September Blog 2015

It seems a long time ago since Sunday 21st June, when the village fete was held in the beautiful grounds of Oakdown House. Blessed once more with fabulous weather, stalls fully laden, all the favourite games, plus the tennis court in action with Manydown tennis club, with the help of Tom the parrot in full flight!! After a slow start all was abuzz with the sounds of laughter and chatter. The ponies were once again so well behaved and a delight to those who eagerly had a ride. Thank you so much Dawn and Ahmed of Horse-Ology. All too soon the gardens were transformed back once more to their tranquil and peaceful setting. A special thank you to Harriet and Simon for their generosity and enthusiasm for this yearly event. A total of just under £2000 was raised.
Friday 10th July at St. Nicholas’ a large party of very happy Americans visited as part of their Jane Austen tour. To watch the large coach perform a perfect three point turn in such a small lane was amazing. After their very informative talk and tour, refreshments were outside in the sunshine, bliss. The elderflower cordial caused a stir as the majority had never tried it before and were intrigued to know where and how it was made.
Book group was held at Marilyn’s that afternoon where ‘Suite Francaise’ by Irene Nemirovshy was discussed. It was written as trilogy but only two parts were finished due to the tragic death of the author. Her daughter edited the notes having found them many years later. Definitely worth a read. We were treated to perfectly cooled Pimms along with a large slice of very delicious pecan and cream sponge, while enjoying the sunshine in the garden. Thank you so much Marilyn.
Saturday 11th was the Garden Party at the Rectory, North Waltham. The Steventon Ukulele group were amongst those who played for the afternoon. There were plenty of wonderful cakes to keep any hunger pangs at bay and numerous cups of tea that were all thoroughly enjoyed. The afternoon finished with Songs of Praise. The hymns had been requested by certain people to which they shared their reasons why it was their favourite, making it that little more special. Thank you to Julia and Dave for a lovely afternoon.
The following day, Sunday, the Ukulele group were once again playing, this time for Communion service at church. Paul was engaged elsewhere, however, he managed to arrive to play the organ along with us for the last hymn. A great service in every way.
Sunday 19th at St. Nicolas’ was Jane Austen Evensong. A fabulous service, followed by the choir returning to Marilyn and Paul’s for supper enjoyed outside. Good company, food and wine ended a perfect day.
Ashe Park Gardens held two days for the public to enjoy the delights of these wonderful gardens thanks to Laura and Graham. Every where looked fabulous. We were particularly intrigued by the addition of The Cube. An amazing piece reaching high to the level of the tree canopies and yes, as Graham said, we would all be asking how and why?!! The second new addition was The Log Tree. A truly stunning design of beauty that went the length of the barn. We were trying to think how we could possibly change our log pile, how ever small. Work in progress!!
Tuesday evening of the 14th July a few from the village joined North Waltham Gardening club for a visit to Julian and Carolyn Sheffield’s home at Spring Wood, near Laverstoke. After a very warm welcome, Carolyn gave a very interesting summery of what it was like when they moved in to the transformation that it is today. The gardens are quite beautiful with an abundance of plants and colour everywhere. Very hard to believe that cows used to walk all around when it was once a yard and cow shed!!
July flowed into August. Singing and Ukulele have finished until September, so a quiet time now in Steventon. The garden is flourishing and the first runner beans have been delicious. There have been masses of butterflies on the pale lilac blossom of the brambles everywhere, hopefully a bumper crop of blackberries this year. A small blue butterfly was spotted in the garden, a first for many years. Holidays are still being enjoyed, time will come all too quickly for the beginning of term, some maybe not fast enough!! All the very best to those starting out on new adventures everywhere.