I zipped over to Canterbury to spend a lovely day with Harriet, Hetty and Arabella. We went into Marks and Spencer where Hetty spent a happy time taking the knickers off the sale rail, holding them up against herself saying 'That's nice', then putting them into an ever expanding shopping bag. Thank you for a day of lovely memories. Sorry I spilt the raspberry and blueberry milkshake inside your bag Harriet.
Tm was up at 5.30am cooking fish and bread.We had a lovely morning preparing for many lovely friends and family to arrive to celebrate Hetty's second birthday. The rain did not stop Hetty and Flossie playing in the paddling pool. The great grandmas took it in turn to give Arabella her bottle - such competition as to how much she drank!!! Dad and Tom we missed you very much but know you were with us in spirit.
The beginning of my day went well - I sold a picture to guests and cards, I turned around two rooms with time to spare.
The middle of my day did not go well - I had my painting things packed. Tim and I were off to Great Dixter for a couple of delightful hours. I cannot find our ticket. We did not go.
The end of my day I am hoping will be better. We are going for dinner with Kell and Pat at The Woolpack and then I will be thoroughly entertained by The Weald of Kent Morris dancing and singing there later.
Lindsey gave me a 'giraffe' amaryllis three Chrismas' ago. It flowers once a year. It is beautiful in an eccentric way.
Tim and I left a sunny, dry Benenden and went to a water logged Canterbury for Hetty's second birthday party. There were many proud grandparents and crawling babies among the presents and birthday cake.
Blimey it has been hot. I think we need a thunderstorm now.
The Queen has a new great grandson. We have three new chickens. We got them from friends of Si and Lesley. If we still have them this time next year they will have earnt their keep. Harriet and Tom we have got two little black and white ones that look like they have feather hats. Does that bring back any memories? I cannot remember what their breed is? Anaconda or similar.
I took myself off to Canterbury this morning. What a day!!! Harriet, Brett, Roy, Hetty (sporting a fine pair of new arm bands), Arabella and I went swimming. It was rather odd standing next to Roy in the showers chatting. At least we still had our swimming costumes on. The boys went off to a beer festival. The girls went to a birthday party - it rained!!! We came back to River Bend Cottages for books and tea, bath and bed. It does not look so exhausting now I have typed my day but trust me I am feeling rather tired. Thank you for a lovely day with lots more precious memories.
Hetty is two next week. She loves Winnie-the-Pooh. I tried to find her a duvet cover but they were all horrid so I am painting/making one for her using the pictures from the book Mum and Dad gave me in 1970.
Off to see Sarah and Nigel for drinks and nibbly bits this evening with Mike and Pippa. Should be fun in the not so hot sun.
Today I fought with many Ashford roundabouts and took many wrong turnings going and coming from the William Harvey Hospital. I met Harriet and family there to help out with the girls while Harriet was seeing her rheumatology consultant who will be looking after her for the next foreseeable future. It went very well and an ultrasound showed there is little inflammation to be seen. Harriet is going to be taking a combination of hydroxychloroquine and sulfrsalazine but the future looks good and she may only have to take them for a relatively (10 years) short period of time and them come off them. A blood test and a two hour wait in x-ray later and I am back home with a little wine to celebrate. Hetty and Arabella were little angels considering it was stifling hot and not much for toddlers entertainment. I took Hetty some post-it notes which amused her labelling us and now she can make her own stickers.
I am so very very proud of my daughter. She is incredible. Tom rang this evening as I am on my own yet again. Tim has gone to Dublin. I am so very very proud of my son. He is amazing. I think it is all down to the mother's genes.
The heat seems to cause me to function on half speed.
No time for topiary today but my mind has been planning.
This evening we had wine and pizza made with vegetables from The Olivers garden at Broadlawns. I took them runny strawberry jam and pig apple and banana chutney and returned with a crop of glorious redcurrants and a jar of strawberry and redcurrant jam.
Following feeding my charming guests I zipped over to Canterbury and had a very enjoyable day with Harriet (who can now get her rings on her fingers of one hand), Hetty (full of many many beans) and 'not-so-little' Arabella (she has put on over a pound and a half in three weeks). We went to a talk about Empathy at Expressions Cafe, I am still not quite sure what it was all about, followed by a takeaway lunch from the Veg Box Cafe to eat in the park by the river, next lots of swinging and skipping back home to see Daddy.
I am still waiting for my friend Sarah to call me.
While I was planting this 'what-will-be' amazing marigold from Elizabeth, who assures me it will reach six feet, I was cooking a chicken for The Evans, delightfully entertaining guests while they ate cake and drank tea in the sun, watering the garden, washing many batches of bedding and towels, and had caramel boiling on the cooker in readiness to be turned into a butterscotch banana cake for Hetty. Wow I am amazing on the outside. Inside my body I am tired and grumpy.
I need a night out with the Weald of Kent Morris Men and a glass of wine - small or large?
When the alarm woke me I was in the same position I had gone to sleep in. I think I would like a few more hours sleep.
Tim and I worked until two then we took Brenda to the Drs for a leg check - all ok. She was going to catch the bus which entailed quite a bit of walking too and was quite happy to undertake the task. We just happened to have a free afternoon and thought it would be good to visit the olds. Very pleased we did.
Very delightful coffee with Elizabeth and Keith from their fancy pod machine. I am very very jealous of Elizabeth's potting shed. Not a plant one. It is a proper pottery shed with kiln and potters wheel. Tim said I could have one. Really?!? I have started looking for pottery courses.
I have enjoyed a very fine pint of Primrose beer this evening. Thank you White family.
When I go to bed I am taking with me my new book about art '...isms'. I have had a brief flick through and it look fascinating. I am very excited about bedtime.
Well what a lovely day. Following normal household duties we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon in the garden with Jo, Elaine (last night the meal at The Ferry was goodish but due to the slowness of service we were unable to see Coco and the Butterfields in Tenterden), Harriet (looking good), Brett, Hetty and Arabella along with Michael, Emily, Gabrielle (a bit on the surprising side sometimes for Hetty) and Primrose. The sun shone but we had plenty of shade to dip in and out of along with the paddling pool. The younger members of our group took advantage of being able to go naked.
I have one rather nagging regret that we did not make it to Tentertainment but packing the children into the car, as well as us, seemed not a sensible thing to do. I hope it went Sarah and your tea tent was a great success.
Tim and I went for coffee, and what a huge mighty fine one it was, at Si and Lesley's to collect some excess cooking apples which were destined for their pigs. Si's retina has reattached itself and if he goes relatively carefully for the next four months all will be well.
Next we went to Marle Place to admire Michael's Mum's paintings before returning home to be enthralled by the tennis.
After a manic morning of bed and breakfast work Tim and I escaped to Canterbury. We had lunch with Harriet (who is looking good on her anti inflammatory diet), Hetty and Arabella in The Veg Box Cafe. It is brilliant there for families with toys for the little ones, coffee for Mum and beer Dads. Did you know glass noodles are made from mung beans? Springy little devils.
I spent a large part of the day removing spiders with my Henry.
Sarah and I had our last art lesson until the Autumn. I hope I can persuade her to sign up again with me. I practised abstraction from my memory this evening. We ended the evening with a little rose at the Bell & Jorrocks. I may return there before September.