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After work on Friday Shelli came over and picked me up for the wonderful drive round the M25 – not driving for a change was very much appreciated I can tell you. All afternoon I’d been checking the chaos that is the M25 and we weren’t exactly expecting a good drive. As it goes, the drive to Dartford wasn’t too bad at all, although due to the usual madness around Junction 2 and the tunnel we came off at Junction 3, shooting past mum and dad’s old place in Hawley to get in to Dartford.

The reason we were heading to Dartford was to spend the evening with Shelli’s sister Niki’s place, and what a great evening it was. They laid on a fantastic sea bass dinner and we had a great time having a drink and talking lots. I’d spent time with Niki before on a pub crawl she came along to but I’d not really spoken to Andy before, but he seemed like a great bloke and [I’d like to think] we got on pretty well.

Knowing that we were off to Val and Tony’s Saturday I didn’t over-do the drinking. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed when visiting Val and Tony that’s drinking, and normally quite a bit. So Saturday morning, after having spent an uncomfortable night on the air bed, I didn’t feel too bad; tired yes, but not hung-over. I was still stuffed out from the great dinner the night before and I couldn’t actually fit any breakfast in – most unlike me.

After spending a lazy few hours playing with the kids – Izzy and Alex – we headed off to Medway where we spent a lazy afternoon sitting and chatting at Val and Tony’s place. Shelli and I took a stroll down to the shop to get some bits in, to save doing the job on Sunday, but other than that we lazed about most of the day.

In the evening one of Val’s good friends – Linda – and her husband came over for. Linda used to work at GEC with Val I so I knew her well and it was great to catch up and reminisce about days gone by over a few drinks. It was a great evening and we had a really good laugh.

Sunday morning we headed over to the outlet centre at the dockyard to pick up a few bits. The girls did well out of the shopping trip – nothing out of the ordinary there – and then we headed back for a lovely dinner before hitting the road home, managing to catch the grand prix on the TV before heading off. We had a good drive back (thanks again for doing the driving this time Shelli!) and all too soon it was time to say goodbye.

It was a great weekend even though it seemed to be over before it began. I thoroughly enjoyed two nights of sitting and chatting, and getting to know Niki and Andy better. It seems like a long time since I last had an evening like that, just sitting around, drinking and shooting the breeze. Must sort out some more…soon!