On Thursday we stayed in a hotel (winning number three). This meant that I left the girls for the first time ever. I stayed away from Tilly once...when I was giving birth to Phoebe. Since then I've been with them every night. It seems odd then that this momentous occasion would be so Paul and could go to a pub quiz and stay in a slightly tatty hotel, but you can't look a gift horse in the mouth.
My lovely generous friend brought her daughter over to sleep here with Tilly and Phoebe. She's a braver woman than I am. We left them running round in circles shrieking.
Paul and I stopped arguing about him being late home by the time we got to the ring road. We checked into the hotel, drank warm wine out of coffee cups (classy I know but this was supposed to be a cheap night away) and went to eat in the bar. Not before the receptionist had tried to book into the restaurant as it "gets really busy later". There must be a lot of people ready to pay £19 a main course in Renishaw then.
The bar food involved chips and was cheap and cheerful. We settled in to chatting and listening into other people's conversations (admit it you all do that in quiet pubs. That's how we heard the couple on the next table order Ham, egg and chips without the ham.) This was interspersed with checking in about the kids every few minutes and establishing that I chose that particular night to run out of pull ups. It was a good job Phoebe has a very small bottom and could fit into my next door neighbours baby's nappy.
In memory of our youth we threw some money away into a quiz machine. It was a laugh.
At 9 o'clock we made a financial commitment and entered the pub quiz. Based on my recent pub quiz experiences we weren't hopeful. One sheet was a picture quiz to win a free drink. There were 20 faces. We didn't recognise several of them. I spent ten minutes dredging up the name Mia Farrow from the back of my brain and felt quite pleased with myself. I then managed to confuse Max Wall with Marty Feldman but hey ho. Sufficed to say we didn't win that bit.
The rest of the quiz was in four sections. You can imagine what happened. It wasn't pretty.
So is this the indication that my luck was running out? Oh no. Pub quizzes are a serious business and it's much more about knowledge than luck (although not my knowledge obviously). The worst was yet to come.
There was a weekly jackpot which on this occasion was £120. They pulled out our number. I nearly passed out with the shock thinking we had won. Then the landlady said she needed one of us on the hot seat to answer a question. Ah, more knowledge required then.
For some reason I couldn't recall the name of the famous steam train the Perseverance so we didn't win. As if the humiliation wasn't enough the landlady urged me to stay sitting on the bar stool looking like a muppet as there was one last chance to win. She held out four envelopes, three of which contained money, and one which contained a voucher for a packet of crisps. I'm guessing you are ahead of me already. I could have won £5, £10 or even £20. I picked the wrong envelope. Or the right one if I'd had a desire for an unhealthy snack. She rubbed it in further by then asking me what flavour I would like. Flavour?! Largely I just wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. I chose ready salted.
So overall? Despite an incredibly uncomfortable bed we had a great night. And breakfast was pretty good too, (and free which made it taste even nicer). But by then we were keen to get home to see what they were up to. They were hanging monkeys on a tree when we got home. My luck may have run out but my family is brilliant. They aren't getting their hands on the crisps though...