New fringe, new colours, family here there and everywhere and too much sun.
Our hotel room is so cool it’s lovely and we both slept very well which is a huge bonus! Got up in time for breakfast and the hotel was much improved since we’d been here is February. A new manager can make such a difference.
My hair appointment wasn’t til just gone 11am so we sat and had a second pot of coffee. We drove through Tamworth and up through Whittington instead of trying the A38 after yesterdays road closures. We came up our old road, Eastern Avenue, and there was loads of changes, the bra factory building (yes Lichfield had a bra factory!) was flattened, the Norgren site had an almost finished Lidl and the large retail units at the back were complete, groundworks were happening on the residential side of the site and there was a huge set of traffic lights bringing the road to a standstill. We went past our old house and the curtains were drawn, every time we’ve been back and looked the curtains are always drawn… just plain weird! Further on the corner of Watery Lane was now a mass of new builds, most of them completed with the show homes open. Dave dropped me off at the hairdressers by little Tescos and I went straight in, whilst Dave went off to see mum in Burntwood and bring her back over for a trip to Heart of the Country.
Penny the hairdresser now has a bob – in the same amount of time mine has grown an inch or so hers had gone from very short to a bob… life is just not fair! Anyway she went off mixing colours and did the foils on my head and I settled down with the Royal Wedding editions of Hello magazine… it’s the only time I see them!
It didn’t feel long before the colours were done, wash out and I was back at the mirror making decisions. I knew I want a blunt fringe and that the rest could be ‘choppy’.. so off came a couple of inches from the front and snippets from all over… she dried and styled it and spray the finished style with liberal amounts of hairspray. I called mum for Dave and her to come over and collect me… and a few minutes later we were all in the car tootling up the A38 to Swinfen. They were very busy in the Pear Tree Creperie but it was lovely to see Lynette again. Food ordered and drinks delivered, Alex arrived and we chatted about mums visit to stay with us in Cornwall. Agreed a time frame to pick her up, (she doesn’t want to fly) which means she will see Cheryl recovering in hospital after her op and know that she’ll be fine.
Alex agreed to take mum home and it was lovely to see him. We hugged and said our goodbyes and then we went back towards Lichfield, round the back to avoid the road works on Eastern Avenue and out to Curborough Countryside Centre to visit Phoenix Interiors. With the car windows down it wasn’t long before my hair looked like a bush and was sticky with hair lacquer…I did my best to sort it out but it needed a brush! I went straight to see Jackie of A Cupboard Less Ordinary in the shop and Dave decided to see if Wendy of Foxglass was in at the next unit. The place was buzzing with visitors and lovely things to see….. I fell in love with a Lichfield Laundry box which was just stunning. And some rather super yellow velvet cushions (obviously!). Jackie was in the middle decoupaging a chest of drawers and using her super skills to make it look like old painted bits hidden under layers of distressed paint. She’s clever. I saw the wonders of Print Circus, Lauren Van Helmond, Sarah Taylor and Kayleigh Young Glass work all over the shop…mixed in with quirky vintage bit and bobs and intriguing giftware… who wouldn’t like a glass fish to hang in their bathroom!
I spent ages chatting with Jackie and picked up a little sample pack of ticking style fabrics, a bundle of orange rik-rak and a card by Print Circus, plus a reed defuser that smelt of lime and herbs. It was lovely to see how Dawn of Phoenix Interiors had put her stamp on the shop since she took over earlier in the year. There was lots to see and marvel at.
Dave eventually came back to find me and he had been chatting, not with Wendy, but Rich her hubby, whilst Wendy was at a spa day with her mum. I went in to say hi and then it was time to sped off to the coolness of the multi-storey car park by Debenhams. Oh my it was bliss as it was breathlessly hot in the full sun. Having not been up for over 5 months I’d forgotten how built up Lichfield has become, and how little shade there is, I’ve got used to living in a heavily wooded valley.
In Debenhams Dave found a nice pair of shorts to have and I went off to Costa to order some ice-cold drinks. So lovely to see Xanthe there, but everyone else was new to us. Coffees done we headed for Bodycare to pick up some bathroom supplies and some antihistamines as I have 3 nasty bites (one of which is on the sole of my foot – little bugger!) and I bought a £1 brush from The Tiger Store for my unruly hair, which was more and more like straw from the sun and wind.
We were due to meet Dave’s family at Lewis’ at 7.30pm so we went for a bite to eat at Frankie and Bennys and was not impressed… cardboard pizza and gristley burger. And even though it was a fixed priced menu it still worked out a little too much for my liking!
We drove back to the hotel as we still had over an hour before we needed to go. Then Dave promptly fell asleep so we were late getting to see the family spread over 2 different houses in Tamworth, it was lovely to see them but I’d forgotten just how loud they all are… and the kids so full of energy which by now was very lacking in both of us.
So at gone 9pm we were saying our goodbyes and heading off, literally, into the sunset.
Tomorrow we are up in Staffordshire to visit Unit 12 and Welsh Rarebits at their farm, then it’s a spin down the M6 to IKEA for a much-needed step-up for me to reach the kitchen cupboards, and then the long drive home.