Thursday 18 August 2016


Good morning, gentle readers, and welcome to Thursday.  The sky looks a very funny colour out there, a sort of mauve-y-pink with grey overtones.  I wonder if it means rain.
(two minutes later)
Just checked BBC weather and according to them it should be sunny right now.  Well, it isn't!
Actually, it is a pleasantly cool early morning and the fresh air is flooding in through the French window.  A very nice start to the day.

Yesterday was a very good day indeed.  Jackie and I med up in Billericay very early to get on a coach that was to take us on a trip to Hampstead and then to Kenwood in the afternoon.  A comfy coach with efficient air conditioning.

We arrived in Hampstead earlier than expected so had an extra gentle stroll around before partaking of a very welcome coffee (or tea) and biscuit.  We then had a gentle - the bumph emphasised the 'gentle' bit several times and, given that I was one of the younger members of the group, I can see why - stroll around up and down a few hills and into the grounds of the church of St John the Evangelist.  We meandered around the beautiful old graveyard which has been left to do its own thing to a certain degree and which has aged beautifully.  The artist, Constable, and some of his family are buried there.  Despite where it is, it was calm, gentle and made me think of 'dappled beauty'.  J and I both agreed that if we lived close by we'd visit often, sit on the benches and read peacefully.

We also looked at the newer cemetery which was less beautiful, being arranged in rows, but some interesting people have been buried there.  There were some huge clumps of blackberries which made me ache for a pot with a lid so I could join the enterprising young mad who was busily picking the ripe ones!

We then strolled back to the pub, taking in lovely old buildings and winding alleyways, before enjoying a remarkably good roast dinner of turkey, roasties, a yorkshire and some veg, piping hot and obviously plated up and immediately served.

We had a little time to stroll around after dinner so Jackie and I made tracks to a 'crafts emporium' we had noted in the morning and had a very pleasant time strolling around there.  Very, very expensive, of course.  On shop particularly caught my eye and that was a card shop where the girl makes some fabulous 3D cards and fabulously £D prices but I would consider one for a very special occasion.  I took her card and here's the link.  Be prepared to admire and wince at the same time!

Then we were off to Kenwood.  It's a lovely park and house, packed with history and, for us, a sudden, unexpected and fantastic view across London that made me very sorry it was a bit of a hazy day.

After a drink and a 'comfort' visit, we were off home again and even that went remarkably smoothly with only one real hold up on the M25 (it would be the M25, wouldn't it?).
Back at Jackie's, we decided to pop into town for fish and chips before I drove home.  That, also, was very good.  Fresh cooked and delicious.

So that was yesterday.  It was a good day, really enjoyable, warm, sunny . . . I was pleased at how well my ankle held up with regular doses of ibuprofen to keep it more or less comfortable and there was only one very dodgy time when, fortunately, we were able to sit down and admire the art in Kenwood House, which was stunning.  We want to go back there because we really didn't make the best of that particular part of the trip.

The tour leader was excellent - very knowledgeable and with excellent crowd control skills.  J and I, as ex-teachers, watched and admired as she herded 49 more or less elderly people safely around and kept us all entertained all day.  We also sympathised as she attempted to head count at the end before more or less lining us up to check - and she did it very unobtrusively too.

Today is rest and recovery day!
And after all the self indulgence yesterday, it is back on the wagon properly.
B:  natural yogurt, pineapple and granola
L:  red pepper hummus and salad wrap with extra tomatoes seeing as mine seem to have decided it is now ripening time, then an apple
D:  2 mini beef burgers with gallons of runner beans and some yellow courgettes from the allotment, fruit salad with natural yogurt.

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