Thanks to a temporary halt in my building works I am currently in sole possession of an eight bedroom, four storey house. So, since Cressida was coming here for an awards update, and my brother in law David had to come to London on business, we thought we could use my many floors of bedrooms to accommodate everyone as ‘separate households’ and all meet together in the garden for supper.
I acquired this very splendid fire pit, David came equipped with logs and much fire lighting expertise, I created a large sustaining pot of sausages and beans, the rains held off and the moon shone down upon us. Joined by my son and daughter in law and a friend of Cressida’s, we all settled down to an evening of pleasant chat – or so I thought….
Now I have to tell you that I am the world’s original innocent. I would have made the most dreadful detective as I never suspect anything. So despite the fact that Cressida, my family and, as far as I can see, most of the freefrom world, had been plotting this for years, I was completely unaware that anything was afoot. When Cressida announced, over the chocolate honey crunch, that she had something she wanted to say – I thought of a dozen exciting possibilities – but they most definitely did not include that I was about to be given such wonderful gifts accompanied by such incredible messages from you all.
I am not entirely sure that I have really done as much for the freefrom world as you are all very sweetly saying that I have – but I could not be more happy that freefrom has come as far as it has over the years that I have been involved with it. And I am hugely touched by all your many really, really lovely messages. I am just sad that we were not able to all celebrate together. But, since we weren’t, let me at least invite you to join our fire-pit party.
I am not sure whether the ‘don’t let Michelle find out anything about it’ committee told you all what they had decided to buy me, but they could not have done better.
As some of you may know I am quite partial to a glass of organic red wine. But although I do enjoy a classy wine, I am too mean to buy myself good wines except occasionally. So what did I get? A whole year’s worth of fancy organic red wines from the Wine Society’s capacious cellars. What an amazing treat!
What more could I have wanted? But there was much more to come.
First David appeared with a large red bag out of which he extracted an extremely fine block of wood….. Watch on….
And here they are, sitting, for now on the chest under an earring lampshade.
They are called ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ and they are by the sculptor Simon Connolly. As you may have heard David say, I had seen them at the wonderful outdoor sculpture show that happens every second summer in his village in Gloucestershire. (Although our couple do not actually feature, I posted about the show when it last happened in 2019.) They are made from clay and resin and are actually intended to stand on the top of a very much taller block of oak in the garden. There, as Simon says, ‘the figures will continue to rust over time, which is all part of the artistic intent.’ However, for the next year until the building works are finished, I think they will stay on their rather smaller block of wood safely inside.
Meanwhile I can report that the first bottle of wine has gone down very well indeed….
Thank you all – Cressida, family and the whole freefrom world. It is great to be part of it and I hope to be able to go on contributing – at least until I have drunk my way through my year’s worth of wine!!