In erecting a climbing frame for the juvenile roses, Aaron completed his invaluable contribution to their playground. The top bar was the stair rail; the posts had been found lying about in the undergrowth; we bought the retaining spikes. Jackie couldn’t wait to plant the Aloha. Jackie drove us to Mat and Tess’s new home in Upper Dicker, for lunch. Becky and Ian arrived before us. August in our popular holiday area meant that the journey took three hours. After enjoying a splendid lunch and spending a most enjoyable family afternoon together, the return journey occupied half an hour less. Our son and his wife are in the process of buying The Village Shop, which I have featured several times, the spacious flat above it, and a two story outbuilding. Tess has been running this shop for some years now. This surprisingly spacious building, approximately 350 years old, is steeped in history, and full of character. We lunched on the garden table. As always, Tess catered admirably, providing an array of salads to accompany Mat’s proficient barbecuing of sausages and lamb chops. Various beverages were also consumed, and excellent coffee accompanied the DIY desserts.
The DIY aspect of this was to assemble your own selection from the choices on offer.
Occasionally those we fished out of our drinks would shake themselves dry and crawl off in staggered zigzags.
Sunlight played tricks, making me think I was seeing one of the insects reflected on my napkin.
With the addition of nectarine juices to traces of wine, my lips became increasingly attractive to the vespas. I am firmly of the opinion that if you don’t disturb wasps, they won’t sting you. Therefore, when they choose to crawl on me, I leave them to it, grit my teeth, try not to emit the smell of fear, and hope for the best. Having two of them trample across your bottom lip, tests your resolve to the limit.
So it was today. I was reasonably courageous until I began to feel a pricking sensation. I wasn’t being stung, but it was getting a little uncomfortable. I eventually realised that one of the creatures was drilling into my lip in search of the source of the tempting juices. At that point I welcomed the attentions of Matthew and Jackie and their wafted serviettes.
Mat and Tess borrowed Scooby for a family photograph
that turned out to be almost a mirror image of one of Mat and Becky taken in Soho in May 1975.
Behind Mat and Tess is their additional building.