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Happy birthday to me...

We drove to Northumberland which was a very nice drive and the scenery, once onto the A697, was stunning. We arrived and ate sandwiches and drank tea and chatted.

Then we got out the airbed and sofa cushions and all that jazz (the spare room is being decorated and is something of a bombsite) and we all slept on the living room floor (apart from my Mum). The next morning we got up, relatively late and had breakfast.

Then Mum set off for Newcastle airport to collect her husband and we set off for The Metro Centre. Big. First impressions of The Metro Centre. Big. We drove around the Green Quadrant Car Park and finally located a space. Every car park space was filled and the thing about the car parks at The Metro Centre is that they're big.

So I wasn't looking forward to actually entering the Centre itself. What a lovely surprise! Even though it was very busy, it is so big that it doesn't feel it. So we wandered around until we found an information booth and I took a map. Then we bought my missus ex-lodger's son a 21st birthday present (engraved chrome Zippo) and the eldest decided she wanted a MacDonald's for lunch. MacDonald's was too busy so we headed for Subway. Subway was busy but we went in anyway and I bought her and myself a sarnie.

My missus claimed not to be hungry and then looked accusingly at us as we ate our footlongs. She then proclaimed that she was hungry but that she was sick of eating in places like that. As I wiped the marinara sauce off my chin and 2-pointed the wrapper into the bin I replied "Don't let a 6-year old choose where to eat then". My refusal to react or to be guilt-tripped helped the day progress a lot easier.

We stumbled across the "Britain's Next Top Model" catwalk and a PR woman handed my missus a flyer which claimed she'd "been spotted" and invited her to enter. She rightly refused. Such competitions are disgusting, degrading and desperate and she couldn't possily have won anyway. She's had 2 kids, one quite recently, and also is cursed with the nose of a pig. The girls who were waiting around to be discovered were stick thin and undeniably pretty.

However the smattering of conversations I overheard from them were self-indulgent and stupid, these things balance out. Still banging on about your weekend away are you? Still going on about that? STILL NOT MENTIONING CATERING EQUIPMENT AREN'T WE? WHAT ABOUT THAT COCK-UP YOU MADE WITH THE BOTTLE COOLERS? WHAT ABOUT THE NEW CROCKERY THAT'S GOING ON? WHAT ABOUT THE RATIONAL SECTION? UNBELIEVABLE! This is what Mr R woud say if he read this. More tomorrow.