It was, by any standards, a very good weekend. It's funny how getting away for a couple of days can really soothe the stresses of city life, isn't it? Particularly when those days involve catching up with good friends you haven't seen for too long, shooting lots of guns down at Bisley, getting all nostalgic at a village fete, meeting other friends' latest addition to the family
and enjoying a cracking Sunday roast with even more good friends you haven't seen for too long.
Impromptu, as I've recently discovered, is the way forward. Mrs L and myself regularly spend New Year with assorted old college friends of mine and their repsective partners. However, increasingly, trying to get together with this crowd the rest of the year is getting impossible. Unless you take the Camilla approach and announce "we're doing Sunday lunch on this date for whoever can make it" with just a couple of weeks notice. No fuss, no bother, no cross-referencing of diaries... and wouldn't you know it, everyone made it over.
As we were in the area anyway - and cheers again Karen and Martin for your hospitality on Friday and Martin for arranging the gun fun on Saturday! - Mrs L and I stayed with Camilla and Kevin on Saturday night, which also meant we could pitch in with veg peeling
and batter-stirring on the Sunday morning in their lovely new kitchen. If there's a better way of spending a Sunday than listening to the radio, drinking good coffee and helping to prepare lunch for 10 good friends, I need to know about it.
The menu was a mighty one. To start, "Potage Crecy" - carrot soup to the rest of us - with some home-made sourdough...
followed by roast beef, Yorkshire puds, roast spuds,
peppers, carrots, parsnips and squash, plus steamed broccoli... and, if you could manage it, the fishy option of salmon en croute.
This was all followed by Eton Mess and Rhubarb Creme Brulee...
and a bit of a Mario Kart sesh on the Wii. Food can be incidental to an afternoon like this - it's the company that's the important bit - but this was a spread that more than held its own. Cheers guys. It was a blast.