At the last minute the farmer has gone to recce a walk with a friend who is leading the walk next Saturday. The farmer will be going on the walk too but is happy to do it twice.
So, a ring round found two friends doing nothing today so out for lunch again. Mushroom soup and risotto - the soup delicious and the risotto mediocre so it will be consigned to our list of 'not to go there again' pubs. The list grows. These days there is such fierce competition that pubs should know better, especially with the finer points: there was a door open into the garden all the time we were there and as there was fog wafting about the dale at times it was quite chilly in the dining room; we had to wait a long time to be served the first course but once we got going service was alright; coffee, obviously filter coffee left on the machine, was bitter and only lukewarm. Did we complain? Of course not, we're British!!
But going out to lunch and an incident earlier in the day did set me thinking. When I first came up here almost thirty years ago very few (if any) pubs did lunch. When I was a child, eating out was barely an option except perhaps afternoon tea in Mawer and Collingham, the posh shop in Lincoln, or morning coffee and a scone at The High Bridge Cafe (still there) in Lincoln. Now such places are ten a penny.
As for going out - well we didn't have a car - my father never learned to drive and there were very few cars in our village apart from the doctor and the vicar and a judge who had a Rolls Royce and a chauffeur. We had a week's holiday, usually in Skegness, our nearest seaside place and easy to reach on the train. We might occasionally go to visit a relative a few miles away - either by bus or train. But that was it.
This morning, when the farmer took the weekly eggs round to our friend and neighbour, it was to find that he had gone with a group of his friends to L A for the week-end. Almost the other side of the world from Thursday to Monday night. How times have changed.