6 June 2006

Scythes, Shopping & Sunday in Shropshire

A wonderful weekend, but slower-paced than usual. Kate had a GPS course in Swindon on Friday, so she came up to Shropshire on Thursday evening in time to go to a "Nell Gwynn night" with the Ironbridge Rotary club. Highly amusing after-dinner first-person entertainment from a Nell Gwynn impersonator, who is also a professional historian and the curator of Tutbury Castle .


Saturday dawned bright and sunny, the first proper 'summers day' we have really had this year (at least one that coincided with a weekend). Since March the (unattended) garden had developed into a weed-ridden jungle. Last weekend Harry bought a new strimmer, and he kindly passed on his old one. So I had a go at tackling the vegetation with it...

Strimming in action!

...the strimmer was a small Black and Decker electric one, and to be honest was not really up to this particular job. My neighbour (Paul) saw me struggling and lent me his scythe. This did a much better job in half the time, cutting the vegetation down to ground level with a few hefty swipes.

Sometimes the old methods are the best!

An hour-and-a-bit with the strimmer had cleared about one-third of the garden and required two changes of cord. Less than an hour with the scythe and the rest of the garden was pretty much levelled! Some finishing off round the egdes to do (with the strimmer!) but at least now we can see the edges of the garden!!


Saturday afternoon and off we went to look at some shops. After looking at an overpriced Antique 'barn' just off the A5, we trundled up the road to Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury was looking particularly fine in the summer sunshine...

Looking up Fish Street, St. Julian's church on the right and St. Alkmund's church at the top of the hill.

A pretty girl, warm sunshine and some nice old buildings... what more can one ask for on a Saturday afternoon? Oh yes...

...morris dancing in the market place, of course! Hmm.

Despite promising to look at clothes, it was not long before I spotted a bookshop!

...and then just down the road was an antiques emporium. So not much clothes shopping was done on Saturday!

In the evening we decided to have a mini-barbeque in the back garden. Although my barbeque had been stolen last summer (grrr) I still had a little 'Tesco Value Barbeque' about 12" in diameter and some charcoal. After much difficulty we found some food in the supermarket (we were not the first to think of having a barbeque that day!) and got up and running. Of course by the time the food was ready it was about 9.00 and nearly dark, but we had a marvellous evening in eachothers' company. Here are some atmospheric photos...

Cooking chocolate-laced bananas for pudding!

Happy glow.


Next day we did go shopping and I bought myself a very smart summer suit in a sort of stone-colured linen. I also bought some new shoes and a couple of very nice shirts. In the evening we went round to see Alison and Hannes to act as guinea pigs for their new barbeque which will come into action next weekend for Alison's 40th. The barbeque is so huge that we only used a small corner of it, but still had enough meat to feed an army (and burnt Hannes' hand rather badly).

Also this weekend we watched a couple of DVDs we had not seen before. One was The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp as the debauched 17th century Earl of Rochester. Quite entertaining romp through the most exciting period in English history, and worth 7 out of 10 it was certainly entertaining and it is not every day you see the ravages of syphillis. The other film was The New World . One hour in to the two hour film we were virtually asleep, bored with the dull characters, lack of plot and absence of dialogue. It was a shame as the events portrayed are extremely interesting - the colonisation of Viginia in 1607, the first year of the Jamestown colony and the relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas. But this film gets a 2 out of 10 (the boats were good and the costumes absolutely spot on). No mention of Bermuda, which was disappointing.

That was our 'slow' weekend! Now Kate is back in Exeter (well actually on Dartmoor) and I am trying to sort out my books (and get some work done).

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