18 May 2014

Phew! What a scorcher! Yesterday was forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far and we were advised to

Fire up the barbecue and slap on the sun cream.

The temperatures were forecast to be as high as 24o Celsius (a sweltering 75o F)!!

Reassuringly, it was good to know that

the balmy weather will not last long.

I do hope it’s not completely downhill from here!

The end of the week was very nice indeed, from about Wednesday onwards – lots of sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds, pleasantly warm temperatures with a gentle breeze.

We had a very pleasant lunch last Sunday with Will & Gwyneth and Phil & Annie Timings in Cheltenham. Many of you know them – they are age-old friends dating back to my early days in the UK and back, indeed, to Penny’s childhood escapades in Radway. It was great to see them all and enjoy a great lunch with lots of laughs and reminiscences.

Cheltenham, where they live, happens to be the location of the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ – i.e., where all the spies hang out monitoring communications world-wide. “GCHQ – Always Listening to our Customers!”  Will mentioned that they have a new Banksy just down the road from where they live, literally only a few weeks old. So, on our way home we made a slight detour to see it.


It was excellent and perfectly suits its setting. Somewhat worryingly, however, were the two gentlemen loitering suspiciously close by while we were there, both of whom were dressed in trench coats and one of whom was wearing the typical spooks’ fedora (although his was made of straw). All good fun, and, if you are not familiar with his stuff, here are a few more examples:

Those of you who are Facebook friends with either Ms Playchute or me may have already seen this but we enjoyed a lovely day with Annabelle on Thursday and engaged in a variety of activities, one of which was playing with our Nigerian chess pieces.

Chess with Grandma

I captioned this photo with the comment, “Annabelle teaching Grandma how to play chess. Apparently, her pawn can go anywhere it wants at any time.” Pen later replied to another comment, “Yes, and would you believe that pawn can even go shopping in London when it wants!

I was playing around on Google Maps the other day (as one does) and came across a new feature (new to me, at any rate) – the ability to look at different sets of Street View images. So, I naturally paid a visit to 262 West Lemon Avenue:

July 2007
July 2007

March 2012
March 2012

I guess the new erection won’t appear on Google Maps for a few years yet but if anyone is in the neighbourhood, I’d love to see a similar image of the replacement in all its glory!

A couple of photos of the Edgecote estate in the lovely sunshine from the end of the week to be going on with:

Lots of love to you all,