The Lady Of Shalott

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Cricket match 6 – Version 2

This morning I made this crop of a photograph taken at Burley in May, and Jackie turned it into a birthday card for Bill, whose party we were to attend later.

Aaron pruning Philadelphus 1Aaron pruning philadelphus 2

Among the various tasks carried out by Aaron was heavily pruning a spent philadelphus.

Aaron pruning philadelphus 4

Bending the branches took a bit of effort.

Fuchsia Delta Sarah

This fuchsia Delta’s Sarah is spreading along the west side of the patio.

Petunias

A stand of petunias,

Lilies

and these rather splendid potted lilies prepare for the arrival of the base for the greenhouse to be delivered during the week.

Dahlia

Dahlias continue to enliven the borders,

Japanese anemone

and the first Japanese anemones are springing up.

Agapanthus

The agapanthuses are coming along nicely,

Bee on New Zealand hebe

while the New Zealand hebe now attracts the bees, eager to fill their pollen sacs.

Gladiolus Priscilla

Priscilla, the frilly gladiolus is coming through in the New Bed;

Rose Peach Abundance

 roses like Peach Abundance are having another flush;

Echinaceas

and paler pink echinaceas have risen to join the darker red ones.

This afternoon we travelled by car to Poulner where we enjoyed Bill’s birthday party. We sat and conversed in the pleasant company of Helen and Bill’s children David, Rachel, and John; Rachel’s fiancé Gareth and John’s wife Stephanie and their children, Billy and Max; Gareth’s mother, Mo, and stepfather Fred; Shelly and Ron; and. of course the birthday boy and Jackie’s sister, Helen.

Gareth and Fred

Gareth got the barbecue going, taking us through the smoky stage.

John at barbecue

John took over to give him a chance to clear the vapours from his eyes.

Barbecue

Between them they produced a variety of roasted meats to go with the salads prepared by the ladies.

Guests reflected in window

Here is a group of the male guests reflected in a window.

Max and hands 1

Great aunts eagerly took it in turns to cuddle two and a half month old Max.

Shelly and Max

Jackie handed him to her younger sister

Max and hands 2Max and hands 3

Max and hands 4Max and hands 5Max and hands 5

who eventually handed him back to his mother whose hands he explored.

Bill 1Bill 2

Bill was his usual engaging self,

Billy in tub of balls 1Billy in tub of balls 2Billy in tub of balls 3

and, in a tub filled with plastic balls, his young namesake did a passable impression of Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott as painted by many Victorian artists.

I mostly drank a fine Argentine malbec, and sampled a splendid strawberry trifle and cream tea scone for dessert.

‘Mum’s So Lucky’

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Aaron, who is A.P. Maintenance, made much further progress on the fencing he is now building to repel the abandoned North Breeze boarders.

Aaron fencing

I made him an A4 print of this shot. He was very chuffed with it.

Gladiolus

The sunlight providing the dappled effect soon disappeared, so it wasn’t available by the time I noticed the gladioli Priscilla blooming in the New Bed.

Robin joined Aaron a little later, and they ran out of nails. Jackie and I bought some more from Mole Country Supplies.

This afternoon drove to Shelly and Ron’s barbecue in Walkford, a little later than planned. Jackie had made some wonderful rice and egg salads as a contribution to the event catering. In my keenness to render assistance in the transfer of the dishes to the car I had

Smashed balsamic vinegar

a minor mishap with a fairly full glass bottle of balsamic vinegar that I managed to knock from a cupboard onto the tiles below.

Ever since 18th September 2013 when I perpetrated an even more disastrous spillage, we have had a catch phrase, ‘Mum’s so lucky……..’ This, it’s full form continuing ‘……… to have Dad to help her’, was coined by Becky to describe such an incident. Those words passed my lips as I began the task of clearing up.

We arrived safely, and enjoyed the usual brilliant barbecue with plentiful salads, and desserts. We shared a convivial and entertaining few hours with the usual gang, friends for over thirty years, and relatives, including Helen and Bill, Anthony, Neil,and Donna. I believe a certain amount of alcohol was imbibed.

The Caribbean Sea

Today was another rainswept blustery day, so I returned to my photographic archives and scanned a dozen slides from May 2004. This was the month in which Sam completed his Atlantic Row, which I have featured from time to time. During the few days waiting for him to arrive in Port St Charles, Barbados, and afterwards, I took the opportunity to roam the Island with my camera. There are many more in this set.

Jessica, Louisa, and I began our stay in an hotel some miles from the finishing point, but soon transferred to join Chris, Frances, and Fiona in one in the luxurious developing holiday playground.

This area presented a stark contrast to how the rest of the inhabitants of Barbados lived. Our hotel was surrounded by a compound patrolled by armed guards to keep out people like a coconut seller seated on the wall outside. His produce looked unappetising and he charged fairly optimistic prices.Coconut seller 5.04

Some distance away, a young woman, seated on a rugged outcrop gazing out to sea, was persuaded to rise to her feet.Young woman against spray  5.04 002Youn woman against spray 5.04 003Young woman against spray 5.04 001

map-barbados-360x270-cb1434489582Port St Charles (Speightstown on the map) lies on the Caribbean Sea to the north west of the Island. To the east storms the Atlantic ocean. The two bodies of water meet at the northern tip of the Island. Rowers need to navigate this point with precision. Too wide and the current would would carry them to Cuba, too near and they would be smashed on these rocks. The competitors rowed in pairs or solo. One of the pairs hit the rocks, and had to be rescued.

Caribbean Sea 5.04 002Caribbean Sea 5.04 005Caribbean 5.04 006Caribbean 5.04 009

These seascapes are of the more gentle Caribbean.

Much less inviting was the dark, violent, Atlantic that, on the last couple of days, swept my son so fast towards his final destination that he dropped his anchor to slow himself down in order to arrive in daylight. Not for him, Cuba or the rocks.

Late this afternoon the rain desisted and the sun put in a brief appearance.

Red hot pokers

The red hot pokers were not extinguished,

Day lilies

and raindrops glistened on day lilies,

Dahlia

dahlias,

Clematis Duchess of Albany

the clematis Duchess of Albany,

Gladiolus Priscilla

Priscilla, the gladiolus,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

the Absolutely Fabulous rose,

and any others you care to imagine.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, and Jackie’s chicken in black bean sauce, stir fry vegetable noodles, and rice noodles, followed by rice pudding. I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon, and Jackie abstained.