In the evening we joined about twenty miniaturists for a dinner at the Ancient Gate House adjacent to Wells Cathedral. What a beautiful and enormous cathedral it is. It dominates the city. Early next morning I drove back into Wells - Mike and Sharran had left some hours earlier to set up their Olive Trail stall in the Market Place there. By the way the gent in the green frockcoat is the Wells Town Crier.
I was very pleased to win the Bell Award for the Best Portrait (it was of Leslie Thomas – the famous author). I’ll keep it for one year before returning it next year, when I’ll receive a small replica. How nice.
Isn’t this a boring story? Nearly finished. I eventually went round in a great big zig-zaggedly circle to finally end up here in the village of Bishopsteignton. The journey took over five hours, and should have taken just two. You feel so helpless when there’s a hold-up and you don’t know why or when it will clear. I got hopelessly lost in the narrow lanes of Devon as I went backwards and forwards retracing my steps time and time again. Luckily there was no one in the car with me as the air turned blue with my swearing.
But today is another day. And as I said I’m enjoying the peace of Ian and Jane’s garden. It’s another gloriously sunny day.
David and Joyce joined us for champagne on the terrace prior to driving to a tiny hamlet called Marldon to have lunch in the Church House Inn. There’s nothing I like more than a Brandy Snap Basket with pineapple ice cream to finish a meal with. Which is what I did.
So what did I do earlier in the week? It was pretty boring, as I spent the first three days doing my income tax for the year. Finally the old washing machine was taken away which means I can get back into the kitchen once again.
On Monday I went for another tutorial at the Henley Bowling Club. David, the coach for the evening, put me right on my stance, which resulted in a big improvement. Now I have my own set of woods hopefully I’ll progress a bit more rapidly. I’m enjoying the game a lot – there’s a lot more to it than I thought, of course.
Felicity, Fenwick and I went to the cinema on Tuesday evening to see the film ‘Angels and Demons’ based on Dan Brown’s novel. Certainly the lavish scenes of the Vatican and the fabulous costumes were spectacular. But the story was beyond me. It reminded me more of an Indianan Jones epic. Tom Hanks in the leading role discovers the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati – the most powerful underground organisation in history. We were treated to a non-stop race around sealed crypts, catacombs and deserted cathedrals. It was all most frenetic and at one point the villain had removed one of the Cardinal’s eyes so he could use it to enter a secret vault, which needed eye recognition entry. Quite gruesome. I really wasn’t sure what to make of the film.
To keep you updated on the swans before they finally leave our garden, I took this little video the other day. You can see there are only five signets left. One of the original seven was taken by a crow, and the other one either fell victim to a pike or just got lost. We’ll never know.