Tuesday, January 30, 2007


My friends James and Hayley are getting married at the end of February, so as is traditional at these times we took the groom-to-be away last weekend for the traditional bout of ritual humiliation and drunken regurgitation. Actually I think we were pretty kind to him on the humiliation front, beyond making him drink some fairly unpleasant concoctions.

We stayed up at Stenson Hill Farm, which is about 5 miles south-ish of Derby, and is perfect for housing large numbers of people as it has more bedrooms and lounging about areas than you could shake a stick at. The red circle on the map denotes the centre of the postcode area; the place is actually the couple of buildings directly above that, above the railway line, to the left of where it says Stenson Fields. Here's a picture:

In addition to sitting around the house drinking beer and playing snooker (well, we were standing up for that) we managed to get out of the house on a couple of occasions: firstly to go to the Bubble Inn just down the road (it's the PH by the red circle on the map) - big place, food fairly bog-standard pub grub but quite nice, Shepherd Neame Spitfire on tap, so no complaints from me. Apparently it's called the Bubble Inn because the lock outflow which comes out into the Trent & Mersey Canal under the bridge by the pub makes a distinctive bubbling noise. Or so it says here anyway - there are a couple of photos of the pub as well. Then on the Saturday we went over to Tamworth to watch the mighty Tamworth FC aka The Lambs play Crawley Town. Crawley won 1-0; if you want a fuller report there's one on the club website. I don't think the slightly breathless tone of the report fully conveys the truly soul-destroying dreadfulness of the game - on the upside the polystyrene cups of Bovril were pretty good, and apparently (though I didn't have one) the pies were OK too. Which is the main thing, after all. One slightly amusing innovation that I hadn't encountered before is the sponsorship of all the match announcements by local companies, e.g. (seriously): "The fourth official has announced that there will be at least four minutes added time. These extra minutes were brought to you by the West Bromwich Building Society".

A good time seemed to be had by all, even James, even after being forced to drink four cans of Carlsberg Special Brew on Saturday evening. The experience took it out of him a bit, though, as the before and after pics below show:

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