Sunday, 24 August 2008

Who KNOWS what you'll get on here tonight. Don't ask me.

I quite often have some buring issue that I just HAVE to share with my blogosphere friends but tonight....I dunno. Burble time.

We had a fab day. Fab in the ordinary sense of having the family together. Not something that happens to often with police-officer-Stay-Late-DH. Nothing mind-blowingly extraordinary went on.

We did yesterday's grocery shop. With no queues (Hey - Legoland - check Tesco out - no queues!!) We had a gloriously huge sunday lunch at an odd little pub in the village.

I say odd, not because it didn't have a roof, or you had to join an arcane relgious sect to enter, but odd in the British way of oddness.

This pub has 'gone under New Management'. And flaunted this change into a 'dining experience' in all our local publications (ok The Stotfold monthly 'we have a bring and buy' magazine, the 'buy your trotters from Skudder's butchers' must know the type) so we thought, yes, let's give it a go.

So we go into the tiniest bar in existence. There was no childrens room - the whole place was a children's room due to its size. No family friendly drinkies, just big peoples juice in big glasses. A giant stags head on one wall (virtually taking up the wall) (The pub is called The Stag so we should have expected it) which matched the flatscreen in the opposite corner perfectly. Such a nice touch.

In to lunch. Guided in (please don't think I am being uncharitable but...) by...I have to say anorexic (literally) biker-chick-boy-I-don't-know. Wearing a baseball hat. She had the charisma of plasticine and the smile of...oh, wait. That's right. She didn't smile. (Frowning uses more calories) That was the last of any waitress we saw. We did eat, because it was a 'carvery' - in this case it meant a giant chef trapped behind a teeny counter sporting a buffalo-sized piece of beef and some chickens. And vegetables.

The food was stunning - plenty of it and well-cooked. But it left us with a soft-sad giggle at just how 'wrong' these places sometimes get it.

For some reason, in England, we take great pride in not taking great pride. It's kind of a 'oh, I am bored now, let's just leave it like it is'. There doesn't seem to be that 'finish', that 'attention to detail'. We like doing things half-assed. Let's spend millions on re-vamping something then staff it with 14-year old cheap couldn't-give-a-shit-what-day-is-it-gimme-my-minimum-wage 14 year olds. We employ the most unimaginative, unskilled drones to decorate our 'adventure' parks, who think 3 plastic tigers will give an aura of 'jungle world' to visitors. Our Ghost Trains have dodgy painted figures and models that don't scare my kids plunked awkwardly along a part-decorated line with 4 bits of string to dangle on you in the not-even-complete darkness.

We like doing it not quite good enough. Which is exactly where this pub hit. They've really got it with the food, it was superb, and could be a real money-mine, especially with all the new yuppy housing going up locally (of which, yes, we've bought into some environment-spoiling too). But no. We wont think it through. We'll just add food onto what was going anyway. It'll be fab.

So, anyway (You did have good warning I could whinge!) after lunch everyone collapsed with huge bellies (waitress excepted). Later a trip to the park followed by a visit to Old McDonalds (the girls think it's called that) and bath, books, bed.

Things that made me laugh:

DH in the spinny-inertia-play thing at the park. I am used to the girls saying 'STOP STOP STOOOOOOP IT NOW' when it gets going, but DH, legs a-dangling. Let's just say my reactions delayed a little.

Florence bursting her balloon from Old McDonalds (junk food and unpredicable toys - super). She insisted on banging it on the one thistle that keeps on growing in the garden and BANG.

Alice bursting her ballon on the exact same thistle 5 minutes later.

Unconnected to any of this, please check the labels. I am thoroughly enjoying the strange searches on Google that bring people here, and am now experimenting. The most bizarre and banal words will give you a page 1 Google placement.


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight... some restaurants over there, other than the fast food ones, have children's rooms? How cool is that? Love the stag's head search key.

Nic said...

Noooooo! not the restaurants!! The pubs, alcohol dens. Often have a food sideline here.

No, the restaurants are still mostly aimed at grown-ups and have lots of fun tables to crash into/glasses to knock over/cutlery to throw!

Thanks for stopping by.

My name is Andy. said...

That's too funny about the balloons. Kids just don't learn from each other's mistakes do they?

Raggedy Ann said...

Good food is enough for me! The way you described the English-way sounds very Portuguese to me.

Thanks for dropping the comment on my blog :-)


Anonymous said...

I must say I know exactly what you're describing! How some places get the one half right and the other half SO wrong!! Also had to giggle at the balloon story ;)

Dee.. said...

I love England, the nothing should be too 'loud' attitude.