My Week Of Visiting Winkworth, Sheffield And A Friends Birthday Party
I've had a really busy and active week, which has been great, and it has mostly kept my mind off the recent mad things going on in my life.
On Monday I used one of my flex days at work to take the day off, so I could take a break from it all, and enjoy the weather.
I arranged to meet my friend Frog and drive to his cottage by the River Wey in Guildford that morning.
When I arrived we chatted for a while about things and I watched some videos about alien abductees on his laptop.
The plan for that day was for us to drive to Winkworth in my car to take photographs there, as we both enjoy photography.
Frog took a lot of camera equipment with us on the journey there. On the way we stopped off at Notcutts Garden Centre in Cranleigh. I played a bit of a prank on Frog, as he thought the garden centre was Winkworth! Frog ended up carrying all of his equipment in the garden centre when we walked inside there. I took a few photos of the pet parrots and of Frog carrying his camera equipment on his back. Frog was dressed in his unique rainbow colours. A lady that worked there said he looked like Joseph and his Technicolor coat!
We then left Notcutts garden centre and I drove past Ringo's mansion. Ringo was the famous drummer from the Beatles, we didn't sadly spot him in his garden.
I then drove on to a nearby village called Loxwood. We parked at the village pub there, near a river, to have some drinks and some lunch. It was very pleasant and chilled out in the pub. After we finished our meal and drink we headed in my car towards Hascombe, where Winkworth is.
I parked in the Winkworth car park and we unloaded all of our camera equipment from my car.
We walked to the entrance and we managed to get in for free, as the ticket attendant was not in his hut, which was cool, and saved us paying a fiver to get in!
I used the loos there then we set off with our cameras down one of the pathways.
We found a quiet woodland area, which was full of Bluebell flowers. We had to wait a while for an old couple to go away, as they would have ended up in our photos! We then spent some time taking some shots of the Bluebells amongst the woodland. We also took some pictures of each other sitting in the Bluebells, which could have got us in trouble with the park keeper there, as we were sitting on the flowers and walking all over them to get some good shots.
We then walked on to the lake and took some pictures there.
When Frog took a photo of me standing by a lake, a goose came out of nowhere and flew straight over my head just missing my face
The boat house by the lake there was sadly closed, so we couldn't go in it to take pictures.
There was a load of flowering bushes by some steps, so we took some pictures there.
Frog had an idea to jump down the steps and to take pictures of us in mid air. Taking those pictures of us jumping took many attempts to get right, as we often landed before the picture got taken! But we got a few in the end.
After our fun at Winkworth we carried our equipment back to my car and headed back to Cranleigh.
We stopped off at the Co-op, so Frog could buy some food and drink. When we were at the till, Frog jokingly told the guy serving us that we were not gay (which we are definitely not!) and then Frog asked him if he wanted to join his cult, which made me laugh. The guy at the till liked Frog's unusual dress sense.
Once we loaded up my car with Frog's shopping we drove back to Frog's cottage in Guildford. We chilled out there for a bit, then Frog's housemate Julia came back home from her day at work.
I chatted to Julia and Frog and I told them that my French friend Anne was coming to Guildford to see me.
I walked back towards the Guildford town centre with Julia to meet my French friend Anne by the White House pub. Julia walked on further into the town centre.
Anne was waiting there to meet me. I walked back along the river with her back to Frog's cottage.
Myself and Anne hanged out at Frog's cottage to chat and listen to music until his girlfriend Susan came. Frog gave Anne two books to read.
Susan brought along her two pet dogs. Her two dogs were a bit of a handful. One dog had to be kept locked in the kitchen, as it has a habit of biting and attacking the other dog and visitors. I accidentally let the dodgy dog out of the kitchen, which almost caused a disaster, but Susan managed to grab the dog and get it under control.
Myself and Anne then left Frog's cottage, and he lent me some DVD's to watch. I left a DVD for Julia to watch, as she wanted to see a series I owned.
I then walked with Anne to St Catherine's, which is a ruined Chapel on top of a hill near where Frog lives.
I took some photos of Anne and St Catherine's. We enjoyed it up there and liked the view.
It was starting to get dark, so we walked down Portsmouth Road to go to a nearby pub called Ye Olde Ship Inn. It was quite old in there with oak beam ceilings, but it was nice and quiet and we enjoyed a drink together. The time was getting on and it was now after 10pm. I had a long day, Anne was ready to go home too.
I walked Anne back to Guildford to her car. Anne's car was French as the drivers side was on the left. She gave me a lift back to my car near Frog's cottage. It was funny sitting on the right side, as there is no stirring wheel or pedals! I said goodbye to Anne and I drove home back to Cranleigh and that was the end of a nice day out.
I went back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was the usual crappy stuff.
Thursday arrived and I was happy again, as I took both Friday and Thursday off work. I had those two days off, as I was going to Sheffield to see Tristan and some live World Snooker matches.
