Friday, 1 April 2011

We Are Family

I have two sisters, and they both (with no consideration for my budgeting) have birthdays in March. This year, K had a land-mark birthday, of the kind that comes with a zero on the end, so we decided to get together & celebrate.

So, Friday saw me driving down to K&C's new flat (which I haven't visited before.) I arrived in time for supper and wine andd catching up on conversation, which is a good time to arrive.

Saturday turned put to be a lovely sunny day, and after a leisurely breakfast, E arrived, and we three girls went out to run some errands, and to go for what turned out to be an extremely short walk, and a fairly long lunch.

We went up to Fort Widley, which is one of the 'Palmerston Forts' in Portsmouth. The forts were built in the 1860s in order to defend Porrsmouth  (and in particular the Naval dockyards) from the risk of French invasion.

They are huge, and bizarre looking - the one we saw was one of a group intended to defend aginst the possibility of forces landing elsewhere on the coast and then attacking by land - which apparently led to persistent rumours that they had been built facing the wrong way...! They also turned out to be obselete as soon as they were built, although they were used as betteries for anti-aircraft guns during WW2.  For us, however, they were an interesting bit of landscape around which to walk en route to the pub.  We had gone up to Portsdown Hill as it has good views out over Portsmouth and the Solent, but it was so hazywe couldn't see anything, so we just sat in the sun and ate our jacket potatoes, and (in my case) enjoyed a splendid pint of 'Spitfire'

On the way home, we popped into the local VW dealership to be patronised by some car salesmen - you'd think with the global recession an' all, that that they might be willing to face he possibility that yes, women buy cars too, (Radical, I know) Still, at least it allowed my sis to identify one garage she *won't* be getting er brannd new car from :-)

The evening was for celebration - K had booked at a local restuarant called 'Kitsch'n D'Or', a french bistro-type place. It was great! I started with smoked duck, followed by pigeon breast, and with chocolate mousse to finish with. Other members of the party had the fresh, local mussels (stemed with a touch of curry spices), roast shoulder of lamb. . . in fact, there were so many good things on the menu I think we all could have quite happily come back for a second meal the next day. I'm still regretting the fact I couldn't manage the cheese course, too.

As well as the great food, we enjoyed some lovely won, and the whole evening was very relaxed - there was lots of time to savour the food, and enjoy conversation between courses.

I hope K & E enjoyed their birthday celebration - I certainly did!

Having had a late night, and with the clocks going forward, we ended up getting up late, and having a leisurely morning, a alte breakfast, and then K&C cooked us a (very late) roast chicken dinner befre E & I had to set off for our respective homes.

All in all, it was a really nice, relaxing weekend. The only downside was that I got held up in traffic 3 miles from home, which was a little frustrating, but it was the only thing which marred the weekend so not bad going!

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