Saturday, 19 May 2012

Come and Join me Dahlink - with a trip to Leicester (yep, Leicester)

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I helped my cousin Jane move house (again). Well, last week I drove up to visit her in her new abode in Anstey, Leicestershire.

She persuaded me by promising that; "we'll only do fun stuff and you won't have to lift a single sofa."

"You're not belming me are you?" I asked suspiciously.

"Nope, truly. We will not be doing any work," she assured me.

Marvellous. And with that in mind, I lobbed some luggage into my jalopy, shoehorned Naughty George into the boot (or 'trunk' if you are foreign), and set the Sat-Nav for Anstey. All systems were go.

Pic.No.1 That's my jalopy. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive to Anstey, with Naughty George honking and guffing the entire duration of the journey. I nearly barfed

Finally I arrived at her house in Leicestershire.

We greeted each other, and I quickly ascertained that even though she had lived there for three whole weeks, she had no plans to move. Abso-bloody-lutely amazing given that if I had to assign her a nickname it would be STM - 'super-transient-moose'.

"I thought we could spend the day visiting Leicester," she said when I asked her what the plan was.

"Leicester?" I asked incredulously, "what is that famous for, except cheese?"

"It's got good shops .... ?" she proffered hesitantly.

"You are taking me bloody shopping aren't you?" I said suspiciously, looking at her sideways (N.B. I don't like shopping unless the object has an engine).

"It's only shopping if you buy something," she pointed out, "otherwise it'll be browsing."

"You git, that's bloody semantics," I admonished, before resignedly adding, "ok, let's go to Leicester. To be fair I haven't been there before."

Jane grinned at me before bounding to the car.

And because I am kinder than 'Mild Green Fairy Liquid', I have got some pictures for you.

Without further ado ......................... please let me introduce ......................... Leicester! (a city I had never wanted to visit, but which ended up performing remarkably well in the entertainment stakes).

Pic.No.2 Leicester had more historic buildings than I expected

Pic.No.3 This was a fountain situated in a gorgeous sunny square just off a main road with some comedy running statues in the foreground

Pic.No.4 Look there is a 'Poundtastic' shop in the background and it was the first one we encountered. My heart sank - it's never a good omen for quality shops. That is Jane pushing Mitchell in the pram

Pic.No.5 But luckily my fears weren't founded - the sun was out and it being in Leicester felt like being abroad because of the large mix of difference ethnicities - it was totally exoctic man. This is the entrance to Leicester's famous market

Pic.No.6 Oops those two people probably thought I was photographing them which is why they are staring at me. I hate it when that happens

Pic.No.7 Inside Leicester market. And another bird giving me strange looks for taking photographs of grapes. I just loved the explosion of colour

Pic.No.8 Hey everybody, come and see how good looking I am! This is me outside a fabric stall in Leicester market. It's vibranter than a kaleidoscope

Pic.No.9 The time was pushing 1.30pm and we were getting hungry. Lucky that we stumbled across this market stall then - it was called Top Nosh, and it specialised in 'chicken tikka kebabs' freshly cooked to order

Pic.No.10 This is what I look like when I am waiting for a kebab

Pic.No.11 This is what Jane looks like when she is waiting for a kebab

Pic.No.12 This is what Mitchell looks like when he doesn't give a shit about kebabs

Pic.No.13 This is my freshly cooked 'double chicken tikka kebab with mint and chilli sauce and extra salad'. If I had a choice between boffing Brad Pitt or scoffing that kebab, Brad would be going home in a taxi every time. It was sex in a chapati

Pic.No.14 Right next door to the Top Nosh stall was a Bird of Prey exhibition. With real birds mind, not those stuffed moth-eaten types

Pic.No.15 There were two owly-type birds, but the best thing was the chick underneath their perch that looked a little worse for wear. Remember. Chicks and vodka do not mix

Pic.No.16 There was a bloody great eagle type thing sat on it's perch too

Pic.No.17 You put your left claw in, your right claw out ..... do the hokey cokey and shake it all about

After lunch, we left the market and ambled over to the Moroccan part of Leicester. Basically the Moroccan quarter constitutes a whole street devoted to eastern fayre. It was like being transported abroad.

