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.

First Christmas Cold

Poor little Poppy, at four months today, has a cold. This reminded me of my sadness when Sam first cut himself.

Poppy and Mat arms and handsMat and Poppy

Our granddaughter spent much of the morning in her customary position on her Dad’s arm.

Poppy 2Poppy 4

After lunch, she perked up and, clad in her Christmas fairy outfit made by Granny, showed determined concentration in opening her sack of presents. (The photo on the wall in the third picture below is of Flo, the first Christmas fairy dress girl.)

Tess and Poppy 1Tess and Poppy 2Tess and Poppy 3Tess and Poppy 6Tess and Poppy 8

Some necessary assistance was rendered by her mother,

Undoing the mobile

although two pairs of hands were insufficient for the task of unravelling the mobile.

Don’t miss the little pink wings on Poppy’s back.

We opened our main presents before dinner. Jackie was delighted with her Pauline King (the contented crafter) light catcher all the way from New Zealand.

Christmas dinner: Jackie, Mat, Ian, Becky, Tess , Poppy

Dinner was the full works: roast turkey, roast potatoes and parsnips, stuffing, sausages, bacon, mashed carrots and swede, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and onions, bread sauce, and superb gravy; all followed by Christmas pudding. Red and white wines were drunk.