2 June 2013

Good morning on what seems, surprisingly, like it could turn out to be quite a nice day. The tail end of last week brought some more seasonably “normal” weather following our Spring of interminable cold and rain which was a huge relief to everyone (I guess). It seems that this has been the coldest Spring in more than fifty years and don’t we know it – the bluebells finally made an appearance over the last week or so, about three weeks later than normal.

Having complained about the weather for most of the year, I have to confess that last weekend was actually quite pleasant as well and we took advantage of the good weather to enjoy an outing and picnic with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle. This was to have been a birthday outing for Ms Playchute but, as we already had plans for her birthday, we moved the adventure forward to Sunday and arranged to meet them at the Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford.

Somehow, in the discussions which took place arranging the outing, neither Penny nor I thought to clarify which of the two Cotswold Wildlife Parks we were going to visit. So, at about 10.00 we pulled into the car park of the Cotswold Farm Park, the rare breeds centre in Guiting Power. Just at that moment Nick rang to say that they had just parked and were wondering where we were. We informed him that we were just pulling into the car park and would be with them momentarily. When Nick suggested that we pull over into the left-hand lane of four at the entrance we were somewhat puzzled. There was only one line of cars entering the park and there was no sign of Nick, Lucy and Annabelle. This was probably because they were at the Cotswold Wildlife Park whereas we were just pulling into the Cotswold Farm Park!

Annabelle & Grandpa trade hats
Annabelle & Grandpa trade hats

Fortunately, it was only about a twenty minute drive from one to the other so we eventually caught up with them and had a great day out. In particular, Annabelle had a great time – her favourite part of the outing was walking along the paths where a short timber rail barrier was present presumably to keep all the young kids out of the flowerbeds, etc. Annabelle would happily walk alongside each we came to running her hands along the top rail which was at an ideal height for a nineteen month old toddler. Thankfully, there were no splinters – I guess all the splinters had already been removed by the hands of previous toddlers.

PompeiiThen, on Tuesday, it was off to London for Penelope’s birthday proper. We had tickets to the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum which was superb. I would love to go to Pompeii and it’s definitely on the list of places to visit but this was, I guess, the next best thing. Absolutely fascinating.

Unfortunately, the weather positively sheeted it down on Tuesday so my original plan of wandering slowly hand-in-hand in the sunshine from the British Museum down to Trafalgar Square had to be altered – Plan B was put into action which involved making our way via underground and then a short walk huddling under our umbrellas for a late lunch at Wahaca, our favourite eating spot in the big city which, so far, has never disappointed.

This morning we are off to Heathrow to collect the first of our summer visitors, Chip and Leca Boynton and their youngest son Mark who will be with us for a few days. We’re off to the theatre at Stratford on Wednesday evening for “As You Like It” and no doubt will enjoy a few other outings while they are with us. Let’s hope that the weather is at least tolerably pleasant.

I ran across what I thought was an interesting set of illustrations on the BBC site the other day. Some guy (Michael Markieta, a transportation planner at global engineering and design firm Arup), has spent the past year or so developing visualisations of flight paths crossing the globe from available flight data. Very cool, I thought.

Global Flightpaths

And finally, our friend Erik Benson sent this cartoon of Penny and me about to make a visit to the beach.

Penny and Greg on the beach

Much love to you all,





One thought on “2 June 2013”

  1. Dear Greg and Penny,
    A belated Happy Birthday to Penny! It sound as if you both had a wonderful time in London. Cold continuous rain or not, you have access to some of the great theatre and museums. Very lucky you!
    I visited Pompaii, at age 6, when my father took us with him on a 9 month Guegenheim Fellowship, starting in Sicily, Naples (Mt. Vesuvius) on a straight line north through Europe, ending in Norway. Pompeii was just at the beginning of its excavation – one large mosaic floor uncovered, and a couple of mosaic pictures in a second location. (This was in 1927).
    Loved the cartoon sent to the two of you. Love, Cousin Bunny W.

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