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9th May 2022

I saw a photo of myself on the front page of the local paper last week, and I didn't recognise myself – I looked so old!
So, Dil took pictures of me dressed up in the pink and ready to go out yesterday, and thankfully I think I look a whole lot better.

The meeting yesterday was with work colleagues who (apart from the host) I hadn't seen since I left in 1988 – you do the maths! – and we all looked quite chipper. A lovely occasion. We mustn't wait so long next time.

2nd May 2022

We had a few days away with friends at Mansfield Woodhouse last week, and while there visited Laxton (last village in England to still do strip farming) and Hardwick Hall ("more glass than wall": see pic) – both interesting places in their different ways.

Back home, it was time for the annual Bluebell Walk – and we timed it right this year (see pic of bluebells along Cradle Lane).

25th April 2022

I had my fourth Covid jab during the week – had no ill effects and, while I'm glad of that, it does make you hope that it's doing some good in there.

I've also finished typesetting two books for a local Catholic church (St Joan of Arc, Farnham) which tell of its history and that of Catholics in the area generally over the years. All new to me, and a look into a world that I knew little of. Typesetting local history can be quite an education.

18th April 2022

Nice weather over the Easter weekend for once. But not quite warm enough to tempt us into shorts!

11th April 2022

Did the annual clearing of the garden ponds today – on my knees groping under the surface to bring up whatever had fallen into them over the past 12 months. Never a nice job. But what is nice are the several Snakeshead Fritillaries (see pic) which have come up in our tin bath by the front door – I think we planted them a year or two ago, but this is the first time we've seen them in abundance. Lovely, but strange plants.

1st April 2022

Just spent four days in a Warner Leisure establishment. No joke. It felt rather like being in St Peter's waiting room expecting the pearly gates to open at any time and let us all in. Not really for us!
But we did get to listen to the Barron Knights on stage – still going strong after all these years (well, some of them at least) and we'd have been rolling in the aisles if it weren't for all the Zimmer frames.

21st March 2022

We only had to read in 3 parts for the second weekend of Sleeping Beauty – an improvement on last week. So, we made it to the end, and now we can relax. It's been a bit of a nightmare this year. As I told the cast at the afterr-show party, if this had been my first attempt at directing a panto, it would also have been my last! (See photos of the show)

14th March 2022

We made it! We had to read in 4 parts, but we finally put Sleeping Beauty on this weekend and the audiences loved it.
All we have to do now is hope that the cast stay fit and well for next weekend's shows.

7th March 2022

Well, we've managed to get as far as the first Dress Rehearsal of the pantomime with me having to read in for just two cast members (down with the dreaded lurgy). Let's cross our fingers and hope that all will be well for the performances, which start coming this Friday.

21st February 2022

We survived both storms Dudley and Eunice with no damage here at home. There were several trees down on local roads disrupting traffic for a while, and some friends lost power for a while, but no major problems.

14th February 2022

It's Valentine's Day – of course it is! – and our clever cats remembered to send each of us a card!!

7th February 2022

Led the monthly local walk yesterday, to Conford and back – crocuses and catkins out in abundance. The old red telephone box there has been refurbished and now contains a small library of books. The weather was windy but dry, and we ended up in the Holly Bush for a drink and a snack.

24th January 2022

Different people are finding their way out of the pandemic in different ways. I've started giving talks again, and most groups assemble and mingle without wearing masks – but at a session last week everyone, including the speakers, wore masks and chairs were spread out 2 metres apart. I'm sure this will be a fertile source of psychological research in years to come.

17th January 2022

On the day that we would have opened our pantomime had we not postponed it, I gave a Zoom talk on the 'History of Headley Theatre Club 2012-2021'. This was the third in the series and brought us up to date.

10th January 2022

So, having said we'd postpone the panto fearing that the cast wouldn't be able to attend rehearsals, they all (or nearly all) turned up at a meeting last week which I'd organised to 'keep us all together' until rehearsal restarted — and it turned into a very productive rehearsal! An example of Murphy's Law in reverse.

3rd January 2022

This time last year I said: "The start of another year – hopefully better than the last!" But it really wasn't, so let's hope the wish comes true this year. We are mightily fed up with this bug!

We have postponed the panto until March hoping that things will have improved by then. We could have tried keeping it running this month, but the problem is that if any member of the cast tested positive for Covid (or even thought they might have it) during the rehearsal run we'd have very few people attending rehearsals. Only time will tell if it all works out OK.
Meanwhile, we had over 20 people attend the New Year's Party which we organised this weekend in the Village Hall – and so far no reports of any bug-spreadings from that. The pic on the right shows light maintenance in the midst of revelry!

Continued …

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