I said in my last blog that my first month or being an OAP was pretty hectic - the second (so far) has been equally so.
After getting back from Scotland we were home in Framlingham for a week or so.
The castle was looking good in the autumn light.
Our friend Richard's reference to the castle on his Wine Shop advertising board on Market Hill made us smile.
We don't have many clothes stores locally so every now and then I go to Selfridge's in Oxford St and top up. We always have a great day and London was starting to feel Christmassy.
I loved Selfridge's Christmas windows this year.
And John Lewis's new rooftop winter gin garden was a welcoming call after a busy day.
Warm gin, ice skating and blankets make for a very wintery experience.
And yes I did manage to stock up on a winter wardrobe.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that I was doing a bit of dabbling on eBay. I love the thrill of hunting for bargains and wrote about it in my last novel Mr Prendergast's Fantastic Find (That's it up there on the right). I bought these four bits on eBay for under £40.
They sold on Sunday for £280 which is not bad at all.
Packing is still a pain though.
We've not been to many concerts at Snape Maltings this year but some friends told us their choir The Rabble Chorus were performing with Wigan folk rock band Merry Hell. We managed to get some tickets and had a fantastic night. The event was sold out and we were treated to some brilliant arrangements by choir leader Kirsty Logan in the first half and in the second half the choir joined Merry Hell in a joyous and uplifting performance. We absolutely loved it. Merry Hell have put together a brief video of the event. They're going to produce a more polished one in due course but this rough first copy should give you an idea of the joy of the event.
We were back at Snape the next night.
The Blind Boys Of Alabama gave us another amazing evening of Gospel Blues - fabulous.
After the weekend of concerts it was time to get ready for another of our friends' weekends away. Sadly one of the regular couples couldn't make it this time but six of us headed to Coniston and stayed at The Gate House. We stayed at this excellent holiday cottage for a weekend last November. This time Marion and I booked for a week and the friends joined us for the weekend.
We had a great view of the Coniston fireworks from the holiday cottage.
The cottage is in a great location. Although the weather wasn't very kind.
Which gave us plenty of time for indoor pastimes.
Saturday was a washout but the weather forecast was okay for Sunday so we set off on a walk.
I was excited when we turned up at Bank Ground Farm, the home of Swallows And Amazons, my all time favourite childhood book. The farm is now a holiday complex with a tea room, holiday rentals and a B&B.
Coffee and scones in the tea room were delicious.
So much for that weather forecast. The heavens opened shortly after coffee and,to make things worse, my boots fell apart.
We've gone on holiday by mistake.
So it was back to the jigsaw puzzle. Annoyingly with one piece (circled) missing.
The weather certainly didn't dampen our spirits and we shared the catering in the cottage and had three great meals.
We really enjoy these weekend get togethers and hope that we'll be doing it again next year.
The weather didn't improve after our friends left but Marion and I had a great week.
Just outside Coniston
The magnificent Arts And Crafts house Blackwell on Windermere
John Ruskin's private turret at Brantwood on Coniston
The amazing industrial landscape up in the hills.
The friendly neighbours.
Home in Framlingham late on Friday, we got unpacked and then on Saturday went to FAYAP for another brilliant event organised by Slice Of Life.
We had an evening of poetry performed by Luke Wright and Elvis McGonagall. Both were incredible with Luke's highlights including an ode to his "Posh Plumber" and a moving poem about sailors getting ready to sail to war. Elvis gave us some fantastic anti Brexit stuff and an outstanding poem about Patriarchy. Both made us laugh long and hard and Elvis' barman's response to a customer's request for something "bitter but hoppy" (There's a misanthropic rabbit out the back) still has me smiling four days later.
Oh yes. Not forgetting Marion and her melons. Our friend Dave put some music on while we were cooking Sunday dinner. I put the resulting film online and it almost (almost) went viral. Marion has asked me to point out that no, she had not been drinking at all.