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sapp travels
6th Jul 2016 - Spain, Italy, UK 2016
Honing my hospitality skills

Wednesday dawned, our second last day. I was dragging my feet getting started with my day, trying to somehow prolong the painful inevitable end of our holiday. I really didn’t want to face the reality of packing, driving, flying. So I dealt with it by going into denial mode. I stayed in bed and read my book for a while. Then traipsed out to the lounge to watch a documentary on TV about a young girl who was aiming to win the National Irish Dancing competition. It followed her training, her competitors training and all she went through in the lead up the final competition. It was actually really very interesting. So I stayed on the couch hanging with Paul and Jack, ate some coco pops and eventually we decided to go for a ride. We didn’t leave home until after 11. We headed out on a new route that we had worked out talking to Gary and checking out maps. It was a good ride and we came home with just under 50kms, our least slack ride for a couple of days. When we got back Gary and Vikki were busy as a group of touring riders had called in for lunch. Vikki was flat out in the kitchen making meals that had been ordered, and Gary was serving behind the bar, which was also busy, but Vikki needed Gary to serve the meals to the tables. I opted for helping out, and took on the waitressing duty of serving lunch out to the beer garden. In my cycling kit. Pretty sure it was a first, being served by someone in cycling lycra, but no-one complained, and given they were all busy touring around on bikes it seemed suitable. After we had showered we loitered around upstairs watching the tennis on TV. Gary checked to see if we wanted any lunch – which of course we did, we headed down to the bar and selected something from the bar menu and Vikki made us all a late lunch once the pub crowd had quietened back down. There was a busy night ahead, the local cricket team had reserved to arrive at 8 and Vikki had to sort their nibble plates, as well as get organised for a 3 year old birthday party that was coming in at 5, additionally Wales were playing Portugal in the Euro Cup semi’s and now that England were out of the running all of the poms had apparently turned Welsh, which meant that the pub would be full, to top it off Andy Murray was in the semi final of tennis. Late in the afternoon Vikki realised she was low on some ingredients for the cricket sandwiches, Paul and I did a rescue ingredient dash to Shipston. As the evening wore on and the bar got busier, Vikki was running ragged, I popped into the kitchen to see if she needed anything, the dishes were piling up so I got my hands wet and washed and dried the mountains of dishes. It freed Vikki up to get on top of everything and get out of the kitchen. In between sharpening my dormant hospitality skills, I watched some tennis upstairs, (Murray won) and soccer down in the bar, chatted with people and just hung out. The crowds dwindled once the soccer was over (Wales lost) and just a few stayed until closing time. I was getting on remarkably well with soda water for the evening, Paul was trying a few new beers (being our last night in the pub) and once the bar was quiet, Gary and Paul thought a few rums or scotches or something were in order. The late stayers were all in good spirits and we had a fun time talking a lot of nonsense. Soon it was closing time and Gary saw them out the door, then Gary, Vikki, Paul and I sat around the bar and we talked and talked and talked. Lowbrow, highbrow, deep, intense, the hours got eaten up and the holiday was disappearing, somewhere after 2 a.m. we conceded to the call of sleep and headed upstairs.

Next: Ending on a high
Previous: A Midsummer Treat

Diary Photos

In case they fall over?

Our last night in Ilmington. Dusk at 10pm

Jack's squirrel in the bar

Jack and his squirrel supervising the bar

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