We had arranged to meet up with my godson and his family late on Sunday, the second day of our visit to Staffordshire and the Peak District. So, we had not planned anything major for earlier in the day. A trip to the nearest Sainsbury's to stock up on provisions was followed by a visit to Tittesworth Reservoir where we knew the dogs could stretch their legs. Like a lot of place names in this neck of the woods, Tittesworth sounds more than a bit rude. But it pales in comparison to one small town we drove through on our way here last Saturday which was called Penistone. Okay, it would not be too bad if one of its inhabitants was just asked where he or she lived. The answer penny-stone doesn't sound even slightly rude. But if asked to spell it the temptation to reply "penis" with "tone" on the end would surely be too much of a temptation.
Anyway, enough of such crudity. Back to Tittesworth Reservoir where we went for a short, but pleasant, stroll through some of the surrounding woodland. Afterwards lunch consisted of a cup of tea and an extremely large scone each outside the lakeside cafe. I hasten to add that they were just ordinary scones, and not rude sounding (and no doubt rude shaped) peniscones of which I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if I found out they were baked around here.
Although Penkridge, where our friends live, is less than thirty miles from the caravan site on which we are staying, it seemed to take forever to get there. For some reason the local councils have decided that the law of the land is not good enough for the motorists of North Staffordshire and they have reduced the national speed limit from 60mph to 50mph on most roads. They police this by having hundreds of speed cameras set up. In some places they were every fifty yards or so. When we finally got onto a motorway where we should have been able to legally do 70mph we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams.
Therefore, we we very late arriving in Penkridge. But our friends were forgiving. My godson, Ben, who doesn't live with a dog, spent nigh on an hour playing ball with Quiz. Then we went for a walk around Penkridge and along the towpath of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal which runs through the village. On our way back from our walk we stopped at a fish and chip shop where my friend, Greg, bought us all supper.
I must say that I was incredibly impressed by my godson, Ben, and his elder (by two years) brother, Nathanuel. They are well-mannered, exceedingly well-behaved chaps, with no affectations (very unusual for clergy kids nowadays who can be extremely pretentious especially if their parents are of the evangelical persuasion). I don't think I've ever come across a six year old and an eight year old who are such pleasant company to be with.
I think I passed the good "uncle" test. Their father was telling us about some confusion regarding their telephone number and how people kept ringing them up under the impression that they would get through to the local fishmongers rather than the vicarage.
"When you told them you were a vicar," I asked their father, "did they reply 'Thank cod for that?'"
The laughter, as they say, was satisfactory. Very satisfactory indeed. I know I can make you lot laugh and that is a fine thing. But making a couple of young lads burst into fits of giggling is something far more marvellous.