First Home Game in Almost Thirty Years

As one of our songs goes;
“The Wombles had a dream,
To watch our football team.
Back at Plough Lane, where we belong,
The journeys been long.
And the F.A. were wrong,
Were AFC Wimbledon,
And we have come home.”

Following the publication of the Taylor Report in 1990, which introduced new safety measures for football stadia including the regulation that the stadia of teams at the highest level be made all-seater by August 1994,[16] the board of the club decided that Plough Lane could not be economically redeveloped to meet the new standards.[17] The work required to modernise Plough Lane would have been difficult and expensive, but not impossible as the board claimed.[12] A supposedly temporary groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park was announced the same year, to begin from the start of the 1991–92 season. This arrangement was only expected to last for a few seasons, but it would ultimately last for 12 years and would end in a very different fashion to what might have been expected at the outset.[12] Wimbledon’s final first team match at Plough Lane came on 4 May 1991, coincidentally against Crystal Palace. 10,002 spectators saw Crystal Palace beat Wimbledon 3–0, before swarming onto the pitch to bid farewell to the ground.

From Wikipedia

Tonight November 3rd 2020 we played our first game back in Plough Lane for almost thirty years

I only ever went to one game at (old) Plough Lane, and I can’t even remember who we played. I had recently moved down from Scotland after getting married and fancied going to watch some football. Vinnie Jones was booked, but that doesn’t really help to pinpoint the game. I then disappeared off to the Solomon Islands and by the time I came back the Dons were playing at Selhurst. It was there that I started supporting them. Mainly because of the 157 bus. It ran from the top of my road to Selhurst.

It has been a long and at times a hard journey. The old Wimbledon FC ground-shared with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for twelve years, then were franchised to Milton Keynes. The Wimbledon fans decided to start our own club AFC Wimbledon like a phoenix from the ashes of the original club.

Open trials were held on Wimbledon Common, and from that we ended up with a team. We started in the Combined Counties League in 2002, nine years later we were back in the Football League. In 2016 we won promotion to League One. We have stayed there since.

Initially we were tenants at Kingsmeadow, ground-sharing with KIngstonian. We later bought the ground from them. Though many of us have fond memories of our time at Kingsmeadow, It was never really home. When the chance came to go back to Plough Lane the Dons’ Trust grabbed it with both hands.

Our problems were not over. There were delays in planning approval, mainly caused by our current Prime Minister (at the time he was Mayor of London). After it was approved we still had the problem of paying for the place.

We are a fan owned club though, the only sugar-daddies that we have are ourselves. Our crowdfunding/share issue raised about £2.5 million, but that still left us with a shortfall of about £11 million. The Plough Lane Bond was set up, allowing fans to lend to the club over periods of up to 20 years and to name the rate of interest we wanted. In my case I had a lump sum from my pension that was sitting around, safe but earing almost zero interest. I decided that, while the bond wasn’t as secure as the bank, it also wasn’t too risky, and I would get a reasonable return on my money. (I didn’t put all my lump sum in, it isn’t that safe) That and an investment by a local businessman closed the gap to a sum we could afford to borrow at commercial rates. By the way it is still open if anyone would like to earn a bit more interest than your savings account.

We had two more ground-shares to go through. Because the stadium wasn’t ready for the start of the season, we played our first home games at QPR’s Kyian Prince Foundation stadium and we also played Brighton in an EFL Trophy game at Crawley.

That takes us to tonight and our game against Doncaster Rovers at Plough Lane.

Just one big problem. I should have been there in the West Stand – Block 106 – Row J – Seat 28. Instead I watched an entertaining, but ultimately frustrating match in front of my computer. Due to Covid-19 no fans are allowed at the moment. When we will be allowed back is anyone’s guess. I hope we can get back before the end of the season, but I won’t hold my breath.

When we are allowed back that will be the time that it will really feel that we have come home.

LOCKDOWN HOLIDAY 5

Back to Glasgow and Home

After a breakfast at the hotel, it was time to head to the station to get the train back to Glasgow.  The reverse of the journey we made a few days ago. However instead of the grey drizzly weather we had on the way up, it was clear and sunny for the journey back.

We passed KiIlchurn Castle on the way up, but managed to get a photo of it on the way back.

We arrived back in Glasgow Queen Street just after twelve. We weren’t quite ready for lunch so decided to wander around the centre of Glasgow. Considering that I spent the first thirty years of my life in Scotland, I really don’t know Glasgow well at all. I never had a reason to visit the place. Edinburgh was closer and much easier to get to.  Apart from one job interview, and the occasional trip to Hampden, there was no need to visit. I have been to Sydney more times than Glasgow.

