What an amazing day it was for the village fete. Weather perfect, no cakes melting! Or any individuals either! A fabulous scene was set for the afternoon of the 23rd June and before long the beautiful gardens were full as everyone mingled between stalls, games and under the trees for delicious cake and tea. A steady trickle of children, also some adults, enjoyed their ride on the ponies, much to the delight of all. Thank you to Dawn and Ahmed of Horseology for providing two very well behaved ponies once again. The hotdogs and burgers kept Tony and Matt exceptionally busy on the B-B-Q. A record amount was raised this year of £2752.85 before expenses so thank you to all who helped in any way. This will be distributed between St Nicholas’ church fund and the Village Hall. Also a special thank you to Simon and Harriet for once again welcoming us all at Oakdown House as their gardens were transformed for this wonderful village event.
On the evening of Tuesday 25th singing could be heard flowing from the village hall as once again we joined Marilyn and Paul for an evening of fun and song.
Saturday 29th the Basingstoke Choral Society, which includes singers from Steventon and North Waltham, held their concert, ‘A Feast of Favourite’s at St. Michael’s Church, Basingstoke. Soprano Lucinda Cox was amazing as was the solo trumpet player Crispian Steele-Perkins. David Gibbons once again producing and excellent concert. On the same evening Mike and Jeff were with Marilyn and Paul over in Blackmoor. ‘Sweet Even’ a Musical Prelude to the Tercentenary in 2020 of the birth of The Rev Gilbert White was being performed by The Akina Ensemble with Bernard Whelan as Gilbert White. This performance was held at St. Matthew’s Church in aid of The Friends of St. Matthew’s Church. Victoria Stapleton, Paul and Marilyn’s daughter, is first violin of Akina Strings which was formed in 2010 by the four versatile young professional musicians. They have established a reputation for providing exquisite and captivating musical entertainment for weddings, corporate events and other special occasions, amongst many more prestigious events. Also entertained newly-weds George and Amal Clooney…..The group now also embraces a number of additional occasional players, including Marilyn on clarinet and Paul on organ and piano. How very wonderful for them and of course very special. Anyway….Mike and Jeff were required during the ‘Battle of Prague’ the performance being the original version for piano, violin and cello. Bursting of the balloons as the cannons were sounded, amongst many other antics, were performed by the duo and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Friday 5th July Rev. Julia took the service at Oak Lodge accompanied by a few Ukulele players as Paul and Marilyn had a well earned holiday. A very full and jolly service had by all, lovely to see Joyce and to spend time having a chat.
Sunday 7th was the day of Ashe Warren Farm Carriage Drive. Fabulous day with 35 entries which was wonderful. Beautiful ponies, some pairs, including Shetlands, a delight to behold, who all thoroughly enjoyed their day which was by kind permission of Sir Michael & Lady Colman and Sir Timothy & Lady Sainsbury and of course Susan Hewetson-Brown. All in aid of Newbury Pony Driving for the Disabled on their 20th Anniversary of this event. Beautiful routes through farmland and woods, also past the most stunning lavender fields and wild flowers. On a perfect day who could ask for more.
Book Club was held at Sally’s on Friday 12th. Where we discussed ‘Flight’ by Isabel Ashdown and a score of 8 was given so definitely recommended. Thank you Sally for the most delicious and beautiful cake, which was consumed during a very jolly gathering with much laughter.
Jane Austen visitors on different dates have been to St. Nicholas’ this month, 6 groups, including a large number of very jolly Italian ladies, many who did not speak any English!! The youngster of the party did translate! Also a coach full of JASNA visitors who enjoyed cookies and elderflower refreshments outside before departing. Sunday 14th was also the Summer Fayre at Chawton House with stalls, talks, workshops and plenty of Regency entertainment, celebrating Jane Austen and the village of Chawton. Steventon’s St. Nicholas church also had a stall which did well, good to meet so many people from many countries. That evening Jane Austen Evensong was held in Steventon’ St. Nicholas’ church where the choir enjoyed extra singers, especially the male voices….One being Tristen, Marilyn & Paul’s son, who is over from Canada with his choir, perfect. The service was taken by the new Priest in Charge from Overton, James Russel. Thank you also to Paul & Marilyn for inviting the choir back for supper which was enjoyed in the garden as it was so lovely.
Coffee & Cake on Monday 15th was amazing as a large number gathered together with much chatting and laughter, the most for a very long time. Thank you for the delicious cakes everyone had made and especially to the washers-up, thank you..
The colours are changing in the fields, harvest is not far away. Swallows are ducking and diving in search of insects and the bats can be seen as we enjoy evenings outside this time of the year. The chickens suddenly saw to their delight a swarm of flying ants emerging from one of the large flower pots, they quickly tried to peck away as many as they could before they had all flown away! The pigeon that was sitting on her nest, left hers and promptly sat herself on the doves nest in the next tree, how extraordinary! Peg-leg the pigeon, yes he is still alive, is very confused and doesn’t know where to put the next piece of twig!! The hawk is still around which we think is the reason the goldfinches have dropped in numbers. Veggies are doing well, though the water butts are now once again getting very low. B-B-Q maybe once again this weekend? Enjoy this wonderful time of the year.