5 October 2014

It’s been a very good week indeed! The weather has continued to be splendid – misty, autumnal mornings followed by a good bit of sunshine and very pleasantly temperate temperatures in the afternoon. Indeed, the weather has been so splendid over the past weeks that we have just enjoyed the driest September since records began. The local reservoir is almost as low as we’ve seen it with the occasional small island appearing out of nowhere attracting the attention of all the local gulls. All of which suits me fine, thank you very much. Having said all that, yesterday we had what is described by the weather reporters as “light rain” for most of the day and the forecast for the rest of the week isn’t looking too bright!

WeatherHey, ho. I guess we need to replenish the supplies again. Let’s just hope that October doesn’t turn out to be the wettest since records began.

We had a splendid weekend last week – a lovely visitor and a picnic in the park. What could be better?

On Saturday afternoon we welcomed Jemma Riddiford to beautiful downtown Byfield. Jemma is the niece of our very dear friend Jan Jefferies who died of breast cancer some years ago. Her three boys were just about the same ages as ours and they were all close friends during primary school. Ask Adam to explain the rules of “Comb Ball” to you one day.

Jemma lives in Australia and is on an around-the-world adventure. We were delighted if not also very pleasantly surprised that we made it on to her “shortlist” of folks to visit when in the UK. She’s been in China and the States as well as Central and South America before arriving here. She spent some time working on an oyster farm in Alaska and, from here, she was off to Ireland for a spell working in a Bed & Breakfast somewhere in the countryside before wending her way home early next year. To say she was a delight would be an understatement.

On Sunday we took her around Edge Hill, Ratley and Radway and then we met up with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle for a picnic by the river in Stratford – well, you have to show your visitors all the sights! It was a lovely day and after we consumed the splendid picnic lovingly prepared by Ms Playchute, we spent about an hour playing on the various apparatus in the children’s playground which was a children’s paradise and full of hordes of the little creatures on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Suitably replenished with an ice cream, we strolled into town to have a quick peak at Shakespeare’s birthplace amidst the multitudes of others with the same idea. I guess just about everyone reckoned this was going to be the last decent weekend of the summer and were determined to enjoy it to the full. We certainly did.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one week, yesterday we had Michael & Emma and their two boys for lunch. Michael, you will remember, is Penny’s nephew who came to live with us from Australia as a teenager about ten years ago. He trained as a motor mechanic and has done very well during his years in the UK but they are off back to Australia later this month where I’m sure they will have a splendid future.

Katskhi PillarI ran across this a week or so ago – John Malkovich recreating a number of iconic photographs. Some of these you really have to look twice before you recognise that it is Malkovich rather than the original (the Albert Einstein photo is especially convincing).

And how about some stunning aerial views of Europe taken from a drone. There are some truly magnificent images here but what about the Katskhi Pillar in Georgia. Wow!

And finally, a very happy birthday to my delightful younger sister Susie – many happy returns!

Love to you all,