Mum’s birthday surprise!

 Monday the 4th was Mum’s 66th birthday.  Coincidentally it was also the four year anniversary of me being offered my current job and my brother passing his driving test!  I had arranged with my brother Mark and my Dad to help organise a surprise birthday meet-up later on in the day…

Started the day with a mixed bowl of Jordan’s raspberry crunch and Blueberry wheats with semi-skimmed milk.  This was a nice combination and I will definitely be having it again!
I had my snacks for the day quite early (11ish)…A herby box from Graze (I love these, but the garlic smell is really overpowering afterwards!)  And a festival fruits box.

 I was really hungry by the end of the day, and had two hours after work before Dan was picking me up to go surprise Mum.  I had to nip into town anyway to buy some wrapping paper, so headed into town (about half hour’s walk away) and also picked up the first healthy-looking salad I could find.  When I got to the till I was shocked to find it cost me £2.40!  It was lovely, and I would definitely have it again IF it was on offer!  It had feta cheese in, and a sun-dried tomato sauce and blended together really well.  There were only 270 calories in the box and I worked out when I returned to school that I had actually probably burnt off more calories on my walk into town and back in the end!  The fact that I needed to eat this so badly made me think about organising proper lunches again for the coming weeks.  I wouldn’t have had time to eat a proper meal yesterday as I had a meeting with an Educational Welfare Officer at lunchtime for a student in my form but this isn’t an every day occasion and I need to think about the bigger picture.

I live about 2.5hours drive away from my parents so had suggested that Mark arrange a pub halfway between the two.  My Aunt is currently in a care home mid-way and I suggested that Dad take Mum to visit my Aunt earlier on in the evening, casually suggesting they stop at the pub for some food with it being late.  The agreement was that Dan and I would arrive at 7pm.  Mark would also drive separately up and arrive at this time and Dad would bring Mum in at about 7:15.
The traffic was pretty good so we made it by 6:30 and decided to get a pint in while we waited.  Mark was bang on time.
7:15 came and no sign of Mum and Dad…7:30…8pm…starting to get worried by this point so Mark casually called Dad who answered the phone extremely stressed out and very lost!  Mark directed him the right way but unfortunately it spoilt our surprise a little bit!
Dan and I took a photo while we waited and you can see how tired I am by this point!!!

When the food arrived it was absolutely lovely.  I wasn’t really very hungry by the time we ordered so ordered a starter vegetable soup instead.  I knew I would be getting Dan’s green veg from the side of his plate, so topped those in the soup too.  The veg were so fresh, really crunchy and tasty.  Glad on this occasion that Dan doesn’t eat them!  The soup was thick and really warm.  The bread was mediocre, but that wasn’t the important part of the meal!

As we finished up our meals, the pub cat came to join us!  It was very friendly, and later on curled up between Mark and Dad and we forgot all about it!
I was absolutely exhausted after dinner and when Dad suggested dessert, none of us could face it so at about 9:45pm, we parted in the car park and headed home.
I highly recommend this pub, if anybody is ever out by Downham Market in Norfolk.  It is called The Hare Arms and everything was really good, right down to the service.  We actually ended up moving tables twice because when Mark arrived he fancied a different corner, and then when Dad got there, he did the same!!!

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