30 June 2019

Short and sweet this week! Off to London this afternoon to see the second of the two Red Sox – Yankee games at the Olympic Stadium. Our dear friends Chip and Leca Boynton are with us, the weather has been marvellously co-operative, the kitchen extension is battened and felted ready for slating and we’ve even enjoyed a few meals al fresco. What a difference a few days can make.

Last Saturday we got together with Nick, Lucy & Annabelle and Adam, Ava and Jessica and made our way over to Radway for a tromp up the hill and back again. It was a nice day and as it happens Radway was hosting its Summer Bash so there were ice creams for all when we finished our expedition. 

Lucy posted these two photos side by side on Facebook of Annabelle walking along the wall by the old cart wash – she’s got a bit more confidence these days!

The fine weather of the past few days has cheered us all up! The garden in general and Wood End in particular are looking gorgeous!

Chip and I have been looking forward to the baseball for months! Penny & Leca would probably both prefer to watch paint dry but they’ve been good sports and have agreed to accompany us to the game this afternoon. Certainly a wacky idea – baseball in the UK. The following from the Guardian shows the transformation of the former Olympic Stadium in east London from a football/soccer pitch into a baseball field. 

West Ham’s London Stadium undergoes an incredible transformation for Major League Baseball’s first-ever regular season game in Europe. It took three weeks of work and 142,00 square feet of imported turf to turn the football pitch into an MLB-approved ballpark. Current World Series champions Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will compete in a two-game series on 29 and 30 June.

Full report next time (maybe).

Bit of sad news to finish, I’m afraid – Penny’s father Oz died Friday evening at the Northampton General Hospital. He was 97 years old and had lived by himself until he had a fall a number of weeks back. He certainly had a full and interesting life. He was born in Bulawayo in what was then Rhodesia in 1922 and lost his father, who was killed in a mining accident, when he was about six months old. His mother brought him and his older sister Pam back to the UK where he was largely raised by his grandparents as his mother, a nurse, had to work to support the family. He served in the navy in World War II and was involved in the Arctic convoys as well as some tight situations in the Mediterranean. After the war he went to Oxford to become a teacher and after a spell teaching in the UK the Butlers set off on their world migrations. He taught in Uganda, Jamaica, the US (where I met his wonderful daughter Penelope), Nigeria & Cyprus – interestingly, all considerably warmer than the UK! Must have been those Southern African roots.

Lots of love to you all,



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