Astonishingly, everything is open on Boxing Day - including the restaurant at Dunham Massey Park. Had we known that we might well have eaten there but we didn't. B & Q is also open and we buy a big stock of tap washers.
I manage to replace all of the washers in dripping taps except one which is a real museum piece - of a design I have never seen before. So, where is the photo? Good question.
We set off for Ruthin to eat in the Art Cafe at the Craft Centre. When we get to Chester, we decide to ring up and see if they are open. There is no reply so we turn round and drive home. Oh dear.
We are both feeling a bit ill with coughs and colds and decide to stay indoors. Brrrr.
Feeling a lot better we set off for Betty's at Harrogate. Even better, we actually get to eat there. Yummy.
In the evening we go to see Gulliver's Travels at the Trafford Centre. Don't ask. When we come out everything is closed. Help! We could starve here.
We head for Manchester Centre where the Town Hall is illuminated by a huge representation of an Al Queda Operative for some reason. Or maybe it is somebody from the Simpsons? Miraculously, we park right outside Piccolinos which is one for the very few places open. We eat our way right through the menu to avoid being thrown out into the freezing cold streets. At 11.35pm we are stuffed like turkeys and stagger down to Spinningfields to see the fireworks.
The fireworks are awesome and we return home full of goodwill. Much of this goodwill evaporates when at the crack of dawn the landline telephone rings
beside the bed. Has somebody died? Has war broken out? No, it is a mechanised voice reading a text message from a tradesman who wishes to ingratiate
himself by wishing us a Happy New Year.
Eventually, we set off for Sunderland where I need to look at a problem (think lots of mud). Of course, this is really just an excuse to go to Betty's in Harrogate but in mounting panic we find that they do not answer their phone. Nor does Betty's at York or Northallerton. Surely, they cannot be closed? They are.
Eventually, we eat in a nice Chinese Restaurant in Manchester where we have roast duck in plum sauce. Yum. Yum.