I despair sometimes, my friends. It has taken the better part of the entire afternoon to upload these photos. Interspersed with watering the garden and planting out things when the sighing grew too loud and the drumming of the fingers on the desk reached fever pitch.
But here we are at last. All uploaded and in their right places.
These photos, by the way, are all from my phone. I need to download them more often. There were 783 of them spanning months this time!
The past few days have been people days. Not to mention tea and cake days. In fact food days. Insert smiley face! So much to do and places to be and concerts, birthdays and assorted other things thrown into the mix. Not to mention a deadline for personal statements for the lawyers to take care of. Thank the Good Lord that is done, emailed and sorted.
I then outdid myself by popping into a supermarket and walking out with just one loaf of bread. I needed petrol, you see, and this was all in the same place. Fiscal discipline at its best. One loaf of bread. I didn't look left or right as I walked to the bread department. I get a gold star.
Anyway. A few catch up photos first - Glynis's birthday tea was at our favourite local garden centre. believe me, it is SO much more than a garden centre, and I try to take all visiting friends there. Becky will know where and what I mean!
Annette, Glynis and Nicky. (I talk about Annette and Nicky later on.....)
More friends in the sun - waiting for the tea and cake to be served!
And then, on a different note, but also including Glynis and Jean, here are the aquazumba ladies, all out for a pizza lunch. Such a lovely bunch of friends........
Diana has been busy with choir rehearsals. You have heard me talk of the community choir we have here in the village. EBM. Sometimes 130+ singers, sometimes a few less. Sometimes a full orchestra and sometimes a band. I haven't been able to sing because of the vibrations triggering unimaginable pain - wooden pews and floors in the church where we rehearse and perform. But this time, Diana joined the choir for the "Small Screen Big Screen" performance on Carnival day, as part of the village festival, which lasted 2 weeks.
Predictably, it rained on carnival day - last Saturday, but it didn't deter many from being there for the procession.
I found some friends along the way as I did a circuit of the field (the Rec). Bright umbrellas are good!
Jean and I had arranged to meet at the youth club where they were serving tea and cake (I told you it was a people kind of time, not to mention the tea and cake bit!)
The hall filled rapidly as the rain arrived, and Jean and I timed things perfectly. We were served tea and coffee and then the lady and her cake trolley arrived, so we could choose which cake we fancied - Jean had a sponge cake and I had a delicious chocolate cup cake. Soon, there was nowhere to sit - but it was great. There were stalls doing face and nail painting, and a bowls section too, where people were learning how to bowl. So well organised, and a wonderful new addition to carnival day. You can tell we are getting older! Seats are good. So is being served at a table while we sit.
I passed this amazing dragon, which was part of the Shrek bit of the procession. I think it was the Cubs who all dressed up in Shrek costumes.
I LOVED the dragon. Just look at his face. It was a real work of art by some parents.
This village has a Facebook website where you can buy, sell, swap or give away things, and yesterday, that dragon was offered to anyone who wanted it free. I really hope it found a good home, because it didn't deserve to end its days at the tip.
The carnival crowd. With assorted stalls around the centre arena. In the rain.
The pipe band marching and playing. In the rain. There was also some funky dance lesson in the arena too. The young ones loved that. In the rain.
I was soaked, even though I had a coat on, and I headed back to Jean's house, which, conveniently, is next to the Rec. And she and I made a dessert dish - lemon cheesecake sort of thing on a ginger biscuit base for a party I was going to. It is delicious. And we sat in her conservatory and chatted and drank more coffee until the rain stopped. And then I headed home to get ready for the concert.
Diana had organised baked potatoes for an early supper, because I was doing front of house duty. I volunteered to do it, because that way I could hear them sing, while being on a stone floor in the entrance of the Methodist church.
Just there inside that door.
Over 90 sang. You can't see half the choir in this photo, but Diana is up there on the left. The concert was sold out. And believe me, they were superb. Especially their performance of Skyfall, which Jon, the founder and music director, had scored for the concert. The lead vocalist (think Adele), Stacey, was unbelievably good. I recorded it, but it is too big a file for here. I will check with Diana and see if there is any other option, because, Oh, I would love you all to hear it. The only auditions for the choir are for solo parts. Anyone can join. And everyone absolutely loves it.
A wonderful evening. Just perfect.
And then there was yesterday which was another epic day here in Middle England.
Church first, and then our monthly shared lunch at my friend, Jenny's house. Jenny is the lady on the left below. She and her husband built a new home in the garden of their old home, and now she is just diagonally across the fence from my house, so we get to chat at times in our gardens. Her husband has built her a step so she can see me over her fence! She is one of the aqua ladies too.
Her new home is stunning, and their garden is a total delight. Jenny is one of life's gems. A gentle lady, full of love and empathy. We all love her dearly.
After the shared lunch - there were 14 of us sharing yesterday, I went along to another friend, Nicky's home, because she was hosting a dinner for our friend, Annette's 60th birthday (the dessert I made, remember). The party was last night.
We all got together and sorted the meal between us, initially as a surprise for her. But in the end, she received an invitation, but didn't know all of us would be there. So I popped along, with made-to-measure bunting to decorate the dining room. Remember that pile of triangles? I had everything here and ready to make, so I did. 4 lengths for around the room and 2 crossing it. I think I have more photos on my phone, but they will have to wait for next time.
This is Bob, Nicky's husband, attaching it to the corners. It looked great. And then there was just time to come home, flop for an hour, before I set off for the party, clutching the cheesecake. Diana was at the 2nd performance of the show in a neighbouring town.
The weather cleared in the evening, and we were all out in the garden with our aperitifs when Annette arrived. She was really thrilled with the whole party. We also did a Mastermind quizz where she had to answer questions we all submitted. Some on Canada - she is Canadian - we are a mixed crowd of friends! The food was superb, and company great and there were 18 of us for dinner.
I told you about the people and the food.
Lots of food.
And so this morning it was back to reality, and paperwork to take care of. And a garden to sit in, because the sun started shining this afternoon at last. Maybe the weather will start improving? I certainly hope so, but it didn't stop us from having a wonderful time.
People don't melt in the rain. And friends just grin and get bedraggled.
I love that word.
Now I need to go and finish the watering.