I had visitors for three days and as usual when visitors come, I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in such a lovely place…..of course I take it for granted as we all do when we become complacent about our surroundings until we are told by others how fabulous it is and then I start to look at it again with fresh eyes and I realise yes it is and I am lucky!
Wednesday saw the celebration of 100 years of The Women’s Institute, started in Canada and now a worldwide organisation. Thought of by many as a jam and cake making group which does nothing but sit and talk about homemaking issues…very wrong, I might add!!! So far this year we have had a variety of speakers from authors to bondage queens, eaten fish and chips, afternoon tea, been to The Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, won quizzes, made crafts, drank wine and best of all, had huge fun doing it!!! And the best thing is that the age range has changed from over 60’s to anything from early 20’s to over 80….which is how it works in my WI Group. The celebration was wonderful, we ate the most superb cakes as you can see from the photographs and were entertained by The Daisy Bowlers, had our hair curled by a vintage hairdresser, wore hats that span the ages, drank from vintage China, bought the obligatory home-made jam and chutney, sang Jerusalem (obligatory, but I love it!), and made new friends, always the best part!
And this weekend has been AMAZING with so many activities taking place all over Southend…..the two that I managed to get to where. The Tweed Ride, one of our many cycle events that are held here throughout the year. Called tweed after the old type of tweed clothes that were worn in the olden days and participants did not disappoint…..there were penny farthings ridden by pantaloons wearing gents and women in similar clothing, others wore fancy dress suitable for the era and huge fun was had by all….we love cycle events here and our town and seafront are very bike friendly with cycle paths that stretch for miles. Each weekend families as well as professional cyclists can be seen out on made enjoying the sea-side, I love it!!!
Then we had The Leigh Regatta, organised by The Rotary Group each year and is a huge fundraising event held in Leigh, a fishing town just down from Southend. We parked about a mile from Leigh and walked along the beach to Leigh where we were greeted with the tug of war taking place on the beach by teams of youngsters, it was huge fun and then it was the turn of the men who were extremely competitive and fun to watch.
Cloggers are always fun to watch….cloggers and Morris Dancers are classic examples of traditional group dances from years gone by. I love to watch them and the music always gets your toes tapping along, I had to hold myself back from joining in, not that I would have known the moves! We had pig racing, I drew Pepper, who came in second boo hoo! There were cockle eating contests, face painting, oysters, every kind of music possible, Art venues, afternoon teas, ice cream, beer and above all, lots of fun……….
We had a family day out yesterday at Barleylands, a farm and fun area which is loved by the children in our family, there have been going since they were quite small but I wonder how long the 12 year olds will want to come, although they still have such fun I imagine we can get another year before we start looking for a new venue with more activities for older children!!! We have the same routine each visit, we try to get there early and just as it opens, that way we (or yesterday me) get in as the gate opens and get the best table at the front where we can see the children and more importantly they can see us and we can get on the slides with the children before it gets full up, its brilliant, I walked around all the animals and activities before anyone else got there and it was brilliant!!
Again, the weather was amazing and a very good time had by all…..I love family outings, when you have children with you, their enthusiasm is so infectious and it is difficult to remember you are not an 8 or nine-year old!!!!!!
My turn to pick up the six-year-old from school on Thursday and we had fun…..we played dress up first, then went to Kids Kingdom, a huge play area with every type of bouncy and climbing equipment and wore ourselves out, then a drop off at Girl’s Brigade……followed by a large gin and tonic for me!!!!!
For all those Fans of Downton Abbey, the last series is starting tonight, I won’t give anything away I promise……,
Have a great week, we are set to have a heat wave for the next three weeks, that will be great. We can tell Autumn is on its way because some of the trees are turning the most beautiful shade of yellow and russet and the evenings are getting dark earlier, not my favourite part of Autumn……speak next week!