We were ambling down Buchanan Street when we came across the Willow Tearooms, as designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. We thought that would be a good place to have lunch, but they were a bit full. The earliest they could give us a table was about two fifteen. We said thanks, but no thanks and headed off. We found a café in St Enoch Square called “The Glasvegan”. Surprisingly enough it turned out to be vegan. I had a Not-dog, and Diane had a sandwich called Homucide. They were both decent. I passed on a cappuccino for a black Americano. I am not saying that I am about to become vegan, although if I had to I could live without meat and dairy products, except in my tea and coffee. Soya, oat or almond milk just don’t work in my opinion. In fact the only thing that stopped my late wife Grace  from becoming completely vegan was the fact that she had to have cow’s milk in her tea.

My niece Vicki has fairly recently moved to Glasgow, with her baby Remi and her partner Finn. As Diane has never met her, and I hadn’t seen her for at least two years, we arranged to meet up for a coffee. We managed to navigate the busses, though Diane was disappointed to find that her London Travelpass wasn’t valid, and she had to pay.

We spent an hour or so catching up on what was happening and meeting Remi for the first time. Both Vicki and Finn work in the theatre, so the past few months have been difficult, but they both currently have work, so that is good. We caught the bus back to the hotel, the same one we stayed in the first night.

This evening we were supposed to have a “Gala Scottish Farewell Dinner” at a local restaurant. What we would have been served I can make a guess at. Haggis would have featured somewhere, either as a starter or a main, and the pudding would have been Cranachan. Because all restaurants have to close at six p.m. this was not possible. The Holiday Inn Express gallantly stepped into the breach, with possibly the worst meal I have ever been served, The starter was Tomato and Basil soup, which tasted exactly like Tesco’s own brand Tomato and Basil, and was therefore edible if not exactly great. The main course was advertised as penne bolognese. What arrived was macaroni cooked to the point of disintegration with a sauce of dubious provenance, it certainly did not look and taste like any bolognese that I have ever seen. I was accompanied by two slices of garlic bread, baked from frozen. They at least were edible. Pudding was some kind of cheesecake, probably from Iceland (the shop not the country). I think the cook had brought a three-year-old in with them and to stop them getting bored had let them loose with the squirty  cream to decorate the slices.

Diane’s granddaughter could have done a better job.

At least the beds were comfortable.

Back Home.

Breakfast the next morning was reasonable, nothing spectacular, but it filled a hole. Then we walked back up to Central Station to catch the 10:37 Pendolino  for London. We managed to bag a table, the train was fairly quiet leaving Glasgow, and had a pleasant masked trip back to London. We were home by five.

Summing up….

It was a very strange holiday. It was the nearest to an alcohol free holiday that I have ever had. It was also the least sociable holiday of this type I have ever been on. Nobodies’ fault, but normally we would get together with our fellow travellers, for a drink either before, or after dinner. Due to the restrictions, that was not possible, so everyone went back to their rooms after dinner.

I didn’t hate it, the scenery was amazing, as was the weather, especially for October on the West Coast of Scotland, but it wasn’t as much fun as it would have been without Covid-19. But without Covid-19 we would have been on a Rhine cruise.

LOCKDOWN HOLIDAY 4

A Strange Trip to Mull and a Distillery Tour

We didn’t expect this holiday to be normal, but today it became just a little weirder.

At least we didn’t have to get up at five-thirty this morning. We had the morning free. I think that the morning was supposed to be a trip to the Oban Distillery. Due to the current restrictions our tour had to be split into two groups, one group had the morning slot, ours had the afternoon.

We didn’t do that much with our new found freedom. We went to Tesco’s, to top up on our snacks. Tesco’s in Oban may have the widest catchment area of any supermarket in the UK. People apparently come from as far away as Barra to do their shopping. (Probably a monthly shop rather than weekly.)

Having picked up our, hotel supplied, packed lunches we set off for the ferry terminal to catch the MV Isle of Mull, to Mull. Craiginure, to be precise.

