So, I’m just back from a few very hot days in Chichester visiting Kieran’s aunt and naturally I feel the need to blog about it. I said I would and I don’t have anything else to do on this really sticky Thursday afternoon so I might as well do a little recap of the last few days. Plus, it’ll be nice to look back on in the future and remember the nice time I had.
Kieran had known that he’d be visiting the South Coast with his parents for quite a while and we’d agreed with G in June when I met her that, if they did and it worked for them, I could go and stay with them there. Then, when Kieran was me visiting last time, G sent me a message offering me to stay with them, which of course I jumped at. Once the dates were decided upon, I was invited to stay on this Monday into Tuesday for what Kieran had assumed to be an overnight stay, obviously very reasonable and kind of them all. Well, it turns out that nobody said anything about only one night and I ended up staying from Monday until today, which was an extra nice bonus for me because it meant I got to spend more time with Kieran and his family too.
On Monday, Kieran text me just after midday to say that they’d just set off and would be `about an hour`; so while Mum headed out to join Dad for lunch, I double-checked that I had everything ready: my rucksack with spare set of clothes, pyjamas and wash bag; my rather large handbag with all the essentials; L’s birthday presents, which Mum had for some reason packed in multiple gift bags; and the two bunches of flowers, one each for L and G. Then, I sat and waited. True to Kieran’s prediction, they were about an hour, arriving at around one thirty. In the car, we headed back in the direction of the other half of Hampshire and in the end to Port Solent and we sat at a table on the seafront, enjoying a drink. We stayed there a little while and I couldn’t believe how long ago it had been since I went to Port Solent and how much it had changed in that time. I remembered the wooden walkway and all the little restaurants well but there weren’t the many clusters of little shops anymore. It seemed like the little seaside place had shrunken over the years. It’s still lovely, though, it we commented on whether it was ever really busy. I thought that it would be a nice place for couples to go for romantic meals or just strolls beside the sea or maybe for a family to go for a lunch out. But I couldn’t imagine the place packed with people. But as L pointed out, it must get plenty of customers otherwise the remaining businesses wouldn’t still be open.
After we’d finished our drinks, J drove us back to G’s, where I met M and the dogs Poppy and Bailey. Their big fluffy cat Ollie was about, too, but I didn’t come into contact with him yet. Kieran showed me to the room where we’d be sleeping, sharing a single bed. G had previously apologised for the room and Kieran had said it was small but I didn’t see a problem with it. We had plenty of floor space to put our stuff and a single bed to share, which we’ve accomplished plenty of times before.
That evening, we had L’s homemade lasagne with garlic bread for dinner. The garlic bread was the subject of this post’s title because, throughout the meal and then for the rest of my stay, J commented, inputting each of our names: `there’s garlic bread there; it’s right in front of you`. Kieran had told me a while ago that I needed to try L’s lasagne because it was lovely and he was not wrong. I don’t think I’ve had lasagne since leaving college last year and even at college the food was never of particularly decent quality. So L’s lasagne was delicious and I intend to eat a lot more lasagne in the future because I’d forgotten how nice a meal it was. Messy, but very nice.
After dinner, Kieran and I decided to retreat to our room because we were both very full of food and a cuddle were required. Plus, I was feeling quite tired as I hadn’t slept very well at home the previous night. We ended up spending the remainder of the evening in there and hadn’t realised the time when L popped into say goodnight at just gone nine thirty, saying that everyone else had already gone to bed.
We seemed to sleep quite well that night on the single bed. We’ve always managed it before so I hadn’t thought it would be any different at G’s. The only difference was that it was quite a warm evening. On Tuesday morning, we got up and had sausage sandwiches with cups of tea for breakfast. J and L decided that we were going to Brighton for the day and as we were getting ready, I asked if I should bring my stuff with me, guessing that they’d be dropping me home after our day out. But L seemed quite surprised that I’d ask that and said that the invitation hadn’t just been for one night and that I could stay again if I wanted. The only issue I had with that was that I didn’t have any more clean clothes because I’d only bought one spare set, thinking I’d only be staying one night. G said I could probably borrow some of her daughter’s clothes and L said we could go to a shop to buy some things if I wanted while we were out. So, thrilled with the prospect of staying longer, I headed out to the car with Kieran. On the way, we listened to Chris Moyles’ podcasts. Although I live on the South Coast, I had never been to Brighton until Tuesday. It is definitely the seaside attraction it advertises to be. We did loads of walking! I think I accumulated the highest amount of daily Fitbit steps I’ve ever had. We sat and had a drink at a little cafe and the icy cold coke was very welcome. Tuesday felt to me to be one of the hottest days of the year so far. I’ve spent most of the other hot days this year hiding inside the house away from the heat and the sun but it was nice to be out walking in Brighton on Tuesday. Anyway, the massive addition to my Fitbit step count was a very big bonus. We caught the little train on the way back to the car. It has the strangest whistle but it was quite a nice ride back because of the breeze blowing through. As we were heading back to the car, we took a quick detour into Asda to get a drink each and so that I could buy some clean clothes.
