared the meat meze and were absolutely stuffed. We were planning to stay for another drink in lieu of pudding, but it was too loud so we headed next door to a pub which turns out to be on myspace, but is nevertheless actually reasonably nice. Rae and Adam headed off about 11 to drive back to Cardiff, while Phil stayed out a bit later, and then kindly volunteered his dad to pick us up and take us home. It was a lovely night out.
Sunday we had a very quiet day. I read and knitted and napped, while Mike managed to pack some more stuff from his old bedroom to bring back to Cambridge. Mostly CDs and a few videos. We also packed the easter eggs which Gina and Evan had bought for us. At this rate we're going to be eating chocolate for months! In the evening they took us out to dinner about 12 miles away at the Empire indian restaurant - which apparently used to be a transport caff, but does really excellent food - I can see why they think it's worth the drive.
Up early on Monday we left on the 9:17 train and got home from the station around 2pm. This meant we had time to go into town and pay some cheques in, then wander over to Townsends for Mike to choose a bike. He's been so happy using mine the last couple of weeks that he ended up buying a very similar model. Mine's the 19" ladies frame 2006 Ridgeback Velocity, and his is the 2007 blokes edition, in a 17" frame, which is actually more or less the same size - they're measured differently. And jammily since it was a weekday the workshop wasn't very busy, so we went and had a drink in the Old Spring next door, leaving them time to fit all the extras he wanted, so he could take it home straight away.
We finished the long weekend with a quiet night in mostly geeking, with M&S pie and chips for tea. It's been a good one.