MV Isle of Mull (Photo from Wikipedia)

I’m not sure what the original itinerary was, but what happened was we caught the ferry across to Mull, disembarked, then re-boarded, and went straight back to Oban. The Sound of Mull is a very scenic cruise, and the weather was excellent, if a little chilly, but it would have been nice to spend a bit of time actually on the Island. I am making the assumption that getting us back for the Distillery was the object of the exercise

We arrived back in Oban in plenty of time for our distillery visit. Again it wasn’t as I had anticipated. I thought we would be given a tour round the actual distillery, followed by a dram in the sample room. What we got was a very entertaining talk on how the whisky is made. Our guide explained how the taste of the whisky is influenced by how the malt is produced, the smokiness, from the peat, the esters that give the whisky its subtly, from the brewing, and to a lesser extent, distilling process. Above all the character of the whisky comes from the cask that it is matured in. Normally the casks are second hand American Bourbon casks, but they also use old sherry casks.

We were given a ‘tasting’ stave of four of the distillery’s products. The standard 14 year old, a Distillers Edition, the Little Bay and a Distillery only bottling. The only problem was that because of current restrictions on selling alcohol in Scotland, we were only allowed to nose (smell) them. Now you can tell a lot about a whisky’s character by its nose. The people who produced blended whiskies, such as Bells or The Famous Grouse, do it almost all by the nose. However it is not quite the same as being able to taste them. They did however give us samples to take away and taste at our leisure. It was unfortunate that the sample bottles looked like the type of thing you would use to take a urine sample to the doctors. We were assured that the product inside did taste much better.

I decided, based on the nose, to buy a bottle of the fourteen year old. When we tried our samples back at the hotel, I decided that I had made a good choice. Actually, the Distillery only bottling was sublime, but it was £100 a bottle.

I may have a comparative tasting session with the Caol Ila. I could also include the Ardbeg that my sister bought me for my birthday and Diane’s current favourite, Laphroaig. The Ginger Wine will not be going anywhere near any of them.

Tonight we didn’t have a dinner booked at the hotel. Rail Discoveries, rightly, assume that most people like a change from the hotel food and want to find a restaurant and eat out for one night of the tour. Scottish Covid-19 restrictions, unfortunatly, mean that all restaurants have to close at six p.m. which is a pity because Oban has a few decent restaurants. Takeaways are still allowed to open, so we found a chip shop. Diane was boring and had cod and chips, which you can get in any chip shop anywhere. I had white pudding supper. I haven’t had one for about forty years.

Also while we were waiting for our chips we saw a most magnificent sunset.

The chips were nearly as good.

Lockdown Holiday 3

Over the Sea to Skye

Today was apparently not supposed to have been the way it turned out. We were supposed to have a leisurely breakfast, followed by a coach trip to Fort William to catch the Jacobite steam train to Mallaig. From there we were to catch the ferry to Skye.

Our little friend Covid-19 put paid to that. The Jacobite, in order to ensure adequate distancing, had to reduce the numbers of people on the train. Our tour was bumped.

Instead of a leisurely breakfast, the alarm went off at five thirty, for a continental breakfast at six fifteen. The coach left while it was still dark. I know that the road from Oban to Fort William is quite scenic. The road follows the coast and has views across Loch Lhinnie to Ardgour and Morven. We would have to see it on the way home.

We made it to Fort William in time for the regular 08:30 service to Mallaig. It should be said that the scenery is exactly the same whether you are sitting in a seat on the 08:30 ScotRail service or first class on a steam drawn special. In fact, it could be argued that you actually see it better, because it is not obscured by clouds of steam and the carriage windows are not covered with the crud that a steam engine kicks out. Also, from a (retired) professional point of view I think that boilers that are older than I am are potential bombs. Some people were disappointed that our steam train trip was cancelled, but not me. The only thing I did miss was the scent that you get when steam and lubricating oil come together. It takes me back to my days at sea.

The line from Fort William to Mallaig is rightly celebrated as the most scenic in the United Kingdom, it is up there with anything in the world. The line crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films

We arrived in Mallaig about ten o’clock. As we had a bit of time to kill before catching the ferry we had a wander round the town. We found a baker’s shop and bought a couple of sausage rolls to supplement our rather meagre breakfast. We were also found by a friendly labrador who smelt our sausage rolls and decided that they were his.

After that it was “Speed Bonny Boat” time, except that the MV Loch Fyne is neither bonny, nor is she speedy. She is a very functional vessel whose design owes a lot to World War II landing craft.

M.V. Loch Fyne

She got us “Over the Sea to Skye”.

Some images from the crossing

A visit to Armadale Castle (Home of Clan Donald) was next on the itenery. A bus had been laid on to take us there, but as it is only about a kilometer from the ferry terminal, and it wasn’t raining, we decided to walk.