It was really hot on the way back to G’s, so we had the air conditioning on in the car while we listened to a Frank Skinner podcast and then some music from J’s Ipod. Kieran fell asleep for a little bit of the journey and a bit of me wished I could sleep while travelling. We watched some Judge Judy before dinner, which seems to be becoming a tradition whenever we’re together. G cooked us chicken and chips for dinner, a much bigger success than our meal at Wetherspoons in June. We had little chicken bites and strips with chips and French stick bread. It was a very nice meal on a hot afternoon and good after all the walking we’d done. After dinner, we spent some of the evening sitting in the lounge with the family, watching old episodes of the ITV show Vera, which I’d seen snippets of with my grandparents when I used to stay there. It isn’t really my kind of thing but I’ll always go with the flow and it was OK to watch. It had a good storyline to follow so that was alright. We went to bed quite late that night because we’d all been sitting in the lounge talking and playing with the dogs, who are both very excitable and seemed to find chasing their ball the short distance across the lounge floor highly entertaining. G also brought Ollie across to me so I could say hello and also understand what they’d all been saying about him being a large cat. He is indeed very fluffy and a big cat. Sleeping that night was nowhere as simple as Monday night had been. It was seriously hot durst the night and it didn’t feel like the temperature had changed. Thankfully, the fan was on and it helped quite a bit.
On Wednesday, J went to the races while we stayed at G’s. We’d said that it was far too hot to go and when L spoke to J during the day, he said that it was really hot where he was. It was really hot where we were, too, and with very little breeze. We had sausage sandwiches and glasses of juice for breakfast/lunch. Kieran and I had stayed in bed quite late because we hadn’t slept very well and it was quite comfortable where we were. As every knew there were no plans to go out anywhere, we thought we’d take the opportunity to sleep more. Before we had lunch, Kieran and I sat in the lounge and he read through bong list of groceries available to order on Amazon Prime Now. I hadn’t even known Prime Now existed until yesterday morning but they really have some nice stuff. They seem to have partnered up with Morrison’s because they have all of their own branded stuff plus proper branded options too. The prices were normal shopping prices and they even seemed to have the current Morrison’s deals available. Kieran and I were very jealous to see that a lot of their ice cream was half price. The cool thing with Prime Now is that you can place an order and two hours later your items will be delivered to you. We ate our lunch out on G’s decking under a sun umbrella. We kept having to scoot our seats around the table as the sun moved on to us. Kieran discovered that Amazon had released a new Kindle and I looked into it, wondering if they had made this one accessible to the blind. But that like all the other Ereaders, the new Kindle Oasis doesn’t have speakers or a headphone jack so Voice View and text-to-speech aren’t available on it. Of course, I already have a Kindle Fire but am always interested to see whether they’ll make one of the Ereaders accessible to the blind. I’ve come to love my Fire, though, so am glad at least that is accessible and a possibility for blind people. While we were sat out in the garden, Kieran’s cousin D came home. She’d been staying with her boyfriend and I hadn’t met her yet; we said hello but then she headed back out.
When J got back from the races, we had dinner. Kieran, G, J and L all had chili but I had some of the leftover lasagne from Monday. We had French stick bread again which was very nice. Wednesday was another ridiculously hot day and the evening didn’t seem to be cooling down. We’d come in from the decking earlier, and watched more Judge Judy, when we felt spots of rain but at eight thirty it started to rain quite heavily. We’d had flashes of lightning and claps of thunder while we were eating dinner so the rain coming down was very welcome because it meant the temperature finally cooled a bit.
However, the night was again really humid and our sleep was restless. This morning, we were up around nine o’clock because Kieran, J and L were heading back up to Blyth today and it was time for me to go home. L made us tea and toast for breakfast and we sat at the kitchen table and ate it while they started to load up the car and made sure we had everything. Kieran brought my stuff out to me and once I had my shoelaces finally tied, we said goodbye to G and M and headed out to the car.
Thank you to G for the offer to stay and for having me. It was really nice to see all the family it spend extra time with Kieran because, as you said in your message, we miss each other a lot as we live in completely different places.
To J and L, thank you for picking me up and dropping me off, for taking me to Port Solent and Brighton, for the underwear and for a really nice time. Hope to see you again soon.
To Kieran, as always, thank you for all the hugs and laughs. I had a great time and I look forward to seeing you again soon when I come up to Hereford again. Love you lots.