Tasty food and good conversation marked Barry Pearson's birthday.
LAST week I celebrated another birthday. I say celebrated as, unlike so many, the passing years bother me not a jot.
Each year has been great and none of the supposed milestones – 40, 50, 60 – have ever troubled me.
Having been out in the morning, as I drove home at lunchtime I was greeted by a balloon clad walking frame with the words "Birthday Boy Pearson" parked outside my front door. Dear friends!
In the evening, a few suggested a beer or two in the George – great fun, an hour or two of talking total rubbish interspersed with solutions to the world's greatest problems.
Talking of friends, we appreciate just how lucky we are not to have been directly involved in wars during our lifetimes.
In saying that, my thoughts turn to the proposed commemorations of the First World War.
As is usual, Ashbourne is proposing to mark 1914 well. I believe it so important that we who "escaped" should never forget the huge sacrifices made for us. We must never forget the friendships forged in adversity and, subsequently, so many broken by those same conflicts.
Friends are so important and we have enjoyed some great birthday celebrations in various parts of the world, but our few beers at the George were good.
The following day I thought I would treat myself to lunch, so decided on the Bowling Green Inn. We have had some great meals there, several Burns Nights with traditional piper and address to the haggis. We have enjoyed lunches, dinners and snacks and all have been good.
The Bowling Green has hosted several charity quiz nights with which I have been involved, normally concluding with me wielding the gavel and again feeling the generosity of people in an auction of all sorts of good things freely donated.
The Steakhouse is busy, offering a wide choice of tender and tasty steaks. In addition, there are chicken and fish dishes, lasagne, burgers and salads. For those with a real appetite, treat yourself to a mixed grill, 32 ounces of meat served with home cut chips and peas.
There is a choice of 11 starters and sharers, three vegetarian options and several puddings to make the mouth water.
Meal deals are not confined to the chain restaurants. At the Bowling Green Steakhouse, there is a good choice of six main courses which are priced at £12 for two between noon and 5pm.
At the time of my lunchtime treat, both the lounge bar and dining room, which are nicely decorated and cosy, had been booked for a wedding reception so I ate in the bar, as did several others.
Cod and pancetta fishcake with crisp leaves followed by a delicious sirloin steak, served exactly as I had ordered it – medium rare. I enjoyed a glass of Malbec with it.
As I was leaving, the wedding guests were beginning to arrive. I envied them as I am sure that they were about to enjoy some delicious food.
Last week in the Ashbourne News Telegraph much was written of our traffic "plague".
At the Buxton Hill/North Avenue/Windmill Lane junction I saw, in the space of an hour and a quarter, several near-misses between huge trucks, although one waited for another to allow passing.
Crazy, dangerous and potential accidents waiting to happen.