On Tuesday 23rd May we went to visit a ‘retirement village’ near Milton Keynes. No, we are not thinking of moving! We heard about one being built in Wycombe, made enquiries and were invited to go on a trip to see a village which was already up and running. Such places have never really appealed to us, but we liked the sound of the social activities – reminded us of Central Park, and we really miss the friendly atmosphere there. But after our visit we decided that retirement villages are definitely not for us – not yet, anyway!
The following evening we went an RSC-Live screening of Antony and Cleopatra, and the evening after that to a wine tasting at our local store.
Walking and dancing
The weather on Friday 26th May was gloriously warm and sunny. We decided to precede our folk dance club with a walk by the river – as we’d done two weeks earlier, but a longer walk this time. We walked into town, had coffee and got the bus to Henley. After a look round the shops there and a drink, we set off to walk along the Thames Path to Marlow.
We stopped soon to eat our picnic lunch, and the plan was to stop next at the Flower Pot pub in Aston. We’d been there several times; it has a large garden and we thought would be the ideal spot for a drink on a sunny afternoon. But when we got there, the pub was closed! Opening hours are more relaxed than they used to be, but some country pubs still close in the afternoon. We had to walk another three or four miles to the Bell at Hurley.
We danced Friday evening, and again on Saturday, at a barn dance organised by one of our club members. A hen party joined us on the night, and it was great fun! On Sunday the weather was still good, so we went for a short walk around the Rye (our local park) and up into Keep Hill Woods.
Friends and family
That evening, Robin and Margaret came to dinner; on Monday we had dinner at Caroline’s. On Tuesday afternoon Claire arrived with Charlie and Oscar. She had a training day on Wednesday, and while she was occupied with that we took the boys into town and went swimming at the local leisure centre.
On Thursday Claire took us all to Faversham, to visit Andrew, Ellie, Hope and Bel. In the afternoon we all went to Whitstable, where we explored the castle grounds and walked along by the sea. Ellie cooked an early dinner for all nine of us, and then Claire drove back, dropping us in Wycombe before returning with the boys to Bussage.
Last night we had dinner at Chutney with Caroline and Louise (her daughter). Today Anne came to lunch. It’s been a great week for seeing people!
When not with friends and family, we’ve kept even busier than usual. We’ve spent a lot of time working for the Labour Party campaign in Wycombe – mainly putting leaflets through hundreds of doors and discovering parts of the town we didn’t know at all. Wycombe is hilly, and a lot of the houses have several steps up or down to reach the front door, so we got plenty of exercise! We hope that the Labour candidate will oust the sitting Tory MP; there are encouraging signs, though he has a large majority to overcome.
We’ve spent a lot of time making phone calls and writing emails for the Hornbeam Gardens Management Committee, in our attempt to extend the leases on the four flats (including ours) in Slough. And needless to say, we’ve been busy finalising arrangements for our forthcoming trip through Slovenia, northern Italy and Bavaria. This is our most highly organised itinerary ever! In addition to flights and accommodation, we’ve booked bus and train travel, opera tickets, visits to castles and famous artwork – all of which needed for various reasons to be booked in advance. Tomorrow we set off to put our detailed plans into action.