Pic.No.18 A view of the Moroccan market. It was heart-warmingly lively

Pic.No.19 All the stores were like mini-souks with traditional moroccan products. Basically if it wasn't for tagine's and leather slippers, Morocco's GDP would be in the doldrums

Pic.No.20 A smiley lady in one of the Moroccan stalls. I have been to Morocco I have. But I wasn't that keen on it - I was constantly hassled by hawkers, and there were bits of dead chicken in the street

Vid. No.1 Looky here! Some random blokes playing pan-pipes in a Leicester square

Pic.No.21 This is Mitch scoffing a blueberry muffin. Poor chap had just woken up and was a bit dazed

Pic.No.22 And then the improbably happened. My cousin Jane persauded me to have my eyebrows threaded (bloody hurt) and dyed. This is me in the stylist's chair. Jane said I looked like Burt Reynolds

All I know is that we had to walk all the way back to the car with my eyes red and swollen. I looked like a bloomin' boxer. You will be happy to learn that it did eventually dye (ha ha!) down a bit, and looked ok I suppose.

So that was my day out in Leicester - a place that performed way better than it's reputation. In fact I would definitely go there again.

Have you been there? And what the blazes are you up to this weekend dahlink?


  1. The National Space Centre, where all the techies go! A must do on your next trip to Leicester. I hope they still have the Soyuz hanging off the ceiling!

  2. Nick Riches19 May 2012 20:45

    The National Space Centre, where all the techies go! A must do on your next trip
    to Leicester. I hope they still have the Soyuz hanging off the ceiling!

  3. Glad you had a good time in Leicester. I was born there and lived there for 29 years. Not been to the market in years, though we do visit Leicester every 2 weeks to do food shopping for very elderly (late 90's) parents. You must take NG to Bradgate Park next is beautiful there....only 5 mins from Anstey too.

  4. Drooling over that kabob!   You are on the go more than anybody I know.  And you always find such fun places to go.   What a charming village.   It looked like it had absolutely everything!    And your eyebrows look totally fab!   My mom always said, "Beauty must suffer!"   :)

  5. I can see the family resemblance between you and could be sisters!
    Leicester looks like a busy place and the perfect place if you are looking for a little of everything. What is 'threading your eyebrows'? Braided? You are much prettier than Burt Reynolds!
    Poor birds of prey! 

  6. You've got Joan Crawford eyebrows now ! Giggling at all the random Leicesterites in your photos !

  7. Looks like an interesting day out (aren't all your days out interesting, though?(rhetorical))

    Me? I've been putting a few miles on my new sikkle.

    And barn dancing.

    Nuff sed.

  8. Toffeeapple20 May 2012 13:26

    I haven't been to Leicester since 1971 even though I enjoyed my time there.  Looks like you had fun and good food though.

    Why didn't Masher tell us what new bike he has? 

  9. Honking and Guffing? What the hell is honking and guffing? Oy, speak english already.... :)

    Great photos, I want a kebab. Sned one over, will ya?

  10. Ah, honking means that he stinks and guffing means farting! I will sned (sic) you over a kebab!

  11. Yeh I had never expected it to be so good!

    I reckon Masher has bought a moped which is why he has gone quiet!!

  12. You can't keep us in suspense like that! What bike have you got?

    Didn't the Village People like barn dancing?

  13. Oh yeh, there is a right old mix of people!

  14. Can you see the resemblance? I don't think we look alike but quite a lot of people say we do.

    Threading is like plucking but the hairs are removed with a cotton thread - hard to describe!

    Blush - you compliment me monsieur!! ;-)


  15. Blimey it's a small world! 29 years you were there - why did you move?

    Yeh, my cousin has pointed out Bradgate Park and said it is supposed to be beautiful. That'll be the next trip then!


  16. That kebab was bloody yummy! Glad you like my eyebrows ...... if you want to like me, you have to like my eyebrows!


  17. Girlfriend, I'd still like you with no eyebrows at all.  :)

  18. Yeh but then I would look permanently surprised!


  19. I moved cos I got married and his new job was in Northumberland.... we lived in Morpeth for 4 years....had son No 1 there and moved to Harpenden 33 years ago. ( and had 2 more sons) You really must go to is almost my favourite place in the whole world!  I could send you photos of it, but I don't know your email!

