Late this morning Jackie drove us to The Firs for a gardening session.  A barbecue was on offer.  It was a blustery day with intermittent rain.  This didn’t really affect the horticultural activities, but it did mean that the barbecue was held in the kitchen.

On 15th of this month (see post) Jackie and I drove to Mapperley to spend the weekend with Louisa and Errol and their family.  Unfortunately that clashed with Danni’s birthday party to which we had been invited.  The event had been announced on Facebook, naturally only for the chosen few.  We were honoured to be included, but had to decline.  My niece had politely suggested that her guests might bring along HUGE presents.  It can now be revealed that the birthday gifts mentioned yesterday were for her; a Labradorite necklace and an incised leather document case furnished with a mirror and a hair clip.  It was Adam who found the clip which must have been a freebie.  The leather case was, as I expect you have guessed by now, antique, probably from the 1930s.  It was a bonus that, unknown to us, Labradorite is one of Danni’s favourite minerals.

DerrickWe had a bit of a dilemma because the presents were really rather small, and we did want to comply with the request.  They would just have to go into a huge box.  A removals packing case was just the job.  Placed inside a plastic carrier bag, the two wrapped presents were taped to the bottom of the large container and I hammed up the delivery, making it appear rather heavier than it was.

Compost potatoesElizabeth had done a vast amount of weeding last weekend, so we didn’t have as much to do as expected.  We were, however, kept busy weeding, trimming edges, and mowing the main lawn.  I also turned and weeded next year’s compost, which gave us the added treat of a few potatoes, which, like my French tomatoes, had grown out of the heap.

Regular readers will be familiar with my view that I’ll eat barbecued food provided someone else cooks it.  Preferably as well as Ron, to whose efforts I was introduced  on 26th May.  I don’t relish fiddling about with charcoal and firelighters when there are perfectly good facilities in most kitchens.  That is why today’s weather conditions, in that respect, were to my liking. Barbecue food Elizabeth roasted the meats in the oven; we served ourselves from the hobs; and sat in a civilised manner at the table indoors.  The ladies had produced various salads, laid out safe from flying invaders.Danni and Thea I don’t remember what the wines were.  Danni sported her new necklace which she had donned immediately.

Another industrious activity continued today was the grand garage clearance.  Danni and Andy have for some time now been engaged in helping my sister decide what to do with the contents of the annexe which has never had room for a car.  They have made regular trips to the dump, and however much they take out, the space resembles the Magic Porridge Pot which always replenishes itself.  This weekend they had reinforcements in the form of Adam and Thea.  Much progress was made. The garage is being cleared for the Open Studios exhibition planned for late summer.

DragonSome of the stored items actually belonged to Adam.  One of these is his first dragon, whose wings have taken a battering over the years.  I mentioned yesterday Flo’s interest in such creatures and her Dragonology website.  My nephew, Adam Keenan, has come a long way since making his dragon with a group as a GCSE project.  On 28th July last year, in my post ‘Family Pride’, I described how, in Le Code Bar in Sigoules, I had watched the Olympic closing ceremony featuring Adam’s doves of peace.  Knowing he now worked making such models, and animatronics for the film and advertising worlds, I had, for Flo’s birthday three years ago, commissioned him to make her a working dragon.  He had not let me down.

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