What a simply glorious week it has been - I have travelled the world and seen some wonderful sights but there is nothing, simply nothing, like the English countryside when the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the birds are singing. Throw into that mix a terrific two days at the current Test Match and it has been a fantastic week.
Judith and I had a good time just gossipping and catching up. On Wednesday we went up to London as it was a Florence day and Judith has not seen her for a while. Florence went all silly and a bit shy when Jude first came in, but she soon forgot to be bashful. We went out for a walk in Victoria Park which is a really super park about ten minutes walk away with the Regent canal running through it. The Council have recently given it a complete makeover, dredging and cleaning the lake which is now back, plus fountains and loads of swans and ducks, a Chinese Pavilion (why?) which Florence wanted to go inside. 'Can we go into the Pagoda please Grandma?' says she and I was mightily impressed with her knowledge of the word 'pagoda'. Then we went on the swings and Florence visited the little wooden houses, just the right size for a child so climb inside and sit down, visited the cafe for drink and cake and then back home. Judith and I were wiped out but Florence was full of beans so I put her in front of CBeebies on the TV for half an hour while we sat down and regrouped. A lovely day.
Thursday we went to Aldburgh and the Maltings at Snape. Aldburgh has the most wonderful fish and chip shop so we joined the queue and went to the beach to eat our lunch. The seagulls kept a watching brief and waited for everyone who was sitting there scoffing to finish and chuck them some bits and pieces which caused the formation of a shrieking fighting Hitchcockian mass of feathers and wings as they all dived and grovelled for the largesse.
Judith finished off her lunch with a banoffee ice cream from the ice cream parlour but I was too full and made do with a coffee and it was so good to be able to sit outside the cafe and just watch the world go by.
Then off to the Maltings at Snape. I can never look at the water reeds and rushes without hearing the preludes from Peter Grimes in my mind - the sky seems to go on for ever here and all is flat as far as the eye can see.
We also managed to fit in a visit to my local garden centre which has the most incredible selection of plants, trees and flowers and Judith, who is a great gardener, planned out my border which is going in this weekend. After I dropped her off at the station on Friday I came home and spent the rest of the day watching the Test Match. This morning up early, went out and bought all the plants and, doing as instructed, chucked loads of Grow More on the earth tonight, raked it over and watered it. Tomorrow they all go in.
This afternoon I spent watching the Test match and as the evening wore on and I watched Strauss and Pietersen playing glorious strokes in front of a packed crowd in the evening sunshine, I thought Is there a More Wonderful sight? I am sure there are, but this is one of my favourites.
I have had a lovely day and will be back with a book review or two in the next few days as they are piling up again.
Good to be back with you all.