First the back - very painful again this morning, but then the morning's are always the worst. It's like an old car, needs a bit of time to get going. A combination of paracetamol and Ibuprofen should do the trick and get me through to this evening in order that Bicester's No 1 Sunday night karaoke entertainment can reliably take place at the White Hart as it has done since time immemorial. Well 2009 to be precise. A bit of heavy lifting to do but I have plenty of offers of assistance in place should I need to call on them, so thank-you to those concerned.
|New to Bicester|
Last night we checked out the Brewers Fayre up on the new Kingsmere estate. With the kids away and it being our wedding anniversary it was more than overdue for us to go out for a meal. OK, our anniversary was actually Thursday but we didn't get round to celebrating until Saturday, in fact I did not even get a card and flowers until yesterday. Which sounds bad, but being flat on my back and not able to leave the house between Tuesday and Friday this fell under the category of "exceptional circumstances". So yesterday it was. We decided to walk up to the Brewers Fayre, partly because I am not one of those lazy people who gets taxis everywhere, and partly because I wanted to gauge the route for future purposes. The new school is to be built directly behind the Brewers Fayre, and I wanted to get a feel for how far it really is to walk.
In fact - it was not anything like as far as I had envisaged. I had been thinking about the road route, whereas as the crow flies, it's definitely achievable. From our place, cut diagonally across Pingle Field and you are at Big Tesco in no time. After that it was a bit tricky. There are no footpaths in place at all at the moment so you have to double back to the lights to cross, and then walk along as if you were going to Wyevale, risk your life crossing the A41 and then walk all around the Premier Inn and then back on yourself to get to the Brewers Fayre. So that bit was quite a trek - however when the new road system is all in place, presumably you'll be able to cross safely by the Esso garage and then straight into the footpaths to the new estate. About half a mile in total - and definitely achievable. So perhaps we won't have to move after all. So the 18 month plan may have to be revised.
The restaurant itself was perfectly adequate, we were seated straightaway in a nice table by the window, menu was pretty much as expected. Whitbread were one of the pub groups I signed up for the ill-fated Pubtrack Food service which I launched at Nielsen before I left - and I still have nightmares about the coding up of their menus from the tape data they sent in. So standard pub fayre. I was not impressed by the buffet option despite Jane's recommnedation. Only because the place was so packed, when I went up to look at the buffet there was practically nothing there. The greedy super-size me clientele of the evening were wolfing it up faster than the chefs could cook it. So I opted for a T-Bone Steak in the end, while Claire had the smothered chicken. All washed down with a bottle of wine. Perfectly adequate for the price - the steak wasn't the best I have ever had, though I have had a lot worse. The sirloin side of the T-Bone was a bit chewy in places but the fillet side was spot on. No problems at all with service etc. Only us two went - the kids were away for the weekend, it was quite nice to be able to chill and actually have a conversation, I can't say the same for some of the other stressed out looking parents around the other tables looking jealously at us, but hey, we're all entitled to a night off.
|And take it away they certainly did.|
So overall can't complain would probably rate it 3 out of 5, not as good as Maba obviously, but an improvement over the Hungry Horse.
Due to my back issues I decided to temporarily become one of those lazy people who gets taxis everywhere so we got ferried back to the Kings Arms for the extortionate sum of £6 where we popped in to see Duncan and Eric doing the disco. And lo and behold who should we bump into but my old friend "Raymondo" who I haven't seen for years. He was out with Nathan who I do still see from time to time as his kids are at St Edburg's. Anyway, Raymondo wasn't massively impressed by my opening gambit of "Blimey I haven't seen you for years, I thought you were dead!" but the ice soon broke and we got reminiscing about the good old days. Myself and Raymondo, many moons ago (in 1998 to be precise) went to Rhodes for a week's holiday in the infamous "Faliraki". And what a week that was, all I can say is, well we were a lot younger then.
We moved on over to the White Hart and took up position by the outside bar where I am partial to spending a few evenings during the summer months, it was freezing, but good company, and the drink flowed freely. Eventually with the temperature down to about 5c and the bar closing up we came home to warm up and had the luxury of a lie-in this morning.
As for my novel - well, got it all sketched out in my head - but will it ever get written? I really don't know. It's very hard to find the time to write - and when I do, all I want to do is write these blog entries. It's an instant hit, half an hour or so bashed off the keyboard and then launched to my ever growing audience which again I thank you for being part of. Were I to divest all of my interests into writing the novel the blog would more or less stop - and I don't want that. I could have invested this last hour on the novel - but quite honestly I would rather write this instead.
So perhaps I shall have to put the novel on hold for a bit. Perhaps when both kids are at school full time? Oh I don't know really, all a bit indecisive on this one. I'll go with the flow for now, blog blog, blog and see where that takes me. Maybe someone will snap me up for a newspaper column. Hello, anyone from the Bicester Advertiser reading?
Last night's Doctor Who episode was very good I thought. They have certainly redeemed themselves in recent weeks. And this leads me on to the next Doctor in my Top 11 Doctors of all time and here he is.
8) William Hartnell.
|The man who started the legend|
Old does not necessarily mean crap, but I think some would automatically dismiss his era as ancient history. You would have to be over 50 now to have seen any of his stories on original transmission, and for a modern audience, attempting to wade through some of the old black and white material now would probably be heavy going. Which is a pity really, as there are some true classics back then.
They went into history a lot in Hartnell's day, but unlike modern historical stories, there were no aliens in these - they would just get dumped in ancient Roman or Aztec times, get cut off from the Tardis and spend the whole time trying to escape and avoid being killed by the bloodthirsty natives of the times. All quite entertaining really though some are better than others. The futuristic stories however don't all work, but the Daleks were as amazing as ever and it is really down to their success in that second story that the show was assured the long future it has had.
As a kid growing up I didn't even know there had been a Doctor before Jon Pertwee so I was quite excited when I became aware of the earlier Doctors. I finally got to see him in 1981 when the BBC ran a series of repeats under the "Many faces of Doctor Who" banner. They showed the first ever story. I also started reading all the Target novelisations and bought the Doctor Who programme guide to learn all about him. And with the advent of DVD, and the BBC audios of the missing episode, finally in the last few years I've got to experience all these early shows.
And we owe Hartnell a lot - without him, everything that happened since would never have happened. But I don't think he's the best Doctor by any stretch of the imagination. I think many of his successors did it better, but then he was the first - and did the best with the part that he could, particularly considering his age and health problems - so I say, well done William and thank-you for getting the show on the road.
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