Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tove and Harper sleep-over

We are looking after Tove and Harper for the weekend whilst Louisa and Julian go top Bath to celebrate their joint birthdays. It’s the first time that we’ve had both kids overnight and I’m not sure how they’re going to react. Tove has been known to have a melt-down now and again and Harper is only turned one year old and is at that stage where Mum or Dad are suddenly very important.

However, there is no problem and they are both wonderful to be with, if a little tiring. As  the weather isn’t brilliant, we are at home except for Saturday when we go to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood – also known commonly as the Toy Museum. Thom joins us and we spend the day looking at the exhibits and being amazed at how many of the toys that Thom and I knew as children are now on display.

we have these at our home!

We eat at a branch of the Wanstead Larder (also sibling to the Butler’s Retreat) just around the corner from Roman Road. It is vegetarian but I don’t really notice until someone points this out. Just shows how much  I’ve adapted to a limited menu since my diabetes.

Coincidentally, Julian and Louisa bring me a small ‘thank you’ gift and it is a collection of Roman soldiers. But from Bath, not Roman Road.

I couldn’t do a full crossword for their birthdays but did mange a few clues, the one I liked most being:

Kate caned her! What! For being exposed as a mistress? (5,6).

There should be the word ‘The” included at the beginning of the solution. But what the heck! I’ve become a Libertarian instead of a Ximenean.

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Sheila’s 66th birthday

We have all the family around for Sheila’s 66th birthday. Tara can’t come as she is unwell with her Crohn’s disease. Food is from Cafe Spice and is their usual delicious stuff – in particular the Tarka Dal of which I have two helpings.

this photo doesn’t include Harper…

….but this one does!

After lunch I gave out the crossword I created and Sheila solved it first, quickly followed by Julian, Louisa, Danae and then Thom. Nathan wouldn’t play.

I did make some slight mistakes in clueing, but so does Araucaria.

some of us preferred more sophisticated amusement

Meanwhile, a European football contest has started, which Thom watches, and Spain and Italy draw. The match is played in Gdansk  – Danzig!

the Olympic World War

I haven’t been much of  a fan of the London Olympics. Largely because of the colossal hype, expense and impact on the East End of London which really have nothing to do with sport or the spirit of sport. I have welcomed Westfield and am delighted to have access to shops that would otherwise only be available by traveling into the West End. It has also been fun exploring the Olympic City surroundings and watching the place grow.

But the truth of what the Olympics nowadays means becomes more apparent as we come closer to the start of the Games. There is all sorts of nonsense with sponsors taking unsporting liberties, and the corruption of sporting values. Visa, for instance, will not allow it’s ATMs to accept cards other than it’s own. And the torch bearers are embarrassing – Will.i.am!!!???

But the whole farce is brought into perspective when I learn that the military security deployed is the greatest since World War Two. More troops and resources are involved than were in Iraq, the Falklands, Suez, etc. And surface-to-air missiles on top of council flats!

The Olympics has a strong smell of menace and mass control.

jubilee camping, on my way to the Ashram….

Danae and Louisa and their families decide to spend half-term and the Queen’s Jubilee camping at Batcombe Vale in Somerset. We join them and stay at the B&B owned  by Gary and Barbara who run run the campsite.

the lake by the campsite

The week is meant to celebrate the Queen’s reign; it is also a celebration of another type of rain. But nothing daunted, we enjoy ourselves! The first wet day we spend at Wookey Hole, which has become more and more commercialise sand Disneyfied and less and sless to do with speleology, the river Axe and paper printing. But the kids like the dinosaurs and Cottle’s circus exhibits. And if they’re happy…..

…….behind you!!!!! A creature found in the caves at Wookey Hole????

The next day is for adults and we spend it at Glastonbury. In many ways this is just a grown-up version of Wookey Hole – commercialised and Disneyfied but for an older clientele. We all climb the Tor and witness spectacular views through the thunderstorm and bitter rain.

setting off to climb Glastonbury Tor (in the background)

…nearly there….

the sublime view from the Tor

See Flickr for pictures and diary for details.