Saturday, 11 June 2016

Where's The Blog

That's the question that a number of readers have asked me recently (or at least that's what they would ask me if I had any readers). In response I would have to say that we've just been too busy to blog. I know we're retired and, technically, we should have hours and hours to spare but, as I've said so many times before and it is a retirement cliche, we don't seem to have any time at all. Life's so hectic that we're not even going to an opera we bought tickets for tonight as we don't feel like getting dressed up and think that a night at home with a paella and a bottle of wine will be more relaxing.

So what's all the stuff that's making life so hectic? Well, firstly there's my novel. My editor sent me his review and edits two weeks ago and I've been mad busy revising the book and making the changes he suggested. I'm very pleased with the results and I am hoping to have finished the changes by Monday.

But that's no the only thing that's keeping us busy.

After Paul came to Framlingham with Catherine for the Bank Holiday we went back to Rochester for the week to babysit while Paul's wife Josephine was working away. We had a great week with our granddaughter and, before we left for home on Friday we took her to the Rochester Dickens Festival.

Her other granny had made her this wonderful Dickensian costume for the event. Although it was far and away the nicest costume on display, Catherine didn't win a prize. I suspect that the judges couldn't believe that somebody's gran could have made such a spectacular outfit. It was quite incredible.

After a funfair outside Framlingham castle two weekends ago, it was time for a funfair outside Rochester castle.

Dickens' characters were roaming the High St and we bumped into Fagin, Bill Sykes, Nancy and Miss Haversham.

When we got home we had a busy few days in Framlingham tidying up and getting on top of the garden. We got the chance to catch up on the exercise classes at the college too before heading down to Gloucestershire on Thursday. Our dear and longtime friends Dave and Jane Haworth treated us to an overnight stay at the beautiful Cowley Manor Hotel and Spa near Cheltenham as an early Ruby Wedding Anniversary present. It was a fabulous gift and we were blessed with glorious weather for our short stay.

Dave, Jane and Marion on the hotel terrace.

I tried using some of the tips from the talk by fashion photographer Tom Murray at FramSoc a few weeks ago

The hotel has fabulous Grade 2 listed landscaped gardens

Marion and Jane don't look much different from when they met over thirty years ago

We got home yesterday and were looking forward to seeing how the house looked after we'd arranged to have some more work carried out.

This is how it was when we bought the house four years ago.

And this is how it was when we finished working on it three years ago.

Unfortunately the rendering on the front began to crack and was susceptible to algal growth so it was looking unsightly and we decided to have it clad in common with other properties in the road.

And this is how it looked when we got back from Cowley Manor. We're very pleased. It should put and end to unsightly cracks and algae.