Simon’s 50th Birthday


Although it was a ‘Bank Holiday’ in the UK, I still worked during the morning to keep up with my self-imposed marking schedule. Then we met with our family for a birthday lunch for Simon, our son-in-law who was celebrating his fiftieth birthday.

We always celebrate family birthday’s, usually with a visit to a restaurant. We had not been to The Fighting Cocks before, it not far from Audley End railway station; we will be going again. The food was excellent, but even better was the gluten-free selection; Oliver and I had difficulty choosing from the wide range; I will be going back for gluten-free sausage and mash with onion gravy, the curry and at least two more puddings. The owner’s wife and daughter are both Coeliac so we were confident that they knew what they were doing. Later in the year they will be producing a separate gluten-free menu. After lunch we went to their house for cake.

Today’s picture is the whole group, kindly taken by one of the other diners in the Fighting Cocks, it shows us just before we ate our pudding; gluten-free apple crumble and cream in my case.

Platycodon Grandiflorus


Another sunny day although I have not been outside very much except to take some pictures. I also watered the hanging baskets and the plants that needed watering. Then I took the small solar lights off of our dead ‘Monk Orange’ shrub. The Squirrels had helped by chewing through the wire in two places.

Today’s picture is of a Platycodon Grandiflorus, which is also known as a Balloon flower. I have blipped my daughter’s flower before, but when I saw these at Scotsdales, two jumped into my basket; a blue one and a white one.

I have finished work for today and will now be able to read my book until the Formula One highlights are on this evening.



My marking is not going to plan as I had to go into Cambridge today to collect my Nikon camera after it had been repaired. This of course involved coffee and cake as well as a visit to Scotsdales on the way home. I did need to go to Scotsdales as the new pond plants were coming in today and I needed some Water Hyacinths for my small pond for the frogs to sit on; I also bought two blue water Iris.

I did some work before I went out and after tomorrow, except for Sunday I have no other commitments so I can mark full time; I will get them finished by the deadline so no problem there.

It has been warm and sunny all day. Today’s picture was taken outside Jessops, in Fitzwilliam Street I think, when I was testing that the camera was working okay.

Sicilian Honey-Garlic


I took a break from marking at lunchtime to meet a former work colleague for a ‘pensioner’s lunch’ with the intention of getting back to work on my return. However, I did not get as much done as I had hoped as our neighbour had just arrived when I got home to let me know when they will be away; their daughter’s dog is back with them so Bo will probably feature at some point in the not too distant future.

I had an email from Jessops to say my Nikon was ready for collection, when I checked on Monday they said it would probably be another three weeks; it must have been in transit! I now have to find time to go and collect it as although I love my little Olympus, I do miss my Nikon.

We did not see the Little Egret today although he made a second appearance last night. It is quite feasible that he had visited when no-one was looking out of the window.

Today’s picture is of some flowers, I have no idea what they are and do not recall seeing them before. They appear to have grown up through the middle of another plant, which has been there years.