The End of the Road

By mid week distraction was setting in, would we make it through to the final or would Croatia be too much?

It was classic England. M&S had sold out of waistcoats as the Gareth Southgate style took over.

At 4pm the internet went down at work and as a giant media company, we were left with 3G phones. Could it be sabotage? Was there a Croatian working in IT?

I decided that it was time to work from home as I had a video conference and so set off home with time for the meeting and the football.

It all started so well and by half time we were leading 1-0.

The second half seemed like a different game as Croatia evened the score and then with extra time, took the lead. It was all over for England, like a deflated football, we accepted defeat and it seems the waistcoat is out of style again.

Four years to go…

Hampton Court Palace

As the weekend continued, we decided to take advantage of even more hot weather and go to the flower show at Hampton Court. A first for us both.

We set off after the World Cup celebrations and arrived at Hampton Court by train and immediately saw the former palace of Henry VIII. Stunning.

We shuffled along with the rest of the crowd along the banks of the Thames absorbing England at her best and then spent a lovely time being inspired by the gardens, plants, flowers and scenery in the flower show.

After several refreshment breaks sitting on the grass, we thought we’d seen everything and decided we’d go home by boat to Richmond.

It was a good idea but one which seemed to take a long time to get started. Half an hour later we were back to where we’d started picking up some more people and then finally we set off to Kingston and eventually, Richmond.

In the end it was worth it as it was a glorious trip from Kingston upon Thames to Richmond. The sense of history along the banks of the river was apparent with old boat houses, Elizabethan chimneys and bridges spanning the girth of London’s lifeblood.

At least two hours later, extremely hot and arriving in Richmond we were happy to walk in the shade. Hopping on the underground we had a quick journey up to Paddington and then off to Queens Park, a few stops further.

Arriving home we thought we’d watch the Hampton Court Flower Show on BBC iPlayer so we could remember all the lovely gardens we’s seen… only to discover that somehow we’d managed to miss loads of them.

I’m not entirely sure how that happened but I suspect it may have had something to do with the World Cup. Still, we enjoyed what we saw and were very inspired with ideas for one part of our garden in France, the side garden where the monster laurel hedge has taken control.

More to come on that I’m sure.

The Day When Everything Happened

It was Saturday. It was 32 degrees (at least). It was Gay Pride in London. It was Wimbledon and above all, it was the World Cup Quarter Finals and England was playing Sweden. It goes without saying that the entire country went berserk.

We set off around midday in order to go berserk.

The plan was to watch the football over at Big T’s sister’s house with the rest of the clan. It was an epic game with the final score of 2-0 to England creating absolute havoc.

From there on it’s all a bit of a blur.

We played a table tennis tournament which resulted in a good bit of shouting. There was dancing including a video of people dancing to YMCA (for once, not me), there are some dubious photos and in the end there was a taxi ride home of which there is very little recollection. What happened to five hours?

And so with this surreal summer continuing on where each day dawns brighter and hotter than the last, the next step for England is Croatia on Wednesday in the Semi finals.

Can it keep getting better?

Forms and forms and paperwork and forms…

Selling up means filling in lots of forms and spending money on solicitors.

Writing a will means filling in forms and spending money on solicitors.

Buying another flat means finding one and then filling in lots of forms and spending money on solicitors.

All of these things are boring and expensive but apparently necessary.

I remember when life was simple. I miss it!

Picnic by the Loup River

Sunday morning and feeling rather ropey from the ropey rosé, we left the house to spend the day somewhere else.

We started off by packing up a picnic and heading over to Valbonne to the monthly antique market. For once there was lots of good stuff and we ended up with a small suitcase with individually pressed and mounted plants. Big T has been after something like this for a long time so he now has a project, how to frame fifty botanical pressings. That should keep him busy for a while!

After Valbonne we drove down to Villeneuve Loubet, a pretty village on the edge of the Loup (Wolf) River which runs down from the mountains to the sea. We drive through Villeneuve Loubet to get to the airport and often see people swimming and walking their dogs in the river so it seemed like a good place to explore for a picnic.

Cooling our heels

We walked along a shady path through a wood of plane trees listening to bird song. It was a very hot day but with the canopy overhead we were beautifully shaded especially the black dog who tends to absorb heat.

Before long we found a small beach and clambered down. Agnes paddled and splashed in the water as she’s not a swimmer but is water-obsessed and we enjoyed a delicious sandwich from our new boulangerie and a nicely chilled rosé as a hair of the dog.

From there we wandered back to the village for a coffee before setting up camp under the shade of an acacia tree as we discussed our next move in London.

We had filled the day perfectly and by early evening returned home to eat, give the little dog a final walk and water the garden as the Russians had gone out. I didn’t dare look at anything as Big T reported there were crayons left on a sunlounger.

Oh well. Hopefully they (or I) won’t have a meltdown!