Mr Ample Cook and I have just come back from a very well deserved week's holiday in Wales, on the Pembrokeshire coast. I say well deserved because in the 7 days prior to the holiday I had catered for 200 people in three separate jobs - 115 of them on the day before we left, so I was pretty much dead on my feet and really needing a break.
We set off on the Saturday morning, bright and early, well early at least. The journey took 5 and a half hours. We were really lucky as the M25 was a breeze (unheard of) We broke the journey up by having some lunch - The Good Pub Guide is brilliant for giving suggestions of places near to motorways, then you don't have to rely on the nasty plastic over-priced food at the service stations.
We arrived about 3pm, and settled in to our lovely little cottage which was on a working dairy farm. The sun was shining and it was really warm, so, as we'd been sitting in the car all day we decided to go for a walk - off we went with a trumpety trump, trump, trump, trump.
In the evening, having bathed and talcumed we headed off down into the village to one of the many hostelries for food, beer and wine. It was an excellent meal: Smoked duck salad, fishcakes, salmon fillet and local rib-eye steak perfectly cooked. We then wobbled off back to the cottage for some much needed sleep. We both went out out like a light (we had brushed and flossed first).
Then, at 4am the martians landed. The bedroom lit up like a Christmas tree and there was a loud whirring engine noise. I whispered "Oh my God, what is that?" Mr AC tiptoed to the window and peaked out. Fortunately we hadn't been invaded by an alien force, it was the farmer on his tractor, rounding up the cows for milking. Phew, that was a relief as I wasn't wearing a nice enough nightie to be beamed up in. Anyway, eventually got back to sleep.
Then, at 4.55am we were woken up by tap dancing, shrieking magpies grrrrrrrr. You have to bear in mind that the bedroom was in the roof and we had the window open. They were literally running up and down the roof. It sounded like the little b******s were in the room. If you have ever heard magpies shriek you will know what I'm talking about. It frightened the bejesus out of us.
Not a good start, but it did get better. See part 2 shortly.