June Blog 2020

It doesn’t seem possible next week we will be into the month of June, flaming June! Looks like it might well live up to its name, although how very blessed we have all been with this glorious weather which has enabled us to enjoy our gardens and countryside so very much. Without a doubt the most amazing event to report is indeed the 8th May when all over the country we were joined together to remember all the Heroes of WW2. Here in Steventon there was to be a tea party and an informal concert, which of course had to be cancelled. However, with the sun shining, people in their gardens or watching events on the TV, even walking, at 11.00am silence descended as for 2 minutes we all remembered and reflected in our individual ways. Around 2.45pm a few people could be seen making their way down to the village triangle, as we joined in, all keeping very safe distances, flags of all shapes and sizes could be seen along the way. What a sight met our eyes outside the village hall, as many villagers had arrived, everyone in such a joyous exuberant mood to see each other once again. It was such an amazing experience. Then, just before 3.00pm, Laurence, our resident piper, arrived and a hush fell across the area. A toast was given as we raised our glasses, or water bottles! Then Laurence, looking magnificent in his attire, started to play. Spine tingling and very emotional, a time I’m sure we will never forget. A huge thank you to Laurence, to Rachel & Phil for decorating the triangle and Amanda & Dave for streaming it live on Zoom. If anyone would like to see a record of this special event just go to Steventon Village Website where photos etc. can be enjoyed. Chris also collected “Memories” of VE Day from some of the older residents of the village. Along with photos and the history of events, it is a remarkable article and can be viewed also on the village website. Thank you Chris, quite brilliant.

Also on the village website is Julian’s Virtual Bluebell Tour, also on You Tube I believe. Quite incredible, beautiful, humorous and told in a way only Julian could do. As the yearly Bluebell Coffee morning had to be cancelled, Julian came up with this spectacular idea of a video with narration to be sent out for all to enjoy via Cassandra. A link had been set up for donations and it looks like they have surpassed the target of £1500 and overall, including Gift Aid, are looking at a total in excess of £2000 for St. Michael’s Hospice. Fantastic. Many thanks go to Marilyn & Paul, Chris, Shona, Jeff, Ian and Tim for helping collate this amazing idea and of course to our wonderful Julian, for once again sharing his very special and beautiful event, this year in his very own unique way.

The “’Virtual” Book Group met via Zoom, on Friday 15th and thanks to Amanda on her professional version, they managed to chat away for over 2 hours!!! Tea and cake enjoyed in one’s own home during this time, while each one talked about their favourite book they read as a child and why they had chosen it. Great selection from timeless classics to Ronald Dahl and the Giant Peach, terrific and great to read your review Sue, thank you.

UFO is continuing with child friendly face masks being made, also teddy and doll masks!! Thus encouraging children visiting Child Health, the Play Team at BNH for appointments, just incredible.

Some sad news was that Frank Houghton, a long standing resident of Steventon and was one of the game keepers on Steventon Estate for many years, sadly passed away at the end of April. He was one of life’s great characters, as those that knew him would agree and as Frank used to say, “Frank by name Frank by nature.” He would have had some memories to share of his time spent in Burma and India during the war. Plus of course great tales to tell of his country life.

The gardens are coming into their own now, blossom everywhere has been spectacular. The special roses, that was Mike’s fathers originally, has never looked more beautiful with the perfume being exquisite. The birds are still quite wonderful, swallows have arrived, a sight to behold and we heard the very distinct call of the Cuckoo. Frenchy, the partridge, is getting so tame now, almost eating out of Mike’s hand and chats away at us until we drop sunflower seeds on the grass for her. We presume it is a female as her partner is much larger, but he is such a wimp and rushes off as soon as we appear! Sylvia has hedgehogs in her garden, still not sure if they are in the hedgehog house! And we have plenty of evidence of them in the garden…….Last of all, a heartfelt thanks to all our wonderful, caring volunteers in the village who have been and still are helping in all ways for us all if needed. Always with a smile and a friendly chat….Wow, there will certainly be a big party when we are able.

Looks like dinner out in the garden once again and BBQ’s maybe this week too, wonderful.

How great to receive our paper copy of the magazine once again, thank you Julie for enabling us to be able to continue to get a copy on line, nothing quite like holding it in one’s hand.