2 September 2018

Another busy week! A MAD outing, an early Film Night special, the departure of one of our tenants and the annual Village Gardening Show! As well as lots of progress on the never-ending garden project. Oh my goodness, I am certainly not up to this sort of pace.

Tuesday we set off to Stratford for a visit to the MAD museum and a picnic followed by an excellent romp in the children’s playground. We visited the MAD museum some years ago with Annabelle who was absolutely mesmerised by the fantastical displays. We thought Jessie might enjoy it especially following on from the joy of constructing a marble run with Daddy.

It’s a great museum with loads of Heath Robinson-type gadgets, rolling balls and marbles shuntering along various overlapping paths with gears and levers and pulleys and Archimedes’ screws transporting the balls to the top to start all over again. Great stuff – I could watch it for hours. I particularly like the ones in which, at some point along its travels the ball lands in the middle of a drum or tambourine and bounces perfectly along to the next step in its progress down to the bottom again.

On Wednesday we had the pre-season debut of our fabulous village film nights. This one, though, was during the day and was aimed at the children of the village (and their parents and/or grandparents). It was a showing of the Disney animation Moana which kept Jessie enthralled for the first half. However, she then began to fade badly – she hadn’t had a nap! At the interval Adam and Penny raced home to fetch her some milk and she lasted about another twenty minutes before her father felt compelled to take her home for a nap. Nainai and Yeye sat through the rest of the film and enjoyed it! There’s always something extra in these kids’ animations for the grown-ups to appreciate.

Pen made a dash to the airport on Thursday to deliver Thi to her flight back to Toronto. It was lovely to have her here and she and Jessica were instantly fast friends. So, now we are back to being only fully occupied, no longer completely stuffed to the gills.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday so Happy Birthday to my mother on the occasion of her 93rd year. It was great to have a quick chat on the phone – she’s still going strong and still the magnificent mother she’s always been.

Yesterday was also the day of the Village Gardening Show at which, once again, the occupants of Framington House were amongst the winners! It’s amazing, with the weather, that Penny had much of anything worth showing. Still she managed two firsts and two seconds for her vegetables and a third for her Goat’s Cheese Tarts. She also, unfortunately, was disqualified from the Four White Potatoes category as her “white” potatoes had tinges of colour! After the humiliation of her disqualification, she was delighted to learn she was the unexpected recipient of the Village Cup for the Best Roadside Garden.

I am pleased to report that my sourdough won not only Best in Breed but also Best in Show! And, astonishingly, the JR Thompson Trophy for which, unfortunately, there is no description to indicate what the fortunate recipient had achieved to secure it. I suggested it must be for Best of Everything, the overall champion of champions!

I really thought the trophy should have gone to the kid with the pumpkin!

And finally

Fifty Years Ago Today

(or, around about this date fifty years ago . . .)

I can’t remember the precise date but I know it was at the end of August or early September 1968. I was about to start my final year of high school and I was on campus just before the beginning of term. I was walking up the hill just by the Alamo (for those of you who know the geography of the Webb School, a fine boys’ boarding establishment in Claremont, California). Coming down the hill in the opposite direction was a beautiful young girl walking with her mother.

“Hello!” I greeted them warmly flashing my best southern California smile, a beam of sunshine and charm.

“Hello,” responded the mother. The beautiful young girl, however, turned her head aside and stared at the ground as she steadfastly marched past!

I didn’t know at the time that the beautiful young girl had spent two of the last three years in a Catholic convent school in East Africa and she was, then, extraordinarily shy. At least that’s her excuse whenever I remind her of this first encounter.

It turns out that the beautiful young girl was the daughter of one of the new teachers at the school and I glimpsed her often over the next few weeks. I finally met her properly a couple of weeks later and we went on our first date a week or so after that. And, had our first kiss.

Fifty years and many, many kisses later, I am so grateful (and so lucky) that my path intersected with that of the beautiful young girl.

Love to you all,




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