Friday's half day was of course because we were going away for the weekend. Not that far, and indeed some may laugh that we chose Bracknell as our destination, but it was with good reason (a party on Saturday and a dedication on Sunday to go to) and we pulled out some of the stops and stayed at the Hilton. As you may remember, we went to the Hilton at Newbury recently and that worked out very well, and the one at Bracknell is supposedly a modest step up in quality. We used the same basic deal, which involved two nights' bed and breakfast plus an evening meal on the first night - which worked out fine given Saturday's party.
The bad news was that our room was not up to the expected standard, worse than the one at Newbury, and with an annoying hum from the air-conditioning system outside the window. The good news was that they were quite understanding about the noise and quickly moved us to what turned out to be a hugely better room, indeed one that had only recently been refurbished. So we were quite happy!
Arriving mid-afternoon on Friday left plenty of time to make use of the health club facilities before our evening meal. A basic carvery, not really worth the twenty quid they would want if we were paying for it, but not bad nevertheless and filled us up nicely. More swimming and steaming Saturday morning, but then (most amusingly, especially for everyone else) we managed to get caught up in an aquarobics class, in which needless to say I was the only bloke... Good fun nonetheless, though our legs are slightly killing us now. Just about avoiding the lousy weather, we got out for a short while Saturday afternoon, exploring the nearby forest park centre, and eyeing it up for a future visit perhaps.
Saturday evening's party was good fun, making Eurovision more than bearable - Nothing good food, drink and company (physical and "virtual") couldn't see to! Lordi were popular winners (looking forward to next year's Eurockvision, no doubt), though we really didn't have the energy to keep going much longer once the formalities had finished. It was still midnight by the time we turned in, with an early start Sunday morning... After our three-course breakfast it was just a short drive up the road to Reading for the dedication of Ruth, our friends Darren and Ceryn's youngest. A packed house at the church (and a good service, though not sure it would be to our liking every week) but Lois looked after us well, and the reception afterwards in Henley was just for family and close friends, so a much better opportunity to get to know people! By the time food had been eaten (well, at least some of it) and Ruth's presents opened, we were quite shattered so braved the atrocious weather and finally headed home.
So, tiring, but very good, and glad we decided to make a weekend away of it even though it was all happening in easy "commuting" distance. If nothing else, we would have missed out on the aquarobics! Shame we're back at work tomorrow.