Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing Since April?

I last posted on this blog in April. You might be tempted to think that we've done nothing since then, but you'd be wrong! We've done a lot!


We spent most of the month of May at home, working on the garden and our volunteer commitments. The willow nest got finished and is absolutely lovely, though we haven't been able to sit in it much because the weather for the rest of the summer was abysmal. There's more garden information at Helen and Kelvan kindly let us do a couple of rows of the weaving ourselves, so we learned first hand what hard work it ways! The second photo shows Helen and Kelvan helping us celebrate when the whole thing was done. You can see how tired and mucky they look.

We had a great deal of fun with Helen and Kelvan. We sat on the patio and swapped craft ideas and did a bit of willow work at the table. I also made a polymer clay head to embellish the nest. I'm planning to do some more embellishment, but it may take a while - it's so hard to find time.

But the most exciting thing about May was that we became boat owners.  Well, part owners.  We now have a 1/12 share in Longsdon, a Narrow Boat moored on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton Top Marina near Leamington Spa.  In my next post, I'll be telling you more about this and about our maiden voyage!


June was spent mostly working on volunteer activities, particularly the Arts Festival. Entry forms were coming in from artists, publicity had to be distributed and there seemed to be a hundred and one things to do. However, we did have a wonderful day with Joy and John's Swiss Relatives who all came to visit. After they walked around our garden, we all had coffee and cake on the patio, then took off in three cars (there were 12 of us!) for a tour of the Mynd. We had lunch at the Crown in Wentnor. I think everyone enjoyed that. It's a very traditional English pub, with low ceilings and a cosy interior and they make superb pies!


July was another busy month.  A look at our diary shows activities almost every day.  The beginning of the month was taken up with last minute work for the Arts Festival - delivering and setting up notice boards, data entry, web site work, making sure we had all the necessary supplies for the exhibition, etc. etc.

Then the last two weeks were taken up with the actual festival itself.  This was a resounding success this year.  We managed to break even on funds, even though we had no external funding.  We had three sell-out performances and most of the rest were well attended.  The program of events was spectacular beginning with a lovely concert by Emma Johnson and ended with a raucous evening of entertainment by Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen.  I hope to have the photos on-line soon (the Arts Festival web-site is down right now for unknown reasons), but in the meantime, this is a picture of me at the opening of the Art Exhibition (I'm the organizer right now).  The gentleman in black to my right is Jon Baker - the guest artist.  Visit his on-line gallery to see some lovely images.


In August we started to relax and take a breather, but there was still lots to do.  Apart from gardening, I had to finish up the paperwork from the Arts Festival and catch up on work for Scrappies which I had severely neglected in July!

Towards the end of the month we took a few days off to visit the British Bird Watching Fair or Birdfair.  This is an amazing three day event, which attracts thousands of people from all over Europe.  It's the biggest fair of its kind and it makes lots of money for conservation projects.  There are lectures; demos; entertainments; lots of marquees with stalls advertising and selling books, art, optics, clothes and holidays; all with a birding theme.  The weather was lovely and we really enjoyed browsing.  We had a beer with Peter Carty, Malcolm and Helen Loft and friends from the Strettons, but were particularly pleased to catch up with Paco Madrigal, our tour guide in Costa Rica.  He was at the fair to publicise his company and it was a joy to meet him again and to make the aquaintance of his brother-in-law, Marco.

We also took a day to tour around the Rutland area and after a smashing lunch in Wing, found ourselves in a fabulous sculpture garden called artdejardin. Do click on this link to see examples of the lovely work and the beautiful landscaping.

We came back with lots of "stuff".  John got a couple of books and we shelled out for a lovely recycled iron sculpture of a Dodo from Baobab Trading Company!  We've called him Frodo and he is standing proudly in the west part of our garden.  Other purchases for the garden this month included a wire-work love seat (also in the picture with Frodo) with two matching chairs and a naughtly concrete gnome who flashes at people when they emerge from the willow nest!
That's all for now, folks!  With a bit of luck I'll be able to catch you up on September tomorrow!!!!!