August 2012

Olympic TorchFor me the last few weeks have been busy but at the same time sad following the deaths of both a sister-in-law and a good friend who was best man at my wedding. I wanted to be at both funerals but by unfortunate coincidence, I was faced with a dilemma as both were on the same day and time in different parts of the country and each a lengthy journey. In the end I decided family must come first. Even though I am certain I made the right choice it still leaves one with a feeling of remorse. I am certain that feeling would have still been present whatever decision I made.

Apart from a brief spell of sunshine the almost daily rain showers have paid havoc with the garden. The constant warmth and moisture have provided ideal growing conditions for grass and with three and a bit large lawns, keeping them trim is proving to be something of a military planning operation. With one eye on the weather and constant testing the grass for wetness hoping for the lawns to be dry enough to cut before the next shower arrives. I suspect most gardeners are facing similar problems at the moment. It is hard to believe that only a few short months ago, dire predictions of drought were being talked about.

The Olympics are still in full swing as I write and much of the country is in a form of self-imposed purdah as we follow the countries and athlete’s fortunes. I must say I have been very impressed with Team GB not because I am English but because they have trained and excelled so well. They thoroughly deserve the honours they are winning. I have no doubt the next time I phone my Australian brother-in-law, there is likely to be some friendly banter about our respective countries position in the Olympic medal table.

I certainly found the opening event of the Olympics enjoyable. A great deal of wisdom was exercised in not trying to copy Beijing. With chimney stacks erupting out of the ground I found myself at the time wondering how on earth they did that. I found Kenneth Branagh instantly recognisable as Isambard Kingdom Brunel but I understand other countries not so steeped in the UK’s history initially faced some difficulty understanding who he was. I did have a good chuckle the next day when I read some US T.V. stations initially thought he was Abraham Lincoln.

The past month has also been the season for weekend barbeques enjoyed in the company of friends. Not a week seems to pass where the smell of meat being barbequed is wafting across our or friends gardens. I am pleased to say this delightful process is likely to continue through August.

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