  20. As you and I have discussed in the past, I too, hate shopping EXCEPT that looks more like a festival (by U.S. standards).   I like looking at the different booths and vendors at fairs and festivals.  

    Mitchell, by the way, is adorable.

  21. So you have lived in some different places then!

    I will definitely go to Bradgate - maybe we could trade photos? You send me yours - and I can compare them with mine?! He he! That'd be fun ;-)


  22. Yeh, we should set up a splinter group for people who don't like shopping!! You are not the norm, really ;-)

    Awww, Mitch is a star .... but I think I might be a bit biased!


  23. It was sex in a chapati...yep, favorite line! I don't know if I'd have my eyebrows threaded to look like Burt Reynolds, but I'd definitely let that eagle do a deep tissue claw massage. Looks like a wonderful day. Your adventures always crack me up! I wish you would come to California. I can just imagine the posts you would write.

  24. Jeez! You know what bike I've got... you commented on it on my site when you saw the picture!

    OK, just to remind you - memory loss is a terrible thing when you get older, isn't it? - I've got a Triumph Bonneville America. And it is pure sex on legs. 

    I mean, wheels.

    The barn dancing was fun... but a little too close to Morris dancing for my liking.

  25. Hi Toffeeapple,

    Like Annie, you too left a (nice) comment about my bike on my website, but seem to have forgotten all about it. 

    Is there something in the water round here? 

  26. I must admit, England has never been high on my priority list of places to visit; however, whenever you post about your travels around the countryside, I am more intrigued about the possibilities to explore.  And, that kebob looked (and your description sounded) amazing!  Of course, I still covet your Range Rover.

    It is a long weekend here.  When I returned home from Yellowknife on Friday, I was excited to see some of the landscaping at our house had been completed while I was away.  So, after buying new planters and hitting some plant stores, I got down and dirty and reconnected with the earth (my zodiac is an earth sign).  I puttered around the yard whenever I could, deciding what to do next.

    Brahm and I invited friends to the house for brunch today, so yesterday was preparation and today was cooking, visiting, and eating (and eating and eating).  I then spent more time in the yard.

    Not sure what Monday will bring; however, I have a feeling I will be out in the yard again.

    Have a great week, Annie!

  27. I've got a memory like a seive sometimes!


  28. Oops ...... I remember now that you have jogged my memory. What a joey!


  29. It would be fabulous to visit California again .... I spend too much time on the right hand side of America!


  30. Oooh, your landscaping is being done? Hasn't that been a bone of contention for ya? How exciting!! Sounds like you have had a busy (but nice) one though - having friends round and stuffing your face sounds an idyllic way to spend a weekend ;-)

    Have a great week too matey!!


  31. Had never been before.  But I have now, after reading your blog.  Brilliant.  I could taste the kebab, hear the panpipes and feel the tug of the threading.  Now I don't need to bother with the train journey to get there.  

  32. Yep you are right. If you have seen them pictures, you won't actually need to visit!

    Anyway how are you chick? It's been a while since we last caught up!!


  33. You should be up for a photography prize for making Leicester look borderline habitable.

    I've just clocked your plate, and from now on will be addressing you as 'Waynetta' you chav!

    Can't beat a dirty kebab, gurt lush.


  34. LOL! Say it as it is Gumph ;-) I take it you aren't a fan of Leicester?!

    Why are you calling me Waynetta, because I am eating a kebab?


  35. No you joey, it's the bling plate on the pimpmyridebitchmobile.

    No Gloucester supporter is a fan of Leicester.

  36. Ohhhhh I see! When you said plate, I thought you meant a plate that you eat off ..... but you meant 'number plate'!

    Well spotted Gumph .... that new blingy plate spells the name of my company!

    My good friend Sarah says, "nothing spells wanker louder than a private plate."

    But because I like all things bling, it is staying bolted to my pimpmyridebitchmobile ;-)



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