I travelled up to Sheffield on my own by train, which was Guildford to Reading, then another train on to Sheffield.
The journey took many hours, as Sheffield is up north somewhere. It was really weird when the train arrived at Oxford, as a young woman called Ann-Marie got on the train and sat down opposite me. I knew Ann-Marie from four years ago, when she worked at my current firm as a temp. She left my firm to study at Oxford and she became a teacher.
It was interesting chatting to her again. Ann-Marie got off at the next stop, as she was going there to teach some students about AIDS.
The air conditioning on the train broke down, so it got quite hot, but it was not too bad. I was glad to get off the train and see Tristan waiting on the platform for me. My train was dead on time too.
Tristan walked with me to our hotel and I dumped my luggage there.
We then looked around Sheffield. I ate a nice cheese and pickle roll at an indoor garden there, which was called the Winter Garden. Sheffield looked very nice with its water fountains and the mixture of old and new buildings.
Later on we walked towards the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which is where the World Snooker Championships are played each year. On the way there we saw John Virgo, who is a famous Snooker player and TV presenter, walking past us talking away on his mobile.
We saw many BBC vans and trucks with their satellite and TV equipment.
We watched a Snooker match which had John Parrot playing against Shaun Murphy. The match was very good and quite intense, it lasted over two days. We had good seats in the third row.
We were seen live on TV in the audience by our friends and family. Lots of funny things happened during the match, like somebodys mobile in the audience going off on loud speaker. You could hear someone's mum on the mobile talking. Everybody laughed and Shaun Murphy jokingly said that she sounded just like his mum! Another funny was when a huge big fly landed on the Snooker table and Shaun said 'Look at the size of that fly!' Also, when they both kept missing a tricky shot, they jokingly walked to the front row and offered their cues to the audience to have a go!
During our stay in Sheffield we walked past the stage door quite a few times. We saw Steven Hendry doing some publicity shots standing by a car. Tristan managed to get Steven Hendry to sign his Snooker programme booklet. I took his picture on my mobile. We also saw other Snooker stars there like Shaun Murphy and Tristan got him to sign both mine and his programme booklets.
There were some weird fans which constantly stood outside the stage door, they were mostly spotty Herbert's and had things wrong with them, like have crutches, or stinking of B.O. It was quite strange walking past the stage door and seeing the same fans stand there all day and everyday.
We also watched a world record attempt of some guys playing Snooker constantly for over 48 hours. They beat the record and we saw Steve Davis a famous Snooker player and a well known sports TV presenter called Roy Stubbs interview the record breakers.
We were standing behind Steve Davis and Roy Stubbs whilst the TV cameras were facing us. Tristan ran after Steve Davis to try and get his autograph, but Steve was too quick for Tristan to catch him, as he ran like hell to get away from the fans and into the safety of the Crucible Theatre.
Other things which happened in Sheffield included seeing Jimmy White's limo, having an all you can eat Chinese buffet, which ended up all over the pavement after I drank too much rum and coke, whiskey and coke, then a cocktail.
We also visited a gallery in Sheffield. There was a weird sculpture inside shaped like a giraffe and was made out of hundreds of spoons. It made a barking sound when a button was pressed.
We visited some shops and I bought loads of sweets, some aftershave and a DVD.
We went for a swim in the hotel. I can't swim, so I just stood in the swimming pool. There was an old guy in the swimming pool who got out and disappeared for a while. We didn't realise that the old guy left his change of clothes on a chair by the swimming pool. Tristan kept on dive bombing the pool and the old guy's clothes got soaked. When the old guy came back to the chair near the pool and put on his tracksuit bottoms and top, I nearly had a fit of laughing, as his clothes were soaked with big wet patches on them! The guy was just like Victor Meldrew, as he shouted out "Who soaked my bloody clothes!" Tristan hid under the water and I was left to deal with the angry old guy. I pretended that I knew nothing about it. He asked which organisation we were from, and we just said we were in Sheffield to see the Snooker. The old guy then went away.
We headed back home early on Saturday morning by train. Tristan did his card tricks and we played Black Jack.
We got back to Guildford on Saturday afternoon.
I got home then relaxed for a bit and then got changed for Tristan birthday party that evening.
I headed back to Guildford at 7pm to go to the George Abbott pub for his birthday party.
Tristan had booked a buffet, and the bar staff had sealed off a special section for us. I was there first, but other friends of his eventually turned up, such as Kevin, Phil, Christine, Steve, Dan, Anna and Emma. We then ate some buffet food. My friend Valerie came, but only very briefly, as she was going out for a girlie night with her friends.
Tom also came with his friends, but he was in the pub area, and not the buffet bit with us. I left early, as I was tired and had a long day.
I've just been chilling out this Sunday at home.
I return to work again on Monday.
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