Easter is coming

Ian worked solidly on the Ghana analysis throughout March, and for the first few days of April. He was glad when it was finished and he was able to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. There may be more work to come, however. Just after Ian finished the Ghana work, we submitted an EOI (expression of interest) for a project which would be perfect for ERA. And Ian was reminded that a project he had agreed to help with some time ago would actually be happening soon!

Our new futon was delivered on March 29th, and to our relief it fits perfectly in our spare room. We can now accommodate two guests overnight – so let us know if you’d like to visit!   It also means that, when we are looking after Charlie and Oscar overnight, we don’t necessarily have to stay at Claire’s, because the boys can stay here. They have slept twice so far on the ‘magic bed’, and really enjoy the novelty.

Fun on a futon

Fun on a futon

Just before breaking up for the Easter holidays, the Reception class at Charlie’s school put on an ‘Easter bonnets and songs’ performance. As the title suggests, the children showed off their hats (including some very elaborate creations) and sang appropriate songs. They ended with a rendition of the Hallelujah chorus – ambitious for four-year-olds, we thought, even though they were supported by the school choir (from Years 1 and 2)!

Easter bonnets

Easter bonnets

Charlie's Easter hat

Charlie’s Easter hat

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

 

Spring outings

After living in Spain for seven years, Ian’s sister Maggi returned to England last November and settled into a village near Stroud, in Gloucestershire. On Tuesday 8th April we took the opportunity to visit her in her new home; we travelled by bus and train to Stroud, where Maggi came to meet us, and stayed overnight. While there we visited the Rococo Gardens, in nearby Painswick. They are picturesque and it was pleasant to stroll around in the sunshine, accompanied by Jack, Maggi’s dog.

Painswick Rococo Gardens

Painswick Rococo Gardens

A random rococo structure

A random rococo structure

The maze

The maze

I say, I say - what's a Grecian urn? About 5 drachmas a day

I say, I say – what’s a Grecian urn? About 5 drachmas a day

We returned home on Wednesday afternoon, and on Friday we accompanied Claire and the boys to Beale Park, where there are animals, statues, model boats and planes and some excellent playgrounds. The boys had great fun.

Valkyrie statue at Beale Park

Valkyrie statue at Beale Park

Crocodile Dundee, in duplicate

Crocodile Dundee, in duplicate

Ring-tailed lemurs - no need to go to Madagascar

Ring-tailed lemurs – no need to go to Madagascar

Fun on the zip-wire

Fun on the zip-wire

 

Monday 14th April was Sandie’s birthday. The original plan was to have the day out in London that had been postponed due to Sandie’s hearing problem. But although her hearing had improved quite a lot, she was not convinced that she would be able to fully appreciate a theatre visit. Instead, as the weather was good, we decided to do a long walk in the country, for the first time in ages.

We took the bus to Princes Risborough and did a 12.5 mile circular walk in the Chilterns, though some classic English scenery. We took a packed lunch, which was just as well, because the three village pubs that we passed were all closed. By the time we arrived back in Princes Risborough we were very thirsty, so had a drink in the first pub we encountered, before moving on to a more upmarket pub for dinner.

English country cottage

English country cottage

Chilterns scene - with rape

Chilterns scene – with rape

Heading for Radnage

Heading for Radnage

 

Inside Radnage church

Inside Radnage church

The bluebells are out

The bluebells are out

Back at Princes Risborough - where's the pub?

Back at Princes Risborough – where’s the pub?

All in all, it was a good day, except for one thing. Sandie’s boots (which had carried her comfortably for many miles) decided to act like they were new again, and ripped the skin off the backs of her heels.  She arrived home in agony, with bloody heels, socks and boots.  Her heels are still painful, so wearing ‘proper’ shoes is impossible. Hopefully the problem can be identified and fixed before our next major walk!

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