14 July 2013

It was true! The weather forecast for this past week said we would have some lovely and gloriously warm sunshine and that’s what we had! What are the chances of that? It’s been largely sunny and warm (some amongst us might even categorise the temperature as “hot” but I think that’s taking things a step too far). Pleasantly warm, yes, but perhaps not quite yet “hot”.

This week's weather

And, they say it’s going to last a while longer! Excellent. (Hmm – until Wednesday, it looks like).

Picnic at Burton DassettWhile the weather has been co-operating, we’ve taken advantage of a couple of opportunities to enjoy it. A couple of weekends ago we ventured out along with everyone else in the immediate vicinity for a picnic at the Burton Dassett Country Park. As Penelope’s sisters, Judi from Toronto and Rebecca from western Australia were here along with Rebecca’s youngest daughter, Hannah, we arranged to meet Nick, Lucy and Annabelle along with Rebecca’s eldest, Michael and his family. It won’t surprise you to learn that I took about eight thousand photographs of my favourite granddaughter and only one or two of the rest of the crowd. Still, it was a lovely day and a lovely picnic in the sunshine.

You can see the rest of the least bad photos from that and a variety of other instances here.

I wrote last week about our “Guest of Honour” at the Bicester Schools’ Film Festival, Mamoun Hassan. He is a very sweet and generous man who kindly gave up some of his free time to present some awards to the school children who participated in the film festival. A few days later, we returned home from somewhere, walking the dog, I expect, to find a message on our answering machine inviting us for lunch.  So, last Saturday, Penelope and I toured over to Deddington for a lovely lunch with him and his wife, Moya. The weather was glorious, the food simply outstanding and the conversation stimulating – a lovely, lovely day out.

Then, on Sunday, as the weather was still glorious, Nick, Lucy and Annabelle came over for a barbeque and some water play in the garden. We barbequed Sandy’s salmon with pesto (which we seem to do every time the weather is half decent and have done about four times in the past couple of weeks) and had a lovely time. Annabelle splashed in Penelope’s new paddling pool and produced a number of “water paintings” on the patio with a paintbrush and water from the water butt. And then, on Monday, Lucy and Annabelle came across again for another play day, this time with, Lily, the two-year old daughter of Penny’s younger brother Jeremy’s eldest, Naomi. According to my reckoning, that makes Annabelle and Lily second cousins. Lily stripped off in a heartbeat and was in the paddling pool in an instant; Annabelle was much more discrete and decided to keep her clothes on, preferring to simply splash about at the edge. The photos from those sessions are mixed in with those from the Burton Dassett outing. You can tell which ones are which by the different outfits Annabelle is wearing.

We’re back to normal here at Penelope’s Playchute Palace having enjoyed (or is it endured, not sure which) a plethora of visitors beginning with the Boyntons in early June. Once they departed we welcomed Penny’s younger sister Rebecca and her daughter Hannah from Australia and then, a week or so later, Penny’s other sister Judi arrived from Toronto. Rebecca and Hannah left about a week ago and J left last Thursday – the place seems positively empty without them.

Molly, of course, misses J tremendously as she (Judi) always insists on taking over the early-morning dog walking responsibilities whenever she comes to visit. Molly and I have our routine, of course. I stagger out of bed, shave and shower and then we go for a short stroll around the recreation ground where she can vigorously convey her greetings to any of her friends we happen to meet. Now that she is in her dotage, Molly can be somewhat lethargic on her way around the recreation ground. However, she positively trots home at the end of the walk because she is anxious to participate in the second part of our morning ritual, sharing my piece of breakfast toast.

With J she gets a much more interesting and lengthy morning stroll. Although she still gets to greet her friends and acquaintances, she is occasionally too late returning home for the ritual sharing of bread which, understandably, causes some confusion and consternation. J says she positively sprints home but sometimes it’s just too late. So, I was amused the other morning when I heard Molly barking furiously – it seems she was bellowing at J to come and take her for her walk so that she would be home in time for toast. Dumb animals? I don’t think so.

I can’t remember who sent it to me or where I ran across it but I did enjoy the following advertisement for “Fotoshop” by Adobé.


Just off to do a bit of foto-shopping some of my less attractive features.


Love to you all,





One thought on “14 July 2013”

  1. Looks like Annabelle is warming up to Grandpa Crappo
    Almost through reading “Wolf Hall”- thanks,
    Penny for suggesting and lending the book. I could mail it back but Leca & I would rather you come pick it up and stay a couple days.
    Greg is invited , too.

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