What a difference a month makes!! Even the water butts are completely full and overflowing. It can only get better from now on…..well this weekend is due to be fine! A quiet month as August normally is, however, a small but select few gathered in Julia’s lovely garden for the Book Group meeting on Friday 14th. All with own chairs and coffee, as still social distancing. Maybe under the apple tree for shade as it was still beautiful weather then. A Biography or Autobiography of one’s choice had been read and discussed, also given a score. They were as follows- Grayson Perry-Portrait of the artist as a Young Girl, biography by Wendy James. 7….Traces by Patricia Wiltshire. 7….Biography of Alison Uttley By Dennis Judd. 5….Alan Titchmarsh’s Autobiography Trowl & Error. 9….Biography of Teddy Roosevelt by Brett Harper. 8….and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography.10.. Also Courtesans by Katie Hickman. 9….and lastly The Country Girl by Allison Uttley. 10.
Saturday 15th was of course the 75th Anniversary of V. J. day and Steventon celebrated the event outside the Village Hall at 3.00pm. Laurence, looking magnificent in his attire, began by playing “The Battle’s O’er” on the bagpipes, wonderful. A very thought provoking time as we were reminded of those who gave their lives in the often forgotten conflicts in the Far East. Julian had written and read, a very moving account which involved his family and dearest Sally’s family which Julian graciously agreed could be printed in the Parish Magazine which can be seen below. The triangle looked splendid with bunting and flowers in the tubs, wartime music gently playing in the background as we all caught up with one another and were treated to Laurence playing once again before heading for home.
I met Laura Hazell out on one of many walks and in conversation found out that along with her friend Charlie they were going to undertake an amazing walk. In Laura’s words:- “This September Graham, myself and Charlie Harrison should have been undertaking the For Rangers Ultra Marathon, raising funds for the protection of wild African animals, in particular the endangered Rhino. We would have been undertaking five marathons in five days across 4 Kenyan game reserves, carrying all our kit. The pandemic postponed the event until 2021 but it did not postpone the poaching which has in fact escalated. It is not only humans who are being affected by the Coronavirus. To keep the momentum going, the three of us decided to replicate, as far as possible, our African challenge. The CEO (and her husband) of Save the Rhino will also be joining us for the whole event. On the dates we would have been in Kenya (September 18 – 22), the three of us will be walking 5 marathons in 5 days across the Hampshire countryside, staying in tents, not in the African bush, but in friends gardens. If you would like to find out more, the adventure and the cause are on the Laura-Charlie-Graham site of JustGiving. Or just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, if you would like to join us for part or all of a day’s walk, please do get in contact and we can share details of our route.” How fantastic it that and I am sure all of us wish them all the very best and look forward to hearing all about it. Who is up for joining them I wonder?
The swallows have been gathering in numbers which has been wonderful to see as before there had been very few sightings. Great numbers of blue-tits, goldfinches, nuthatches, robins and woodpeckers still arriving on the bird table and hanging food supplies! Veggies, tomatoes inside and out doing really well, how they haven’t been blown over is amazing…Looking forward to more of those stunning sunsets we have seen as we sat outside in the warm balmy evenings. Let us hope for a warm day for Harvest Service on Sunday 27th September followed by a picnic. A perfect time for the village to get together once more. I’m off now to retrieve my washing off the line as some seems to have blown away!