Sadly, the other plans were going awry too. You can't get very far without keys and the keys were very much missing over the course of the morning. While the original idea had put us in Southhampton for the day, perhaps taking in a comedy night in the evening, the new plan was to spend the morning wondering where the keys were and then trying not to worry about them. They eventually turned up, just in time for us to go out for lunch and shopping.
Reading is very pleasant. It is home to a bright village-like shopping centre where one can peruse the shops, eat ice-cream for one's sore throat (it's not really a cure, but I like it, so any excuse) and find an M&S for some healthy and not-so-healthy items of food to call lunch. We even took the single free parking space in the whole of the city centre. Not bad, not bad at all.
Back at the house there was a home-cooked meal and then we headed out for an evening at a nearby pub. This gave me an opportunity to try out two of my favourite throat remedies. Guinness and single-malt-whisky. I'll be honest, neither of these worked any better than the ice-cream. Still, it's nice to try these things out.
The evening is a bit of a blur - these sore throat remedies are quite hard on the concentration. I remember getting on well with my girlfriend's friend. I also remember a small moment of amusement for myself when someone came to our table said hello and that he had nothing to say and I remarked - "You've brought your own awkward silence with you". I have to admit that it was funny to me, but slightly naughty to bring up. As an MC that would have been hilarious. Not quite pub conversation, though.
Back home, back to bed... hopefully the alcohol, Aspirin and Penicillin would really get to work as I slept.