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Cowes

It was summer. No really, it was. The sun shone, there was no rain and we all moaned about how hot it was. So that was that then. In amongst the sunny days there has been the evidence of urchins who have been to visit. And learned to ride bikes.

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Lessons

We had them to stay for a couple of days whilst their parents selfishly went away for a much deserved break!

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Urchins

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Slip sliding away

What larks we had…

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Larks

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End of the cone

A fun time was had by all. They then reappeared a week later…

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Boys

And all was going swimmingly until some one (not the next one) was caught weeing in the pool…..

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Washing basket swimming

Well, boys will be boys…

A Spot of Wimbles

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The Day

I have to say that I have never been anywhere quite as snobby as Wimbledon. Admittedly, it’s not the outside bit but rather the member’s enclosure for which we had tickets that’s the snobby bit. TG had to be suited and booted (which he hates) and we only had second class tickets but we rose to the occasion and enjoyed an expensive sandwich and glass of wine at lunchtime…well it would have been rude not to have!

We had tickets for court 1 which was grand

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Great seats

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Taylor Fritz v Stan Wawrinka

But actually it was more thrilling to be on the outside courts and see the action close up

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Scarily strong ladies

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In action!

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Winner

But inevitably, because this is England in the summer, rain stopped play…

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Here comes the cover

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And that was the end of that

Despite it being a 9 hour round trip for us it was a really good afternoon. A spot of tennis, a little drinkie and not a famous person to be seen…not even Cliff!

Gluttonous Gluts

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Homegrown

There is nothing better than a glut in the veg and fruit beds. It allows for creativity in working out just what to do with those marrow sized courgettes or 50 lettuces which all need to be picked at the same time. Happily this weekend’s glut was several pounds of strawberries which the small people took great delight in picking and turning into a couple of pots of jam and a rather splendid strawberry cake.

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Jammin’

I love to have them in the kitchen even though things can get a bit fraught at times with arguments about who is cracking the eggs…

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Ready to cake!

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Applying the strawberries

And the proud moment of near completion

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Cheese!

And the inevitable conclusion

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The remains

La Belle France

I do love France. I love the cafes, croissants, la langue, fabulous food, doorways, windows, shutters, markets, brocante, roses, faded hues, towns on rivers, straight trees, Tarte Breton, chateaux, Monetesque countryside, Muscadet, pre-dinner drinks in little bars, Brie, bread, big ripe red tomatoes, Leiseur salad dressing, French radishes, chatting in badly grammatical French, buying great memories in markets, cafe grande and much more besides. Lots of people have thought that I’m mad to love these disparate things over the years – but pah to them I say – it’s the small stuff that matters!

This is a small photo montage of this trip. Somewhere in between Rennes and Chateaubriant – La Bas Quibut – sort of Loireish. Lovely…

France – we shall return.

Selfies

 

Yes I am alive. But just stupidly busy. My lovely part time life has turned into a full time writing roller coaster but I’m not complaining. Not at all. To be able to do something that you love and get paid for it is fab. But doesn’t leave much room for anything else!

The urchins are of course always in evidence and the smallest girl child does love a selfie.. “Show me, show me,” she says and just loves to see herself captured on the phone. They make me smile. Because apart from all the madness in the world, it’s all really about family isn’t it.

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Plenty of silliness. That’s the ticket!

 

 

You’d have to be a hard hearted sort not to love a donkey wouldn’t you? With their woofly noses and long soft ears, not to mention their gentle dispositions they are a study in patience. For last Christmas we adopted three from the donkey sanctuary here on the sunny Isle – Daisy, Dylan and Doris and under instruction from Father Christmas they are duty bound to visit. Often.

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The Urchins do like a donkey (thankfully) and like the café even more for endless chocolate cake and drinks so it’s a popular choice for a visit. And they have little Shetland ponies too…

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It’s a grand spot, free to get in to and it’s got miles of muddy paths and space to run and test your wellies out in!

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Great fun and then time to repair to the café for the aforementioned cake..

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By the way and just in case you didn’t know, if you close your eyes then food tastes better. I leave you with Miss Phoenix demonstrating same…

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Ah the logic of the three year old!

Flippin’ ‘Eck!

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No I’m not dead. I haven’t been hiding and I have no excuses for my 3 month long absence here apart from working, learning lines and seeing quite a bit of the small people.

It’s funny when you write for a living (which I now do), because writing for yourself becomes a bit of a bus man’s holiday. Every  time I’ve sat down to write on here I find that I can’t quite be bothered. Which is silly and not good.

So here I am. Back again at the kitchen table pounding away on the laptop with the broken screen so that any instructions at the top are completely obscured by a huge black smudge. This makes for interesting guessing as to where those instructions might be and for some super swearing when it all goes horribly wrong! But anyway…

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It’s still winter, not that it seems to have been terribly wintry – more rain than you can shake a  rain stick at, howling gales and general wetness all round. The garden is trashed and there’s no hope of anything happening out there till things brighten up a bit but I’ve been ordering seeds and thinking about where things might go from the comfort of indoors. I’ve got some cut flower seed from Higgledy Garden – Cornflowers, Chrysanths and the exotically named Eschschlzia which I hope to fill many vases with over the summer…..And of course, I have my seed source Dave from the golf club who has given me, as always, French Marigolds, Lupins and chillies. So a few to be going on with.

In other news, the small people have been much in evidence, especially the smallest one who now comes to keep me company on a Friday if I’ve not got anything on – at 7 months he’s a dab hand at admin and invoices :0)

All of the urchins and an extra one – Finn (our other grandson) were with us for Christmas Day (yes I know it’s nearly February but hey, I’m a bit tardy at the mo’) which, as you can imagine was not a quiet affair!! Guess which child likes having her photo taken the most..!

So that’s pretty much where we’re at. The new year began with a bang and then a month of sobriety, staying in and watching too much tv. What does the year hold? Who knows, but if it’s even half as good as 2015 was then I’ll be happy at that. It’s started well so long may that continue.

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