29 June 2016

Strawberries and a Bridge

Earlier this evening, inbetween showers I went over to my allotment to pick some strawberries. I can't keep up with them, l fill a huge bowl and give some to friends. I wore my waterproof jacket a) because rain was threatening and b) because it was chilly!! This is the third year they have rewarded me with generous crops of delicious fruit. The consensus of opinion is that they are only good for three years so I will need to train some runners from them. The raspberries are looking good too, I think they will be a bumper crop. 

We had a lot of rain last week and various parts of the village and surrounding fields were flooded. 



This bridge was picked up and swept along a couple of feet. It should be just about where that cow parsley is. 



It looks a bit precarious but we're still using it. Rufus goes across with no hesitation, Buster however isn't very keen. The first time I had to put his lead on and almost drag him across but he's much better now, he hesitates for a few seconds, gingerly gets on it then runs across to safety! bless him. I'm sure it will be repaired soon.



21 June 2016

A Good Read

Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moaggach



When retired actor Buffy decides to up sticks and move from London to rural Wales, he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. He has inherited a run-down B&B that leans more towards the shabby than the chic and is miles from nowhere. He soon realises that he needs to fill the beds - and fast. 
Enter his master plan of ‘Courses for Divorces’ and a motley collection of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been dumped by her weedy boyfriend, and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend has become too much for him to handle. 
But under Buffy's watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers find they have more in common than perhaps they first thought.
Although the plots are a tad predictable and twee it is a charming, funny, heart-warming read.

17 June 2016

Celebrations

Last weekend was a time of celebrations in praise of our amazing, wonderful Queen's 90th birthday. 
Our village church hosted a grand fete. 
Inside were exhibits depicting the Queen's life and private interests over her 90 years.



I think this is a delightful photo, proud grandma and great grandma. 
The little girl holding her great grandma's handbag, isn't that sweet.


The children from the village primary school made this fantastic mural of some of the Queen's hats. 



Using photos of the Queen at various events they re-constructed her hats on the photos using ribbon, feathers, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, fur and buttons. How clever is that.


The Essex Chordsmen singers provided very nice background music


The flower arrangements were by ladies of the village


The school children also created this lovely display of toys from the 1950's to present day.




Her Majesty has always shown an interest in the WI and still attends Sandringham meetings from time to time.


farming through the ages

village horses through the ages

there were plant stalls

horse rides

a book stall

tombola

picnics on the lawn, ice cream, refreshments


and scrumptious cakes 
everyone had a great time and the weather stayed dry until about 4 o/clock.


8 June 2016

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Went to see Alice Through The Looking Glass during half term. I like going to the cinema, a comfy seat and a bag of M&M's, ready to be transported into make believe.

It has a strong cast list:

Alice: delightfully played by Mia Wasikowska
The Mad Hatter: Johnny Depp, yes I know he's a tad ostentatious, but it's the movies, he's a megastar, it's entertainment.
White Queen: Anne Hathaway
Time: brilliantly played by Sacha Baron Cohen
Red Queen: brilliantly played by Helena Bonham Carter
Tweedledee and Tweedledum: Matt Lucas

The story picks up three years after Alice made her second trip to Wonderland, during which time she has captained her father's trading ship to China – and made plans to explore the rest of the world. Upon returning home to London, Alice discovers that circumstances have changed with regard to both her employment and her mother Helen’s (Lindsay Duncan) living situation – putting Alice at risk of both losing her ship and winding up stuck behind a desk, working as a clerk for the odious Hamish Ascot, the man whose proposal she turned down. However, before she can make any decision on the matter, Alice is contacted by the caterpillar-turned butterfly Absolem (the wonderful Alan Rickman) and follows him through an enchanted mirror that leads to Wonderland. 

After a happy reunion with her friends Alice finds Hatter is in a terrible state, haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his family. But with some help from the White Queen Alice journeys back in time to solve the riddle of what happened to them, and, in turn, save her friend. 
The special effects are impressive and the costumes are beautiful. 
Yes there are cliches, yes it's twee and predictable and critics slated it. Sometimes I think the critics are way too far into themselves. One even referred to "pro-feminist paean" and "oversaturated palette" - hello, it's entertainment, it's meant to be lighthearted fun. 
For me the litmus test of a good film is leaving the cinema with a feel good smile on my face saying "I really enjoyed that".


1 June 2016

Where's Summer?

Oh dear, did I fall asleep and miss summer? I know some places in the UK have had lovely bank holiday weather but here in Essex it has been cold and windy. Those that know me know that I am generally a cheerful happy person, however they also know that I HATE cold wet weather, it brings about a metamorphosis, cheerful and happy is replaced with morose and sullen. 
Last week's diary reads like this: Out with friends, wore sandals, lightweight trousers and top: Sweating in the garden and allotment, apply suncream: Think it's time to change the winter duvet for the summer one. 
This week's diary so far: Out yesterday, wore closed in shoes, jeans and a warm Bench jacket, needed umbrella, also took gloves!! Thank goodness I didn't change the duvet: Can only look at the garden and think "the plants did need a good watering". But not this much - please stop now!!
Is that the heating I can hear firing up?!!!........


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