It’s summer at last; a long spell of hot days with glorious sunshine in a piercing blue sky followed by long balmy evenings, and daily routines – especially blogging ones – thrown completely out of order. I love it for all sorts of reasons; tennis (watching), gardens, Tour de France (watching), national holidays, World Cup football (watching), beaches and best of all, friends. We’ve had a number of friends visit Paris in the last month, although I have to say it wasn’t always hot and sunny when the first visitors were here, but the last couple of weeks have been sublime. Out on excursions I’ve found places I haven’t seen before even though I’ve walked the particular route many times before. That is the beauty of leisure time, a casual pace and time to explore off the beaten path in the company of lovely people. I really appreciate that our friends take time to get in touch and catch up with us when they are here. It’s very special so thank you Di, Anne, Liz, Mike and Ingrid.
We’ve had a short excursion to England to visit long-time friends from New Zealand who live most of the year in Cheltenham, and some of the year in Auckland. We spent a couple of wonderful days with them exploring the Cotswolds countryside and the beautiful regency town of Cheltenham. Angie and David kindly took us to visit Hidcote Manor Garden, a place I have wanted to see ever since my “passionate gardening phase.” I feel inspired all over again. Gazing out across the rural vistas from the edge of the garden I could see exactly the sort of scene I had imagined years ago reading Thomas Hardy’s novels at school, even knowing I was in the wrong county. We were perfectly far from the madding crowd.
We finished off the three days in Cheltenham with a weekend in London to see our son Sam and his girlfriend Anna who are settling into the thrill of London life, and excited to be living the Big OE dream. (We are still excited to be living our OPOE* dream!) Sam and Anna indulged me by posing for a photo shoot in their winter hand-knitted jersies despite London putting on the hottest temperatures for the summer so far.
The out-of-routine routine continues for a couple of weeks and then we will really be on holiday. I won’t spoil the surprise yet and tell you exactly where we are headed, but you know I do like to be beside the sea.
OPOE – have you figured it out? Old Person’s Overseas Experience