I can’t believe we’re nearly a week into June. What happened to May? Other than the usual routine stuff of the volunteer work, domestic bits and pieces, camera club and NHW admin and the inevitable succession of medical appointments we both seem to have in ever-increasing numbers as more bits seize up, drop off or just pack in, there were a couple of notable highlights, including the passing of the Olympic torch.
The first week of May began with Stewart celebrating a former colleague’s 80th birthday in some style, followed shortly by us visiting my hearteningly lively octogenarian relatives in Shropshire and going out for a very enjoyable lunch and natter. How come we feel and look older than they all do, damn it?
We ended that week with a very English day out with friends nosing at gardens in Eckington after a good pub Sunday lunch, and going on to my old stamping grounds at Warwick Uni for a recording of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. (Jeremy Hardy, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Colin Sell, Jack Dee, Tony Hawkes and the eternal Barry Cryer.) A really enjoyable day, including the inevitable re-runs of ISIHAC games such as the late arrivals at various balls, and even harking back to ISIRTA favourite lines in the car on the way back! (I’m Lady Constance de Coverlet but you can call me Bedspread…).
The rather civilised cinema experience at the Regal in Evesham encouraged us out to a couple of catch-up films, Woman in Black and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I was not to sure about going to the latter, particularly as I find Bill Nighy a bit irritating to watch, but the feelgood factor worked, and along with the rest of the audience we came out smiling. As for Woman In Black, we feared the worst from the bunch of teenage girls who were twittering like an aviary behind us and throwing in flippant comments to start with, but within a very short time the only sounds from them were sharp intakes of breath and the occasional shriek of shock, a tribute to the efficiently spooky classic Hammer treatment.
Catching up with friends took a bit of a back seat but we managed a few get-togethers. Had a former close colleague and her husband over for nibbles and a natter, which was really enjoyable and confirmed that though there are some elements of the challenges of work that I might hanker after even now, it’s really only the people that I miss. A lunchtime walk with Carole and current daft dog ended at the Camp at Grimley, still a surreal place to sit in the sun surrounded by fowl of all shapes and sizes, including the swan that decided to offer out the poor dog! Pat had a few of us over for supper prior to the half-term dispersal of various friends, which was very pleasant. A family birthday was a good excuse for a Sunday lunchtime get-together at home and an even better excuse to ignore the diet and make Stew’s favourite and should-be-forbidden chocolate & raspberry Pavlova – mercifully all eaten up so no tempting leftovers. Last week saw a quick dash up the motorway to Stafford for our infrequent but regular catch-up with my old friends from school days, Pat and Chris; we meet halfway at a handy pub for a natter and meal, and it’s always a real pleasure. Scary to realise it’s now almost half a century since Pat & I first met, though (47 years come September, to be precise). We also polished off a couple of bottles of wine sitting in the garden with neighbours when the sun finally deigned to shine, something we should do more often.
Although our concert going season has mostly come to an end we spotted the return of the Imagined Village to Brum Town Hall, including Jackie Oates in this year’s line-up, and decided to go. Bending the Dark was a good night’s entertainment again, though I think I enjoyed the 2010 incarnation rather more overall. Having said that ,the encore of “Cold Haily Rainy Night” was a real energiser, and a complete contrast to the moody opening of “Walking to the Shore” from Barney Morse-Brown of Duotone.
The annual checkup with the oncologist didn’t spot any problems, which was a really good note on which to end the month.