Lovely to hear all your news and holiday stories, and thank you for all your good wishes re my consultant's appointment. Unfortunately his evening clinic was cancelled and so I've got to wait until the beginning of May now! Never mind eh, as I used to tell the children when there was disappointing news, I don't think the delay will make a difference to the eventual outcome
In between working and sleeping, I've had several visits from my boys Sam and Jack, and also my friend Ros. She's a dab hand in the garden, and very kindly offered to pop over and help me re-pot a number of my garden plants that I'd brought with me from the cottage. Some of them are pretty old as they belonged to Colin's mum Lily, and I've been looking after them since she passsed away several years ago.
We were all set with our compost and trowels, but only had a chance to repot the azalea before it began to snow! We spent the rest of our time together in the kitchen drinking tea and putting the world and weather to rights Of course since then we have had a fair bit of mild weather and so I've sorted out my containers and was rather chuffed to be able to show them off to Ros when she and her husband Chris were back with us this weekend.
Joining them were an old school pal of ours Mitchell, and his girlfriend Ali. With our birthdays within one month of each other, we decided to have a joint celebration and after such a fabulously sunny day, we began with Pimms in the garden – bliss! It was my turn to cook dinner and so I'd chosen a caramelised onion and rocket salad to start with, followed by lamb steaks in an apricot/banana and leek sauce, and then finishing off with an Italian Trifle – always a firm favourite
Ros had made a gorgeous lemon drizzle cake, and Mitch and Ali brought an amazing collection of cheeses, so we were well and truly stuffed at the end of the night! I feel very fortunate to have kept in touch with these lovely people over the last 42 years, and am wondering if you also still know your old school pals? Drop me a line and we can compare the number of years!
Of course I've made plenty of new friends over the years – Ali's Army adding to the numbers – and I spent a really enjoyable couple of days last weekend with my village girlfriends. We've not seen eachother since before Christmas and so had a great deal to catch up on. Here's a picture of us after we'd enjoyed a particularly lovely lunch in a local pub
The weekend before had seen Colin and I enjoying another birthday celebration – another Ali too – in another local pub which this time was set up as a kind of open mic night. As most of the partygoers were musicians, they took it in turns to get up and sing and play, and after several hours and several glasses of red I had sufficient dutch courage to take to the stage with Colin and his trusty guitar, to begin my rendition of 'You're Just Too Good to be True' – the old Andy Williams favourite!
It started quietly and as you can see I'm not exactly a natural performer, but just before we hit the chorus everyone in the pub counted me in with the Duh Da Duh Da Duh Da Dadada… (You hum it, I'll play it)! Great fun!
Having watched the London Marathon – not just because I find it totally inspiring, but also because I wanted to look our for my Editor Bryony, who ran that staggeringly long distance for the first time ever and raised money for Breast Cancer Care… she is my hero I've been trying to keep up with the running myself, and set off this morning to do a quick circuit before sitting down to write to you…
Those of you who maybe walk or run regularly will know that in the morning any form of exercise can bring on a kind of Mount Vesuvius rumbling in the tummy… I think I know you well enough by now to share with you that running by myself, half a mile or so from home with just the occasional passing car for company, I decided to let my wind go free… rather loudly! Within a split second I was overtaken by a cyclist… wobbling rather dramatically, but maintaining his composure rather better than me!!! Thank heavens he didn't look back to see what or whom had emitted such a sound, so my secret – and social standing within the village – is still safe…!
I do hope you will be able to join me for Gem Day tomorrow – I have the most fabulous collection of jewellery to share with you, and will look forward – asI always do – to hearing from you.
With my love, Ali xxx