Well Summer is officially over and Autumn is here (though the English weather seems to have realised that it missed summer and is giving us all the heat in a rather pleasant two week period at the moment) so we thought it would be a good time to update the website with the highlights of Summer and also a few photos as it appears we haven’t put any up in over a year.
This year has been a little funny for us holiday wise as we are stockpiling leave to come back to NZ for a few weeks in Feb next year so it means we really have had many breaks from work. We did manage to get away for a week in late May. After many minutes thought and discussion in April about whether to go to Turkey or Italy we promptly got caught up in work and did noting until the week before our holiday so we headed to the thriving tourist resorts of Yorkshire. We stayed at a lovely Dinner, Bed and Breakfast called the Black Swan in Helmsley and then seemed to tour the area by English Heritage, i.e. visiting ruins of castles and monasteries and going to museums and so on. It was a very relaxing trip with lovely long dinners at the restaurant (though we probably put on about 3 kgs each) and days wondering around pleasant little towns (though I found Scarborough to be absolutely horrible) or ruins.
June’s highlights were Nicola’s birthday interspersed with family fun with Miff, Terje and Viola visiting us on a gorgeous summer’s day and we also headed up to Cambridge for CJ’s first holy communion (following a quick call to Frances and co to remind them of the right day). Nicola’s birthday celebrations included dinner at rhodes 24 (not recommended if you don’t like salt), dinner at home, ballet at the O2 and a trip to a food festival (anyone spot the theme?). We also spent some time catching up with friends new and old – Tom and Sara from oz and heading down to Guildford to see Ben and a quite pregnant Geri on a 30 degree summer day (I’m thinking I might have been a little unfair commenting that the English summer was a bit dismal up above as it does seem anytime we went out it was very warm).
July sadly was dominated by work with both of us having project deadlines that sucked up our evenings and most of our energy, though we did mange to keep our weekends which was at least something. Highlights were Robbie’s brother Dave coming over from France for an evening and ladies day at Lord’s. Ladies day was another warm summer’s day and as we went with Nicola’s grandfather (who’s an MCC member) we were able to wander around the members stand at Lords which was pretty cool. Then at midday we each got two free glasses of champagne which was promptly followed by a pub lunch, which when matched with the slow Middlesex batting, made for quite a sleepy afternoon.
In August (the weather actually was bad this month) after 3 months of procrastination we finally relaid our back lawn – we had dug it up in June with noble plans of flattening our lawn and laying some nice fresh turf, the digging up went well, the levelling took about 6 weeks as weekends away meant we had no time (and its pretty tough to level a lawn when the only tools you have are a spade and a shelf from a bookcase). Then we tried to buy turf, as we soon found you can only buy turf midweek in July and August but eventually we got lucky one Sunday morning and we now have a nice lawn with a lot more grass and I won’t say less lumps just lumps in different areas. We also made it down to the Oval to watch Rahul Dravid and 10 bored looking (and slightly useless) compatriots take on England. As Dravid is not exactly a sparking stroke maker it was a little tedious and the largest cheers were for the mexican wave and boos for the lack of member particpation in thr aforementioned wave. That said a wicket and a couple of boundaries later you can sense the excitement as the buzz of the crowd intensifies. Robbie managed to go get lunch after 2 hours and 40 runs were scored only for 3 wickets and 30 runs to be scored in the 15 minutes he was gone.
September has been about birthdays with Robbie getting a little older and Rosemary turning 50 so we have had a number of birthday dinners and events over the month – On the 11th we went to La Pont de la Tour and had a nice but slightly rushed dinner before jumping onto a charter boat to watch the fireworks for the Thames festival, it was a very pleasant night but with slightly comical London organisation they realised 5 minutes before launch time that low tide was exactly when they wanted to fire the fireworks so they delayed everything by 30 minutes while they waited for the tide to start flowing again, it was all a little cold and getting late on the boat at that stage. The next weekend (Robbie’s birthday) was a bit more low key as Robbie struggled to finish an essay and we prepared for Carol to arrive mid the next week, we then had a week of activities with Nicola’s parents and grandparents joining the three of us for a birthday dinner for Robbie and then Robbie and Carol zooming around Southern England for two days. Then it was off to Norfolk for the birthday weekend celebrations for Rosemary with 16 Barries.