The castle gardens are very attractive, with views over the Sound of Sleat. The castle itself is a ruin. It was abandoned by the MacDonald family in 1925 and has since fallen into disrepair. There is also a museum in the grounds, tracing the history of the Hebrides, through the history of Clan Donald. This is not as self-centred as it might appear. For a long period, during the middle ages, the MacDonalds ruled as Lords of the Isles. So to a certain extent the story of the Western Isles is the story of Clan Donald.

By the time we had seen round the museum, wandered around the grounds, and eaten our lunch it was time to head back to the terminal to get the ferry back to Mallaig.

The castle and it’s grounds

Back on the mainland, our journey back to Oban continued by coach. Partly to give us a slightly different view of the scenery and partly to allow us to stop at Glenfinnan to view the viaduct from a different angle.

On the way south we caught up with the Jacobite steam train. This caused a certain amount of excitement among some (mainly older male) members of our party. I feel that I should point out that while I love trains, it is travelling by train that I love, rather than the means of propulsion. Other people do feel diferently. Our driver knew of a place a few miles ahead where she thought that we would be able to get a good photo of the train exiting a tunnel. We then had a high speed race to get to the favoured spot before the train. I have never before experienced a coach taking a corner on two (three?) wheels.

We made it in time to see the train, but my photos were essentially a cloud of steam. We headed south to Glenfinnan, where we stopped get photos of the train crossing the viaduct.

Harry Potter on his way home.

An aside: I have just realised that there is a flaw in the Harry Potter story line. If you are going to cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct you need to catch a train from Euston and not from Kings Cross.

Also at Glenfinnan is the Memorial to the failed 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Charles Stuart (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie) unfurled his banner here and laid claim to the crown of the United Kingdom. In 1815, after the Jacobite cause was no longer seen as a threat a local laird erected the monument.

1745 Monument

After that it was back to Oban. We did get to appreciate the views across to Ardgour and Morven on the way home.

Over dinner we found out via our waiter that the hotel is apparently haunted. We shall keep an open mind.

Despite the five-thirty start it turned out to be a good day.

Lockdown Holiday 2

Day Two: On to Oban

We started with a suitably Covid-19 compliant breakfast, which wasn’t too bad. Sausage in a proper Scottish morning roll along with the normal cereal and toast. Perhaps they could have managed a slice of Lorne sausage instead of normal sausages, but it was fine.

As our bags were being transported on to Oban we decided to walk up to Queen Street to catch the train. We bought some salads and sandwiches on the way up to the station. We noted the mounted statues of Glasgow were decked out in their traditional head gear.

Traditional Headgear for Mounted Statues in Glasgow.

On to the train to Oban. It is about one hundred miles and takes about three hours. HS2 will not do anything to change that. Actually, because once we were out of the suburbs of Glasgow, the scenery is very attractive, I wouldn’t have wanted the train to go any faster. The trees are turning It all looked picture postcard perfect. Well not quite, because it was a grey and misty day, but I think that the rain and the mist bring their own kind of beauty to the Highlands.

We arrived in Oban about two o’clock, having eaten our sandwiches on the train, we didn’t need lunch, and, as we couldn’t check into our hotel until later we went for a walk.

We found a seal watching trip. There were supposed to be nine people including us but the other seven failed to show so we had our own exclusive cruise. We didn’t see any seals, but we did have an excellent trip down the Sound of Kerrera.

The trip took about an hour and cost £12, I would recommend it. We arrived back in Oban about four o’clock, by which time we could check into our hotel.

McCaig’s Tower (or Folly)

After we checked in, we unpacked, Diane obtained a pre-dinner Gin and Tonic. After dinner we went to bed, because we had to be up at stupid o’clock the following morning.

Lockdown Holiday

Day 1: to Glasgow

This holiday started off as a Rhine Cruise with a a side trip up the Jungfrau by rail. That was cancelled due to Covid-19. The next option was a rail tour entitled “The Treasures of Tuscany”, which sounded a decent alternative. We might have needed to isolate on our return but as I am now retired, that would have been an inconvenience, but not much more. That was also cancelled. At this point Diane called the tour company to find what tours might actually run. Which is how we have ended up on a five-day tour of Oban, Skye and Mull.

Last week Nicola Sturgeon announced new and stricter lock down measures for Scotland. We thought that this holiday would also end up being cancelled as well. On Friday we received a phone call assuring us that the holiday was going ahead.

