The Gorse Fox's cousin has reached the national speed limit. This was a landmark birthday worth a celebration. So it was that the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen found themselves heading round to the bandit country of Essex on this Saturday morning.
The traffic was extraordinarily benign and the journey took less than two hours. We left the car at the hotel and met with Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law then headed round to Mason's Restaurant. Family had gathered from Devon, from Wales, Sussex, Berkshire and even Australia... Let's just hope we had the day right!
When the meal was over we reconvened back at her house. The chat continued through the afternoon and into the evening. There was a cake, baked by the granddaughter, beautifully decorated and topped with what can only be described as a Roman candle. There was an evening buffet and there were several rounds of a game called Linkee. (Meanwhile the family dog was rushed to the vet, have eaten a load of fruitcake - several hundred pounds later emetics administered the dog was back, safe and sound). Linkee filled a couple of hours with fun and some tension as it became clear that granddaughter plays to win - at all costs. No prisoners are left alive.
Back at the hotel we were allocated our room - which after a cursory check, we rejected. It was clearly made up for 4 people and stank of stale smoke. A quick trip to reception rectified this and we were transferred to a huge room on the top floor.