A D In The Original Cartouche

From today I am now and octogenarian. Among the gifts and cards that I received was a parcel jointly from Louisa and Sam which contained a framed painting being

a representation by my daughter’s friend Gemma of all my grandchildren. Both followed this up with telephone calls.

Martin attended to the garden as usual. He spent most of the morning on

the Oval Path and Elizabeth’s Bed, which looked like this before he began.

First he tackled the larger plants in Elizabeth’s Bed – so named because she was the first to clear it some years ago.

This was an interim stage before he moved on to reveal the almost buried path,

and finally open up the bed.

He also cut the grass, after we left him to it while we drove off to meet Elizabeth at Rosie Lea Tea Rooms on Southampton Road, where she treated us to lunch of tasty and tender pork burgers with crisp crackling served in

raised miniature wooden garden bed frames, with chips in terra cotta plant pots.

She also gave me a silver capped cologne bottle hallmarked 1895 inscribed with D in the original cartouche. Jackie produced these photographs of it.

Soon after we returned home, Helen visited, bringing two promising bottles of red wine and a card. She stayed for a good catch up.

We are about to enjoy vanilla cheesecake, raspberries, strawberries, and cream since we had no room for dessert earlier. I will drink a glass of the guv’nor and Jackie won’t.

Garden Rescue

Today was fine and clear – perfect conditions for Elizabeth’s garden makeover.

On the way there we drove into Pilley along a lane dividing sheep from goats.

Jackie produced a few before pictures of the project before her battery died.

I photographed the work in progress, identification of the participants given in the galleries.

A splendid buffet lunch was provided by Danni, the Events Organiser, after which Isla mothered Jack.

Work, such as sawing up the fallen sumac and bed-making continued, while acrobatics were undertaken on the lawn.

It was then my battery’s turn to die, so Jackie and I returned home to recharge them both, after which we went back to Burnt House lane to join the others for Jackie’s chicken curry, savoury rice, samosas, and onion bahjis. Her delicious mixed fruit crumble was to follow, but I couldn’t eat anything more after the first course. I’m not sure who drank what, but I drank virtually non-alcoholic (0.5%) Adnams Ghost Ship.

I matched Jackie’s earlier before the work garden views with some afters.