The new restrictions might make it a bit different from holidays we have had in the past. But then life is different from what we have known in the past. In the Central Belt all pubs are closed, cafes and restaurants have to close at six p.m. They also have other restrictions. Outside the central belt, where we are headed, the restrictions are (slightly) less severe. Hotels are allowed to serve evening meals, but not alcohol to residents. At least we can eat. (I think we are allowed to drink if we sit outside, in Oban, in October.)

The trip up to Glasgow, was fine as far as it went. Sitting in a train, wearing a mask, for five hours isn’t great, but I can put up with it. There was no catering on the train, but we were prepared, with a flask of coffee, sandwiches, and what our grandson Jack, describes as “snacks”.

The first three hours of the journey are fairly unremarkable. Some parts are attractive enough, but a lot of the time the line runs through industrial areas in varying states of decline. However the last two hours, from Lancaster, north to Glasgow are very attractive. The line passes though the Lake District and the Western Borders.

A lake,or possibly a loch.
Lake District fells

After we arrived in Glasgow we checked into our hotel (Holiday Inn Express) and decided to go for a walk, partly in search of alcohol, which the hotel is no longer allowed to serve.

Glasgow , at least down by the river, proved to be more photogenic than I remembered it.

Dinner was OK. Especially considering that the hotel probably doesn’t have a proper kitchen. we went to bed early. It had been a fairly long day.

Lockdown V2.0

22/09/2020

Bozo appeared on our TV screens tonight to announce that we were returning stricter lockdown conditions because Covid-19 infections had started rising exponentially (R>1). As can be seen from the graph

UK: number of new coronavirus cases per day 
6,000 
5,000 
4,000 
3,000 
2,000 
1.000 
Mar 
4926 
May 
Aug

It is back to working from home if you can. Not that it will make any difference to me. I have recently, more or less, retired. It seems like it was only a few days ago that every one was being urged to go back to the office to save Prêt a Manger and Costa Coffee.

We are allowed to meet in groups of up to six people, from no more than six different households, (I think) except for grouse shooting. The guidance, as per normal, is a bit vague. Mask wearing is now compulsory in a lot of situations, with fines of up to £200 for non compliance. How that will be enforced I have no idea.

I’m not even sure that people will follow the regulations. The first time round, most people followed the guidelines fairly well. However a lot of that goodwill evaporated when Dominic Cummings took his trip to Durham, after having been diagnosed with Covid-19. This broke every rule in the book, but rather than being sacked, he was allowed to carry carry on as before, shovelling barrow loads of taxpayers money to companies run by friends and acquaintances, for services of dubious provenance.

In the video, if you can stomach watching it, he says that too many people failed to follow the rules, and that is why we are in the situation we are in now. I would say that because one high profile person broke the rules with impunity others decide to follow his example.

During the month of August, we were all encouraged to “Eat Out To Help Out”. On Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the government paid half our bill in a restaurant. This led, in New Malden, at least, to non-socially distanced queues of people round the block for some restaurants. This would not have had any effect on transmission rates.

Since my last post I have had a very pleasant holiday in the Isle of Wight in the company of Diane’s grandkids. (We allowed their mum and dad to come along as well)

Other bad news from the lockdown announcement; Stadiums will remain closed to supporters indefinitely. I bought my new replica tops (home and away) yesterday, in preparation for our (AFC Wimbledon) return to Plough Lane. I also bought a new Plough Lane scarf and a couple of AFC Wimbledon facemasks. The way things are going the only things that I might get to wear are the facemasks.

23/09/2020

Toilet rolls are disappearing from the shelves again, which surprises me, I would have thought that half the country still has about six months supply from last time.

Life goes on in the sort of Locked-Down United Kingdom

I haven’t written anything on here for over a month. This was the last thing I wrote, but didn’t publish. Since writing this bit below a couple of things have clarified, The season has now started, behind closed doors, and we have a temporary home at The Kiyan Prince Memorial Stadium, courtesy of Queens Park Rangers. We played Oxford in the EFL Cup yesterday and lost on penalties. Disappointing, but apparently there were a lot of positives to take from our performance against the team that I thought was the best in League One last year. Work at Plough Lane has progressed as well, but we still don’t have a definite opening date. The first match could be against Blackpool on Tuesday the 27th of October, but we don’t know as yet. Whenever it is, I hope that at least some fans are allowed in to watch. I would hate the team to run out for the first time to an empty stadium.

Day 132 Sunday 02/08/2020

Yesterday was the first Saturday in August. It should be the start of AFC Wimbledon’s annual attempt to remain in EFL League One. Four seasons ago we stayed up comfortably. Three seasons ago it took a scrappy 0-0 draw away to Doncaster on the second last game of the season to ensure we stayed up. Two seasons ago, it was another even scrappier 0-0 draw at Bradford on the final day that kept us up on goal difference. The season just gone saw us stay up, just, on average points per game after the season was curtailed.

