back in the land of the living

well, kind of anyways. went back to bed last night at 330am, and woke up at about 1045am. do i feel refreshed? hell no. i think i feel worse NOW than i did last night before i gave up here and tried to sleep again, but such is my life i now realise.

anyways - the weekend away. had a lovely time, and evesham is such a lovely place - nestled in the back of beyond, quiet and tranquil, river avon running lazily through it. so - last year we were caught in the traffic from hell, and it took us something like 11 hours to get there, so we were all a bit apprehensive. but, save a few jams here and there, the journey down was uneventful if sweaty!

once we got there and settled into the bed & breakfast (we stayed there last year, absolutly wonderful people and lovely place!) we wandered over to the hotel where we were meeting everyone and started drinking in the sun and catching up. a while later, we headed to a nice old fashion indian resturant, and had a loooovely dinner, got some more drinks and carried on drinking. we tottered home at about midnight!

saturday after a full english breakfast (mmmm fooooood) we met gemma and peter at the hotel, and decided just to head out and see where we ended up. after seven minutes, we saw signs for a country park, so headed over there expecting a park like our local watt tyler or thorndon country park. in fact, it was a massive garden centre with some craft shops and hundreds of acres of apple orchards - which we wandered around! eventually, we headed to the west midland safari park which was nice - an emu tried to dismantle gemmas car, and giraffes held up the road - lions and tigers (both normal and white), and various other critters...

saturday night was the party which was really fun - essex as usual took over a corner and made the most noise - nothing new there really! downer to the evening was the fact that stuarts best friend and best man at the wedding didn't turn up and didn't send an excuse till sunday morning, and stuart was *pissed*. still - we all got drunk and staggered to our beds after midnight!

now, i should point out the main difference between Basildon, Essex and Evesham, Worcstershire:

Basildon Town Centre: all shops shuttered again yobbos and such like breaking in or just smashing windows for fun.
Evesham Town Centre: most shops have no shutters, and the jeweller left it's stuff on display but behind a shutter.

Basildon Town Centre: groups of "youths" usually hurl abuse at each other and passers by, and fight "rival groups", and travel the streets screaming as they travel.
Evesham Town Centre: groups of "youths" smile and wave at other groups of youths, don't even look at strangers, and are generally quiet.

Basildon Town Centre: All the night clubs have a police presence as well as ambulances at key points for if (*cough*when*cough*) trouble flares.
Evesham Town Centre: We saw precisely one police car, the officer talking to a girl who had left her handbag and money in her dads car and couldn't get home.

Basildon Town Centre: Generally, people keep themselves to themselves, and don't speak to people they don't know.
Evesham Town Centre: Walking along the High Steet, people nods hello and offer a "good morning" when you go past them.

all in all, it's a bloody nice place - you can just sit on the river bank and watch the world go lazily by, which we did on saturday morning waiting for my sister. literally, we just sat and watched the army of swans on the river and pleasure barges putter on by.

anyways - sunday we had breakfast and then went to the hotel where clan essex was sitting in the garden drinking iced water and relaxing. we shared the various photos and videos we had taken over the course of the night, having a laugh at stuarts extreme dancing skills, and generally having fun.

come midday, we had to make a move, and even with one traffic jam and a stop for something to eat, we made it home in just under three hours!

was nice to see everyone again, and even though there isn't a party planned for next year (the next party will be the 5-year anniversary) Clan Essex will probably trundle down there to cause trouble once again!

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