9 June 2024

Oh my goodness, it’s been a busy week! That may have something to do with the fact that yesterday was the Moreton Pinkney Summer Garden competition and the Head Gardener and her hapless assistant have spent every spare moment in between the showers to ensure that our garden is a worthy entrant in what is a very popular and bitterly-fought competition.

The lawns have been mowed, the hedges (all four) have been trimmed, the beds have been vigorously and ruthlessly weeded, two new hydrangeas have been installed in pride of position at the end of the path, the patio table has a new oil-cloth tablecloth and the patio seats have all acquired new seat cushions. Even if we don’t win anything, the garden is looking great!

We are pleased to announce that Ms Playchute’s front garden has won the Front Garden of the Year! The judges thought it was “perfectly in keeping with the house with a simple yet effective colour scheme.” That sounds about right.

In other news, we had dinner out on Friday evening with some of our lovely neighbours. After driving ourselves to destruction on the garden, it was lovely to just relax and enjoy the food, wine and company. The Royal Oak at Eydon has been through a variety of permutations since we first lived in Byfield and now Moreton Pinkney. It’s been through good phases, modest phases, excellent phases and downright disappointing phases. It’s recently changed hands (again) and we started hearing very good things about it. So, on Friday we decided to give it a whirl.

Our verdict – It was OK. The food was “OK” – I don’t think anyone was overwhelmed by their meal. The service was “OK” but again not great and at times quite slow. And, we happened to be seated in a small alcove which should have been nice and cozy but had the misfortune of being immediately adjacent to the bar and, as the evening progressed, it became louder and noisier – we could hardly hear ourselves think. Not necessarily completely off the list of local places to eat but if we do go there again we shall have to request one of the quieter dining areas. Still, always good when you don’t need to cook or washup.

Great excitement today – as we speak, Nick, Adam, Annabelle and I are on our way to the Olympic Stadium, London to watch some baseball. For the past few years MLB has put on a couple of major league games in London. Firstly, we had the Yankees – Red Sox and then last year we had Cubs – Cardinals. This weekend the two teams competing are the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. Thankfully, one doesn’t need to be a fan of either team – it’s just a great atmosphere and all-around good fun. Just for sake of clarity, however – I did offer Penny one of the places. She said she would gladly look after two young but lively grandchildren or, better yet, watch paint dry, than go to another baseball game. I’ll try to remember to give you some feedback next time.

And finally, we received these photos of a handsome young graduate of Kindergarten on Friday evening.

Way to go Max!

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep exercising, be good, be careful, and keep safe. And be gentle to wasps and bees.

Lots of love to you all,


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