Last seasons opening game.

If we continue that trajectory, we are favourites to be relegated.

This year however The Cherry Red Records Stadium is no more. Kingsmeadow has reverted to its proper name, and is now solely the home of Chelsea Women. We are on our way home to Plough Lane. The only problem is that I have no idea when the new season will start. It is probably a good thing, from our point of view, as the new stadium is unlikely to be completed until October. When, or if, the season starts the first games will probably have to be played behind closed doors. It might be possible to do that at Plough Lane as the pitch has been laid and looks in very good condition. Otherwise, we will need to find a temporary venue. Possibly Kingsmeadow, if Chelsea are willing.

Under construction
What it should look like
Getting there

We also have new Home and Away Kits.

I like them a lot.

Change Kit

LOCKDOWN?? UK DAY118

Day118 Sunday 19/07/2020

More lockdown easing. Today we went to Painshill Park. A c18th landscape garden set between the A3 and the M25. Neither of which existed at the time of it’s creation. Actually the A3 probably did, but it would have run through the centre of Cobham rather than bypassing it. And it would have be known as the Portsmouth Road. Considering that I have lived in this area for 35 years this was the first time I had visited. Surprisingly t was also the first time that Diane had visited as well, and she has lived (almost) all her life in the area.

The park was laid out by an Anglo-Irishman the Hon. Charles Hamilton. He started in about 1738 and ran out of money 1773 and was forced to sell. In the meantime, inspired by two Grand Tours and his art collection he laid out a spectacular landscape garden populated by follies.

For a more information there is a Wikipedia entry and the Official Website. Click the links to find out more.

I was highly impressed by it. Entry at £9.00 for adults isn’t particularly expensive.

Probably the best way to give a flavour of the place is to post some of the pictures I took.

I can’t really comment on their catering as the facilities were only partially open, but I had a good mascarpone ice cream before we started our walk and we finished off with a cup of tea and a scone under the trees.

Lockdown?? UK Days 109-112

There has been a bit of a hiatus in my lockdown postings. Partly because, although this pandemic is by no means over, our wonderful, “led by the science” except when the science disagrees with them, government seems to think that it is. Consequently, it does not feel like lockdown any more. The only trouble being that nothing is back to normal either.

Day 109 Friday 10/07/2020

Today was a big day for Diane. She had an appointment with her hairdresser. She has been quite happy to cut my hair using the clippers (No.3 all over), and I have been happy for her to do it. In fact, I may let her carry on doing it and save £12 a month. Strangely, she was reluctant to allow me to return the compliment.

She came back not sure about her hair cut. I’m not sure why, the style is the same as she has always had (as long as we have known each other) just a bit shorter and less shaggy than yesterday. I sure that she will be fine after she gets used to it.

Day 110 Saturday 11/07/2020

We had some little visitors today. It is Jack’s (who used to be Diane’s youngest grandson) fifth birthday on Monday, and we are having a party tomorrow. His new cousins decided to come up from deepest darkest Hampshire to help him celebrate. (Mum, Dad and big sister also came). The idea is that we will look after Amiee and Andrew, and hopefully keep ‘Tilda occupied so that they can have a bit of a rest. That is provided Finn and Sol are cooperative. I think that the idea is I do the cooking while Diane gets to cuddle the babies. I might get the occasional cuddle myself.

Apart from Finn and Sol we had another visitor this morning. We found a Golden-Ringed Dragonfly. We knew that there were dragonfly larvae in the pond, so it had almost certainly just hatched out. It is big (for a dragon fly), probably about 85 mm long. I managed to take a few photos before it flew off.

Day 111 Sunday 12/07/2020

Today was Party Day. Because lock-down isn’t quite over, Jack couldn’t have his friends to the party. He had to make do with his aunts, uncles, grand-parents and me.

He liked his rainbow cake, and was definitely amused by this book that we bought him

Day 112 Monday 13/07/2020

We still had our guests staying with us. As we hadn’t been up to the allotment for a while, we thought we had better go have a look and see what was growing. We took Matilda, to give her mum a bit of a break. We picked quite a lot of raspberries, but by the time we made it home there seemed to fewer than I remembered picking. Strange that.

I am running a bit behind, but nothing much has been happening recently to inspire blogging. I’ll be back when I have some more inspiration.

Random thoughts, ramblings and rants

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