Getting my Leg Over

We went to The Fawley Hill Steam and Vintage show yesterday, hosted by Sir William and Lady McAlpine. It was held on their estate and was quite spectacular. I've never seen so many steam engines in one place ever before.

There were even TWO carousels, giving rides to anyone daring to climb up on the brightly coloured horses, chickens, dragons and other exotic creatures.

My young friend persuaded me to mount a rather wobbly rocking horse. OK getting on it when it was at its lowest position, but when the carousel eventually stopped I found myself at the highest point. So it was pretty difficult to get my leg back over to reach the ground! Here's the view from my mount.

Yesterday was really hot and the arena swarming with thousands of Fayre-goers. So much to see - even a fairly reckless camel race.

Colourful creatures, aren't they
Less colourful, but possessing better voices was the Wycombe Orpheus Male Voice Choir. One of their number is 92 years old and was singing as lustily as the rest. (He's the chap fourth from the left).

Following the choir was a performance of 'Oh What A Lovely War' by the Henley Operatic Society. (HAODS). Pity the acoustics and competition from other attractions made it difficult to make out some of the words. Nevertheless the train in the background was impressive.

I had a go with the heavy mallet - trying to ring the bell - but was pretty useless and only got halfway. But I suppose that's what having only half a lung left does to one's puff factor.

And then we came across an old 1936 Ford Eight - exactly the same year and make as my very first car - which cost me the princely sum of £30.

The Fayre was also held to celebrate Lady McAlpine's 70th birthday. Happy Birthday Judy x.
So, after eating a delicious hog roast sandwich we left the Fayre for a cooling trip down the river on my boat. And Later, to round off the day, we drove over to the Swan at Streatley where we had a lovely supper outside by the riverbank.

Here's the view from our table.

Last year I was privileged to be commissioned to paint a miniature portrait of the current Past Master of The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London - Nicholas Wood. So it was with great pleasure that I accepted Nicholas's invitation to the Livery Luncheon at Apothecaries Hall on Friday. It was great to be amongst so many eminent personalities.

Here is the Apothecaries crest. You may notice the rhinoceros at the top possesses two horns. This is because when Albrecht Durer was asked to paint an image of a rhinoceros, that animal had never before been seen in Europe at the time. Apparently one had been shipped over from Africa but unfortunately drowned when the ship capsized. So artist Durer painted the animal from a verbal description. His informant suggested that rhinoceroses have two horns but where they were located he wasn't quite sure. Durer then decided to place one on the animal's back.

Amongst my artistic exploits this week were the start of a watercolour of a family of Orangutans - and today's effort - helping my young friend paint her new garden shed.

The garden in the background is at an early stage, but is beginning to take shape. In the blazing hot sunshine today we persevered with the first undercoat to achieve this result.

To end my today's blog I'm pleased to say that after my recent scan we met with the oncologist on Wednesday afternoon. She didn't beat around the bush and immediately informed me that my lung was 'reassuringly boring' and went on to say that all was well. My kidneys are 100%, blood excellent, and no tumours at all anywhere in my body. That news, together with my own doctor's report that my blood pressure had gone down to 135, was a great relief. Happy days.