Every Easter Sunday we hold a family party for all the Mundy’s. Only one was missing this year – young Max – who was off skiing in France with his schoolmates. But his bronze head remains here. It’ll be completely finished next week. At the moment the cast has just been removed from its fibreglass jacket - still very dull. This Friday I’ll spend hours polishing and grate-blacking it.
We all had lunch at the Maltsters in Greys – a mile or so on the outskirts of Henley. Twenty of us were there and enjoyed a great lunch. Here’s Louisa, my niece, me and sister-in-law, Val.
Afterwards we congregated at Val’s house. She’d spent the previous day making an enormous amount of delicious puddings.
One of the favourites with the children was a hot chocolate fondue, with dips of banana, pineapple, strawberries, and marshmallows.
Here's my nephew, Stew, with his glamorous daughters, Annabel and Genevieve.
Later in the afternoon we played ‘The Money Game’. For over forty years I’ve been doing this. It all started when I lived abroad and came home on leave. All the coins I collected over the weeks were saved up until I went back to Asia. Usually on my last day I’d line the 4 children up in Bob and Val’s garden the throw all the coins into the back garden. On the word ‘go’ they’d scramble for the money. Now it’s their children who play the game. This year I had nearly two years bags of coins – probably about £100 worth. As the back garden was a little contaminated with pheasant droppings we went to the front lawns. Great fun. Little 6 year-old Kate collected the most. (She has her eye on a penguin thingamabob and has been saving up. Now she has enough.). Here’s Kate posing behind a daffodil and another picture - very ladylike.
I spent a lot of the holiday weekend preparing more items for my autumn exhibition. I know it’s a long while off, but time races on and there’s such a lot to do. One of the four large lectern cases will show the progressive stages of 3 miniature portraits, so I printed out enlarged ovals and wrote descriptive, and I hope, informative, cards.
My young friend took a number of passport photographs of me on Monday afternoon as I suddenly realised my passport only has 3 months to go before it expires. I might have to dash off to Bangkok for a few days very soon, and as Thailand will only permit passengers to land in their country with passports having at least 6 months to go before expiry. It took ages to get photographs without reflection on my glasses.
But when I took the application form, photographs and cheque to the post office I was immediately told that the PO doesn’t take cheques, and as I’d made it out to the Passport Office, it was no good. And even the tiny dot of reflection on my glasses would result in a rejection. But I could have a photo taken at the Post Office photo booth without glasses, which she assured me would be acceptable – even though I wear spectacles permanently. (This reminded me of the time I applied for a Thai driving licence when I lived in that country. There, no licenses can be issued with the driver’s photograph showing them wearing glasses. This, I was told, because the issuing authority assumed that anyone wearing glasses had defective vision. I even pointed out that I’d be a very dangerous driver if I tried to drive without glasses! It made no difference).
I now have to wait for three weeks before I get a new passport.
Well, Easter Day was the coldest Easter day – ever! This time last year I was on the river in my little dinghy. The clocks have gone forward, so come on Spring – we need some warm sunshine.