17 June 2018

Oh! What a busy, busy week. We’ve been out and about in-between bouts of toiling and boiling on Ms Playchute’s latest garden project. There was a celebratory meal with the winner of an important competition, another visit to Thenford Gardens, a jaunt up to London for an exhibition and a great meal at a “pop-up” restaurant nearby. Whew!

Last Friday we had a phone call from Nick – were we free at all over the weekend? We had a commitment for Sunday so on Saturday late afternoon we made our way over to theirs. It seems that Bubble had won a competition at school and, as way of a celebration, we all went out to Wagamamas for a lovely congratulatory meal.

The History topic Bubble’s class have been studying this term was the Victorians. As part of the unit the students were given a sheet of facts which they were encouraged to learn. After a week of study there was to be a “competition” in the class to determine who had best mastered the relevant information. Annabelle and a boy, Luka, came top and their “prize” was to have a head-to-head competition the following day in front of the whole school, complete with buzzers and all! It was, apparently, all down to the final question in which Bubble pipped Luka to the answer.

Leaving aside my disappointment (and despair) that History has, once again, been presented to students as a collection of “facts” which need to be regurgitated at a rapid pace, we were, not surprisingly, very proud of Bubble’s determination to do well. And the “victory” meal at Wagamamas was good fun.

On Sunday we had a couple of friends to lunch and then we all set off to visit Thenford Gardens once again. You will remember that we visited in April but our Spring weather had been so poor that the gardens were about two weeks behind schedule. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to return at the next open day and catch the gardens in another phase. And, we were not disappointed. The weather was gorgeous and the gardens, in their summer glory, were excellent.

Thursday we set off for London to meet up with our friends Sue & Stuart and Dave & Sue for a Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery. I’ve always loved the Impressionists and Monet in particular and this exhibition had a new twist – looking at his career through the buildings he painted. It seems that there has never been such an exhibition drawing together such work painted in Normandy, Rouen, Paris, London and Venice.

From buildings in villages and by the coast, to some of Europe’s most famous monuments, Monet painted the architecture of his time – modern, historic, simple and grand.

Seventy-five paintings all together, drawn from all over the world many of which had never been exhibited together before. Simply sensational!

Unfortunately, our absence in London meant that we missed what must surely be the high light of adventures in Moreton Pinkney, this year and for years to come I would imagine. The Women’s cycling tour roared through the village Thursday lunchtime to great excitement, we understand.

This photo was taken by one of our neighbours as the peloton streaked past our house (just on the other side of the road to the right of the white garage doors).

Friday night we were out (again), this time to the Coach House Pop-Up Restaurant in a converted barn on the Edgcote Estate, a favourite dog-walking spot of ours just a few miles away. This adventure has been in the planning for months. We hadn’t heard of it but when we had some fellow villagers for a meal at Christmas someone mentioned it. We all agreed that this would be something we would like to try and so one of our neighbours kindly got us organised and booked in for last Friday.

The place caters for 16 at a time and is only “open” on Friday and Saturday nights of most weeks. It’s a set meal so there’s no choice, as such, apart from either “eat it” or “don’t” I suppose. No worries, as I certainly enjoyed everything on the menu:

June’s Menu

Glass of Champagne and Canapes
Home-made Breads
Pea Soup with Butter Milk Snow and Parma Ham Crisp
Seared Halibut with Cannellini Bean Puree, Clams Shrimps Chorizo and Bouillabaisse Sauce
Roast Duck Breast and Crispy Leg Croquettes with Cherries and Almonds
Welsh Rarebit Tart and Sautéed Pears
Strawberry Soufflé with Elderflower Ice Cream and hazelnut Crumb
Coffee, Teas and Petit Fours

Delicious! And a great evening out.

In this week’s, “You couldn’t make it up!” section:

Thousands of UK visa applications by doctors refused, figures show

Only one-third of requests by overseas medics accepted, despite NHS staff shortages

And finally, a friend shared this on Facebook which I found really fascinating.

Love to you all,




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