Saturday, May 24th.
We arrived at Watford Junction at around about 07:45, where we caught a London Midland train into London Euston. We then took a stroll to St. Pancras station where, after enjoying a Latte, we boarded our train to Nottingham. The journey was uneventful with Keilyn sleeping in my arms, for the entire trip, while Erin watched some CBeebies programmes, that Emma had downloaded Friday afternoon.
Arriving in Nottingham at just before 11:00, we headed towards Nottingham Castle, just so that I could see the statue of Robin hood and the Castle gatehouse. Then, as the rain got heavier, we headed into the city centre so that we could change Keilyn, before finding a place to have lunch. It was while we were standing under the shelter of a shop front that Lol, Deirdre’s partner, spotted us. He was with his grandson, Cameron, so we teamed up and headed for Caffe Nero, for a coffee. I fed Keilyn, while Erin had some tomato and basil soup.
When we had finished, we headed into the Intu Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, to stay out of the rain. Lol decided that we should head to a restaurant, to wait for Deirdre who would be joining us straight after work, and led us out of the shopping centre and towards…
A church. A Unitarian church, at that! As it turns out, this Grade II Listed Church, in the heart of the Lace Market, is actually a bar/restaurant named the Pitcher & Piano. We found a table and secured a high chair, for Keilyn, and, while we waited for Deirdre, ordered some drinks. A large rosé wine for Emma, while Lol and myself had a real ale, served in a proper glass tankard. It wasn’t long before Deirdre arrived and food was soon ordered. We all ate, including Erin who, having already had lunch, tucked into some chicken goujons with chips and peas.
With time getting on, we headed towards a bus stop and caught the 79A, towards Nuthall Road, where the Commodore Hotel was situated. Keilyn was happy in the battlewagon, while Erin sat on my lap. In the short space of time it took us to reach our destination, Erin was sound asleep and snoring in my arms. This made it slightly more difficult as I carried her and the rucksack, while Emma had the battlewagon, with the suitcase in Erin’s seat.
After checking in, I placed Erin on her bed, where she carried on sleeping for another hour, while we sorted out Keilyn and got ourselves ready for the party. Erin finally awoke, a little confused at the strange surroundings, but happy. With both girls dressed in pink skirts and tops, we headed downstairs to await our taxi.
We arrived at the Fiveways Pub just after 19:00 and made our way to the function room that had been hired for my cousin Sean’s 40th birthday. Sean is a soldier in The 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment which, up until 2004, was known as The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire and Foresters Regiment. After finding a seat and getting the girls settled, Suzette, Sean’s wife, spotted us and came over for a chat. Sean was busy talking with and greeting other friends but, when he saw us, he did come straight over. Katherine, Sean’s sister, arrived a little later and we had all had a really nice time. Erin and Keilyn, who are normally in bed 19:00, were busy running around the dance floor and chasing balloons, with the other kids.
Around about 21:30 the girls started to get a tired, so we said our goodbyes and ordered a taxi to the hotel. Shortly after we got settled in our room, Keilyn passed out, followed Erin and Emma, leaving me to watch Live at the Apollo, before deciding to turn in myself.
To be continued…